A Workforce Betrayed

Discussion in 'Economy' started by midcan5, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    "These sensible suggestions will be demonized by ideological “free market” economists and opposed by the offshoring corporations, whose swollen profits allow them to hire “free market” economists as shills and to elect representatives to serve their interests."

    Watching Greed Murder the Economy By Paul Craig Roberts

    "The collapse of world socialism, the rise of the high speed Internet, a bought-and-paid-for US government, and a million dollar cap on executive pay that is not performance related are permitting greedy and disloyal corporate executives, Wall Street, and large retailers to dismantle the ladders of upward mobility that made America an “opportunity society.” In the 21st century the US economy has been able to create net new jobs only in nontradable domestic services, such as waitresses, bartenders, government workers, hospital orderlies, and retail clerks. (Nontradable services are “hands on” services that cannot be sold as exports, such as haircuts, waiting a table, fixing a drink.)"

    Paul Craig Roberts: Watching Greed Murder the Economy
     
  2. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    Sure. Taxing us to death and taking all of our disposable income has nothing to do with it. I know! Let's raise taxes! That'll fix EVERYTHING.

    :eusa_hand:
     
  3. Taco
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    Taco BANNED

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    I didn't get that Taxing was the proposed solution...i thought this was a key phrase from the article:

    What can be done? The US economy has been seriously undermined by offshoring. The damage might not be reparable. Possibly, the American market and living standards could be rescued by tariffs that offset the lower labor and compliance costs abroad.

    Coupled with this:

    Another alternative, suggested by Ralph Gomory, would be to tax US corporations on the basis of the percentage of their value added that occurs in the US. The greater the value added to a company’s product in America, the lower the tax rate on the profits.

    And that's a restructuring of incentives...not just some blind rob-the-rich approach...incentives are different, and maybe, life saving for our melting economy.
     
  4. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    How about convincing Americans they are scum if they do manual labor and then allow millions of wetbacks across the border because they will do it for tacos.
    That still is one of my favorite tactics but it didn't take much to convince a bunch of American school children that working is really too hard and dirty.
     
  5. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Huh? I live in a big city, I see the working poor and if they can get to a job they get there. One of the advantages of immigrant labor is its mobility, no family, no ball and chain, and you can move more freely, especially since you often want that money for back home.

    Off sourcing is done by major corporations simply to get cheap labor, especially call center labor. I know this because I see it.


    Offshoring: The Next Industrial Revolution? By Alan S. Blinder

    From Foreign Affairs, March/April 2006

    Summary: Economists who insist that "offshore outsourcing" is just a routine extension of international trade are overlooking how major a transformation it will likely bring -- and how significant the consequences could be. The governments and societies of the developed world must start preparing, and fast.

    Alan S. Blinder is Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics at Princeton University. He served on the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 1993 to 1994 and as Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve from 1994 to 1996.

    A CONTROVERSY RECONSIDERED

    Their economics were basically sound: the well-known principle of comparative advantage implies that trade in new kinds of products will bring overall improvements in productivity and well-being. But Mankiw and his defenders underestimated both the importance of offshoring and its disruptive effect on wealthy countries. Sometimes a quantitative change is so large that it brings about qualitative changes, as offshoring likely will. We have so far barely seen the tip of the offshoring iceberg, the eventual dimensions of which may be staggering.

    Foreign Affairs - Offshoring: The Next Industrial Revolution? - Alan S. Blinder
     
  6. Shogun
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    Shogun Free: Mudholes Stomped

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    I totally agree Midcan.

    totally fucking agree.
     
  7. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    Bush raised taxes by the greatest amount in American history by increasing the national debt. That combined with the lack of any attempt at weening us off of our dependence on foreign oil has led us to disaster.

    No we need to roll up our sleeves and turn our country around.
     
  8. sealybobo
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    sealybobo Diamond Member

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    It was, of course, a rhetorical question. We both knew that the answer was that democracy - the idea of government of, by, and for the people - has been twisted and perverted and essentially taken over by entities driven by a single value: profit. And it's happening all over the world.

    Which is not to say that profit is a bad thing. Carl, for example, was happy that the company he worked for made enough profit that its owners would keep it in business and pay him a salary. Profit can drive healthy economies, and has its rightful place in the halls of business.

    But profit has no place in the halls of governments, which were created by and for living humans. When corporations took over writing the rules that "we, the people" originally put in place to regulate and control profit-driven enterprises, then a sickness known as corporatism seized control of governments, and their people were the first ones to suffer for it. Virtually all legislation in nations that still call themselves democracies now passes through the filters of corporate lobbyists and corporate-funded think-tanks: democracy itself is at risk.

    The main engine of corporatism - the chink in governmental law that makes it possible for corporations to so corrupt governmental processes - is an obscure legal doctrine first embraced in 1886 by the Reporter of the U.S. Supreme Court called "corporate personhood." This doctrine suggests that non-living, non-breathing entities called corporations should have the same rights the Founders of democracy defined (in the US in the "Bill of Rights") first for white men, and were extended after the U.S. Civil War to freed slaves, and to women and more fully to people of color in the 1960s via several different anti-discrimination laws.

    It turns out that this doctrine of corporations as "persons" was a mistake from the beginning: while the reporter wrote that the Court had agreed with corporate personhood, the court itself, and its chief justice, had specifically and repeatedly ruled against it. (You'll find a photograph of the actual handwritten letter from Morrison R. Waite, the U.S. Supreme Court's Chief Justice, on my website: he said: "we avoided meeting the constitutional question [of corporate personhood] in the decision.")

    But because of the words of the reporter, and the promotion of those words by corporations in the decades following 1886, corporations have seized so many "human rights" that they can now prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from performing inspections of their factories by claiming 4th Amendment "privacy rights." They claim they can give unlimited money to politicians - a process that before 1886 was called bribery and was criminal behavior for corporations in virtually all states - by claiming that they are entitled to 1st Amendment free speech rights. They claim that if the majority of the citizens of a local community do not want them to do business in that community, then they are the victims of "discrimination" and can sue that community and its elected officials.

    Even though corporations are not alive and cannot vote, they claim the right to influence elections. Even though they do not need fresh water to drink or clean air to breathe, they claim the right to influence the government agencies that were created to regulate them. Even though they have no color or creed or religion, they claim that human people who speak against them are violating their civil rights. Even though they can live for hundreds of years and are not harmed by asbestos, arsenic, tobacco, or other toxins, they claim the human right of privacy to not disclose to governments or to workers and consumers the dangers they know about their own products.

    So we now face a crisis that is at once environmental, political, and spiritual/moral. According to the AFL-CIO in a report released for April 28ths Workers Memorial Day, "On an average day in 2004, 152 workers lost their lives as a result of workplace injuries and diseases and another 11,780 were injured." The rate of death and disability among workers has been climbing since Bush became president for the first time in decades, in large part because funding for OSHA and mine safety have been cut. At the same time, Bill Frist and Senate and House Republicans want to wipe out asbestos victim's right to sue for damages (they promote it as "helping asbestos victims"), to protect companies like Halliburton that have huge asbestos liabilities.

    How can we best return to our governments the essential values of protecting the "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" of their people, and separate from our governments contamination by the profit motive, which rightly should remain in the realm of business and not politics? How do we awaken our voters from the spiritual malaise of consumerism run amok? And what are the most appropriate and practical and positive steps we can take now to remedy the damage already done to our air, food, water, and other commons by the recent insinuation of corporatism into our legislatures and high political offices?

    The first part of the answer is for us to awaken to the very real moral and spiritual dilemma we face. This a moral and spiritual dilemma because it transcends politics: it literally means life or death for our citizens and our planet.

    Next, we must show up at the ballot box and send clear messages to our elected officials to correct this illness in our body politic. And, then (or perhaps concurrently), we must convince our governments to use their powers of persuasion (through policies like tax breaks and other incentives) to promote renewable and non-toxic forms of energy, agriculture, and medicine, and re-empower our regulatory agencies which have been so badly infiltrated and taken over by the very corporations they were put in place to constrain.

    If we do this, and do it soon, our children may still inherit a world that can is just and decent and healthy.

    And if you'd like to say a prayer for Carl, I know him well enough to believe that he'd appreciate it. I was his first child.

    ThomHartmann.com - The Story of Carl - On Workers Memorial Day
     

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