From a reader: “Mr. Derbyshire—Mr. Adler is getting away with a huge one
here. Yes, a company CAN move its factory to Argentina to take advantage of
cheaper labor. It is NOT the same as importing Argentines here to work for
less than the wage an American would demand for a specific job. The
company, should it move to Argentina, must build a new factory, assume the
risk of Argentina’s banks collapsing, pay Argentine taxes, perhaps bribe
Argentine officials, etc.
“This company would MUCH rather build in America, where laws are strong,
bribery is rare, courts (despite their flaws) work well, etc. It would ALSO
like to cut wages. Mr. Adler would allow it to do so on the incorrect
theory that it is just the same as sending the whole operation overseas.
But it’s not. The company wants to have its cake and eat it too – and
that’s ignoring the Bush plan under which a complaining worker can be fired
and then deported for not being employed – thus having even less protection
than an American.
“We conservatives have legitimate complaints about worker safety laws and
union activity, but they are not all bad. If a company wants to run the
political risk of sending operations overseas, fine. (It will also have to
ship its goods back to America at some costs.) What Adler proposes is that
the equity holders and managers should gain the benefit of the lowest
possible common denominator of wages in the world while reaping the benefits
of being based in America. This is, simply put, not right.”
[I made a tiny change here, substituting “Argentine” for my reader’s
“Argentinean.” It just looks better, but I’m open to objections.]