Bob's Links and Rants

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Sunday, January 18, 2004

Giant Sucking Sound
Turning down a $182.6 million bribe, Electrolux Corporation announced that it will close its Greenville, Michigan plant next year, moving the 2700 west Michigan jobs to Mexico.

The company estimates wages in Mexico are 10 times less expensive than the $13 to $15 an hour plus benefits it pays its Greenville workers.

The Free Press found some MIT economist to spout the usual cheap-labor-conservative line:

MIT economist Michael Greenstone said traditional manufacturing job skills won't be able to support a family in the future.

"The employment growth and the wage growth is not going to be there," Greenstone said. "If you step back from it, this particular plant reflects what are very broad forces that are difficult to reverse unless people are willing to work for wages that won't support their families. No one is willing to do that."

There are ways to reverse those "broad forces." Boycotts. Tariffs. Tearing up destructive "free trade" agreements like NAFTA and the WTO, and not signing any new ones. Make the economy local, diverse, and broad. The wealthy of the world have taken advantage of instant communication, (artificially and temporarily) cheap transit costs, and abundant corrupt politicians to put all of the world's people into a bitter and unnecessary competition with each other. It has cost them their economic independence.