Saturday, July 10, 2010

The New Realities: American Companies aren't really American anymore

Bloomburg Businessweek

First, even the bluest of blue chip American companies aren't really American anymore: They typically get more than half their revenue from abroad. Take Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Caterpillar (CAT), and IBM (IBM). They generate two-thirds of their sales in foreign markets. Intel's proportion is even higher: 72 percent of its revenue now comes from abroad. To create jobs, Grove advocates a trade war and says we should "treat it like other wars—fight to win." The problem is that American companies will be the first casualties in such a war, and American jobs will be lost. There is no way to win.

Second, do we really want the types of manufacturing jobs being created abroad, at companies like Foxconn? The recent spate of suicides at Foxconn's giant factory complex in Shenzhen, China, was attributed to the mindless work and repetitive tasks that its employees had to perform, day in and day out. Things were different at the turn of the century and after the Great Depression, when American workers did not have the education and skills to perform higher-level chores, or were desperate for any kind of work. I doubt that even the most depressed regions of America would want to be home to factories that pollute the environment, pay minimum wage, and work at the profit margins of these sweatshops.

       On this second point I must disagree.  Factory work is not mindless and should not be dismissed as unworthy and only suited for the uneducated.   Believe me,  some are desperate for any type of work at a good wage and are capable of learning a skill.  Repetitive is not the dirty word, unemployed is.  A job well done is a job well done, be it in an office or on the farm.  Let's make something again and put our people back to work. 

What do you think, are you working......... do you want to?


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