RE: SLAVE labor? Just a darn minute... (a few replies)

Subject: RE: SLAVE labor? Just a darn minute... (a few replies)
From: "Thomas Eagles" <tekwriter -at- sympatico -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2002 08:23:36 -0400


> -----Original Message-----
> From: dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com [mailto:dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com]
> Subject: Re: SLAVE labor? Just a darn minute... (a few replies)
>
>
> Thomas Eagles wrote:
> >
> > ...If [using] the least expensive resources means that
> highly skilled
> > people...are displaced by less skilled people just because they are
> > cheaper...then that is not only *wrong* but
> > *evil.* ...isn't [greed] one of the seven deadly sins?
>
> Am I evil for buying software that costs less because the
> programmers live overseas, even though they're paid at an
> excellent rate for their locale?
>
> (I don't even know where to start on your point that
> programmers in other countries are "less skilled" than
> Americans--good grief.)

<SIGH> Sarcasm and using an absurd example don't invalidate my point.
Software, no matter where it is made, is worthy of being purchased if it
is better than that produced by someone else. However, if the company
that made the better software did so with cheap labour, rather than the
workers who produced earlier versions of it in North America, then that
is something I'd suggest we'd be wise to knock on the head. If you think
it's a good idea to let jobs flow out to whichever country has
adequately skilled labour at the cheapest possible rates, then I'd
suggest you might be better off working in the accounting department at
WorldCom. As for less skilled/more skilled in the 3rd World VS USA,
well... DUH! If they had an equally skilled workforce, they wouldn't be
3rd World, would they?

> > > ...it's no worse than--indeed no different from--my own family's
> > > habit of shopping at the discount grocery store across
> town rather
> > > than the upscale markets closer to home.
> >
> > Oh, but it is different. Competing for your family's dollar still
> > keeps those dollars in your city or state or country.
>
> That's just the point: Should I protect Portland? That
> means I shouldn't eat at a restaurant in the suburbs, right?
> I can buy cars and bicycles made in Oregon, but they're
> pretty expensive--am I betraying my state by buying a Ford or
> Chevy? Am I betraying my country by owning a Honda?

Since the Japanese are notoriously against buying North American-built
cars, I'd say that buying Japanese-built cars IS a betrayal of America.
But that's just me. As for buying a bike made locally vs buying one made
in a larger (cheaper) factory in a neighbouring town, I'd say it's got
to depend on which bike suits your needs and conscience better. Neither
is bad, since both are American-made by properly paid workers.

> But millions of Hondas are made in America, and Detroit uses
> parts from all over the world.
>
> It's ludicrous to ignore the fact of a global economy.

Agreed. It's certainly not black-and-white when it comes to buying
foreign-made products. Some Honda's are ASSEMBLED in the USA. Some
engines for North American cars are MADE in Japan. The line blurs. I
don't think I'm naïve or anti-globalization just because I think it's a
bad thing to reward companies that piss jobs out of our hemisphere to
another with cheaper labour. What is the big deal about that? Just
remember when you consider buying products entirely made by cheap labour
(like Nike shoes, for example) that you are rewarding those companies
for closing American factories and opening them in Indonesia (or
wherever).

TTFN.

Tom


>_______ >-------> Thomas Eagles >----------+
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