9 posts • joined Wednesday 8th September 2010 10:05 GMT
Re: The real solution to factory human rights problems in the Big Red
Simples. Imagine you are a Director of manufacturer A. You see your costs go down if you outsource to China. You assume the economic environment around you is stable, and the market remains as it was. So either your profits go up (good news for your shareholders, Wall St, the City, your targets / bonus etc) or you can lower your price and gain market share (also good for the above).
Then everyone does it - people are thrown out of work and no-one can buy the fancy stuff any more. Market goes down, except for China where people don't buy that much from the West, and the assumption is false.
What is good for the individual firm, when repeated n times over, is not necessarily good for the economy. That's where Governments have to step in. In the West, we have 2 chances for this - slim chance and fat chance.
PS Or economies, industries etc re-position themselves to new higher value products and services, which takes time and investment.
Looking at some of these comments, it strikes me that many commentards recognise the price of everything and the value of nothing (Oscar Wilde's definition of a cynic). Why not spend money on curing diseases etc - sure, but I suspect Jeff Bezos has enough he could still spare a few million for those purposes if he wanted to. However, what would be remembered more in future, and would inspire more people to do innovative and adventurous things - going 5% towards 'curing' some unspecified disease, or recovering the engines that first sent humanity beyond the earth.
given that we should be curing diseases etc (sure) why go to the moon in the first place, why look at galaxies billions of years away, why spend money in unwinnable wars etc etc.
I take it the BSA is US based - and so naturally what they want is for everyone else to lie down and have their tummy tickled (pocket rifled?) the American way. Other countries may not see things the same way as the US - and why should they.
As Disraeli replied when Queen Victoria asked him who Great Britain's friends were - "we have no friends, ma'am, only interests". Same goes here, I guess
Absolutely!! bring it on!!
Some more points
A few points to add 'fuel to the fire' - ooops!
1. Fossil fuels are stored sunlight that warmed the earth for millions of years between 150 and 50 or so million years ago. We are now releasing all that energy in a few centuries.
2. it is clear that CO2, methane and other greenhouse gases do what's on the tin - they warm the wporld - it just takes a long time (on human scales) to show the effect. Trouble is, it takes a long time to deal with it once it is evident, and the effects are very considerable
3. A few degrees warming may sound nice to those of us living in chilly UK, but think of some other effects - more heat waves like 2003, more violent tropical storms, deserts expanding, reduced agrictural productivity after a short initial boost, tropical insect-borne diseases in Northern Europe / US, rising sea levels flooding the London Tube / New York subway etc etc.
4. CO2 levels are now about 40% higher than they were pre-industrial - and it will have an effect.
5. If anyone wants to see what real global warming by CO2 is - have a look at the planet next door. Venus had natural runaway CO2 generated warming - now it's temperature is 450 celsius, it has sulphuric acid rain, and snow on it's mountains turns out to be metals.
6. So it would to the benefit of our descendants for us to take precautionary measures - do you want your grandchildren to be cursing your memory?
7.. Of course they cost some money in the short term, but the long term benefits would be huge.
8. And finally - remember that you can't eat money.
Still misses the point that contactless cards can be used in several outlets - Pret a Manger, Subway, etc, as well as McDonalds (Errghh!), and no doubt soon various non-food outlets too. If someone pinches your card they can still make several up to £15 purchases all over the place WITHOUT having to know your PIN - causing significant loss as well as annoyance.
If someone simply nicks your 'stored money' card then your loss is limited to whatever was stored on the card. her the loss is potentially limited only by the content of yuor bank account!
And if we are not careful, the UK will be going the same way. Education is key, as any fule kno.
A motto in my old school said "A city's strength is not in its walls, but in its sons" (a word to the feminists - I suspect this was writtne in a less politically correct era). We are currently running on the momentum of those educated in previous decades, when education was taken more seriously - most of whom are now 45 or more. What happens as they retire?
A further point - business's view necessarily tends to be short-term - the share price, executive stock options, need to fulfil shareholder obligations and expectations, avoid being ousted at the next AGM like a temporarily unsuccessful football maanger etc. Far sighted CEOs might plan on a strategic view of more than 1 or 2 years - but I suspect these are few.
Governments, on the other hand, have to take a more holistic view of the good of the country, and over a longer time period - then communicate it properly so they get back into office after 4 or 5 years.
These aims are likely to be in conflict - therefore handing over the Government to business interests is likely to lead to short term advantage (1 or 2 quarters), but long term decline. Sounds familiar?
Possible solution to the business side of it - tie bonuses to the company's added value over 5 years, and only pay them then. Also get institutional shareholders to take a more active role - they are often pension funds who have to fund 30 year liabilities, so would, I should have thought, have some concern for the longer term.
And legislate for disclosure of all political donations, lobbying, etc by business interests to political parties AND to individual politicians - so we can see who is buying whom
Shooting the messenger??
Just a few points for our American friends - and others.
1. Probably most of us agree that intra-Government - including diplomatic - correspondence should remain confidential
2. So the US Government put it all on a system that can be accessed by 2,500,000 people - security clearance for them all, anyone?
3. Then anyone of those people can download the material - not just view an image on a screen in a secure location with the data securely held someplace else
4. Then the download seems to be unencrypted - I could imagine circumstances where an authorised person might need to download flies that can only be decrypted on an 'official' machine with suitable precautions - but making it available to all these folk in 'clear'?
5. So the miscreant (NOT Assange) stole the files - he is obviously at fault. What would be the case if he had simply copied the CD he downloaded it to, and sent copies through the post to sundry newspapers, broadcasters etc. Some would use it - what a scoop! - would they be arrested. Is the editor of the New York Times up in court?
6. No -he used the technology of today and used someone who had a suitable website for disseminating it. he could have set one up himself if he had the resources to do it - then what
7. So they are trying to shoot the messenger - likely to fail, just as it always did.
8. Perhaps the US Government should take note of the bit in the Bible about removing the beam in your own eye before moaning about the mote in your brother's, and look to sorting out their own procedures and security arrangements.
9. I suspect any company that followed such security processes wouldn't employ the relevant managers very long.
Hmm... Companies say unpaid work is best route to gain experience. Wonder if lowering their salary bills / employing people as effectively slaves has anything to do with it. A pernicious trend - if a job is worth doing, it is worth paying for.
- Analysis Who is the mystery sixth member of LulzSec?
- Analysis Hey, Teflon Ballmer. Look, isn't it time? You know, time to quit?
- Tablet? Laptop? HP does the splits with Tegra-based SlateBook x2
- NASA signs off on sampling mission to Earth-threatening asteroid
- Climate scientists agree: Humans cause global warming