Melissafrei’s Weblog

An Evolving Consciousness

GLOBALIZATION VS COGNITIVE AGE

 The importance of an informed and educated citizenry is more critical today for a functioning democracy than ever before in our history.  That statement is based on the following definitions of what I believe education to be.

 

            The central task of education is to implant a will and facility for learning; it should      produce not learned but learning people. The truly human society is a learning society, where grandparents, parents, and children are students together.” ~Eric Hoffer

 

 The only purpose of education is to teach a student how to live his life-by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality. The training he needs is theoretical, i.e., conceptual. He has to be taught to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He has to be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past-and he has to be equipped to acquire further knowledge by his owneffort.” ~Ayn Rand

 

 

The one real object of education is to leave a man in the condition of continually asking questions.” ~Bishop Creighton

 
For most of us, our lives are moving at such a rapid pace that we can only glimpse at the swirling events and innovation around us.  Phones, blackberries, ipods, and GPS systems are reminding and directing us to the next task in our day. 

Are we loosing site of the bigger picture?  Are we asking questions, let alone the right questions regarding what we are doing and where we are headed? 

Innovation and creativity in a society depends on people being able to adequately evaluate what we have versus what we want.  As citizens in this American democracy we elect representatives to develop positions on issues of war and peace, trade, education, economics, ect.  Most of us believe that these people while in office will act with the best interest of all of our citizens. 

 

Op-ed journalist David Brooks gave a unique and valuable perspective on globalization in a recent piece. The basic premise was that we could view this new age of communication and trade from a perspective of two different paradigms, Globalization vs Cognitive Age. He highlighted that the facts and remedies that were emphasized by politicians would depend on which paradigm was embraced by that politician.  The cognitive age paradigm emphasized psychology, culture and pedagogy — the specific processes that foster learning while globalization lead people to see economic development as a form of foreign policy, as a grand competition between nations and civilizations.

 

We are currently ranked 18 out of 27 for math and science literacy of 15 year old high school students.  I totally agree with Mr. Brooks’s perspective here.  However, I did not agree with this “Companies open plants overseas, but that’s mainly so their production facilities can be close to local markets.”

 

There are many companies that are also opening plants overseas because they can pay workers lower wages with less or no benefits. They do not have deal with regulations enforced in this country for the health and well being of our citizens.  Meanwhile we give these same companies tax benefits to go abroad, take jobs from this country while increasing profits for the top 1%.  How do I know this?  When I go shopping, I do not find ANYTHING made in the US.  Where are the companies that are moving to make products for this local marketplace? I do believe that we consume and waste more than any other country on the planet.  If the above statement were true, all of these companies would be moving here to be near US. ONLY A QUESTION ?

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1 Comment»

  Kelsey wrote @

Great Post!

There are still some apparel companies in the U.S., such as our nation’s largest — American Apparel. There are also other companies that acknowledge their impact on the lives of the people that make their products and are working hard to operate fairly in the global economy. Sure, there are plenty of others that don’t, but I think we need to be careful not to label all clothing companies monster’s of globalization.

I spent the better part of the past year visiting with and writing about garment workers around the world. They sacrifice a lot to have these jobs. Jobs that they hope will improve their lives. Still, they could be paid and treated better, but there is a complex chain of relationships that dictate who gets what and they have the least power of anyone in the chain.

Globalization is good and bad. Globalization is both hope and despair.


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