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#1708: Burnham replies to Gill (fwd)

From: thor burnham <thorald_mb@hotmail.com>

>From Thor Burnham:

Mark Gill wrote: "can you give some accurate figures about this dumping? 
and, show how it is a great asset to the US for Haiti to remain poor?"

In fact, there is some outstanding research in this area that demonstrates 
how the rhetoric of external poverty is used to blackmail domestic markets. 
This is particularly the case in Canada and the U.S. where large 
corporations frequently cite conditions in the Caribbean, Mexico, and 
Central America to demand lower wages, lower benefits, and less regulation 
in the domestic labour market.
Don't believe me?

Dani Rodrik, a Harvard university professor of Political Economy wrote a 
book entitled "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?", published by the Institute 
for International economics in 1997.
This book was cited in a 1998 Toronto Star column and again in Mel Hurtig's 
new polemic "Pay the Rent or Feed the Kids"(McClelland and Stewart) 1999.

Rodrik argues that there are a variety of avenues available to the 
international economy to impinge on domestic markets: (It would appear they 
are very applicable to the case of Haiti. In fact, Rodrik "blames 
globalization as it now stands for increasing the income disparity in the 
U.S. by keeping wages low.")

1)by giving corporations a great deal more bargaining power over their 
2)by changing norms and institutions
3)by undermining social support systems

So, when U.S. or Canadian labour asks for increased pay and benefits (which 
seems only fair in the light of record corporate profits) they respond by 
saying "if you don't like it we can leave and go to the maquiladors in 
Mexico, Haiti, Honduras, China,  etc., etc., where we can work for 1/10th 
the price.
This has been the corporate chant for a long time now. And, Haiti, whether 
it's directly or indirectly referred to is part of the same line of 

And if memory serves, wasn't this one of the arguments in Paul Farmer's "The 
Uses of Haiti"?

Whether we like to admit or not, Haiti's poverty is directly linked to the 
growing poverty in countries like the U.S. and Canada.

"Todos Somos Marcos"
Thor Burnham

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