02/05/2014 by syrbal-labrys
One of the last arguments I had with my drunken father was about NAFTA. He was bent out of shape with Clinton, a Democrat, for signing America into this treaty. I asked him why, since it was the first President Bush that set the thing in motion. Would he, in other words, have been pissed if George the First had rammed this one through into law?
To my surprise, my reactionary, racist, anti-anthing-the-Dems-want father said, “Well, yes, and I’ll tell you why.” And then he did. Basically, he said he knows the world is headed for a global economy, and that someday…if we don’t kill ourselves off with other things like war, disease, thirst (holy SHIT, MY father recognized coming water issues??) that it could maybe be a better thing. But first, he said, it was going to be a very BAD thing; and more likely it would always be a bad thing except for a few rich fuckers. Sometimes, I just have to say, father really did know best.
Everyone of the racist, anti-immigrant-asinine stripe has been up at arms over the Super Bowl Coke ad with “America the Beautiful” sang by non-white, non-Protestant, non-English-speakers. But as this piece points out, some more thoughtful sorts are a bit out of nose-joint at dear old Bob Dylan for being anti-globalization in his Chrysler advertisement. Of course, as the piece points out this is funny because Italian car maker Fiat OWNS Chrysler anyhow. But good old Bob Dylan has been swinging a bit right-ways for a while, I first noticed it with some of his nigh-onto-gospel songs about “gonna have to pay somebody”.
But, like my dad, Bob might have a point, though we could argue about who is being paid. I’m a Star Trek sort (Hello, Q!), and corporations basically owning us ALL is what worries me most — governments already defer to them in most things. Being a citizen doesn’t count as “personhood” nearly as much as being a corporation (or with some folks, being a fetus) does, huh? Globalization will continue to screw the American worker until foreign workers get fed up with shitty pay and work conditions and get on a union rampage that would warm the heart of Karl Marx. OR until governments charge “American” companies tariffs on goods made abroad —hahahahah, yeah, wait on the tooth fairy for shorter turn around than THAT pipe dream!
Globalization has taken manufacturing to China, and India…and all we get is
an ugly t-shirt West Coast pollution. The prices we pay still seem pretty high to me. So, yes, a few places are now ‘outsourcing’ work TO the USA…that makes me ask more questions about how low American labor has fallen to be honest. How desperate ARE Americans for jobs? Once, in my really pinko-socialist-optimist days, I’d have thought that it would all level out and globalization would lead to better work standards and pay for ALL. Now? I see a global CYCLE…corporations taking the jobs where-ever the most desperate labor forces live, migrating to and fro while their coffers fill and governments give tax breaks to them to screw over workers. Governments give away the store to get jobs, but the pay will never fill state coffers with tax money as long as corporations don’t pay their share and rich fuckers get away without paying real income tax.
Me? I’m not buying a Chrysler OR a Fiat. I am anti-globalization because I think it is a crock being sold to us as good for everyone. Nice plan, but that isn’t the way it is working. Corporations move for (1) cheaper labor markets, (2) fewer environmental protection regulations, (3) governmental tax breaks and infrastructure at government expense, (4) cheaper raw materials (hello, Nestle bottling water in India!) to use to their own profit. They will move OUT of America or Europe to get those things and BACK to those places when their erstwhile Asian/African land-lords wise up and say “Now, wait a fucking minute, here?” Globalization is not upping the lives of workers ANYwhere except temporarily, it is simply consolidating more wealth in ever fewer hands.
Now, if Chrysler opens a guillotine factory….