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Sunday, June 5, 2011

True Economics Sleepytime Stories - 6/5/11

Hello boys & girls... You know, whether its nighttime beddie-bye or ready for midday siesta, there's really never a bad time to sleep and dream.  So gather round for a short but True Economics Sleepytime Story...

Once upon a time, there was a small island nation located in the Caribbean named Haiti.

It was a poor country overall but the people were no different than anyone else-- just trying their best to survive.  Now a couple years ago (2009), in an effort to improve the economic conditions of its people, its governing body passed a law which said that the minimum wage was to be raised to 61 cents an hour.

And the people were happy..  Yay!

Boys & girls.. can you imagine what you'd buy at 61 cents an hour??  Maybe some bubblegum... or a candy bar..  or maybe some peppermints.. yumm

But not everyone was happy you see.. Oh no.. Some were quite unhappy like US corporations Hanes and Levi Strauss.  Oooh Boy were they grumpy--  like ole' grizzly bears

See boys and girls, Haiti has about 25,000 garment workers.  So if each of them ended up getting paid $2 a day more for their labor, that would cost their US employers $50,000 per working day.    Yikes!

I mean, Oh sure, if  American workers were making the t-shirts & jeans like they used to, that would have been a minimum of $58 per working day paid out by Hanes and Levi's, but still... Jeepers Creepers!!-- that's still a lot of $$ to be putting out just to pay some silly Haitian workers, the US corporations said.

They only wanted to pay a 7 cent per hour wage increase.

Isn't that nice of them, boys and girls?

And so they got the US State Department involved.  And the U.S. ambassador put pressure on Haiti’s president, who duly carved out a $3 a day minimum wage for textile companies.  This meant that US companies would be saving $55 per worker per workday compared to having to hire those "greedy" US workers who wanted too much of a cut of the profit at $58/day min. wage.

So thanks to U.S. government intervention, the minimum wage of another sovereign nation was raised only to 31 cents and everyone lived Happily Ever After!!  (well.. except the Haitian workers who got jipped out of 30 cents per person per work hour, and the American workers who see their own government actively work to deprive them of jobs or any standard of living)

The End...  Sleep well & dream happy dreams...

Info Source:  Wikileaks posting published by The Nation and later excerpted at Columbia Journalism Review.

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