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RE: future generations of engineers (was foreign engineer requirements)

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I think you missed part of my point: I agree that I believe the "global" process of capitalism will benefit the least amount of people and harm the greatest UNLESS these issues - human rights, work condition, equal pay (globally), healthcare, inoculations for our children etc. are met up-front. I believe that once Nike (and other international organizations) walk into your country and offer jobs for millions for $0.13 a week (or whatever unreasonably low amount they offer) when they just left the U.S. paying organized labor $10.00 to $30.00 an hour for the same work that they find a society willing to sell itself short (cheaply). If the United Nations published a list of wages for jobs internationally; Asia might work with the US, Mexico, Europe, Africa to establish a uniform wage and benefit that these people will be willing to work for. Sounds a lot like a union and maybe that is want is needed a Global Union to protect the wages and rights of workers.
My references to Upton Sinclair's novel "The Jungle" which took place in the meat packing industry around the turn of the 20th century pointed to the abuse of child labor and human rights (there was a passage I remember from more than 35 years ago since reading the book, where rat hairs and fingers of careless workers were found in the vats of sausage). This lead to the creation of unions which, like most organizations initially started with good intent helped to change the industry for the better but ultimately became a power in itself that was full of abuse.
 
You are wrong about the harm that comes to people in the United States who lose their jobs. They don't simply go out and retrain. During Clintons terms in office he constantly tried to sell the public on the idea that jobs will be lost but that the public would be retrained. What he failed to inform us is that we would be offered work based on our new skills for much lower income than we had before being laid off. This is one reason why I see no difference between the new philosophy of both political systems in our country as they both foster the same "global" view of the worlds economy.
 
Where it hurt was that millions put out of work in a collapsing industrial nation (which not is threatened for it's remain service oriented industries) had to pay their debts and the bank, credit holder and mortgage lender was not sympathetic to their inability to pay their monthly fees. Instead, the credit card industry came up with more and more tricks to squeeze out what little we had left by offering consolidation debts, refinancing - all of which cost up-front and end up costing more in the long run (with the exception of non-profit state run debt consolidation services). The full of the American laborer brought on more than simply a few months of hard times while they retrained for jobs that they would need to compete for as these jobs now had more people willing to work for fewer dollars simply to eat.
 
People do starve in this country - my wife and granddaughter are aware of this as they have chosen to spend holidays dishing out food and toys at the local missions. These are not simply mentally ill drug addicted people who don't care to work - they represent a growing number of displaced families who can not find work and who lost everything they had. Worse, for baby boomers who are out of work, those under 62 are also out of health coverage and with existing conditions can not find it.
 
I will admit that the majority are employed and we probably have the lowest unemployment rate - but we also have the highest debt that won't be paid back and the greatest numbers of low and lower-middle class people who work hard to keep their family head about water.
 
I just can't buy the argument that because your society has evolved in 100 years to a high standard of living that we should suddenly hand over everything we helped build to another country willing to underbid even themselves on a global scale in order to end up in our shoes (or lack of them).
 
One final point - Corporations and Business, Governments and Organizations don't create these hardships - people do. We have to start putting faces on those who won't stay loyal to a company because the profits fluctuates monthly and annual earned income is down. What got us into this position is trying to squeeze blood from a rock.
 
Dennis S. Wish, PE
-----Original Message-----
From: Structures Online [mailto:3.sol(--nospam--at)spectranet.com]
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 12:42 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: future generations of engineers (was foreign engineer requirements)

Dennis wrote:
 
Getting back to my point - as soon as you have reached a level of comfort in your society that even comes close to ours, global corporations will move on to the next nation of lowest income available with the fewest concerns for human rights and the lowest hourly wage - and then the process starts all over again. .....just smile and greet the next owner of your home who happens to own stock in the company that sent your job to Asia or Africa or Mexico.
 
I agree Dennis, and exactly my point. You are seeing it as a process that is not good, while I see this as a good process where capitalism will raise the level of minimum wages, raise the comfort level, raise the level of concerns with environmental issues, human rights, safety compliances et al in all these countries. Right now that is priority #1 for these countries, when they are met, they will be dealing with other priorities as you are dealing with in US. These countries cannot start dealing with your priorities first.
 
But what you have to realize is that in this process, the US & it's people are never the loser as a whole. What I called as a "minor disturbance" (to which Cliff took such a strong exception), is that some industries may be rendered uncompetitive, and some people who lose their jobs, will have to move on to others (remember they can afford to...and they will not die of hunger), but the overall general pattern will always be of more growth & prosperity for the countries who are highest up in the chain. It is not that the lower end economies are moving up at the cost of the higher end economies. The pattern is of overall growth for everybody albeit a slightly higher growth rate for the lower end economies, which is as needed.
 
Dennis also wrote:
 
.....just smile and greet the next owner of your home who happens to own stock in the company that sent your job to Asia or Africa or Mexico.
 
As I said, right now we are more concerned with make enough money to feed ourselves on a daily basis.....and when this situation comes that I have to vacate my house (when I have one).....I am sure I would have developed enough resources, as to smile at the new owner while handing over the house, but bounce back in a year or two to get another house. Again as I call a "MINOR DISTURBANCE".
 
Living in a higher end economy does not mean that you will not have any problems. It only means that your problems are less pressing (as they do not involve the matter of daily survival, or losing your limbs to earn your daily bread), and you have enough resources to solve them & bounce back.
 
Regards
 
Pankaj Gupta
Structures Online
India