Democrats & Liberals Archives

Dumping Employees

Outsourcing? I can understand outsourcing to mean going outside the country to buy nuts and bolts - assuming that good nuts and bolts are not available for a decent price in the U.S. And if you want to save money, you can buy, or outsource, screws. But outsourcing workers? Are workers commodities too, slaves to be bought and sold, just like nuts, bolts and screws?

"Outsourcing" is a word multinational companies use. From their point of view, they can buy commodities, of which employees are a subset, in the U.S., India, China, Mexico or any other place on the planet. They compare prices and buy commodities from the cheapest source. If the source is not in the U.S., the item is "outsourced."

This is the language of Big Business. Why do the rest of us, the vast majority of workers, use the same language? When you get laid off, you're upset because you lost your job. Sure, you are outraged that your job is given to a foreigner in a distant land, but what hurts you most is that you are no longer employed. You can't make ends meet. If you are lucky, you find a job that pays a lot less than you used to earn. Your job has not been "outsourced"; as far as you are concerned, the company "dumped" you.

I take 2 examples showing the business view of outsourcing from Senator Byron L. Dorgan's book "TakeThis Job and Ship It":

  • IBM cut 13,000 jobs in U.S. in 2005 and hired 14,000 employees in India. This is the same IBM that used to have jobs with lifetime guarantees

  • Pennsylvania House fired its furniture workers and opened a factory in China. Since the furniture is world famous because of the Pennsylvania wood the company uses, the company shipped the special wood to China. The finished products of the Chinese factory were sold as Pennsylvania furniture. People, wood, what's the difference?
We are told that all this employee dumping is good, that it is part of that wonderful phenomenon called globalization, that it will bring us great success in the future. To really be players in the globalization game, they tell us, we must dump employees in order to stay competitive.

Again, all we hear is the business point of view. We must be competitive. Who's "we"? Business is doing whatever it needs to be competitive, while employess are dumped. Yes, businesspeople give advice: "Get some training." Training for what? Workers are being dumped daily, even those with great skills. Even college graduates are being dumped.

Isn't it time that we started thinking about the needs of workers who are hurting, and reduce our emphasis on the needs of business, which is blooming?

Republicans are cheerleaders for multinational companies, for dumping employees and for the "flat earth" view of globalization. I wonder if the Republican view will change when a prominent CEO, who earns $100 million a year is dumped and replaced with a Japanese for a cheap $10 million?

What to Republicans is outsourcing is employee dumping to Democrats. Republicans say that these multinationals are responding to a world trend. Not true (as I will discuss in a future post). Now that Democrats will control Congress they should enact penalties for dumping of American employees.

Posted by Paul Siegel at November 27, 2006 5:05 PM
Comments
Comment #196584

Paul,

I think we see things quite a bit different. You seem to think that because an employee works for a company, the company qwes him “decent” or “competetive” wage. This is where I think you are wrong.

I think that when a person gets hired, he enters a contract whereas he agrees to perform his job in exchange for a package of benefits which includes wages, the employers portion of social security, insurance and retirement if they are provided and any other “perks” that are offered.

If I hire you to make widgets at $20 per hour and I can find a better deal with John down the street making the same widget for $10 per hour, why shouldn’t I take the better deal?

Posted by: tomd at November 27, 2006 5:33 PM
Comment #196586

Paul
How do you expect companys to survive if their employees want riduclously high wages and benefits? The average wage in the auto industry is $20. to $30. per hour. Then you wonder why these companys close facilities or just plain move out. PUT THE BLAME WHERE IT SHOULD BE. THE AMERICAN WORKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: KAP at November 27, 2006 5:38 PM
Comment #196587

Enacting penalties for dumping workers. NOW YOU REALLY WANT COMPANIES TO LEAVE.

Posted by: KAP at November 27, 2006 5:41 PM
Comment #196593
How do you expect companys to survive if their employees want riduclously high wages and benefits?

Define “ridiculously high”.

Are American workers supposed to accept being paid far less than their fathers got for doing the same kind of job?

Are Americans supposed to accept working for the same wages as people in third world countries?

Even more, should America move all its manufacturing capabilities — even defense industries — to foreign countries because the companies can make a bigger profit? Or should America maintain its industrial strength, even at the cost of smaller profits for the corporation?

Posted by: American Pundit at November 27, 2006 6:24 PM
Comment #196594

Workers need to start collecting wood and tin to build Hoovervilles….

Posted by: sweettp2063 at November 27, 2006 6:24 PM
Comment #196597

What really needs to happen is better monitoring of workplace conditions worldwide. An American has no more “right” to a job than an Indian or Mexican, but the US company that hires foreign workers should have an obligation to treat them with the same dignity and respect that is required in their domestic dealings. Taking advantage of cheaper labor is how impoverished nations will eventually rise up to a higher standard, but only if they are protected from exploitation, just as American workers needed to be protected during and immediately after the industrial revolution.

Posted by: David S at November 27, 2006 6:36 PM
Comment #196601

Paul,

Now that Democrats will control Congress they should enact penalties for dumping of American employees.

You seem to have stopped writing half way through the article.

What kind of penalties?
How do we discourage outsourcing without encouraging companies to leave the country altogether?

Posted by: The Traveler at November 27, 2006 7:02 PM
Comment #196604

Traveller-
First see whether previous legislation has made it advantageous, and repeal it. If we’re not necessarily going to penalize it, we should at least bring it to market equilibrium, rather than create a pro-outsourcing environment.

Penalties should be applied to anti-competitive practices like those of Walmart that depress prices below market, forcing such moves. It may cost more in the near term, but there will be more people capable of buying products.

We should also be working against protectionist barriers overseas that make it more difficult for Americans to sell abroad and for labor forces in those country to earn sufficient money to serve as a consumer base for our products for here.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 27, 2006 7:18 PM
Comment #196605

It seems clear to me that if jobs are to be exported to where they will be done for far less money, and the resulting products reimported to the home country of the product producer for sale in that market, then a serious problem has to arise. The displaced worker who is the victim of outsourcing, may, just may, get another job, but almost certainly at a much reduced rate of pay.

Now, as we live in consumer societies, in order to maintain those consumer societies, we need lots of consumers. By definition, consumers are people with discretionary disposable income. In simple terms, they can afford non essential purchases. If we destroy well paid jobs and replace them with low paid ones, then we hole the ship of our economies below the waterline, leaving them mortally wounded.

Even if this situation was sustainable, the outcome must be to wider the gap between rich and poor, and the degradation and perhaps elimination of the middle classes, that bulwark of stability in any country. We must end up with a situation not unlike that of many banana republics, with a tiny group of wealthy and super wealty, a mass of poor and barely surviving, and nothing else. Ultimately of course, by driving down prices of all goods, capitalism hurts itself by making all goods largely commodities, competing primarily on price, and hence driving down profits, and the margins required by R & D for new complex products. In this situation, it is easy to see huge shakeouts of product producers, leaving behind little more than monopoly or duopoly corporation, with everyone at their mercy. Hands up who believes this will strengthen democracy and bring greater stability to any country?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at November 27, 2006 7:28 PM
Comment #196615

American pundit
When a man working in the auto ind. sweeps a floor for $20.00+ per hr than expect the company to give him another $20.00+ an hour in benefits, I would concider that ridiculously high. Why do you think the steel industry fell apart in this country. It was because of greed on the part of the Unions and workers. Most companies were forced to buy steel outside this country in order to stay somewhat competitive. With higher wages comes higher prices on goods. Now I’m not the smartist person, but if I owned a company and found a place where I could get workers for say $10.00 per hr less I would move.

Posted by: KAP at November 27, 2006 8:25 PM
Comment #196620
Why do you think the steel industry fell apart in this country.

Because China and Japan could undercut US steel prices using a variety of unfair practices and didn’t suffer any retaliatory measures by the US. It had nothing to do with unions.

Posted by: American Pundit at November 27, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #196628

Didn’t you hear? It’s no longer called “outsourcing”, it’s called “low cost geographic resourcing”. I think they’re trying to make it sound that Arkansas has a chance vs. Bangalore… Sounds more like “food insecure” to me.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at November 27, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #196633

Actually the Steel industry is back on the rise. They realised that in order to compete they had to become competitive (duh). To do this they have upgraded their process and become more automated.

You guys talk like those 14,000 workers laid off by IBM are sitting at home whining and waiting for someone to give them a job. Does anybody know how many of them went to work in a comparable industry or how many started their own business. More often then not one companies loss is anothers gain.

We do not live in a zero sum game.

Posted by: Keith at November 27, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #196635

Paul, well said, and damn straight.

Traveller:
“What kind of penalties?”

How about super-high tariffs slapped on American-owned companies that have outsourced American jobs and then bring the products back into the country to sell to us?

“How do we discourage outsourcing without encouraging companies to leave the country altogether?”

They’ve already been given every kind of incentive they could possibly need — so it’s time to hit them where it’ll hurt for a change.

Stephen, EuroPaul, AP, Dave — great points.

Posted by: Adrienne at November 27, 2006 10:15 PM
Comment #196641
How about super-high tariffs slapped on American-owned companies that have outsourced American jobs and then bring the products back into the country to sell to us?

Well, how about every single one of those companies moving all of their headquarters and factories overseas for good?

Or for that matter, what if other countries do the same thing to us and make it impossible to sell American goods overseas?

One thing that’s being forgotten here is that the American worker is buying all of these cheap goods once they’re hitting the shelves—of say, WalMart.

Posted by: Lord of the Right Wing at November 27, 2006 11:04 PM
Comment #196643

“Well, how about every single one of those companies moving all of their headquarters and factories overseas for good?”

What difference does it make where their headquarters are if they’re still outsourcing so many jobs to other countries? Anyway, no matter where they’re located, if the owner and the CEO of the company are American, they’ll just have to pay the new super-high tarriff.

“Or for that matter, what if other countries do the same thing to us and make it impossible to sell American goods overseas?”

What American goods are you speaking of? We aren’t making very much of anything in this country any longer. They can’t be American goods if they aren’t made by Americans, right? They’re goods that simply wear an American companies name.
Btw, I think we need higher tariffs on goods that come into this country from elsewhere also (then maybe we’d start making things here again), but those tariffs shouldn’t be nearly as high as those we should put on American companies that have outsourced our jobs in order to get incredibly cheap labor and enormously higher profits. With the wages and conditions those foreign laborers are often working under, it’s blood money anyway, so why should they keep being rewarded for taking jobs from Americans and making others suffer?

Posted by: Adrienne at November 27, 2006 11:30 PM
Comment #196650

Adrienne

Despite what the left and their willing partners in the MSM say, the “outsourcing” of jobs is not as big a problem as what you are led to believe.

http://www.factcheck.org/article225.html

Posted by: Keith at November 28, 2006 12:30 AM
Comment #196652

-Paul- I believe the only solution for solving our
trade problems, would be to completely re-due the
NAFTA & GATT Treaties. The American Companies
are doing just what our Congress & Senate agreement
allowed them to do. Most of the Foreign Companies
do not abide by the rules, an the American Government does not enforce the treaty rules, an
I will leave those reasons for others to decide why!
If any one feels adventurous, Please read up on the
GATT & NAFTA Treaties, about 30.000 pages long an
took five of the Countries best Law Professors
four days to explain, just the main parts. You can
just imagine how many Politicians knew what they
had agreed to.

Posted by: DAVID at November 28, 2006 1:30 AM
Comment #196653

—Keith— I believe if you coupled The NAFTA & GATT
Treaty along with President Bush’s Corporate
Tax breaks, You will find a very serious (PROBLEM)!!

Posted by: DAVID at November 28, 2006 1:59 AM
Comment #196654

—I forgot the most important item for Congress to
should accomplish would be Rescind Presidents Bush’s
Off Shore (no tax) policy.

_ _

Posted by: DAVID at November 28, 2006 2:07 AM
Comment #196655

what the hell is wrong with “conservatives” these days? what happened to you?

when did big business take priority over america? if you live in america, then you owe any and all success you have achieved to america!!!

it’s simple. if you wish to outsource, then you must pay. you owe it to america. stop crying about it. if you don’t like it, leave! (outsource)… after paying back what you owe!

“PUT THE BLAME WHERE IT SHOULD BE. THE AMERICAN WORKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

…yes, the unmitigated f’ing gall of those who work hard their entire lives (making our great country great) to actually expect to get what they deserve, to share in the prosperity!!!!

if we didn’t have american workers, there would be no corrupt, greedy, self-serving, unpatriotic multinationals to take advantage of us. it’s a shame we don’t all just die off to make room for the mexicans who are willing to work for slave wages. what nerve.

(mexicans don’t take jobs that americans don’t want… they *make jobs americans don’t want by driving down the wages to the point where we can’t earn a living working them*!!!!!! )

these days, republicans subvert and subtend the conservative ideology - they are nothing more than corporate shills.

…such a bitter ignominy… a pox on your house.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 28, 2006 2:09 AM
Comment #196662

Diogenes, Well said.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 28, 2006 8:39 AM
Comment #196668

Diogenes,

I ditto j2t2.

I just can’t imagine how they imagine going back to the pre-union days of company towns and indentured servitude is a good thing…

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at November 28, 2006 9:32 AM
Comment #196669

Very well said Diogenes. The republicans want to have their cake and eat it to. It seems there can never be enough wealth for them. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all tailor the laws to suit our wants.

But then under this congress wealth buys you the right to insure that the poor stay exactly that way. Given enough prosperity the workers of this country might actually have enough cash to someday be able to exert some influence on our lawmakers. God forbid the american worker should have any say in the workings of corporate america, or share in the wealth for that matter.

Posted by: ILdem at November 28, 2006 9:43 AM
Comment #196670

From all the arguements presented so far there is only one conclusion. that conclusion being that it is the worker that is dependent upon business instead of business being dependent upon the worker as you’d like. it is not a partnership as unions like to call it.

the only way to turn it around so that business is dependent upon the worker is to scrap capitalism and install a socialistic form of economic system.

only in a socialistic form of economics is a worker guaranteed a job. in capitalism no worker has that guarantee. only in socialism is a man paid in accordance to his needs. in capitalism a man is paid in accordance to the needs of the business. in capitalism the worker exists for the survival of the business. in socialism the business exists for the survival of the worker. Karl Marx made this very clear.

Greed is the cornerstone of any economic system. it is the form of economic system in place that determines where greed exists. and where greed exists so will you find power.

so, if you do not like how business is treating the worker in this country change the system itself. for that is the only way to stop businesses from behaving independent of the worker as is the primary arguement presented here.

Posted by: The Griper at November 28, 2006 9:44 AM
Comment #196672

Keith
“Despite what the left and their willing partners in the MSM say, the “outsourcing” of jobs is not as big a problem as what you are led to believe”

Sorry Keith, but that is bull kaka.
I am very anti-union. Unions are why we have to pay so much for goods and I too believe $20 an hour to sweep a floor is ridiculous, but “Outsourcing” of jobs takes a job from a fellow American and gives it to a non-American and THAT is a very big problem!

While I believe it is every company’s right to hire who they wish, I think they should be taxed to the max for not supporting their fellow Americans.
IMO, its treasonous.

Posted by: kctim at November 28, 2006 9:48 AM
Comment #196676

I am confused by all of the complaining that $20 an hour is too much money for a worker to be making. How much are they paying CEO’s nowadays? Anyone who has tried to raise 3-4 kids on $12-14 dollars an hour (or less) can tell you that it ain’t enough to live on let alone save money for the kids’ college fund. The problem as I see it is just plain corporate greed. The company I worked for was making a profit. Labor was less than 2% of the cost of doing business. I was paid $15 an hour and worked 6 days a week. Yet when the company decided it could make even more money somewhere else, they left. Most of the displaced workers went back for training and most now make far less money. It wasn’t the wages of the workers that caused this plant to leave, but this plant leaving lowered the standard of living for over 1200 families. Let’s talk about the people who are hurt by outsourcing and not the “poor companies” who have to go overseas to find people willing to work in the new system of industrialized slavery.

Posted by: Ruth at November 28, 2006 10:14 AM
Comment #196682

Keith:
“Despite what the left and their willing partners in the MSM say, the “outsourcing” of jobs is not as big a problem as what you are led to believe.”

Factcheck.org can’t give us the facts of how big a problem outsourcing is because a lot of the facts are being hidden. Maybe reading something like this will warm your patriotic “conservative” heart, but I’m afraid it leaves mine (patriotic, liberal) cold. NOW on PBS did a good show on this topic a while back. Lou Dobbs has had an excellent ongoing series of reports focusing on the subject too.

Posted by: Adrienne at November 28, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #196683

Keith, your corporate talking points aren’t going to impress many in this column. We understand that the necons are out to destroy the middle class, and that people (like you) are just smiling and waving them on. If they succeed as planned, no doubt you’ll will turn right around and blame liberals for the mess that results.

Posted by: Adrienne at November 28, 2006 11:08 AM
Comment #196684

More and more in America, the attitude is “every man for himself”, and the “American Dream” is only available to those that can afford it.

Henry Ford’s cars were successful because he priced them so his employees could afford to buy one.
American Steel failed because it refused to modernize, and because there was no longer a war to support it.
Asian steel on the other hand, is junk. We called it “butter steel” when I was in Korea.

The bottom line is now more important than the craftsmen that used to work to support it. Just because a product costs the same or more, doesn’t mean the quality is even close to the same.
WalMart is successful, because you can now buy three disposable products for the same price as a quality product that lasts five times as long.
There is no longer service on products in America, because it is cheaper to throw it away, and buy a new one than it is to repair it, and prolong it’s usable life.

Posted by: Rocky at November 28, 2006 11:13 AM
Comment #196693

Adrienne,

Great links, thanks…

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at November 28, 2006 12:45 PM
Comment #196697

Part of the problem is that corporations are somewhat in a bind. A CEO’s responsibility is to his shareholders, not his employees. Further, a CEO can be legally liable for failing to take actions to make his corporation more profitable. This is a stupid system, but it is the one we now work under. Rather than attempt to punish companies that export jobs overseas, I think we should be offering incentives. We might very well be able to make a case that the lower wages paid in China and other 3rd world countries constitutes an unfair trade advantage. I would say a good strategy might be to give corporations a tax rebate on the money they lose by paying American workers American wages. This might well prompt corporations to keep more of the workforce domestic. That being said, corporations that outsource shouldn’t be granted any sort of government contracts if there is a domestic employing corporation that can meet the demand. Also, these corporations should be subjected to yearly auditing.

I would also call for more regulation on where corporations can outsource. For example, we should not be outsourcing to China. All we’re doing is enriching an enemy. Outsourced jobs should be going to Mexico and other countries in the Western Hemisphere. They have plenty of cheap labor too, plus a couple of other benefits. First, they’re in our backyard and aren’t a threat to us the way China is. Second, we keep hearing about illegal immigration, if some jobs went that way it might help with that problem by giving poor Mexicans etc jobsw and a reason not to come north.

Finally, I think corporations need to start looking at more than just the bottom line. Outsourcing has greatly increased corporate profits, but the workers in these 3rd world nations can’t afford to buy the products they make. If outsourcing continues unchecked, most Americans won’t be able to afford them either and the corporations will lose their markets without building any new ones. Outsourcing is one of those rare times when a greater sense of nationalism might be a good thing.

Adrienne,

I don’t agree with much of what keith said, but I don’t think that neocons want to destroy the middle class. Like I said, corporations rely on the middle class to buy their products, if the middle class goes under, so do they.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 28, 2006 1:06 PM
Comment #196702

1LTB

Who decides where we can outsource? What criteria do we use? Is it constitutional for the U.S. Govt. to impose regulations on outsourcing? Please, also, do not confuse Keith and keith, we are not the same.

keith

Posted by: keith at November 28, 2006 1:15 PM
Comment #196716

keith,

Sorry about the name mix up. Right now, corporations decide where to outsource based strictly on the bottom line. One way to affect whether they outsource and where to is to boycott. No matter where things are made, the US is almost always the biggest market for them, so our purchasing choices can impact a corporation’s bottom line and influence them. As far as the Constitution goes, the government does have the power to regulate corporations via the interstate commerce clause. If the government so chooses, I think it can regulate outsourcing, there’s no right to outsource protected in the Constitution. I generally don’t like government intervention in the markets more than is neccesary, but in this case, intervention may be neccesary.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 28, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #196717

—$320,00 per week. Since you feel so strong about
receiving more than you deserve, please by all means
just return the your free, weekly check to your
State, an get a job washing dishes. Might make you
feel better!

Posted by: DAVID at November 28, 2006 2:13 PM
Comment #196722

Adrienne

“and that people (like you) are just smiling and waving them on”

How pompous and presumptuous of you. You have no idea what my situation is.

The beauty of this country is that anybody can be whatever they want to be.(i.e. Bill Clinton) If you don’t like the way a business is being run, you have a multitude of options. You can leave and find another job, you can start your own business either to compete with your previous employer or in another industry altogether.

Should we tell Toyota and Honda and other international companies that we don’t want their plants in the US. Those states like Tennessee that are courting these companies knows what labor is worth and do what is neccessary to get jobs for their people.

The problem with manufacturing in this country is that for too many years they had the market all to themselves. It was easy when they could say yes to all union demands for more money and more benefits. The problem was they were way too slow to see the writing on the wall. By the time Detroit saw that the Japanese in particular were making a smaller and more efficient product then they were, they were already losing huge chunks of market share. Unfortunately as we are seeing it is very hard to put that genie back in the bottle.

Posted by: Keith at November 28, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #196724

Corporations are entities created by people to return a profit to the shareholders. Corporations can hide behind the “its just business” or ” we have to make a profit and the others are doing it” or “in order to be competitive…” lines all they want,they are still accountable to “we the people” as we have allowed them to be chartered to do business in this Country. The CEO’s are primarily accountable to the board of directors, in fact, although they claim its the shareholders interest they serve. (Try influencing the salary of the CEO in a company in which you hold shares if you think this is false.)

Multinational corporations are not loyal to this Country nor to the people of this Country. They are counterproductive to creating new jobs and small businesses in this Country.They are allowed to write laws and influence our elected representatives. They can and should be loyal to this Country. They have benefitted greatly from the middle class in this Country. They outsource because they want to circumvent environmental and labor laws of the Country. They have incorporated offshore to avoid taxes in order to “be competitive” with other transnationals.They buy up smaller competing companies to avoid competition thereby keeping prices artificially high and cheating the free enterprise system. Tariffs and Taxes are perfectly reasonable responses to these scoundrels and lowlifes. Who wants them for a neighbor, let them leave the Country and lets replace them with small business and protect the small businesses with the taxes and tariffs from the transnational traitors.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 28, 2006 2:51 PM
Comment #196747

1LTB

The interstate commerce clause is for trade between states not countries, so it doesn’t apply. Also, you may want to rethink your position about what the Constitution does. I think you are suggesting that the Govt. creates rights for its citizens. It does not, it only protects them. Laws don’t make things legal, they make them illegal. Everything is possible in this country, everything, unless there is a law against it.

David,

You missed the point. Don’t think you’ll get it.

keith

Posted by: keith at November 28, 2006 5:21 PM
Comment #196750

j2t2,

Tax everything…
That’s the best Dem solution they can think of to solve everything…Your logic will auger us in my friend…

I’m looking forward to paying more and more for everything…It makes me happy…

Posted by: cliff at November 28, 2006 5:41 PM
Comment #196754

Lets tax nothing. How about that then what happens! I know do you!

Posted by: Jeff at November 28, 2006 6:18 PM
Comment #196758

Jeff,

Never said that…never will…

What I said was…

The Dems answer to every problem is to raise taxes.

Posted by: cliff at November 28, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #196766

Kieth- Any Company American or Foreign, having problems with each other, no matter what state
they are in, must be settled at the World Court!
(WTO-NAFTA &_GATT.



Posted by: DAVID at November 28, 2006 7:07 PM
Comment #196770

DAVID

“Any Company American or Foreign, having problems with each other, no matter what state
they are in, must be settled at the World Court!
(WTO-NAFTA &_GATT”


What does any of that mean?

Posted by: Keith at November 28, 2006 7:29 PM
Comment #196774

Cliff ..and I never said tax everything. The corporatist that decide to sell out our Country during the transition to globalization deserves to be taxed and tariffed out of existence. The “cut and run” corporations see the ability to exploit labor in other Countries at the expense of American labor and sell us out. For decades the labor in this Country has been the most productive, most efficient and were paid for this productivity. Im a little disappointed thst your only concern is cost to you. Im sure if the shoe was on the other foot and it was your 10 year old son working 12 hour days for not much money it would still be ok as long as you got your new VCR cheap. Myself I find that to be unacceptable, I would prefer to pay 3 times the price for my next VCR.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 28, 2006 7:53 PM
Comment #196813

The entire premise behind the argument that the government should be protecting jobs is the attitude that companies, large or small, are created to provide workers with jobs. This is the same argument that people made in the industrial revolution when men became too expensive compared to the machine. Some people were actually arguing that the companies should not be upgrading their equipment when it put workers out of jobs. Other people went out and learned how to repair those machines and found higher paying jobs!
The bottom line is that businesses are not created to provide people with jobs. They simply hire people when it is necessary to do so. The only worker whose job is secure is the worker that can or will do anything, or is so skilled that he will be needed indefinitely. Businesses will only relocate to areas where the work force skills are adequate to do the jobs which the business deems absolutely necessary for its profit. Businesses are not government entities, thank God, or we would all only be getting a bag of rice per day, and the government would be getting the rest. Businesses should have no allegiance to a particular country or government in a free market, capitalistic society!

JD

Posted by: JD at November 29, 2006 12:10 AM
Comment #196817

keith,

I don’t think corporations are people, so what rights do they have? Further, the federal government most certainly does have the right to regulate what business does outside of our borders. Anyways, like I said, I think the US could probably go after nations like China for unfair trade practices based on the fact that their workers are paid slave wages, their health is not protected at all in the workplace etc. Europe actually considered putting tariffs on us because they said our lower tax rates constituted an unfair trade advantage, so I’d imagine we’d have a case about unfair labor practices, not to mention the subsidies etc.

JD,

In an ideal world, your argument would have merit. While the purpose of business isn’t to provide jobs, they should feel some loyalty to their home country if for no other reason than that’s where the profits go. Besides, as I said, America is the largest market for damned near anything today, so why would you want to destroy your market by driving it into unemployment?

Posted by: 1LT B at November 29, 2006 12:49 AM
Comment #196818

1LT B,

“I don’t think corporations are people, so what rights do they have?”

From wikipedia;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood#History_of_corporate_personhood

“In Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company (118 U.S. 394 (1886)), at the lower court levels the question of whether corporations were persons had been argued, and these arguments were submitted in writing to the Court. However, before oral argument took place, Chief Justice Waite announced: “The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does.”

And this;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporation#Legal_status

“The law typically views a corporation as a fictional person, a legal person, or a moral person (as opposed to a natural person); United States law recognises this as corporate personhood. Under such a doctrine (traditionally seen as a legal fiction), a corporation enjoys many of the rights and obligations of individual persons, such as the ability to own property, sign binding contracts, pay taxes, have certain constitutional rights, and otherwise participate in society. (Note that corporations do not possess all the rights appertaining to individuals: in most jurisdictions, for example, a corporation cannot become a citizen nor vote.)

I only copied the header, there is a lot more info in this article.

Posted by: Rocky at November 29, 2006 1:10 AM
Comment #196820

Ah..A target rich enviorment.
Griper: It is not necessary to scrap capitaism for a measure of fairness for workers. A list of quite capitalist countries where workers recieve a higher percentage of the GDP. France,Britain,Germany,Belgium,Switzesland,Japan. Sweden,Cananda, Norway,Poland,Italy,Greece,Austria…Granted these countries are some what more socialist than we are,particularly in health care delivery,but they have thriving capital matkets none the less.
Get real. Companies are utterly dependant on workers for two reasons. What would happen if all the truck drivers decided to ,say, take a week off? How about mechanics? etc. Workers keep the wheels turning. Companies are also dependant in another signicant way. Just who is going to but all those widgets anyway? The wealthy? Even an avid widget collector will only buy a limited number of them,the rest you have to sell to workers. That means workers have to earn enough to pay for them. Henry Ford know this.The right seems to suffering collective memory loss.

KCTM: If you are anti-union,you are anti-worker. Plain and simple. To deny that is like saying,”I’m not a rascist. I just hate those uppity colored.”

As to 20$ an hour to sweep a floor I will have to admit I live in an area of the country where the median home price is aroung 600,000 so that does not seem too awfully out of whack, but besides that my labor guy reply is,”Up yours buddy! You sweep it!”

Cliff:” The Dems answer to every problem is to raise taxes.” Not so. One Dem answer to help working people get a better break,comming soon to a congress near you, is to loosen the shackles of the labor movement to make it possible to organize workers again. Most times when we hear “free market” it means free for business but not free for workers. That is going to change.


Posted by: BillS at November 29, 2006 1:23 AM
Comment #196824

The bottom line is that businesses are not created to provide people with jobs…….
Businesses should have no allegiance to a particular country or government in a free market, capitalistic society!

JD
Posted by: JD at November 29, 2006 12:10 AM

JD, agreed businesses are not created to provide people with jobs. Their function is to maximise the return to the shareholder. But lets get real here. They do not exist in a vacuum. Businesses must operate within the law. They must also contribute to the greater society, otherwise, the harm that they do may outweigh any good that they do. For example, societies have developed laws to control corporations with regard to polluting the environmment. Health and safety laws are in effect to ensure that safe working practices are in place to protect workers and visitors. Fiscal policies are adopted to encourage certain kinds of businesses or to attract businesses perhaps to an underdeveloped area.

Businesses can only be tolerated where they contribute positively to society. I know that Margaret Thatcher did not believe in society, and perhaps there are some here who feel the same. But if they are not contributing through jobs and taxes, then we don’t need them, and they can take themselves and their products offshore, and keep them there. See how they like that. If the peoples of all the countries affected by outsourcing took such a line, it would cease to be a problem very quickly. That would of course require that we become active citizens, acting together for our common interest, and holding our politicians to account to ensure that they know who’s boss.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at November 29, 2006 4:38 AM
Comment #196835

“If you are anti-union,you are anti-worker. Plain and simple. To deny that is like saying,”I’m not a rascist. I just hate those uppity colored.””

I don’t see it that way Bill.
I don’t like unions because of their corruption and how they operate and how they cause prices to rise, not because I disagree with their original intentions.
That said though, I would never want to take away a persons right to be a part of a union either. Want to be in a union? Then go for it, its your right. Company’s don’t want to hire union? That should be their right.

Just as being anti-war doesn’t make one anti soldiers, being anti-union doesn’t make one anti worker.

Posted by: kctim at November 29, 2006 9:12 AM
Comment #196841

JD, You are correct that business does not owe the Country anything, however in return this Country then doesnt owe the corporations anything, neither do the workers. Its a double edged sword.
Rocky, your right the Souther Pacific decision was a mistake that has a negative effect upon the Country. The 14th amendment was speaking to slavery not corporations.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 29, 2006 10:11 AM
Comment #196850

j2t2,

You are also right! We no longer live in a society where the worker gets a job in the same company his dad worked, and stays there for the next forty years. That just doesn’t happen much anymore. That is why I, and many other workers in this generation feel no loyalty to their employers. We come and go as we please. It is this concept that drives up wages, not some feeble raise in the minimum wage by self-seeking politicians! If a company can not find workers willing to work for them, they have two choices,
1. Raise their wages and benefits, or
2. Go somewhere else.
This is capitalism, and most companies will raise their wages and benefits to produce more quality selections in their employee pool. This is why mean income levels are up across the board in America, and unemployment is at an unheard of 5%!!
If companies were leaving in droves, why is unemployment so low?

JD

Posted by: JD at November 29, 2006 12:16 PM
Comment #196851

j2t2,

You are also right! We no longer live in a society where the worker gets a job in the same company his dad worked, and stays there for the next forty years. That just doesn’t happen much anymore. That is why I, and many other workers in this generation feel no loyalty to their employers. We come and go as we please. It is this concept that drives up wages, not some feeble raise in the minimum wage by self-seeking politicians! If a company can not find workers willing to work for them, they have two choices,
1. Raise their wages and benefits, or
2. Go somewhere else.
This is capitalism, and most companies will raise their wages and benefits to produce more quality selections in their employee pool. This is why income levels are up across the board in America, and unemployment is at an unheard of 5%!!
If companies are leaving, why is unemployment so low?

JD

Posted by: JD at November 29, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #196870

Bills

Some people still ave this romantic view of unions from the turn of the century. Organizing coal miners and garment workers, who were working under deplorable conditions. That is not the case today. Nost of the unions’ organizing activities have gone from the private sector into the public sector. The reason for this is pretty obvious, it’s easy to get politicians to approve way out of line contracts, that are bankrupting many states and locales, because they don’t have to answer to the stockholders and the bottom line.

Posted by: Keith at November 29, 2006 2:17 PM
Comment #196891

—Until all top Management making millions each year
are rained in and adjustments made down the chain of command, the dam economy will implode. The
entire working force needs a complete fair wage
study, an overhaul.
_

Posted by: DAVID at November 29, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #196896

JD perhaps the reason unemployment is low is
1. because the method used to determine the figure is misleading/inaccurate. and
2. the small American based business sector is growing and we are picking up jobs due to that growth.
but we are not picking up jobs in this Country due to the multi nationals that are leaving and outsourcing jobs, which is what I thought this thread was about.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 29, 2006 4:12 PM
Comment #196950

The issue of wages would be valid if the US did not have minimum wage laws. Fortunately we do, but unfortunately this means the American worker can not fairly compete with foreign workers, who offer to work below the minimum wage rate. This gives an unfair advantage to non-citizens and hurts Americans. The government needs to protect its citizens from this unfair economic situation, which it has created through minimum wage laws.

Posted by: Nick at November 29, 2006 8:34 PM
Comment #197069
I don’t like unions because of their corruption and how they operate and how they cause prices to rise…Posted by: kctim at November 29, 2006 09:12 AM
Fair enough. What about the $500,000,000 retirement bonus for the Exxon head? That increased the average reported wage for every working American by 3 dollars. One guys check did that. Do you think is fair? Do you think that is not “corrupt”, just on a different scale? For the 5.6 million people at min wage, That one check is an $90 bonus for every single minimum wage worker, or about 2 days work.

Here’s a quote from the cbppSpecifically, while the minimum wage has remained stagnant since 1997, Congress has enacted legislation that has reduced estate tax burdens in eight of the past nine years. Of further note, in the bill that recently passed the House, the minimum wage increase would benefit 5.6 million workers, while the estate tax reduction would primarily benefit 8,200 very wealthy estates

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at November 30, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #197071

j2t2,

You say that unemployment statistics are misleading / innacurate.

Oh, I forgot, we have Satan incarnate in office and he lies about everything!!

You say small businesses are growing and replacing those jobs of big corporations.

Using the liberal Democratic philosophy this is great news. It is the big corporations and their ties with Republicans that are the problem with America, or so says the liberal Democrats. Big corporations can take their fat corporate execs and move to Timbuktu for all liberals should care. I thought you guys were for the little guy?
As long as average Americans are still employed, and some are opening new businesses of their own, what’s the fuss??

JD

Posted by: JD at November 30, 2006 2:21 PM
Comment #197083

JD,

Its’ called “fairness” and “justice”. Not “money rules” or “culture of corruption”

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at November 30, 2006 3:12 PM
Comment #197166

Dave1
“What about the $500,000,000 retirement bonus for the Exxon head?”

Just as I said people have the right to work union, I also believe companies have the right to pay what they want to who they want. I do not envy others or their money, so it really makes no difference to me what another earns.

“That increased the average reported wage for every working American by 3 dollars. One guys check did that. Do you think is fair? Do you think that is not “corrupt”, just on a different scale?”

Nope, not at all. That is unless that CEO was threating to quit working or was the cause of disrupting the day to day business of Exxon.

“Congress has enacted legislation that has reduced estate tax burdens in eight of the past nine years.”

Thank god for that. Estate taxes are unfair and punish success.

“Of further note, in the bill that recently passed the House, the minimum wage increase would benefit 5.6 million workers, while the estate tax reduction would primarily benefit 8,200 very wealthy estates”

It doesn’t matter how many either benefits. It should be about fairness and treating everybody as equals.
People should be paid what their employers think they are worth and they should be allowed to keep what they make.

Posted by: kctim at November 30, 2006 9:33 PM
Comment #197167

Simply astounding, no wonder Bush could get re-elected.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at November 30, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #197170

JD, when people go off the unemployment rolls they cease to be counted, as if they had a job. Of course so do and some dont. The fact that the unemployment number is misleading has nothing to do with Bush. Its been reported this way for some time.
I am for the little guy so I will type a little slower this time so perhaps you can understand what it was I actually said. This thread was about transnationals and out sourcing jobs not the small business types who grow within this nation. So yes it is good news, if Im correct, that small business is growing in this Country.

But instead of diverting the arguement to small business and throwing slurs against the dems/libs why not counter with an arguement for how good the trans nationals are for this Country and how much they are helping this Country during the transistion to the global economy?

Posted by: j2t2 at November 30, 2006 9:47 PM
Comment #197195

j2t2,

You are the one that doesn’t get it.

Whether we are talking about international / multinational, national, or local corporations, workers are considered commodities just like nuts and bolts. This is the truth. Good companies will look for the best quality nuts and bolts at the best price, to produce the best quality product with the most profit. Workers are a business expense just like nuts and bolts. Businesses will look for the best quality workers at the best price, to produce the best quality product at the most profit. Being American does not guarantee you a job in an international / multinational corporation. International corporations, national corporations, and for that matter, mom and pop companies all do the same. Being American simply means you are from America, it doesn’t mean you are the best worker money can buy. You have to earn that reputation. Do you think it would be proper to tell mom and pop company that they can’t hire that foriegn exchange student trying to work his way through college, because it is more fair to hire an American college student? Get real!! It would be extortion to tell an international , or multinational company that if they want to sell their product in America, they have to use American workers. We don’t even require that of our local and national companies.

JD

Posted by: JD at December 1, 2006 2:19 AM
Comment #197215

JD,
Actually I do get it, thats exactly why I say why should we give the transnationals any quarter, they look at me as less than human as a commodity to be manipulated. Yet you would give them special priveliges I say why would you let some entity do that to you? Lower taxes while I pay more, why? lower tariffs so I can do with out work,why? anti labor laws to stifle fair wages,why? Weaken our Country by displacing the manufacturing base for the sake of more profit only, why?
I get it JD I just dont think its right nor do I think the founding fathers said “we the incorporated” I beleive it was “we the people”. We have been warned about this form of Fascism for years and we allow it to fester ay a great detriment ot our nation.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 1, 2006 9:06 AM
Comment #197254

“Simply astounding, no wonder Bush could get re-elected”

No, whats astounding is that some of you still believe there is a difference between the two party’s.

And, I know freedoms are primarily associated with being a supporter of the Republicans and all, but my vote didn’t help Bush get re-elected.

Posted by: kctim at December 1, 2006 1:37 PM
Comment #197269


The best way to fight back against corporate greed is to boycott them. Boycott IBM products and services on a national level and IBM will get the message. A national boycott against Pensylvania House furniture for outsourcing and they will get the message or go out of business which is ok by me. No Jobs—No Sales.

Posted by: jlw at December 1, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #197271

kc,

Your political vote had nothing to do with my comment. It’s a lack of understanding of the real (Corporate) world that I found astounding. It is that naivete that allowed enough people to be fooled into being a Bushie.
Would you be interested in a line by line analysis of your comments?

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at December 1, 2006 2:59 PM
Comment #197283

kctim, coupla points,
1.why would you consider estate taxes as penalizing the successful? The estate tax is a good tax in that it helps to stop the Aristocracy in this Country from growing while allowing for a meritocracy.
2. Why should I not have a say in what I am worth to my employer? What gives them the right to set wages? Look at other Countries such as China where the wages and benefits are set so low and the working conditions are terribile. That is what you would chose for us in this Country? When we bargain as a group we can get a fair wage. What you seem to favor is a what can I get someone to take the job for approach. That doesnt strike me as fair for anyone but the Owner, who if they would want to continue to grow must hire to do so. It is a two way street,they need the worker and the worker needs the job. Just because you work for somebody shouldnt mean you give up all rights does it?

Posted by: j2t2 at December 1, 2006 4:27 PM
Comment #197289

Dave1
I believe it a lack of other people understanding the “real corporate world” in the same way as you, that you have a problem with.
And I would love a line by line analysis, sounds fun.

J2
1. I understand that argument and, IMO, it does have some merit. But I don’t believe its a fair practice.
2. I never said you should not have a say in what you are worth, in fact, I believe you and your boss should always negotiate your pay. But just as I don’t think the govt should force you to work at a job and for a wage you do not want, I do not think govt should force a business to hire who the govt says they should or pay them what the govt says they should.

“When we bargain as a group we can get a fair wage.”

And I believe people should be able to form a union and bargain as a group. I just think employers should have the right to not hire union if they so please.

“What you seem to favor is a what can I get someone to take the job for approach.”

No, I favor equality. Just because a business makes tons of money, it does not mean the business is should then be forced by govt to pay ridiculous amounts of money to their employees. That money is always passed along to the consumer anyways.

“That doesnt strike me as fair for anyone but the Owner, who if they would want to continue to grow must hire to do so.”

In todays world, if the owner wished to continue to grow, then that owner must also be fair and treat his employees properly.

“It is a two way street,they need the worker and the worker needs the job.”

I totally agree. Too many people seem to forget the part about the worker needing the job part though. If we make it to hard and unfair for business, they find another way to make money, outsourcing, or they just give up. It is the worker who loses in both cases.

“Just because you work for somebody shouldnt mean you give up all rights does it?”

Absolutley not. But you also shouldn’t be expected to give up all your rights if you own a business either.

PS
I hope its ok if I am brief when typing your name. I’m not trying to pick you up for a date nor is it a slight towards you. I just find it easy to be brief on here and most people get it.
But since some might get their panties all in a bunch over it, I wanted to make sure you all don’t take offense to it.

Posted by: kctim at December 1, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #197320

kctim, no offense taken in fact j2 is much better than what I get called from time to time.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 1, 2006 8:27 PM
Comment #197333

Again, it is not just multinational corporations to whom we give special privileges. The government - local, state, and federal gives corporations of all kinds special privileges to build and set up shop. As long as even one of these shops are in America, our government should be giving incentives to these corporations, such as tax breaks and other forms, to employ more Americans. You can’t stipulate that a business set up shop forever in a particular location or else the tax break is null and void. Businesses are not guaranteed survival in any location. Incentives lessen the risk of their failures, and they also gain employment for individual Americans in the areas a business chooses to build. If we begin to start pulling out or threatening with these incentives, what would stop multinational corporations from pulling out everywhere in America? Government needs to make America as profitable for them to choose to build here as possible, not entrap them and then threaten them to stay here. That is not a strategy that works!

JD

Posted by: JD at December 1, 2006 9:16 PM
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