Friday, November 27, 2009

Bring on the Low Wages, Say Corporate Free Marketeers. Have we learned Nothing from Dickens?

America is one of the largest consumer markets in the world. Sell it here and foreign manufacturers can make a lot of money. Despite this huge attractive market, we're not using our consumer buying strength as a bargaining tool. It's simply a freebie for global markets to exploit and plunder.

Now instead of protecting our country workers and maintaining the ability of our citizens to be strong consumers, corporations are now push hard for lower wages. The excuse; we're not facing the "reality" that wages are really low all over the world. A reality they would like to create here. We're returning to a Dickensian labor market of the haves and the have nots, poor houses and Marleys ghost.

The following sick look at is so filled with bizarre leaps logic, I will hold my commentary back this time only because it's so obviously wrong in so many places. But it is what you'll start hearing more now than ever before, now that we have a free market Democrat in the White House.

From CNN:
Competition. A simple concept and a beneficial one. It makes us better by forcing us to work harder.

When we're not hiding from domestic competition, we're trying to shield ourselves from the foreign variety. High-skilled workers don't want to compete with those from China, India or Pakistan. Low-skilled workers are just as afraid of those from Mexico, Guatemala or El Salvador.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton tried to give displaced workers in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania a convenient villain to blame -- the North American Free Trade Agreement. Build a wall. Impose a tariff. All so we don't have to put up with the annoyance of being forced to out-work, out-produce and out-hustle someone else to make a living. Imagine that. What people in other countries accept as the natural order, we continue to resist.

Consider what Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, is pitching. He has just written a new 10-point immigration reform bill that he plans to introduce any day now. "No American worker, no citizen of the United States, no one born here in this country should ever have to lose an opportunity for gainful employment at the expense of someone not born here."

As principles go, that one is dreadful. If a job is available, U.S. workers should be free to compete for it, but not have it handed to them on a silver platter. Likewise, foreign workers who come here legally should have a shot at competing for that same job.

Of course, protectionists claim that the playing field isn't level since foreign workers will often accept less money to do the same job, thus putting American workers at a disadvantage.


Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a member of the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board, a nationally syndicated columnist and a regular contributor to

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