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US Job Outsourcing Reaching Epidemic Levels

By James Donahue

The quest for cheap overseas labor to run business and industry in America is now reaching frightening levels of absurdity.

Several major newspapers, including Florida’s Tampa Tribune and Miami Herald, and California’s Sacramento Bee and Orange County Register have begun outsourcing parts of advertising and editorial production to a production facility in India. The Miami Herald is reducing its staff by 250 workers.

The Ford Motor Co. has decided to build its new fuel-efficient Fiesta “global car” in Mexico City. The company also is spending $3 billion to build this plant and upgrade two other plants already operating there rather than continue operations in the United States.

Even American farming operations, now moved into the venue of “big business,” are moving to not only Mexico but other South American countries as far south as Brazil in search for lower land prices and inexpensive labor. Rather than fight the US war against migrant farm workers attempting to come to the U.S. to work, fruit and vegetable growers are moving their farms to Mexico.

With the North American Free Trade Agreements (NAFTA) in force, it is easier for all producers, even the farmers, to move their products from Mexico into the United States than it is for them to find people willing to work for low wages.

The situation is getting so bad, we wonder how long before we will be driving across the border for Big Macs with French fries. Perhaps fast food services already have their products processed and frozen overseas and then shipped to the restaurant outlets where workers drop them on the grill.

NAFTA and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have been opening borders so big business can move goods and services around the world, and it has begun causing a balancing of the world labor force that has literally torn the heart of the once wealthy capitalistic system established in the United States. Labor unions, built by the blood and sweat of workers who battled against big labor bosses to gain a larger share of the profits of industry, are being literally squeezed out of existence. The so-called middle class American is nearly a thing of the past.

What is emerging is a new society comprised of kings and servants. Big business has become the owner, while the masses clamor for the right to work for it in servitude for whatever crumbs are tossed their way. We are in great danger of sliding back into the dark ages.

The problem with this new way of doing business . . . at least in America . . . is that we have people without jobs, many without homes or health insurance, and those who are working are accepting work at the low end of the pay scale at a time when runaway inflation is making it almost impossible for them to feed themselves, let alone pay the rent and keep clothes on their backs. Yet the big corporations still operating in the United States, and producing products in inexpensive overseas job markets, are expecting to sell these products to people no longer able to pay for them.

Something is clearly wrong with this picture. Why, then, are we surprised when we see boarded up stores in the heart of our cities, and hear sad stories about declines in business. Indeed, how can people spend money they no longer have the ability to earn?

The entire concept of money is more of a philosophy . . . or perhaps a matter of faith . . . than anything else. Money only has value when it is circulating. When it is taken out of circulations by big financial giants like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet it is no longer moving through the capitalistic system, thus creating an imbalance. With most of the money in the hands of fewer and fewer people, we find more and more extreme poverty among the masses.

Students of history know that this situation only lasts a short time before a correction occurs. The correction usually comes in the form of a revolution. In the past the revolution has been bloody, with the masses overpowering the rulers and then splitting up the wealth. Revolutions don’t always have to be violent, and those that are successful don’t always lead to improved conditions for everybody involved. Recent coups in some of the Latin American and African nations have simply tossed one dictator from office and made room for another. Cuba’s Castro is a perfect example of what we are referring to.

The outsourcing of jobs on a global scale is such a new concept that we cannot begin to guess where this is leading. We do expect a gradual leveling off of the world playing field, however, as workers in places like Mexico, China, India and Indonesia start wanting to purchase the products they are manufacturing. They, like the American workers in the past, will want higher wages and better working conditions. If they don’t get what they want, expect them to turn to that old tool . . . collective bargaining . . . to get it.