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View Diary: Irish Workers Occupy Waterford Crystal Factory (277 comments)

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  •  You assume there are unlimited resources (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    farbuska

    What if there are only limited resources, and aren't enough for both the Asians and the Irish to live at the Irish standard of living?

    •  false equivalency (11+ / 0-)

      I don't think anyone is saying we have to build Dublin on Kalimantan. Sure, world trade grows as Asian countries take advantage of their lower cost of living. It doesn't mean we have to hurt people while doing it.

      I think the point is that workers in Asia should at least benefit from what the west learned during the industrial revolution. Why should any group have to go through another round of industrial lead poisonings, silicosis, and cancers when we know better? Can the western consumer not afford to pay an extra few percent for some very basic safety equipment?

      In a world of limited resources, the shut-down and offshoring of the Waterford factory should free up enough health and safety resources to provide the new workers with some semblance safety in an industrial workplace.

      Comments Signature: This will get attached to your comments.

      by Gravedugger on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 11:07:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  if you'd added a snark tag to (0+ / 0-)

        the shut-down and offshoring of the Waterford factory should free up enough health and safety resources to provide the new workers with some semblance safety in an industrial workplace.

        you might get more recs.

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:15:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If there's only enough resources to make (19+ / 0-)

      and sell a limited amount of Irish Waterford crystal, then I would say that the history of 200 plus years of artisanship gives Irish workers in Waterford Ireland first claim.

      the third eye does not weep. it knows. Political compass: -9.75 / -8.72

      by mijita on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 11:07:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, I believe the assumption is that resources (12+ / 0-)

      are deployed inefficiently, with too many in the hands of only a few, and I'm not talking about the Irish workers.

      When you have wealth so concentrated among such a small portion of the world's population, it's virtually impossible to change the dynamics of poverty.

      Unfortunately, in our capitalistic system, the distribution and concentration of resources does little to address the real needs of humanity, focused instead on fueling the desires of a few.

      I can recall those wonderful days of the Reagan administration (snark!) when the U.S. economy was lauded for having produced the most dynamic middle class in the world. Since Reagan, however, the middle class has been in almost continuous decline, except for a brief period during the Clinton years.

      All I can add to this is to read my sig line.

      "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." JFK - January 20, 1961

      by rontun on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 11:12:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Globally... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jxg, island in alabama

        ...there physically are not the resources to allow 6 billion people to live like even lower-middle-class Americans. There just aren't.

        And taxing the rich might be a partial solution, but I don't think a complete solution because I don't think, for example, someone who makes $10 million a year consumes 100x the resources of someone who makes $100k.

        Back in the 1980s, there were 4 billion people on the planet; now there are 6.5 billion! Those extra 2.5 billion all want resources too.

        •  First of all, in 1985 there were 4.8 billion (19+ / 0-)

          people, and today the population estimate is 6.7 billion.

          Second, I don't think you can measure resources only in terms of dollars. To elevate the standard of living of someone in most of the impoverished nations of the world would not require a dollar amount equal to what it costs to sustain a lower-middle-class American.

          Moreover, in the U.S. and other industrialized societies so many resources are devoted to what are unnecessary consumer products that pile up in attics, basements, garages and on eBay.

          I'm not against all luxury items, nor am I anti-capitalism.  However, I do wonder if investors could not make as much money creating a market for and producing goods genuinely needed in poorer regions of the world.

          Quite frankly, the best place to start redeploying resources would be to reduce the production and merchandising of arms and weapons systems and apply those resources to humanitarian pursuits. I daresay that a $250 contribution to OxFam will go much further to advance the human condition than $250 spent to acquire another AK-47.

          Given that OxFam claims that for $20 it can buy enough maize to feed a family of four in the Rift Valley of Ethiopia for six months, think of the impact diverting funding from one F-22 fighter jet, costing $140 million, could have on alleviating hunger.

          The challenge, from my perspective, is not a lack of resources, but how to employ them more effectively.

          "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." JFK - January 20, 1961

          by rontun on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 11:51:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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