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Forum Post: Noam Chomsky on Outsourcing

Posted 11 years ago on Aug. 16, 2012, 1:01 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
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[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

We need to insist through law that any and corp that want to sell in this market must hire some Americans.

It's the only way to be sure.



[-] -1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

Remember that when ever you buy a computer made in Taiwan, a TV from Korea, or a bottle of French wine or Italian cheese you are personally outsourcing.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 11 years ago

My italian cheese-purchases are small potatoes, and is something very different than corporations laying off workers and starting production in 3world countries, exploiting poor people for huge profits. Do you agree with the video?

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

Well all that cheese adds up. We import about $450 billion worth of stuff every year. That could pay a lot of US wrokers. That is $450 billion worth of outsourcing that you and I do every year. What is the $ for the fortune 500?

As to the video I agree with some of it (Chomsky talks a lot about the real economy but fails to deliver any real data). Do you beleive that outsourcing to China has made the lives of the poor there better or worse?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 11 years ago

And last time I checked the US also exports things as well...

I have no problem with certain goods being exchanged between countries. The question is in what framework this is being done. If there is to be trade between countries, then that must be fair, sustainable and based on workers' rights.

So are you saying that if outsorcing to China made some workers there a little better off than if corporations had not outsourced, then it's ok?

[-] -1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

Well, we can send aid to China in the form of food, medicine, and fuel, or we can teach them to fish. We benefit more from the latter as do they.

Also, when you buy your Italian cheese do you scrutinize the import framework? The point is we are all guilty of outsourcing every time we buy something that is not produced in the US. We as consumers outsource three times, three times, as much as do the US Fortune 500 companies.

As to whether China is a little better off as a result of outsourcing? 20 years ago there were 50 million people (Out of about a billion) that were middle class. Today there are more than 300 million (more than the population of the US). I would say that they are more than a little better off.

BTW, those 300 million Chinese middle class folks buy Fords, Chevys, MS Software, and Apple Ipods. All produced by US companies. They are the biggest new market currently available to US companies. Teach them to fish and you can sell them deep fryers.

Chomsky has all of this data but it does not support his argument so he conveniently leaves it out of his presentation.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 11 years ago

Like I said, If there's to be trade between countries, it should be done in a fair and humane way.

It almost seems like you're trolling. There's a difference between individuals buying Italian cheese, and private tyrannies laying off workers, moving production to 3world countries for extreme exploitation and huge profits.

But lots of people in China are living and working under extremely inhumane conditions. People arn't lifted out of poverty because of x profitting on y.

Whether or not some are better off is not an argument to maintain undemocratic and inhumane systems.

[-] -1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

I have worked in China now for 15 years. The improvement in people's lives there is extraordinary. In one generation folks have gone from dirt-poor farmers struggling for food and medicine to a six times increase in the size of the middle class. My experience is that the current advantage that the China has over the US is that they work harder. About 15 % harder. And it starts from when they are in school (the average student is either in school, doing home work, or with a private tutor six days a week, all year round). That said, hard work helps but the US still has an advantage in innovation, for now.

It is easy for Chomsky to complain about working conditions in China (as everyone should), but there is a glaring omission of the great improvements that they have made in recent years.

Consumers bear the same responsibility as corps when it comes to outsourcing. Think about that the next time you buy a computer, a mobile phone, or a Prius.

[-] 0 points by brudlo (-454) 11 years ago


[-] -1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

So before complaining about outsourcing corporations we should examine our own outsourcing habits at Walmart, liquior stores, and the car dealer.

[-] -1 points by brudlo (-454) 11 years ago

i wasnt complaining about "outsourcing". why do you consider choosing to buying a product made in another country to be "outsourcing"? i like french champagne ( veuve cliquot) on special occasions, california wines, guerlain perfume ( french), cabot cheddar( vermont), pyrex products ( made in the usa) and remington ( usa). going back, i used to own gm cars, not any more, no thanks. as a consumer , it is my choice where and how to spend my hard earned money.

[-] -1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

Buying goods produced outside of the country is outsourcing by definition. It moves jobs offshore.

There is a lot of criticism on this site of outsourcing by corps but no one wants to suck it up and take responsibility for their own personal consumer outsourcing.

Don't get me wrong. I am in favor of letting the free market work. It is best for the consumer.

[-] -2 points by funkytown (-374) 11 years ago

Why do I get the distinct impression that the person who asked this question was unsatisfied with the answer?

Academia has traditionally derived their status from the position of knowledgetician. They advance discovery, they publish works, they give speaking engagements... income is derived of government as the source of grants, from salaries derived of the educational institution, from enterprise related to their field, and if they are lucky enough to attain some level of notoriety, from the words of wisdom that emanate (and hence their status). They also generally marry well and tend to have financially supportive middle-class parents, wealth it seems is a generational excersise. So, in essence, their concerns are not as our concerns, their thoughts are not as our thoughts... although occasionally they do, as is evident here, attempt to appease the perceived-to-be lesser with thoughts of our concerns.

I use the words perceived-to-be lesser here because I quite often get the impression that the person asking the questions from the floor would be more far more effective answering them from the podium; he is not the "lesser."

Academia, with professor as its spokesman, is a world of theory that thoroughly insulates them from all pratica of human reality; it readily acknowledges this so there are attempts to bridge the divide.

But as I look around the world I habitate and habituate, what I see everywhere is foreign made products - there is nothing in my world from the coffee cup I drink from in the morning to the bed I sleep in at night that was made in America. Every one of these inexpensive items represents the loss of thousands of jobs; in totality they represent the loss of tens of millions of jobs, all of which, have traditionally provided Americans, at least for some brief period of our history, with relatively good salaries, healthcare, and leisure time.

I lived in Germany years ago... I learned some of the language, I conversed with the people, I lived on their economy. The most obvious element of their economy was the lack of inexpensive imports - with the exception of the Toyota which was only available with a manual transmission, there were none, everything was made in Germany. The individual, even those educated or learned, could not command the high salaries of his or her American counterpart - they earned approximately half of what we did - and their products were far more expensive, all of which contributed to a greater frugality. They simply did not enjoy the same standard of living. But they had jobs, they had healthcare, and they had tremendous leisure time; in fact, they celebrated their leisure time, and enjoyed better health, because they were less likely to jeopardize, sacrifice, or subordinate that health to the pursuit of wealth over leisure.

Bavaria is a Catholic state - they are morally upright, they lack our dystopia, everything there is good or bad, right or wrong, there are no grey areas - and this was a position continuously reanalyzed because the average citizen is far more analytical. They are also great admirers of intellect and intelligence; science is key, vital, to their economic continuous self improvement.

Fifteen years from now, the Obamas and Romneys of our world will not exist; this political power platform that the Left and Right have co-opted as some preacher's aggrandized podium will not exist, because the tax base which has created them, which upholds them, which enables them, which grants them life - will not exist. The only true revolution is the tax revolution, and it is surely coming soon, to a theater near you.

It remains to be seen if the Marxist or the Communist or the Anarchist or any Ideal-ist of the future is truly left or right because it appears a certain path of economic far-rightedness, a new conservative-ism is coming.

We will always import the resources we require but we can't continue to export all economic devises... we can't do it. And the way we turn this around is through protectionism, not free market, or globalization, to the benefit of the few that inhabit the upper echelons of megacorporations. We're gonna have to slap government silly, invite them to view and experience our reality, or there will not be any American government of any form in the future.

[-] -1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

Today the US produces 85% of everything that they consume or export. 85%.

Of the 15% that we import half of that is oil (mostly from Canada). So the US only imports about 7% of other stuff. Not a huge number.

Germany on the other hand imports about 27%. They outsource twice the amount of stuff that the US does!

[-] -2 points by funkytown (-374) 11 years ago

haha... yup, that's exactly what I'm talking about - and we cordially invite you to step into our reality.

You're talking raw resources... I'm talking products that people actually labor and draw salaries and profit to create.

[-] -1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

The 15 % of GDP that we import includes everything. Everything. Finished goods, services, raw materials, engineered materials, everything.

Germany imports twice that %. In reality they outsource twice what we outsource. Twice the number of jobs.

[-] -2 points by funkytown (-374) 11 years ago

blinded by the light...

[-] -1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

Sometimes you have to shine the light where you are afraid to look if you want to see the truth.

[-] -1 points by funkytown (-374) 11 years ago

I have a better idea, shine it at those public cams, blind the eyes of those which Progress has empowered to monitor your every breath... this is Freedom?

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

I don't beleive that they are checking our breath, however I sat next to a guy on a plane the other day that I wish they had.

Most of those public cams, and the data they collect, are a waste and the recordings never reviewed. Half the time they are inoperable due to damage, failure, or maintenance.

The cams are certainly over used but many businesses have to install them in order to get insurance. Cities are generating extra revenue by hiring private corps to install and operate red light cams. They split the fine money 50/50.