Cultural Imperialism

In the article ? ?Cultural Imperialism? Is No Joke,? Jeffrey E. Carten states that Americans are not really care about the way they dominate other nations by exposing their values, ideas and products. He particularly mentions people in other countries have already tried to limit Americans? exports to their countries in order to reduce what Garten calls ?Cultural Imperialism?. I agree with Garten that people in other nations think American culture is taking over their own cultures. Indeed, Americans have already created many negative problems in other nations especially in taking advantage in order to make profits, creating environmental problems and influencing others to follow Americanism.

Many American corporations take advantage of other countries by paying low salaries and providing less benefits. There are many big U.S. corporations such as IBM, Intel and Microsoft which have migrated their factories to many developing countries since 1996. It is true that every company takes advantage in order to make profits.

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However, I do not like the ways American corporations are doing in other nations in order to make profits. They take the advantage of cheaper labors and avoid paying high tax and regulation fees in foreign countries. Although many foreign nations do not have laws that enforce enterprises to pay fringe benefits such as vacations, pension plans, health, and disability insurances, most local companies do provide housing and heath benefits for their employees. For example, my father who was an accountant worked at an administrative office in a local city of China and got housing benefit.

The office provided a two-bedroom dormitory for us, but compared with my friend who works for Intel in Shang Hai, China as an accounting auditor, my father was much luckier. She only gets paid 4500 Yuan ($563) per month without any other benefits. I know people who work in the U.S. as account auditors and their salaries range from $3000 to $5000 per month including all other benefits. I think it is not fair for the local people who work for American companies but do not get paid fairly. As Garten mentions, strong American corporations abroad are self-interested. There is no doubt that American corporations come to other nations because they can save a lot of money by taking advantage of others in order to make profits.

Environmental problems in many nations have become worse as more U.S. corporations enter their countries. Compared with big American corporations, small local industries? pollution is less destructive. Two years ago, when I went back to China, I saw many passersby had to cover their noses and mouths when they passed a factory that made plastic buckets and sent back to the U.S.

The air near the factory was so bad. It smelled like burnt gum trees. I could actually see the black smoke came out from the three big chimneys. We all know that a Happy Meal from McDonald?s usually comes with a toy, yet, do we know where those toys are made? They are made in Malaysia, Taiwan and China. However, those toys made by American corporations have polluted the natural water in the ground by dumping the pigments and metal around because most of the workers don?t have the knowledge that some of the pigments and metal can be recycled.

I don?t think people in foreign countries like what those American corporations have done to the environments in their nations. Countries such as China and Malaysia have tried to create environmental protection laws to restrict the actions that could increase pollution. It is no wonder Garten points out that many actions in other nations are against American ?Cultural Imperialism.? Americans really have to consider the result of anti-Americanism if they do not take proper actions to solve the problems of pollutions due to their factories in other nations.

Most Americans like others to follow Americanism, yet their values including individualism and the legal system are most of the time in conflict with the traditional values and the political systems of other nations. Many Americans think the U.S. legal system is the perfect system to rule the U.S. They like others to follow what they are doing. However, they do not understand that what is good for Americans may not be good for others. American concepts are capitalism and progress. On the other hand, most other cultures of the world emphasis less on individuals and more on group decisions making.

Behaviors and actions that seem to be perfectly acceptable in the U.S. can be an insult in a foreign country. For example, when people in foreign countries expose to the idea of individual freedom which has a higher value than government authority, they follow the ways Americans practice in public such as freedoms of religion and speech, but all these actions seem not working in many nations especially in Asia where the governments have the higher authority than the citizens.

Falun Gong is a well-known religion that the Chinese government does not allow. If people practice Falun Gong, the Chinese executive offices in China will take actions such as arresting those people to jails or courts. Garten makes an important point that Americans should not boast their own values instead they should be more sensitive to other nations? opnions.

Like Garten, I believe that doing business with foreign countries is a way to export our cultures and products, yet we have to consider the negative effects we may bring to others. Problems such as in taking advantage over others to make profit with out to pay fairly in other nations is an ethical issue that Americans have to consider. Pollution and environment problems are needed to solve. We should not influence others to follow what we are doing because the ways work in one nation may not work in the other nations. Deeply, we really need to take adequate adjustments for what we have done in other nations to reduce anti-Americanism.