Featured Article

Facebook Follow us!

The Evolution of Neoliberal Labor Strategy and
Decline of the American Working Class

 

By Richard D. Vogel

Copyright © 2011 by Richard D. Vogel
at http://combatingglobalization.com

Permission to copy granted

 

The decline of the American working class under the neoliberal labor strategy that has evolved over the last 45 years has been ruinous for millions of working people, their families, and their communities. Yet few people are willing to face the full implications of labor's decline -- increasing economic austerity for a majority of Americans and the prospect of a bleak future for the greater part of America's youth and coming generations.  Knowledge of how it happened and what is at stake offers concrete guidelines for political action.


The Evolution of Neoliberal Labor Strategy

The goal of neoliberal labor strategy (NLS) since its inception has always been profit maximization by driving down the cost of the labor necessary for the production of goods and services.  NLS is based on the national and transnational exploitation of labor sanctioned by nation-states and various international organizations.  Neoliberal labor strategy includes: the legal domination of domestic workforces; the offshoring of work from developed countries to cheaper foreign labor markets; and the onshoring of low-cost foreign labor to developed countries through employment-based immigration and temporary worker visa programs.

NLS has been remarkably successful in maximizing the profits of transnational corporations (TNCs) at the expense of working people worldwide.  In order to confront and counter NLS it is important to understand that it was not a preconceived grand strategy but evolved across time through various political initiatives proposed and promoted by organized capital and sanctioned by national governments and international organizations.  Deconstructing the evolution of NLS offers concrete guidelines for political action aimed at labor renewal in the 21st century.

Chart 1 presents an overview of the evolution of neoliberal labor strategy in North America.

Chart 1

The events referenced in the white boxes in chart 1 were the forerunners of NLS in the United States, while those in the lightly-shaded boxes provided the foundations for the evolution of NLS.  The events recorded in the darkly-shaded boxes are recent and ongoing efforts to expand NLS into every sector of the US economy.  Considering the Border Industrialization Program of 1965 as the beginning of NLS indicates the relatively short life of the national labor policy that has produced unprecedented economic inequality in America.  The recent and ongoing efforts to expand NLS reveal that, despite serious setbacks, the strategy has not been abandoned.

The overview presented in chart 1 summarizes the scope and sequence of neoliberal labor strategy initiatives in the USA. i

 

The forerunners of NLS

The forerunners of neoliberal labor strategy are political events that occurred during and immediately after World War II that set the stage for the evolution of labor policy in the United States.

The Bracero Program

The Bracero Program whetted the appetite of US capitalism for cheap labor from the global south and provided a prototype for subsequent US neoliberal labor policy.  Initially a straight-forward bilateral agreement between the United States and Mexico to provide contract workers for US agricultural and railroad industries during World War II, the opportunity to obtain labor at substandard wages was exploited by businesses long after the war ended and established the practice of American capital using cheap Mexican labor on both sides of the border that has continued to the present day.  The Official Bracero Agreement set the legal precedent of establishing the United States government as a labor broker for US business interests, a key development in the evolution of NLS.

Chart 2 presents a history of the Bracero Program.

Chart 2

Chart 2 tracks the number of temporary work contracts signed by Mexican workers with the US Department of Agriculture each year that the Bracero Program was in force.  During the war years an average of less than 42,000 contracts were issued yearly, numbers in stark contrast to the more than 400,000 contracts per year during the peak post-war phase of the program.  By the end of the program in 1967, almost 5 million contracts had been signed and served by Mexican workers -- 96% of these men were recruited and employed during the post-war period.

For 25 years, braceros served as a legal reserve service and industrial workforce in the American southwest, while determined and resourceful braceros who abandoned their contracts and tens of thousands of undocumented migrant workers from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean served the same function in the American east and Midwest.  The wide-spread presence and use of this reserve workforce suppressed wages nationwide.

The Bracero Program lasted until the early 1960s when the mechanization of US agriculture reduced the overall demand for farm labor and American growers and other businessmen turned to even cheaper undocumented migrants to meet their needs.  The mass deportation of braceros at the end of the program did not end their usefulness to US capitalism -- their labor was tapped immediately for the Border Industrialization Program discussed below.


Note: The dual role that the US government plays under NLS first came to light during the Bracero Program.  In 1954, in response to public resentment against Mexican workers during the severe post-Korean war recession, the US Border Patrol staged a widely-publicized paramilitary roundup and deportation campaign, Operation "Wetback", aimed at undocumented Mexican workers.  As chart 2 clearly reveals, even while Operation "Wetback" was underway the number of bracero contracts being issued continued to rise to meet the demands of business for cheap labor.  Similar operations conducted by the United States government in the mid-1990s to divert public attention away from the de facto open-border policy of the time will be discussed below under Onshoring cheap labor.


 

Taft-Hartley

The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 , the second forerunner in the evolution of neoliberal labor strategy, secured capital's domination of labor in the United States.  This post-war federal legislation set the stage for NLS by denying organized labor the means to resist the consolidation of the power of capital and opened the door for the flight of capital to cheaper domestic labor markets.  Taft-Hartley effectively limits organized labor as a force in American politics.  In addition to restricting the power of unions to organize workers and bargain on their behalf, the law bans secondary actions (also known as secondary boycotts and sympathy strikes), effectively silencing the political voice of labor and undermining the working class solidarity necessary to counter NLS consolidation.

A key provision of Taft-Hartley allows states to pass right-to-work laws which seriously restrict the power of unions by outlawing closed union shops.  Twenty-two, mostly southern and western states, have done so in order to attract business by guaranteeing a cheap work force.

 

The runaway shop movement

The runaway shop movement of the 1950s and 1960s, the third forerunner of NLS, was a massive relocation of industry from northeastern and Midwestern locations to right-to-work states in the south and southwest.  In order to take advantage of cheaper workforces many large corporations moved operations from cities like Chicago, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee, to name only a few, to cities like Atlanta, Birmingham, Houston, and Dallas-Ft. Worth where capital avoided closed shops and profited handsomely from the racial strife and labor competition fostered between workers.  The weak unions that did exist in the south and southwest were either de jure or de facto segregated institutions with sliding wage scales that pitted white against Black and Mexican-American labor and served the interests of capital far more than they did those of their membership.

The runaway shop movement was a major blow to labor, resulting in the mass discharge of workers and the collapse of entire communities that became known as the Rust Belt because of the abandoned railroads and dilapidated factories.  Many cities of the Rust Belt decimated by the runaway shop movement have not recovered to this day.  Displaced workers who migrated south following the jobs found themselves competing with local workers in business dominated labor markets.  Ultimately, most of these labor migrants and their families ended up sharing the substandard wages and working conditions and lower standards of living of their southern counterparts.

The American south did not remain the destination of capital for long.  The civil rights movement, which triumphed in the mid-1960s, guaranteed equal pay for equal work and outlawed job discrimination, undermining capital's leverage in the south and southwest.  Driven by the iron law of profit maximization through cheaper labor, US capital headed south of the border in 1965.

 

The foundations of NLS

The Border Industrialization Program

The Border Industrialization Program (BIP) instituted in 1965 marks the founding of neoliberal labor strategy by establishing a free trade zone along the border in northern Mexico to exploit the cheap workforce massed there, including hundreds of thousands of former braceros who had been deported after the termination of the Bracero Program.  The BIP established the practice of maquiladora manufacturing whereby raw materials and components are imported into Mexico duty free, processed and assembled utilizing cheap Mexican labor, and then exported to markets in developed countries (primarily the USA.) with only a small value added tax assessed on the finished products.  In addition to access to a cheap workforce, the return on foreign capital investment in Mexico is enhanced by labor peace enforced by government-controlled unions, generous tax abatements, the utilization of extensive government-financed industrial infrastructure, and freedom from restrictive environmental protection laws.

Crossing the southern border was the next logical step in capitalism's relentless pursuit of cheap labor.  Numerous US business firms relocated directly from their original locations to Mexico, while many that had been part of the runaway shop movement moved their operations to Mexico after the adoption of the BIP to take advantage of even cheaper wages.  This secondary migration contributed to the formation of a second Rust Belt that spans the American south from Atlanta to Houston.

Maquiladora manufacturing has followed its own line of evolution, progressing from high-volume, low-tech, labor-intensive assembly and light manufacturing in the early years to a wide range of high tech industries, including automotive, aerospace, electronic, medical, metal processing, plastic molding, and many others, today.  The expansion of maquiladora manufacturing under NAFTA will be discussed below

.

Onshoring cheap labor

Twenty years after the termination of the Bracero Program and the startup of maquiladora manufacturing through the BIP, US businesses also turned to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean as sources of cheap labor for location-bound jobs inside the USA.  In order to supply the demands of businesses for cheap labor, the government accommodated undocumented labor migration by instituting a de facto open-border policy on the southern US border and sharply curtailed the enforcement of federal labor law that prohibited the employment of undocumented immigrant workers.  The open-border policy was never officially acknowledged for political reasons, but the mass labor migration that it produced was the largest movement of workers and their families in the history of North America.

Chart 3

Persistent poverty and unemployment in Mexico provided the push, while opportunities for low-wage employment in the expanding US economy supplied the pull for the mass labor migration shown in chart 3.  The undocumented labor migration trend line chart 3 is the product of the de facto open-border policy that was instituted in the 1980s and ran through the first half-decade of the 21st century.  This traffic peaked at the turn of the century when almost 500,000 undocumented immigrants a year from Mexico alone were arriving in the United States.  Credible estimates of the number of undocumented immigrants from Mexico living and working the US in 2005 ranged between 11 and 12.5 million. These workers constituted the largest reserve service and industrial workforce ever assembled in the developed world.  Their hard work, albeit rewarded with substandard wages and living conditions and minimal social services, contributed significantly to capital accumulation in the United States throughout the entire period.

Chart 3 also illustrates a significant change in national immigration practice under the influence of NLS.  Historically, labor migrants to the US, though they have always had to do the dirtiest, most dangerous, and most tedious jobs the economy had to offer, were rewarded with legal residency and a path to citizenship.  The trend lines in chart 3 show that this was not the case in the 1990s and early 2000s.  The declining numbers of legal immigrants admitted from Mexico in contrast to the skyrocketing numbers of undocumented workers indicate the hegemony of NLS.  The vast majority of workers who migrated throughout this period were, in effect, temporary workers, expected to voluntarily return to their country of origin or to be deported when their labor became redundant.

By tolerating mass undocumented labor migration and failing to enforce immigration law, the US government expanded its role as a labor broker for capitalism by default.  The latest campaigns to formalize and expand this role in the post 9/11 economy through guest-worker programs and managed migration policies will be examined in Recent and ongoing attempts to expand NLS, below.


Note: In the 1990s Americans again witnessed the dual role that the government plays under NLS.  In order to demonstrate that the federal government had control of the southern border, the US Border Patrol conducted two "show of force" operations in the American southwest: Operation "Hold the Line" in El Paso (1993) and Operation "Gatekeeper" in San Diego (1994).   These highly-publicized police actions were remarkably similar in execution and outcome to Operation "Wetback" that was conducted in the 1950s.  While the Border Patrol claims that "Hold the Line" and "Gatekeeper" resulted in a 75% reduction in illegal immigration, chart 3 shows that undocumented labor migration continued to skyrocket.  These campaigns succeeded only in diverting undocumented labor migrants away from traditional metropolitan crossing points to distant and dangerous areas in the Chihuahua and Sonora deserts.  The "show of force" in all three Border Patrol actions was staged for US citizens who were demanding government action on illegal immigration.  In all three cases, US businesses maintained access to cheap labor from south of the border.


The depressed labor market after the 2007-2009 recession and tighter border security caused undocumented immigration into the US to slow to a trickle, and by 2011 it had virtually stopped.  However, US capitalism has not given up on attempts to expand NLS into all sectors of the economy.

 

Recent and ongoing attempts to expand NLS

The free trade movement comes of age

The modern free trade movement officially came of age with the ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994.  In addition to removing most national barriers to trade and investment in North America, NAFTA granted TNCs virtually unfettered access to the cheap labor market in Mexico.  Combined with the well-establish trend of offshoring jobs to the Far East, the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to the south under NAFTA and the Central American Free Trade Agreement-Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR) undercut the position of blue-collar labor in the USA and Canada even more.

The cumulative impact of offshoring on American workers is difficult to measure but impossible to deny.  Chart 4 offers one way of gauging it.

Chart 4

The volume of finished goods imported into the USA is a good indicator of the impact of foreign outsourcing on American workers because of the fundamental fact that free trade labor is a zero-sum game for working people -- either workers in the exporting countries, or workers in the importing countries, are paid for labor's contribution to production.

Chart 4 reports the trends of importing finished goods from China, Japan, and Mexico, the three major sources of consumer products sold in the US.  The rising flood of imports in chart 4 reflects the ever-growing impact of the neoliberal labor strategy of offshoring production jobs to cheaper foreign labor markets.  The revival of import trends after minor declines during the recessions of 2001 and 2008 shows why economic recovery under NLS is a bubble -- when a significant proportion of the domestic workforce remains un- or underemployed, demand for goods and services is unsustainable.

The importing of manufactured goods reflects only part of the domestic unemployment problem under NLS.  Countless white collar jobs have followed blue-collar jobs overseas.  The information and communication technology revolution that occurred during the same period covered by chart 4 facilitated the offshoring of millions of white-collar and professional jobs, including engineering, managerial, medical, and legal services.  With the resounding success of the strategy of outsourcing the widest possible spectrum of jobs to cheaper labor markets, the driving force of recent and pending NLS initiatives is to reduce the cost of labor for location-bound industries in the US through the massive onshoring of unskilled, skilled, and professional workers from underdeveloped countries.

 

The ongoing exploitation of Employment-Based and Temporary Worker Visas

The NLS strategy of onshoring cheap foreign workers for location-bound jobs was well established before the turn of the century and is continuing unabated.  In addition to the widespread use of undocumented labor for semi- and unskilled work, US businesses have turned to the exploitation of foreign workers for high tech and professional jobs through visa programs under current immigration law.  Chart 5, the record of this trend, is based on statistics published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Chart 5

Chart 5 reports the total for both Employment-Based Immigrant Visas (E-B Visas) and Temporary Worker Visas issued for the years 2001 through 2009. E-B Visas (represented by the dark sections of the columns in chart 5) allow corporations to onshore foreign workers to fill professional, managerial, high tech, semiskilled, and unskilled jobs.  E-B visas offer foreign workers legal permanent residency and, in certain circumstances, a path to citizenship.  The current annual quota for Employment-Based Visas is 140,000.  The actual admissions for the years 2000-2009 averaged 139,000, numbers within the set quota.

Temporary Worker Visas (represented by the lighter sections of the columns in chart 5) allow companies access to cheap foreign labor on a strictly temporary basis.  This visa program includes: Persons in Specialty Occupations which require higher education (H-1B); Seasonal Agricultural Workers (H-2A); Temporary or Seasonal Nonagricultural Workers (H-2B); and Intracompany Transferees (L-1).  L-1 visas allow TNCs to hire and onshore professional and high tech foreign workers overseas and bring them to work in the US on a temporary basis.  Temporary Worker Visas do not, as a rule, offer a path to citizenship.

The annual quota for H-1B visas is set at 65,000 but the actual annual admissions for 2000-2009 averaged 390,000, six times the annual quota.  Actual H-2B admissions were slightly over the annual quota of 66,000 at an average of 73,000 per year.   L-1 admissions, for which there is no quota, averaged 326,000 a year.  The excessive H-1B and L-1 admissions clearly reflect the exploitation of current immigration law by US businesses in order to fill professional and high tech jobs.

The visa trends depicted in figure 5 reflect ongoing NLS strategy to exploit cheap foreign labor in domestic production and service industries.  The DHS statistics in chart 5 show that an average of over a million workers per year for the years 2001-2009 were admitted to work in the USA for a total of 9.25 million.  A full 86% were issued Temporary Worker Visas.  This US trend is completely in step with the global neoliberal labor strategy of treating workers from the developing nations as nothing more than temporary labor.

The issuing of Employment-Based and Temporary Worker Visas dropped slightly during the economic recessions of 2001 and 2008, but rose steadily during the interim years (2003-2007), reflecting the continuing strategy of onshoring cheap foreign labor instead of hiring citizen-workers.  The recession/false recovery cycle depicted in chart 5 is bound to recur under neoliberal labor policy.

The combination of legal and illegal labor migration during the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century expanded the reserve service and industrial workforce in the US to the largest numbers in history.  This reserve workforce has undermined the entire spectrum of jobs in the United States, ranging from unskilled day labor to the highest level technical and professional jobs.

The most recent NLS onshoring initiatives have been aimed at expanding and legalizing the exploitation of temporary immigrant labor through proposed comprehensive immigration reform with provisions for a national guest worker program, and, most recently, by a reform proposal that included a national policy of managed migration, the most sophisticated onshoring strategy to date.

 

The Congressional push for a temporary guest worker program

Temporary guest worker programs are legal arrangements that establish national governments as official labor brokers for capitalism.  In the United States, business interests are seeking to legalize and regulate already existing labor immigration through federal law.

President George W. Bush advocated for a temporary guest worker program throughout his tenure in office.  The plan that he proposed was modeled directly on the Bracero Program discussed above.  Bush's immigration initiative was driven primarily by national security considerations -- the de facto open-border policy instituted in the 1980s was no longer viable following the terrorist attacks of 9/11.  The flow of cheap workers from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean into the United States was disrupted by tightened security along the southern US border, and a temporary guest worker program which would legalize and regulate labor migration while maintaining border security was the preferred solution to the problem.

The Republican dominated 109th US Congress (2005-2006) responded to Bush's proposal by introducing six comprehensive immigration reform bills, five of which contained provisions for a temporary guest worker program.  They were all modeled on the Bracero Program and would have reduced millions of workers from the global south to a condition of transient servitude while undermining the US domestic workforce.  Fortunately, a critical mass of citizen-workers and their allies who realized the implications of a national policy that would supply an unlimited reserve service and industrial workforce applied enough pressure on Congress to defeat the legislation.

US businesses lost their bid for a temporary guest worker program in 2006 but did not abandon the campaign to onshore cheap foreign labor.  Three years later, they forwarded their demands in a call for managed migration.

 

The call for managed migration

The latest NLS initiative is the push for a national immigration policy of managed migration that would establish the US government as the official labor broker for domestic industry.  Managed migration would streamline the onshoring of cheap foreign labor, primarily on a temporary basis, to provide a permanent and legal reserve service and industrial workforce.  Managed migration is openly supported by the powerful US Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation, and the Partnership for a New American Economy, a coalition of key city mayors and major corporate CEOs from across the nation.

The provisions for managed migration were presented in Title V of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity (CIR ASAP) Act introduced in the 111th US Congress in December of 2009.

Title V sought to establish "a permanent, independent, Federal agency within the Executive Branch of the United States to be known as the Commission on Immigration and Labor Markets".  The voting members of this commission, who would be appointed by the President, would have the power to set the annual quota for employment-based and temporary worker visas unless Congress enacted a resolution of disapproval within 90 days.

Although Title V did not present the details of managed migration, it did declare its purpose: "[to] establish employment-based immigration policies that promote America's economic growth and competitiveness".  In view of the fact that the overriding goal of NLS since its inception has been the suppression of wages in order to maximize profits and considering the backers of this legislation, there is no question about the intent of managed migration under neoliberal labor strategy.

Although this latest effort to expand NLS into all sectors of the US economy failed with the  defeat of CIR ASAP and is temporarily off the table in Washington, managed migration remains a top NLS priority.

In the meantime, the evolution of neoliberal labor strategy continues.

 

Cross-border trucking under NAFTAii

Following the migration of millions of manufacturing jobs in the 1990s and early 2000s, tens of thousands of US transportation jobs are about to move south of the border under the cross-border trucking provisions of NAFTA.  As with all NLS initiatives, cheap labor is at the heart of the matter -- Mexican drivers working for the TNCs at Mexican wages will be replacing citizen-drivers north of the border.

After a 17-year delay caused by stiff political opposition from truckers' unions, environmental and community groups, and dedicated individuals, the provision of NAFTA that allows trucks from the United States, Mexico, and Canada to cross the border and deliver anywhere inside the other country was ratified in April of 2011 and the first Mexican truck entered the US in October.

The full implementation of cross-border trucking (when the fleets of TNC trucks become fully operational) will be the greatest triumph of neoliberal labor policy in North America since the expansion of maquiladora manufacturing across Mexico under NAFTA.  The travesty of this NLS initiative is that while the driving jobs will be based offshore, most of the work will be done onshore within the continental United States and Canada.  Under the banner of free trade, an army of workers from the global south delivering American name-brand merchandise produced in maquiladoras and driving American name-brand trucks also manufactured in Mexico is about to invade the north.


The recent attempts to extend NLS into all sectors of the US economy indicate that the evolution of neoliberal labor strategy is continuing and that no end is in sight.  A candid look at the impact of NLS on the working people of the nation reveals what is at stake if the mounting threat is not openly challenged.

 

The Decline of the American Working Classes

Neoliberal labor strategy has been remarkably successful at suppressing wages and redistributing national income in the US to the shareholders, executives, and agents of the TNCs -- a trend that is continuing.  Reports published by the Congressional Budget Office (CB0), which compiles income information primarily for taxation purposes, document the resounding success of NLS.

Chart 6AChart 6BChart 6C

Charts 6A and 6B report the share of national income that is received by each quintile (fifth) of the US population for the years 1979 and 2007.   The inequality of income in both of these charts is striking with the richest 20% of the population receiving the lion's share of national income while the poorest 20% have to subsist on meager earnings. (Average household incomes of these two quintiles in 2007 were $264,700 and $18,400 respectively.)

The shift in income distribution in the past three decades, which is continuing today, is of critical concern for the working people of the nation.  A comparison of 6A and 6B reveals the specifics of that trend.  During this 29-year period, the share of the national income received by the richest quintile has increased 23% while that of the poorest has declined by 31%.

Of greater importance than dwelling on the extremes is the impact of these trends on the middle classes of America which comprise 60% of the population.  Charts 6A and 6B show that income shares of the second, middle, and fourth quintiles have also declined, 24%, 17%, and 12%, respectively, over the last three decades.

That this trend is the direct outcome of neoliberal labor strategy is clearly established by CBO statistics.  Extrapolation of the CBO taxable income data for 2007 shows virtually all of the income of the bottom 4 quintiles is earned income (wages and salaries), while the richest quintile receives 87% of all corporate income.

Chart 6C, projected from the 1979-2007 trend, presents a picture of future inequality in the USA.  If the richest quintile of the population captures another 10% of the national income, the general economic and social conditions of the working middle classes will be dire.

Two alternatives are possible:

  • If the growth of inequality continues on its present course, government at all levels in the United States could become the guarantor of the interests of the rich minority, the guardian of its privileges and prerogatives, and its private police force.  Under the tyranny of a rich minority, the USA will fit the profile of a failed state
  • Or as the gap widens, the middle classes could become a revolutionary force, taking the lead role in the defense of working class interests.  In order to be effective, they will have to take on the task of combating neoliberal labor strategy.

 

Guidelines for Combating NLS

The decline of the working class is not irreversible.  Neoliberal labor strategy is well-entrenched in national policy, but it is ultimately indefensible because it serves only a small minority of Americans at the expense of the vast majority.  The following guidelines, derived from the analysis of the evolution NLS are submitted to working America for discussion and action:

  1. Demand the repeal of Taft-Hartley.  Taft-Hartley belongs on the ash heap of history.iii For over 60 years this federal legislation has been used by business to dominate labor and must be repealed in order to restore the voice of labor in the ongoing debate about the future of the nation.  To establish a sustainable economy, the flight from organized labor must be ended.
  2. Boycott the products of NLS.  Remember that no matter how much money the TNCs have invested in NLS infrastructure, it is useless if consumers do not buy the goods and services they produce.  Import substitution has always been, and still is, the basis of building a sustainable economy.  Local and on-line shopping are ready alternatives to the big-box economy.
  3. Demand the end of all government subsidies, incentives, and tax advantages for TNCs that embrace NLS.  These government concessions undermine the domestic economy by granting insurmountable advantages to TNCs, while the tax revenues needed to maintain the social infrastructure of the nation are diverted and depleted.  Challenge any politician, political party, or organization that supports NLS. 
  4. Demand the renegotiation of all free trade agreements as balanced trade agreements.  All international trade agreements must include enforceable provisions for the protection of labor in both importing and exporting countries and of the environment.  "Free trade" has been empty rhetoric since it was first postulated -- it simply permits TNCs to exploit the people and resources of the world.
  5. Support immigration reform that ends the US government's role as a labor broker.  Oppose all temporary worker programs and managed migration.  The working classes of America should not have to compete with desperate foreign workers or those whose education has been provided for or subsidized by a foreign government.  Immigration policy must embrace the principle that if people are good enough work in the USA, they are good enough to stay in the USA -- citizenship reinforces democracy. 
  6. Support organizations, politicians, and political parties that combat NLS at any level.  Grass-roots political action is a good starting point for combating NLS.

Americans must be put back to work in significant numbers and combating neoliberal labor strategy is the only way to make it happen.  The working classes of the USA can challenge the hegemony that the TNCs have established through neoliberal labor policies and practices.  It is well within our reach to use the skills and resources that we possess and the knowledge of how NLS evolved to renew labor in the 21st century.

The USA is still a representative democracy and working Americans outnumber those who live on corporate income by an overwhelming majority of at least 4 to 1.

(end)

Post a comment

Facebook Follow us!

 

iChart 1 is offered as a downloadable PDF to provide a ready reference for the study and discussion of NLS.  A free annotated PowerPoint presentation of all the charts in this essay is available from rdvogel@combatingglobalization.com. Click here to download.

iiFor a detailed discussion of this recent NLS initiative, see Offshoring Transportation Jobs to Mexico: The Looming Deadline.

iiiTaft-Hartley was passed during the Second Red Scare to prevent the communist infiltration of labor unions, a threat that no longer exists.

top