In the 21st century globalization is an irreversible trend that brings with it a level of economic expansion, growth, and accessibility that is unprecedented in the history of mankind. While the positive aspects of economic globalization might seem irrefutable, the debate between pro and anti-globalization experts is intense, and from that debate emerges inspiring quotable quotes that fuel further thought-provoking discussions about the risks and rewards of globalization.
The U.S. retail industry has seemingly always embraced the idea of globalization, as the acquisition and transport of goods from different parts of the world was a primary motivation behind the most famous explorers in history. The F.W. Woolworth Company had retail stores in Canada in 1905. Chevrolet was selling automobiles in Canada in 1915. Abercrombie & Fitch was selling Mahjong game sets imported from China in the 1920's. Retail expansion has been both the leader and the catalyst for economic globalization throughout modern business history.
Even though the evolution of technology makes a global economy practical, logical, and seemingly inevitable, an interdependent global economy is not a concept that everyone embraces wholeheartedly, and it's not a reality that is easily achieved. The pro and anti-globalization thought leaders from the fields of business, politics, and economics will continue to define the appropriate boundaries of economic globalization by examining its positive and negative aspects and encapsulate their insights in bite-sized ideas that can be consumed and shared in the form of quotes.
The quotations that follow examine, define, and challenge economic globalization as it is today and as it could become in the future.
Inspirational Pro and Anti-Globalization Quotes from Economic, Political, and Business Experts:
- “No generation has had the opportunity, as we now have, to build a global economy that leaves no-one behind. It is a wonderful opportunity, but also a profound responsibility.” - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton
- "Our view is that economic isolationism is the wrong way to go. Vibrant, successful growing economies that advance the interests of their citizens to engage the global economy. And, we're committed to engaging the global economy." - John W. Snow, Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
- "Our global economy is out of control and performing contrary to basic principles of market economics." - David Korten, Economist and Former Professor at the Harvard School of Business
- "We can't speak day after day about globalization without at the same time having in mind that...we need multilateral solutions." - Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF Managing Director
- "I find that because of modern technological evolution and our global economy, and as a result of the great increase in population, our world has greatly changed: it has become much smaller. However, our perceptions have not evolved at the same pace; we continue to cling to old national demarcations and the old feelings of 'us' and 'them'.” - Dalai Lama
- "Much of what Tea Party candidates claimed about the world and the global economy during the 2010 elections would have earned their adherents a well-deserved F in any freshman economics (or earth science) class." - Eric Alterman, Author, Columnist & Graduate Professor
- “The whole of the global economy is based on supplying the cravings of two percent of the world's population.” - Bill Bryson, Best-selling Author
- "We have to remember we're in a global economy. The purpose of fiscal stimulus is not simply to sustain activity in our national economies but to help the global economy as well, and that's why it's so critical that measures in those packages avoid anything that smacks of protectionism." - Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
- "I think there's a lot of merit in an international economy and global markets, but they're not sufficient because markets don't look after social needs." - George Soros, Chairman, Soros Fund Management
- “We are moving toward a global economy. One way of approaching that is to pull the covers over your head. Another is to say: It may be more complicated - but that's the world I am going to live in, I might as well be good at it.” - Phil Condit, Former Chairman and CEO of Boeing
- "We saw the entire global economy at one time acting totally in sync. The real truth is the world is even flatter than I thought. Our mortgage crisis is killing Deutsche Bank. You still don't think the world is flat?" - Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning and Best-selling Author of "The World Is Flat"
- "The lack of monetary discipline has become a hallmark of unfettered globalization. Central banks have failed to provide a stable underpinning to world financial markets and to an increasingly asset-dependent global economy." - Stephen Roach, Former Chairman for Asia and Chief Economist for Morgan Stanley
- “Henry Ford was right. A prosperous economy requires that workers be able to buy the products that they produce. This is as true in a global economy as a national one.” - John J. Sweeney, Former President of the AFL-CIO
- "A successful economic development strategy must focus on improving the skills of the area's workforce, reducing the cost of doing business and making available the resources business needs to compete and thrive in today's global economy." - Rod Blagojevich, Former Illinois Governor and Convicted Felon
- "To compete in a global economy, our students must continue their education beyond high school. To make this expectation a reality, we must give students the tools they need to succeed, including the opportunity to take a college entrance exam." - Jennifer Granholm, Former Governor of Michigan, Author & TV Personality
- "We must retool our nation to prepare for the challenge we already face to maintain our position in the global economy. And this much is certain: America will not have national security without economic security." - John Kerry, Massachusetts Senator
- "But let no one be under any doubt that the scale of the challenge that Europe faces in this emerging global economy is immense and the practical pace of our collective action to meet these challenge to date has just been too slow." - John Hutton, British Politician
- "There are two globalizations... The elite globalization represents minority forces. The elite globalization is about making money... The people's globalization, the democratic mass globalization is about life values." - Kevin Danaher, Author, and Anti-globalization Activist
- "Our system of private health insurance that fails to provide coverage to so many of our citizens also contributes to the double-digit health care inflation that is making America less competitive in the global economy." - John Conyers, Michigan Congressional Representative
- "In this global economy, no jobs are safe. High-speed Internet connections and low-cost, skilled labor overseas are an explosive combination." - Bob Taft, Former Governor of Ohio
- "Globalization has rendered the world increasingly interdependent, but international politics is still based on the sovereignty of states." - George Soros
- "Instead of saying that globalization is a fact, that it's inevitable, we've also got to demonstrate that while the growing interdependence of the world economy is indeed a fact, it's not uncontrollable." - Peter Mandelson, British Labour Party Politician
- "This present window of opportunity, during which a truly peaceful and interdependent world order might be built, will not be open for too long — We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order." - David Rockefeller
- "We have a global economy that is not structured around democratizing and including people in the decision-making. It's operated in secret." - Kevin Danaher
- "What's going on in this country? Unions stand against those trends. We've got to somehow insulate the robust American economy from this global economy that seems to want to devour our standard of living." - James P. Hoffa, General President of the Teamsters Union
- "In today's global economy, however, it is important to raise the bar of excellence even higher. Today's students must be prepared to compete effectively on an international level." - Kenny Marchant, Congressional Representative from Texas
- "For globalization to work for America, it must work for working people. We should measure the success of our economy by the breadth of our middle class, and the scope of opportunity offered to the poorest child to climb into that middle class." - John J. SweeneyFormer President of the AFL-CIO
- "The global economy works for about twenty percent of the world, for about eighty percent it doesn't." - Kevin Danaher
- "Not exclusively, but the bulk of our local economy should be covered by local currencies, which is more efficient than having global currencies which lose connection with reality in the markets, shops, and communities of the people." - David Korten
- "A global economy is characterized not only by the free movement of goods and services but, more important, by the free movement of ideas and of capital." - George Soros
- "My guiding principle is that prosperity can be shared. We can create wealth together. The global economy is not a zero-sum game." - Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia