Re: Globalization vs exploitation

Subject: Re: Globalization vs exploitation
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- oddpost -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2003 14:56:49 -0800 (PST)


When did you ever come to think that anyone has a right in international trade, or business in general, or in life for a "level playing field?"

In many fields, the only way we can be competitive is through productivity gains and various efficiencies. As the article cited by Eric Dunn said quite well, there are many examples of jobs that were sent offshore only to come back again because of difficulties in the third world environment.

I spent much of this afternoon in a planning session for a series of meetings we are going to attempt to have in the Dallas/Ft Worth area next Spring. Our topic will be to determine as a metropolitan area how we can best create the kinds of conditions that will attract business and skilled workers throughout the coming years. Fortunately, I have thus far been able to "sell" this idea to some folks that are now committed to helping me pull it off.

My thesis is simply that we cannot simply complain about jobs being sent offshore--we must affirmatively create conditions that will make the advantages of keeping the jobs local so apparent that sending them offshore becomes more trouble than they are worth.

Meanwhile, it is precisely the conditions created by these offshored jobs which will help those countries develop and conditions for their workers get better. We are not in a position to influence these things directly--and every time we try we simply fall farther behind various of our competitors in the world.

If you wish to see the disincentives to progress run amuck, just ask anyone in business in Germany today how difficult it is to start a business or to expand one there. Western Europe in general is not competitive *because of the costs of labor including all their benefits.*

In fact, when we compare American labor costs with Western European costs, again the "playing field is not level"--and it is *our* field which is below *theirs.*

But, somehow, I don't hear a chorus of complaints from you or others with what I view as a rather simplistic understanding of economics on *that* playing field inequity.

I do not mean to be condescending--our citizens are somewhat woefully uneducated in economic matters. That is what often lets the various demagogic politicians play upon the ignorance of the majority to attract votes even though if the politicians involved are honest at all they know they can do nothing about the problems they decry.




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