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#1641: "The Phrase" : Greee replies

From: Anne Greene <agreene@erols.com>

Another way of looking at the subject is that if wages rise without a rise
in productivity, companies will go elsewhere, as Disney lamentably did.  For
years, South Korean wages were low and the country attracted foreign
investors .  Slowly, skill levels increased, workers became more productive,
and wages went up, and the companies, which included Korean companies,
remained and remained profitable.  Korea is not considered such a low wage
country today.  Similar examples are Indonesia and Thailand, although
Indonesia is still pretty low wage and is feeling competition from even
lower wage Vietnam and China.

Anne Greene

>From: Robert Corbett <bcorbett@netcom.com>
>To: Haiti mailing list <haiti@lists.webster.edu>
>Subject: #1605: "The Phrase" : Gill asks Driver and Bell replies
>Date: Tue, Dec 28, 1999, 1:53 PM

> From: madison bell <mbell@goucher.edu>
> The theory is that keeping wages low in Haiti is advantageous for US
> economic interests not so much because the US outsources so much labor to
> Haiti but because Haiti provides a rockbottom wage floor for the whole
> Western Hemisphere.  This US interest prefers that Haiti should be
> dependent on imported (from the US, typically) food and other products,
> rather than working toward agricultural selfsufficiency (which is still
> possible if current trends could be reversed)-- because in this paradigm
> Haitians have to keep working for those low wages in order to purchase
> imported food (perhaps other goods too once starvation has been addressed),
> rather than working directly to feed each other and themselves as would be
> possible with a model of agricultural selfsufficiency.  How do Haitians buy
> the stuff?  At the cost of great trouble and sacrifice, obviously.  Most
> food is currently imported (and priced in US dollars) so Haitians have to
> find some way to buy (at a hugely unfavorable exchange rate).  Otherwise
> they get no food and then they die.
> For details, see HAITI AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER by Alex Dupuy
> msb