What is Globalization?

Getting a Band 7 IELTS score or above can be very hard. Many Task 2 IELTS essay questions require you to be able to think about a topic in a very universal way. This is particularly true if the essay is about economics but can also be true of any topic such as education, healthcare, technology, tourism or the environment.

Having an understanding of globalization can really help you to think of ideas on any topic because it has such an influence upon our lives.

Below is an article first published in Forbes Magazine that outlines the basic ideas of globalization.

A story in the Washington Post said “20 years ago globalization was pitched as a strategy that would raise all boats in poor and rich countries alike. In the U.S. and Europe consumers would have their pick of inexpensive items made by people thousands of miles away whose pay was much lower than theirs. And in time trade barriers would drop to support even more multinationals expansion and economic gains while geopolitical cooperation would flourish.”

There is no question that globalization has been a good thing for many developing countries who now have access to our markets and can export cheap goods. Globalization has also been good for Multi-national corporations and Wall Street. But globalization has not been good for working people (blue or white collar) and has led to the continuing deindustrialization of America.

Globalization is a complicated issue. It is necessary to evaluate the pros and cons before drawing any conclusions.

Pros

Supporters of globalization argue that it has the potential to make this world a better place to live in and solve some of the deep-seated problems like unemployment and poverty.

1. Free trade is supposed to reduce barriers such as tariffs, value added taxes, subsidies, and other barriers between nations. This is not true. There are still many barriers to free trade. The Washington Post story says “the problem is that the big G20 countries added more than 1,200 restrictive export and import measures since 2008.

2. The proponents say globalization represents free trade which promotes global economic growth; creates jobs, makes companies more competitive, and lowers prices for consumers.

3. Competition between countries is supposed to drive prices down. In many cases this is not working because countries manipulate their currency to get a price advantage.

4. It also provides poor countries, through infusions of foreign capital and technology, with the chance to develop economically and by spreading prosperity, creates the conditions in which democracy and respect for human rights may flourish. This is an ethereal goal which hasn’t been achieved in most countries.

5. According to supporters globalization and democracy should go hand in hand. It should be pure business with no colonialist designs.

6. There is now a worldwide market for companies and consumers who have access to products of different countries. True

7. Gradually there is a world power that is being created instead of compartmentalized power sectors. Politics is merging and decisions that are being taken are actually beneficial for people all over the world. This is simply a romanticized view of what is actually happening. True

8. There is more influx of information between two countries, which do not have anything in common between them. True

9. There is cultural intermingling and each country is learning more about other cultures. True

10. Since we share financial interests, corporations and governments are trying to sort out ecological problems for each other. – True, they are talking more than trying.

1. Socially we have become more open and tolerant towards each other and people who live in the other part of the world are not considered aliens. True in many cases.

12. Most people see speedy travel, mass communications and quick dissemination of information through the Internet as benefits of globalization. True

13. Labor can move from country to country to market their skills. True, but this can cause problems with the existing labor and downward pressure on wages.

14. Sharing technology with developing nations will help them progress. True for small countries but stealing our technologies and IP have become a big problem with our larger competitors like China.

15. Transnational companies investing in installing plants in other countries provide employment for the people in those countries often getting them out of poverty. True

16. Globalization has given countries the ability to agree to free trade agreements like NAFTA, South Korea Korus, and The TPP. True but these agreements have cost the U.S. many jobs and always increase our trade deficit.

Cons

• The general complaint about globalization is that it has made the rich richer while making the non-rich poorer. “It is wonderful for managers, owners and investors, but hell on workers and nature.”

• Globalization is supposed to be about free trade where all barriers are eliminated but there are still many barriers. For instance161 countries have value added taxes (VATs) on imports which are as high as 21.6% in Europe. The U.S. does not have VAT.

• The biggest problem for developed countries is that jobs are lost and transferred to lower cost countries.” According to conservative estimates by Robert Scott of the Economic Policy Institute, granting China most favored nation status drained away 3.2 million jobs, including 2.4 million manufacturing jobs. He pegs the net losses due to our trade deficit with Japan ($78.3 billion in 2013) at 896,000 jobs, as well as an additional 682,900 jobs from the Mexico –U.S. trade-deficit run-up from 1994 through 2010.”

• Workers in developed countries like the US face pay-cut demands from employers who threaten to export jobs. This has created a culture of fear for many middle class workers who have little leverage in this global game

• Large multi-national corporations have the ability to exploit tax havens in other countries to avoid paying taxes.

• Multinational corporations are accused of social injustice, unfair working conditions (including slave labor wages, living and working conditions), as well as lack of concern for environment, mismanagement of natural resources, and ecological damage.

• Multinational corporations, which were previously restricted to commercial activities, are increasingly influencing political decisions. Many think there is a threat of corporations ruling the world because they are gaining power, due to globalization.

• Building products overseas in countries like China puts our technologies at risk of being copied or stolen, which is in fact happening rapidly.

• The anti-globalists also claim that globalization is not working for the majority of the world. “During the most recent period of rapid growth in global trade and investment, 1960 to 1998, inequality worsened both internationally and within countries. The UN Development Program reports that the richest 20 percent of the world’s population consume 86 percent of the world’s resources while the poorest 80 percent consume just 14 percent. “

• Some experts think that globalization is also leading to the incursion of communicable diseases. Deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS are being spread by travelers to the remotest corners of the globe.

• Globalization has led to exploitation of labor. Prisoners and child workers are used to work in inhumane conditions. Safety standards are ignored to produce cheap goods. There is also an increase in human trafficking.

• Social welfare schemes or “safety nets” are under great pressure in developed countries because of deficits, job losses, and other economic ramifications of globalization.

Globalization is an economic tsunami that is sweeping the planet. We can’t stop it but there are many things we can do to slow it down and make it more equitable.

What is missing?

Leadership – We need politicians who are willing to confront the cheaters. One of our biggest problems is that 7 of our trading partners manipulate their currencies to gain unfair price advantage which increases their exports and decreases their imports. This is illegal under WTO rules so there is a sound legal basis to put some kind of tax on their exports until they quit cheating.

Balanced Trade – Most of our trading partners can balance their trade budgets and even run a surplus. We have not made any effort to balance our trade budget and have run a deficit for more than 30 years resulting in an $11 trillion deficit. The trade deficit is the single biggest job killer in our economy, particularly manufacturing jobs. We need the government to develop a plan to begin to balance our trade deficit even though this is not a political priority in either party.

Trade Agreements – Both the NAFTA and the South Korean Korus trade agreements might have been good for Wall Street and the multi-national corporations but they eliminated jobs in America and expanded our trade deficit. The upcoming Trans Pacific Trade Agreement will do the same thing and Congress should not fast track this bad agreement for a dozen reasons.

Enforcing the rules – China ignores trade rules and WTO laws with reckless abandon. Besides currency manipulation they subsidize their state owned companies to target our markets, and provide funding to their state owned companies that dump their products in America. They also steal our technologies, sell counterfeit versions of our products, and impose tariffs and other barriers anytime they want – as we do nothing to stop them. China does not deserve to be on our most favored nation list and we need to tax their exports to us until they stop these illegal activities.

What is good for third world countries, like Kenya, or countries with tremendous growth, like China, has not been good for American workers. Globalization is deindustrializing America as we continue to outsource both manufacturing blue collar and white collar jobs. Supporters of globalization have made the case that it is good because it has brought low priced imported goods, but they have not matched the decline of wages in the middle class and will not offset the loss of many family wage jobs

Globalization is like being overwhelmed by a snow avalanche. You can’t stop it – you can only swim in the snow and hope to stay on top. I would like to make the argument that the US should try a lot harder to swim in the snow and stay on top. We can’t stop globalization but there are many policies and strategies we can use to make it more equitable. We can enforce the trade laws, force the competition to play by the same rules, and stop giving our competitors the tools (technology and R& D) to ultimately win the global war.

Mike Collins is the author of Saving American Manufacturing. His website is www.mpcmgt.com.

Causes and Solutions IELTS Writing Task 2 question

Some IELTS Writing Task 2 questions require you to think of the reason for something as well as coming up with solutions for it.

These questions are called Causes and Solution questions. They are also a type of two part question.

Here is an example of one.

Causes/Problem and Solution
Example: Crime rates tend to be higher in cities than in smaller towns. Explain some possible reasons for this problem and suggest some solutions.

For a real model answer that would get a Band 7 score in this Writing Task 2 question, just email [email protected]

Short IELTS writing questions – The Stinger

Most IELTS Writing Tasks 2 essay questions ask you to discuss an opinion or a topic. In a lot of cases the question will give you a context to help you answer the question.
An example of a standard Agree or Disagree question is shown below.

Some people think that scientists experimenting with animals in a laboratory is the only way we can guarantee new products will be safe for human use. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

However, in recent years the examiners have started to include more Opinion essay questions. These often don’t clearly show two sides of an issue and require you to think very deeply about a subject without giving you much of a context. I call these questions “The Stinger” because they are small but deadly. An example of a Stinger is shown below.

Some people believe that nowadays we have too many choices.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

These questions are designed to make you go way off topic. However, the same planning techniques still work. When planning, make sure to divide two lists for each side of the argument, detailing ideas of when we have choices and when we don’t and clearly showing examples to explain what you mean.  Although be careful. The question does have a clear position, so always focus on whether you agree with that position or disagree with it.

In my view, students should concentrate on practicing with these Opinion IELTS Task 2 Writing topics as they are increasingly becoming more and more common.

Answering the wrong IELTS essay question

The IELTS Task 2 writing question can be very challenging. Not only is it a test of your grammar and vocabulary, it also tests your ability to analyze and answer the RIGHT question.

Students can sometimes write well on a topic but get a low score. This is usually because they are answering the WRONG question within the topic presented to them.

This is a real example from an essay a student gave me before we started his course.

Question
Using a computer can have more negative effects than positive effects on your children. Do you agree or disagree ?

2nd para
Some people believe that it is antisocial to be seen using your computer every day by your children. It is thought that this attitude can rub off on children and for them to copy a parent’s actions as they grow up.
 
Can you spot the mistake?

Critical Thinking for Essay Writing

Many students ask me how to write an essay. They say “I don’t know what to write!!!” or “I know what to write but it doesn’t come out the way I mean to!!!.”

A key part of how to improve these skills is called critical thinking. Critical thinking, according to The Oxford Dictionary is “The objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.”

The ability to assess and make a balanced judgement AND write about it clearly is a key life skill and an important element when tackling an essay question such as the Task 2 IELTS essay question.

I can help you to think of ideas for your essay and how to organise those ideas into a coherent piece of writing.

See the courses section within this website or email [email protected]

How to write an IELTS Task 2 essay. Planning is everything.

The IELTS Task 2 essay is a 250 word discursive writing test.

As well as testing your level of English, it assesses your general knowledge and ability to clearly argue, discuss and express an opinion about a given topic.

Examiners will give high scores to a well argued and above all, well organized essay. If your essay is well organized your point of view will be clearer. If your point of view is clearer it will get  higher band score.

I emphasize the importance of planning when writing a Task 2 IELTS essay and it works! Whether it’s a case of raising your score if you have already taken the exam, or if you are taking the test for the first time.

For help with writing your IELTS Task 2 essay or to get a higher band score for the writing test overall email [email protected]

The Magnificent Seven (IELTS Task 2 Writing Tasks)

The Task 2 IELTS writing task is a discursive essay. The questions are about general knowledge and cover areas such as education, the environment, travel and globalization and everything in between !

As a result, students need to have a good standard of general knowledge to get a Band 7 score or above.

Another aspect of the Task 2 is the format of the question. Some questions require you to discuss a topic in a balanced way, whereas some pose a strong opinion for you to challenge or agree with.

This list outlines the seven different types of IELTS writing question along with examples of actual questions within that type.

  1. Agree or Disagree
    Example: Some people think that scientists experimenting with animals in a laboratory is the only way we can guarantee new products will be safe for human use. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
  2. Advantages/Benefits outweigh Disadvantages/Drawbacks
    Example: In some countries, governments are encouraging industries and businesses to move to regional areas outside the big cities. Do the advantages of this trend outweigh the disadvantages?
  3. Discuss two views plus your opinion
    Example: Some people say children no longer need to develop handwriting skills. Others believe that handwriting is still important. Discuss both these views and give your opinion.
  4. Discuss two views only (no opinion)
    Example: Many people believe that an effective public transport system is a key component of a modern city. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of public transport.
  5. Causes/Problem and Solution
    Example: Crime rates tend to be higher in cities than in smaller towns. Explain some possible reasons for this problem and suggest some solutions.
  6. Two questions/ two-part questions
    Example: To some people studying the past has little value in the modern world.  Why do you think it is important to do so? What will be the effect if children are not taught history?
  7. Opinion
    Some people believe that nowadays we have too many choices.
    To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Regardless of what the question is, they can all be answered with two main body paragraphs (plus introduction and conclusion paragraphs).
Go through each question and brainstorm your ideas and see how you would divide and organize your answer.

For more help on how to write a Band 7-8 IELTS essay contact [email protected]

Planning your Task 2 IELTS essay

Get organized

Planning an essay is the best way to achieve a band 7 score on the Task 2 IELTS writing task. The essay takes 40 minutes to complete but you should take at least 10 minutes to plan your essay before you start to write.

NEVER START UNTIL YOU’VE COMPLETED YOUR ESSAY PLAN.

Examiners will  give you a higher score if your essay is clear to read. If the essay is well planned your essay will be easier to follow.

Make sure your essay uses ‘information chunking’. This is the way you can write by separating your essay into logical sections or ‘chunks’ so it is easier to follow.

Creating ideas for your essay

The examiner will give you a high band score if you present a number of clear relevant ideas to support your argument or point of view.

Ideas should be organized into three basic categories: positions, main ideas and supporting ideas. These will form the order and content of each of your paragraphs.

For more information on how to create and use these email [email protected]

Do you want to work for the NHS but qualified overseas?

 
Healthcare professionals seeking work in the NHS in the uk have to pass the IELTS exam
 
They need to get a 7 band score in the test. This rule applies to nurses as well as doctors. The exam is part of the tier-2 visa system that allows overseas professionals to work in the UK.
 
The English exam is divided into four sections: Speaking, writing, reading and listening.
 
The IELTS writing is divided into two tasks.
 
In the IELTS task 1 writing question students are presented with a chart or a diagramTask 1 asks students to write a short description of the data depicted in the chart or diagram. The essay should be approximately 150 words long and should take 20 minutes to complete.
 
In the IELT task 2 writing question students are presented with a discursive essay question. The question requires students to formulate an argument or an opinion about a subject presented by it. Points are awarded to students who present their ideas clearly and focus on the correct issues and subjects that the question poses. The essay should be approximately 250 words long and take 40 minutes to complete.
 
For more information about the IELTS test email [email protected]

Band 7 score required by overseas medical professionals coming to work in NHS

Thousands more overseas doctors will be able to come and work in the NHS after Theresa May took advice from cabinet colleagues to do away with limits that hospital bosses had criticised.

The relaxation of immigration rules, which is due to be announced imminently, represents a victory for Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid and follows an active and passionate campaign by NHS organisations and medical groups.

They have been arguing that medics should be taken out of the cap on skilled workers allowed to work in Britain, in order to help tackle the NHS’s deepening workforce crisis.

Hunt, the health and social care secretary, and Javid, the home secretary, have been privately lobbying the prime minister to ease restrictions that between November and April denied more than 2,300 doctors from outside the European Economic Area the chance to work in the NHS.

Under the current immigration system the number of non-EEA skilled workers across the board able to come and work in Britain on a tier-2 visa through a certificate of sponsorship is capped at 20,700 a year – a ceiling set by the Home Office.

Doctors and Nurses wishing to work in the NHS at all levels will have to achieve a minimum 7 band score in the IELTS exam. For more information on help with the IELTS exam email [email protected]