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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

27 January 2004 Issue

PAWPRINTS, FOOTPRINTS & ANIMAL CHATTER
 By Judith Marie Gansen

ATTENTION CORPORATE AMERICA--Let's Outsource America Right Out Of Existence

Have you noticed that if you call a company now and live in the U.S. you may get a person with an accent from a foreign country answering your question?  I get frustrated when I can't understand their English.  I love or respect countries other than the U.S. generally and enjoy learning about different cultures but it harms a business if I can't communicate with their employees.  As I write this, CNN recently finished a week long series on "outsourcing"-- when companies send U.S. jobs to other countries because of cheaper labor.  It began in the manufacturing sector years ago.  Blue collar jobs went to other countries like Mexico and many Americans lost their source of income.  These were high paying, mostly union jobs.  People we knew lost their homes and way of life.  Now, other jobs including tech jobs are being outsourced to countries like India, Ireland, the Phillipines.
 
Executive Briefing: Has outsourcing gone too far?
or http://www.ebusinessforum.com/index.asp?layout=rich_story&docid=6641
 
When we go shopping, do we ever bother to notice where the item we are buying was made?   Most union people I know try to notice if an item is Made in the USA because they know that if everyone buys items made in other countries, then U.S. manufacturers will go out of business.  Recently, a story about Levi jeans leaving the U.S. is a good illustration.  People bought the cheaper jeans so Levis went elsewhere for cheap labor to stay competitive.  More and more goods are no longer made in the U.S.  In fact, China is now the number one manufacturer in the world.  This means the wealth of our country is going to China.  Most would agree they do not have the greatest human or animal rights history and we are helping to make them richer by this practice.  Try to buy American:
 
BuyAmerican.com ONLINE SHOPPING (don't forget to look for animal friendly products too)
 
or  http://www.buyamerican.com/cgi-bin/shop.storefront
 
Some people of course can't afford to buy a $35 shirt when they can find an imported one for $15 if they are on a tight budget.  But recently I bought a kitchen utensil--I checked where they were made and I paid about a $1 more for one Made in the USA so maybe I helped save someone's job and it only cost me a dollar.  It's something we need to think about especially with the holidays approaching. 
 
The loss of good jobs in America will affect animals as well as other important charities like Hospice and volunteering at schools.  If you don't have at least a livable income, you can't help charities or causes.  If you lose a good job and can't find another, you will wind up spending most of your time working at a fast food place or two part-time jobs just to put bread on the table.  You won't feel like volunteering at the hospital or the pound generally because making ends meet may keep you exhausted.  You won't have disposable income to purchase luxury items like jewelry, boats, RV's, etc. and this puts others out of work.
 
Living in our new "global workplace" is also part of the reason high paying jobs are leaving the U.S.  There are now more and more countries exporting things that were previously only made in our country or what used to be considered the "richer countries."  Our country is in trouble and in my opinion we have to only look at the top executives in corporate America and the politicians who shield them to find much of the blame.
 
Are the Rich Policing Corporate Looters?
 
Anyone reading the papers and watching the news knows about all the corruption that is going on now in some businesses.  Historically, I believe there is more greed out there than ever before.  I have spoken to executives who have told me if they don't outsource their companies will go under.  They answer to the stockholders and they want profit above all else. Is that really the reason or is it that the executives own many shares of stock and by outsourcing they fill their own pocketbooks?    If outsourcing is needed, then why are some companies finding ways to keep jobs here without outsourcing?
 
Profit is a good thing and we want our businesses to be profitable.  But when some outsider comes into a company and makes the company more profitable by laying off and outsourcing perhaps we should say "for shame" and call them unpatriotic--especially when they then often walk off with millions of dollars for themselves.  Money that should have gone to the employees they just kicked out--and to their kids and their pets.   One of my relatives who is an executive told me that he didn't have a problem with outsourcing as a Christian.  I wonder what Jesus would say about outsourcing--would He have been for profit over people?
 
If all the high paying jobs go overseas, then what happens to our country?  Well, the middle class will dwindle down to nothing.  We will have the rich and the poor.  The poor of course don't have the time or money generally to work to make this world a better place.  And the sad truth is, rich people aren't always altruistic but sometimes are worried more about how to get even richer.  Most of the volunteers I know are middle class people.
 
I could write a book about the squeeze being put to the middle class.  Smaller sizes at the grocery store, coupons that expire quicker and everything more expensive and out of proportion to inflation.  Goods that are cheap and not designed to last.  Banks that use every excuse to charge you for services that previously were free.  Insurance companies finding loopholes so they don't have to pay.  Pay TV increasing the amount of stations with commercials so they get paid twice--once by the advertisers and again by subscribers.  Healthcare that is in a crisis.  Yet we constantly read about the top people in companies making salaries that are way out of proportion to their employees--the gap continues to widen.  It's outrageous.  I worry about the next generation of kids and how they will buy a house or a new car.   Our standard of living is sure to drop even more if the current situation continues.

How To Fight Back for You and the Animals and Other Causes You Want to Help
 
1.  If I could tell you how to save thousands of dollars over the years, would you be interested?  Then subscribe to Consumer Reports for $24 per year:
 
ConsumerReports.org: Unbiased product Ratings from the experts at Consumer Rep
 
I can't say enough good about this non-profit organization.  The yearly subscription rate is a small sum compared to what they have saved my family.  Give a subscription as a gift this Christmas!  They accept no advertising so their info is unbiased.  They do excellent research, inform and protect consumers.  Their product recalls save lives.  If you can't afford to subscribe, most libraries have copies.  You will stretch your dollars like never before!  I wasted thousands years ago on a kind of car that I didn't know was a piece of junk and always in the shop.  Our last car lasted till 250,000 miles with no problems except routine service--it was highly rated by Consumer Reports.  We now make no purchases before checking our library of issues or going online.  Since cars are a huge safety concern, I cross check the most reliable brand with the best safety records and we shop from there. It astounds me how people spend so much time during the holidays looking for a perfect gift for their kids or a 4 legged friend, yet don't bother to try to find a car that is safer (and don't forget the best gift to give your four legged friends is a seatbelt for the car!!).
 
2.  Don't Let Companies Get Away With Greed--I recently returned all the paint I had purchased from a project.  It was thin and ran all over and has since been downgraded by Consumer Reports.  I got a store credit and the paint manufacturer will be coming to my house to see the lousy job it did.  This was not cheap paint and it shouldn't perform cheaply.  We shouldn't pay good money for garbage products--- this has to stop. 
 
3.  We need more tax breaks for companies who keep their businesses AND WORKERS in the U.S.  And penalties for companies who exploit this situation and play both sides of the fence by going "international" taking advantage of our country and costing jobs.
 
4.  We need public outrage and chastisement against executives who make decisions based on greed--they are slowly killing this great country.  I can't think of anything more unpatriotic than that.
 
5.  We need a law that every product made in the U.S.A.  (and I mean really made here, not the tricky labels found that show a U.S. Flag and in checking the fine print made in another country) carries a large logo for everyone to see prominently on the product.  It should be illegal for a company to say Made in U.S.A. when the fine print tells otherwise--it's called lying.
 
6.  Stay informed--read and watch news shows like Dateline where ripoffs are revealed.
 
7.  VOTE, VOLUNTEER  and DONATE MONEY FOR THE DEMOCRATS!!--I am a former Independent voter turned Democratic.  I am fed up with the far Religious Right and the NRA owning the Republicans.  If you check any legislation for animals you will also find that it is most often Democrats voting for the animals.  And no one cares about jobs and the "little people" more than Democrats.  Democrats also vote for the environment unlike many of the Republicans who are currently "raping and pillaging" our precious earth for greed while everyone is focused on Iraq--I guess they think we won't notice.  The quality of the air you and your children and the animals breathe (which affects your ability to get cancer and other diseases), the water we all drink and the land we live on are all at risk. 
 
8.  If you have a good paying job--APPRECIATE it!  If you are negotiating a contract in a union look at the big picture--don't let your desire to get everything you want (if your demands are outrageous) push the company into dire financial straits and maybe forcing it overseas.  I have talked to many people who would love a good paying job--they are harder and harder to find.
 
9. Write to your U.S. senators and representatives and President Bush and tell them you want more than a "slap on the wrist" for corporate looters.
 
I close with a wonderful quote from a t-shirt from Moveon.org--a great political website, check them out at:
 
www.moveon.org/  
 
 "Democracy is not a spectator sport!"

Judy
Staff: Animals in Print
(free online animal publication)
http://www.all-creatures.org/aip/


Pawprints, Footprints & Animal Chatter
(my editorials on animal issues--if you email me please indicate in the subject column it is about one of my articles so it doesn't get deleted as spam--thanks)
shortietek@aol.com

"We exist to educate and through compassion and knowledge improve the lives of all beings."

 

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