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Monday, November 28, 2005

Where the rich people are creating jobs with their tax cuts
Posted by Jill | 7:12 AM

The kool-aid drinkers who constitute the remnants of Bush supporters will always parrot the meme that tax cuts for those already rich beyond their ability to spend it all are justified because "rich people create jobs."

This particular model of benevolent corporate executives showering jobs upon us, the teeming masses, has always seemed a peculiar one for middle-class people to embrace, but embrace they have.

Of course outsourcing has been eliminating any sense that this argument might have ever have made for some time, but now industry has found a NEW place to outsource: Central America. And CAFTA, passed in Congress with both Republican AND Democratic support, is going to make it easier for them to put YOU out of work for good:

A lot has been written about the outsourcing of high-tech and customer-service jobs to lands overseas. But the latest threat to job security in the United States, some argue, lies right next door, south of the border.
Touting Central America as the "new Asia," pro-business and investment organizations across the region are all talking about the benefits of "nearsourcing." It's the same thing as outsourcing - that is, sending jobs to lower cost locations outside the US - but closer to home: It's South rather than East, near rather than far. And it's increasingly attractive to US firms.

Lured by the ease of working in the same time zone a mere three or four hours' flight away from headquarters in the US, such companies as Dell, Sykes, Sitel, IBM, Proctor & Gamble, and Western Union on the service side and Sara Lee/Hanes, VF Corp., and Russell Athletic on the manufacturing side have been moving business into the region.

Central America received just over $2 billion in foreign investment last year, up from an annual average of $633 million in the first half of the 1990s, according to the UN's Economic Conference on Latin America.

To be sure, the numbers of US jobs - manufacturing and service alike - that are going to Central America is minuscule when compared with those being outsourced to Asia. The number of jobs currently outsourced to India alone ranges between 400,000 and 700,000, says market-research company Forrester Research in Cambridge, Mass.


"It would be hard to find people in the US who wanted this job because they have too many other options," he says. "But here the pay [$400 a month plus incentives] is triple minimum wage."

So think about that as you whip out the Visa card to buy your kids ever more gewgaws this Christmas. The corporate executives who already make 431 times the pay of the average worker think that American workers are worth only about $400/month.

Hell, it'll cost that just to fill up the SUV.
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