Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rebuking Chimpanzee Capitalism (Labor Offshoring)

You're helping to destroy your own country. It's one thing to make patriotic noises on the 4th of July; it's quite another to help to gut the manufacturing base of your homeland. Do you really want the rest of the country to become like Detroit? Because that's where things are headed ~ Geoffrey James, writing for the personal finance website CBS News Money Watch on 6/27/2011... this being the number 9 reason of the Top 10 Reasons Offshoring is Bad For Business.

Free trade is an awesome deal for the American people; and even if it isn't we must bend to the will of the globalizers as an act of charity to the inhabitants of third world countries. So what if we destroy good paying American jobs in the process? The low paid wage slaves in whatever country we outsource our labor to will gladly accept whatever pittance those who run the transnational corporations deign to gift them.

But, more importantly... this "charity" of ours will result in lower priced goods for us! No matter that some workers here will be screwed and our economy will suffer, LOWER PRICED GOODS for the people who still have jobs (people like a certain politically "moderate" individual I've mentioned here before) are what is important. OK, so the plutocrats will pocket the difference between the good wages they used to pay here and the low wages they can get away with paying abroad.... and make a significant amount of money in the process. But don't think about that! Think about the great charity we are doing these unfortunate people! Sure, the wages might be low and the working conditions quite often are horrific, but they should thank us, none the less.

Why should they thank us? I'm guessing it must be because these third world workers are only deserving of low wages and poor working conditions that may lead to their deaths (suicide, collapsing buildings, etc). Does this sound the least bit racist to you? How about if I told you this "Moderate" referred to this type of labor as chimpanzee jobs? Maybe not, as he is also insulting American workers in addition to foreign workers. But I think he'd call the American workers lazy for taking pride in jobs he wants to export to other countries for the benefit of the plutocrats (primarily).

Specifically this "Moderate" asked me why did I "want to chase these chimpanzee jobs that clearly can be done so much more efficiently overseas?". By "efficient" he means more cheaply. MUCH more cheaply. Do NOT tell me that isn't what he meant, because suggesting American workers are less efficient is outright bullplop. No, Mr. Hart, we all know what you meant with your code word "efficient". More "efficient" workers benefit the consumer (in his mind), which is why he then asked me, "Why do you hate the consumer so much?". But this "efficiency" also benefits the plutocrats (and MUCH more so than the consumer, who it ultimately HURTS).

This is why he'll talk up anyone who shares his misguided views on trade, as evidenced by a post he authored on 6/11/2013, titled "Kenyan Activist and Economist James Shikwati, Unplugged"...

Willis Hart (quoting Shikwati): The anti-globalization crusaders could help Africa more if they would advocate for the promotion of free trade and abolition of subsidies in the West. Lift the protective barrier in the developed countries and allow consumers to sample African products. To empower the poor economically, give them a chance to trade. (6/11/2013 AT 9:48pm).

James Shikwati is a Libertarian economist. Willis forgot to mention that. In addition to his wrong-headed views on globalization, Shikwati also says, "As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa's problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn't even notice".

Does that sound absurd? You betcha. But this type of absurdity is par for the course when it comes to Libertarians (regardless of race or nationality). University of Columbia economics professor Jeffrey D. Sachs agrees, calling "Shikwati's criticisms of foreign assistance shockingly misguided and amazingly wrong". Sachs correctly points out that "this happens to be a matter of life and death for millions of people, so getting it wrong has huge consequences".

Absolutely. But Shikwati probably doesn't care if the people of Africa suffer because he has a good job (as an economist). As far as his "activism" goes, I say he's an activist all right, an activist for the plutocrats. And I say this with some degree of confidence... because one of the personality traits Libertarians are known for is selfishness.

Those who worship at the altar of the "great" Ayn Rand are convinced that selfishness is a virtue! This explains why the Hartster strongly identifies with Libertarian economics... and adheres to the Libertarian philosophy of "survival of the fittest and screw the poor because they only have themselves to blame... but we'll use them as slave labor to enrich ourselves and call it charity". You KNOW at least some of them have to be laughing about that!

Harsh? No, I think not. These neoliberals (the true believing ones) delude themselves with fictions of it being charitable of us to export good paying American jobs to impoverished nations, but it's total baloney. I'm not opposed to trade. I am actually a strong supporter of trade. What I oppose is that which we call "free trade", but in reality isn't trade at all. Free trade is actually labor offshoring... The large transnational corporations exploiting the workers of poor countries to line their pockets.

I SUPPORT trading with manufacturers located in other nations. Manufacturers that are homegrown and pay living wages, and not simply huge transnationals that are USING a foreign country to exploit it's workers who are so desperate they will work for a pittance and under horrific conditions. THAT is the real debate. But corporate stooges like James Shikwati misrepresent that argument by LYING about the developed nations having a "protective barrier" that does not allow them to "sample African products".

That is complete nonsense. I'm ALL FOR allowing the importation of "African products". I'm OPPOSED to products that used to be made in America being imported sans tariff from any country where the workers are paid low wages (and thereby destroying America Jobs). Fools like Willis supports this when they present the words of Libertarian economists and say "looky here. Listen to the words of a highly educated person who agrees with me". Especially this Libertarian, who Willis clearly believes has authority to speak on the subject, seeing that he is from Africa. But he parrots the same Libertarian garbage as all the other Libertarian economists. Shikwati is no different then them at all.

It is the greedy "Chimpanzee Capitalism" championed by Libertarians we can blame when factories collapse and workers die (for example). A 6/3/2013 Guardian article says "majority of Bangladesh garment factories vulnerable to collapse". A MAJORITY.

Also, remember the Foxconn suicides? Foxconn is a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company that churns out products for companies like Apple, Dell, HP, Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia, and Sony. They exploit Chinese laborers to enrich themselves. Working conditions got so bad that "employees attempted suicide with fourteen deaths; many after working longer than 72 hours with no breaks".

And the Foxconn example is hardly unique. All around the world workers in developing nations are being exploited by transnational corporations for the benefit of the plutocrats... aided by Libertarian economists and the stooges who wittingly or unwittingly propagate their labor offshoring masquerading as "free trade" bunk. I say it is bad for the economies of both developed and developing nations - and we need tariffs to deal curb this abuse. Tariffs that will protect American jobs and greatly benefit our economy.

The "free traders" warn the result will be higher prices, but this is also largely bunk. Reduced outsourcing means more jobs and more economic activity when those workers spend their wages on goods and services. More economic activity gives us a healthier economy that leads to higher wages for all. The prices of goods may rise a little, but we'll all have more money thanks to the increased economic activity. This would be a TRUE case of a rising tide lifts all boats.

When Conservatives use the phrase it's to justify tax cuts for the wealthy, but tax cuts for the wealthy BENEFIT THE WEALTHY, not the rest of us... just like labor offshoring primarily benefits the wealthy and not the rest of us.

SWTD #165, wDel #29.


  1. I forgot to mention that I'm opposed to subsidies, so I'm in agreement with Shikwati on that one issue. Our corn subsidies (for example) have destroyed poor Mexican farmers, and led to high fructose corn syrup being an ingredient in virtually every processed food available for purchase. And those corn subsidies are also responsible for a lot of the illegal immigration to the US from Mexico. Poor farmers put out of business by cheap subsidized corn can't find work in Mexico's cities... so they migrate here looking for jobs.

  2. The justification is always lower prices, but if people don't have jobs, they don't have money, and can't buy goods no matter how low the price is.

    True, a rising tide lifts all boats. But the "free traders don't care if everyone else's boat sinks as long as their boat continues to rise.

  3. Do you agree that this Shikwati guy that Will quoted lied? I mean, what the hell does he mean when he says we should "lift the protective barrier in the developed countries and allow consumers to sample African products" and that we need to "give them a chance to trade"?

    Even though he is probably one of those who believes we should have no tariffs at all, our tariffs are already incredibly low. The "protective barrier" is practically non-existent. Poor Africans already have the chance this doofus thinks we aren't giving them, as far as "protective barriers" that don't exist go. There are non-tariff barriers regarding trade with (and within) Africa, however.

    An article on the "Good Governance Africa" website points out that it is lack of, and poorly maintained infrastructure (among other problems) that is choking off trade. Although this article mostly concerns trade between African countries (not trade with the US) it makes the point that their trade problems don't have much to do with us (or other "developed" countries)... for example, another "non trade barrier" the article lists as a problem is corruption... the article says "the annual cost incurred on trade due to bribery in Tanzania made up about 18.6% of the value of goods transported across Tanzanian borders".

    None of this is anything we can do much about, especially if we cut off aid to Africa as he suggests. Maybe we could send them some advisers, but their internal problems relating to infrastructure, red tape and corruption has nothing at all to do with our "protective barriers". Nothing at all.

  4. We could send them some advisers to help with that red tape, and some aid to help build and repair their infrastructure (aid this dummy doesn't want). More on that problem from the article I previously linked to...

    Africa's infrastructure deficit... plays a large role in hindering trade. Moving goods efficiently is especially important given the large number of small, land-locked states on the continent. But only 22.7% of African roads are paved... The continent's rail and port infrastructure is also largely crumbling or non-existent.

    Their own infrastructure problems are what is hindering trade, not our "protective barriers". I'm not opposed to trade (even though Mr. Hart erroneous believes I am). I just think our priorities should be to our own people. Then we can help the rest of the world. Don't you think it odd that Conservatives want to eliminate foreign aid, but outsource all our jobs to help foreign workers in less developed nations? Not really, if you know their true agenda. It isn't charity as Will and dmarks claim... it is enriching the plutocrats. I don't know how much more obvious that could be, yet I get accused of jingoism and racism by these idiots for speaking against free trade (or I did before I was banned).

  5. Shikwati probably believes what he says. I wouldn't say he is lying. I just believe he is wrong. His concern is profit, not people.

  6. Then he's got to be willfully ignorant Jerry, and I think that (at some point, at least) willful ignorance becomes a form of lying. He's got to be aware of these other impediments to trade I listed (in my comments above), and he's got to be aware that our tariffs are already low. Is he talking about the tariffs of other developed countries? There are other developed countries who have tariffs that aren't a low as ours (I'm pretty sure), so I suppose that's possible. You're right though that many of these Libertarians truly believe their garbage (like Will). And it's hard to look into someone's heart and know what they truly believe (of course).


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