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View Diary: NY-29: Tuesday's Fighting Dem -- Eric Massa (66 comments)

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  •  Re: Well (none)
    >>It's not just about jobs being done more cheaply, its about them being done more efficiently. Businesses aren't going to go over seas if they end up with a terrible product, it's not worth the loss. <<

    Actually the premium that people are willing to pay for quality is pretty darn low.  Generally what people want to do now is go to the lowest cost country you can find, get the work done there, and then kill your competition with the cost advantage.  I mean, there's a reason that Walmart is the biggest retailer and it sure as hell isn't the quality of their goods.

    >>On the second reason, it's not so much, I don't think, the trade agreements that are about lining corporate pockets, it's domestic subsidy programs (i.e. the bizarre ag structure that pays huge corps like Riceland Farms hundreds of millions of dollars every year). Often trade agreements do little to directly help corporations as I understand, because they can sometimes be outcompeted by overseas companies with a new opportunity for markets. <<

    Not all of them, which is why the World Trade Organization is generally a good thing.  However, NAFTA and CAFTA specifically actually did not really provide for anything but the exporting of jobs.  And, if I remember Senator Boxer's speech on CAFTA, it actually was a worse trade deal for the other countries involved than existing laws.  CAFTA wasn't about opening markets to US good or opening US markets to foreign competitors as the countries involved are not developed enough for either to truly be in effect.  So I don't think it is rude to ask what it was for then if not for sending out jobs?  Granted agriculture played a part but that isn't a big enough part of the economy for it to have been pushed so hard.

    "All Politics is Local" - former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neil

    by Mister Gloom on Tue Dec 06, 2005 at 07:24:09 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Re: (none)
      Those low premium jobs have long since been lost in America, thats a given, and as a result, we've had much lower inflation over the past few years than we otherwise would have.

      As far as Walmart, it does alot more than drive prices down. Walmart's supply chain efficiency is basically the best the world has ever seen, and they save TONS of money that way. Being able to coordinate their products so effectively is probably the biggest part of their success. They would never have been able to reach the market share they have without it.

      •  Low Premium? (none)
        A goodly portion of engineering jobs are going to India (and Eastern Europe) primarily because of cost advantage.  A number of people say that these are call-center type of jobs but that isn't true as an increasing amount of development (particularly software deveolpment) is being done in India.  And engineer wrote a letter to Business Week last year saying he told his daughter not to go into engineering because there was no future in this country for it.  Is this "low premium".  And as soon as Republicans can find a way around the Florida issue expect to see those "gold collar" $70,000 a year biotech jobs go running to Cuba.  

        And the "lower inflation" we've experienced?  Is entirely due to Walmart driving down wages which is a bad thing.  If Paul Krugman is correct our median wages have declined over 5% in a recovery.  I don't even want to think about what will happen when we have a recession.

        "All Politics is Local" - former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neil

        by Mister Gloom on Tue Dec 06, 2005 at 07:35:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  True (none)
          But the outsourcing of creative and technology jobs isn't going to Honduras, which is what I was responding to. That is an entirely different issue, but it's something that has to be dealt with. It doesn't have anythign to do with the free trade agreements, but it does have alot to do with the domestic investments that we desperately need to make.

          My reference to 'lower inflation' was a reference to the consumer price index. I remember reading that Walmart shopping had reduced it by about 3% over all during the last few years, which if you tack that on to what we did have, means it cut inflation in half.  Low wages and low prices are two different things. They don't go hand in hand. Walmart is still making 5% profits, and the solution to wages and benefits would amount to 1% or 2% of that. I'm not apologizing for Walmart's workplace compensation, I'm just noting that the issue of Walmart isn't black and white. Not every poor person, or even anywhere near it, works at Walmart, so there are a number of people who's only interaction with it is direct, significant savings on their cost of living.

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