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Is Globalization Good or Bad?

picture of manhole cover

This past weekend a friend posted on my Facebook wall a link to an article at the Telegraph.co.uk about a new McDonald's opening at the Louvre in Paris. I experienced mixed reactions to this announcement. As a tourist, I know how nice it is to find something familiar while traveling, but as one having relatives in France, I share their disdain of the encroachment of American pop culture in their country.

A few years back we decided to go out for dinner to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, Corona. When we arrived we saw on the sign out front that it was "Mariachi night." When we went inside, we saw that the restaurant was all decked out for St. Patrick's Day — green balloons, streamers, etc. everywhere. As we ate our dinner, we were surprised that the special music ended up not being a Mariachi band after all. It was an Oompah band! It was just too weird, sitting there eating Mexican, surrounded by Irish decorations, and listening to German polka music played by people with Southern accents and wearing Lederhosen and Dirndels!

That bizarre mix of dissimilar ethnicities here in the good ol' USA is no longer uncommon in our "American experience," especially as we rush faster and faster towards globalization. Our world is becoming increasingly interconnected and networked. Even if there are aspects of that that we do not like, very few of us would be willing to give up what we currently enjoy that is possible, thanks to globalization.

Here are several bits of humor that highlight some of the effects of globalization.

I recently received an e-mail showing the contrast between school buses in Japan China and in India. (After I posted this, a reader commented to let me know that it is a Chinese school bus, from the writing on the side and from the side on which the driver sits. And so I have amended this post.)

Here are several pictures of a Japanese Chinese school bus.

picture of Japanese school bus

picture of Japanese school bus

picture of Japanese school bus

Here's an Indian school bus.

picture of Indian school bus

And where do our calls for tech support go??? India!


With tech support and actual production being outsourced overseas, here's a thought-provoking piece.

Global economy and outsourcing

Joe Smith started the day early, having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN) for 6 a.m.

While his coffeepot (MADE IN CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG).

He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE IN SINGAPORE) and tennis shoes (MADE IN KOREA).

After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA) he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN MEXICO) to see how much he could spend today.

After setting his watch (MADE IN TAIWAN) to the radio (MADE IN INDIA) he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY), filled it with gas (FROM SAUDI ARABIA), and continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN JOB.

At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day, Joe decided to relax for a while. He put on his sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL) and turned on his TV (MADE IN INDONESIA), and then his DVD Player (MADE IN CHINA).

He took out a movie (MADE IN JAPAN), made some microwave (MADE IN THAILAND) popcorn (MADE IN TAIWAN) and wondered why he couldn't find a good paying job in ... AMERICA.

Now he’s hoping he can get help from his president (MADE IN KENYA or AMERICA???) who is extremely pro-globalization.


Question: What is the best definition of Globalization?

Answer: Princess Diana's death

Question: How's that?!

Answer: An English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend crashes in a French tunnel, in a German car with a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian who was drunk on Scottish whiskey, followed closely by Italian Paparazzi, on Japanese motorcycles, treated by an American doctor, using Brazilian medicines.

This is posted on a blog by an American and read in over 100 countries by people of who-knows-what nationalities on computers that use Taiwanese chips, and a Korean monitors, assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a Singapore plant, transported by Indian truck drivers in trucks fueled by Middle Eastern oil, hijacked by Indonesians, unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen, and possibly trucked to you by illegal aliens.

Now that is Globalization!


Here's a cartoon that expresses the feelings of many towards everything that's going on in the world today, including globalization.

picture of globalization cartoon

I agree that this world is going crazier and crazier with each passing day. The Bible tells us that in the end days there will be a one-world just about everything. This world is definitely moving towards what the Lord has planned, and no man can stay His hand. What is going to happen is going to happen. That's not fatalism — it's a fact, plain and simple. As a believer, it is a huge comfort to know that the image below is a clearer picture of how things actually are.

picture of world in the hands of God

What are you thoughts on globalization?


"There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you." - Will Rogers

=^..^= =^..^=

The world is full of willing people: some willing to work and some willing to let them.

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9 Comments on “Is Globalization Good or Bad?”

  1. #1 Doodie
    on Oct 5th, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    I had mixed emotions when I read that there would be a McDonald’s in the Louvre! Kudos to American ingenuity, but not in the Louvre! I half expect to read that Colonel Sanders snagged a spot in Notre Dame.

  2. #2 Rob
    on Oct 6th, 2009 at 6:48 am

    @Doodie – When we were in China in 2006, we spent several days in Beijing before coming back to the States. We were thrilled to find several American fast food restaurants within easy walking distance of our hotel — McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and KFC. These are all places that we rarely, if ever, eat at here at home. But for us they were our only safe option while in Beijing. We were warned by Chinese people not to try to eat in Chinese restaurants without a local Chinese person along. They would know whether a given restaurant was clean and they would be able to read the menu, something we could not do. We were told that very few Chinese restaurants would have menus with English translations. Even at those American fast food restaurants, we had to rely on pictures and point at what we wanted. The people behind the counters did not speak English. And we were within minutes on foot from Tiananmen Square! Those fast foods were filled mainly with Chinese people, with us being almost the only foreigners.

    Just this morning I ran across a picture of a McDonald’s in Russia.

    picture of Russian McDo

  3. #3 Jonathan
    on Oct 6th, 2009 at 10:28 am

    In my limited travel experience, the menus in foreign McDonalds differ greatly from American McDonalds (Especially in Asia). The key elements of culture that are non-negotiable to the locals are usually respected. (ie in Belgium waitresses still bring your beverage to your table. One thing they have in common is the value meal. However, I tend to stay away from American food when I travel.

  4. #4 Michael
    on Oct 6th, 2009 at 11:39 am

    I think we conservatives can be guilty of a type of globalism that we may not often consider. We desire to intervene in the affairs of other countries in order to make them more American. We want their economies to free market and we want their governments to be democratic. Yet, that may not be best for that country. We try impose our way on them and in the process we turn them off to America. For those of us who are believers, this should especially concern us since in rejecting our country they may reject Christianity too. We should seek to be all things to all men that we might save some.

    And, that’s an awesome school bus in Japan!

  5. #5 Uwe
    on Oct 7th, 2009 at 5:47 am

    I must confess that I have very mixed feelings concerning this issue (globalization). On the one hand: What could be better than working on the subject of establishing a worldwide communication? In this sense, to substitute enmity by friendly behaviour and esteeming treatment towards each other and perhaps even more in the good sense.

    But on the other hand we as Christians know that true peace begins with and depends on changing of our hearts which is only be achieved by accepting of Christ Jesus. So I fear that this actually tendency of globalization in fact is driven by powers of darkness with the aim to prepare the way for the antichrist. And the capitalistic principle is the engine! That is, to look for new markets to become more and more rich, and to get more and more might and influence. Nothing is enough, it must go on and go on and go on – where to???

  6. #6 Rob
    on Oct 7th, 2009 at 6:51 am

    @Jonathan – You’ve pointed out something interesting. We were surprised that the McDonald’s restaurants in France serve all kinds of things that aren’t on our menus here, among them beer! The McDo’s in France had McFlurries before we did here. The cappucino McFlurry was wonderful. I think it would be a hit here if they offered it.

    @Michael – When the United States was considering going to war with Iraq to take to deliver those people from tyranny and give them democracy, one of my cousins in France accused us, not of globalization, but of hegemony. He contended that France was not guilty of being an unfaithful friend to America, as Americans were claiming. He said that France felt that what we were contemplating was wrong from their point of view and they did not want to join us in doing something wrong. Interesting point of view, no? I agree that the gospel is far more important than any political or economic model and that some of what others consider “Christian America” (which we know is an oxymoron) is responsible for turning others off to Christianity.

    @Uwe – Thank you for your thoughts on this. I agree that working towards global understanding and peace is a worthy goal. As you have stated, true peace begins in the hearts of people, and only the Lord can bring peace to individual hearts. Turbulent, hate-filled hearts cannot live at peace with themselves, let alone with other turbulent, hate-filled hearts. I guess that’s why the Lord told us that until He makes things right some day, there will be wars and rumors of wars. I love His reign of peace in my heart and long for His reign of peace throughout this crazy world. Thanks for commenting, Uwe!

  7. #7 b.j.
    on Oct 7th, 2009 at 10:18 am

    From experience, I agree with (and am as frustrated as) that person looking for the job!

    How did you get a picture of my sister in Russia? haha. It does look like her, and she would ride her horse everywhere if it were possible!

  8. #8 Hisaka
    on Jan 15th, 2010 at 4:19 am

    I am sorry but the picture of the bus you posted as a Japanese bus is not Japanese. It clearly says on the side of the bus which says Republic of China. Besides Japan is right hand drive. If you see inside of the bus it tells you that the driving seat is on the left hand side. Please amend your heading. If you are in doubt, please ask any Chinese or Japanese person who can read what it says. I have just received an e-mail featuring 4 pictures which included the Indian school bus. I AM embarrassed.

  9. #9 Rob
    on Jan 15th, 2010 at 6:58 am

    @Hisaka – Thank you for that correction. You will see that I amended the post to reflect it. Hope you will be back soon.