Thursday, July 14, 2005

The (broken) bridge to the 21st Century

And thinking about the plight of 21st Century workers in the global economy, (I'm sorry I don't remember who posted this) CBC News reported that Toyota passed up Alabama in favor of Ontario as the site for a new factory because, according to the president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association, Gerry Feldchun:

Nissan and Honda have encountered difficulties getting new plants up to full production in recent years in Mississippi and Alabama due to an untrained - and often illiterate - workforce. In Alabama, trainers had to use "pictorials" to teach some illiterate workers how to use high-tech plant equipment.

Writing for CounterPunch, Paul Craig Roberts is fuming mad again at the Bush administration for ignoring the challenge of creating a 21st Century American workforce that can compete globally (hey, a 20th Century workforce would be a step in the right direction):
Each month in the 21st century the government's own statistics tell the tale of the US winding down as a superpower and devolving into a third world country. Not a single net new high tech or manufacturing job has been created for native-born Americans in the 21st century.

In her opinion piece printed in the NY Times, Suketu Mehta worries that her daughter will one day have to learn Hindi and look for a job in India, the land her grandparents left just a generation ago in search of better prospects in the U.S. Her aim is deadly accurate:
There is a perverse hypocrisy about the whole jobs debate, especially in Europe. The colonial powers invaded countries like India and China, pillaged them of their treasures and commodities and made sure their industries weren't allowed to develop, so they would stay impoverished and unable to compete. Then the imperialists complained when the destitute people of the former colonies came to their shores to clean their toilets and dig their sewers; they complained when later generations came to earn high wages as doctors and engineers; and now they're complaining when their jobs are being lost to children of the empire who are working harder than they are.

Meanwhile, if you're fortunate enough to have the right friends in business, you can work for three months and retire on your $32 million golden parachute. A scorching NY Times editorial yesterday pilloried Morgan Stanley for so rewarding its co-president, Stephen Crawford, for failure. The rest of us stand and watch in complete stupefaction at the audacity of such an act:
Mere groundlings juggling finances at their neighborhood A.T.M.'s must pause slack-jawed at how Wall Street insiders are so ludicrously compensated for plain failure at steering their companies. Few of life's losers land so affluently.


At 7/15/2005 02:39:00 AM, Blogger Rob said...

Have you read Perfectly Legal? If not, do. That is, if you're a masochist. It's a litany of financial horrors, and you can guess who pays.

At 7/15/2005 08:55:00 AM, Blogger Schroeder said...

That's more up my alley than reading about Bush's brain.


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