[Hpn] 3 social classes

Tom Musselwhite hac@efn.org
Thu, 04 May 2000 22:25:57 -0700

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bayan Tabbara" <btabbara@escwa.org.lb>
To: "Globalization E-Conference" <globalization@lists.worldbank.org>
Sent: Thursday, May 04, 2000 2:56 AM
Subject: [globalization] Marginalized countries

> This is a great opportunity to exchange views on issues as globalization.
My name is
> Bayan Tabbara and I work for the Human Development Section at the Economic
> Social Commission for Western Asia. At present I am researching the social
impact of
> globalization on the labour markets of the ESCWA region. The outcome of my
work so
> far is very pessimistic. There is no way out for developing countries that
> followed inward economic development over the past thirty years, where the
> was providing everything from free education to employment to free
services etc, to
> restructure overnight and be ready to open up. Globalization means
competitiveness on
> a global scale. Developing countries in Western Asia do not have the basic
> for competition: most of their labour force is unskilled, the educational
systems do
> not produce  the type of skills required in the global market (heavy
reliance on rote
> learning), and more crucially, people lack the attitudes and work
disciplines to
> boost their productivity. Such factors are difficult to be created
overnight. As a
> result, countries of the region will be marginalized in the new globalized
> All research on emerging global labour force (See for example Reich, 1993;
> 1995; Hallak, 1998 and Castells et al, 1999) forecast that during the next
decade the
> global workforce will be divided into three groups:
> 1. The Elite world class group with first class skills and competencies
that makes
> them the core of any enterprise. They count on secure and highly paid jobs
as well as
> international social prestige. They will constitute some 10 to 15 percent
of the global
> workforce.
> 2. The second class group of employees on hire and fire contracts, to
serve the
> Elite group and implement their ideas. They are also responsible to
entertain the first
> group in the luxurious resorts around the globe. This group will
constitute some 30 to
> 40 percent of  the global workforce.
> 3. Lastly a large group of underprivileged, destined at best, to irregular
> employment at very low wages, and will be totally marginalized from
globalization. This
> group that constitute half of world population will serve as a cushion of
cheap labour.
> Such a gloomy picture reminds us of the old days of Phereon some 5000
years ago, where
> the privileged strove on the account of the improvished.
> To illustrate this scenario, I was visiting Jordan last week, a country
that is counted
> as a great success in implementing SAP. All hotels and resort areas are
fully booked,
> yet the benefits were all going to the foreign companies operating the
resorts, with
> minimal trickle down effect to the local population.  Unemployment is
about 25% and is
> much higher for the educated. There were demonstrations and sit-ins for
> holders as they cannot find jobs. The country is becoming more and more
expensive, but
> locals cannot afford it. Is this the outcome of a success story in terms
of World Bank?
> How can globalization and opening up to foreign investment trickle down to
the local
> population? I think this is a major issue to be discussed in such a forum.
> References:
> Castells, Mauel and others (1999): Critical Education in the New
Information Age;
> Rowman and Littlefield Publishers Inc.
> Hallak, Jacques (1998): Education and Globalization; International
Institute for
> Education Planning, Paris.
> Ratinnof Luis (1995): Globalization and Education: The Culture of
Globalization; in
> Prospects, vol XXV No. 2, June.
> Reich, R (1993): The Work of Nations; New York: Simon and Shuster.
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