Skip to comments.FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, Wyatt's Torch
Posted on 03/21/2009 7:41:56 AM PDT by Publius
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I missed that. I'll have to check that out.
Im curious as to how you feel about Peters position opposing outsourcing. FYI, I see globalization as further self destruction of America. But I know that many here dont agree with that, Im just about your sentiments?
I learn so much on this forum day after day, so this is only my current position, subject to change upon further information: My gut tells me globalization and offshore outsourcing is self-destruction for the U.S. OTOH, according to what I've read, the "experts" (though I don't know if they all agree) say we lose more in American business and jobs when we try to stop businesses from outsourcing to other countries, or when we try to halt or slow the flow of products and services from other countries into ours. The quote-unquote "experts" do make a valid point there.
However, here's where my opinion will never change: I've always opposed American business bringing in noncitizens to fill jobs here, whether they're illegal aliens or H1Bs.
Given that we run an $800B trade deficit, how can that be?
Thanks for your opinion. It seems most people blame the New Deal. But, as you point out, the problem began much earlier.
Me... When I think of U.S. history prior to the War Between the States, I think of slave labor. The Left claims capitalism was enabled by slave labor. (Maybe they see a distinction between capitalism and the free market?) But, IMHO, they’re wrong: Slave labor exists where there is no free market capitalism because a slave is not trading his labor freely.
Of course, in those markets where slave labor wasn’t used, I believe you that the free market was left virtually unfettered in those early days.
My biggest beef these days is that government has monopolized education. I’d like all education to be sold on the free market. I’ll never understand why so many people balk at that suggestion, as if it’s an extremist position to take.
Thanks for the chart. Here’s their argument (and, as I said, I’m open to more information on this argument), and I’m paraphrasing this argument from various articles I’ve read and interviews I’ve heard through the years:
If we tell American businesses they cannot outsource to other countries, they’ll just move outside the country. And when we tie them down with regulations, for example, we chase them outside the country. When we slow or halt the import of goods to the U.S., we’re limiting the goods that American businesses can use to produce its own goods/services.
That’s “their” argument. How to explain the chart? I don’t know. My gut (yes, there’s my gut talking again) tells me we’re limiting American business by overregulating them.
Interesting discussion, though. I’ll come back to it in a day or so to see where it goes.
Out of sheer desperation I began to order from foreign sources (Japanese). Lead time was a little longer but it went back to being a two-step process again, order and receive. Important parts could be air freighted. Every order would be exactly what I had ordered and the workmanship and packaging was perfect. Manufacturing has since gone to China but the story is the same. With shipping our costs are about the same or a little higher but we have enormous savings in time and aggrivation. We don't have a project tied up because some idiot with a hangover pulled our order.
In Shrugged the producers retreated to Galt's Gulch but that is not the only option available to them now. They may, instead, retreat to where they can produce or the entire process may shift to peoples and countries not so mired in a smug incompetence.
Thanks for telling your story. In the way you explained it, globalization does sound like a form of gulching.
So the "expurts" line is that if legislation is passed raising barriers to importing value, the mfgrs will stop importing value, move to a location where they have less political influence to exert, and....try to import value into the US. Hmmm. Not necessarily making an argument for or against outsourcing, but that argument reminds me of an old definition of "expurt". "Ex" = something that has been; "spurt" = drip under pressure, therefore "expurt" = someone who's been a drip under pressure.
Now I certainly do agree with you about over regulation, overexposure to liability, and bizarre tax structure, but that logic from the experts seems strange. Now another anti-protectionist argument that I’ve heard that I find more plausible is that since our manufacturers use imported raw materials and finished goods to make the stuff they export, protectionism would have a negative effect on exports. Whether it would have a net negative effect on overall production is another question.
I think I probably didn't explain it well. What you typed above probably is closer to what the quote-unquote "experts" ;-) say. I try to back up everything with a source, but I only have a few minutes to type right now. I'll try to search for a source later.
You are erring with the assumption about slave labor.
The south had slave labor the north had child labor.
A distinction without a difference.
There were problems with child labor, but there was a major distinction between slave labor and child labor.
Child laborers were not “owned” as human slaves nor forced into factories by business owners. They were sent to those factories by their parents to earn money for their families. (One might argue they were “owned” in a way by their parents, but that would be an entirely different debate/discussion.)
My grandparents started work in factories as young children. When the government came around to check the factory, my grandfather along with the other children were sent outside the factory to hide. But, my grandfather said none of the children wanted the government people to see them, either, because then they would lose their jobs and the money to bring home. Those families needed to put food on the table. Once, my grandfather was fired for grabbing the whip the factory owner snapped at him, and his mother packed up food and cash to bring to the owner to apologize and ask for his job back.
So, it wasn’t a nice situation by today’s standards, but it wasn’t slavery. Just like business owners hiring poorer people in “Third World” countries isn’t slavery, either.
I've read a great deal about slavery in the south. Aside from the obvious issue of being owned, being fed, housed,and clothed is not exactly no compensation.
Children were employed because they were the indigenous 3rd world. They routinely put in 72 hr work weeks.
The owner carried a whip how different is that from the slave situation.
"Slavery" isn't about quality of life. It's about being forced (by the threat of violence) into servitude. Most of our forefathers lived a harsh existence. But, a harsh existence does not make slavery. Slavery is about not being permitted to make choices for yourself.
Consider what we're facing today: Suppose the president mandates community service for young people, senior citizens, anyone... The conditions might not be nearly as harsh as the conditions slaves and child laborers in the past faced. But mandating community service would be forced labor (slavery).
To put it another way: If the government begins requiring by law people to sweep the streets, that would be slavery/forced labor. But, if a person willingly accepts a job sweeping the streets, that's not slavery.
A child laborer was either sent to a factory willingly by his parents (or he seeked employment on his own) so that he could help earn money for his family. But, the factory owner wasn't forcing him to be there. One could make the argument that parents treated their children like slaves, but that's a different discussion.
In cases where children are/were held as slaves and forced to work in factories - THAT was slavery/forced labor. But, that wasn't the case most of the time, according to what I've read and was told. (Maybe you've read/heard something different.)
“I owe my soul to the company store”.
Still haven’t convinced me.
“The 1890 census revealed that more than one million children, ten to fifteen years old, worked in America.  That number increased to two million by 1910. Industries employed children as young as five or six to work as many as eighteen to twenty hours a day.
Breaker Boys, Pennsylvania
Physical ailments were common. Glassworks employees were exposed to intense heat and heavy fumes. Young miners sat on boards in cramped positions, breathing heavy dust, sifting through coal. Seafood workers stood for hours shucking oysters at five cents a pail. The sharp oyster shells sometimes cut their hands.
Industrialization did not create child labor, but it did contribute to the need for child labor reform. The replacement of skilled artisans by machinery and the growth of factories and mills made child labor increasingly profitable for businesses.  Many employers preferred hiring children because they were quick, easy to train, and were willing to work for lower wages. “
Are you stating that these children weren’t in forced servitude.
Couldn’t read or write, to young to make an informed decision about anything and beaten on the job.
Still a distinction without a difference.
Whereas slavery was ended in 1865 , Child labor continued well into the 20th century.
Can you add me to this ping list? Thanks! ...magritte
As a matter of fact, my grandparents grew up in PA during that time period. Again, there's no doubt that conditions were harsh for children back then. Stating that child labor doesn't equate with slavery doesn't mean that I think child labor was a good thing.
Are you stating that these children werent in forced servitude.
Not in servitude to the factories, mills, or mines IF they were sent to work there by their parents/families.
I'm stating that these children suffered under harsh conditions. Perhaps the conditions under which they suffered were even worse in many cases than what some slaves may have endured. But, harsh conditions doesn't equal slavery.
Again, there are cases of child enslavement: for example, orphans forced into work by an orphanage. But, the most one could argue is that child laborers like my grandfather were in servitude to their families who sent them into these factories, mills, and mines to work.
Couldnt read or write, to young to make an informed decision about anything and beaten on the job.
Children were beaten everywhere in those days, including at home and in school. Life was BRUTAL for children back then. When I said my grandfather grabbed the whip snapped at him, that didn't mean he was beaten on the job. When all the boys would run inside after a break (according to what I was told), the owner would stand there with a whip and snap it at the last boy in. That one day, my grandfather was the last boy in. He was afraid to go home and tell his parents he'd lost his job. People had a different mindset than we do today. Our society didn't become child-centered until later.
I'm sure you don't want the whole family history. ;-) But, those days were not friendly to children, anywhere. My grandmother worked as a seamstress as a young girl, and her mother would tie her in the basement, beat her, and leave her there. She had scars on her back all her life from those beatings. Home was not a nice, warm place for many children back then. And school... None of my grandparents wanted to go to school back then. Children were beaten there, too. None of my grandparents went to school past age nine or maybe 11, maximum.
Equating harsh conditions with forced labor is what Marxists do. The Left equates the employment of people in the "Third World" with slavery. There is real slavery all over the world today. But, if we equate slavery with harsh conditions, what happens when society either tightens or loosens the definition of what is "harsh"?
Btw, I searched for an Ayn Rand comment on child labor, but I found nothing.
Adding to my last post, just to clarify further:
In a discussion about child labor, at issue would be the exploitation, mistreatment, and abuse of children. Not slavery, unless the children are slaves (as they often are today in certain cases).
Today there are burgeoning domestic constituencies in numerous countries who favour lower tariffs because their livelihoods depend on access to imported raw materials, components, and capital equipment.... That dynamic is easier to appreciate when one considers that 55% of all US import value in 2007 consisted of raw materials, intermediate goods and capital equipment the kinds of products the construction and manufacturing sectors purchase. Put in this light, it is more obvious that tariffs raise the costs of production, which undermines economic growth or, as in the current case, economic recovery.
Woodnboats said it better than I. But if you still don’t get it that just means that you are another one of the confused masses responsible for the perpetuation of our current mess.
cool it on the kool-aid buddy.