Constructive gadfly
Published on July 26, 2008 By stevendedalus In Politics

 In the beginning there was labor in order to survive. Later there were those who could not withstand back-breaking work and soon forged weaponry to control others to do the work for them. Out of this forced labor grew primeval civilization—the rule of men—subjugating the powerless to its bidding through the division of labor from which sprang the few with talent and skills developing a hierarchy of labor that increased productivity and its own limited stature though still under the thuggery of the powerful who still regarded labor as machinery requiring limited maintenance but no human value.

There is still vestiges of this in today’s global economy even to the extent of hoodwinking the illegal crossing of our own borders in order to create an over supply of cheap, unskilled labor. As early as the ’30s the US began to import Arabian oil and strategically, except for WWII, proceeded to abandon untapped domestic oil reserves deemed uncompetitive. Even in the ’70s when OPEC balked and quadrupled its price per barrel, it was not sufficient incentive for domestic oil to compete. The already low labor costs of southern state factories were not enough to prevent profiteers—who still regard the rule of law secondary to the rule of men—from going abroad to search for the lowest denominator of labor bereft of human value.

 

  

Copyright © 2008 Richard R. Kennedy All rights reserved. Revised: July 26,  2008.

http://stevendedalus.joeuser.com


Comments (Page 1)
on Jul 28, 2008

It's as simple as this:

 American drilling crews = expensive

Middle-Eastern drilling crews = cheap

US laws, regulations, safety measures, red tape, environmentalists, lobbyists = expensive

Middle East regulations, safety measures, environmentalists = near or non-existent

Why do so many American blame the oil companies for maximizing profits by taking the paths of least resistance? This would be like asking your boss to please give you a pay cut because I make more than my neighbors. Sure, hate the price of gas, make sure the price is fair, and find alternatives, let’s do something about it, but why hate the oil company for doing what anyone with a sixth grade education would do, buy cheap sell high. Everyone takes advantage of cheap labor wherever they can.

on Jul 31, 2008
Everyone takes advantage of cheap labor wherever they can.


Right, screw humanity.
on Jul 31, 2008
Right, screw humanity.


That depends. Do you hire the most expensive lawn service to keep your yard green?

It is not screw humanity, it is maximizing your labors. it is the reason we buy so much "junk" from China (versus 40 years ago when the "junk" came from Japan).

When the pontificators can honestly say they do not pay contract rates for personal services, but instead pay more based upon the needs of the worker (Hairdresser, Lawn care, mailman, waiters, etc.) then you can make the claim of "screw Humanity". And I bet I find a million more people that dont, than you can that do.
on Jul 31, 2008
Right, screw humanity.


So my goal of opening a business is to make my employee's money and not myself? Man what was I thinking, how could I, the owner of the business, believe that I should make more money than my employees? How could I be so selfish to wanna find someone who would do the job for $6 when I should be paying them $20 instead. That way we all get equal parts of my profits.

So Steven, when you go to the store, do you get the expensive can of beans or do you look for the other brand that is a few pennies cheaper? Do you shop at the stores during specials, holiday savings or black Friday? Do you go for the car with all the extras or the most basic one? Have you ever been on eBay? Basic human nature is to buy at the lowest price and sell at the highest. So if you wanna talk about screwing humanity and are pointing fingers, you may wanna point your fingers at everyone in your house, in your neighborhood, in you City, in your State, in your Country, in the world and even the one in the mirror.
on Aug 01, 2008
Everyone takes advantage of cheap labor wherever they can. Right, screw humanity.


The reality is that the majority of unskilled labour that humans do simply will not support an American lifestyle. America has had a labour bubble after WWII, where Americans were the only ones with an intact economy that could afford to pay its laborers a middle-class wage.

Now, the rest of the world has finally caught up, and thus the value of the individual human's efforts simply don't support a Chevy Forrester and IPod. In the US however, old union regulations from the 50's still exist, and so many US industries have died trying to compete with cheap foreign labor (Steel in the rust belt, for instance).

Compared to the peasant living anywhere in the world prior to 1600 AD, the sweatshop worker in China is significantly more wealthy. If subsistence farming is such a wonderful thing, they wouldn't find humans willing to do sweatshop labour.
on Aug 01, 2008
So if you wanna talk about screwing humanity and are pointing fingers, you may wanna point your fingers at everyone in your house, in your neighborhood, in you City, in your State, in your Country, in the world and even the one in the mirror.


I was the more fortunate that blossomed in those '40s'50s when the common man had the blessings of a more humanitarian opportunity. The old argument about communism was that its goal was to reduce everyone to sub-mediocrity--we're heading that way.   

but instead pay more based upon the needs of the worker (Hairdresser, Lawn care, mailman, waiters, etc.) then you can make the claim of "screw Humanity".


There's an arrogance here that lowlife labor gets no respect. ( 
on Aug 01, 2008
Compared to the peasant living anywhere in the world prior to 1600 AD, the sweatshop worker in China is significantly more wealthy.


Yes, and you could argue that had Reggie Jackson's ancestors not been sold into slavery, he can kiss goodbye his Rolls Royce museum.
on Aug 01, 2008
There's an arrogance here that lowlife labor gets no respect.


No, it has nothing to do with high life or low life. It has to do with Skills. I can cut hair, lawns, and bus tables. I cannot design a microchip.
on Aug 03, 2008
"Everyone takes advantage of cheap labor wherever they can."

Right, screw humanity.


Ah, but in the case of cheap labour wrt other countries (e.g. sweatshops), is it more humane to give say 1000 people a good wage and leave the other 9000 to starve, or to give 10,000 people a very poor wage (but one that they can just about survive on)? It's the irony of people who argue for sweatshops to pay higher wages on the arguments of fairness, or on 'this item of clothing cost just $0.04 to make, yet sells for $20', because as with anything there are winners and losers; you raise your wages, more people will want to work for those wages, while you (as a company) can afford to hire fewer workers, resulting in unemployment, which is severe pain for those affected, as opposed to lesser pain for each individual but spread around which arises from low wages.

That said I would agree it's unethical to hire people to work for you in dangerous conditions (assuming that you could improve those conditions such that they weren't in unnecessary danger), even though of course that can raise similar problems/questions. Cheap labour arising from illegal immigration meanwhile raises other separate concerns not addressed by the above of course.
on Aug 04, 2008
design a microchip.


A skill that nonetheless requires many to manufacture it.
on Aug 04, 2008
A skill that nonetheless requires many to manufacture it.


And MANY can. So they get paid less than the guy who designs it. It goes back to the law of Supply and Demand. If many can do it, the supply is large. If few can do it, the supply is small.

on Aug 05, 2008
Of course, inventiveness is worth more, but you shouldn't forget the sweat of labor that makes it possible.
on Aug 05, 2008
Of course, inventiveness is worth more, but you shouldn't forget the sweat of labor that makes it possible.


But if many can - the law of supply and demand. The reason CEOs get big bucks is because so few can do that job. Just like Movie Stars and Musicians. If everyone could, why pay $100 for a ticket to see Johne Doe???
on Aug 13, 2008
CEOs can't do the job either.
on Aug 14, 2008
the law of supply and demand. The reason CEOs get big bucks is because so few can do that job. Just like Movie Stars and Musicians. If everyone could, why pay $100 for a ticket to see Johne Doe???


There are other possibilities to the standard market for CEO's approach though. For example one theory is: depending on your organisational structure you could have say 20 managers and 1 chief executive. The chief executive gets a lot of money and a nice cushy job where they don't have to do too much, while the managers have to do the tough work. The 20 managers all know that one of them will be promoted (internally) to the position of chief executive, based on how well they do. If those managers believe they are better than the other managers (and each one believes this about themselves) then they will work really hard in order to achieve that top job. The end result is the company can get away with paying the managers fairly little, and still get a lot out of them, by exploiting the managers lack of information of the other managers abilities relative to theirs.
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