The Global Economy: Changing Politics, Family, and Society

The Global Economy: Changing Politics, Family, and Society

The Global Economy: Changing Politics, Family, and Society

The Global Economy: Changing Politics, Family, and Society

Excerpt

The global economy is enormous—over $40 trillion a year—and it is everywhere. Because of mass communication and advanced technology, the global economy affects the output of goods and services of every nation.

Gone forever are the days when mighty oceans or mountains allowed a country to isolate itself from the rest of the world. Time zones have been replaced by the 24-hour-a-day stock market. The state of the Thai baht (money) matters to bankers of Washington, London, and Tokyo. Today, every nation is part of a worldwide economic archipelago.

But not all nations benefit equally. The Internet opens the world to everyone who has a computer and a modem—over 200 million households are now online around the world. But only 2 million Africans and just 1.3 million citizens of the Middle East are logged on. Three-fourths of all e-commerce currently takes place in the United States.

Globalization has produced significant shifts everywhere. The US stock market was once the province of the wealthy, but now nearly 80 million Americans, representing almost half of all US households, own stocks and stock mutual funds. In many Third World countries, the global economy is lifting peasants out of the agricultural age and into the industrial age.

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