Re:

From: Grant Callaghan (grantc4@hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Feb 12 2002 - 23:30:50 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "RE: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)"

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    From: "Grant Callaghan" <grantc4@hotmail.com>
    To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
    Subject: Re: 
    Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2002 15:30:50 -0800
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    >To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
    >Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2002 21:06:14 +0000
    >
    >Grant wrote;
    >
    >>The
    >name of the game today is oursourcing.† Let specialists do all the dirty
    >work because they have found ways to do it cheaper, faster and better
    >than a
    >large corporation.† This is what is changing the way work is done these
    >days
    >- -- not marching in the streets shouting slogans.
    >
    >Grant<
    >
    >and Vincent
    >
    >>Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2002 11:55:36 -0000
    >From: Vincent Campbell <v.p.campbell@stir.ac.uk>
    >Subject: RE: ply to Grant
    >
    > <If the employees could get together and vote their stock
    >collectively, they could change just about any policy a company has.>
    >
    > 'If' is the key word indeed.
    >
    > 'outsourcing'
    >
    > Ah, one of the many corporate euphemisms for jobcuts.† It's a bit
    >like collatoral damage in military jargon.
    >
    > Vincent<
    >
    >Outsourcing is another word for paying people starvation wages. they can do
    >it cos there is some poor sod ready to take thier place if they donít like
    >it, and no social security. Things may be ok in the West ( though we are
    >not
    >without our problems), but they sure ainít in other places.
    >
    >And no i'm not left wing, i just don't blind myself to the fact that
    >capitalism has its problems, as well as its benefits. If the win win
    >scenario was applied it might help. Unfortunatyly, trade is rarely between
    >equals, so the win win scenario is not used.
    >
    >Regards
    >
    >Steve
    >
    In a world where conditions are unequal, there are few places where trade is
    between equals. In Mexico, next door to where I live, the wage for bus
    drivers, for example is four dollars a day. The factories that have been
    set up there due to the maquiladora program and NASFTA pay their workers
    more than the going wage. For the people living there, those aren't
    starvation wages. They are only starvation wages compared to what people in
    the U.S. get paid. Well, the rest of the world is not going to just start
    paying their people U.S. wages and the people who are starving for lack of
    jobs have two choices: they can emmigrate from their own country to one that
    pays better or they take whatever job they can get at home.

    I watched the situation in Japan in Taiwan since WWII. When I went to
    Taiwan in 1960, the going wage for a full-time house maid was $25 dollars a
    month. And they felt grateful to get it. As Japanese and American
    companies moved in to take advantage of low wages, the price for skilled
    labor rose steadily as the skills became more difficult and the number of
    such laborers became more scarce due to the increasing number of jobs. When
    I left, the second time in 1989, the going rate for skilled labor was $2,000
    a month, and you could hardly find anyone willing to work as a house maid.

    The same thing happened in Japan, only sooner. As the Japanese developed
    their electronics and automobile industries, with help from the U.S., from a
    totally destroyed industry after WWII they went from being some of the
    cheapest labor on the planet to what is now some of the most expensive.
    This is what happens when international corporations rush to poor countries
    to take advantage of the labor situation. The competition for skilled labor
    causes the wages to rise for everyone. Now the Japanese have to do most of
    their manufacturing in China because they have priced their own labor out of
    the market. They can't afford to make those nifty electronics products at
    home anymore because it would make them too expensive on the world market.

    China is next. The big companies from Japan, America, and Europe are now
    flocking to China to take advantage of its cheap labor. The poor farmers
    who are starving in areas outside of Guandung, Fujian and Shanghai are
    working for slave wages because it's better than staying at home and
    starving for lack of a job. That's their only choice. If we kept our
    factories at home they would have no choice.

    The same people who once benefitted from the world market in Taiwan are now
    building factories in Shanghai and Guandung because the labor market in
    Taiwan has grown too expensive. There are over 60,000 Taiwanese in China
    who all together have invested over 100 billion dollars to set up factories
    there. They are doing the same thing in Shanghai and Guandung that they did
    in Taiwan. It is raising the bar for skilled labor and cheap labor alike.
    That is what capitalism does for countries full of poor people. You may
    find the disparity of wages in the beginning as something criminal, but the
    people who are able to work don't feel that way.

    Sure, everyone would like to make American or European wages, or even
    Japanese or Taiwanese wages. But that takes time and capitalism is just
    about the only way I know to get there. Marxism didn't help China raise the
    wages of their people, nor did it in Russia and Eastern Europe.

    Even Cuba is still in a time warp they blame on the United States, even
    though the so called ban on trading with them only applies to trading with
    the U.S. They can and do trade with Mexico and the rest of South and
    Central America as well as Europe and Russia. Curiously, the U.S. imports a
    great deal of its produce from Mexico and I sometimes go down there myself
    to buy medicine because the government of Mexico controls the price and
    medicine is much cheaper down there. Cuba could get both food and medicine
    from Mexico at a better price than they can get it from the U.S. So where's
    the stifling effects of the embargo? It's all the effect of Castro refusing
    to let capitalism into his country. He wants to control everything and
    that's incompatible with free trade.

    Almost every instance of capitalism being a detrament is due to governments
    misusing the economic system to make a few people rich. They borrow on the
    international market and put the money in their own pockets instead of
    building the infrastructure that would attract more capital from investment
    and raise the quality of life for their workers. That's not the fault of
    capitalism. That the fault of greedy politicians.

    Other countries take all the money they can borrow and spend it on guns to
    suppress the people they swore to govern. Then they turn around and blame
    the rich countries for the lack of schools and infrastructure to change the
    lives of the people. Foreign investors are not going to invest money in a
    country that is perpetually war torn. It's like pouring down a rat hole.
    They get no return on their investment. That takes away any incentive to
    invest there. The leaders of such countries, however, turn around and blame
    the rich countries that tried to invest for their plight because they can't
    pay the interest on the loans they took out.

    Well, if those politicians would have governed their countries as well as
    Japan and Taiwan governed theirs, they wouldn't have the problem in the
    first place. And the only route I can see to turning it around is a sound
    government and a sound fiscal and economic policy. In other words,
    capitalism.

    Nobody can just walk in and make them act that way. They have to do it
    themselves, as Russia just learned the hard way. If the people who win the
    right to govern the country don't do it right, criminals will step in and
    take advantage of the situation to enrich themselves at the expense of
    everyone else. And you can bet they won't blame themselves for what happens
    to their country.

    So for all its ills, the combination of democracy and capitalism is the best
    hope for the world. No, it will never be perfect. But what is? There was
    a reason why the Chinese, after pushing the Marxist maxims down the throats
    of their people for 60 years finally embraced capitalism (economically but
    not politically -- they still use the dictatorship of the proletariat as a
    necessary part of government) and joined the WTO to become one of the haves
    instead of the have nots.

    Slogans and riots will never get investors to build factories in a place
    where people have no jobs. Peace and low wages will bring them running.
    Taiwan became one of the richest countries for its size by giving land to
    the tiller and encouraging the building of factoris by foreign companies
    through a plan where they paid no taxes for the first five years. At the
    end of that time, they started charging rather high taxes and the people who
    built the factories, having made their profit, left and built elsewhere.
    Meanwhile Taiwan had a country full of skilled laborors and modern
    factories. They haven't looked back since.

    That, in my opinion, is how you solve world hunger. Not by screaming or
    rioting or blaming outsiders for what the people of a country do to each
    other. If you don't do what has been proven to work, you'll be condemned to
    having a system that doesn't work. Show me a system that works (not one
    that WOULD work IF) and I'll support it. The rest is hog wash.

    Cheers,

    Grant

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