THINK LOCALLY LIVE LOCALLY
By: Bob Strodtbeck
At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in England, Britain attempted to control its manufacturing advantage by prohibiting exportation of machinery as well as the emigration of skilled workers. It is not unusual for those with economic or political advantages to attempt to protect them from competition.
So why are modern "American" corporate industries so eager to establish free trade policies for this country. Are these companies really so enamored with market competition that they are willing to suject themselves to competition with companies from other countries--especially those who hold certain economic advantages in labor costs and government support? This question becomes even
more intriguing when one considers that the types of exports America sends are useful for the manufacturing process and its imports tend to be manufactured consumer goods.
Since technology has become easy to copy and transfer, it is fruitless to hold a competitive edge by secluding discoveries. Consequently corporations compete for investment dollars by proving profitability and profitability is expanded by shaving costs or increasing efficiency. Labor costs are among the variables corporations seek to shave--and shaving those costs are an utmost priority regardless of who might be damaged.
The goal of the corporate executive, after all, is to improve the standing of his company. He can’t be hindered by sentiments for those who are sustaining families and communities with wages his company pays. It does not matter to corporate executive if he pays wages to laborers in Pennsylvania or in Bombay, India. What matters is which wage earner helps him to expand company profits.
Of course such a motivation does not allow room for patriotism, either. None other than Phillip Condit, the CEO of Boeing which has contracts with the American government to provide it with many of its military aircraft, once said, "I believe we are moving toward an era of global markets and global companies. I think it is advantageous that your workforce, your executive corps, reflect that. I would expect the nationalities of our executives to be considerably broader."
Spoken more succinctly by Richard Darman, former budget director for the current president’s father and currently a partner and senior advisor with The Carlyle Group--a huge beneficiary of government contracts--regarding complaints that foreign manufactures were costing Americans their jobs, "If our guys can't hack it, let 'em go."
Such are the sentiments of people who control the wealth that can influence Washington policy makers. Therefore, they are the ideas that drive the current political system and help to shape the business environment of the nation.
If this type of thinking is to be challenged, those who have broken from the two party system need face the realization that, although restoring moral integrity to the nation and its leaders is a noble cause, political movements rise and fall by generating support from people who have a financial interest in public policy initiatives. Such a reasonable challenge can be mounted through local and state governments if officials defend the authority of their offices from federal encroachment to protect, rather than regulate and tax, locally owned businesses from unfair businesses from national and international conglomerates.
Local businesses that are dependent upon their immediate communities for labor and clientele are going to be much more mindful of the quality of their neighbors and of the items that they can afford. They have vested interests in the state of families that they depend upon for labor pools as well as for customer base. Locally owned businesses must prove to be reliable employers in relatively closed labor markets if they are going to get the best employees that will enhance their businesses’ services and reputation. In short, locally owned businesses do not have the luxury of expanding its profits by shaving labor costs by moving operations to other countries.
The economic and political vitality of a community is no more secure than is the stability and success of its businesses and their employees. Local businesses and employees are interdependent and neither can exist without the other. The alternative to a stable local business foundation is to rely on those who would abandon local workers for the sake of expanding profits with sweat labor halfway around the world.
What good is that to us?
"Published originally at EtherZone.com :
We can come together here to share ideas on how we can make this idea work, where a local community on a county level produces most if not ALL of their basic needs. You can choose to do it alone, with your family or make it work for your community. We need to change our raw materials from dead-hydrocarbon sources to a living-carbohydrate sources (HEMP). You will be amazed to see how many thousands of everyday used products are made from this bountiful raw material resource.....
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