We are winning the race to the bottom!

We are starting to see a lot of news articles talking about "reshoring".

 “There is evidence here of reshoring because of transportation costs and lead times,” Mr Bergmann said. “The global supply chain allows you to chase lower cost of labour, but the total costs are reflected in the decision on where you produce for a given geography.”

 The decline of the American middle class has finally reached the point that American workers can compete against Chinese peasants. Victory is in sight!

  How much have things changed since the start of this Depression? A lot.

 Whereas the gap in labor costs between the two countries was about $17 per hour in 2006, that could shrink to as little as $7 per hour by 2015,

 With any luck our corporate masters will soon be installing suicide nets outside their American factories too.

The biggest reason for this change of fortune is that Chinese workers are pricing themselves out of the global market.  China is running out of surplus peasants.

 A decade ago, a factory worker in China made 58 cents an hour. Today, wages are more than $ 3.00 and there are predictions of $6.00 an hour by the year 2015.

 $3 an hour?!? Who do they think they are? Rockefeller? No wonder manufacturers are moving back here.

  Time for some simple math: $17 - $7 = $10.

The Chinese peasants are making roughly $5 an hour more, thus we're getting $5 an hour poorer.

  Oh, sorry. I mean $5 an hour "more competitive".

   Of course its important to analyze all the reasons for this sudden surge of love for the American worker.

 Boston Consulting Group, which advises companies on their supply chains, recently made an extended case that the United States is like the China of wealthy countries (awesome analogy!) because of how cheap it is to make stuff there.

   What it shows is that labor and energy costs are a lot lower in the US than in Europe and Japan, and are no higher, combined, than in China. Overall, in 2015, manufacturing in the US will cost only about 5% more than in China.

  5% isn't much, and considering the way that median wages are dropping here in The States, we should reach Chinese peasant wages in no time at all.

  Already 40% of workers earn less than the 1968 minimum wage after adjusting or inflation.

   Of course its important to look at the key reasons why the American worker is getting so darn cheap.

 The report notes that a significant reason for lower US labor costs is that it’s easier to fire people and shut down factories:

 Doesn't reading that leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling all over? The American worker is getting cheaper because the American worker is the most disposable of any developed nation.

  All that love for the American worker shows up in all sorts of ways, such as vacation days.

Or should I say, lack of.

  Some of the more alarmists may compare the current condition of workers to medieval peasants, but that wouldn't be accurate.

 Plowing and harvesting were backbreaking toil, but the peasant enjoyed anywhere from eight weeks to half the year off... In fact, economist Juliet Shor found that during periods of particularly high wages, such as 14th-century England, peasants might put in no more than 150 days a year.

   As for the modern American worker? After a year on the job, she gets an average of eight vacation days annually.

 And lets not forget that 38% of workers get no sick leave.

   Another number you need to remember is 91%.

 Just in time for the Labor Day "holiday," a new survey reveals that nearly all employed Americans—91 percent—do work-related tasks during their personal time.

   A total of 37 percent of employed Americans work 10 or more hours per week during their supposed personal time, compared with 27 percent of Australians and 18 percent of British workers, according to the survey of 2,034 workers.

 Businesses don't have to pay for vacation time or sick time, and get a whole bunch of unpaid hours of work above and beyond the normal 40+ hours.

   All that translates into higher corporate profits that comes directly from paying less compensation (at least to non-CEOs).

  Before everyone gets excited about those sweatshop jobs being reshored, let's keep it in perspective.

For the first time in decades, more manufacturing jobs are returning to the United States than are going offshore. The combined reshoring and foreign direct
investment (FDI) trends grew by over 10 percent in 2016, adding 77,000 jobs (tying the 2014 record) and exceeding the rate of offshoring by about 27,000 jobs. The 2016 results bring the
total number of manufacturing jobs brought back from offshore to more than 338,000 since the manufacturing employment low of February 2010.

 I wonder if a time will come when our leaders will decide not to compete with the wages of workers in other 3rd world countries.

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25 users have voted.

Comments

BrutallyHonest's picture

All the more reason why Cooperatives are the future for workers everywhere and if implemented properly are also the solution for a more involved and educated populace which will thus create a better economic+governmental system in the US.

The only reason anyone should fight for unions is as a smoke screen for the only battle that truly matters and will change the world for better; the one to democratize the work place.

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4 users have voted.
mhagle's picture

@BrutallyHonest

Stop working for the man.

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2 users have voted.

Marilyn

Let's save the planet for our kids. Tree Hugger to the end.

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

is another big plague.

That should really get peasant wages up.

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9 users have voted.

I am waiting for you, Vizzini.

@Not Henry Kissinger

Perhaps the unregulated products and industrial pollution will fill that plague function? Even if a little more slowly, to begin with.

(The bots to replace us will suffer from different viruses and worms, of course...)

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

snoopydawg's picture

benefits at all. The companies that hire them don't have to provide them, but get to profit off them. Plus companies don't have to provide worker's compensation insurance.

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10 users have voted.

The Democrats are beyond morally bankrupt. The Party’s very soul has been replaced with pure ratfuckery.

reflectionsv37's picture

@snoopydawg I spent the better part of my working career as an independent contractor in the IT field. I made a great hourly wage at that time during the 80's and early 90's. But I received absolutely nothing from the companies I provided services to.

No healthcare, no sick leave, no paid vacations, no pension, no IRA or 401K matching plans and I had to pay both sides of the Social Security tax which totaled about 12% at the time. The hourly rate looks great, until you start adding up all the associated expenses and then you realize the only real benefit is that you are, at least somewhat, your own boss. I happened to end up being the biggest asshole I ever worked for! A real slave driver I was! But things are different today. Most in IT would never make today what I was earning nearly 40 years ago. I don't know why anyone would try it for $20-$30 and hour. And talk about being expendable and living in the "what have you done for me lately" world. They don't don't even bother to escort you to the door. They just point in the general direction and tell you to get the hell out. I imagine today, they probably just send you a text message.

If given the opportunity again, I would still rather be a contractor than an employed slave who is forced to work unpaid extra hours at managements whim. Particularly considering that most of the forced unpaid work at that time was do to lack of planning by management. My motto then was "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine!", which was one of the primary reasons I decided to go independent. I have to admit, I'm glad those days are behind me! And in just 12 days, I get to sign up for Social Security and start getting some of that money I paid in, back!

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13 users have voted.

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”
George W. Bush

Raggedy Ann's picture

@reflectionsv37
Have you been around and I've missed you or are you popping back on the scene here at c99? Good to read you again. How's life on the seas been?

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3 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

reflectionsv37's picture

@Raggedy Ann Hi Raggedy Ann!

I've been slowly coming out of the coma I've been in for the past 8 months. I've been rendered nearly speechless and still having trouble believing some of what has transpired since Trump came to office. It's left me unable to type for a while!

Haven't been doing much in the way of sailing lately. We did some land travel up to Thailand and Laos and been hanging out in marinas to avoid the weather this time of the year here. The storms get nasty! Not a good time to be at anchor. In a few months we'll head back up to Thailand and think in early spring we're going to head over to Borneo for a year or two. Not ready to leave SE Asia yet.

I'm trying to post more, but every time I do, I wake up the next morning to the latest Trump outrage and relapse back into my shell. I'm getting stronger again!! I think I'm starting to see the end of the Trump presidency at the far end of the tunnel! I sure hope so! I can't mentally take too much more of this!

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6 users have voted.

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”
George W. Bush

Raggedy Ann's picture

@reflectionsv37
Yeah, Herr Drumpf got people in a funk, but as is proven time and time again, tptb reign said disrupter in and they fall in line to do their bidding. Herr Drumpf wants to be the popular guy, so he can be led around by the nose. If they keep getting their way with him (like they did with Obama), there will be no premature end to his Presidency. If he balks and they lose control, he's toast. My opinion, anyway.

Well, good to "see" you again and looking forward to reading your thoughts on our world! Pleasantry

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4 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

earthling1's picture

@reflectionsv37
I too missed hearing of your exploits on the seven seas.
I'm so jealous.
Good to hear from you.

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2 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

So we got that going for us. /s

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15 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady We're number 1

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4 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

@Snode

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1 user has voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Pricknick's picture

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4 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Lookout's picture

I fear it is time to hunker down in a safe place and try to ride out the storm.

What happens when the dollar collapses gjohn?

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4 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

No way the last election could have tapped into economic anxiety. Nope. No way.

Seriously, this is incrementalism in action. 30 years of steady republican whittling away at American workers and families lives, with the collaboration of the democratic party. The democratic leadership has no kinship with us because they pulled away from us economically so far and so fast we're just a speck in the rear view mirror.

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5 users have voted.
Meteor Man's picture

Ask what you can do for Bezos!

Because Amazon needs corporate welfare:

Warnings of 'Race to the Bottom' as Amazon Holds Nationwide Tax Break Contest

Cities across the country are vying to be Amazon's new second home, after the retail company unveiled a Request for Proposals (RFP) aimed at selecting the site of an additional headquarters to complement its Seattle campus. While a number of city governments are eager to participate in the bidding war, critics are calling Amazon's proposition a "race to the bottom," with civic leaders competing to see who can offer the multi-billion-dollar corporate giant the biggest incentives to build in their cities—at potentially high prices for taxpayers.

Whichever city "wins" Amazon's headquarters will do so by ceding to the enormously powerful company money that should, by normal laws, be going into the public till, to build schools and roads and pay firefighters and do things that support everyone.

L.A. gives Eli Broad development tax breaks for his projects because he also needs more money. Tax breaks for sports stadiums, Foxconn etc., etc. ad infinitum.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/09/12/warnings-race-bottom-amazon...

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2 users have voted.

Cali Kush: a bowl a day keeps the doctor away.

Whoa, (edit: link in OP) took me to KOS and the diary had been deleted and I didn't have permission to see it anyway. (Haven't been back to check to see if I'd been banned in absentia or not, or know if that makes any difference, but I wouldn't be signed in anyway.) But (surprise!) what an unwelcoming place, lol!

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.