An Even Playing Field

An Even Playing Field

 

By Harrison A. Moyer

 

 

There is not a ghost of a chance that an American worker and a foreign worker, from Central or South America, Africa, or Asia can compete as equals  on an even playing field.

 

     Already, 44 million Americans in 2009 are living in poverty, i.e. …14.3% of our population.

 

     Add 10% unemployment, and you have one fourth of our people in economic straits.

 

     For starters, these foreign workers are paid 35 cents an hour compared to our minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

 

     For their daily earnings of $2.80 they live in a thatched mud hut without heat, water or electricity.

 

     They walk to work, or ride a bicycle.

 

     At the very least, an American worker lives in a rental apartment, with heat in the wintertime, running water, a toilet with a shower, and electricity,  for a minimum rental of $500 a month.

 

     His $7.25 an hour, times 40 hours a week, is $290;  minus taxes of 20%, or $232 net.

 

     So over half of his total earnings goes towards rent, which does not include the cost of his electricity.

 

     With a minimum commute of 5 miles each way, and each automobile mile costing 50 cents according to the IRS; just his daily commute costs $5, nearly twice the total daily earnings of his foreign competitor.

 

     American workers are covered by Federal Fair Labor Laws requiring safe working conditions, overtime pay for hours over 40 hours a week, child labor protections, etc.

 

     None of this is required by our foreign competition.

 

     One fifth of India’s population, or 200 million people,  lives below their poverty line.

 

     With a single doctor’s visit costing $85 for an American worker, this equals 30 days earnings for the foreign worker, whose medical costs are covered nearly free by universal health care.

 

     Forget dentist costs, or eye doctors and glasses, or hearing aids.

 

     Unscrupulous businessmen, supported by politicians and the media, both dependant on these businessmen for their livelihood,  have outsourced many manufacturing and service jobs overseas to workers that earn just $728 a year.

 

     As a result, the top 1% of Americans receive 23.5% of total income, and 10% of the American workers are unemployed.

 

 

     The answer to providing an even playing field for the workers is found in the U.S. Constitution, Section 8-—Powers of Congress that says:

 

      “The Congress shall have the Power To lay and collect Duties.”

 

     Thus custom duties, or tariffs,  should be set, product by product, to establish that our domestic costs of production are matched by our foreign producer  competitors.

 

     In this way, we can restore our manufacturing base, and re-employ that 10% of our work force that is now idle.

 

     This is not “protectionism”, this is plain Fair Trade.

 

     Only  unscrupulous, greedy businessmen, supported by our Congressmen who depend on these businessmen for campaign contributions, are opposed.

 

 

–          30 –

 

 

Pictures:

 

     Thatched mud huts, India

 

     Women carrying water to their homes from the village well in New Delhi, the capital of India, with a population of 14 million.

 

     Women carrying wood to their homes from the forest for cooking and heating, India

 

     Driving to Work in a bullock cart, Casual Dress is a loin cloth and shirtless, India

 

     Nearly naked Village Children, India

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