We hear it all the time from the GOP contenders and leaders – we need to create jobs by “deregulation”. In the Republican world, Federal “regulations” are a major obstacle to creating jobs – and they are right, in a way. However, for anyone wondering what the Republican vision of a deregulated America might look like might want to take a close look at one country which has prioritized jobs over regulations and is the fastest growing economy in the world. Communist China has become the Capitalist paradise, attracting major investments from US Corporations. Recent news reports from one corporate adventure there reveals a lot about what Republicans have in store for us.
Apple Corporation is one of the most lucrative companies on the NYSE, but virtually all of its manufacturing is done in China. Apple’s involvement with Foxconn, a Chinese company that manufactures their I-Pad is a good example of what “deregulation” means. There is no age limit on workers at Foxcon . (Remember Gingrich calling Child Labor Laws “stupid”?). At Foxconn, 12 year olds work a 12 to 16 hour work day at wages that barely cover the costs of living, with no benefits. (Perry’s success in Texas at creating jobs meant most of them at near minimum wage jobs, with no benefits. Romney’s company just eliminated good paying jobs with unemployment). Workers at Foxconn could work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for 10 years and still could not afford to buy the I-Pad they are manufacturing.
Oh, by the way, check out the quality of air in Beijing or Shanghai. How’s that de-regulation thing working for ya?
Striking or causing work slowdowns results not only in firing, but also in jail time. (All GOP candidates support “Right to Work” laws and eliminating OSHA regulations). Dozens of workers have been killed at Foxconn in the past year from explosions and other workplace related accidents. Others have died from organ failures resulting from exposure to toxic chemicals. Many workers are totally disabled and fired by their late 20s from preventable injuries and illnesses. Chemical spills and pollution has caused numerous illnesses in the surrounding city. (All GOP candidates support either eliminating the EPA or defunding it to virtual non-existence).
It is true that the unemployment rate in the surrounding Province of Shenzhen is less than 3%. However, Apple Corporation, which knows of all these horrible work conditions, makes a lot of money for US investors. So whenever you hear Republicans talk about eliminating regulations to create jobs, they mean turning the American workplace into another China.