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Joel Bainerman

Why American companies have no moral right to move their manufacturing base to China

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It is incredible how US companies who have employed their workers and sold their products to American consumers for decades- can suddenly just decide one day to pick up and transfer all of its manufacturing jobs to China- and yet not one moral voice has been raised in opposition.

In the religion of Judaism, there exists guidelines on how society can react to these issues. While there is recognition of private property in Judaism, the profit motive and the individual retention of the wealth created by entrepreneurial endeavors- the issue does not stop there.

In history, the Rabbis and Jewish Sages never denied their co-religionists a basic human condition- such as the desire to work, prosper, and provide the highest standard of living possible for their families. The free market was generally seen as an efficient and pragmatic mechanism for achieving the welfare of the community. Where this was not so, intervention and distortion of the market mechanism was insisted upon.

While free-market advocates claim that the growth and development of the market necessarily involves business failures, and that ultimately, the entire system works more efficiently when there is no interference in this process. But practically speaking, there are some individual instances where the hardship of a business failure really does outweigh the economic benefits to the market.

For instance, keeping an inefficient business in operation by limiting competition amounts to no more than a tax on consumers. Perhaps the gross income of this inept firm is a million dollars a year; ten percent of this is just a de facto subsidy paid by customers in the form of inflated prices for the firm's product. Result: $100,000 of consumer money wasted.

However we need to ask what is the alternative and perhaps it is more expensive? For example, what if there are no employment opportunities in the region of the failing plant? If the company goes out of business the burden on the dole may be $500,000 thousand dollars a year in additional welfare costs to care from the newly unemployed. The result is that $500,000 of public funds is spent instead of $100,000.

What will the cost be to the American people if American companies continue to transfer their manufacturing bases to China? Who will be left to tend to the financial and social needs of masses of unemployed workers?

The Rabbis and Jewish Sages would argue that it would make sense to levy a tax on American companies who move their manufacturing jobs off-shore- even if this does go against free market principles. Why shouldn't these companies pay the added cost of providing for the welfare of the workers they are leaving behind- rather than passing that cost off to the general taxpaying public? Closing down a plant because there is no longer any demand for a firms' product- is one thing. Closing it down and moving the factory offshore just so the firm can increase its net profits- is not morally acceptable- even if this violates the tenants of free market economics (what good will a free market be when there are no longer any consumers left to purchase the products that these company's manufacturer- wherever they are produced?)

You can read the rest of the article here:

http://www.joelbainerman.com/articles/china.asp

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Guest Stephen Turner

Free marketeers need no moral justification, and will brook no interferance with the free flow of money over the heads of the ordinary citizen, their only justification is profit, the bottom line, and the satisfaction of major shareholder/ CEO greed...and whilst we labour under a Capitalist system we are stuck with this set of affairs..

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Free marketeers need no moral justification, and will brook no interferance with the free flow of money over the heads of the ordinary citizen, their only justification is profit, the bottom line, and the satisfaction of major shareholder/ CEO greed...and whilst we labour under a Capitalist system we are stuck with this set of affairs..

While not getting into the dynamics of Capitalism versus other alternatives, it would be wise to point out that the topic thread delianates the age-old problem which was just as topical 100 years ago, as it is today. What collectively falls under the title of abuses of the democratic system, 'outsourcing to a better ie [less taxable] locale, is just one of the myriad of problems that the average American see's as what's wrong in Washington. To truly have a worldview on current events not just as far as current events in Washington, but around the world, is in itself challenging, but to have an informed worldview amidst what is generally percieved as a 'compromised media ostensibly would present a challenge for even Stephen Hawking'. Some learned individuals assert in the overall nexus of the Post-Cold-War Era that only two individuals were qualified to have an 'informed worldview, they are, or were respectively, George Kennan and John J. McCloy. Keenan is 'credited' as at least, the chief architect of American Cold War foreign policy, while McCloy was virtually THE mover and shaker of the international geopolitical realm, before the term had even been created.

The rosetta stone of America's problems

[of which, outsourcing is just but one, but nevertheless profound in its implications, especially for those who don't want to see America lost its previously vaunted position as the World's Lone Superpower, a term that arguably is already anachronistic, when looking across the Pacific to China where, incidentally they have yet to have any problems with terrorism]

lies in the noticeably absent dynamic of checks and balances, which may be the best kept secret in Washington, but also the most obvious. What is ostensibly the one check and balance which the government is least associated with having control over?

Well to paraphrase FOX News 'Some people say' it is an impartial, informed and ethical media. But, here's the rub, the compromising of mainstream media can be as obvious as a person with three eyes, but if the issue of 'its being compromised' is not 'part of acceptable information' [The institutionalization of 'Manufacturing Consent'] a problem which has cropped up in the JFK Assassination conundrum more than once or twice, the capacity to change the status quo is rendered virtually impossible.

A fact that I am sure is not lost on many members of the Forum

Edited by Robert Howard

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It is incredible how US companies who have employed their workers and sold their products to American consumers for decades- can suddenly just decide one day to pick up and transfer all of its manufacturing jobs to China- and yet not one moral voice has been raised in opposition.

In the religion of Judaism, there exists guidelines on how society can react to these issues. While there is recognition of private property in Judaism, the profit motive and the individual retention of the wealth created by entrepreneurial endeavors- the issue does not stop there.

In history, the Rabbis and Jewish Sages never denied their co-religionists a basic human condition- such as the desire to work, prosper, and provide the highest standard of living possible for their families. The free market was generally seen as an efficient and pragmatic mechanism for achieving the welfare of the community. Where this was not so, intervention and distortion of the market mechanism was insisted upon.

While free-market advocates claim that the growth and development of the market necessarily involves business failures, and that ultimately, the entire system works more efficiently when there is no interference in this process. But practically speaking, there are some individual instances where the hardship of a business failure really does outweigh the economic benefits to the market.

For instance, keeping an inefficient business in operation by limiting competition amounts to no more than a tax on consumers. Perhaps the gross income of this inept firm is a million dollars a year; ten percent of this is just a de facto subsidy paid by customers in the form of inflated prices for the firm's product. Result: $100,000 of consumer money wasted.

However we need to ask what is the alternative and perhaps it is more expensive? For example, what if there are no employment opportunities in the region of the failing plant? If the company goes out of business the burden on the dole may be $500,000 thousand dollars a year in additional welfare costs to care from the newly unemployed. The result is that $500,000 of public funds is spent instead of $100,000.

What will the cost be to the American people if American companies continue to transfer their manufacturing bases to China? Who will be left to tend to the financial and social needs of masses of unemployed workers?

The Rabbis and Jewish Sages would argue that it would make sense to levy a tax on American companies who move their manufacturing jobs off-shore- even if this does go against free market principles. Why shouldn't these companies pay the added cost of providing for the welfare of the workers they are leaving behind- rather than passing that cost off to the general taxpaying public? Closing down a plant because there is no longer any demand for a firms' product- is one thing. Closing it down and moving the factory offshore just so the firm can increase its net profits- is not morally acceptable- even if this violates the tenants of free market economics (what good will a free market be when there are no longer any consumers left to purchase the products that these company's manufacturer- wherever they are produced?)

You can read the rest of the article here:

http://www.joelbainerman.com/articles/china.asp

Perhaps it would be better for the US citizenry if the Rabbis and Jewish sages were in charge of US economic policy, but almost anyone would be better than the current coterie of criminals running the US--a fact which, despite the corporate media's best efforts, is slowly dawning on the American public.

Unfortunately global capitalism has no allegiance to nations or morality but only, as Stephen points out, to the bottom line.

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No. US companies have no moral right to outsource abroad, but that will not stop them. As Stephen points out, these decisions are driven by economic factors beyond the control of anyone except those few that benefit. Corporations are unregulated and operate in a vacuum with regards to ethics, morality or the impact of their decisions.

I am totally opposed to the way in which all corporations feed on the lives and resources of the rest of the planet, but I also think it's a little 'rich' to be concerned about this particular aspect of predatory capitalism now that the US are for once affected. This is particularly offensive given that the US has been both the primary beneficiary and primary culprit in this area of activity, followed closely by the rest of the Western nations and Japan.

Anyone who sees history for what it really is, will know, that most of what we first world countries do is designed to enrich us at the expense of everyone else. We start wars, topple regimes, assisinate leaders, start revolutions, kill innocents, protect tyrants, create monsters - all to acquire, control and profit from other nation's natural and labour resources. We maintain the poverty and living conditions of the 80% of the globe in order to provide cheap goods and comfort for ourselves.

We use the IMF, World Bank and trade agreements to shackle foreign governments and prise national treasures from the starving, dying hands of those that really should benefit from those treasures.

Most loans to third world governments MUST be spent on certain projects and often must use US and western contractors in their construction. This ensures that nearly all the money comes back to us, leaving behind the debt, the interest and usually a football stadium they don't want or need. Is it any wonder the pittance that remains in the hands of a few locals is squandered on Mercs and foreign holidays. Then we blame 'their' corruption for the seemingly public failure of our 'confidence trick' knowing all along we got exactly what we wanted.

We stay on top by keeping everyone else down. We, or at least the governments and corporations that represent us, are pure evil. Although, most do not see it that way and any one individual action is no more evil on the surface than any other.

The biggest obstacle to the long-term future existence of the human-kind and the planet is this short-term, shock and awe ©, rampant individualism of corporate domination of which out-sourcing is merely a symptom. How are the efforts of 5+ billion individual humans going to change things with regards to global warming when the corporations which dominate us and our governments decide it is in their short-term financial interests to do the opposite? And damn us all in the process.

If we designed a simulation which included the following creatures: resource hungry entities, capable of growth measured in currency (based on resource consumption), reproduction and death where the only rule was to make profit and the only objective is to grow. How long do you think this species would survive? You could probably surmise, without even setting it up, that this race was doomed - after it had consumed and polluted everything, there would be one huge, fat, dying organism sat on a dead and dying planet, happy that it had 'won' at the expense of everyone and everything else. It might even see it's own stupidy, but I doubt it, just before it snuffed it!

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No. US companies have no moral right to outsource abroad, but that will not stop them. As Stephen points out, these decisions are driven by economic factors beyond the control of anyone except those few that benefit. Corporations are unregulated and operate in a vacuum with regards to ethics, morality or the impact of their decisions.

I am totally opposed to the way in which all corporations feed on the lives and resources of the rest of the planet, but I also think it's a little 'rich' to be concerned about this particular aspect of predatory capitalism now that the US are for once affected. This is particularly offensive given that the US has been both the primary beneficiary and primary culprit in this area of activity, followed closely by the rest of the Western nations and Japan.

Anyone who sees history for what it really is, will know, that most of what we first world countries do is designed to enrich us at the expense of everyone else. We start wars, topple regimes, assisinate leaders, start revolutions, kill innocents, protect tyrants, create monsters - all to acquire, control and profit from other nation's natural and labour resources. We maintain the poverty and living conditions of the 80% of the globe in order to provide cheap goods and comfort for ourselves.

We use the IMF, World Bank and trade agreements to shackle foreign governments and prise national treasures from the starving, dying hands of those that really should benefit from those treasures.

Most loans to third world governments MUST be spent on certain projects and often must use US and western contractors in their construction. This ensures that nearly all the money comes back to us, leaving behind the debt, the interest and usually a football stadium they don't want or need. Is it any wonder the pittance that remains in the hands of a few locals is squandered on Mercs and foreign holidays. Then we blame 'their' corruption for the seemingly public failure of our 'confidence trick' knowing all along we got exactly what we wanted.

We stay on top by keeping everyone else down. We, or at least the governments and corporations that represent us, are pure evil. Although, most do not see it that way and any one individual action is no more evil on the surface than any other.

The biggest obstacle to the long-term future existence of the human-kind and the planet is this short-term, shock and awe ©, rampant individualism of corporate domination of which out-sourcing is merely a symptom. How are the efforts of 5+ billion individual humans going to change things with regards to global warming when the corporations which dominate us and our governments decide it is in their short-term financial interests to do the opposite? And damn us all in the process.

If we designed a simulation which included the following creatures: resource hungry entities, capable of growth measured in currency (based on resource consumption), reproduction and death where the only rule was to make profit and the only objective is to grow. How long do you think this species would survive? You could probably surmise, without even setting it up, that this race was doomed - after it had consumed and polluted everything, there would be one huge, fat, dying organism sat on a dead and dying planet, happy that it had 'won' at the expense of everyone and everything else. It might even see it's own stupidy, but I doubt it, just before it snuffed it!

Steve,

Great post. There's real hypocrisy involved when citizens of developed countries complain about what globalisation and the corporate profit paradigm will ultimately mean to their own living standards. Third world countries have been experiencing this kind of exploitation for many years.

When our only objective is profit and growth, our ride on this planet will be a fast but very short one.

Edited by Mark Stapleton

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