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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:14 PM
Original message
Solving The Out-Sourcing of America - POST YOUR PROGRESSIVE SOLUTIONS HERE! What have You Got DU??


As we all know, the GOP and the bought-out Dems have outsourced several key American industries, devastating the economy and millions of lives.

Kerry spoke of eliminating the tax deferral given to profit on foreign plants, where companies can plough that profit back into foreign plants and marketing AND THEY DON'T PAY INCOME TAX.

Of course that never happened, so the Outsourcing of America has increased, wiping out whole sectors and depressing the wages of technology and other workers.

What are your creative ideas for creating clean jobs here in the U.S. of A.?

Alternative energy? Sustainability? Organic local food co-ops? Environmentally-based Regional Planning? Regenerative Zones for local regions with poor money circulation? (someone ask me to explain the last one)

Boycotting companies that refuse to turn around their out-sourcing?

What have you got DU? Inquiring minds want to know! We know what the problem is so just post your solution. Everyone should comment on the ideas and say what your Likes, Concerns and Suggestions might be for the ones that strike you.

This will all be part of a policy thread/forum I'm trying to start. I will be highlighting the best policiy ideas in coming threads.

We'll be collecting Web site links, ideas, comments. And thanks to everyone in advance as I have to go out dancing tonight and after a little bit I'll be gone.

You're all BRILLIANT!

Post away and recommend, CAUSE WE'RE DOIN' POLICY HERE.
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last1standing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. Looks like I get to go first.
I think the best thing we can do is renegotiate all of our trade agreements for fair trade. China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, etc..... all benefit from access to our markets without opening theirs for us. We need to demand that these countries stop taxing our products beyond reason and that they reform their wages, safety and environmental protections. Failure to do this should lead to us protecting our markets and our jobs.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Very Good! The Conservatives have been TERRIBLE with China, etc.!
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last1standing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. This is a fantastic idea of yours.
I've always thought DU needed a section that focused on issues more like a think tank than a cheer leading section. We need the cheer leading as sometimes we all feel like we're alone in the wilderness, but I'd love to see some real policy discussed and have actual positions and solutions come out of it.

Thanks. :)
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. We should ask Skinner for a Forum or Group...
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last1standing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Something like The Think Tank Group?
The only way it would work is if it was severely moderated to keep out the name calling and divisiveness found elsewhere, but I think it's a great idea.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. We need to change the way we do things now that we are in power.
I agree with you completely.
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HughMoran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
35. Yep, that's the place to start
These countries are taking advantage of the fact that we have strict labor, safety & environmental laws, never mind the ridiculous fees and market restrictions many place on our products and industries. Only Republican ass holes and hopefully not Democrats would put up with such a ridiculously unfair situation.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. A combination of official and unofficial means
First of all, the U.S. government buys a huge amount of Stuff every year, everything from fleet cars to pencils. Government procurement should include a preferential option for suppliers who manufacturer their products in the U.S. (not in the Mariana Islands with Chinese slave laborers) with U.S. citizen and legal resident workers. This should be without regard for the nationality of the owners, so that Toyotas made in the U.S. would be preferred to Fords made in Mexico. If there was no wholly U.S.-based supplier of the product, then preference would go to companies that had the highest percentage of their work force in the States. Manufacturers who had only overseas plants would be allowed to bid ONLY if there were NO manufacturers of their product in the U.S.

Furthermore, the president would name a "U.S. employer of the month," and it would be someone who did all their work with U.S.-based workers, preferably with union workers. The favorable publicity for such a company would be an incentive.

Manufacturers who moved operations overseas would be required to pay a year's severance pay to fired workers and continue their pensions until the last one died.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Wow! Where did you get this stuff? Glad I asked!
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
20. Based on something I heard about the Kennedy years
Apparently the Big Three auto makers got together and decided to jack prices way up. JFK somehow got wind of it and told them that the feds would not buy any cars whose prices had been raised higher than the rate of inflation. The auto makers backed down.

The idea about naming the "employer of the month" came from the favorable publicity won by the PolarTec company when their plant burned down, and the owner vowed to rebuild and keep the same workers.

The third idea was mine. Make it expensive to move production overseas.

You have to differentiate between production for local markets--so that it's okay if Ford makes cars in Mexico to SELL in Mexico--but production in Mexico to sell here is undercutting U.S. workers.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. International Minimum Wage
Over the last twenty years, the process of globalization has accelerated as trade, communications, transportation and investment have increased. As this process has accelerated, the benefits have been inequitably distributed, and the gap between the haves and the have-nots has increased in far too many nations. At the same time, too many multinational corporations have been engaged in a race to the bottom, seeking to locate their operations in nations with the lowest wages and most vulnerable workers. In an effort to attract investment, many nations have bid against each other to lower wages and working conditions, resulting in stagnating or declining standards of living for far too many people.

The United States approach to trade policy has been to accelerate the liberalization of market barriers without, at the same time, promoting appropriate standards and rules to protect workers and communities. Millions of good paying manufacturing jobs have been lost, and industry sector after industry sector has been devastated. Now the process of offshoring the movement of service and technical jobs is accelerating as well.

The AFL-CIO has been an ardent advocate for the inclusion of internationally recognized workers rights provisions in trade agreements. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration clings to the outdated trade model that has resulted in hemorrhaging jobs, skyrocketing trade deficits and reduced opportunities for our workers.

In addition to the fight for internationally recognized workers rights provisions in trade agreements, we must also create a foundation on which nations can compete fairly and where standards of living can increase for the benefit of all. Growing the middle class in all nations must be the goal.

....

http://www.aflcio.org/aboutus/thisistheaflcio/ecouncil/...
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Go Junkdrawer!
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
4. Repeal NAFTA/CAFTA. Withdraw from WTO.
Fair trade agreements based on human rights and environmental responsibility.

To start with. I also flirt with corporate-busting; I'd like to see the size/power of a single corporation limited somehow, I'd like to support smaller companies, I'd like to do away with corporate person-hood. I'm not sure how to achieve all of that.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. Break 'em up. Like ATT was. I agree
Also repeal the Corporate Personhood decision from the 1880s! (Read Unequal Protection by Thom Hartmann)
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Booster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
6. One of my pet peeves is our government giving contracts to ANY
company that purposely has their headquarters outside the U.S. to avoid paying taxes. They should be treated like any other foreign country, although this particular Administration is not against foreign countries buying our ports, etc. I truly believe that some sort of health care for all Americans would relieve companies from that burden, which is enormous, and no one can argue with them on that. We need to make it more attractive for companies to have jobs here, and if that needs to be tax benefits, so be it. The tax benefits wouldn't compare to everyday Americans with good jobs paying their taxes. Companies that have their headquarters out of this country should pay maybe tariff taxes or something to that effect for doing any business in the U.S. I'm also leaning toward putting some kind of tap on executives pay - seems some companies are looking for cheap labor, but pay their CEO outlandish salaries. In other words, I don't know. ha
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. The health care makes the US uncompetitive
A 2% income tax and 7% payroll tax pays for universal health care. This will help a lot!

And the CEO salary can be regulated and enforced through the SEC!

Like it!
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 05:45 AM
Response to Reply #10
38. only because workers in low-wage countries don't have healthcare
Thanks to outsourcing we are now in a position where we have to compete with Chinese sweatshop laborers.
Rather than try and do that we should try to convince our representatives not to allow our corporations to make use of 20th century slavery in order to boots their profits.
All this talk about human rights, and than this.

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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
9. contained, cooperative communities
The idea behind this is to make as much as we can as close as we can to where we live-for so many reasons. First of all, food-healthier for you if what you eat is raised in a way that doesn't rely as much on chemicals, etc. There's a whole sustainability structure that can be created. We're starting to do that on a small scale here in Arkansas, starting with:

1. Greenhouses producing open pollinated seeds (and using solar power/alternative structures to heat and illuminate).

2. Seeds go to farmers who raise crops-some specialize in one or two things, swapping with others--works well because I'm talking the Ozarks here, and there is a wide variation in where gardens/small farms are in just a small area.

3. Areas not condusive to raising food crops are used for grazing-sheep and goats and cows and chickens, but mostly the first two-they can both provide meat and milk as well as fertilizer for others. Also have to mention that some folk around here farm with mules and use them for transportation.

4. Recycling things and retrofitting them can also be helpful. My husband is currently looking for plans for an electric car that was first published in Mother Earth News. His idea is to retrofit old, small cars so that they can be more fuel efficient. He also wants to start building with papercrete, which uses up all kinds of old paper.

5. Small businesses/factories make products needed by the area. We have a place nearby that has made solar panels for years.

A relatively small area could become fairly self-sufficient. And with everyone knowning everyone else, there is a sense of community and a sort of natural cooperation that develops.

I obviously live in a rural area, but I could see similar things starting in a city, with vacant lots made into gardens, roof gardens, even mini-greenhouses.

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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Fantastic! Here are some links and here is the new electric car:
http://www.newfarm.org (I invented the Organic Price Index, btw)

and http://www.teslamotors.com



We'll be making electrioc cars like this soon! Actually the Tesla site is advertising positions DU, SERIOUSLY! The Silicon Valley billionaires that started Tesla Motors can even make payroll (raised $60 million)!

So in-source yourself!
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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:21 AM
Response to Reply #9
40. If you don't know already...
Though it sounds like you do, you should check out the writings of Rudolf Steiner and look into BioDynamic Agriculture. You've also got some Permaculture going on there... Bill Mollison and others. Loved the Ozarks when i was there... and love my current rural home in Western Mass.

Good ideas qiqa, keep it up...

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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #40
46. And I, in turn, love rural Western Mass.
I sojourned there for a brief time in '05, felt immediately as if I was at home, and remarked to my husband how similar the feel - and topography - were to our neck of the woods. If you're around Windsor or Tyringham, I'll have a cow--my ancestors are from there.
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
12. I have a real problem with this
The problem isn't globalism or outsourcing. I have nothing against XYZ saving a few dollars by building in Mexico rather than Main St USA. The problem I have is that XYZ company BENEFITS from the hard work and laws passed by the American people and instead of using it's American profits to benefit the American people that buy it's products it uses virtual slave labor somewhere else to line the pockets of the select few at the very top.

IMHO we don't need to stop companies from hiring in other countries, we need to stop companies from spreading all the wealth only to the select few at the very top of the company and instead pass laws that force corporate America to benefit their own consumers.

This was the PURPOSE of unions when they were formed. If America is going to reject unions then we have to come up with another avenue. IMHO.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Amen!
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:05 PM
Response to Reply #12
30. You mean you didn't notice how Nike and Reebok shoes only cost $5/pair ...
... since they only pay about $0.50 in labor costs and $0.75 in materials now? :eyes:

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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
13. Tarriffs - Just Like Europe Does
We need to make foreign goods roughly as expensive as domestic good, otherwise people will buy foreign goods and we'll lose jobs.

That's really all there is to it.

Anything else is bullshit.
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. you got that right. We have to have FAIR trade not BULL SHIT FREE TRADE
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Porcupine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #13
24. When it's Fair trade vs Slave trade I say tax the crap out of the slavers
We'll buy your stuff for sure. But we expect you to pay your workers a wage equal to our minimum + basic retirement, health care and dental benefits. Or we tax your goods at 150% of the estimated cost of these items.

When I was a kid jeans were made here in California and they weren't that expensive. There were NO homeless anywhere. Now we get really cheap jeans but we have unemployed people with no health care everywhere. America has it wrong.
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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #13
47. Tariffs - Yes!
We give our companies a fair share of the market by increasing the cost of goods that come from countries with lower manufacturing expenses to a similar price as that charged by our companies. The U.S. economy hummed along just fine for a long, long time when tariffs were in place.

:kick:
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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
21. 100% tax on profits of co's
that move factories overseas.100% tax for companies that move hq's overseas to avoid taxes.If they willnot open books to ascertain revunues then ban them from doing business here.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
22. It is my understanding that many of the companies that have
outsourced get subsidies from our government. That has to stop. Then we need to look at worker ownership more closely possibly coupled with a non-profit ideal.

We also need to recognize that many items need to be made in the USA because they give other countries a dangerous hold over us. It is very much a national security issue to have almost everything we need to survive made outside of the country. It is one thing to buy a nicknack made in China and quite another to have shoes made there or even worse, medicines and energy.

Every country in the world should be encouraged to become as self-sufficient as possible within their own borders, which means rebuilding the industrial and agricultural base in their own country. That would mean that we would change our corporate approach to those countries and re look at our own.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
25. Introduce Market Socialism and Unionize the Service Sector.
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 06:54 PM by Selatius
On top of that, tax the rich. Cut taxes for the poor.

Get out of the WTO.

Forget the World Bank, the IMF, and the Bank of International Settlements.

Repeal NAFTA in favor of fair trade. Fight for fair trade all over. If China can make widgets for a dollar a piece, while the US can only make them for five a piece, then it is fair that Chinese and American widgets be priced in a competitive range through tariffs in the US. The best man who can produce the higher quality product per dollar wins, not the one who can produce at the lowest price.

Set up a federal program buying out failed or failing firms and reorganizing them into worker co-ops and give aid to people wishing to establish worker co-ops, farming co-ops, energy co-ops, etc. Educate the workers on the ideals of workplace democracy and economic democracy by establishing real, working examples. Pass a federal law neutering "right-to-work" laws; if you want to work in a union shop without joining the union, you still can, but you are no longer automatically entitled to the same benefits union members enjoy and for which they fought and struggled to win unless you decide to join the union.

Set up a massive public works program to renew America's infrastructure to help fight unemployment. Build America's first bullet-train line connecting D.C. and Boston and all major cities in between, which will put thousands back to work. Use it as an example to connect other major cities. Set up a massive job training/vocational program and allow all who wish to apply enroll free of out-of-pocket expenses.

Increase social spending to fight poverty and to provide economic stimulus to depressed areas in the inner-city and the countryside. Repair blighted buildings or tear them down and replace with parks, affordable housing, or businesses (like co-ops). End the "War on Drugs" and strictly regulate all narcotics.

Put thousands more to work patrolling the borders, airports, and seaports. Implement common sense border security policies. Launch an ICE operation to track down and fine as many employers who intentionally use illegal aliens as possible.

Adopt Jimmy Carter's Energy Plan from the late 1970s and update it to include research into biofuels, solar, wind, and other possible alternative sources of fuel. Radically raise CAFE standards.

End the war in Iraq. Get the UN in to help Iraqis sort out their differences. Bring the troops home. Then demobilize the US military. Cut 250,000,000,000 from the defense budget and use the revenue to cut classroom sizes in half, raise education standards nationwide to a new national standard all must reach, and subsidize the education of all college students who are able to make the grade and wish to pursue higher education with government grants.

Make health care an inalienable human right. Single-payer health care all the way.

Reform the banking system to utilize full-reserve banking and pay off the national debt entirely in one blow and achieve control over inflation. Outlaw fractional-reserve banking and the Federal Reserve. Set up a public investment house in communities across America to connect people who wish to loan money with people who wish to borrow money to replace the function banks once had under the old system.

Encourage Mexico and other Latin American countries to fight poverty instead of dumping their poor on the US. Encourage Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales and other Latin American leaders to form trade blocks defending their economic interests against a hostile Wall Street and hostile future presidents.

This is America's New Deal reborn. This is the War on Poverty.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. Go Selatius!
I like the way you think!
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ChromeFoundry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #25
31. SPOT ON! n/t
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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:25 AM
Response to Reply #25
41. what he said! viva la revolucion! nt
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area51 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #25
50. Selatius
I wish I could nominate your post for the Greatest/Front page. We have become a 3rd world country w/nukes.


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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #25
70. Good post.
Many good ideas on this entire thread. :thumbsup:
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last1standing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
26. Kick
:kick:
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gulliver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:52 PM
Response to Original message
27. Calculate the tax loss of a dollar sent overseas.
Then add it back to the cost of the import. For example, let's say a widget costs $100 to manufacture here. Part of that $100 is income and payroll tax. Let's say $20. The other $80 goes to natural resources and other components for which suppliers receive a profit (on which they pay taxes). So let's say just the first iteration is $30 in tax money lost to the government per widget.

So let's say a widget costs $50 to import. Simply add $30 to it as a tariff due to taxes lost to the government by overseas manufacture. Then calculate the loss to the government of all of the downstream costs of people losing their jobs. Let's say that is $20 per widget. The money goes into funding scholarships, grants, and industrial infrastructure. Add that back as a tariff. Now the imported widget costs $100.

I just never see the value to the country of a dollar spent here vs. a dollar spent overseas calculated. I realize I have oversimplified it here. I just have a hunch that the vast majority of the profits being made on the back of those cheap foreign workers aren't going to the workers. Therefore, taking most of the profits out of overseas imports seems like a fine thing. Build it overseas, reimport it, and all of your profits get taxed away.

Same goes for radiology, accounting, and software intellectual goods.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. Interesting approach!
:thumbsup:
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. Keep up the encouragement and analysis Lydia, Lastone
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 11:46 PM by Dems Will Win
and all the others! We're all doing a great job here!
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MaraJade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
32. One Simple Solution. . .
Companies who outsource goods and services to get things made/things done by cheaper labor never,
ever pass on the savings to the people using the goods or services.

Have you ever known automobiles made in Mexico or Central America to be sold at lower prices than
cars made here? Nope.

Have you ever known services (such as accounting, computer networking/programming, credit card, or even
diagnostic radiology services) that are outsourced to India or Ireland to be provided at discount rates
to consumers in this country? Hell Nope!

Companies that outsource put the savings in their own pockets and those of the shareholders. No jobs are
created. Worse yet, the people here who have lost their jobs through downsizing and outsorcing often
wind up "public charges," dependent on some sort of government assistance to tide them over until another
job can be found.

The clear answer is that tariffs should be placed on goods and services manufactured/performed outside the US as a
resort of outsorcing. The amount of tariff should be exactly equal to the cost of producing the service in the
US. Companies should be directly prohibited by law from passing this tariff on to consumers in the United
States. In effect, this should be a TAX on them for outsorcing.

The proceeds of the tariff should be used to provide re-training and unemployment assistance to the victims
of outsourcing. In this way the companies that do this end up being the ones that pay for it. They cannot
pass on the cost of the disaster to taxpayers.

Another twist on this would be to tariff companies that import large quantities of goods from other countries
rather than "selling American," or companies that put pressure on native source companies to sell items at
less than cost plus about 20 percent profit. Perhaps setting an import limit of about 50 percent would be good. In this
case, the tariff could be used to pay for health care and pension coverage for employees of such companies.
(Can you say Wal-Mart?)

The object of this exercise is to directly make outsourcing and excessive importing unprofitable to the companies
that try this inhumane method of profitmaking. This would also help to mitigate problems caused by the trade deficit.
If a company cannot make money by hiring Americans and selling American made goods, then it should properly
go out of business.
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
34. I find it impossible to add anything to what everyone else
has put in so far.

Some great resolutions offered here.

Great work, DU...

You know, I'm thinking that it might be possible to put together a policy proposal to tackle this issue.

There's nothing saying that DU CAN'T become a real think tank. There are some seriously intelligent people here.
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porkrind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:42 AM
Response to Original message
36. My meandering thoughts...
Great question!, I think about this also. I just finished Noam Chomsky's "Hegemony or Survival" and Howard Zinn's "Peoples History of the United States". Thinking of these books and your question makes me think that the problem is really structural with our society. We have to first recognize what the U.S. is, which is a militaristic commercial empire that is driven by corporations ("unaccountable private tyrannies", Chomsky's words...) to low-growth and high profitability at the expense of the workers. The policies that have been used in the past to keep the third-world down and under the subjection of U.S. commercial interests abroad, are now being used against the domestic U.S. population, namely domestic terrorism and growing rates of prison incarceration to scare the populace, race-baiting and gay-baiting to redirect their anger against their neighbors, growing militarism, etc. All the things that make a fascist state profitable for the rich class. Anyway, outsourcing and importing low-wage foreign workers are an important part of their plan because it suppresses wages, increases unemployment, and makes everyone insecure about their jobs. It erodes everyone's wages by chipping away at the bottom end, and everyone all the way up the wage chain slips back. It keeps wages low and makes workers more tolerant of crappy working conditions and no/low benefits. The ideal they are striving for is the robber-baron era of the 1890's, where workers rights were nonexistent, working hours were long and dangerous, production output was high, but wages were abysmal, and income disparity was enormous. Most of all, profits for the wealthy were huge.

Both Chomsky and Zinn make the point that the rich business class really owns and runs the country, but they can't let the masses get organized and angry. They walk a fine line of keeping everyone working hard while stealing the fruit of their labor, but they can't let it get so bad that people organize and force real change upon the establishment. There were a few times in U.S. history that socialistic political solutions gained momentum, and that really scared the shit out of the ruling class. Now they keep us lulled and divided by a constant barrage of patriotic propaganda, commercial consumeristic fetishism, media infotainment, racism, and religious fundamentalism.

What I take out of it is that the real enemy is the idea and existence of the modern corporation. It's greedy and undemocratic. Watch the movie "The Corporation" for a good take on this. Big business and big wealth in the form of corporations have taken over all the branches of government and the military. They use the machinery of government and our tax dollars to enrich themselves at our expense. As to solutions, I think at the very least, 1) limits need to be placed on their size and therefore influence. Smaller corporations can't push governments around as much as large ones. 2) They need to be cut out of the electoral process, because currently their large cash contributions are a powerful advantage to a politician, and therefore corporations get legislation that benefits them in return. Maybe fully publicly funded elections with no contributions from business allowed it the answer. 3) Make business lobby groups illegal, and make it illegal for business lobbyists to even set foot in Washington D.C. Make it illegal for politicians to even meet with business representatives. This would be like consorting with the enemy. 4) Somehow, large media concerns need to be broken up to make it more difficult for large corporations to create a propaganda machine.

These are the same problems Marx was thinking about. How to restructure society to fix the problems with this form of unrestricted capitalism. Can a deeply corrupt government like our current one be peacefully reformed, or are more drastic measures needed? It's a complicated issue. I think the Scandinavian countries are doing much better than we are. They have more heavily regulated businesses and more workers rights. For us to become like them we need to tame the corporate beast; I think we need pressure on all fronts: more labor unions, more civil unrest, more rejection of propaganda, more awareness of world news, more education in our own labor history, more civil pressure on politicians and business to do the right thing, etc.

DU is a great start. It helps us learn from others, teach others, make friends, refine our beliefs, and keep up on current events. I can tell you that if everyone in the country was as smart and informed as the average DU'er, we sure as hell wouldn't have any outsourcing problems. :)
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #36
55. There's Community Development and Cooperatives
The progressives could form their own cooperatives and give them the business. Over time, they could compete with the big boys.

Plus Community Development could be the basis for tons of economic initiatives.

We need to envision a new civilization that operates in harmony with nature and supports bottom-up economics -- not destroy same.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 05:39 AM
Response to Original message
37. Could the Dem party be persuaded to side with its voters on this issue,
simply by explaining it to them? (how come they don't already understand?)

Or are they stubborn and can they only be convinced by means of economic boycott?
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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:13 AM
Response to Original message
39. a couple here...
A mandatory Americorps program for all graduating high school seniors. One or two years of volunteer/community service. (I did mine in Riverside Park, Fort Tryon, etc (NYC)... picking up trash, digging out invasives, planting bulbs, gardening with PS 5, etc)

http://www.americorps.org /

A Nationwide TimeDollars program for Seniors and Youth. This would free up so many people...

http://www.timebanks.org /


We should also compel the guvmint and major corps to release all patents and research pertainable to renewable energy and sustainable practices. Then set a five year goal to eliminate the need for oil and offset all the carbon we've produced as a nation since 1930, with a Billion dollar prize attached to the person who comes up with the most crucial idea... to be distributed among whatever technologies and innovations he/she sees fit.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!





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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #39
53. I smoked it and it's GOOD STUFF
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:47 AM
Response to Original message
42. Given the power
I'm very optimistic that the people can sort out their problems if the government gets off their backs,
and its very easy to do that, given the authority.

"As president, i am taking the following actions,

1. I hereby pardon all nonviolent drugs prisoners in the United States.
2. I hereby declare the ending of the DEA budget, and all drugs police budgets.
3. I am cutting the US military budget by 50%, and all arsenals by 50%, 50% of the american
bases abroad will be closed immediately, with the others pending a defense posture review.
4. From this point forward, send all your medical bills to us here at the white house and the government will pay them, in perpetuity. Medicaid, and Medicare (and all the others) are now superceded by this.
5. All press release and press office staff are now fired, the whitehouse.gov website will
shortly be reworked to be our primary information outlet for all media, and i'll write there
myself, there will be a message board put up for direct digital government that serves its citizens."


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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #42
56. All in favor say Aye!
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:41 AM
Response to Original message
43. First you have to get rid of corporations
Then get rid of the global economy.

Then get rid of mass production.

Then get rid of an economy based on consumption.

Good luck.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #43
58. What you mean is we need a paradigm shift to succeed
I agree. And I think that's exactly what's under way here.

Luck don't have nuttin to do with it. What we need here is a deliberate paradigm shift of all the institutions in the world.

It's happened before.

We're in a period very similar to the decades before the American Revolution.

I think we're about in the year 1750 or something. Fortunately we have democracy now, so this revolution will be fought with ballots, not bullets (hopefully paper ballots).

The corporations and billionaires are the new aristocracy, the imperial Presidency has delivered us a new Mad King George, while the progressive Millennials (those born between 1976 and 2002) are the new Civic generation who have only thought with the new paradigm (Organic/Ecological/Holistic) because they were raised by their Progressive Boomer parents.

The philosophes of the 18th Century who deliberately set out to "change the general way of thinking" (Diderot), and the cheap books they were published in, is paralleled by the new progressive/new paradigm wave of philosophers and bloggers published on the Internet.

What's interesting is that between 1755 and 1760, an extraordinary "paradigm flip" occurred and a quarter of the population was radicalized by the new history of Voltaire, which de-mythologized the Kings of the world.

We may only be a few years away from our own paradigm flip. Then as Robert Reich says, there is a "snap" in public opinion and things change quickly.

That's the way it looks to me.

We are in the run-up to the "paradigm flip", a wake-up call that started with Katrina. After the flip, enough people will be ready for change and ALL become activists. The old paradigm, having no honesty or utility, is soon overwhelmed.

In short, the revolution will not be televised --

But it will be on the Internets!

Please stand by for The Great Changes...
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #58
61. What comes after that though?
After the American Revolution, it was the same crap that came before it; conquest, expansion, exploitation. It changed nothing.

A revolution from the ballot box? We'll still be voting people into the very system that is in the business of conquest, expansion, and exploitation. What are we changing?

You don't need violence, true. If everyone just stopped feeding the monster(which won't happen, because we are more dependent on the monster everyday, and people have to feed their kids), by not shopping, not going to work, not paying their rent or house payments, that might change things. Obviously violence would be used against anyone who did that(threat of prison, coming to your home with a gun to throw you out), which is another reason it wouldn't happen.

If you want an actual "paradigm" shift, lets get nuts with it. If you're waiting for some huge change with voting or the internet, good luck.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #61
62. I am about to get nuts with the new paradigm believe me!
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 03:45 PM by Dems Will Win
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:47 AM
Response to Original message
44. Recovery tax.
Foreign workers don't pay US taxes. So hit the outsourcing corporations up for lost funding of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and everything else the gov't does. The job may leave the country but the future Social Security beneficiary doesn't. And if s/he finds another job it often pays much less.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #44
59. This point is really a humdinger, by George!
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philly_bob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 08:07 AM
Response to Original message
45. Enforce data security, increase R&D, rewrite patent law
First, apply data security rules against outsourcing. I understand that Canada has a rule that jobs that involve accessing Canadian citizen data records cannot be outsourced. Sound smart to me.

Second, our leadership comes from innovation, not protectionism. Remember how we developed products and expertise in automobiles, computers, Internet, etc.? The reason we had jobs here is we had the expertise here, because we invented it here. Reverse Bush administration anti-science policies, make us the leader in SOMETHING again. Nanotech? Recycling technologies? Alternative energy? Anything, but this bloated nation of Young Roman Republicans based on bluster and wealth.

Third, the patent laws protect innovators (i.e., companies that own patents) not innovators. Software patents and long-lived content copyrights hamper innovation.

My two cents.
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HughBeaumont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
48. First of all (from "Offshoring views" in my Journal) . . .
The indignity of training your replacement as a requirement for severance should be made illegal. This isn't "knowledge transfer", it's corporate nose-rubbing, demoralizing and pointless frat-boy-esque hazing horseshit.

Secondly, it isn't as black and white as simply passing a law to stop it. Several measures need to take place not only in government, but in education and the business world as well.

First, American companies have to concede that outsourcing indeed represents a problem for the worker. Simply brushing aside the argument as "you're either free-trade or protectionist. It's THAT SIMPLE" is foolish: offshoring has clear winners and losers that need to be defined not based on hypothetics and theory (which is how everyone is doing it now), but reality.

Next, the US government needs to begin to measure the magnitude of the problem. Currently, no one really knows how many jobs have actually been offshored because corporations either refuse to report it, period, or announce proposed offshoring at a later date after the cuts happen, which means either more or less jobs will be leaving.

US visa policies should also be reviewed with an eye toward protecting Americas labor market. Too many corporations exercise loopholes to get around the current Visa restrictions, particularly regarding L-1s. Visa abuse is rampant within many corporations in the race for cheaper labor here and abroad.

Meanwhile, the US should put more effort into helping and retraining workers displaced by offshoring. Our country has an atrocious record when it comes to redeployment of US workers at a comparable salary and skill set. We don't give near enough help that is needed for the cruelly downsized, and this especially holds true for blue collar workers. The worker has to completely fend for his or herself once fired, and this usually means developing a skill set for which they aren't fit or able to afford training for. Unemployment insurance is painfully inadequate. We spend billions on pork, corporate welfare and oil wars yet we shit on the very people and resources that makes the nation work.

Asking the worker to figure out for themselves what the "next big thing" will be and get training for it is so patently absurd, as is the "re-training" canard. The average person doesn't know what's going to happen a YEAR, let alone five to TEN years, down the road. Progress does NOT have to be akin to bloodletting.

What I'm saying is that there should be far less emphasis by business leaders to adopt the destructive and short-term way of thought. Just because it's "good business" doesn't make it "right".

From Outsourcing America's authors:

"As for the offshoring of government work, while falling short of calling for a prohibition, the writers point out that public agencies need to be more judicious in striving to keep taxpayer-supported jobs in the states. "We should recognize the enormous value of keeping certain types of government procurement onshore, especially in a time when we are far from full employment. In terms of high technology, creating strong preferences for American workers not only is in the national interest but is in the interests of national security."

In the long term, the writers feel that tomorrows workers need to be trained to have lifelong marketable skills. "If, indeed, our young people are facing a future in which they will have five careers rather than five jobs within one career, then adaptability is the desirable attribute for students." That means developing transferable skills that can be applicable to a new career, whatever it might be. "

One Free-Trade apologist lamented "People, we HAVE BRAINS." Doesn't mean a hill of beans if you ain't got the capital or resources in which to use them.

Addition - we also need to make a better effort in rebuilding our industrial and agricultural economies and get out of the "profits at any cost" mindset. A nation that is not capable of employing everyone at a living wage, regardless of intelligence levels, does not have a strong economy in my book. Alternative energy and public transportation I think are areas where we can make tremendous strides.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #48
49. Visa rules
It should be illegal for corporations to import foreign nationals for high tech jobs unless they can prove that there are NO qualified Americans or current legal immigrants available--at any price. They should have to place recruitment ads in the Sunday papers of every major American city for a month and then be allowed to hire specialists from overseas only if NO qualified people apply. If they have to pay an extra $10,000-$20,000 a year to get a qualified person or hire someone over 40, well, boo-hoo-hoo.

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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #48
72. Your Journal is a Terrific Read!
:thumbsup:

I'll be sure to look for updates. :)
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HughBeaumont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #72
74. I tend to get verbose on issues that affect me.
Keep up those news articles. I look for them daily. People need to know about this crucial issue.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
51. Make it possible for people to start their own businesses
The whole outsourcing outrage shows a childlike dependence on the very corporations we condemn.

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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #51
57. As one who DID start her own business, let me give you a reality check:
You need a few things to start a business:

1) A product or service that people are willing to pay for (In my case, Japanese>English translation)

2) The necessary skills/background to make that product or provide that service at a competent level (years and years of graduate work plus residence in Japan, none of which came free)

3) Startup money to buy, at minimum, equipment and to live on while your business is acquiring customers. If you need to have a location other than your home or hire employees, then you need even more startup money. (I worked a second job during my last year of teaching and kept at it while my translation business was getting established. My startup expenses included about $3000 worth of office equipment--computers were more expensive back then--and several hundred dollars worth of reference books, plus monthly living expenses for nearly a year. With no employees and a home office, I got off easy, but it was still a considerable initial outlay.) Banks do not look kindly on would-be business owners with no experience, so my startup was self-financed.

4) The ability to manage your own time and money. I still struggle with this.

5) Customers who are willing to buy your product or service at a price for which you can afford to provide it. (Most of my customers are in Japan. If I had to depend entirely on American customers, I'd starve.)

6) The ability to tolerate an irregular income. (Highest monthly income ever: $9000. Lowest monthly income ever: $200. Those are the extreme outliers, but that's how much it can fluctuate. Not everyone can tolerate that. I barely can.)

7) Having to provide your own health care, retirement, and vacations. Most years, I don't take a vacation, and most of the ones I do take are in conjunctions with business travel and therefore partly tax-deductible. My trip to England last summer was my first "pure" vacation in 13 years.


So even though right-wing economists like George Gilder said in the 1980s that all those laid-off factory workers should just start businesses, he didn't know what he was talking about. Was he envisioning a free-for-all Third World economy in which slum dwellers make pennies a day selling things to one another? I wouldn't be surprised.

I represent the GOOD type of globalization: providing a service that is scarce in Japan (translation by native speakers of English) and, thanks to the time difference, providing it overnight, if necessary. However, when widgets could be manufactured just as well by workers in Chicago as by workers in Chengdu, and the company moves overseas anyway, that's the BAD type of globalization.
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ChromeFoundry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #51
73. How does that become a possibility?
I find a great deal of fault in your plan. It has been attempted as long as this country has been in existence, and is becoming less and less possible.

If a small start-up is able to make a decent profit. A larger company will come in an do one of two things... Forceful take over, or they will duplicate the small business' function by doing the service/production at a lower cost by way of several methods (outsourcing, in-sourcing, etc). Either way this will drive the newly formed small business out of existence. Take a look at Microsoft's command and conquer methodologies and business practices over the past 2 decades. It is all based on bell-curve economics; take a business over before it reaches the 70% marker on estimated market profitability upward swing... exploit the hell out of it and make attempts at flattening the upper profitability plateau.

Try to picture your plan working in the following areas.
Medical Research, Corner Hardware store, Software Development, Construction, Fuel Cells. It just doesn't work.

I fail to see your analogy of our dependency on these corporations being "childlike"... unless you are making a comparison to an infant being left on a doorstep = middle-class. I only see your current plan as being simplistic on a childlike level in that it not been thought through completely.

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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
52. Universal Healthcare provides HUGE jobs engine
Productive , well paying, satisfying jobs in the healthcare industry as we all take care of each other. Plus we will need to build new hospitals, medical schools, training facilities, etc. Because the jobs will pay well, restaurants, tourism, travel, cars, will also boom.

Pass universal healthcare right now so we can all jump on the gravy train!
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
54. It's very simple.
Lower cost of living to match those in India and China.

Get companies to "nourish" America just as much as they are saying they are "nourishing" those countries.

Wouldn't you love gas at 60 cents per gallon?

I believe offshoring is deliberate. Not as much to lower costs here at home and complain there's a lack of "qualified" applicants (which is bull), but to eliminate the USA entirely.

Offshored infrastructure. That's like taking the walls from within the house and putting them on top of the roof.

Guess what happens to the house.

And if America isn't seen nicely by the world as some claim, why do they accept all the jobs from US corporations?

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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
60. kick
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lovuian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
63. I agree Universal Health would make us competitive
All government jobs and anything paid by the government for work done by American companies and who hires only Americans. All outsourcing banned

Industries need to be build up in America

Have Labor represented on every American Corporation Boardroom
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
64. Just a few law changes.
1. All big box chain retail stores (like WalMart) must carry 60% American made goods in their inventory.

2. Companies that are incorporated as American companies must keep 60% of their jobs here in America. If not, they will be considered foreign companies doing business here in the USA and subject to a high federal business license fee.

3. Excise taxes on foreign imports should be high enough to make pricing them competitive with American made goods.

Those are my three.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
65. Build housing - Build housing everywhere
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 06:03 PM by truedelphi
if there were more homes,then there would not be a situation wherein people are spending 35% to
60 % of their income on housing.

It will never fly - the Democrats who have their homes in lovely bedroom communities don't want their house value prices to fall - so they are as adamant as Republicans about keeping the housing shortage in effect all across the nation in the more accessible (to work areas) locales

But you can't have a democracy unless you have a middle class and you can't have a middle class without home ownership

LASTLY - you can't outsource the building of a home. The trades have to be here in person to accomplish the task. It is one of the things that kept the economy at a steady pace throughout the fifties - new homes, new schools,new hospitals were being built everywhere.

Today it seems like <sigh> all we build is prisons
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #65
66. There's an easy fix for that in California.
Partially repeal Proposition 13, The Jarvis ammendment that fixed property taxes at 1%. All those people who have second homes, rental homes, and vacation homes should be paying 10%, not to mention all those foreign arab oil shieks with mansions in Beverly Hills, Lake Tahoe and other recreational areas should also be paying 10%.

Watch the market open up as those excess homes and excessive homes get put on the market because of the increase in property taxes. This should shake up the housing market.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #66
67. Totally agreeing with your statements
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 06:20 PM by truedelphi
But the problem is that the corporations benefit from Prop 13 just as much as the Homeowner

And if it is truly a corporate-based interest that needs to be protected, the news media is more than happy to frame the topic so that the reader thinks repealing Prop 13 would mean Granma and Granpa are gonna live in a box under the freeway <even a partial repeal often gets painted like that)
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #67
69. Unfortunately this is how Prop 13 got approved by the voters
to begin with. Old people were losing their homes because they couldn't afford the property taxes on their houses when the values were increasing. I have to admit that I voted for it for that reason. I mean I was a renter. I had nothing to gain from it. Little did I realize that the Republicans were anticipating the real estate boom that would result because of this.

I also had no idea the social damage it would cause because of the programs that would be dumped that helped people to survive. Instead the mentally ill and handicapped were dumped into the streets, our first experience with the homeless. To this day I feel very duped and I want to change it.

I think that maybe when a homeowner turns 65, the property tax should be frozen then at that rate and not go higher if the property increases in value. I also wouldn't mind giving a break to working families first starter home either. But you know the rest of these families should pay. Maybe they couldn't afford those eco-unfriendly SUVs then that they don't really need to drive to the store.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #69
71. Prop 13 would have been a good idea if it had
Been limited.

Yep, it <was> sad to think of Great Auntie Em losing her home when the property values soared from 70K dollars to 200K dollars almost overnight (Late seventies early eighties, R.E. boom)

But it should have been capped at say 350 K or so. At that point, if you couldn't afford the taxes then you sure as hell were still gonna be okay.



And the corporate interests should never ever have been included.

I forget the name of the researcher from UC Berkeley but he says basically what you and I are saying - that this tax repeal for a certain group was nothing more than a subsidized (and very expensive form of) welfare for a certain group
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
68. regional economies, with the right to organize
Since America has lost its right to unionize, we have become a corporate fascist state. The only way out is solidarity.
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