December 27, 2012 (LD) – While the US funds and arms sectarian death squads across the Arab World under the guise of “promoting democracy,” it props its own economy up on a vast network of global human exploitation. From Walmart’s sweatshop-death traps in Bangladesh, to Apple’s deplorable partnership with Taiwan’s Foxconn, millions go underpaid while overworked under dangerous, inhumane conditions to fuel America’s consumerist paradigm.
Public backlash against these practices range from outrage over human exploitation (less common) to complaints that the West’s economies are suffering due to these outsourced jobs (more common). As this backlash increases, and as technology reaches a point where real viable local alternatives may soon displace large, centralized corporations, a perfect storm is forming on the horizon.
Helping to stave off the inevitable, is the New York Times, whose article, “Signs of Changes Taking Hold in Electronics Factories in China,” makes an absolute mockery out of both their own readership’s intelligence as well as the plight of the vast workforce subjected to Western human exploitation. The “signs of change” NYT reports on, include the replacement of 5 dollar plastic stools with 10 dollar wooden chairs and “increased wages” that still fall well below fair compensation.
In reality, corporations like Walmart and Apple do business overseas because the workers they exploit there will never have to be fairly compensated or treated humanely to the degree demanded in the West – should they ever be, there would be absolutely no point of outsourcing jobs overseas in the first place. But the NYT piece serves the purpose of giving faux-progress reports to faux-progressives – allowing them to continue tapping away on their iPads, purchased from the consumer troughs of mega-retailers like Target and Walmart, absolutely guilt-free.
The comments following the NYT piece range from the absurd:
“Good luck fighting climate change if everyone were compensated (and consumed) at US levels.”
To the highly relevant:
“Message is, stop buying Apple’s stuff until they move production back here to the US.”
And of course, the message is, “stop buying Apple’s stuff,” a message the New York Times hopes you don’t get, and one it was most likely approached by corporate lobbyists to stifle with pandering tales of 10 dollar wooden chairs and how such empty, woefully inadequate gestures somehow constitute “labor reform.”
Indeed, the hypocrisy of the West is astounding. It screams for democracy and human rights in nations it has yet to despoil with its vast corporate monopolies, while it ravages the nations that are doing business for and with them – all the while its own populations back home slide into destitution, debt, and socioeconomic decay.
The message is, “stop buying Apple’s stuff,” and not until they move production back to the US – which will never happen – but until they go out of business permanently. We have the technology and the ability to decentralize everything from the automotive industry, to electronics, to big retail. It is time we stop allowing the New York Times to perpetuate the rotting consumerist paradigm we know is unsustainable, and replace it with local entrepreneurship, leveraging the latest in technology, and building the communities, and nation we want, rather than picking from the poor choices corporate-financier interests present to us on the shelves of Walmart, and at the polls come election day.