The entire Western World is abuzz decrying the evils of ‘globalization’.
Yet, very few people realize that ‘globalization’ is an effect, not a cause.
It is intriguing, then, to hear politicians in the same breath blame globalization for lost or lower wages and promote deregulation as the solution!
Indeed, rampant deregulation is what led to the very worse of effects of what we call globalization.
It is important for us to realize what deregulation means.
– lowering or erasing wage laws
– lowering or erasing worker safety laws
– lowering or erasing consumer and environmental protection laws
– lowering or erasing access to collective bargaining
– lowering or erasing access to health care
Removing regulations is how you end up with lead in city water.
Removing regulations is how you lower wages, increase worker injuries, and decrease worker access to health care all at once!
Removing regulations is how powdered baby milk ends up having massive amounts of paint chemicals.
Removing regulations is how you kill over 40 children in a school bus because the driver is forced to work 14-hour days.
Removing regulations is how Black Lung Disease epidemics go unchecked because miners are no longer provided access to health care.
There is, in America, a proud tradition of independence, but there was, until recently, an equally proud tradition of respect of the worker; there was a belief that, if you work hard, and play by the rules, a person would be treated with respect and be offered the right to the pursuit of happiness (i believe that there is something to that effect in the constitution).
It is essential that we realize that globalization is nothing more than the result of decades of Republican destruction of hard-won regulations that exist to protect workers as well as consumers and citizens.
Of course large corporations have always clamored that regulations such as labor laws, environmental laws, consumer and worker protection laws cut into their profits, but those regulations have also allowed for huge gains to be made in all of society.
It is not a big surprise to think that Americans usually think of the 1950’s as being a time of prosperity (at least for white men) since at no time before or since were the American worker’s health and income better protected by labor laws. The labor laws that were put in place under Franklin Delano Roosevelt benefited all the economy until Republicans started chipping away at them and thereby destroying the middle class.
Regulations and strong collective bargaining are the only thing that will bring back a healthy and prosperous middle class to America.