New reports that Taiwanese transnational manufacturing corporation Foxconn may be opening up some plants in the United States indicate that our nation has now entered the terminal fourth stage of “third-worldization” or what may be better referred to simply as “recolonization.”
In case you don’t know, Foxconn is China’s largest private employer and is responsible for making many of those parts that go into your Apple iPhones, iPads, and iPods.
While Steve Jobs may have been a visionary when it came to technological design, he wasn’t a fan of labor unions – or American workers in general – so he outsourced most of his corporation’s manufacturing to Foxconn, which was notorious for its low-wage labor.
Foxconn workers live in over-crowded dorms that are located on the factory grounds. They work 12-hour shifts, and are routinely exposed to dangerous working conditions. Recently, 137 Foxconn workers fell ill after they were forced to use toxic chemicals to clean iPads. And in the last five years, 17 Foxconn workers have committed suicide on the job. Nets have since been installed around the factory to catch workers jumping out of windows.
So why the heck would Foxconn look beyond their Libertarian paradise of no labor laws to come to the United States and employ a bunch of Americans?
To know the answer to that question, we have to understand the four steps the United States is currently racing through to become a third-world nation.
Step 1: Destroy Manufacturing
From 1791, when our nation’s first Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton created an 11-point plan for American manufacturers, all the way until just the last few decades, the United States protected its manufacturing base with high tariffs on imports and government support for domestic industries.
This “protectionist” approach to trade transformed the United States into the world’s largest exporter of manufactured goods, which built and sustained an enormous middle class of Americans working in factories collecting high wages.
Then the forces of globalization crept in, extolling the virtues of a world economy free from national boundaries and protections for domestic manufacturing.
With Reagan’s Revolution in the 1980′s, Alexander Hamilton’s 11-point plant was scrapped. Tariffs were ditched and then Bill Clinton moved into the White House in the 1990′s and continued Reagan’s trade policies and committed the United States to so-called Free Trade agreements like GATT, NAFTA, and the WTO, removing all the protections that had kept our domestic manufacturing industries safe from foreign corporate predators for two centuries.
In the 1992 Presidential debate, third-party candidate Ross Perot famously warned about a “giant sucking sound” of American jobs going south of the border to low-wage nations.
Perot was right, but no one in our government listened to him.