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SECONDARY 4 - HISTORY

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  • espiochaotix's Avatar
    11 posts since Feb '17
    • How are wealth and inequality related to each other? How does globalization fit into the relationship?

    • The uneven wealth distribution that has occurred throughout human history has more often than not resulted in economic inequality. And one of the key drivers of uneven wealth distribution would be globalisation, which have brought us closer than ever through increasing speed in which we exchange ideas, goods, technology but has ironically widened the wage gap between people of different social strata. Take the plight of textile sweatshop workers as an example. Due to globalisation opening up international markets for a diverse range of clothing products and skyrocketing demand, wealthy manufacturing companies based in core/developed countries have sourced for labour in periphery/less developed countries such as Vietnam and Thailand. These companies pay each of them a meagre sum every month while the company swims in cash as the cheap manpower hired in bulk are able to churn out thousands of clothes per day which would then be sold at a jacked up price in other countries, including the very country of origin. Meanwhile the workers save up just to buy these products (not just clothing, it happens in almost every industry), feeding the little money they earn back to the manufacturing company. The rich get richer while the poor get poorer.

  • Chanrasjid's Avatar
    9 posts since May '16
    • Originally posted by espiochaotix:

      The uneven wealth distribution that has occurred throughout human history has more often than not resulted in economic inequality. And one of the key drivers of uneven wealth distribution would be globalisation, which have brought us closer than ever through increasing speed in which we exchange ideas, goods, technology but has ironically widened the wage gap between people of different social strata. Take the plight of textile sweatshop workers as an example. Due to globalisation opening up international markets for a diverse range of clothing products and skyrocketing demand, wealthy manufacturing companies based in core/developed countries have sourced for labour in periphery/less developed countries such as Vietnam and Thailand. These companies pay each of them a meagre sum every month while the company swims in cash as the cheap manpower hired in bulk are able to churn out thousands of clothes per day which would then be sold at a jacked up price in other countries, including the very country of origin. Meanwhile the workers save up just to buy these products (not just clothing, it happens in almost every industry), feeding the little money they earn back to the manufacturing company. The rich get richer while the poor get poorer.

      Q: "How are wealth and inequality related to each other? How does globalization fit into the relationship?"

      Is this really within the history syllabus for Sec 4 in Singapore? Unbelievable! The answer given is about economics, not history. Even the professors in Harvard cannot answer definitively. So how are the 16 years-old suppose to answer; unless there are paragraphs within a recommended textbook that deal exactly with such topics and the students faithfully memorized and reproduce them to score marks. Is such "education".

      It is better to teach the Bible version that, because of the original sin when Eve offered Adam the forbidden fruit, man is punished thereby having problems after problems for all their life living in this world - uneven wealth distribution, laboring the soil to eek out a livelihood, etc. Nothing to do with globalization! A punishment from original sin!

      Who knows? Those very poor textile slave laborers "exploited" by the multinationals might have met their savior in the rich capitalists, otherwise they could have died early and be out of the national statistics.

      Best regards,
      Chan Rasjid.  

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