Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Ralph Nader

“…there’s never a doubt, just who’s pulling the strings.”
-Sandie Shaw

Today is Ralph Nader’s 74th birthday. Best wishes, Ralph! I HOPE against all hopelessly impossible odds that your campaign can and will positively influence Obama and his corporate backers as it looks like after last night’s debate, Hillz is goin’ down, down…

I watched part of the debate between Our Lady of the Pink, Hillary, and the Man in Black, last night, and it became clear to me that the more I watch Hillary, the more she reminds me A LOT of the dean of girls at my former high school and that Barry, by comparison, just seems nicer... But enough about superficial observations as it’s substance we are after, yes?

Unfortunately, this Siamese twin, otherwise known as HilBama, once again failed to separate themselves at the hip from each other and their corporate masters, predictably avoiding meaningful conversation on issues that affect the majority in this country. How horribly boring is that?

Here I tuned into the beauty contest fully expecting my Democratic candidates to have a substantive conversation about (among so many other things) all that toxic crap we are supposed to eat and get sick or die from courtesy an out to lunch FDA that has been bought off by corrupt corporate elites and all HilBama could do was basically admit (Hillary did a candid and honest job here) that they are NOT in fact running for Congress but for President and that means they have to do what their corporate masters tell them to do.

After watching this debate, I got the sense that Hillary really and truly actually believes all this ruse about the GREAT LABOR SHORTAGE MYTH that has been systematically pounded by greedy corporate elites from Google, Oracle, Microsoft etc. and PR media outlets in their struggle to drive down wages and eliminate jobs for our citizens here while Barry may actually question it. Now, I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be a hoot if Obama turned out to be the skunk at the garden party on this issue or that I believe he has the cahones to stand up to the Sand Hill Road Klan, but check out the very subtle distinctions in rhetoric between the two candidate’s positions from their respective websites described in this Ephraim Schwartz Infoworld article below:

Hillary: "I also want to reaffirm my commitment to the H-1B visa program and to increase the current cap. Foreign skilled workers contribute greatly to our technological development. That is well understood in Silicon Valley."

Barrack: "We can do better than that and go a long way toward meeting industry’s need for skilled workers with Americans. Until we have achieved that, I will support a temporary increase in the H-1B visa program as a stopgap measure until we can reform our immigration system comprehensively."

For Hillary to actually believe this propaganda is to in essence “ease her pain’ by personally profiting from these gatekeepers on this race to the trough, whereas with Barry, I’m not so sure that he might not get it. Whether he gives a hoot is the question.

I especially like Barry’s “We can do better…” pitch that hints at “change” although for anyone to take him seriously on this issue (among others), he is going to have to be specific about what jobs (low end, minimum wage, “green jobs”) he is talking about as “legal immigration” is the crux of the issue that is driving down wages and eliminating white collar jobs.
Rinse and repeat: “We do NOT have a white collar labor shortage.”

Turn on any progressive radio station in the SF bay area and you will hear advertisements about the dire state of nursing and how there is a “nursing shortage.” I have a couple of friends who are R.N.s who haven’t worked in the field for over ten years as they describe how the pay is too lousy for the less than optimal working conditions created by bloated hospital administrative management hellbent to drive down wages in this field via immigration.

For anyone who questions just how determined a few greedy corporate elites are in driving down white collar wages, here is a must read article:

Who is demanding that these candidates supply answers to questions? Questions like who exactly is backing Obama and what is he getting out of it? When insulated, fabulously wealthy regulators like Alan Greenspan get away with telling white collar workers that earning a whopping eighty grand a year may be “too much money” while costs of living soar and when liberal organizations that are funded by the same corporate elites backing the candidates, where are the investigative journalists to tell us who they are? More important, where is the “progressive” voice behind the Democrats to unite and make them accountable?

So far, it looks like the birthday boy, Mr. Nader, takes the cake here as his is the only voice who dares to step away from the Kool-Aid stand and this time around, I truly HOPE Nader’s campaign does what it has always set out to do: to wake up the majority by addressing issues that underscore the welfare of citizens and not corporations.



Anonymous said...

Excellent, articulate, and insightful commentary with which I agree completely.
Mr. C.V. Compton Shaw, R.N.

Citizen Carrie said...

That Sandie Shaw video is a hoot!

Thanks for the link about the so-called nursing shortage. The whole idea was starting to fail the sniff test, wasn't it?

2Truthy said...

Thank you, anon. Any relation to the awesome Sandie??

Hey CC, that nursing thread was an eye opener (the CA state prison nurses pay hike) and makes you wonder why some CA judge doesn't just save us all a bunch of money and heartache by forcing these CEO's in tight bicycle shorts to do the same thing. (I know, overuse of the image but to see these insufferable guys is enough to inspire change;(

Citizen Carrie said...

Hi 2Truthy. What do you think of this Forbes article? I don't believe it myself.

2Truthy said...

Thanks for this link, CC.

If only there were a silver lining...Given her industry ties, I'm not at all surprised to see Mitra's InsideView promotional piece show up in Forbes of all places:)

Indian IT outsourcing 'going away'? Right along with the tech corporations lagging in innovation, which predictably had to happen as our VC's are figuring out that there is only so much that can be invented in any given Gilded Age befor it has to regroup -- ala, real estate, hospitality, mega service sector growth etc.

As our corporations are beating the doors down to set up shop in India to exploit cheaper labor and resources (real estate, infrastructures etc.) what happens over here? The 1:3 to 1:1.5 IT pay structure and that 15% annual pay rate hike here is not a result of corporate profitability but is taken directly 'out of the pockets' of American IT workers to subsidize Indian workers. Remember the Alan Greenspan scold about how he thinks Americans are earning too much money?

So, according to Mitra, by 2015, there will be no more need to have Indian IT workers over here as VC's scramble between now and then to diversify from a sagging tech industry short on innovation and long on odds for growth in foreign infrastructure and service sector investment.

If innovation is the Mother of Invention, is execution the MOFO of Growth?

Citizen Carrie said...

So basically, you say the VC's will have milked the industry dry in a few years and taken their money elsewhere?

I think of the less hip companies who will keep sending work to India for the next several years just because it's the thing to do, or because they've already been doing it for years. Change comes slowly for these companies, and they don't like to change. That, and company owners will still be stumbling across magazines from 1998 in their dentists' offices extolling the virtues of offshoring.

It also crossed my mind that there is a coordinated effort to play up these "offshoring to India is dying" stories to make us think we don't need to fight this anymore. There are too many Indian-American entrepeneurs in this company with close ties to the Mother Country. THEY'RE not going to let their businesses dry up very easily.

2Truthy said...


Absolutely, as you say, there certainly is an effort to get this whole "offshoring is dying" meme out there to take an already asleep at the switch American populace off the scent. Indian and American entrepreneurs along with their political enablers like Nancy Pelosi know this very well (check out Sanchez's newsletter today for the latest behind the scenes/backroom dealing Pelosi is doing to get more "legal immigrants" on Charlie Rose.)

I too, think the "less hip" behemoths like Compuware for example, to name one from your neck of the woods (2Truthy has a displeasing account of this crew)will keep sending jobs to India or outsourcing until they can get warm bodies over here for less than they would pay them in India. What Mitra suggests is that IT INSOURCING will inevitably slow down as innovation slows and wages keep declining here (courtesy Alan Greenspan and Friends.) In other words, a perfect storm is underway: American tech innovation slows down, tech wages here bottom out, dollar tanks, portfolios and markets diversify, executives relocate while India booms.

Citizen Carrie said...

Here's another good news blurb:

BTW, I partially take back what I said about Indian-Americans not going to let their businesses dry up so easily. I ran across one in Michigan whose main business seems to be supplying restaurants with butter packets, while he appears to run an engineering bodyshop as a sideline hobby.

2Truthy said...

Whoa! CC, re: the link, how about that MORGAN STANLEY REAL ESTATE? or how about

"Indians bag 100 per cent returns in five years" and

"Cambridge University Press enters India"??

But this one below is the one that's worth watching as there is big $$$ is carbon. But why don't we ever hear anything about the multi-industry (tech AND green/climate change) mysterious neo green billionairre carbon trading businessman, former v.p. Gore?

"Teri prepares ground for carbon trading for power companies"...

A.R. said...

My sister was a registered nurse who at one time many years ago could essentially name her price in the OR and ICU due to the staffing "shortage" and she somehow was able to remain competent and withstand the overtime, too, due to the pay. She felt valued and respected. Those days are over. Reduced compensation
amidst rising costs is a recipe for disaster across all industries, not just manufacturing and engineering and nursing.

2Truthy said...

a.r., My mom spent her last days in an ICU where I stayed with her pretty much 'round the clock. I got to know all of the nurses but there were only a couple of them(as in two)who I wanted anywhere near her. There are stars in every profession and that's why all industries involved with making stuff to keeping us alive ought to pay the big bucks for the best and brightest and not spew some ruse about how cramming the floor, in the case of nurses, for example, with a larger number of mediocre workers is an OK substitute for quality. But we don't do quality anymore...

You might enjoy an old post of mine called Bill Gates Can't Get Enough Burnt Fries