T Nation

The U.S.: Where Europe Comes To Slum



America as the beacon for the workers of the world? No more. If anything, our relationship with Europe has become a latter-day version of the one that characterized the years leading up to the Civil War, when our Southern states provided cheap, slave-produced cotton to the mills of Manchester. (That's why British and French business favored the Confederacy.) Once again, we're where Europe comes to slum in the low-wage factories of the South and the run-down houses of South Los Angeles.


The factories actually make the towns better.


As someone living in the south, ima call BS on this....

the car factories the europeans brought over (mercedes and BMW), are great high paying jobs.... hell, when i finish my PhD id be happy to work for mercedes, they have great benifits and as an engineer i get a company car... winning!

go figure this was printed in a california newspaper...


total BS.



Ofcourse it doesn't surprise me that foreign companies take advantage of local market's labor opportunities, but you have to wonder if it's a good sign that it's apparently cheaper to have a factory in the south opposed to a factory in Mexico [for instance].


LOL at assuming there aren't other differences to labor besides cost. So, is ignorance actually bliss?


Educate me. Right to work, minimum wage, no unions. Did i leave anything out?


Cost of labor isn't the only thing to consider in locating a factory.

Available labor pool. Education, reliability, job quality, location in respect to vendors, location in respect to customers, taxes, est. est. est.

There are lots and lots of reasons why companies like to locate in the south. You are assuming that all labor and geographic reasons are equal and the only deciding factor is cost of employee.

Additionally, the cost of living for most of these places is much lower, so what you are claiming as unfair payment for someone may actually put them better off than a worker up north being payed more living in Detroit.


Wait, who pays minimum wage?

And not paying unions and workers having the right to work for themselves is a negative to workers?


Yes, you left out the truth.

There are unions in the American south, just not mandatory unions that force employees to pay money to corrupt political and mobbed-up union machines, that impose productivity-crushing rules and regulations, and that (eventually) bleed both the employees and employers dry, leaving for Florida with their stolen riches.

Southern employers don't want the crap that comes with unions, so they pay the employees a fair wage (indeed, the take-home pay is FAR higher than union shops) and good retirement and health benefits in order to keep them from unionizing.

Employees in the right-to-work states are consistently polled as happier, with better work conditions, and more pleased with their jobs and life.


This is very true...it is a model that Utah has adopted, and has led to many large companies relocating here.


To brainwashed socialists who can't think for themselves, it is.


Oh, c'mon, that is not universal, it is wery much dependent on the country you live in and the history of said country, a scandinavian or dutch union is probably much different from an american one, the whole society they operate in is different.


"A union-organizing battle hangs over the Ikea plant in Virginia. Workers complain of eliminated raises, a frenzied pace, mandatory overtime and racial discrimination."


Your other points are valid and are taken into consideration.


What companies haven't starting doing things like that. I'm having to work long hours and we've been on a pay freeze.

What exactly are you insinuating with this? The town and people are better if Ikea left? or are you saying unions would fix it? Cause both are wrong.


Are you just happy to have a job?

Personally, i'd feel exploited.


I am glad I have a job. And I'd never feel exploited at work, because I'd leave.

My company has run at a loss the past couple years. They are doing the absolute best they can for their employees (like picking up the obamacare health care increase).

So, no, you must have a different definition of exploitation.


The approach to jobs and work in general in the US is vastly different from how it's perceived in Europe.

Is the way your company deals with its employees an exception in your county/state, or is the impression i/we get over here on the current jobmarket situation in the US skewed?


There IS a slightly different set-up in Europe, yes, in that Europe it's mainly trade unions where many distinct unions work at the same shop, and there is (or was) more pride and training put into members to know their trade. In the USA, it's more one union and it includes non-transferable trades.

The much better approach is the Souther USA approach, where workers are free to unionize if they see fit (and actually have bargaining power because the employer is screwing them) and the employers are free to tell the union to f--k off if the employers can get replacement workers for a better price --- this prevents abuses by either the workers or the employers.

Messing with market power is always a mistake.


Personally, I have a penis and two balls, so if I felt exploited I'd leave and get a better job.

If I couldn't get a better job, then my pay is correct.