Monday, February 19, 2018
Business

Business letters: It's time to protect the worker

For Apple, American factories can't cut it | Jan. 29

In this new world, protect the worker

When Apple states that it cannot see a future for making its products in the United States, that speaks volumes as to what drives most corporations. At least they are honest, but sadly so. To boldly extol the "virtues" of a corporate society — this one being China, as it were — it places corporate devotion on a tenuous pedestal. Such an attitude salutes mass productivity and midnight wakeup calls as a sign of corporate viability, says that slavery is indeed still taking place today, in vogue only to those who profit from it, of course. The only exception is that the slavery is masked behind some quasi-patriotic image of a nation that can outdo the United States simply by its sheer numbers and its devotion to productivity.

I say, then, that there is a case to be made more strongly than ever in favor of unions and any American institutions that helped protect workers from being turned into mass production zombies, programmed to doing more and more at the expense of being able to live in the society they helped build. Instead, they live in corporate "dormitories" which ensure only greater devotion to "the company" and its demands at the expense of the safety, dignity and prosperity of and for the worker.

If that's how Apple and other corporations really feel about bringing jobs back to the United States, I guess American factories can't cut it — and should never dare try to.

Ron Thuemler, Tampa

For Apple, American factories can't cut it | Jan. 29

Let's rebuild our own infrastructre

Exactly! Since the late 1950s with steel imports through the 1980s and the decimation of textiles and footwear, the failure of government to protect domestic industries has been a huge problem. We rebuilt Japan and Germany post-WWII and left ourselves in the dust.

Take just one product like footwear, and you will find hundreds of companies dependent on that product — from the simplest components like glue, thread, fabric to shoelaces and eyelets. Don't forget the machinery, the stitching machines and the designers. All gone.

Major retailers could turn the U.S.A. around by collaborating on a few product categories. They should consider granting long-term purchase contracts, then banks would step up to the plate with financing. Nothing exotic, say, socks, underwear and T-shirts.

We don't need government to raise tariffs, if the importers would do the right things to rebuild our infrastructure of industries and suppliers. If you think this will be painful, you are right. Things will cost more. But, the pain will be worse if we do not take the medicine today.

No merchandise, no money.

Louis Orloff, Palm Harbor

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