Downward Spiral

I need to review another beer. But not tonite. I hear about globalization, and I hear about the economy. The economy is bad. So why does it seem like a good idea to move all of our good jobs offshore. Why do we shop at places like Wal*Mart, where we transform the self-respecting film store owner into Robin William One Hour Photo man? Wal*Mart sucks the life out of your town. In so many ways. It takes decent jobs and trivializes them, micromanages them, and undercompensates them. It takes the value your home has worked for, the grease, the foundation, and moves it somewhere else. This has been happening for quite some time, not just with retail stores, but with products, and of course we all own a radio from Japan (or a Playstation2!), but now the actual jobs are moving across the world, fully commoditized. And, of course international trade is natural, if not fundamental.

Your job as a commodity. It comes down to columns of numbers, and can be traded, removed, made redundant, bought or sold. The thing is, Americans aren’t the players on this market. We are too expensive. We need to pay American prices for food, water, land, and work and health standards. We have remarkable Laws which support and enable those with disabilities, or minorities.

This is a problem. If we stand for these values, we need to enforce them. We can’t stand tall and righteous, all the while making whoopee down the street. A large number of companies have decided that they need to save on labor. Bring the dollars back to the top, just like the good ‘ole days of robber barons, railroads, and Bush’s. This article discusses the issue of which I speak, that of the globalization of this portion of our economy.

I am all for companies saving money in their hires, but there need to be checks and balances. There need to be incentives for employers to continue employing the people who are members of our society, to enable and encourage the great fairness that we are working towards. Tariffs are a possibility. Significant tariffs on human resource exports should be implemented, and that money should go towards programs that encourage healthy work environments, train people for new careers, and educate those who need it.

One of the greatest problems with this outflow globalization, and one I alluded to at the beginning of this article, is that it is displacing the employees who are the customers. We remove the purchase power, we remove the need for the product (or at least the ability to acquire it through the white market) , what do we have left? Sure there are many links in there, but this is the direction we are sending ourselves.

Businesses can’t just stop sending jobs and our acquired value (which is becoming dearer and dearer) overseas. They couldn’t compete with the ones that don’t stop. One thing that I have observed is that there is very little consumer conscience in this land (human nature, or America the free). We need our leaders to step in and guide us through laws. This is a democracy, not a capitalism.

  • n_tur_thedragon

    Part of the problem, as I see it, is that TransNationalGlobalMegaConsolidatedSuper Corps get the best of both worlds. The escape the strict (relatively speaking) regulations here in the states by heading overseas, but still benefit from the fat-lazy-I-want-it-now-cuz-i-can-have-it consumer markets that typify our ‘Merican way of life.

    When Oregon refused to pass the labeling of GMO proposition the arguments (at least the non-spurious ones) were that it would impose a cost on Oregon farmers (i.e. labeling costs) that would not have to be borne by the farmers of other states. Hence non-Oregon farmers get a comparative advantage in lower production costs.

    This raises the same dilema as the globalization problem, but on a smaller scale. Foreign markets could still sell their products here, but escape our regulations.

    Solution? Well for the Oregon labeling of GMOs (which theoretically makes perfect sense) the options are:
    (1) not allow ag products to be imported into the state unless they comply w/ labeling laws (big price increases for food).
    (2) require the labeling only on goods for domestic (Oregon) consumption. Perhaps the labeling would be applied at the retail level.

    The solution for globalization is beyond the scope of this typ0-ridden little missive. But is sure as hell begins with some legitimate laws governing the creation of that fictional little entity called the “corporation”.

    There once was a time when a corporation had to demonstrate to the state which issued its charter (i.e. allowed it to exist) that they were serving the public good. That little nugget, sadly, has is a relic now and “public service” is not a part of the charter of most corps (can you say shareholder profit? I knew you could)

    So we need greater regulation of corporations. Sounds simple. And there should really be not philosophical argument against this. Corporations by definition are fictional entities that exist solely as a matter of law. We have the power to demand of any group of people who want to incorporate that they adhere to certain policies.

    A couple that might be good would be that any biz that sells its goods in the US must pay it’s employees a minimum living wage. Another would be that corps that want to sell products here must abide by the environmental regulations HERE, not just in the poor 3rd world country they are taking advantage of.

    Of course we could set minimum corporate assests before this regulation kicks in – so we don’t have small independant importers having to meet strict US regulations. But this really would not be that hard to implement.

    Or we could forget the whole think, buy a big mac and a bud and head on down to wal*mart…I hear they are rolling back prices…