Blog 3

Chrystia Freeland’s article “Rise of the New Global Elite” begins with the quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald “The rich are different from you and me.” The piece describes the fact that there actually exist two different types of economy, one economy belonging to the rich and the other belonging to all others. Recently, the gap between these two economies has widened, creating stronger differences between the plutocracy, or elite, and the working or lower class. The differences between the two have also been highlighted due to the recent recession.

The rich are becoming a “transglobal community of peers” and this can be traced back to the process of globalization. Advancements such as technology have significantly helped the growth of globalization, which has led to more power in the hands of wealthy individuals. Additionally, more money is being made by the upper class than before. A small number of these elite are making more than a high percentage of the lower class. (One phenomenon this has led to has been “philanthrocapitalism” – the plutocrats, as Freeland calls the wealthy, give charity in a gross manner, conducted in a capitalist way. A business approach is used in every aspect of life with these individuals…)

The impact globalization has had on the wealthy can be seen by the quotes submitted by some businessmen: Glenn Hutchins, a co-founder of the firm Silver Lake said “The circles we move in are defined by ‘interests’ and ‘activities’ rather than geography.” Business is not limited to a place by these individuals. In fact, many focus specifically on business outside the US ignoring the middle class of this country. This is made possible by the process of globalization.

The “plutocrats” seem to be in control economically. Their abilities make possible the phenomenon spoken about by Leslie Sklair in “Sociology of the Global System.” This article speaks about production being moved from a specific territory to form the global system. It has done so on such a grand scale, that some US residents don’t even know it takes place: products and requests are so easily brought into the US, or any other country demanding them for that matter, that citizens believe they are manufactured in there (in their home country), as opposed to overseas.

A major pro to this system, is that poor people in poor countries are given more opportunities and access because of globalization.

The global system can be explained simply by describing a shopping mall. There are stores with clothes made in Taiwan, food court shops with Chinese food, Japanese anime comic stores, and salons with the latest French styles..etc.

It is evident from these articles that the wealthy are “different from you and me”. They are on the rise, making the money in this and other countries. Their business is operated with the help of globalization and then also effects the spread of globalization through consumerism and production overseas. It seems that globalization is at the heart of both works and leads to an unending cycle in our economy.

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4 Responses to “Blog 3”

  1. Prof. Hala says:

    Excellent presentation of key points from the Global Elite article. There wasn’t enough time in Tuesday’s class to properly compare/contrast Sklair’s & Freeland’s perspectives. You’re right to say they both see global capitalism continuing to expand. But their understandings of global capitalism are very different. Sklair sees it as exploitation (by TNCs), but Freeland is approving: “In today’s hypercompetitive global environment, we need a creative, dynamic super-elite more than ever” (13).

  2. anthonymunozjr says:

    “A major pro to this system, is that poor people in poor countries are given more opportunities and access because of globalization.”

    The statement above reminds me of one from Freeland’s article where a comment is made ,

    “if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade,”

    that supports global markets by focusing on the quality of life throughout the globe compared to the one Americans live.

    This sounds like valid logic but coming from a investment committee, the best choice to be profitable is to use the cheapest source of labor, which is found overseas.

  3. Prof. Hala says:

    Nice. You zoned in on the same comment that Mike did in class, and that struck me and many others, I’m sure. This perhaps gets at the crux of the debate on the benefits of economic globalization.

  4. temimahz says:

    It’s interesting how ‘plutocrats’ have a way to justify what they are doing.
    I obviously agree that lifting other nations out of poverty is a positive, but it’s similar to the argument going on about adoption. Many people are saying that as opposed to looking outside the US to adopt, people (especially celebrities) should focus on those in need within our country