Negative Effects of Globalization

Spain 4

According to the first entry on this website where we examined the book “The World Is Flat” by Thomas L. Friedman, in which Friedman says that globalization is a force sweeping our World and creating a better, more connected Planet. The case can be made however, that globalization is not such a good thing as Naomi Klein lies out in her book, “No Logo”. In No Logo, Klein focuses on large multinational corporations that have used globalization to expand and grow their companies overseas in order to exploit cheap labor. This has allowed these companies to put less money into the actual manufacturing of their products, because of the cheap labor they can take advantage of, and put more money into the branding of their company through advertising. We will continue down this path of how globalization can be detrimental while looking at Spain to see how, in attempting to become a flatter more global country, they have actually increased unemployment and slowed their economy.

                European Union and Spain

                Spain was adopted into the European Economic Community, an early version of the European Union, in 1987 and became the 12th member country to do so. The European Union (EU) as we know it today came together in the early 1990s. This modern day EU came together due to the ratification of the Treaty of Maastricht on November 1, 1993. This treaty’s goals were to bring the member countries together not just economically but also to improve the ability of participating nations to democratically govern themselves, to improve the nations efficiency, to unify the members financially, and to establish a security policy for member countries. The treaty established various policies involving industry, education, and youth to meet these goals (Briney). In 1999 the EU took a huge step towards becoming unified with the introduction of the euro, with eleven countries including Spain adopting this currency (Rosenberg).

                The creation of the European Union was/is one of the largest globalization experiments we have seen in our ever expanding globalized World. In 1995 the Schengen agreement came into effect, which allows countries to remove their internal boarders and allows people to travel from one country to another without having to check in. All in all there are now 15 EU countries that have agreed to this but some are still hesitant to join because of terrorism and drug trafficking concerns (“BBC News”). This agreement highlights what the EU’s main goal is; ultimate globalization. The EU wants to eventually become one big country and the development of a common currency and the ability for citizens to pass through boarders unchecked symbolize the EU’s plans for globalization. However, this globalization can cause problems for member countries like is has for Spain.

Spain’s Rising Unemployment Rate

Spain has had some well documented economic trouble in recent years. In 2008, Spain along with most of the Western World was hit hard by the housing bubble crisis, resulting in a deep recession. During this time Spaniard citizens have been demoralized by rising unemployment, which has risen to nearly 22%, the highest in the industrial world (“asiaone business”). Is the housing crisis the only thing to blame? Or is Spain’s involvement in the globalization experiment, the EU, also to blame.

Since joining the EU Spain has had to make many sacrifices to keep the member countries happy that they would not have had to do if they were not affiliated with these other countries. A major sacrifice they have had to make is in their fishing industry. This industry is a large part of the Spanish economy employing over 500,000 Spaniards with around 18,000 fishing vessels. Since joining the EU Spain and Morocco have had many complications over the fishing grounds that border both countries, and Spain has been required to cut their catches by up to 40% to keep Morocco happy. This has not helped an already sputtering economy (Beloff).

Spain’s involvement with the globalization craze has not worked so well for them in recent years. Spain has set themselves up for a lot of risk without much reward back from the Union. This shows that sometimes a thriving entity that tries to expand and make itself better just ends up developing unneeded risk as Spain has shown through the European Union experiment.