I just received a "joke" email from my Aunt today. Here is the "joke" if you want to read it: "Joe Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN) for 6 am. While his coffeepot (MADE IN CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG). He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE IN SINGAPORE) and tennis shoes (MADE IN KOREA). After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA) he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN MEXICO) to see how much he could spend today. After setting his
watch (MADE IN TAIWAN) to the radio (MADE IN INDIA) he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY) filled it with gas (FROM SAUDI ARABIA) and continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN JOB. At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day checking his computer (MADE IN MALAYSIA), Joe decided to relax for a while. He put on his sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL) poured himself a glass of wine (MADE IN FRANCE) and turned on his television (MADE IN INDONESIA), and then wondered why he can't find a good paying job in AMERICA."
I love my Aunt, I really do but when she forwards me emails like this, I have to shake my head. I don't think she actually reads them, she just forwards them; why do I think this? Because my Aunt is a really smart lady and if she did read these, she would delete them and shake her head.
Let me break this email down for my loyal readers out there (all four of you, LOL). First, let's ask the question of why all these things are made overseas. My first point is American labor is too expensive so any company that wants to make any real profits is going to move their manufacturing overseas where the labor is cheaper. Before you run out and condemn the evil companies, let's go a bit deeper. An American manufacturing company has to show a profit in order to pay its shareholders. If shareholders do not make money on their investments they will sell their shares. If too many investors sell their shares, the stock price goes down and guess what happens...the company ends up in Washington pleading for a bailout.
People are too quick to condemn the CEOs (yes, I know at least some of our current predicament is the result of crooked or incompetent CEOs) without looking at the whole picture. Who are the shareholders of these companies; they are everyday people like you and me. If you are anywhere near the television, newspaper, internet you already know the stock market is pretty much in a shambles because nervous investors keep selling off their shares trying to cut their losses. So companies move their operations overseas desperately trying to stay solvent and profitable; they have a better chance over there because labor overseas is about .20 cents a day vice the $8 to $20 an hour they pay over here in non-union plants. In union plants the labor costs skyrocket up to anywhere between $30 to $100 an hour. So, with that knowledge, how can you blame the company for trying to stay profitable and pay their shareholders in order to keep the stock market afloat?
SO let's go even deeper into this email. The government and the people have been griping for years about companies outsourcing jobs overseas. So, what are they doing about it to stem the tide? They are doing very little, it seems; in 2004, the Thomas-Voinovich Amendment which was contained in the omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004, imposed a temporary and limited ban (the law contained a one-year sunset clause) on offshore outsourcing in certain federal agency contracts. That's all folks; that is all that was done by the Republican Majority in Congress to stem the tide of outsourcing jobs overseas.
Then, just last year (AFTER the Democratic takeover), Representative Jason Altmire (a DEMOCRAT Representative from Pennsylvania) introduced the Call Center Consumer’s Right to Know Act. What this act would do is require each employee of a call center to identify the location of the center to individuals located in the United States who have called or received a call from the center. Then Peter J. Visclosky (another DEMOCRAT Representative from Indiana) sponsored the Fighting for American Jobs Act of 2007. What this act would do is "prohibit businesses that lay off a greater percentage of their U.S. workers than workers in other countries from receiving any federal assistance. In particular, the bill includes provisions requiring businesses to report annually to any federal department or agency from which it receives financial assistance." Got that kids; this act keeps businesses that push the majority of their jobs overseas from getting any federal money.
Seems the BIG BAD DEMOCRATS have been the ones fighting for American jobs. The GOP has done squat to fight for American jobs but the majority of Americans seem to like the right-wing "conservative" politicians...is it "because my pastor told me so"? Let's go a little further here; California Governor Ahnold (a REPUBLICAN) has vetoed almost every anti-outsourcing bill that has crossed his desk while in New Jersey, Governor Richard Codey (a DEMOCRAT) signed into law what is considered by many to be one of the toughest anti-outsourcing laws in the country. Gee, yet again the BIG BAD DEMOCRATS are passing laws aimed at keeping jobs here in America while the Right Wing Whacko Party (oh, excuse me, I meant to say the Republican Party) is doing everything they can to let companies outsource jobs!
In a pure business sense, it looks as if the Republicans are trying to keep companies solvent and profitable so they can pay their shareholders and keep Wall Street humming along and it looks like the Democrats are trying to force companies to stay and pay the outrageous labor costs we have bemoaned here and in other blog posts. Wait, do you hear that screeching sound? That is the sound of the brakes being slammed in order to stop this trainwreck and analyze the data objectively. Do any of you right-wingers understand that by supporting Republican politicians, jobs are going to keep going overseas? Oh, so now you say that's good because companies can stay in business and pay shareholders and such, huh? You still hate the Democrats because they are trying to ruin your country? Why, when it has been Dems passing laws and fighting for American jobs to stay right here?
I guess I will never understand the right wing mentality. The Republican Party is on the side of big business while the Democratic Party has always fought for American Labor...but we don't like American Labor because the unions have forced labor costs through the roof making it cost prohibitive to make stuff here in America...but we want the jobs to stay here in America...but we hate the Democrats because they back the unions and American Labor...but we don't want to pay the high prices for goods made in America when the stuff made overseas is cheaper...but we hate the outsourcing of jobs overseas so we vote for the Republicans....but the Democrats are the ones fighting for our jobs...but we can't vote for them because they're anti-Christian, anti-gun and they love the gays...but they are the ones fighting for our jobs...but we can't vote for them because we can't have gay marriage...but the Republicans are against gay marriage so we will vote for them...but they're letting companies move jobs overseas which takes away our jobs...
It's a mad little merry-go-round, isn't it?