Yesterday I had to call my former health insurance people about a claim (it’s all good), so I dialed their toll free number and went through whatever prompts they had and was transferred to someone to take care of me. After she had said a few words, I noticed her accent. I recognize anyone can have an accent, but I’ve heard the stories (and wondered, “are they true?”) about people driving up to a drive through window, speaking their order into the microphone, and having someone across the world take their order and send it back to the restaurant for processing. That got me thinking about my current situation.
After only a few seconds of thought I knew I wanted to ask the question, and with their computers running a little slow, it gave me the perfect opportunity. “I was wondering where this call center is located,” I said, pretty professionally, if you ask me. “Delhi (India),” came the reply. I said thank you, and we went on with the business of our call.
What is my motive for writing this? I don’t particularly have one. But if we’re wondering about some of the job losses in America, we can thank globalization. Is globalization bad? Yes and no. It is a multi-layered issue that I don’t want to get into here. But the idea that people lived great lives 50 years ago before we had such a global marketplace makes me wonder. (Though lives were shorter years ago, I think we can thank modern medicine pretty much exclusively for that, and we would likely have those advances without globalization.)
Now I don’t want to diss the idea of a global worldview, or the opportunities creating a worldwide community bring us, but I do want to think about how things have changed because of the exploitation of others around the world by those in this country (and others) who are seeking profit over human wellbeing. When we say “advancements,” who or what are we saying is advancing, and who is being hurt or harmed by new ways of doing things? There are no easy answers, but it’s surely something to think about.