Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Daily Grind

workersBBC: Millions of the world's poorest textile trade workers will lose their jobs under new trade rules to be introduced in the new year, a charity has warned.

Christian Aid condemned the move, saying it would see almost a million jobs in Bangladesh alone being axed. However, supporters of the change claim it will mean increased efficiency and lower costs for Western consumers. Supporters also argue the move will see more jobs created in India and China.

Now to the New York Times:

Beginning in the mid-1990's, pay increases for most workers slowly but steadily outpaced the rate of inflation, improving the living standards for nearly all Americans. But an unexpected reversal last year in those gains has set off a vigorous debate among economists over whether the decline is just a temporary dip or portends a deeper shift that may cause the pay of average Americans to lag for years to come.

Even though the economy added 2.2 million jobs in 2004 and produced strong growth in corporate profits, wages for the average worker fell for the year, after adjusting for inflation - the first such drop in nearly a decade.

"Pay increases are not rebounding, even though the factors normally associated with higher pay have rebounded," said Peter LeBlanc of Sibson Consulting, a division of Segal, a human resources consulting firm.

Oh, mystery of mysteries! America goes "Right to Work" (sic) which suppresses all unions and makes strikes futile by allowing scabs to cross union lines and be hired permanently and then the rulers use the GOP to pass huge tax cuts for the very wealthy, allowing them to accumulate fabulous wealth with no penalties, so of course, they take all the loot and run for Aruba! Way to go! If you pay wages and health costs, you get no "benefit" if you are one of the corporate executives but if you take the money for yourself, Uncle Sam pats you on the back as says, "Have fun!".

And don't they ever! Balloon rides around the planet, even rocketting into outer space, buying art or buying whole islands, the sky isn't even a limit for the rich! Meanwhile...

The people who actually do the back breaking labor of actually making wealth possible struggle in a swamp of despair, all sinking into the mire, deeper and deeper, even those who thought they would glide through life on a college degree now struggle as hard as the lowliest kitchen maid, wondering why they are being sucked down, too.

Now about oil: just a few weeks ago, the NYT as well as the rest of American press outlets as well as the government were trumpetting how high oil costs has NO effect on inflation or anything, all is well and why worry and happy days are here again...now they are blaming worker woes on oil prices. Not that our government or the pay masters who own America are going to change the ridiculous "inflation index" they created that EXCLUDES oil---nope. This way, they can say, with a straight face--it takes pratice but all con artists are good at this--that inflation isn't really a problem.

If you read the NYT, note how they immediately cry, sending jobs overseas isn't the cause of this. Last week, they said oil wasn't the cause. Now, suddenly it is. Yet note the BBC story: it is about jobs leaving poor countries and flowing to India and China, the two biggest populations on earth. Can we connect the dots? There are many dots in the labor sector we could connect. Marx tried this 150 years ago. Note how he fared! Will someone else connect the dots?

Power grows out of the barrel of the gun is harsh reality. Even as the capitalists in America and Europe and Asia celebrate their great victory over all the world's workers, Maoist rebellions trouble distant lands, like thunder rumbles faintly heard. In America, not heard at all since most of this never makes even the back pages and if the news media ever brings it up, it is only to deride or minimize it.

Even as America celebrates the spread (see article below) of democracy, the underbelly of this public uprising beast is the great mass of very unhappy workers who are in a Darwinian nightmare as they try to climb over each other just to stay afloat. The logic of the situation: mass production can't work if workers can't buy masses of stuff, seems to elude most capitalists. This is why the world has gone through the vast cycle of boom and bust over and over again.

In the present case, the coming bust will slow down the much more serious effects of the Hubbert Oil Peak. The Peak is a big place. It isn't a sharp, one day point in time. It happens over several years. The world has gone on an oil consuming binge that is growing at a rapid pace and has pretty much outstripped the ability to pump and sell oil causing a price spike that will help bring a bust to the world economy which will then cause oil to be consumed in less quantities and thus, the price will go down...only so will wages. The poor will be locked out of the energy market in the end and all will be well, if one is a hard hearted Darwinian "Nature red in tooth and claw" enthusiast.

Americans assume someone else will feel the teeth and claws of Nature. This belief is based on nothing more than our belief that we, the 6% of the earth consuming 25% of earth resources, are going to be in this lucky state forever.

But then, read the NYT article about declining wages.

Will Maoists be running insurgencies against America's rulers?

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