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Thread: Jobs issue will destroy Bush; Nader can't help

  1. #21
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    [quote][b]Globalization is going to happen. Manufacturing jobs are going to disappear, regardless of what the US government does or does not do. Technology does this.[/b][/quote]

    OK, so hows does this play out? Does this mean the America of 1970's and 1980's with a vibrant middle class is gone for good?

    If you want to look at a model for America down the line, according to your plan, then merely look at at our Western States and Texas which are competely broke and totaly crime ridden.

    I guess we'll diverge here and respectfully have to disagree here Jets 5E. I'm all for capitalism, but if you chase profits to the very last penny, you lose your middle-class, then you lose your country. I don't want to the see U.S turn into Brazil (small class of elites, no middle-class and rife with slums).


    Also, please, get away from manufacturing for a moment, and tell me what the millions and millions of displaced Hi-tech workers will do, while the Bill Gates, Michael Dell's and Carly Fiorina's of the world go from filthy stinking to rich, to even richer, as the country disinegrates?

    Also, tell me what jobs will be waiting for many of these soldiers in Iraq, defending "freedom", when they come back and find no manufacturing and illegals aliens turning construction work into McDonald's type wage jobs?

    Retrain, right? Retrain for what, Hi-tech jobs that have almost all gone to India?

    Again, what jobs are gonna be here. The defenders of unfettered free trade and no borders tell us more jobs will emerge....[b]What are they, if Hi-tech, accounting, engineering and everything else is sent away[/b].

    I guess hail to the boys at the CATO Institue, who want to turn America into a "sweat shop" :rolleyes:

  2. #22
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    Riggins - farmers and coal miners were worried about the same things many, many years ago. Laid off agrarians had no concept that IT would have been an industry in the near future.

    Also, I NEVER said retrain, I said 'educate.' Training implies that we know which industries to train for. Education provides the basis for innovation and entrepreneurship.

    Again, we agree to disagree. I immensely respectyour views. I am not hell-bent on globalism and free trade and think that ANY checks and balances on it are absurd. I just do feel strongly that is is 1) inevitable and 2) key to keeping our standard of living high.

    But we have sort of beaten this to death, agreed. You can certainly have the last word if you prefer.

    Take it easy duder....

  3. #23
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    Bugg is right, unions are so enamored with dems, that they are going to lead the flock right off the cliff.

    The problem with cheap labor isn't government. The problem is that industry is trying to maximize profit and the consumer is trying to minimize cost.

    Last time I checked, this is a capitalist society. That's how capitalism works. I personally won't buy a new car in which more than 40% is built out of country. I don't buy products made in France or China. When I heard Dell switched customer support to India, I bought a Gateway and informed Dell of the reason of my choice. I didn't hire a landscaper that employed illegals. It takes a little research and most times, it means spending more money.

    The consumer in this country has the power. McDonalds switched Big Mac wrappers from styrofoam to paper, not because of government intervention or their concern for the environment, but because of bad publicity. It was either styrofoam wrappers or no sales. No brainer!

    Anyone, including me, that demands a higher wage, yet buys goods and services based on the price alone is responsible for this. I'm guilty and so are you.

  4. #24
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    [quote][b]Bugg is right, unions are so enamored with dems, that they are going to lead the flock right off the cliff.

    The problem with cheap labor isn't government. The problem is that industry is trying to maximize profit and the consumer is trying to minimize cost.

    Last time I checked, this is a capitalist society. That's how capitalism works. I personally won't buy a new car in which more than 40% is built out of country. I don't buy products made in France or China. When I heard Dell switched customer support to India, I bought a Gateway and informed Dell of the reason of my choice. I didn't hire a landscaper that employed illegals. It takes a little research and most times, it means spending more money.

    The consumer in this country has the power. McDonalds switched Big Mac wrappers from styrofoam to paper, not because of government intervention or their concern for the environment, but because of bad publicity. It was either styrofoam wrappers or no sales. No brainer!

    Anyone, including me, that demands a higher wage, yet buys goods and services based on the price alone is responsible for this. I'm guilty and so are you.[/b][/quote]


    I agree with your stance and this is well thought out and well written. Too bad, more people don't think like you.

    Let me say this, however: I don't shun foriegn made products outright. However, I strongly like to support anything of comparable American quality, even if it means paying a little extra.

    I also strongly agree that hiring those that hire illegals is bogus. Here's what I found : You're generally paying the same, but getting less for your money.

    I've seen people building $1 million dollar mansions, using labor that was culled from the roadside hours earlier to, for example, frame houses (people with almost zero experience). I don't believe, at all, the people paying for the house get any benefit in terms of cost. Instead, the contractor gets much more money for a much lesser quality job.

    Problem is, if every contactor does this, and the gov't condones it, everyone winds up being hit with higher taxes to support the cheap labor. Not mention the enourmous social costs (ala the West coast).

  5. #25
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    Weeb i got a serious question for you RE: buying american

    would you rather buy a Toyota where company is owned by Japanese stockholders but car is built in Kentucky by Americans

    or a Ford where company is owned by American stockholders but built in Mexico by Mexicans?

  6. #26
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    [quote][b]Start handing these contractors $10,000 fines for each illegal hired (as the law CLEARY states), and these chicken spits will end their nonsense today. [/b][/quote]

    Maybe those fines could help make a dent in the Federal deficit.

  7. #27
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    The Cover Story in the latest Businessweek goes into great detail on this issue (Specifically Software)...

    [url=http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_09/b3872001_mz001.htm]http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/conte...72001_mz001.htm[/url]

    I won't comment much on this issue, I think you all know my general feelings on this.

  8. #28
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Feb 24 2004, 05:53 PM
    [b] Weeb i got a serious question for you RE: buying american

    would you rather buy a Toyota where company is owned by Japanese stockholders but car is built in Kentucky by Americans

    or a Ford where company is owned by American stockholders but built in Mexico by Mexicans? [/b][/quote]
    I'd buy the Toyota because more American workers are employed. The more American workers employed, the more they pay taxes, invest in the stock market directly or via retirement plans, afford to educate their kids better and can afford to buy more goods and services. The kids go on to get better jobs and the cycle continues.

    If this relationship proves successful (productivity,sales), Toyota will employ more American workers.

    I am not jealous of the corporate stockholders making millions, whether they be American or Japanese.

  9. #29
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    weeb that's a fair answer and mine as well ;) just curious to what you thought - many times people spout about "Buying american" but don't realize what that entails. its like exactly How american is the Ford Explorer you want me to buy if it was assembled in Haiti?

  10. #30
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Feb 25 2004, 02:38 PM
    [b] weeb that's a fair answer and mine as well ;) just curious to what you thought - many times people spout about "Buying american" but don't realize what that entails. its like exactly How american is the Ford Explorer you want me to buy if it was assembled in Haiti? [/b][/quote]
    I practice the same principal's: I always buy Acura but make sure they are built in America...and they usually come out of Kentucky.

  11. #31
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    In a move designed to conufse JI faithful, I gotta agree with Weeb and Comeback -- the consumer has the ultimate power to a degree. The problem is, as bitonti says, a lot of this stuff has already been obfuscated by so much globalization and vertical conglomorates, and most people are just too damned lazy and careless one way or another to check up on what they buy or, god forbid, pay a little more for quality and pride in localism -- which to me is one of the foundatons of patriotism as much as loving when your military kicks towel-head asses over the world.

    There is no easy solution here; I'm generally opposed to any form of government "thought police" trying to regulate the morality of consumerism as much as I am opposed to them trying to regulate the morality of sexual relationships and long-term unions between consenting adults. I do think it's important that watchdog groups, both independent and those by the gov't (surgeon general's office, FDA, etc) be allowed to make recommendations and advertisements, but even that gets hairy when you see ridiculous ads about how marijuana use causes teen pregnancy and terrorism paid for by your tax dollars.

    Even if I wasn't opposed to Wal-mart from a strictly political PoV, I'd avoid the place because it's dirty and full of skanky people, overly eager "customer service helpers" with decrepit smiles, and shoddy products. And for as "low" as its prices claim to be on some things, I can still get a better deal on most of the electronics and media (games, CDs, etc) ordering online.

    For stuff like food and drink, I'm willing to pay more for quality -- which for perishable goods very often translates to American made, locally grown/produced, etc -- it's the same reason I'm more than happy to pay $5.99 for a sixpack of Saranac beer than $10 for a case of godawful Coors Light cans.

    I have no problem with investing in the stock market, but I'm not so certain that gradually enforcing various "standards" of work or human rights in trade isn't going to be necessary down the road, lest we all become third world citizens by default. Even if it forces the consumer to pay more for certain things, there has to be a middle ground where it's "worth" it for the compromise of stability, protection, and still maintain some basic freedom of market. Just like the health insurance and pharmecuitical industry has gotten so bloated and beaurocratic that single-pay healthcare doesn't seem like such a ripoff as it did in, say, 1950.

    Standards of living, standards of quality, and overall health can be just as important factors in the "free market" as the corporate bottom line, even if not initiated by the government or buzzword-factory think tanks.

  12. #32
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    By every conceivable mesaure, the overall standard of living has been rising steadily for every American over the last 70 years. Think about it for even a second - our poor people are actually FAT! This is a problem that perhaps has no preceedent in all of human history. The increased flexibility of the market is probably the single biggest reason for this.

    I pretty much trust the private sector to handle most "problems" in society, and am skeptical of the government's ability to do so...which is why I favor low taxes and small government and highly value the ideals of personal accountability, private property and productivity.

    However, the government has an important role to play in all of this, by enforcing contracts, keeping inflation low, providing a stable currency, infrastructure, defense, public works, and yes, even some degree of transfer payments to those segments of our society who are simply unproductive for whatever reason. Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell are the economists I enjoy reading the most, apart from Keynes.

    People who have political problems with a company like Wal-Mart are, IMO, morons, as are people who have some kind of visceral aversion to the very concept of 'profit.' Consumers profit from the utility they receive by cosuming goods and services, companies should also profit from transactions as well. People like to complain about "drug companies" all the time, yet neglect to mention the fact that these drug companies and their profits are also responsible for DRAMATICALLY improving the quality of millions of people's live and it is ONLY their profits that enable them to do so. If you pinch them too hard, they will cease to research and develop new and improved meds that raise the standard of living for EVERYONE, from arthritis sufferers to cancer patients to hemmerroid sufferers.

    Also, Wal-Mart doesn't "control" X% of the market any more than I control X% of the the weather. Wal-Mart simply owned X% of the market share at any given point in time, which is all subject to the collective and quite fickle free wills of the millions and millions of individual consumers which comprise the market and the inferior competitors of Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart started out as a small, family-owned business and through prudent management, risk and discipline, have built themselves into what they are today. Wal-Mart can change prices all they want to, but consumers are the ones who are bear responsibility to become informed and change their habits. Uninformed consumers are but one aspect of creating a circumstance of imperfect competition, and I disagree to the extent of which that market is supposedly imperfectly competitive.

    People, inexplicably, simply abhore capitalism because it produces winners and losers, period. The fact that the market has improved virtually everyone's lives is lost on self-obssessed individuals who are unwilling to accept the responsibility of improving their lot in life.

    Yes, Wal-Mart should be punished for employing illegal immigrants, as should every organization that does so. But singling them out for it is absurd, IMO. The problem is that the government itself almost encourages them to do so. The problem is at the top. Wal-Mart is the country's biggest employer, everyone glosses over that fact when they go on emotional diatribes about Wal-Mart. Jobs are PRIVLEDGES, not rights. If you have a problem with your job, get another one. If they are forcing you to work part time so that they don't have to provide coverage, go get another job that doesn't do that.

    People need to not only take responsibility for what they consume, but they need to take responsibility for their participation in the factor markets as well. Corporations are what allow us to live the largely leisurely lives that we do in this day and age and profit is an indispensable aspect of this system. The problem is, nobody looks inward when faced with a setback, and ambitious politicians and self-annointed 'advocates' like John Edwards, George Bush, Raplph Nader et al are more than willing to cater to that victimization mentality.

    However, I agree 100% with Jet Set's paragraph about watchdog groups. They serve a valuable purpose, even if their shrieking is, at times, nonsense. It can't ALL be nonsense, both left and right. There is no easy answer and these things should be vigorously debated and I am perfectly willing to go into detail about any aspect. But I wanted everyone to know where I am coming from, if they didn't already know, what with my thousands and thousands of posts and all :(

  13. #33
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    My "political" opposition to Wal-mart comes 100% from their tactics with illegal alien laborers, and specific maneuvers they've practiced for years where they'll open multiple locations in one area and intentionally close 2 of them later for the sole purpose of driving out local small businesses rather than simply competing with the other "superstore" chains like Target, K mart, Ames, etc. I made a point to separate it from my personal disgust at the kind of store and environment they procure, which isn't worth the "low" prices I'd get if I shopped there regularly.

    It has zero do to with resenting their profit margins or financial success, beyond the issues that their legal team and lobby power is enough to make people look the other way when they commit blatantly illegal acts like the workers case.

    There are some chains that I shop at (Home Depot, Wegman's, Target, Best Buy), and some I don't. I agree that all big businesses do some of the things Wal-mart does, but I think the latter has gone well beyond the call of duty in some dirty tactics.

    What bugs me is that the government has done MORE to date to go after Microsoft, a company that by and large has good ethics and doesn't employ glorified slave labor, than they have true monopolies like Verizon, AT&T, et al and chains that actually drive out physical businesses in a community, which to me is a different sort of animal than small software companies that may have lay in Microsoft's wake -- both of them end up losing jobs if they go under, but only one of the losses directly affects a local community in other ways.

    As I say, I have no solution beyond the general rhetoric that all government "welfare" and special tax priveleges should go strictly to small businesses, and NO large corporation of any kind that is big enough to benefit from public trading should be subsidized, given tax breaks for hiring jail or welfare workers, or otherwise coddled by the government with our hard-earned tax dollars, which is what we have right now -- unfortunately. No politician claims to be "Against" small businesses, just like nobody is "against" education or freedom. But I haven't seen a lot of evidence that things are improving out there, especially with storefront-oriented businesses.

  14. #34
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    That's a good post. Again, I think the heat Wal-Mart takes is simply due to its size, and not the fact that they do anything that others don't do.

    No politician claims to be against small businesses, but you seem to be advocating aid to small business [b]so long as they remain small forever.[/b] Wal-Mart began is a small business in a market dominated by superstores. How do you draw the line where "small" businesses graduate to "large" ones? Market Share? # of locations? Regional spread? Margins? # of employees? Breadth of product? When do you propose to cut off the aid? What if these programs cause once-large business to shrink, do they then get aid? If the # of small businesses swells due to shrinkage and new competitors, how do we finance the growing costs of aid? What does this do to prices? To employment? To the minimum wage? To overall productivity, capital investment and innovation in both factor markets and product markets? How do small business afford health care? Will we switch from an employer-based system, and if so, how do we pay for it? Will the taxes be prohibitive for large businesses? Small Businesses?

    Admittedly, it is a tough thing to hammer out, it really is. You've given me a thought excercise for the boat ride home though...as always, it was fun to chat and I've learned.

    No system is perfect andd I am glad it ain't my job to sort through the details of this clusterfudge!

  15. #35
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Feb 24 2004, 05:53 PM
    [b] Weeb i got a serious question for you RE: buying american

    would you rather buy a Toyota where company is owned by Japanese stockholders but car is built in Kentucky by Americans

    or a Ford where company is owned by American stockholders but built in Mexico by Mexicans? [/b][/quote]
    Gotta buy the Toyota Prius to save the environment. 55 mpg.

  16. #36
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    5ever, as I said before, what about being publicly traded as the "threshhold"? A big deal is already made in this society when a company first graduates to its IPO phase. The only downside to this is how many companies would forgo ever doing the IPO in order to remain on the government's teet -- but with all the already established advantages to growth, stock investing, etc. established, it would be interesting to see what kind of government aid would seriously be preferrable to the unlimited ceiling of making it big in NASDAQ.

    Quite frankly, it's the same reason I don't "get" all the whining about a social safety net and progressive taxation so long as it's not capping out into communist/socialist theories like "maximum wealth / wage" which I despise -- if anyone would really rather live on the bare minimum of public assistance than live large like a rich dude, then they have bigger problems and quite frankly they don't DESERVE to ever make it rich -- and that public assistance should force people to work hard enough to where they'd rather get off on their own feet, which is where our current welfare system breaks down. But any guy making 100K a year who feels ANY envy for their supposed "welfare mommy" nightmare stereotypes cooked up from years of AM radio gets zero sympathy from me. I wouldn't trade my lifestyle in a millisecond for the type of 'welfare' people in this country actually live on, even with the foodstamp scams and bogus "child factory" incentives.

  17. #37
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jet Set Junta[/i]@Feb 25 2004, 05:21 PM
    [b] 5ever, as I said before, what about being publicly traded as the "threshhold"? A big deal is already made in this society when a company first graduates to its IPO phase. The only downside to this is how many companies would forgo ever doing the IPO in order to remain on the government's teet -- but with all the already established advantages to growth, stock investing, etc. established, it would be interesting to see what kind of government aid would seriously be preferrable to the unlimited ceiling of making it big in NASDAQ.

    Quite frankly, it's the same reason I don't "get" all the whining about a social safety net and progressive taxation so long as it's not capping out into communist/socialist theories like "maximum wealth / wage" which I despise -- if anyone would really rather live on the bare minimum of public assistance than live large like a rich dude, then they have bigger problems and quite frankly they don't DESERVE to ever make it rich -- and that public assistance should force people to work hard enough to where they'd rather get off on their own feet, which is where our current welfare system breaks down. But any guy making 100K a year who feels ANY envy for their supposed "welfare mommy" nightmare stereotypes cooked up from years of AM radio gets zero sympathy from me. I wouldn't trade my lifestyle in a millisecond for the type of 'welfare' people in this country actually live on, even with the foodstamp scams and bogus "child factory" incentives. [/b][/quote]
    Jet Set -

    $100K is simply not that much money. You are what, 25? Combine you and your girlfriend's income....how far is that from $100K? What will it be like when you are both 30 years old?

    Now, add a mortgage payment, car payments, taxes, bills, expenses, children, etc.


    What about small cap companies that are publicly traded? Do they get assistance? The "investor class" in America has swelled in recent years, particularly due to the rise of Defined Contribution pension plans, which are rapidly replacing the old Defined Benefit set-up. These workers' retirement money is directly affected by the stock market, it is NOT simply CEOs who "care" about stock prices and market sentiment. "Unlimited" works both ways...there is an unlimited floor, especially if the business is a partnership rather than a corporation. Unlimited liability is a scary concept for many people. Do you think implementing your system would cause more mergers and acquisitions or less? What will that do to real wages and prices? I honestly don't know....

    What do you mean by "progressive taxation?" People who make more money are already taxed at a much higher rate, even after the whining about Bush's tax cuts. The top earners pay the overwhelming majority of taxes in this country and many workers at the lower income end pay little to zero taxes. Everyone shrieks that due to Bush's cuts, the "rich" save $x, but they don't mention that the "rich" pay far more taxes than everyone else does combined! I don't think you fully appreciate what will happen if taxes are rasied to the substantial levels of, say, Europe, with it's cradle-to-grave welfare support system. Taking that much mooney out of the market will lead to massive unemployment, higher deficits, etc, in the long run...as we are seeing in Europe. The markets would be increasingly less flexible and thuis unable to withstand the flutuations of the business cycle. Concumer spending (2/3 of the GDP) would drop, capital investment would plummet and thus innovation would cease and people's pension assets would drop substantially.

    There already IS a social safety net and progressive taxation. How much more do you want? Bush extended unemployment benefits. SSDI checks are printed. How long should people be able to collect welfare? How much should they get? What will incent them to work? Will this lower or raise the total amount of people on welfare...hell, already people know that having a kid means that they get a raise, what will an increased support system do? Welfare reform was slammedby "compassionate" people but it has largely been working. Helping those that need it is one thing, allowing people to suckle off of the teats of productive people indefinitely and with impunity is quite another. What rate should people be taxed at? Do you honestly think families (not individuals, [b]families)[/b] that earn over $100K are "rich?" Even if they live in, say, Massachusetts, which is one of the most expensive areas in the world to live, in terms of real estate and taxes? I would be very interested to talk to you in ten years when you have a few kids, a mortgage and are earning well over $100K, combined with your spouse. Tell me then if you feel "rich" and have no problem paying 65% in taxes so that all illegal immigrants' children can get braces. ;)

    You seem to advocate big government so long as it always stays [i]thisclose[/i] from becoming socialism. How is that breaking point determined?

  18. #38
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    As a tax attorney, I prepare over 500 tax returns every year. You would be suprised how many middle class married couples make over $100K. And in the New York area with inflated housing and everything else, that isn't quite so rich.And with the Alternative Minimum Tax, many have their itemized dedcutions capped. They aren't dumpster diving, but $100K doesn't mean rich any more.

    Another perspective on labor and politics. Coulter is a polemicist with a point of view, but there's no denying that labos sells out blue collars for nothing more than lip service. And when you throw in their indifference to cheap illegal immigrant labor costing their memebership jobs, they are totally out to lunch on things that matter.

    AFL-CIO motto: Kick me again!
    Ann Coulter

    February 26, 2004

    In the past decade, the AFL-CIO has lobbied Congress on three major issues of any importance to union members:



    Oppose the North American Free Trade Agreement;

    Oppose permanent normal trade relations with China;

    Support drilling for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    The unions lost every vote. Demonstrating his savvy political skills, the head of the AFL-CIO, John Sweeney, repeatedly throws the federation's support to political candidates who opposed labor on all three issues. So if you ever find yourself negotiating with Sweeney, make sure your opening bid is "nothing."

    Sweeney's curious lose-at-any-price strategy has cost the unions everything. The only two Democratic presidential candidates to vote with the unions on any of these issues not all, but any were Representatives Dick Gephardt and Dennis Kucinich. Gephardt was out of the race after the first primary, and Kucinich can't break beyond the Aliens-Kidnapped-My-Mother crowd. (Dennis Kucinich did his tax return this week, and under "occupation" he wrote "Jay Leno punch line.")

    There is only one candidate for president who didn't vote for NAFTA, didn't vote for trade with China and supported drilling in ANWR. That candidate is George Bush. He got into office by beating Al Gore the guy who was the head cheerleader for NAFTA. And unlike Dick Gephardt, Bush spends more time on the phone with Jimmy Hoffa than with Barbra Streisand. As president, Bush enraged free traders and our precious European "allies" by imposing tariffs on steel imports.

    Sweeney has rewarded Bush by calling him a "horror" for organized labor. Apparently what "organized labor" really wants isn't good jobs at good wages, but ... abortion on demand! The AFL-CIO has vowed to devote massive union resources against Bush in the crucial swing states of Missouri, Ohio and Florida in the coming election.

    Strictly following his strategy of selling union votes for nothing, the AFL-CIO has endorsed Sen. John Kerry who voted for NAFTA, voted for trade with China and voted against drilling for oil in Alaska. Skilled laborers will have to wait another day for "fair trade" and high-paying jobs in Alaska, but at least Sweeney's candidate supports the issues that really matter to the average blue-collar worker: gay marriage, global-warming treaties and hybrid cars.

    Kerry denounces "Benedict Arnold" CEOs who ship "American jobs overseas." (Experts are still trying to figure out why Kerry didn't mention his service in Vietnam in that statement.) Sweeney seems to be satisfied with Kerry's explanation that like his vote for war with Iraq he voted for free trade, but then was shocked when free trade resulted.

    Sen. John Edwards calls protection of U.S. jobs "a moral issue." Reminding audiences that he is the son of a mill worker almost as often as Kerry mentions that he served in Vietnam, Edwards says that "when we talk about trade, we are talking about values." As the son of a mill worker, he has seen with his "own eyes" what bad trade agreements "do to people." Of the evil trade agreements (supported by AFL-CIO's candidate) Edwards says: "Those trade deals were wrong. They cost us too many jobs and lowered our standards."

    Except like Kerry Edwards also voted for those trade agreements every chance he got. In 2000, Edwards voted for trade with China. Having seen with his "own eyes" what happens "when the mill shuts down," Edwards voted to shut down a few more mills. Edwards also voted his conscience to oppose drilling in Alaska. Whenever Edwards' conscience speaks to him, it sounds remarkably like Barbra Streisand.

    Edwards' only fig leaf for claiming he backs labor is a hypothetical vote he never actually cast. He bravely claims he would have voted against NAFTA if only he had been in the Senate when it came up for a vote.

    That's an interesting moral calculus. Edwards didn't mind forcing American workers to compete with a billion Chinese famously including child workers and slave laborers. But trade with Canada and Mexico he says would have offended his delicate moral sensibilities.

    In his stump speech, Edwards implies he ran against Jesse Helms by saying he beat "the Jesse Helms machine" to win his Senate seat. It was a real David and Goliath match-up pitting a poor, beleaguered multimillionaire trial lawyer against an elderly senator of humble means. But the mere mention of Helms' name invariably elicits sneers from the party of the little guy.

    Helms voted with the AFL-CIO on all three big labor issues against NAFTA, against trade with China and for half a million good jobs in Alaska. Indeed, Helms was one of the main lobbyists against trade with China. The guy Edwards actually beat, Lauch Faircloth, was in the Senate for only one of these votes. The AFL-CIO didn't have to take Faircloth's word on how he might have voted on NAFTA: He voted against it. The AFL-CIO endorsed Edwards and opposed Faircloth and Helms.

    It's not particularly surprising that the party of trial lawyers, environmentalists and Hollywood actresses keeps voting against blue collar workers. What's strange is that the AFL-CIO keeps voting against blue-collar workers, too.

  19. #39
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    Great oped piece in today's Times about how free trade works for all.

    What Goes Around . . .
    By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

    Published: February 26, 2004


    ANGALORE, India

    I've been in India for only a few days and I am already thinking about reincarnation. In my next life, I want to be a demagogue.

    Yes, I want to be able to huff and puff about complex issues like outsourcing of jobs to India without any reference to reality. Unfortunately, in this life, I'm stuck in the body of a reporter/columnist. So when I came to the 24/7 Customer call center in Bangalore to observe hundreds of Indian young people doing service jobs via long distance answering the phones for U.S. firms, providing technical support for U.S. computer giants or selling credit cards for global banks I was prepared to denounce the whole thing. "How can it be good for America to have all these Indians doing our white-collar jobs?" I asked 24/7's founder, S. Nagarajan.

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    Well, he answered patiently, "look around this office." All the computers are from Compaq. The basic software is from Microsoft. The phones are from Lucent. The air-conditioning is by Carrier, and even the bottled water is by Coke, because when it comes to drinking water in India, people want a trusted brand. On top of all this, says Mr. Nagarajan, 90 percent of the shares in 24/7 are owned by U.S. investors. This explains why, although the U.S. has lost some service jobs to India, total exports from U.S. companies to India have grown from $2.5 billion in 1990 to $4.1 billion in 2002. What goes around comes around, and also benefits Americans.

    Consider one of the newest products to be outsourced to India: animation. Yes, a lot of your Saturday morning cartoons are drawn by Indian animators like JadooWorks, founded three years ago here in Bangalore. India, though, did not take these basic animation jobs from Americans. For 20 years they had been outsourced by U.S. movie companies, first to Japan and then to the Philippines, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The sophisticated, and more lucrative, preproduction, finishing and marketing of the animated films, though, always remained in America. Indian animation companies took the business away from the other Asians by proving to be more adept at both the hand-drawing of characters and the digital painting of each frame by computer at a lower price.

    Indian artists had two advantages, explained Ashish Kulkarni, C.O.O. of JadooWorks. "They spoke English, so they could take instruction from the American directors easily, and they were comfortable doing coloring digitally." India has an abundance of traditional artists, who were able to make the transition easily to computerized digital painting. Most of these artists are the children of Hindu temple sculptors and painters.

    Explained Mr. Kulkarni: "We train them to transform their traditional skills to animation in a digital format." But to keep up their traditional Indian painting skills, JadooWorks has a room set aside because the two skills reinforce each other. In short, thanks to globalization, a whole new generation of Indian traditional artists can keep up their craft rather than drive taxis to earn a living.

    But here's where the story really gets interesting. JadooWorks has decided to produce its own animated epic about the childhood of Krishna. To write the script, though, it wanted the best storyteller it could find and outsourced the project to an Emmy Award-winning U.S. animation writer, Jeffrey Scott for an Indian epic!

    "We are also doing all the voices with American actors in Los Angeles," says Mr. Kulkarni. And the music is being written in London. JadooWorks also creates computer games for the global market but outsources all the design concepts to U.S. and British game designers. All the computers and animation software at JadooWorks have also been imported from America (H.P. and I.B.M.) or Canada, and half the staff walk around in American-branded clothing.

    "It's unfair that you want all your products marketed globally," argues Mr. Kulkarni, "but you don't want any jobs to go."

    He's right. Which is why we must design the right public policies to keep America competitive in an increasingly networked world, where every company Indian or American will seek to assemble the best skills from around the globe. And we must cushion those Americans hurt by the outsourcing of their jobs. But let's not be stupid and just start throwing up protectionist walls, in reaction to what seems to be happening on the surface. Because beneath the surface, what's going around is also coming around. Even an Indian cartoon company isn't just taking American jobs, it's also making them.

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