Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Real War on Christmas!


By Jeff Simpson

Recently fake journalist, and WPRI republican hack Christian Schneider wrote a column on the wonders of offshoring(in a defense of Mary Burke).   Apparently you have to be an adult to understand what a great thing it is:

But while the outsourcing issue is a Sheboygan-sized target on Burke's campaign, Republicans should avoid simply hammering her for the act of outsourcing itself. It is an easy tactic — and in the end, winning is all that matters, after all — but campaigns should be careful how they foment anger among voters. Especially if it means confusing the public about a nuanced issue that deserves an adult conversation.

First, a point of clarification: While Burke's detractors refer to "outsourcing," they really mean "offshoring." Companies "outsource" their operations to other businesses when it isn't cost-effective to do the work themselves. It's not as if Grimace and Mayor McCheese are at the McDonald's headquarters milking cows to produce the company's dairy creamers; they outsource that task to an actual dairy company.

"Offshoring," on the other hand, means moving jobs overseas, where products can be produced cheaper due to lower labor costs. For the workers whose jobs are moved to India, China or Mexico, offshoring — to use a technical economic term — "sucks."
 We at CogDis pointed out that Schneider is economic illiterate, which was of a surprise to no one.   What I failed to do though was point out the "real world"consequences of offshoring that no one seems to want to have an adult conversation about(hint: don't look to Schneider for adult conversations).  
1.  What is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the world?  Bangladesh garment worker makes the list.    Who knew making your cheap T-shirt was so dangerous?  

In Bangladesh, there are 4 million garment workers — they’re getting starved to death too with pitiful wages, and they’re brutally overworked. And there are no health and safety standards. We saw the result of that in the Tazreen Factory fire on Nov. 24, 2012, which killed at least 117 workers. Less than a month later another factory, Smart Fashion, went up in flames.
 When we were in Bangladesh, a boy named Korshed —15 years of age — was working a night shift, all night long from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. during the monsoon season. It was July 17, 2012, when in the middle of the night at 3:00 a.m. a gigantic metal slab fell and crushed this young kid. Killed, dead on the spot. There’s no health and safety records whatsoever, the workers are just sitting ducks.
 2.  A lady in Oregon bought cheap crap Halloween decorations from China and found a letter:

"People who work here have to work 15 hours a day without Saturday, Sunday break and any holidays. Otherwise, they will suffer torturement, beat and rude remark. Nearly no payment (10 yuan/1 month)."
Ten yuan is equivalent to $1.61.
"People who work here, suffer punishment 1-3 years averagely, but without Court Sentence (unlaw punishment). Many of them are Falun Gong practitioners, who are totally innocent people only because they have different believe to CCPG. They often suffer more punishment than others."

Schneider did get that right....$1.61/month is definitely cheaper labor.  See what happens when you get rid of the unions, companies are free to prosper!  Time for ACT11 to cut teacher pay again.  

 As a child, Aruna dreamed of going to college. But by the time she was 15, when her government-subsidized schooling ended, she understood that she was too poor. Then, a stranger promised to change her life. He offered her a job at a textile factory that has supplied companies including, until recently, UK-based maternity wear maker Mothercare. Her pay would be about $105 a month—enough for food for her family, her further education, and most importantly, the chance to build a dowry.

When Aruna arrived at the factory, about 40 miles from her home, she found a vast facility where close to 1,000 girls, many in their teens, lived 10 or 15 to a room. From 8 a.m. till 10 p.m. every day, including weekends, she fed and monitored rusty machines that spun raw cotton into yarn. Her bosses often woke her in the middle of the night because, she recalls, there was "always some sort of work, 24 hours a day." Aruna made just a quarter of the $105 a month she was promised, about $0.84 a day.

Aruna shows me a scar on her hand, more than an inch long, where a machine cut her. She often saw girls faint from standing for too long. One had her hair ripped out when it got caught in a machine. Others were molested by their supervisors. "They said we would get less work if we slept with them," Aruna says. Sometimes girls would disappear, and everyone would speculate whether they'd died or escaped. Still, she needed the money, so she worked there for two years.
 Last April's building collapse in Bangladesh's Rana Plaza, which killed more than 1,000, briefly drew attention to the plight of garment workers. India is an even larger global player than Bangladesh: It's the third-largest textile and garment exporter in the world (after China and the European Union), with about $29 billion in 2012 sales. Between June 2012 and June 2013, the United States imported about $2.2 billion worth of cotton clothing from India, and that number is expected to grow as India ramps up its textile industry.

 4.  In Jordan a factory that produces products for WalMart, sexual abuse is a way of life:

In June, the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights released a report alleging that workers producing clothing for Walmart, Target, Macy's, Kohl's and Hanes at a factory in Jordan have been routinely beaten, underpaid and forced to work hours in excess of what the local law allows. The report added that workers have been forced to live in bed bug-infested dormitories that lack heat and hot water, despite the snow and ice that are a feature of local winters.
The report also alleged a pattern of widespread sexual abuse of female employees at the Classic Brands factory complex. The factory employs some 4,800 people, mostly guest workers from South Asia. One manager repeatedly raped female Sri Lankan workers, prompting a strike late last year, according to the report. Workers wanted the manager fired. Instead, the factory's owner sent the manager on a recruiting mission to South Asia as a means of temporarily removing him from the complex. The owner did not publicly discipline the manager or remove the man from his employment, said Charles Kernaghan, the institute's director, and the lead author of the study.

Whats a few rapes of 13 year old girls, they aren't in school anyway.    When your working a 17 hour shift, 7 days a week,  its the only way they get a break.  

5.  There there was this clown that people actually thought could be President of the United States. 

 And the one thing that gets you mad is someone saying "Happy Holidays"?    


  1. Teachers who worked hard, furthered their education,got a masters degree, received good evaluations would see a nice salary in 12 years- in that 60-80k range. Now - sadly all of that has changed. New teachers come in at maybe 40k and go nowhere despite all the demands on accountability and increased workloads. There is no merit pay. There are no steps. Now - it will take a teacher nearly 50 years to reach a salary truly reflective of their skills. 60-80k salaries are gone - with 1.5 % salary increases they will barley keep up with inflation. All teachers lost significant pay because of ACT 10. Some teachers lost 6k in their salary. Huge chunks of change that can no longer go to big purchases on a monthly basis. $600 per month lost - sorry WI businesses - blame it squarely on Walker.

  2. How many GOOD people will now enter the teaching profession in Wisconsin? Wake up Wisconsin.....he's taking us back to the 1950's

  3. I know of a man who works two full-time fast food jobs, 80 hours a week and still depends on food pantries to feed his family. He is one of the able bodied people receiving food stamps who Paul Ryan complains about. Last week his wife went to the Salvation Army to register for Christmas presents for their three young children. This is the American dream? Please Republicans, lecture me one more time about American exceptionalism .