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Nov-08-2007 05:11printcomments

Outsourcing A Nation's Workforce

We are now getting down to basics; Hershey's Chocolate in Hershey, Pennsylvania just announced that it is laying off 10% of its employees and shipping the work to Mexico.

Salem-News.com
Salem-News.com

(EUGENE, Ore.) - As you know, much of the work to produce our products is done by foreign countries. For example, 30% of US appliances are built ironically by the world's largest Communist country, China, who also produces most of our other products.

There is no backing out of this deal, for we must keep them in money so we can borrow it back to pay our national debt. Alienate them and they could break us anytime they want.

Many cars and trucks that we think of as American, Ford, Chevy, etc., are built in Canada, while the US produces most of what we think of as Japanese cars, Honda, Toyota, etc.

Most product technical support is provided by foreign countries. IBM's Lenovo computer support, however, comes mostly from the US.

One might think that this export of all our work, which forced many talented people into meaningless low paying jobs, virtually wiping out the middle class, was due to the search for cheap labor, thus saving the remaining consumers lots of money. This really doesn't make sense in the long run, for when you eliminate good paying jobs and don't replace them you also eliminate consumers.

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There are studies that reveal how greatly the US male ego has suffered from this uncontrolled effort to automate their jobs and ship the rest overseas--destroying their opportunity to make a decent living and a way of life in America.

We are now getting down to basics; Hershey's Chocolate in Hershey, Pennsylvania just announced that it is laying off 10% of its employees and shipping the work to Mexico.

Some corporations are now making the case that, because they can't find enough qualified workers in the US, they want to establish offices in Canada where they can bring in foreign contract workers to do these jobs. Of course, no unions, no healthcare, no pensions.

They will probably be able to buy into Canada's healthcare which I just read was far superior to that of the US at about half the price. (See AARP) This is a clever way of also providing quick access to engineers, programmers, etc., that are now working for US corporations in far off lands. It is interesting that these corporations helped create an environment friendly to their plans by laying off all their "older" workers, meaning anyone over 55, and then complain that there aren't enough talented people to do their work, which is a recent theme.

Some years after IBM laid off most their people over 55, which included many professional people, they started complaining about the shortage of experienced workers. This didn't make sense at the time, however, here we are.

So what's going on? For one thing, the US Military is larger than that of all other countries in the world combined. And the US has created a huge military economy that is totally controlled by politicians and the government. The military has its contractors and subcontractors and bases scattered all over the world.

The US still maintains a base with 50,000 people in Japan alone. Think about how many young men who can't afford college and can't find decent jobs turn to the US Military for an opportunity to make a life for themselves. Could this be intentional? Of course, because we were tricked into getting rid of the draft, the rich folks can now sit and watch all the destruction and killing from their easy chairs.

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Ref: The Sorrows of Empire, by Chalmers Johnson
He discusses the enormous size of the US Military and how it will one day bring us down

Also: Freeing the World to Death, by William Blum
Blum discusses the nasty methods used by the US to take control of smaller countries. It is tough reading William Blum without having some Rolaids handy.

Previous articles by Wayne Pierce on Salem-News.com

===============================================

Wayne was born in a small farm town in California's San Joaquin Valley. At age ten, he moved with his family to San Jose, California, which at the time had a population of 50,000 and was surrounded by orchards--mostly prunes. At age twenty, he joined IBM, one of the first electronic plants that would evolve into what we know today as Silicon Valley. Most of his college education was acquired through part-time classes while sometimes working ten hours a day. Wayne started on the bottom in the magnetic disk manufacturing facility, which produced the large disks for the earlier IBM computer systems. These magnetically coated disks would evolve into what we know today as hard drives. Wayne's last assignment with IBM was setting up their first inkjet printer lab that became what we know today as the Lexmark printer business. After his retirement from IBM, he wrote human interest stories for a small town newspaper.

You can write to Wayne Pierce at: bus215@aeolusblue.com




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mira November 9, 2007 4:47 am (Pacific time)

Scott, this is for you. Amen. You said it just right. I like to thank you for your service and God bless you and all the other soldiers who are on active duty right now. Just remember one thing "Common sense is not that common or everybody would have it". And that's the truth. People might be book smart but it doesn't mean they're able to make it in the real world. Thank you


Scott Seigel November 9, 2007 12:06 am (Pacific time)

Dear Sir, As a U.S. military veteran myself and the family member of a deployed soldier, a non-deployed marine, a bunch of retired senior officers and a contractor stationed over there, I wanted to take exception with some of the information that you have put out and to share a few statistics with you. First, you may not know that the size of the armies of the various nations closely parallels the total size of their militaries. So let's compare armies: China 1,600,000 India 1,100,000 North Korea 950,000 South Korea 560,000 Pakistan 550,000 USA 477,800 Vietnam 412,000 Turkey 402,000 Iraq 321,000 Russia 321,000 Obviously, America is NOWHERE NEAR the largest. What we ARE is well funded and HIGHLY capable. At the time the draft was eliminated in 1973, our fighting effectiveness was massively degraded by drugs, severely degraded esprit de corps and a broadly corrupt military chain of command—here I mean the uniformed leaders, not the politicians. Today, over 30 years later, we overwhelmingly have good people who do the right thing AND almost all our people do things the right way! Our troops are five to ten times more technically proficient than those of the next best rival nations. They believe in their nation, have strong values, and largely support the causes for which they fight. If not for a bunch of well-intentioned political and academic idiots dictating that we share our superior military knowledge (generally for short-term for political and economic gains) , we wouldn't be having nearly as much trouble with terrorists in general and insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan in particular. HOWEVER, our troubles with the insurgents are it's not nearly as bad as folks in America might think reading US newspapers and watching your TVs (in YOUR easy chairs). We're building hospitals, schools, roads, power and water treatment plants, etc., etc.! This may not sound like much, but we are creating infrastructure, teaching people how to govern themselves, giving whole populations hope and building nations! It's hard work. Lots of people say it's about oil. Of course that's ONE factor, but if that was the ONLY thing that matters, we would have left Afghanistan when the threat was (mostly) eliminated. We can't fight terror effectively in all 20 nations that are touched by it. We also can't fight against a major strategic enemy while our forces are engaged in lots of nation-building. A theater-level war would degrade our efforts, but don't imagine we aren't ready for that. Iran is a big threat sandwiched between Iraq and Afghanistan. However, one attack from them will result in an asymmetrical response from us. Their entire government and military will be utterly destroyed if they try it, and they know it. Having our forces so extended (note they I did not say OVER-extended) means that our ability to respond "surgically" so as to minimize casualties is diminished—but our ability to respond forcefully and effectively is not. We are prepared right now to effectively deal with threats from North Korea and China. Only Russia is in a position to do us grave harm, but only through the wanton use of their strategic nuclear capabilities—and that would kill them also (along with almost everyone on Earth). Today there is cause to consider reinstating a draft. There are also many strong arguments against it. Let's not refill our military prisons with violent criminals. If we must draft, let us draft boys AND GIRLS as a precondition to entering college—particularly college sports. Let them choose to serve in any number of non-combat capacities for minimal pay. If they wish, and once they've actually demonstrated an aptitude for the military, we could offer them additional training and higher-risk opportunities carrying greater financial and (government/military career) rewards. This way we won't have so many ignorant people and academic idiots filling our ivory towers (often without a bit of military experience) criticizing things about which they know precious little.


Brodie November 8, 2007 8:31 pm (Pacific time)

Being Canadian and a Hershey employee as well I agree with some of this article which states too many items are produced in foreign countries such as China and Mexico and this is destroying the Canadian and American manufacturing markets. Good paying jobs with pensions and benefits are being replaced with minimum wage jobs. But believe me these corporation are not heading to Canada , Hershey is closing all of its manufacturing plants in Canada and putting thousands of employees out of work and many of us are a long ways from 55. Hershey is not relocating to Mexico or China for a better work force but for a cheaper one who will work for nothing ,and one they can bully. Greedy corporations will continue to move to foreign countries until a consumer gets fatally sick from substandard products or consumers stop buying their foreign made items. We as consumers can force corporation to their knees if we band together and refuse to purchase items made from outside Canada and the US, its that simple....Hershey got greedy and hired a bunch of morons to operate this company and this group screwed up and the Hershey`s stocks are in the toilet because of these greedy corporate types who think of nothing but their own pockets. For 110 years Hershey stayed true to its country and employees but in my opinion they have committed the ultimate sin by closing factories in Canada and the US and giving these jobs to the Mexican work force, and I believe not to far down the road Hershey will regret these moves when Cadbury , Nestles or maybe MandM Mars are knocking at their front door with eviction papers. The sad part about all of this is Hershey was doing well until they decided to allow the wrong people to control this company. Hershey reminds me of the Titanic , big and powerful but doomed to sink because of arrogant decisions..........


Henry Ruark November 8, 2007 10:09 am (Pacific time)

Sue et al: I relish all such kudos, but in truth do so since it is simple professional responsibility to so share, leading on to strong, honest, open dialog, on which our democracy must now depend more than ever before ! Thanks, Sue...will help convince four sons "in the media" to "keep on keepin' on" since some out there both understand and believe, too.


Sue November 8, 2007 9:31 am (Pacific time)

Henry: Thanks so much for sharing your valuable knowledge! I appreciate it very much...in fact I look for your comments.


Henry Ruark November 8, 2007 8:39 am (Pacific time)

To all: Here's comprehensive and authoritative source for ongoing intelligence re many corporate activities: http://www.alternet.org/workplace/all/


Henry Ruark November 8, 2007 7:20 am (Pacific time)

Here Pierce reflects some of the most serious consequences of allowing our governance to be subverted into that of an entirely "corporatist" state. Yet, at same time, movement towards real corporate social responsibilities worldwide is stronger than ever...see current issue of FORTUNE for strong documenting in special ad-supported report-section. If we are smart enough to apply those principles by force of vote, we can still rescue and resuscitate our democracy.

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