Tuesday, September 28, 2004


EU wants to criminalize work: "EU states will find it harder to opt out of the Union's 48 hour maximum working week under new proposals. The European Commission says it wants to tighten loopholes in its Working Time Directive in order to limit the time employees spend at work. The changes would mean workers would be able to work more than 48 hours a week only if employers and unions reached a collective agreement. The government has vowed to fight the plans when they come up for approval. Any changes will need to be voted on by the European Parliament before they come into force. UK business leaders have argued that the proposals will increase bureaucracy while unions said the proposed changes did not go far enough".

Lower female average earnings are fair: "An Aug. 26 report from the U.S. Census Bureau stated that the median female full-time wage for women was 75.5 cents for every dollar similarly earned by men; that's down .6 percent from 2002. Gender feminists quickly cried "discrimination is increasing!" ...BUT... "women have fewer years of work experience, work fewer hours per year, are less likely to work a full-time schedule, and leave the labor force for longer periods of time than men.".... Indeed, when you factor out variables like having children, the wage gap virtually disappears. In their book "Women's Figures" (1999), economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Christine Stolba meticulously compared data on the earnings of childless men and women aged 27 to 33. They found that the wage gap shrank to 98 cents"

The economics of happy feet: "Even in the poorest countries, shoes are available everywhere and at rock bottom prices. One of the great miseries of living in the third world used to be the aches and pains associated with poor quality footwear (if you could find it at all). But no more. American capitalist "excess" that led entrepreneurs to pay workers in China and Indonesia to make shoes for American consumers has yielded surpluses that spread affordable shoes to all corners of the globe. Today a peasant in the fields of a Guatemalan village wears shoes that medieval lords would have traded for their own models made of wood and leather."

"The real outsourcers are to be found among regulators, trial lawyers, and environmental groups whose cumulative actions have devastated once-flourishing industries and the communities in which they were located. Their deeds have consigned hundreds of thousands of Americans to the ranks of the unemployed. Meanwhile, the jobs these people once had have been gleefully picked up by foreign workers..... In the last decade alone, over 900 mills, pulp and paper plants, and other forest products facilities have closed in the U.S., with a loss of over 130,000 jobs... These are real job losses, courtesy of real outsourcers."

A reader who is a teacher points to another cause of outsourcing: American workers are too poorly educated to make good employees on many occasions these days. "The left has outsourced education. Their insistence that disruptive children be kept in the classroom as part of their rights, their insistence that memorization and skills are tools of oppression, their convictions that kids need to have self-esteem without earning it, their insistence that testing is just a way of putting kids down -- all these stupid ideas and more have made sure that a kid in India who sits through the good old British education system can add better, write better, and think more clearly than their American counterpart"


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