Media and MNCs and Me

Justin Garrison

When we were asked to pick a topic to blog about that about there was a few possibilities that popped into mind. As a Global Studies major I’ve always been fascinated with how issues affect the world. I juggled around the idea of talking about political influences changed around the world and how coverage can change based on the media outlets, but I felt like most people were exhausted with hearing or reading about politics. So I decided to give everyone a break and go another topic that I was familiar with being a small business owner and talk about business around the world. I love analyzing interdependencies and so I decided to blog about international corporations and their impact on countries and vice versa when Ashley and I had a similar topic to blog on.

Some of the things that related our topic to some of the aspects covered in class were how dominate western businesses and media are throughout the world. This includes countries that are so impoverished that the people building many of the components or creating the stories many be unable to buy whatever it is they have worked on. Throughout the semester I have seen how censured Americans are from obtaining some information. Most Americans only get their  news or information from very few sources that are located within the western world. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it makes finding information from other regions extremely difficult. This bothered me because being a political agitator I believe it is necessary for individuals to be able to have easier access to information from other countries and locations without being swarmed by information that only comes from the western lenses from companies like CNN, Fox, and Washington Post just as some examples.

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I have began working on another blog because of this course that is more focused on the political aspects going on here in the country and how they are indirectly affecting many different aspect of life in multiple locations. I do not believe I’ll be blogging about MNCs after this class but if I was I would cover the  attempts Mitsubishi is taking to convince its Japanese customers that even though they are being bought by Nissan they will remain they same. I would also like to talk about how many large MNCs are funding nonprofit organizations and nongovernmental organizations to help with humanitarian relief. And with that I will bring this blog to a close.

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China and the market

Justin Garrison

November 29, 2016

Until today, and by today I mean today, the Chinese communist party has been secluding itself from the rest of the world. For any company or international company that had thought about pairing up with the anti-western country there has been so many hurdles that companies would have to jump through before even being able to think about being able to buy a shot at a partnership with the Chinese government that they hard literally written books on it. Example. Everyone’s heard, especially during this election cycle, about the movement of businesses that have fled from the United States and the  United Kingdom, but it looks like the communist party of China is taking the first major leap at balancing the playing field.

In 2013,  China spoke about starting its “one belt, one road initiative” that referenced including China in the movement of move material both in and out of the country. The initiative mentioned the Silk Road exchange that dates back to the beginning of all trade routes. While it was unsure exactly what China’s plans are for the future, people are both intrigue and skeptical about what the outcome of this Chinese initiative may lead to.

So what makes today that should grab the attention of the global market? Today China’s communist party announcedla-mlandsberg-1480448398-snap-photo that based on the one belt, one road initiative introduced by president Xi Jinping the Chinese government has created a new international movie industry that’s goal is to boost the exchange between China and foreign film enterprises. The communist party has already allowed Steven Spielberg and his company to partner up with China’s richest man to promote Hollywood sale in Chine.  This seems like such a small thing for most people out there and so I know one person is reading this and thinking to themselves, “why’s this even important?”

Prior to today, the Chinese government has been rejecting the whole idea of western involvement within its territory. This new plan to help media, that has been heavily monitored and shut down by the Chinese government, introduce itself within its border, written by such an iconic American director, shows a shift towards a more potential future for better operations within the Chinese border.

MNC’s Around the World

Ashley Quintanilla

Final Blog Post

 

Overall, my research and blogposts throughout the semester have expanded my knowledge on a topic I have grown interest in since I started college. I was first introduced to the topic in my economics courses and went a little more in depth about the social impacts and aspects last semester in my International Politics course. As a global studies major, I am well aware of the rapid changes society is undergoing. With those changes, come major consequences. As corporations seek to go abroad and expanding their market capabilities with significantly low costs, the environment and the repressed living in lesser developed countries are the victims of giant corporate success. I have traveled to four different continents and numerous countries, which have intrigued curiosity within me to learn more about people, their living conditions and their cultures. The picture below was taken at a family-owned shop in Morocco. The old man who owns this store hand crafts everything in his store and his young son, who is about 8 years old and speaks some English, helps his father by reeling customers in. When MNC’s move into other countries, they create competition for local artisans and eventually put them out of business because MNC’s can produce mass amounts of things at low costs, so then the artisans must turn to the MNC for employment opportunities.img_7786 The topic I chose to write about for my blogs: Multinational Corporations and their impacts around the world, relates to various aspects of this class. MNC’s are often times involved in exploitation of the land and workers which create global journalism and coverage. In Colombia, for example, Coca- Cola and Chiquita were accused of not allowing labor unions to form and killing workers. Eventually they were involved in huge lawsuits that created substantial speculation. There has even been a documentary created titled “Banana Land” to explain the harm caused by Chiquita banana products in various Latin American countries. The most interesting thing I learned was in my last blog post where I discovered that some MNC’s have higher revenue’s than many countries. MNC impact around the world is also important to talk about in today’s modern society because they must be held responsible for their corporate social responsibility. The Amazon Rainforest, which equips us with a huge chunk of the earth’s oxygen and scientific cures for diseases, is quickly disappearing due to urban expansion projects. The oil industry is polluting the air and contaminating our water. These are all important issues that should be addressed with high priority when dealing with MNC’s. If I continued writing blogposts about MNC’s and their impact, I would focus on the social and environmental implications present today.

MNCs, GDPs and Social Responsibility

Through the liberalist perspective, it is believed that as trade and the market become more open and transparent, all countries engaged in that trade will benefit from it. MNC’s are able to produce at lower costs in a region that is already providing raw materials and lesser developed countries benefit from hosting MNC’s by creating jobs and essentially a better standard of living for its people. According to an article written by Business Insider in 2011, “if Wal-Mart were a country, its revenues would make it on par with the GDP of the 25th largest economy in the world by, surpassing 157 smaller countries” (Trivett). The following link lists some examples provided by Business Insider in 2011 comparing Corporation GDP growth with that of a specific country’s revenue.

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Due to increased globalization, MNC’s are also entitled to what is called “MNC Social Responsibility,” meaning, if an MNC is in a lesser developed country where the MNC is economically richer than the country itself, it is the MNC’s responsibility to assist that specific country in any way possible to improve standards of living by providing resources such as technological advances. However, is this really the case? When looking at Latin America, for example, do MNC’s bring in valuable technology for the benefit of the country? In many cases, the equipment that is brought over is out-dated and hardly allows host countries to progress and keep up with advances throughout the world. The Marxist theory would argue that MNC’s in Latin America are driven by selfish acts and are only motivated by their selfish interests thus, exploiting a given country more than actually helping it. In the case of the multinational banana company, Chiquita, they were involved in a huge lawsuit in 2007 after they were blamed for many unionist deaths in Colombia’s banana plantations. Chiquita has also been known for exploiting its workers despite its claims to always aim for “employee safety.” The short video below is a preview of the documentary creating in 2009 regarding worker’s rights. People from Nicaragua and Colombia are interviewed and they explain what the banana corporation has made them go through.

In the case of Chiquita, social responsibility was not implemented adequately nor were they treating employers in a humane way. If you were the CEO of one of these major multinational corporations, what changes would you seek to implement in order to promote effective, positive changes within host countries?

Compiled by: Ashley Quintanilla

Sources:

“Trailer for the Affected: Banana Land.” Youtube.com. Banana Land Campaign, 22 Nov. 2009. Web. 1 Nov. 2016.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8MFqnoEZHY

Trivett, Vincent. “25 US Mega Corporations: Where They Rank If They Were Countries.”  Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 27 June 2011. Web. 26 Oct. 2016. <http://www.businessinsider.com/25-corporations-bigger-tan-countries-2011-6&gt;.

 

Exploiting Migrating Jobs

In this election cycles one of the largest political talking points of the candidates is the current migration from what was previously American jobs to newly located countries. Although just about every American sees how this can directly impact themselves by potentially losing their job that is just about the only affect we notice. However in some instances this isn’t where the ball stops.

Large multi-national company (MNC) owners will always be looking for the cheapest and most effective way of running their business. They will look for ways to cut cost, reduce excess expenditures, cut back on employees or employee hours, or they might decide that relocation is the best decision. With a semi-neoliberalist way the primary world economy is ran, it is often times left up to MNCs directors to decide where the cutoff between social responsibility and cutting cost. In countries such as America and England there are labor laws to protect workers from unjust pay and being overworked, however this cannot be said for all countries.

China is the most infamous country where MNCs relocate factory jobs because the hours and pay of the employees is only monitored by the outsourcing companies that large MNCs pay to do processes to reduce cost. Sometimes though the cost of business isn’t just how much it cost to operate which Samsung Electronics has recently discovered.

In the year 2000 Samsung Electronics had move its factory jobs from the United States into China to save some money, but that plan caused them a great pain in years to come. In an undercover investigation in 2012 Samsung’s cheaper facilities were found to be exploiting its workers much worse that what it previously claimed. The employees had to operate in slightly better conditions that old American sweatshops. The employees lacked the necessary protective clothing needed to safely preform their jobs and workers were barred from sitting during shifts and some suffered physical and verbal abuse, the organization alleges in the 122-page report. After the investigation surfaced and allegations of Samsung’s lack of humanity started rising they addressed the public’s reaction and launched their own investigation into the outsourcing companies that were found to be mistreating its employees, however the damage had already been done. Samsung’s stocks fell almost 16% and the annual. Even though the damning mistreatment of foreign Samsung employees damaged their profit margins for a single year, no change came from the reports. In 2014, Samsung had another independent company launch another investigation into the Samsung factories and the same issues are just as dominate now as they were before. It’s becoming more and more socially acceptable for this treatment of foreign workers, because even a dip in sales is more efficient than hiring in countries with sufficient labor laws.

So what time will the western world tell the MNCs using this practice that enough is enough?

Compiled by : Justin C Garrison

MNC’s and the Environment

As the world becomes more technologically advanced, the transportation of people, information and opportunities expand as well, amplifying the universal phenomenon of globalization and its effects in today’s world. Globalization has opened up new opportunities for businesses and economic growth. One major form of how globalization has been impacted is through the emergence of multinational corporations (MNCs). Multinational corporations, which are defined as firms that controls assets in at least two countries (Cohen), have led the way to a new form of political and economic dependence/impact amongst partnering countries. Economically speaking, MNCs provide economic boost’s within the country’s they move into. A few of their pro’s may include increased living wage salaries and better access to resources such as knowledge and technology. However, one major negative impact an MNC can cause is deforestation and destroying the environment. As corporations expand abroad, more space is required for the construction of buildings, warehouses, cattle ranching, etc. and thus, when companies are favored with policy’s such as financial deregulation, this leeway they are provided with eventually creates problems, such as our current situation with deforestation.

One of the most notable examples of MNC environmental effects is the issue surrounding the significant deforestation occurring in the Amazon rainforest. The eastern portion of the Ecuadorian Amazon for example, is “one of the richest bioregions on the planet, and a rich source of oil that has been exploited by multinational oil companies for thirty years. Oil extraction in the Amazon has led to contamination of the waters and land, deforestation, and resulted in sickness in indigenous communities, threatening some communities with cultural extinction. The jungle of Ecuador will be extinguished in its entirety within forty years at the present rate of deforestation” (Lyons). It is important to note that the Amazon rainforest is home to many animal and plant species that have not yet been discovered and could be potential cures for current diseases. Yet, at the rate MNCs are working now, the Amazon could cease to exist fairly soon. In Brazil, deforestation of the rainforest is very important too because aside from stripping native people’s such as the Yanomami away from their homes and forcing them to push further in, contractors are becoming more and more aggressive as to how far in they want to expand with the construction of new apartments, condo’s and other buildings. Colombian environmental specialists worry about the preservation of the rainforest in their region as well.

Deforestation not only affects the plants and animals living in that area but it also affects water contamination and air pollution thus people living in surrounding areas are more likely to get sick. Ultimately, although MNCs do provide economic incentives to host countries such as: higher living wages for its people, job growth, better living conditions and access to better nutrition, there are also some negative points such as deforestation, causing a significant loss of trees, plants, species and the emergence of new diseases. The ramifications of allowing MNC expansion to continue is taking its toll on natural resources. At this rate, how will global citizens ever be able to solve issues such as too much air pollution, water contamination or the simple idea of humans not having enough oxygen in the air?

Compiled by : Ashley Quintanilla
18 September 2016

 

 

Works Cited:
Cohen, Theodore H. Global Political; Economy: Theory and Practice, sixth edition, Routledge, 2016.
Lyons, Maxi. “A case study in multinational corporate accountability: Ecuador’s indigenous peoples struggle for redress.” Denver   Journal of International Law and Policy Fall 2004:701+. Academic OneFile. Web. 18 Sept. 2016.