All Things Korean; Impact of Economic Globalization
The nation has been deluged by the plethora of the three ``R'' problems _ rationalization, restructuring and retrenchments, a sort of byproduct of reforming society's abnormalities from our past. We, as a nation, have come to realize the enormous costs and sacrifices needed to solve these problems. Our own home grown problems have created social, economic and regional disparities from our heyday of the 80's, and the dividing lines among these unparalleled social paradigms are worsening, creating what Professor Bob Gregory of Australian National University termed as ``two nations,'' those with jobs and those without jobs.
Gregory's research into the Australian economy revealed that the proportion of one-parent families increased from 13 to 22 percent since 1979 and some 60 percents of all work-poor families are one-parent families with dependents. The research highlights the division between the work-rich and the work-poor, containing a geographical contrast and polarization. The survey's finding on the geographical polarization of poor and jobless families is of significance to policy making in the Korean economy.
Traditionally, most job seekers converged on major cities such as Seoul and Pusan, leaving insufficient labor forces in the rural agricultural areas in Korea. Agricultural producers and rice farmers in Korea became a class of``work-poor'' families, and their income status is riskier now more than ever due to economic globalization, which can be viewed as an ``ethical and moral menace.''
Professor Timothy Gorringe in his book of ``Fair Shares: Ethics and the Global Economy,'' describes that ``globalization has the potential for destroying society.'' Professor Dani Rodrik writes in the book of ``Making Openness Work,'' that ``it requires too much blind faith in markets to believe that the global allocation of resources is enhanced by the twentysomething-year-olds in London who move hundreds of millions of dollars around the globe in a matter of an instant.''
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak also said in his speech that ``there is a sense that there must be something wrong with a system that wipes out years of hard-won development because of changes in market sentiment. Years of progress are gone, because of developments elsewhere.'' All these fears and apprehensions of fully blasted globalization are indeed intimidating to the ordinary work-poor and jobless classes in our society.
Polarization of regions, industries and the unemployed from the impact of economic rationalism encountered by the Western world are looming in the traditionally cohesive and closely networked country such as Korea. …