The concept of free trade has been viewed as one of the numerous advantages of the globalization process. With all boundaries removed, the owners of companies will be able to reduce the customs value related costs. In addition, they will have more options for managing their business processes.
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Thus, the costs related to logistics and especially transportation will be avoided. However, there is evidence that many developing states will suffer damage as a result of free trade. In the article titled “My Six-Year-Old Son Should Get a Job: Is Free Trade Always the Answer?,” the author analyzes free trade and its challenges to Korea, as well as the citizens of developing countries in general.
Ha-Joon Chang argues in his article that the system of free trade, which is currently being promoted in Korea, may stop the economic evolution of the state and threaten the well-being of its citizens. According to the author, not only the speed of free trade liberalization in Korea and developing countries, but also the scale, which the process has taken, affects the Korean business society. As the author explains, the rapid changes will destroy the Korean business and the Korean SMEs, which are far too weak and few to face the global competition.
Though the article is well-written and has a strong point to make, the author shocks American readers into paying attention with the shocking idea of child labor instead of appealing to the readers’ common sense. As a result, the article turns weaker.
Ethos, Logos and Pathos
The fallacies of the article become clear after a close look at the comparison that the author makes. At first, the author speaks about governments throwing companies into the environment of free trade. Then, he starts talking about parents making their children to earn for a living. Such a parallel, though shocking, is not quite accurate. The author clearly appeals to people’s emotions instead of their common sense. As a result, the comparison seems rather loose and does not work well.
The comparison does not make Chang’s point any stronger. First of all, Chang does not differentiate between between common family values of the Western family institution and business ethics in his article. More to the point, the author mixes the ethics and morals of two entirely different cultures. He contrasts the idea of child labor, which is quite common for the poor Eastern states, to the ethical standards of the Western world. True, the comparison makes a huge effect on the readers for the first couple of minutes.
However, as soon as the shock wears out, a reader understands that the culture context cannot be compared to the economic one. Therefore, the overall impression of the article is rather weak, though the article is written very well. The author appeals to the traditional values of an average Western family, which seems rather manipulative in a business discussion.
Breadth of the Research
The author of the article does not use a lot of sources to support their argument. Still, the research can be considered rather broad, since not only economic, but also political and social issues have been included in the specified text. The author discusses the problem of poverty in the developing countries in the context of the global economy. Thus, he draws parallels between two cultures, i.e., the Western and the Eastern one. Therefore, the work that has been done to get the main argument across is quite impressive.
On the other hand, the author considers only the issues that the citizens of North Korea are currently facing as they enter the world of the global economy. There is a brief mentioning of developing countries in general, yet the author never speaks about the specifics of the rest of the developing states. Therefore, a broader analysis of the issue should have been carried out.
Tone and Language
Though the author appeals to the readers’ emotions, he uses a rather neutral vocabulary. Sometimes, Chang includes specific terms; for example, such words as “liberalization” and “proliferation” (Chang 102) have been included into the article. These words add to the weight of the article. The words that are simpler also help Chang to convince the readers.
By using short everyday words, he makes his argument clearer. Thus, he gains his readers’ trust and manages to prove his point. The tone is slightly persuasive because of the difficulty of the problem. Chang understands that his readers may be confused about the problem. Therefore, he prefers not to risk and clarifies every detail. This is a very efficient tactics for such a complicated issue.
Though the article provides a good overview of the free trade problem, it still lacks certain strength. It makes its audience feel emotional instead of giving them the factual information. The readers get emotional and cannot address the issue logically. As a result, the author fails to appeal to people’s common sense. Chang’s article could have been stronger if more opinions on the issue had been provided.
Chang, Ha-Joon. “My Six-Year-Old Son Should Get a Job: Is Free Trade Always the Answer?” Global Issues, Local Arguments: Readings for Writing. 3rd ed. Ed. June Johnson. Harlow, UK: Longman. 2013. 100–104. Print.