White Collar Sweatshops....You are Helping to Fund Them!!!

by teenyuck 37 Replies latest jw friends

  • expatbrit

    LOL Saint Satan, your article's formatting screwed up even worse than mine!

    Economics is quite an intersting subject when you get into it. Unfortunately, I've got too much to do before going away on Thursday, but here are a few good places to bone up on free trade economics, why it is desperately needed in the developing world and how it will still benefit the developed world immensely:

    The Cato Institute: http://www.cato.org/

    The Center For Trade Policy Studies: http://www.freetrade.org/

    and of course The Economist: http://www.economist.com/


  • Soledad

    I'm game for a transfer to India. why not? I'm brown, people would just see me as a townie with good English!

  • Stephanus

    Well done, Expatbrit - the article you posted flies in the face of the skinny-girl-arm-waving desperation of almost every damned post in this thread. No individual here would try to live in total self-sufficiency - why do we then assume that "countries" (whatever they are) must? Hasn't anyone here heard of "comparative advantage"?

    It's time to stop thinking of trade as between countries and realise that trade is between individuals - if I buy a computer from Taiwan or wherever, the trade is not between Australia and Taiwan, but between me and the manufacturer. Are you people really that ridiculously selfish that you want to see India and other (currently) low wage third world nations kept in perpetual poverty? Japan was once where these nations are, as was Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. If it is cheaper to outsource, then why not? I don't care if the person providing the product/service for me is white, brown or purple with green spots - I'm after their product/service, not their colour/language spoken at home/race/religion/political views/nationality/location on this planet's surface! If their product is cheaper than one that a local producer can produce, then I do myself a favour by buying it - I have comparatively more disposable income, therefore I am wealthier for buying the cheaper product. That means that more of my income can go on other stuff to better my life and that of my family. It's hardly rocket-science, folks!

  • heathen

    I just hate the idea of america reverting back to the politics of the 19th century where cheap labor is actually going to bennefit everyone .NOT!!!!!!!! In the US there is alot of horrible news in regard to corporation scandal over greed , many people are losing jobs and retirement that they planned on having , I don't see how any of it is fair to the best educated people on the planet .I just can't see buying something from a company that shut it's doors on the needy in the US but hopes to turn around and ship goods from cheaper facilities and sell them back here. The libertarians had this all figured out , when will americans ever learn?

  • Simon

    I think it is a sad fact that globalisation means big powerful corporations who do things to benefit themselves and will switch manufacturing and production on a whim to save money with no regard to the local economies.

    I think local economies are far better and offer more security for most people. Too much globalisation is bad.

  • Abaddon

    I work in a Call Centre. For one of our clients we are running a trial of outsourcing technical support to Pakistan.

    It's via a web-based interface; you go to the site, if you can't find an FAQ that helps, you can post a question. You're automatically given FAQs that might answer your question based on keywords in your post, and if that doesn't help a chap in Karachi will respond personally via E-Mail.

    We keep it to E-Mail and the agents in Karachi use assumed Anglo names; the client's perception is that Pakistani accents and names would create an unfavourable impression. I grew up in central London, so this attitude makes my skin crawl - I've known people born and educated in India and or Pakistan whose standard of English was higher than many Americans I've met, and I find the accent of 'Indian English' as charming in its own way as a 'Southern' accent, and at least as equally comprehensible, but the client gets what the client wants even if it smacks of small-mindedness. Their written English is excellent (very formal, a little old fashioned, you'd probably think they were English unless you knew how to spot the style of phrasing that points out their background) and their technical ability is very good as well. They have gone from 64% of the quality rating of the agents here in Holland to 8% better in the first two months of the trial.

    Several of the agents in Pakistan have worked in the USA, at a far higher level than they are currently employed at, but due to the down-sizing in the IT industry and post 911 attitudes changing (from inoffensive polite cheap immigrant worker to potential terrorist being clutched to the bossom), they've had to return home.

    Their jobs are very very good jobs for the area, and the company who work for us is NOT one of the five story 5,000 worker antfarms where workers have a desk 3' x 2' and are paid according to the number of calls they take (some call centres in the subcontinent are), it's a decent company.

    I manage the outsourcing. I just have to make sure I communicate problems to them in way that gets the level of seriousness across or they tend to underreact, as they have a rather more leisurely laid-back attitude compared to the Northen Europeans that represent much of the work force here in Holland. They're a lot like the Spanish who work here; if you want something done quickly, you have to use more forceful words and a little more volume to get the same message across as with a Dutch person. I wrote an E-mail the other day where I practically ripped the Team Leader there a new asshole (in polite business English) as they'd just not reacted enough to a previous E-Mail I'd written 'normally', and got the right reaction straghtaway.

    I also know that Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Latin America provide similar pools of cheap labour for similar operations, and that there are call centres in those areas.

    Of course, people make one set of noises about American (or European) jobs being lost, and a whole different set of noises when they have to pay more for things! Costs of technical support in Pakistan are around 38% of what they would be in Europe. This probably boils down to 5% on the price of the item, maybe a bit less. Add in the fact the item is already being made in countries where labour costs are low, and you have a potential 60% price hike on most consumer durables. Don't talk to me about losing jobs either; I lost a job last year when a Taiwanese company closed down a Dutch factory as it wasn't cost effective to assemble computers there anymore...

    Of course, what you could do is slap massive import tarrifs on things to protect inefficient local operations that would die in a free market place. This means developing countries are denied massive income streams they could win fairly and sqaurely and are often forced to become recipients of aid as a direct result of their ability to trade freely being curtailed. The inefficient local operations probably get government money as we as having trade tariffs fixed for their convenience, and both the higher prices they need to charge, the money that government uses to support these industries directly, and the money given as aid to countries that wouldn't need it if they could trade freely all come out of the taxpayers pocket.

    We live on one planet, so we might as well live that way as it's only delaying the inevitable; inefficient industries all eventually die, normally after soaking up billions in government money. And anti-American, this is pro-free trade; the European Common AGricultural Policy is one of the unfunniest jokes going, and a fine example of protectionism.

    Sometimes it does matter a shit what your daddy or grand daddy did, or even what you've done for half your working life. Eventually, if you can't get paid enough to do it anymore, you're gonna have to be creative rather than protectionist, as protectionism just puts off less pain today for more in years to come.

  • Prisca
    If their product is cheaper than one that a local producer can produce, then I do myself a favour by buying it - I have comparatively more disposable income, therefore I am wealthier for buying the cheaper product.

    In the short term, yes. In the long term, no.

    If you don't buy locally, you aren't supporting local businesses. Local businesses employ local people. Local people working means local people spending money in their local economy. Spending money in the local economy means people get wealthier, and are able to spend more with their extra cash, if need be. Everyone wins.

    Spending money elsewhere means the local business isn't getting local money. No money = no profit for the business. No profit means the business goes bankrupt and it has to let its employees go. No work means the employees can't spend money in the local economy, so the local economy suffers. People then leave to find work elsewhere and their hometown/land suffers due to lack of people putting money into the local economy.

    I've seen this happen in my own home town in the country. When the economy goes bust, people lose money, lose jobs, lose their homes. They are forced to look elsewhere for a job, and their hometown suffers from the loss of population. Towns die when this happens.

    Sure, I don't want to see people living in poverty in India, Pakistan, Taiwan or any other 2nd or 3rd class country. But I want to be able to work and support myself. I want my family to have work, and I want my future generations to have work too. I want my local economy to survive and thrive. It's all well and good that if someone in India is hired by a company in a Western country, but what happens to the former local employees (or possible future ones) of that company? They are forced into an increasingly competitive job market, a job market that is decreasing due to the current downturn in the world economy.

    The world is heading towards globalisation on a scale we have never seen before. Things are going to be getting alot worse, before they get any better.

  • Abaddon

    Prisca, your ignoring that inefficient businesses die. That they SHOULD die. That despite government subsidy (your tax) they die eventually. That protectionist policies with regard to trade tarrifs designed to protect inefficient businesses allow ineffcient businesses to live beyond their natural life, often consuming government subsidy all the while they linger, or causing a situation where the trade tarrifs defending them engender a situation where developing countries need aid that they wouldn;t need if they were allowed to trade freely and fairly.

    Ever seen a buggy whip factory? Big business in the 19th C. No call for it now. Should the government have supported the buggy whip makers? Like hell, the ones that were smart started making horns, or something rather than watching their business die by inches because it was outmoded. Likewise, if a coal miner, or a steel worker, or a call centre agents, or a COBOL programmer has a problem getting a job they are skilled for, it's time to get new skills, not to hanker after things staying the same, which, as any fool can tell you, they don't.

    You say the world is heading towards globalisation. Yes, it is. It's unavoidable. Why are you suggesting we pretend otherwise?

  • Prisca

    I'm not suggesting that we pretend that globalisation isn't inavoidable. I'm saying that it isn't always the best for local economies.

    Businesses die if they have no customers, with or without govt subsidies. It's not a matter of bad business - if the population of the town you're living in suddenly halves, it's not that easy to keep a business going. Most small businesses are lucky in today's market to break even. But the profits need to go into local economies, not the hip pockets of the billionaire industrialists who watch their stock prices with the keeness of a small boy watching a cake cooking in the oven.

    If businesses want to hire cheap overseas labour, then they will lose out eventually. They will lose credibility with their customers who can't understand the English language garbled in the Indian accent. They will find more complaints from unhappy customers who can't get simple problems solved. Quite frankly, I'd rather pay for someone to come and visit my place to fix a computer problem, than speak to someone halfway across the world trying to sort out problems over the phone. And by not hiring their own countrymen, they will decrease the working population, meaning that less will be able to afford their products anyway.

  • MrsQ

    Yeah, I'm not saying that all free trade should be stopped--but the sad fact is, America is great because we have RIGHTS here. People in other countries CAN be exploited, because they have NO PROTECTION!

    They can send their 7 year old children to work all day, and ignore their basic education--because there is no law, no constitution to protect those children's rights. They can work people 14 hours a day--no one will tell them not to. There is no such thing as minimum wage. And sure as hell no insurance or worker's comp. If you slice your arm off with some big factory machine, sorry pal, you're outta work and outta luck.

    My husband has told me stories of life in a third world country that would stand your hair on end.

    THAT is the exploitation I'm talking about. Not just the money--which is pathetic, but also, the lack of human rights that are being exploited by corporations in this country who should know better!


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