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From: Steve Drew (srdrew_1@hotmail.com)
Date: Thu Feb 14 2002 - 21:23:42 GMT

  • Next message: Steve Drew: "Re: An odd addition to the axis of evil"

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    From: "Steve Drew" <srdrew_1@hotmail.com>
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    >Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2002 15:30:50 -0800
    From: "Grant Callaghan" <grantc4@hotmail.com>
    Subject: Re:

    >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.<

    Most people are not in the position to emigrate, even if we would be
    prepared to take them. Nor was i talking about paying US wages, but wages
    that are relative to the economy of their country.

    >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.<

    I canít believe some of the things you have just said. On the weapons issue,
    part of the reason for the weapons sales is due to our governments. We need
    to defray the costs of our weapons systems some how. One way is to give aid,
    which has a high chance of being used to by weapons. This makes the weapons
    appear cheaper than they actually cost to make by hiding the government
    funding. Aid has also been tied to civil infrastructure. British governments
    have tied aid to the use of British engineering companies in building dams
    in SE Asia.
    The guns that are used to supress the people are also handing in cowing
    strikers and union organisers in the factories producing goods for the West.

    >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.<

    I will try not to lecture you on your area of expertise, but i thiught that
    in Japan and taiwan part of the problem is that they still have a culture
    that still regards helping others as a virtue rather than a burden.

    >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.<

    Just because something has worked in the past does not mean that it will
    continue to do so in the future. The world now is quite different from when
    Japan and Taiwan embarked on their road to success. The population of the
    world is significantly larger than it was, which puts greater strain on many
    countries resources.
    As i said earlier the capitalist system is quite happy to deal with
    autocratic and dictatorial regimes, as this guarentees a continuous,
    uniterupted supply of goods and components, or indeed oil. eg Shell in
    Nigeria.

    Capitalism can work, but not hte unregulated free for all that tends to
    happen when a company gains an effective monopoly, or can escape the
    scrutiny of regulators. Eg, AOL is suing Microsoft for the losses incurred
    by Netscape due Microsofts abuse of market domination. Enron was pressing
    for more deregulation of buisness rules. Not too suprising with 20/20
    hindsight.

    >Cheers,

    Grant<

    If i ever find a solution, you will be the first to know, but your scenario
    that capitalism works was far too simplistic. Iím even tempted to think you
    did it as awind up. : ).

    Unregulated capitalism poses a threat to each and every one of us, as the
    only thing is the bottom line, not how you get there. Or is chemical
    dumping, polluting drinking water and air acceptable. I seem to have heard
    that California has some of the toughest enviro regs in the world. Solution
    - export your crap. And before any one thinks iím yank bashing iíve tried to
    use a mix of examples, some from the UK to show the UK is just as bad.

    People are rioting and demonstrating as they want restrictions on how
    companies are allowed to poisen them. Not to much to ask..

    As this topic could fill a couple of libraries, iíll stop.

    Regards,

    Steve.

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