Comment 27096

By Rusty (registered) - website | Posted October 30, 2008 at 09:29:43

Hi g,

Well, first of all, it’s not a thesis, it’s a blog :) Scribbed down during my coffee break… And, yes, it is a little muddled. I am not making any specific points, just forwarding along some observations I found interesting.

Firstly – that we are evolving quickly into a warehouse economy. Very soon we won’t make any finished goods anymore – what does this mean for our country? What does it mean for those folks who are asked to make our stuff abroad, for low wages?

Secondly – that it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way, that, according to the second letter writer, we CAN make things for ourselves if we wish.

I was brought up with a Thatcherite (read ‘free market’) mindset. I believed that the market should be left to evolve. In the UK (where I grew up), Thatcher sat back while manufacturing jobs went elsewhere. I figured this was OK because the UK could then take over the knowledge based economy, this was all part of the evolution of capitalism… Crappy jobs were done by new immigrants, whose kids went to school and handed over those same crappy jobs to the next wave of new immigrants. 3rd world countries made our shirts and, over time, would pass on those duties to the next 3rd world country down the line, and so on. I reasoned that the free market would just flush all this out and it would somehow make sense in the end. But now, with the credit crunch upon us, we can see that government has more of a role in constructing how our economy should evolve. Perhaps our government should ensure that manufacturing jobs remain within our borders…I think we are all learning a little bit on the fly here – we’ve never been here before.

As for discretionary spending, I meant only to say that many of us don’t practice this because we can’t afford to, or because we’re not informed enough. The buy local movement is emerging now, which is great, but we (I) still get our kids party toys from WalMart, without asking where they’re made. The second letter writer’s point is a good one – if we can’t provide ‘good’ jobs for people then people cannot afford to be discretionary, and we can’t be responsible global citizens.

Underpinning all this is the knowledge that the model of capitalism that we practice today makes the rich richer and the poor poorer, which is a bad thing for everyone. My final comment is simply an observation of, I don’t quite know what all this means or where it’s taking us, but my sense is it’s not anywhere good.

Hope this clarifies it a little. Feel free to refute (or agree!) with any of my points.



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