3.24.2004

What's to blame for lost jobs? The Socialist Worker (3/26)
"IS YOUR job going to Guangdong or Bangalore--and is George W. Bush to blame? While corporate outsourcing and offshoring of jobs has already become a central question in the 2004 presidential elections, the debate has so far only scratched the surface of the real reasons for the worst job growth since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

An estimated 2.8 million factory jobs have been lost since Bush took office in 2001. While the unemployment rate is officially 5.6 percent, that’s only because long-term joblessness--the worst in 20 years--is so bad that people have either dropped out of the labor market or have never even entered it. Count those people, and the real jobless rate is 7.4 percent."

Yeah, we know it's 'The Socialist Worker' but it's a lot better than FOX News.

"The focus on India, however, is misplaced. According to a study by McKinsey Consulting, of $20 billion in outsourcing revenue from the U.S. in 2002, Ireland accounted for $8.3 billion; India for $7.7 billion; and Canada, $3.7 billion. In fact, Canada also was one of two industrial countries--Spain was the other--to have gained manufacturing jobs between 1995 and 2002, according to a recent study by Alliance Capital Management."

Oh, those bastard Irish! With their melodic U2 and tasty Guiness we knew it, we knew it! what complete wankers! How can we ever listen to the Pogues? Or drink at the 4 P's or The Dubliners or Irish Times again?

[snip]

"Overall, some 22 million factory jobs were eliminated worldwide over this period--an overall loss of 11 percent. Even China saw a 15 percent decline in factory jobs. The reason for much of this job loss is advances in productivity--especially in the U.S.


"With productivity growing at an annual rate of 3 percent to 3.5 percent rather than the expected 2 percent to 2.5 percent, the reason for the jobs shortfall becomes clear," Business Week concluded. "Companies are using information technology to cut costs--and that means that less labor is needed." Given the global gut in industries from airlines to autos to steel--the result of the boom years of the late 1990s--business is reluctant to invest and hire more workers.


If China and India are blamed for U.S. job losses, it’s in part because Washington wants to use the issue to get trade concessions from those countries. And, as with trade tensions in the past, racism plays a role. The supposed threat of two billion-plus Indians and Chinese stealing "American jobs" is seen as more politically effective than, say, blaming Canada."

Oh we blame Canada all right: the bastards! With their melodic Barenaked Ladies and Avril Lavigne! They've seduced us and stolen our jobs! How can we ever listen to Bryan Adams again? Or drink at... uh, drink at... um, um there's no such thing as a Canadian bar is there? That's sad.

Anyways, didn't you people see 'South Park: The Movie'? Bloody Socialists - no sense of humor! We bet you don't even watch 'Chappelle's Show' or Jon Stewart!

To be serious for a second, we recognize that there is a strong racial component to the outsourcing/offshoring conflict but, in our experience, comments are made as a result of the conflict rather than serving as the source of it. Just saying that's all.


[snip]

"INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY is the only way workers can avoid being pitted against one another in trade wars between governments. The international labor opposition to the World Trade Organization and the Free Trade Area of the Americas show the potential for such a strategy."

Oh, we hear Uncle Bill singing the Internationale.

But they do make this point, and we think it is important:


"Rising health care costs--cited by employers as a reason to hold down hiring--can be brought under control with a national health care insurance system."

It really is time for Universal Healthcare, isn't it?

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