Global Movements

Courtenay Smith, 213139964, Waurn Ponds

Clay Shirky has a very optimistic view on how globalisation and global networks (created via digital media), will impact our economy. Through global movements and global networking, the economy has the potential to rise through the use of digital media or the Internet.

The Internet enables people to be both a consumer and producer, which in turn, is helping people to create small online businesses to support themselves. By having an online business, people are able to cut costs on the running side of trades such as rent and bills, and may only need one or two people to keep business booming. Plus anyone can do it! Harli Jordean, an eight-year-old boy from London has started up a Marble selling enterprise in 2011. reported that Jordean was “turning over thousands of pounds each year — with orders flooding in from as far away as America.”

The sheer vastness of the Internet also helps the people who are creating these businesses to access a much larger public or consumer, bringing the world in to their businesses.

For an opposing opinion, Thomas Piketty (a French economist) believes that “…wealth inequality continues to rise despite all our technological advancements”. Piketty believes that the rate of economic growth will cause greater wealth inequality due to capitalist nature and greed of people. Piketty has spoken about introducing a global tax so wealthy people cannot become wealthier and leave a poor population behind.

Personally, I agree with some aspects of both Shirky and Piketty’s arguments. I believe that the digital environment was created for a reason; it was created because it was needed. And for this reason I agree with Skirky’s optimistic view that people should be able to capitalize on what is available to them, and if they are able to make a decent crack in the market and sell whatever their specified product may be, congratulations to them. However, as Piketty’s view highlights, people are greedy. And through capitalism, a certain percent of the world’s population may fall through the cracks and wealth inequality will soar. I do not think a global tax would rectify this, and will only cause people to evade paying this tax. Another solution needs to be found.

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