Saturday, February 3, 2007

Stevie Joe Explains Chinese Trade to Junior

I didn't get to post anything yesterday because Junior came over in the afternoon, and we commenced to drinking. However, for the benefit of my readers and in the spirit of scientific inquiry, I decided to experiment with alternating stingers and screwdrivers. Based upon this exhaustive research, I can recommend that you never do this. Ever.

In any case, Junior was a bit bummed out over his current lack of employment. He has had a number of jobs over the years, and most of them were lost because Junior was being Junior. I mean, sometimes being a drunken moron has its downsides. Occasionally he was let go because he failed to show up for work because he was in jail. Other times, he let his brain get him into trouble. Like the time that he worked as a janitor over at the Flying J. He had to clean the truckers' showers which, as you can imagine, was not an enviable job. Constantly tormented by the stink, Junior got to thinking about ways to make the job go a little easier. This is when he came upon the idea of adding chlorine bleach to the ammonia. As you can imagine, the manager of the Flying J was not impressed by Junior's ingenuity.

The job market around Junebug Holler has gotten a bit tight over the past few years with the county seeing several major plant closings. That means that Junior must compete for the few available jobs against folks who are far better qualified. Junior just couldn't figure out where all the jobs were going since it seemed like folks were buying more crap than ever.

Back in the 80s, there was a lot of grumbling about losing jobs to the Japanese. This caused a lot of "Buy American" fervor, and a lot of American companies hunkered down to improve quality and efficiency. Now, however, we are losing far more jobs to the Chinese yet it seems like folks aren't saying much at all. Why's that?

I believe we don't hear much about it because of where the money is going. Back in the 80s, the American companies were losing, and the Japanese companies were winning. Now, it's the American companies that are winning since they are the ones running the factories in China. So, the corporate executives are making money hand over fist while the blue collar slobs are left out in the cold.

China is a corporate executive's wet dream. There's little or no need to worry about environmental or safety regulations, no unions, and wages are next to nothing. If anyone gets out of line, the government throws them in the can for you. Junior thought that things were getting better in China since trade had opened up. Even when drunk, I'm a whiz with Google. So, I was able to find our own State Department's Country Report on Human Rights for China. It's a doozy. Check it out.

For example, some 126,000 people died in industrial accidents in China in 2005. Can you imagine if we had that kind of problem here? One of my favorite lines was this reported "human rights problem:" monitoring of citizen's mail, telephone and electronic communications. Sound familiar?

Keep buying American,
Stevie Joe Parker

No comments: