Life is Belief & Struggle - Ahmed Shawqi

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Economic Traitors

I voted against NAFTA. I thought it was a bad idea then, and nothing I have learned since, has made me change my mind. The innate inequalities between US and Canada were too vast. A higher standard of taxation, differing minimum wages, pollution controls, health and safety, costs of operating, standard benefits were literally worlds apart. I do not have enough hands to count all the people I knew who lost their decent jobs to companies relocating their manufacturing to the United States. Furniture, cabinetry makers, small appliances, electronics, shoes, clothing, food and auto industries were either decimated or hit hard in Canada. Then came, the expansion of NAFTA with the entry of Mexico, and the nightmare just rolled on.

Many of those workers never found replacement jobs that provided even close to the same standard of living. Many of those workers did ‘retrain’ but their age and educational level often worked against them. It’s amazing what the impact 3-4 years of low wage retail sector employment and accumulative debt will do to your financial future. The 90’s was all about being turning Canada into a technical tech hub so we trained our young to be techies since we had destroyed our manufacturing sector. Then came 2000’s and so began the rapid outsourcing of white collar and technical professionals. 

Everyone tells you globalization is here to stay. You cannot turn back the tide. It’s a lie but I understand whose interest it is in to prompt this myth and let me give you a hint; it is not ‘we the people’.

Rarely do we get a glimpse inside the modern day robber barons, but this video originally posted on Facebook gives us a glimpse of life behind the corporate veil. The video begins with a Carrier official addressing their workers. “It became clear that the best way to stay competitive, and protect the business for the long-term is to move production from our facility in Indianapolis to Monterey, Mexico.” No doubt notice was given in order for the company to be in compliance with the WARN ACT.

The Carrier official entreats the crowd to understand, it’s not personal, but the business, the thing must be protected at all costs. Their lives and fate are meaningless outside this Borg. This thing is what must be protected at all costs.

Carrier indianapolis plant is closing 2017
Posted by LaKeisha Austin on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

There is an act of irony here. Carrier is relocating to Mexico to produce a product for re-sale in the United States, a product, a thing, that these very American workers may not be able to purchase in the foreseeable future. Furthermore, Carrier was granted a US$5.1 million 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit in order to expend its Indianapolis operations. In a just state, this should be repaid in full with interest before it leaves the US. Instead, it’s ‘we the people’ who have underwritten the profit and shareholder value for this crony capitalist. Frankly, I would lose no sleep if the Carrier workers started to tar and feather these economic traders. Why any economic traitor should be allowed the safety and security of the Nation state at the expense of ‘we the people’. I never thought I would quote Pat Buchanan but he put it most succinctly, "Globalization is the economic treason that dare not speak its name."

There is a solution. A system of tariffs based on the equalization of wages, workers and human rights, subsidizations, health care, pensions, environment and health and safety standards for the importation of products made in countries who have no or lower standards than our own would go a long way to protect ‘we the people’. The only role for the nation state in the modern era is to protect and promote the well-being of ‘we, the people’. If the nation state does not protect ‘we the people’ then the Nation betrayed the social contract.

As for me, since adding shareholder value has become an all-encompassing pre-occupation with our business leaders, I am waiting for the day wherein, Boards all over the corporate world, recognize CEO’s can be outsourced to China, and a Chinese CEO can be had for USD$270,000 instead of millions.

Now that’s real shareholder value.

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