The biggest issue for 2004 is not war in Iraq, not Imperial George, or even trashing the Bill of Rights to fight terrorism. The #1 issue is the loss of good US jobs when US-based multinational corporations move manufacturing plants overseas.
January 2, 2004
The editorial "No divine rights in foreign trade" (Oregonian, 12/22/03 http://www.oregonlive.com/editorials/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/editorial/10719255468450.xml ) offers illusory solutions to the ongoing loss of family-wage jobs due to US companies downsizing at home and moving manufacturing plants oversees. The paper's answers to the loss of millions of blue collar US jobs to countries where cheap sweatshop labor and unregulated industries exploit workers and environments are "tax reforms ...[and] heavy emphasis on research and development ... [and] updated labor-management relations so that pay and benefits are linked more closely to value added."
These vague and dreamy notions really are just euphemisms for, 1) cut taxes for big businesses and the rich, 2) try to increase white collar employment, and 3) further marginalize unions and reduce blue collar wages. Sorry, tax cuts are just more tried and failed trickle down (they work for them that gets 'um). White collar jobs are also being lost overseas and increasingly those that remain are at reduced wages with inferior benefits. "Updated labor-management relations" is just the paper's usual code language for "bust the unions".
Failure to pay family wages to blue collar workers is the front line in the ongoing class war; we are creating a permanent subclass of semi-skilled and unskilled workers who cannot own homes, seek college education, or afford health care. Their children will never do better.
The core ambiguity in the Oregonian essay is the equivocation between the use of "markets", which normally refers to foreign buyers of US goods and services, instead to mean sources of cheap labor for US multinational corporations that are shopping for alternatives to the US labor market. In contradiction to the editorial, the objective is not a "better product" but rather higher corporate profits and more golden parachutes for CEOs.
Code words such as "free trade" and "free market" abound in the corporate media. They all mean unemployment, lower wages, and "TEMP" jobs with no benefits and no seniority for US workers. Similarly, "increased productivity" is management's buzzword for getting more products and services out of fewer and fewer underpaid workers.
Partial solutions do exist however. For some that actually address the loss of family wage manufacturing jobs, check out the website of Dennis J. Kucinich for President at http://www.kucinich.us/nafta/index.php and http://www.kucinich.us/issues/jobs.php
Who is a "Miserable Failure"?