Saturday, February 18, 2012

Crunch (goes the global economy!)

Greetings good citizen,

Like the housing bubble, the mythical cheaper there, the driving force behind globalization has finally collapsed under it’s own logistical contradictions.

Besides, complete capture of just the top 20% of the market has proven ‘counter productive’. Driving the other 80 % out of the market place has only fermented open rebellion (especially in the ‘cheaper there’ itself!)

But while China’s industrial subsidies, trade policies, undervalued currency and lack of enforcement for intellectual property rights all remain sticking points for the United States, there is at least one area in which the playing field seems to be slowly leveling: the cheap labor that has made China’s factories nearly unbeatable is not so cheap anymore. China has experienced sporadic labor shortages, which in turn have driven up its once rock-bottom labor costs.

This trend is particularly evident in the weeks following China’s Spring Festival, or New Year, when more than 100 million rural migrants return to the countryside to spend the year’s biggest holiday with family. Coaxing those same migrants back into the urban work force has proven increasingly difficult.

This year has been no exception. Although nearly two weeks have passed since the Lantern Festival that officially marks the end of the 15-day holiday, cities across China are still facing a serious labor shortfall. In order to lure new workers and retain the old, some companies give employees sizable bonuses just for coming back to work, while others offer cash for every new employee they bring along with them. And in many areas, wage increases ranging from 10 to 30 percent have become the norm.

Funny how ‘time’ has played a factor here as well. China makes no bones about throwing you out into the cold after you turn thirty (because you can’t keep up with the kids!)

Which means their ‘hungry’ pool (of formerly communist) workers is exhausted.

The currently available pool KNOWS that THEY have the upper hand (the work HAS TO get done! Miss the JIT shipping date and there goes the profits!)

Worse, most of this shit CAN’T be shuffled (on a moments notice) to some other third world hell hole, the equipment and the raw materials required aren’t exactly ‘portable’…then there’s the ‘learning curve’. The machine does most of the work but the Monkey WATCHING the machine has to know what ‘proper operation’ looks like as well as being able to tell when the machine is fucking up!

Ironically, it was these factors that led the capitalists to start calling US workers ‘greedy’ (for wanting a wage above sustenance level!)

Which (naturally) brings us full circle to the fair days wages for a fair days work equation (that neither money nor capitalism has answered satisfactorily.)

The capitalist believes he’s lived up to his end of the bargain if the worker doesn’t starve to death, and the worker sees the employers ‘toys’ and lavish lifestyle and KNOWS who is REALLY paying for it all!

Understand Bubba, it takes a whole boatload of workers to make a single wealthy, er, ‘family unit’. (The loop isn’t closed until the trophy wife spits out a couple of kids to insure that the judge will award her ‘generous’ child support/alimony payments!)

So, to add insult to injury, the worker has to pay for the employer’s ‘mistakes’!

Well, the world of ‘tangible goods’ will always require knowledgable workers…who will continue to demand higher than sustenance wages.

Until they abandon their ’need for speed’ and allow workers to build some kind of life for themselves, the ‘cheaper there’ is officially ‘toast’!

What’s really gonna put a major kink in things will be the ‘sudden’ reassertion of longstanding ‘anti-trust laws’.

Few of you realize this but an ‘imported economy’ makes YOU a VERY ‘captive audience’.

Soon, local sources will start driving multi-national brands from the market place because Mother Nature doesn’t have a cash register! (and you CAN’T BEAT FREE!)

Clever local operators will start beating the (real) greedy bastards at their own game!

Once again we see workers being blamed for increases in prices.

How ‘hollow’ is this claim when working US citizen is officially an ‘endangered species’?

It galls me to no end to see GE (ONCE the world’s largest manufacturer) using ‘made in the USA’ in its advertising!

Those heartless pricks laid off hundreds of thousands of US workers!

What the ‘average’ worker doesn’t know is our supposedly free markets are anything but!

They are contractually bound to buy from certain vendors, often regardless of price!

So the next time you go to the store and notice the price of (fill in the blank) has taken a stiff jump, it would behoove you to question the validity of the (often bogus) news item related to the increase.

Look at housing prices? Locally they’re still ‘sky-high’ yet in the next state (up) they are virtually ‘giving’ property away! (Because it has ALWAYS been an ‘economic desert’ up there!)

And, mind you, neither story is making the news.

Because the ‘truth’ is that we will soon be faced with overwhelming ‘dearth of buyers’ situation that will literally destroy current property values.

The entire region would go up for sale overnight as everyone hoped to lure ‘the greater fool’ into buying their place (at the current greatly inflated price!)

If you step back a couple of paces and mentally blend the ‘Global race to the bottom with Peak Oil’, maybe you will begin to appreciate why National Geographic has begun ‘profiling’ ‘Dooms-Day Preppers.’

Left to our imagination is what it means when the corporate owned media starts admitting ‘the cheaper there’ is no more?

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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