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Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Cost of Cheap



What ties together the immigration bill controversy, Chinese poisoned products, the outsourcing of American jobs and the destruction of entire sections of American industry and the decline of small business and family farms?

It's sales in the end. We want everything cheaper. We want it now and we want it for as little as possible. But the cost of cheap turns out to be pretty high.

To get something as cheaply as possible you have to reduce the cost of manufacturing, distributing and selling it as possible. To manufacture products as cheaply as possible, you need to pay employees as little as possible. That inevitably means one of several possibilities.

1. Outsourcing jobs by moving American factories overseas where the labor is dirt cheap.

2. Buying from overseas companies that employ dirt cheap labor

3. Using illegal aliens in America to do the work dirt cheap

Either way the result is that Americans lose jobs. When jobs are outsourced, American companies move abroad. When you use illegal aliens, you import a hostile population into the United States that sooner or later becomes legalized, requiring that you import yet more illegal aliens.

When you buy from foreign companies, you wind up creating a competition for who can produce a product as cheaply as possible. China has been winning that competition by doing anything imaginable to reduce costs. The rash of poisonings in pet food and toothpaste are inevitable and it's a widespread practice in China.

At the sales end, it means that you end up doing business with massive companies like Wallmart or Kmart which can buy products in true bulk quantities and cut large scale deals that squeeze manufacturers into producing the products at even lower cost. Product quality drops even further and small businesses and stores wind up being forced out of the game. The same pressure that drives cost-cutting also insures that these same stores will shortchange their own employees in any way they can. The end result is a system that deprives and enslaves everyone.

These days America is caught in between. On the one hand we've extensively regulated our own country to protect employees and worker and product safety. This of course also makes us non-competitive in the global market. On the other hand we're still capitalistically determined to get everything at the lowest price. But we can no longer produce things at the lowest price.

Our manufacturing sector has been beaten to a bloody pulp. Our service sector will increasingly go the same route as thanks to the internet and global telecommunications, you have to deal with an employees who are physically on the spot less and less. Service is in the end just another product and half the world speaks english anyway.

A country with a billion people which is willing to use them as cheap labor to produce our consumer goods will beat us time and time again. The amount of American jobs 'created' by corporations profiting from this are ultimately irrelevant because there's a limited amount of jobs that can't be outsourced, shipped abroad or done by illegal aliens. There's only so many lawyer positions out there and we're already importing large numbers of doctors and computer people from India and Pakistan. Tax returns are being processed in India. So are X-Rays. The internet makes all this absurdly easy.

Our only real advantages are our values, our creativity and our native intelligence. American Know How. But the technology we produce, we increasingly buy back from other countries by way of their manufacturing sector. In the end pursuing cheap destroys our economy and our own job prospects. As technology further interlinks the world, the result is a death by a thousand cuts. The end result of a great nation that turns its interests over to foreigners can be seen in Rome or London. And our economic strength, which has the potential to liberate, instead becomes a tool for giving the advantage to the nations that can best combine a disregard for human rights with skill and industriousness.

As with any other addiction, in the end the cost of cheap is everything.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shalom, Daniel, and to all.

I recently obtained the book "The Year of the Rat," by Triplett. It was written two years after the second term of the Clinton Administration. The cover is memorable: President Clinton performing pass and review of Chinese naval troops in full dress.

The Clinton Administration set it into place, and the Bush Administration promulgated and reinforced it. The "it" is what you described: the reduction of the American worker into a state of semi-slavery (economic controls are as unmalleable as shackles), and the reinforcement of the slave-system that China has now perfected.

The perfection was evident last week. CNBC aired a special on McDonald's in China. 700 stores on mainland China and 200 more in Hong Kong, with 26 drive-throughs. Such may seem trivial; nevertheless, it is actually the cause for alarm.

China has now implemented U.S. policies of a free-market economy, yet has "closed the loop" to prevent two-way interchange. The only ones who "visit" this country as business emissaries are, in essence, members (operating in a clandestine manner) of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party).

The documentary was the "standard" take on business: A "vibrant, Anglo-centric, Western-consumer-marketing oriented, going concern" bringing capitalism and wealth to the impoverished, backward Chinese "yearning to become Americans."

What I saw was visible, but not focused upon: the squalor of the areas surrounding the carefully-scripted film shoot locations and the hostility in the people's faces as the bystanders watched the American film crew.

The piece de resistance was the view of Tianaman Square (most Americans have not fogotten about 6/89: they just don't care to remember). Tianaman Square holds the monolithic, impassive-visaged image of former Chairman Mao.

His portrait holds no emotion, no compassion, none of the "eager striving" attributed (erroneously) to the peasant-fledgling-American entrepreneurs of the People's Republic of China.

I see the grim hammer of despotic authoritarian tyranny, a juggernaut masquerading as one of the "good Western businessmen," poising itself to strike us.

After the view of Mao, the commercial break interrupted, a commercial depicting two American women of suburbia in lawnchairs, toasting one another with their yogurt cups. The "good life: a chicken (chicken substitute) in every pot," right?

Our system remains intact, for them to enter (militarily) and with one fell swoop conquer and capture the fatted calf. Do I sound unpatriotic? Ten years I served in this country's military with honorable discharge. I earned (complete with green tracer rounds going overhead) the right to say: our (and my) first amendment right that I served to defend.

The judgment of the Living G-D is about to be rendered. The cows from Bashan are no longer in Bashan: they have fatted themselves before new idols, in a new hemisphere.

Look around you, all of my Jews...look what is happening.

Read the aforementioned book. The U.S. is on its sickbed. Research "Colony Collapse Disorder," and look up the article "Requiem for the Honeybee," by Prof. Joe Cummins. The fires, the floods, the economic instability: all are indicators of the judgment.

All are searching for G-D to judge in one fell swoop, one strike. He is not limited by any of our expectations. He came to Elijah in a whisper. Can we hear His voice? If we open our eyes and listen enough...hold on to each other and pray...we can hear Him.

Shalom, my love to all.

Yesha Galluzzo

Lemon said...

Doctors from foreign lands scare me.
If they were dedicated to helping people they would remain with their own people who need them more. They come to the US for money. I am not happy with doctors who are in it purely for profits.
I will not use foreign doctors if I can help it.
I always try to buy American made products.

Story out of a woman who wore cheapo flipflops from China bought thru wall mart. The resulting poison allergic reaction on the feet where the straps were was oozing, yellowed hard flesh on the feet with deep red cracking.

Keli Ata said...

Foreign doctors scare me too Lemon. The educational standards are not the same, and some from countries hostile to the west are becoming an increasing problem (exp. the physicians/medical students involved in the recent London bombing).

I seriously doubt any of them have taken the Hippocratic Oath, Prayer of Maimonides or Geneva Convention Oath.

This sounds crazy but there is even some evidence that a Muslim physician deliberately ignored a very ill Jewish man in an American hospital.

It's scary when you think about it.Everytime we are admitted to the hospital our religion is stamped on our hospital ID bracelet and medical record.

Interesting side note--I saw on "Dateline" that some Arab pharmaceutical companies are selling tainted medications. I'll see if I can find a link.

But to refocus on industry--we get subpar goods and at times dangerous goods. I don't know how much is consumer driven or the greed of the manufacturers.

Keli Ata said...

Here's the link--


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13137839/page/4/


"As more prescription drugs are being sold on the Internet, a new problem has emerged: counterfeit medications. And now, those fake prescription drugs are popping up at drug stores. Chris Hansen has a Dateline Hidden Camera Investigation..."

You can also watch the video of the story by following the link.

Warning--do not buy medications over the Internet and watch the medications you get at the drug stores in the US.

Keli Ata said...

and a related story:

"Dubai customs says it has seized counterfeit prescription drugs worth about $1.4m. ... 300542 companies from 14 Middle East countries. Dubai customs says it has seized counterfeit prescription drugs worth about $1.4m. The seizure followed an operation carried out by customs inspectors at Cargo Village. Around 555,000 'Plavix' pills were found in containers that had been shipped from Mauritius."

Plavix is an anticoagulant. Other counterfeit drugs include Procrit, given to cancer chemotherapy patients and patients with anemia from renal diseases. Lipitor is another drugs.

Labels look legit, boxes legit but the drugs are either have inactive substances or subpotent. And again, these drugs are showing up in pharmacies in the US, including well-known large chains such as CVS.

Keli Ata said...

More on the Muslim/terrorism physician connection--

www.debbieschlussel.com/archives/2007/05/when_yo

Keli Ata said...

Another link on the association between terrorism and foreign medical doctors/medical students>>>

www.debbieschlussel.com/archives/2007/05/when_yo

Yobeeone said...

It depends on the foreign doctor. I'm afraid of any doctor, except for my neuro and he's cool.

It probably comes from working in a university and seeing how many AMERICAN kids CHEAT their way through pre-med. Those were the kids I called "Daddy bought my degree" brats.

Then there was the Japanese friend who was here for pre-med and said he'd never use an American doctor because of all the cheating he saw. LOL

The whole American system has been reduced to crap. My nephew works for Honda. He said his area can't keep up production because their suppliers (all American) don't care if they get their supplies on time. It's another reason why jobs keep getting transfered out. Americans have become lazy and don't want to work.

The government is paying farmers not to farm because they claim we have too much food. Now get this. Let's say the government pays you to stop growing corn. You stop. But when a drought hits your area - the government pays you for your crop loss due to the drought. Read that again. It's crazy, but they do it. Mom makes at least $4000 a year because of it.

Hard to believe that we could feed the world...if it weren't for goverments. And to a large degree, Americans would have more jobs if they weren't so lazy.

(I need tea.) :]

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