Comment 27113

By Richard Wright (anonymous) | Posted October 31, 2008 at 15:16:38

In response to one of A. Smith's points of sending jobs to third world countries to lift them out of poverty, while it sounds good, that's not the reality. Simply look at the Nikes' sweat jobs that Oprah eventually disowned. Or Kathy Lee's discovery that her clothing lines were created essentially by child slave labour. Please obtain the well-researched documentary "The Corporation" and see some other examples of how workers producing North American goods labour in parts of China and third world countries with poor wages, no benefits, few rights and, in some cases, dangerous working conditions. (China of course is no longer a third world country having the world's largest army, is slated to be the biggest economy in the world by 2026, and recently conducted its third manned space flight.) So shipping jobs to China isn't altruistic, believe me.

Corporations did make noises initially about off-shoring jobs as a means of giving a helping hand to third world nations. Unfortunately, it was more about cheap labour delivering staggering profits, no workers' rights to deal with, few (if any) environmental laws and a disposable work force.

While I may sound like a critic for the NDP at times, I feel there is little difference between any of the parties today. They all lie like rugs, are more concerned about obtaining power and access to the public trough than representing citizens, and are narcissistic, myopic and out of touch with their citizenry and the problems we face. I simply seek the fairness that used to exist before greed became the new God. In fact, I worked for one of the biggest corporations in the world for decades but it was a benevolent corporation at the time. It had the fairest programs, was generous to its employees and genuinely (through example-after-example) showed it cared about our welfare. We had company-developed and enshrined rights and God help the manager who contravened them. We were encouraged to volunteer in our communities; it shared some of its wealth with worthy causes, and supported the arts and community outreach programs. It earned amazing loyalty from its employees, we fell over each other to bring our ideas and innovations to the company and when the going got tough, our pride in our company meant we were there for it. When I say it was large, we had approximately 400,000 people worldwide. When fairness is practiced and prosperity is shared, the "Corporation," whether it be a multi-national or local, is an excellent venue and everyone does well. When it shares its prosperity only with its CEOs, execs and shareholders there is trouble ahead.

One other point, if I may. There can be no continuing collective prosperity in a country where jobs are converted to part-time, there are no benefits paid, no opportunity for advancement, and no access to credit. For instance, part-time workers cannot get mortgages for houses, bank loans for cars or other credit. They are simply preyed upon by money lenders (pay-day loans) and others charging obscene interest rates and can rarely rise above their povert. When someone has to work at two or three jobs with the inherent travel involved, there is no time to volunteer in the community, properly raise children and look after elderly family members. Exhaustion is the rule and depression is often a symptom that rears its head. So part-time is not the way to go. And consider Harper bleating there were 107,000 jobs created within the last few months. He didn't mention that 90 percent were part-time. Imagine the inevitability of this - an entire workforce of part-time workers who can't buy houses or big ticket items.

There is nothing wrong with protectionism since it is protecting citizens. We had a higher standard of living before free trade was ushered in by Mr. Mulroney when he wasn't busy accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from questionable sources. And the mother lode of free trade, "Globalization" has always been more about exploitation and obscene profits for the rich than it has been about helping workers in third world countries. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Richard Wright
Niagara on the Lake, ON

Permalink | Context

Events Calendar

There are no upcoming events right now.
Why not post one?

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools