[linux-elitists] Walmart $168.00 PC

Jeff Waugh jdub@perkypants.org
Mon Jun 14 13:15:10 PDT 2004

<quote who="Mister Bad">

>    1) Balance of trade. Computer hardware jobs fled the US and Europe
>       _years_ ago. Now they're fleeing parts of Asia to other
>       developing countries. It's a global economy, but nobody in
>       Indonesia is buying electronic equipment made in Milwaukee. The
>       balance is really skewed.

Why do you want US citizens doing the cruddy jobs? Aren't you all too smart
for those?

>    2) Labor standards. Most computer hardware, and especially
>       microcomputer hardware, is made and assembled in countries with
>       extremely low labor standards, and poor records of democracy to
>       correct those problems. Union-made computer hardware is
>       practically non-existent. (No matter how you feel about unions,
>       their existence in a country _does_ show that laborers have some
>       power to make decisions about their labor.)

But then, the US labour standards are poor enough that everyone else laughs,
but expensive enough that the jobs go elsewhere. Who's happy? Most of South
East Asia.

>    3) Respect for small towns and local economies. When big computer
>       manufacturers _do_ set up shop in the US, they usually squeeze
>       huge tax concessions -- or even grants! -- from local
>       governments for the privilege of getting the headquarters
>       there. Since they're usually business ops or research centers,
>       they bring in people from out of town to work. The jobs they
>       create are menial, rather than semi-skilled technical work.

Right, so, kick 'em out and do something more useful with the well-educated
populace's time. Offshore all the menial crap (which includes writing boring
systems in Java or C++), and provide better education for US citizens to
keep the pace up *and* shift careers as the market changes.

You're not meant to push the standover free market tactics and maintain a
rampant nationalistic protectionism all at the same time. But amazingly, it

- Jeff

GVADEC 2004: Kristiansand, Norway                    http://2004.guadec.org/
                                   A: No.
               Q: Should I include quotations after my reply?
                               - Nick Moffitt

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