Slums and Money: Globalization and Poverty

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Globalization has become a living reality of the world, influencing many directions, many aspects to the development of all nations and nations. It poses many opportunities but also many challenges. Globalization encompasses both of rapid economic growth, the opportunity to enrich people, but also the income and lives of hundreds of millions of people at risk of poverty, impoverished and unemployed. The documentary film Slums and Money has partly expressed the globalization and poverty in the process of economic integration in the world.

Globalization can have a positive impact on a number of countries, but also negatively affect other countries. Many people in poor countries, especially in rural areas or in informal sectors, are almost completely isolated from the process and the benefits they receive from globalization are so small. Globalization also reveals the downside, exacerbating fundamental problems like poverty, unemployment and inequality.

In addition, globalization has led to the narrowing of policy space in developing countries. One of the most obvious negative effects of globalization is the widening of the gap between rich and poor. The deeper the international integration, the more the economies face the differences in incomes among people in a country and between countries. Since then, a new class of poor people have emerged and is rapidly increasing, changing the political environment. This trend is an important cause for increasing protectionism in the world.

There are still many people on the verge of poverty and some are even worse than before. It could be countries, regions or groups of people in some countries or some individuals. There are many causes for their case – including conflicts, poor governance and corruption, discrimination, lack of basic human needs, illness, lack of infrastructure, poor economic management and lack of motivation, lack of ownership and regulation, and even geography and climate. We can also see environmental challenges because of this rapid growth, with rivers becoming darker, the sun free of the sun and threats to health and climate.

Globalization has brought about rare opportunities, but exclusion, persistent poverty and environmental damage also pose a risk. The people most at risk are those who are at least beginning to participate in this process – indigenous people, women in developing countries, poor people in rural areas, Africa, and their children.

The Slums and Money documentary showed why market enthusiasts such as World Bank President Robert Zoellick; the author of “The Bottom Billion” by Paul Collier; Andrew Steer of the British government; And Indermit Gill, the lead author of WDR 2009 believes that their ideal market can survive the global credit crunch.

In 2000, the United Nations introduced eight Millennium Development Goals – with ambitious goals of halving poverty, combating famine and disease, and providing Basic services for the poor by 2015. These goals, as well as our goals, are located at the front door of the World Bank Building to remind us daily of what we must do when we come here to work.

Does globalization reduce poverty?

The main view of anti-globalizationists is that globalization makes richer countries richer and poorer ones poorer. Supporters say that globalization will benefit poor countries. But if we look at the actual evidence, we will find that this problem is much more complex. Although in general, the poorest people do not become poorer, no one has conclusively demonstrated that their lives are improved largely on the basis of globalization.

In China, poverty can be blamed on internal causes such as infrastructure expansion, large-scale land reform, grain price changes and loosening restrictions for migration from rural to urban areas. In fact, since the mid-1980s, before the boom of investment and international trade, China began to reduce poverty. Between 1981 and 2001, more than 400 million Chinese crossed the international poverty line. Similarly, India also reduced poverty in the 1990s based on the Green Revolution in agriculture, government poverty reduction programs and social policies rather than reliance on a trade liberalization.

Definitely, globalization has also brought more jobs in the specialized manufacturing industry as well as helped many Indians and China escape from poverty. But 25 years ago, globalization was not the dominant factor in economic development, because there was many other important factors. One can doubt the benefits of globalization to the fact that poverty is still persistent pursuers Saharan countries in Africa. In fact, globalization is hardly effective for politically unstable countries. Political instability exacerbated geographical isolation, disease, military conflict, and as a result, these countries were difficult to attract international investment.

Relate to the film Slums and Money, in the first scenes is the image of the poverty of cities in the developing world is home to some of the poorest and richest on the planet. Is the government supposed to allow cities to grow, direct the most investment there, or should they spend money in their region and rural areas? The remaining challenges we face are that billions of people are out of the process of globalization and need to be brought into the process quickly and positively. On the other hand, efforts should be made to improve the mechanisms and policies of governments.

For example, infrastructure construction, and especially important, is to open markets in both poor and rich countries. Normally, in developing countries that favor market regulation, protectionist measures fall into contradiction: those who are well protected are better protected, while those in need protected poor people are not well protected. Thus, everyone should have a different protective measure towards the poor.

We need to put the issue on the relationship between the poverty and globalization. Globalization, once again would like to emphasize, never make people poorer, it only makes the issue of poverty and the gap between the rich and the poor is consciously and more fully understood. It is undeniable that globalization has indeed benefited the participating countries, especially the developing countries, when opening up opportunities for them to accelerate economic growth, poverty reduction, exchanges and prosperity.

Slums and Money discusses the implications of globalization and poverty in the world. The film shows us the reality of poverty that surrounds us in today’s globalized society. And the fact is that if the regulation of the globalized market becomes strong and universal, the deliberate interventions of the state are weak, rich and poor differentiation process takes place quickly.


  1. “Millennium Development Goals.” United Nations Development Programme
  2. “The Development of China’s Export Performance, Presentation by Javier Silva-Ruete, Alternate Executive Director, IMF.
  3. ” Picture This — Girl Power — Finance & Development, March 2017, Javier Silva-Ruete, 7 Mar. 2006,

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