A rebuttal to the “improve competitiveness” argument

“Improve competitiveness” is a mantra frequently heard in discussions of how countries can increase economic growth.  What that slogan actually means is that global corporations want workers in developed countries to agree to wage reductions to levels similar to those in the People’s Republic of China.  The unspoken threat is that workers will be driven to accept such reductions inevitably.

Wages in China are actually rising due to the country’s success in extracting manufacturing jobs from the rest of the world.  The correct policy that should be pursued by developed countries and China is to have the PRC adjust its labor markets so that Chinese workers’ wages continue to converge with those of workers in developing countries.

Increased standards of living for Chinese workers will mean less of a reduction in standards of living in developed countries.  In some industries,  Chinese goods are already not competitive with similar goods produced in developed countries due to transportation costs.

Executive management currently colludes with a corrupt PRC system to extract the value of increased productivity throughout the world to increase the wealth of the top 1% of society…the super-rich.  Workers throughout the world need to organize to reject the “competitiveness” propaganda and restructure the distribution of wealth more fairly.

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1 Comment »

  1. Luke Lea said

    “The correct policy that should be pursued by developed countries and China is to have the PRC adjust its labor markets so that Chinese workers’ wages continue to converge with those of workers in developing countries.”

    But that will take decades. Meanwhile we should compensate the losers out of the gains of winners like the textbooks say. I.e. in this case, tax capital to subsidize wages. I.e. implement a graduated consumption tax in cooperation with our European allies and major trading partners.

    Otherwise the re-imposition of protective tariffs will become politically irresistible — and rightly so in a democracy. The economy is for people not the other way around.

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