Monday, November 11, 2013

Outsourcing Slavery?

Where does being a "wage slave" stop and being a slave begin? 

Maybe the United States doesn't just outsource jobs.  Maybe we also outsource slavery.  Is that an exaggeration?  If so, it's a slight one, and the Bloomberg writer agrees:  "Apple, along with others, calls that bonded labor, a form of modern-day indentured servitude, one step removed from slavery."  However you put it, it's not something the U.S. Dept. of Labor or the National Labor Relations Board would accept.

There's something for everyone in today's world economy.  They get our money, and we acquire their indifference to workers' conditions.  When the Fourteenth Amendment gets outsourced, so do OSHA regulations.  We depend on China to ensure that their workers are treated fairly and safely.  The suicide nets set up outside the workers' dorms, to keep the workers from jumping to their deaths, may or may not apply.

That's not all.  We also outsource EPA regulations -- "Pollution in China" gets in own page in Wikipedia.  The U.S. is all for "saving the planet" when "the planet" is defined as our own backyard.  The EPA lacks jurisdiction in China, but of course we don't have to trade with them.  Maybe the theory is that we can ruin half of the Earth's environment so long as it's the half we don't live in.

And don't forget other obligations businesses incur when operating in the U.S.  ObamaCare's heavy and incompetent hand is already poised to turn the U.S. into "part-time nation", as more businesses are and will be cutting back their workers' hours to 29 per week, to avoid getting completely sucked into helping liberals sleep better at night.  Ruining the U.S. labor market may not have been the intention of the ObamaCare legislation, but the "law of unintended consequences" is always a lurking presence when policy decisions are made -- and, like Glenn Close's psychopathic character in "Fatal Attraction", it is not gonna be ignored.

Businesses outsource not just to avoid paying higher wages, but also to avoid the other costs of producing something here in the U.S., and that includes taxes and the aforementioned regulations (including EPA and OSHA).  Maybe there's a happy medium somewhere that would enable businesses to turn a profit even when operating in the U.S., while also dealing with the government's ethical and environmental concerns.

If so, we'll never find that happy medium if we need government bureaucrats to find it.  Government bureaucrats are not judicious conservators of our nation's way of life.  They are attack dogs.  Chasing an issue beyond the bounds of any positive return is no deterrent to getting to sink teeth into a businessman's neck.  Doing so may ruin someone else's job opportunities, but the bureaucrat gets paid whether or not his actions help or hurt the economy, and life is always good in Washington.


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