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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Penguins Targeted As Next Source Of Cheap Labor

Cute little things aren't they? Who doesn't like penguins? But the worlds penguin population is in mortal danger and it isn't from global warming.

While many people argue about the validity of climate change, penguins are concerned with something more daunting than the melting of their homeland... Capitalism!

Let me explain.

We have been watching a steady march towards a capitalistic world since the mid 19th century. One of the things that makes capitalism tick is a cheap work force.

Europe and the United States sorta got the ball rolling using slave labor, the ultimate in cheap labor. But then Lincoln freed the slaves and the corporate types had to look elsewhere.

Enter our friends south of the border. People who would do an honest days work for an honest hours pay up here in the good old US of A.

But then the unions entered the picture and demanded that people actually get paid a living wage in exchange for working every day.

To combat this we had this idea that if we located our factories down there, we could make even more money. Soon factories all over Latin America were roaring to life making goods for our consumer driven society paying their workers as little as $2.00 a day.

But that was not a low enough wage to ensure the big profits that we needed in our 401K's and stock portfolios so the Wal-Marts of the world went looking elsewhere. Besides, after a while those workers demanded to see their wages go up, sometimes to as much as $10.00 a day.

So we turned our eyes upon that vast untapped employee resource, China. It was perfect. Far enough away and mostly closed to the press and those pesky human rights people that wages looked to remain low for years to come.

The perfect capitalistic marriage, insatiable desire on the part of the west and unlimited low wage resources in the east.

But wait, China is changing the equation. They are investing heavily in Africa. Is this because they have figured out that eventually their own lowly workers, like those here and in Latin America, will soon see that the promise of an honest days work for and honest hours pay won't work there either?

Could it be that China has looked at the world and surmised that the only workers left to be exploited live on the African continent? I mean even a few bucks a day is great when you have nothing.

Perhaps soon, instead of everything here in the US saying "Made in China" it will say "Made in Nigeria, Ghana, Burundi," or some other country over there.

All this has got me to thinking.

There's only one continent left where capitalism can look to for cheap labor. Antarctica.

So you penguins better start organizing now, because we'll be coming for you soon.

Nothing comes between a good capitalist and cheap labor.

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Comments on "Penguins Targeted As Next Source Of Cheap Labor"


Blogger TAO said ... (10:12 AM) : 

...so, penguins look cute?

So, lets go exploit all the cuteness we can out of them little rascals and then the jobs will return to the US...and someone will exclaim how cute we look.....

Good one, Dave...good one! :)


Blogger Doug said ... (10:38 AM) : 

Oh this is so good !

And filled with possibilities.

Such as:

Getting royalty involved. (Emperor Penguins)

Migrant work force (They do migrate from feeding grounds to breeding grounds)

Colonization (they tend to be somewhat organized and work well together "can you say penguin union?")


Blogger Shaw Kenawe said ... (10:40 AM) : 


Regarding using penguins as cheap labor in the future?

Nah. I just don't think it will fly.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (11:48 AM) : 

Nice Shaw, nice...


Blogger Beth said ... (6:59 AM) : 

Dave, do you buy anything from Wal Mart, or try to get things for the lowest price? This is why companies try to get the lowest "price" from their workers, and with good reason. Unions in America alone add so much cost to production that to recoup those costs the higher prices must be passed onto the consumer in order to make a profit.

So, unless you never buy anything on sale, or from a discount store, then you may cry about "cheap labor" all you want, but you are part of the reason it is sought after (in other words, put up or shut up).


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (1:53 PM) : 

Actually Beth, I rarely, if ever shop at Wal-Mart, but that is more a function of my efforts to not buy much I do not really from anyone.

But all I am complaining about here is the potential abusive situation heading for the world's penguin population.

But yes, i agree, the problem is "us" and our desire to pay as little as possible for as much as possible, which is not hard to understand.


Blogger BB-Idaho said ... (4:12 PM) : 

I don't shop at WalMart.
Period. But now, if there are penquins working there,
golly, they provide their
own tuxedos!


Blogger dmarks said ... (7:19 PM) : 

Nothing wrong with seeking the best worker.

Capitalism doesn't thrive on "cheap labor". It thrives on the freedom of people to make their own economic decisions. This is true whether the workers have low-value skills, or high-value skills. This is in contrast with socialism/fascism, where only the ruling elites make these choices.

Anyway, it's been tried. "Batman 2". But the caped crusader foiled the plot.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (8:29 PM) : 

Nice call on the penguin Dmarks. However I think you are going to be hard pressed to find a group of people who will willingly pay more for something if they can get the same item made cheaper by someone else.

And the fact is, there is always someone else willing to do that work cheaper, at least until we get to the penguins.


Blogger dmarks said ... (1:51 AM) : 

"However I think you are going to be hard pressed to find a group of people who will willingly pay more for something if they can get the same item made cheaper by someone else."

Exactly. It's no different from making the decision to get that iPod for $200 from one place instead of $225 from another. You go with those who give you the best deal. It makes no sense to go with those who try to rook you by overcharging.


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