Economic Justice?

Yesterday, I read in the news that Dell is laying off 8800 workers. Yesterday, I also received 17 new Dell Latitude D620 laptop computers at work. On the outside of every box was written “Product of Malaysia.” Inside the box was a laptop carrying case labeled “Product of China”. There is a bit of irony in all this because we used taxpayer dollars to purchase equipment from a multi-national corporation that is using Malaysian labor to maximize profit. GNI per capita income in Malaysia is $4960. The GNI per capita in the United States is $43,740. In Germany the GNI per capita is $34500. In Denmark GNI per capita income is $47,390. Well, it’s easy to see why Dell is making computers in Malaysia and selling them in the rest of the world. Their labor costs are much lower. That’s makes good business sense but does it make sense for all the players over the long term. All demographic facts have come from UNICEF. It’s interesting to note that Dell is selling it’s computers in Malaysia at approximately the same price that they are selling them in the United States. You’d think they’d give the Malaysians a break. Here is their Malaysian Store front.


About Don

Social entrepreneur, Educator, Open Source Advocate
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2 Responses to Economic Justice?

  1. Jeff says:

    Globalization can be a force for good, and I suppose it is even necessary and moral to pursue, but a race to the bottom on wages is the wrong way to go about it.

    I’ve started reading Jack Beatty’s wonderful new book, Age of Betrayal, The Triumph of Money in America 1865- 1900. I thought this stat was interesting:

    In this current “New Gilded Age”, for every additional dollar earned by the bottom 90 percent of income distribution, the top .01 precent earns $18,000. From 1950 to 1970, they earned $162

  2. Don says:

    I attended a Franciscan Conference on Globalization several years ago at Siena College. I went there thinking the Franciscans were going to condemn it and emerged with a much different perspective on globalization. While there can be unfair practices in globalization there can be positives as well. Look at the international outcry about our presence in Iraq and that can be an example of one of the positives of globalization. The open source software movement and product which occupies some of topic on this blog is another positive development of globalization. To be sure there are destabilizing economics promoted by globalization but it’s here to stay and we’ve got to live with it. How we live with it will be interesting. Unfortunately too few Americans have really contemplated the many nuances of globalization. Lately our politicians are having a dishonest debate about immigration. At the heart of that issue is globalization but here it’s presented as a homeland security debate.

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