Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Made in China" = Social Injustice

Over the past several years it has become painfully obvious that almost everything one purchases in the United States is either made in China, Mexico or Korea. One is hard pressed to find any major consumer article which is not manufactured in part or entirely in one of these three. All have in common the lack of basic worker's rights, environmental protection and adequate levels of financial remuneration for labor. The retail cost of many items in the United States is thus being kept artificially low by disadvantaging the world's poor. In the process of course, millions of American's have lost the manufacturing jobs which once provided them with a middle class standard of living. It is impossible for Americans or anyone else in the “developed” world to compete with what is essentially slave labor.

These developments are directly traceable to “free-trade” (read unfair trade) agreements which now artificially support a global economy pitting an extremely small number of “haves” against a large number of “have-nots.” If it were impossible for multinational American corporations to outsource/off-shore labor and manufacturing costs without incurring a steep tax when importing their products back into the US, the present unjust arrangement would cease. The elite political class has been induced to play along of course because of the extraordinarily large campaign contributions made on behalf of multinational corporations and their lobbyists. Tragically both political parties willingly cooperate.

The present system is inherently unjust and all people of good will should ban together to change what has become a global form of social/economic Darwinism (survival of the ruthless). Only a preciously small elite oligarchy of corporate internationalists benefit financially from the present morally illicit global economic system. In the interim, the once great American manufacturing base has been decimated, high-tech industry is increasingly being transferred to India and China and fewer and fewer people in the United States are able to project an adequate level of subsistence beyond the present generation.

Carried to its logical conclusion, America will rapidly complete its descent into “third-world” status. No nation which is incapable of providing its own goods (not just services) can survive for long. Most of our citizens who have lost manufacturing jobs have replaced them with lower paying “service” sector employment. Eventually, there will be few left in the US to pay for the plethora of foreign made imports especially those of a more costly nature. By then of course the corporate internationalists can simply relocate to other more affluent developed nations and markets, leaving the vast majority of Americans to fend for themselves.

Now more than ever before, it is necessary for all people of good will to think clearly about the future and to ban together in acts of social justice in an attempt to alter unfair and defective social/economic structures. The 2008 presidential election run-up is an ideal time in which to begin.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert