Archive for December, 2009

Shell’s “Job Migration”: Program: Exacerbating the Economic Crisis

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Royal Dutch Shell’s program to slash 5,000 jobs by the end of 2009, many of them at its US headquarters in Houston, Texas, is the latest example of the impact of neoliberal globalization on working people.  Dubbed a “job migration” by Shell, the program will transfer many good-paying corporate white-collar jobs to “shared service centers” in India and the Philippines.

The history of Shell in the USA follows the corporate strategy of what we have called a war of attrition against US labor.  Shell moved its US headquarters from New York City to Houston in 1970 at the height of the runaway shop movement in order to exploit cheaper white-collar labor in the US South and is now jumping on the bandwagon of offshoring to the Far East for the same purpose — to increase profitability.

The rationale that Shell offers is that they must “get leaner to compete”, but their latest labor program, dubbed, Transition 2009, though good for the company’s bottom line, exacerbates the economic crisis in the US — every job lost reduces the demand for goods and services and undermines the position of working people even more.  This pervasive practice of offshoring is another neoliberal initiative that is as short-sighted as the runaway shop program was.

Until sustainable economic policies replace the opportunistic schemes of neoliberal globalization — the position of working people across the nation will continue to deteriorate.  We have listed specific policy changes for meeting the present crisis in the Fighting Back section of “The Fight of Our Lives”.

American Union: An Alternative to Neoliberal Globalization? — Comment

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Neoliberal globalization, which began after World War II and has expanded exponentially since the 1980s, has produced dramatic inequality between and within nations, fostered continuing militarism, and contributed the lion’s share to the looming crisis of climate change.  The very idea of somehow combating what appeared to be an irresistible force has been a daunting enterprise, to say the least.  Until now…
It is now clear that neoliberal globalization does not serve the needs of a majority of the world’s population, and, as economic metapolicy, is simply not sustainable.   The question of combating globalization is rapidly becoming the question of what will follow the meltdown of the neoliberal global economic system.
From the Left is committed to looking at possible alternatives to the present world economic order and ways out of the ongoing economic crisis.  In that vein, Ruben Botello has submitted the following article about the possibility of an American Union based on the model of the European Union (EU) — it deserves careful consideration.
His concept of an American Union is not to be confused with the neoliberal scheme of a North American Union that lurked behind the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).  The SPP, negotiated behind closed doors, appears to be nothing more than an expansion of NAFTA for those who benefited from NAFTA — SPPM if you will — a Security and Prosperity Partnership for the Multinationals.  The American Union, on the other hand, attempts to resolve national contradictions rather than just profit the executives and stockholders of the multinationals and their government brokers.
Read Ruben’s article closely — the debate about the future of the Americas after the meltdown of neoliberal globalization must begin now.

Read the article and comment.

Dismantling the Prisonhouse of Nations II: The Treatment of Prisoners in the US — Comment

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

There are two key criteria for evaluating national incarceration policy: 1) the number of citizens that are incarcerated in a nation, and 2) the treatment of those prisoners. US incarceration rates — the highest in the modern world — and their causes, are thoroughly explored in “Dismantling the Prisonhouse of Nations: A Socialist Prison Reform Proposal”. http://combatingglobalization.com/articles/dismantling_the_prisonhouse_of_nations.html

The present article focuses on the treatment of prisoners in the USA.

Read and Comment on this article.