Friday, May 27, 2011

U.S. – Cheap Labor for the World

Slumming in the U.S. is fast becoming a business model for some European countries, and they often exhibit labor practices here that they would never think of doing at home. So move over China - U.S. labor costs may be a little higher, but the U.S. offers stronger intellectual property protections and far fewer strikes than in China.

"America as the beacon for the workers of the world? No more. If anything, our relationship with Europe has become a latter-day version of the one that characterized the years leading up to the Civil War, when our Southern states provided cheap, slave-produced cotton. . . Once again, we're where Europe comes to slum - in the low-wage factories of the South and the run-down houses of South Los Angeles. . . These companies increasingly come to America because labor is cheap and workers have no rights."

Article in the Los Angeles Times, May 15, 2011:

Information from articles like above and other data sources (such as the book The Spirit Level) illustrate how when we think we are #1 on top of our world hierarchy, we are clueless to what is obvious to everyone else.

The United States has many wonderful qualities, but we also have many problems that can't be solved until we let go of our top-of-the hierarchy limited and unrealistic view of ourselves in our world, and stop allowing people who want to build hierarchies to continue to make decisions that affect our wealth distribution and workplaces.