Mercantilism and Capitalism, Globalization, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Globalization is one of the drivers of market integration and income inequality, especially in developing countries. The demand created by globalization enables organizations to seek cheap labor to maximize their profits (CrashCourse a 3:12). The situation in Bangladesh is a good example of the impact of globalization. In this country, the garment industry is not guided by labor rights because the workers are paid less for more work and operate in an unconducive environment (Journeyman Pictures 21:13). This paper will discuss the concepts of mercantilism and capitalism, liberalism and neoliberalism, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the pros and cons of globalization, and a non-governmental organization.
Mercantilism and Capitalism
The situation enforces the ideas of capitalism because their economic system is controlled by private companies and individuals rather than the people whose labor powers the companies. These companies are taking advantage of cheap labor to maximize their profit. This is because workers in the clothing sector in Bangladesh cannot determine what they are supposed to be paid as labor. For instance, Rubia works in a sewing machine six days a week and gets paid $22 weekly (Journeyman Pictures 21:13). This is barely enough to meet her basic needs, such as rent, food, and clothing. Therefore, the event in Bangladesh is a good description of capitalism, where the market is free and private companies control factors of production.
Moreover, the situation in Bangladesh enforces the ideas of mercantilism because they try to maximize their exports and minimize imports. A mercantile economy is where a country exports more than its imports to accumulate wealth. For example, the apparel sector in Bangladesh is using cheap labor to make affordable products that can attract international retailers (Journeyman Pictures 18:49). Based on this, thousands of new garment factories are being built to meet the growing demand for apparel in the international market. The main aim of this industry is to export more apparel outside the country and gather more wealth. Thus, the situation uses the concept of mercantilism to grow the economy.
Liberalism and Neoliberalism to The Rana Plaza Conditions
Rana Plaza’s conditions are more of neo-liberalism rather than liberalism. Neoliberalism theory is characterized by the self-interest of individuals as a factor in employment (Bogg 312). Workers were forced to return to the factories at Rana Plaza on the day of the catastrophe because they were threatened with dismissal unless they did so and were promised that the building was secure. The owners of the factories were more interested in attaining their customers’ demands as opposed to the life of workers. The conditions at the plaza were against liberalism because there was no liberty and consent on the side of laborers (Bogg 312). The workers failed to act willfully and ended up in a collapsing building. Thus, liberalism theory, as opposed to neoliberalism, is based on moral arguments to make sure the rights of individuals are kept.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The right to work in a safe environment and freedom of association are among the most important labor rights. These rights are found in Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Bueno 566). First, without exception, everyone has the right to a reasonable and adequate wage based on the amount of work they do to enable them to live a quality life. Second, everyone has the right to freedom of association and to form and join trade unions to protect their interests (Bueno 566). It is the background of democracy and the administration of justice to enable non-state actors to participate effectively in economic and social policy.
Pros and Cons of Globalization
People around the globe are more connected to each other than ever before. There are a lot of benefits to people being connected. First, globalization promotes the movement of goods and services across the globe (CrashCourse a 2:24). As a result, people exchange ideas with each other, which is important for skill development. Secondly, globalization assists in reducing poverty, especially in developing countries. For instance, mobile phones assist farmers in getting information, which they use to increase their production. Third, international trade has created new opportunities for people to sell their products and labor (CrashCourse a 3:12). For instance, Bangladesh’s clothing industry relies on international markets for its products.
Despite the pros, globalization has its fair share of cons in terms of labor and workers’ rights. First, globalization has led to the exploitation and oppression of workers, particularly those in developing countries (CrashCourse a 4:56). Due to the increased demand for products caused by globalization, capitalists focus on profit rather than people. Second, globalization has contributed to decreased demand for unskilled workers and increased demand for skilled labor. As a result, many unskilled workers, especially in developing countries, are losing their jobs (CrashCourse b 3:07). The shift has exposed unskilled laborers to exploitation because of their inability to bargain and set their demands. Therefore, globalization has been the cause of some problems in the labor market.
CARE is among the NGOs that are stepping forward to offer better outcomes. It is a renowned international humanitarian organization dedicated to assisting people in achieving social and economic well-being while also being among the finest in their disciplines (CARE). CARE’s staff uses their expertise, experience, and commitment to empowering people in poor nations to make long-term changes in their communities. The organization is dedicated to alleviating and ultimately eliminating extreme poverty. The activities of the organization are focused on women in low-income neighborhoods (CARE). For example, they handle situations like the one in Bangladesh where employers exploit women. Thus, they believe that to end poverty; people must be empowered.
CARE is one of the most renowned supporters of workers’ rights in all professions, with an emphasis on alleviating poverty. The organization was founded by a coalition of charities from work, religious, and civil sectors (CARE). It has evolved throughout time, shifting its focus away from Europe’s recovery and toward countries with highly developed socioeconomic disparities, such as China, Central America, and Africa. CARE aims to save lives, end poverty, and promote social justice all around the world. They want to make sure that everyone lives in a society with social justice, where scarcity has been eradicated, and everyone lives in dignity and security (CARE). Therefore, the organization is focused on ending the main challenges facing humanity, like poverty and social injustices.
The situation in Bangladesh is an example of the adverse impacts of globalization and industrialization. The country is enforcing the ideas of capitalism and mercantilism to meet the demands of international retailers caused by globalization. For instance, the garment industry in Bangladesh is using capitalism by allowing private organizations and individuals to control production factors such as labor. Therefore, it is important for employers to value workers’ rights even as they strive to increase their production.
Bogg, Alan. “Beyond Neo-Liberalism: The Trade Union Act 2016 and the Authoritarian State.” Industrial Law Journal, vol. 45, no. 3, 2016, pp. 299-336.
Bueno, Nicolas. “Corporate Liability for Violations of the Human Right to Just Conditions of Work in Extraterritorial Operations.” The International Journal of Human Rights, vol. 21. no. 5, 2017, pp. 565-588.
CARE. “Home Page | Care International.” CARE International, CARE international, 2020. Web.
“Globalization and Trade and Poverty: Crash Course Economics #16.” You Tube, uploaded by CrashCourse a. 2015. Web.
“Income and Wealth Inequality: Crash Course Economics #17.” You Tube, uploaded by CrashCourse b. 2015. Web.
“Would You Still Buy That Dress After Watching This?” You Tube, uploaded by Journeyman Pictures. 2013. Web.