Globalisation is good
A Freeform Production for UK Channel Four
Broadcast date: 21 September 2003
49 minutes long
Written and presented by Johan Norberg
Filmed, Produced and Directed by Charlotte Metcalf
Executive Producer: Antoine Palmer
Assistant Producer: Maria Kagkelidou
Available from Electric Sky
"This is timely and thought-provoking
stuff, and should be compulsory viewing
for anyone who ever boycotted a brand."
| The world is an unequal and unjust place, in which
some are born into wealth and some into hunger and misery. To explore
why, in this controversial Channel Four documentary the young Swedish
writer Johan Norberg takes the viewers on a journey to Taiwan, Vietnam,
Kenya and Brussels to see the impact of globalisation, and the
consequences of its absence. It makes the case that the problem in the
world is not too much capitalism, globalisation and multinationals, but
Does globalisation create a race to the bottom - or to
"Globalisation is good" tells a tale of two countries that
were equally poor 50 years ago - Taiwan and Kenya. Today Taiwan is 20
times richer than Kenya. We meet the farmers and entrepreneurs that
could develop Taiwan because it introduced a market economy and
integrated into global trade. And we meet the Kenyan farmers and slum
dwellers that are still desperately poor, because Kenya shut its door
to globalisation. The Kenyans are suffering from regulations,
corruption and the lack of property rights. The unequal distribution in
the world is a result of the unequal distribution of capitalism - those
who have capitalism grow rich, those who don't stay poor.
Is Nike exploiting workers in poor countries?
| The film also explores the role of multinational
corporations, especially the most criticised - Nike. In Vietnam we see
that Nike's so called sweatshops give the Vietnamese better working
conditions and many times the wages they would have otherwise. Instead
of hurting the country, Nike contributes to rapid growth, poverty
reduction and less child labour. Domestic factory owners visit Nike to
get ideas on how to improve productivity and working conditions. If
that is exploitation, then the problem in the world is that the poor
are not sufficiently exploited.
The film concludes that we must fight for more globalisation
if we want to help the poor countries. EU-protectionism is the worst
obstacle today. We spend so much on agricultural protectionism that
each of our 20 million cows could fly round the world once every year.
The problem is not that we in the West are trying to trick poor
countries into global capitalism. The problem is we are shutting them
out from it. Therefore, the anti-globalisation movement is ignorant and
dangerous. Far from protecting poor people the movement is
inadvertently helping to keep them poor.