Corporate interests are trying to reduce overhead to wages, unions, taxes, safety and health regulations, and a range of other costs. They actively do so in the US through lobbying politicians and the use of legal means. Each corporation thinks it wins in this manner, but in reality it is destroying what it stands for.
The cost of products increases the less you make of them. Hence only mass-production yields the better profit margin. So when you sell product, the more you make of an actually good product (or one that is in demand) the lower the cost per item. Hence you want a lot of (middle class) citizens with enough money to spend to buy a range of products. That keeps life for everyone a lot cheaper.
The US can’t compete with China, period, ever. The US will never have anywhere the low wages of China. People in China make one tenth of what they make in the US. You can not ever evolve to a similar situation, and out-save domestic costs towards a China, Bangladesh, India. Yes they get smarter every year too, so the only way to out-compete the rest of humanity is to get smarter, get connected, technologize faster. Acceptance of modernity is what made the west and the US big. Denial of it now keeps corporate elites big.
Outsourcing now saves the west billions in labour costs. That money is not returning to these same people. That isn’t bad in part – the rich countries are in effect ‘giving’ some money to poorer countries to do some work. Unfortunately it is incredibly expensive in transport costs. It is exploitative and polluting. But it won’t last. Very soon automated systems will get better an cheaper. This will happen gradually and incrementally but it will explode into the market in short and painful readjustments. In a manner of years automation and robotization will outcompete even low wage laborers in China, India and anywhere else. Then these countries will have trade deficits and labor disputes and riots. As well.
We are a democracy. Democracy won’t go away. You can try to push it in a corner like a sleepy lion but it will wake up and people will at some point get angry. Corporations who use dirty tricks, dirty procedures and dirty politics risk doing so at their peril. It may appear sexy to cage the stupid voters and whip the socialism out of their hides, but at some point they will rise up and take back power. Or if you are not careful they will rise up and come after you. You think it can’t happen?
Oil is running out. Fuck media idiots who claim it isn’t so, these idiots belong in a padded cell. This is markets, supply and demand. Coal is no alternative because we cant run our industrial societies on coal. The US has reserves of oil – sure, a few months worth. What the US and EU need it scrapes together from places all over the world. Running a significant trade imbalance.
The corporate sector and conservative world can do its short term-oriented thing when it comes to climate change, but it can’t do so for much longer. Climate change will have visible, distressing and severe bite very soon. And when it does, voters will be out on the streets blaming. If you lobby and argueagainst climate change, there will soon be some kind of incident or series of incidents galvanizing public concern. And then they will start asking questions. “Why didn’t we know? Why did They lie to us… Who can we blame?” and as a lobbyist against global warming, pollution issues, conservation, wildlife and biodiversity protection, sustainability… you might find yourself in a court room or headed for a prison in a few short years. Or worse, they might take your money.
New technologies are becoming better at exposing lies and wrongs, better at depicting them. What is unthinkable now might be routine and boring in five years. Do you want to risk to be exposed by newly emerging media in the next few years? Because chances are you will be blindsided severely.
We all have to stop where this is going. Everyday life may be somewhat placid right now but it won’t be for much longer. We are sailing into a stormy sea. The future will be more volatile. So what are corporations – who want to save money now – to do?
This is America. People do whatever the fuck they feel like doing, you got a problem with that? Because they have a right to. And because they have guns and no one can fucking stop them. As a result, this country has one of the worst economies in the world. When it gets down to it—we’re talking trade balances here—once we’ve brain-drained all our technology into other countries, once things have evened out, they’re making cars in Bolivia and microwaves in Tadzhikistan and selling them here—once our edge in natural resources has been made irrelevant by giant Hong Kong ships and dirigibles that can ship North Dakota all the way to New Zealand for a nickel—once the Invisible Hand has taken all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani bricklayer would consider to be prosperity—
The World is Flat
Hot Flat and Crowded
The Lights In The Tunnel