I wish WordPress’s format would allow the privilege of posting two articles side by side. That way the effect could be as eye opening to you, as it was to me…

But alas, I will have to run it through in the old fashioned way, and trust my powers of argument are descriptive enough for the task…

Here are the two articles… I would recommend reading them in their entirety before going further.

How The US Lost Out on iPhone Work

In China, Human Costs Are Built Into An iPad

If you read both of those back to back, I probably do not have to say much. The vision they invoke in you, is probably the same as mine….

They do show us the way out…….

Often in our lives we live in confusion. We muddle through by making small decisions because the big ones ruling our lives are just too impossible and too gigantic to handle. Unexpectedly (it’s a rarity of course), someone, or something puts the pieces in place, and a road map out, one that is simple, plausible and doable, materializes and we can take action, and resolve our gigantic problem causing all our little ones….

Did you see it too?

Allow me the liberty of elaboration. One shows why our jobs moved to China and other countries. They are better than we… The one telling line I believe, is ” Apple’s executives had estimated that about 8,700 industrial engineers were needed to oversee and guide the 200,000 assembly-line workers eventually involved in manufacturing iPhones. The company’s analysts had forecast it would take as long as nine months to find that many qualified engineers in the United States.” The focus of the article, was that was accomplished in 24 hours in China…..

Its the equivalent to a boss telling a subordinate… I want this done, and done it is…..

The second article shows the flaws. It focuses on the explosion at the Foxcomm plant that made assembled the ipods… Two people died. That human cost of an ipod is factored in. It also covers the deplorable living condition that those living at the Foxcomm plant must endure. And it ends with the line, … that if you want to pay for cheap phones, this is what has to be done to make them cheap enough for you to buy….”

Clearly, the US is trending to matching the working conditions of the Chinese in order to compete for jobs.

I don’t think we want to live like that, just to make a living….

We’ve been through this before. Those who once lived along the Merrimack River flowing past Lowell, Massachusetts, well know the dangers described now taking place in China. Those row houses in Appalachia, built by mining companies years ago, share the same horror stories these Chinese are now experiencing.

When you have cheap labor, you have situations where all the power rests in the hands of the one handing out the paychecks… “You want better conditions, they say? You’re fired. Now you have better conditions.” The others bite their tongue so their fate will not be the same.

We learned during the late 19th Century, that the only way out, was to have EVERY worker stop production until, a contract was reached and they allowed themselves to continue forward.

As the right to strike became eroded here in the United States, so has the quality of life for those in the manufacturing sector. Long hours, dangerous conditions, low pay, no benefits, are the lot of those employed by manufacturers. Their bosses insist, those are the conditions then can barely afford, since if they didn’t,… even those jobs would soon leave overseas.

We are in the downward spiral….

Reading the two articles, it became apparent that we are in competition with Chinese and other workers for the bottom… Who can work the hardest with the least amount of trouble for their corporate sponsors and the least amount of money… Whoever it is, will be declared the winners….

Well, if that is the life of a winner, I want no part of it… There has to be a better way….

The answer should have hit you already if you truly did read both articles. The answer is not to compete for the bottom, but the top…. It means we judge success by a whole new set of rules. It means we alter our buying habits and compensation to make living conditions far more bearable around the world, than they are today. And we exercise our power as people, so the money has to work within our framework, sort of along the same framework of just what the Labor Movement accomplished when they took on the big powers that be during the Thirties.

Here is the rough outline.

A) We elect no Republicans in 2012.

B) They pass labor laws determining a true-value wage. Two thirds of that person’s annual wage needs to be able to provide for living quarters, food, utilities, and medical insurance. After all required expenses have been met, 1/3 of each employees income should be left as discretionary income… This is pretty much what most US families had during the nineties. It is affordable because businesses prospered then too.

C) Ugh. The math… (Skip this if math bores you) .. Which means that if a single person can barely make ends meet on $20,000, the standard should be $30,000 here in the US.. Likewise for families, if $40,000 is required, then $60,000 should be the average.. Of course New York and California would be higher paid than say North Dakota or Alaska.. That is the basic gist of it… This cost then becomes a cost of the manufactured product….

D) We hold all businesses doing business in the United States to this principal, no matter where their products get made… Of course we don’t use the same monetary figures, just the same principal… If in Egypt, one can live on $7,000, it is fair to pay them $10,000. Quite possibly, in parts of Africa, one could pay someone $5,000 a year and keep within the same principals. For companies who try to import products made by desperate people in desperate situations, we impose the old custom’s duty, to make them equally as expensive as those made elsewhere, thereby negating any economic advantage to undercut the system.

E) I know the word tariff sends up a red flag to Free Trade-ists. It means that we no longer worrying ourselves about how much a company can maximize its profit; that concern has become secondary. instead, we are concerned about the welfare of those human beings actually working in that country’s manufacturing industry.

F) And for the Free Trade-ists, we are invoking the Free Trade Principals in just a different way. As always, we have said a corporation should have the right to sell and cross borders to trade at a spot that gives them a lower cost… That is what free trade is. We are now, invoking the same rational, but instead of using “cost” as our measuring stick we are attempting to do that with something called the “quality of life”… We are stating: for free trade to occur, “quality of life” must be equal or monetary penalties will be placed raising the cost of that product so they will be…

G) This will be good for China. China needs to raise their cost on which they compete or they will implode. Historically that always happens; the peasants revolt. The best prevention is to fix the problem beforehand. Reading the article above, the one about Foxcomm, one can see that without changes, probably within ten years, China will go down in a massive internal turmoil, UNLESS those in its manufacturing sector are given better working conditions. They need a union movement of their own. Ha, ha: they could look to their own founding Communist philosophy on this one…. if they wanted to see what the future will bring if you run government at the whims of large corporations…

H) Obviously, things will not be as cheap from China, if this goes through. The increased cost of labor to the manufacturer, will be shared in half by a price increase to the final consumer, and the other half by a loss in corporate profit. But the balance of that cost to our economy is: more people will be working in this country. The loss of corporate profits to the labor movement did not create the Depression! It worked us out of it!… The higher the wages, the more money spent. The more money spent, the more things manufactured. The more things manufactured the more people employed. The more people employed the higher the wages. The higher the wages…. the more money spent… We begin the cycle pulling us out ….

So through the juxtapositioning of these two articles, the light has been shown from the end of the tunnel… The way back to prosperity is to pay American workers more. The way to do that is to negate the advantage of paying the Chinese less. The way to do that, is to pass an import tax that raises foreign manufactured items to a rate that allows foreign workers to live with the same amount of discretionary income left over after their necessary expenses, as we would wish upon ourselves. That is the silver bullet, and it surely won’t happen as long as Republicans can block it. Which is why, we need to remove enough corporate sponsored politicians from office, both Democratic and Republican, so We, The People once again, can have a free hand.

Yes, we can do this.

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