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Wednesday, 10 July 2013 10:06

Offshoring is just another name for fascism Featured

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China electronics waste China electronics waste Greenpeace.org

Every time I watch another large corporation send highly skilled jobs offshore while crying “skills shortage” out of the other side of its mouth, I think of one word – fascism.

Fascism or corporatism, is the collusion of big business and government to form a system that serves the interests of a ruling elite called an oligarchy. Much of the so-called Western democracies are rapidly moving toward such a system thanks to the twin forces of globalisation and offshore outsourcing.

Offshoring benefits no-one but global corporations and the governments they sponsor. To pretend otherwise is to ignore the rapidly downward accelerating economic spiral of the Western world, while the new Asian manufacturing capitals become ever more polluted dumps.

Each time a skilled job is sent offshore to a low cost destination, wealth is transferred from the middle class worker who is made redundant. However, that wealth is not transferred to the low paid Foxconn employee on suicide watch. The wealth in fact goes into the pocket of the offshoring corporation and a small elite ruling class in the third world destination that is the new home of that job.

Those who claim that globalisation benefits the world somehow by spreading the wealth are talking rubbish – literally.

In China, while an infinitesimally tiny percentage of elitists have become rich, the vast majority of residents have become poorer, forced to leave their villages and small communities to search for low paid work in massive, horribly polluted cities like Beijing, where the sky is almost perpetually masked by industrial smog. Elsewhere children forage for riches among rubbish piles of discarded electronics knick-knacks which leak hazardous waste chemicals.

Global warming doomsayers who argue for heavy taxes on carbon emissions in Western countries should pay a visit to China sometime and plead their case over there instead of giving them a license to pollute.

Meanwhile back in the US, the once great manufacturing city of Detroit, which was home to hundreds of thousands of well paid working class auto workers, is now little more than a crime ridden impoverished wasteland. And Australia, which proudly launched its first Holden car in 1948, is now in danger of losing its once nascent automobile industry.

Sending jobs offshore, however, is not enough for the global corporations and their government lackeys. For the few skilled jobs that are left, they want to replace high paid local residents with cheaper imported labour.

Telstra and other corporations send IT jobs offshore and hundreds more experienced and highly skilled workers can no longer find a job in their own profession. School leavers witness this and realise that studying IT in Australia leads to the dole queue or a low paid job behind the counter of a fast food outlet, so IT courses are either filled with foreign students or are closed down.

While thousands of local IT workers are made redundant each year, a government, a bank or another large IT user announces a new project but claims there is a local skills shortage. With no new local IT graduates and an ageing pool of unemployed IT workers, this claim becomes a self-fulfilling wish.

So in the end, this global corporatism, fascism by any definition, is simultaneously lowering the standard of living for the vast majority of the global population and making the very rich even richer. Those of us who belong to the rapidly shrinking middle class have more TVs, cars and computing devices than we could possibly need but we are more indebted than we have ever been.

Those of us who argue that localisation of production as opposed to globalisation leads to stagnation should ask themselves why in this globalised world have wages and salaries stagnated over the past 20 years, while the prices of the things we really need like food, water, energy and housing have skyrocketed.

As for corporations that claim their only responsibility is to maximise profits for their shareholders, there are such things as social responsibility and corporate citizenship. Those things don’t equate to donating a few token tax deductable dollars to worthy charities but to doing their share to enrich the people of the nations that house their headquarters and offices rather than impoverish them while lining the pockets of a few wealthy owners.

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Stan Beer

 

Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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