Can the country expect a standard of human rights in the new economic system of globalization? It seems as though the two topics should be dealt with separately. There are civil rights, and then there are labor rights. The world stage presents a different understanding on how the two should relate. After a long history of human rights tension in the United States, and the recent election of America’s first minority president, can the country be blind to justice when it comes to economic expansion?
This is not the first time Americans have had to define what limitation the constitution has in the global community. Traditionally, trading partners were mostly homogenous in their approach to society. In times of modern warfare, the western nations have taken it upon themselves to spread freedom and democracy. As globalization has become truly global, the challenges to core values becomes more difficult when dealing with countries larger than the third world. The United States relations with China is a test for the elected representation and for the competence of the population.
It was not long ago the press displayed images of the Obama white house sending the Dali Lama out with the trash. It was not only offensive to an international and peaceful religion, but a slap to citizens that practice the faith. How serious can this administration be taken when pictures like that are so fresh? On one hand there is stiff talk about freedom of religion, but the other hand pets the dragon. It was nice for the Chinese president to acknowledge human rights while on a state visit, but on last check it is still a state controlled media in China.
The world has practiced capitalism long enough to understand that there is money to be made. When trading partners accumulate and markets emerge, there are increasing opportunities to pull in new money. The definition of selling out is giving up one’s beliefs and/or values for the sole purpose of making money. It is expected that the recent class of MBA’s pursue monetary gains as life style, but how does a nation hold off of an obvious deal. It is no doubt that politics is playing a balance until some countdown. There are not easy solutions when deciding how not to be left behind in the global markets, and how to stand strong on human rights. In reality, the basic system of capitalism cannot function properly without universal human rights. When aspects of a society oppress there is the tendency for violence. For every action there is an equal re-action.
Western countries who have worked in free markets have become accustomed to certain standards. It cannot be assumed that other regions of the world will relate to the same social traditions. Globalization needs more than The World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund to broker finances between new partners. There needs to be a deep cultural exchange and understanding. Even though the development of relations with China is not new, there has never been a mutual and fluid dialog between the populations. Ping Pong and Yao Ming may be fun, but it is not the ideological duel of Joe Louis and Max Schmeling. America has felt comfortable with trading within the western social tradition, but has a long wall to climb to reach Beijing.
In future predictions, the emerging markets seem to yield positives for the United States. It will build large consumer markets, which in theory will provide new ways for America to export and correct the trade deficit. The problem with this theory is that the playing field is not level. Emerging markets have lower labor cost, and cost of living. At the same time these markets lack the ability to regulate themselves for safety and property protection. How long will it take for the economies to mature enough for the American standard of living to remain stable? In truth it will take too long. It took generations in a highly functioning free country to develop the expected standards. There is not much that compares to the last two decades of the 20th century in the United States economy, nor are these recent players as practiced or controlled in their free market system.
Divulging into hasty trade agreements without having a human rights understanding is ignorant, and shameful.. It is not enough to simply account figures and poll ratings. The most important aspect when negotiating with unfamiliar societies is the social function. There cannot exist a free economy without a free civil union.