Globalization and the Evolution of American Capitalism Darrell Williams
However, American capitalism continued to evolve. After the end of the agricultural slave system in the south, a new type of exploitation developed in the north. This system could be called industrial slavery. Few people today are fully aware of the terrible conditions that existed in the early factories that developed during the industrial revolution. The conditions of the factory workers could only be described as slavery. Men, women and children worked in unsafe conditions for long hours. With absolutely no laws or restrictions on labor practices, children worked 16 hours a day for pennies. The labor costs were so small that this system could be classified as almost pure capitalism. Pure capitalism is the system in which labor costs are at a minimum and profits are at a maximum. Slavery is the cheapest possible form of labor. Cheap labor is always the goal of corporation owners.
- First, it reduces the wages of working Americans because the labor is being done by foreign workers. This is a step backward toward the pre-1930’s when there were no labors laws. This increases U.S. unemployment and increases the gap between the rich and the poor. If this gap continues to grow, it can result in another breaking point in the economic system and another Great Depression and collapse.
- Secondly, this condition cannot continue indefinitely in a foreign country. Sooner or later the workers in that nation will demand an increase in their wages and local ownership of the company. This system of having an American company in a foreign country is essentially colonial exploitation. The foreign labor is being exploited for pennies a day, while all of the profits are being taken out of the country by the American owners. This kind of colonial exploitation is little more than modern slavery.
Globalization is here to stay for better or for worse. The world’s economic systems will continue to evolve. In the near future, Globalization will probably temporarily increase the profits of American corporations, while stagnating or lowering the standard of living for the average working Americans.
The U.S. government should assume some responsibility for limiting the worst effects of this loss of American jobs. Unfortunately, Congressional lobbyists for corporations oppose all restrictions or control of foreign operations. When there is conflict between the best interests of the corporations and the best interests of the nation, Congress should support the nation and not the special interests. American owned foreign corporations should be subjected to import taxes for all products brought into the U.S. This would help redistribute some of the profits which are being made at the expense of the American workers. The U.S. government should also require that all foreign products meet the same quality standards and safety regulations as they do when manufactured within the U.S. The U.S. should also have international agreements with every nation regarding labor laws, labor working conditions and environmental protection laws. Those nations that fail to accept these agreements should be banned from importing their products to the U.S. If corporate profits are reduced, corporations may choose to remain within the U.S. In the long run Globalization is not good for the U.S. economy. americanchronicle.com