I rarely find local articles to write about but while checking the commentary on yesterday’s football game I found this article. As someone a lot closer to the global economy than most in Nebraska (due to my employment in Silicon Valley) I find it interesting (and sad) that now Nebraskans are learning about outsourcing. The Great Plains states have actually done reasonably well in this recession, partly because the economy is based more on the highly protected (and subsidized) agriculture economy than the global goods economy. There was even a bit of gloating about how the coastal states were suffering while the “heartland” was chugging along (get rid of trade barriers on crops and see what happens, folks) because of its values and prudence.
Of the 330 people who lost their jobs I will bet the vast majority will vote for the Repugs. For decades now the Repugs have fooled working class people into thinking their interests align with the robber barons and the so-called soon-to-be-rich (a great myth) should support the same policies the actual rich want. Yes, folks in DeWitt Nebraska who used to make $13.50 an hour I’m sure tax cuts for people who make more in a year than you will in your entire life is the right policy for you. After all one way to avoid taxes is to have no income so maybe you went end up with a lower tax rate than Mittwit. I doubt many of those workers understand “carried interest” and how it’s obscene that Mittwit pays a lower tax rate than you did when you had a job and with the Ryan plan will now pay essentially 0%. Yep, tax cuts are really going to help you.
Now since Dumbya took over we’ve had the tax cuts for the rich and simultaneously record amounts of outsourcing and falling incomes in the U.S. Yep, there is a correlation, but exactly the opposite that you think you voted for. The only job creation the Repugs are doing is in Shenzhen.
Outsourcing doesn’t just happen. And it doesn’t just happen because of cheap Chinese labor. Yet more tax polices of the Repugs exempt all the profits that will be “made” in Shenzhen, after Vise-Grips cooks the books. Dozens of policies actively encourage outsourcing and if you folks would read about it instead of just parroting Repug propaganda you might get it.
I worked for a very successful U.S. company in a senior technical position. My job was basically to teach newbie Chinese programmers how to actually do their job and they were eager to learn. I used to teach this same lesson to young U.S. kids. I felt guilty about it, but couldn’t do anything about it and was hardly going to quit my job in protest (so I admit to being an enabler for the outsourcing). My company was making huge profits and piling up so much cash on its books it was afraid of becoming a takeover target. It was actually spending almost as much money as made sense to fuel its internal growth so it mostly took all that excess cash and bought its own stock – boy, that created a lot of jobs.
Interestingly for higher skill tech workers in China their wages are no so high my company was expanding in India. In my career I worked, here, with a lot of people from India. They were fine and skilled people, but they came here for good jobs. I’ve had some more recent contact with people actually still India, and, frankly, have a much lower opinion than I do toward Chinese workers. Strangely China is a conservative country with tradition of honor, but in India fake degrees, false claims on resumes, and dishonest work practices are all too common. But they’re cheap and U.S. companies are a bit nervous that the capable (and dictatorial) Chinese government could turn on a dime again and change policies and screw U.S. companies whereas the incompetent and ineffective Indian government can be controlled the same way business controls the U.S. government. So India is safer to “invest” than China, and either is better than DeWitt, Nebraska.
In the fictional news of The Newsroom Will remarked that tea baggers love America but hate Americans – how true and how sad. But business loves American consumers but hates American workers. Exactly who, Rubbermaid, do you think will now have the money, in DeWitt, to buy Vise-Grip products?
It’s probably just urban legend, esp. as I can’t find a citation, but I recall the story where Henry Ford decided to raise the wage of his workers to $5/day. His rich friends were very critical, but Ford defended the decision that now his workers could afford a Model-T. The plutocrats laughed and told Henry he couldn’t just sell product to his own workers, and tricky old Henry supposed said, “no, but you’ll now have to raise the wage of your workers and they’ll buy my cars.” You see that’s the whole point, every dollar of wage (at least for workers) becomes some other businessman’s sales. So U.S. business thinks they can put their wage dollars into China yet someone still have Americans buy their products at the same prices and then increase profits. But that doesn’t add up, no wages, no purchases. We tried financing consumers through debt and crashed the economy, so now what, folks?
So now a small town in Nebraska experiences capitalism first-hand, not just as a campaign slogan. But I don’t expect them to vote for Kerrey instead of tea bagger Deb, who will tell them all about rugged individualism and no debt and self-sufficiency and tax cuts for “job creators” – fools! Let’s see all those self-made workers now “build it” without any help.