Saturday, April 16, 2011

Are We Officially a Third World Nation Yet?

Buried in the Times report is the troubling story of why Ikea opened a plant in the United States in the first place. No, the decision wasn’t made to take advantage of superior workforce skills or productivity - positive attributes that once drove our manufacturing sector and built our middle class. Instead, it was made to exploit our decreasing wage levels and weak worker protections.

Though company factories in Sweden produce the same bookcases as the plant in Virginia, the Times notes that ‘the big difference is that the Europeans enjoy a minimum wage of about $19 an hour and a government-mandated five weeks of paid vacation (while) full-time employees in Danville start at $8 an hour with 12 vacation days’ - and that doesn’t count the one-third of Danville workers who are paid even less because they are deliberately subcontracted through temp agencies.

David Sirota, Ikea joins the race to the bottom

Ikea transplants jobs to the US for the same reason the US transports jobs to Mexico. Shouldn't that tell someone something?

1 comment:

MC said...

Oh, you just know there is going to be a pundit somewhere that will make this an indictment of Swedish socialism, since the unions and government protections are so strong that they can't keep jobs within their borders.