Opinions Expressed in "Rants," while informed by Catholic doctrine, are merely the opinions of the author.
Outsourcing = Slavery
There’s a lot of debate right now in North America about OUTSOURCING. What’s outsourcing – well, a company like AT&T, for example, has a customer service line, with people answering the phone all the time giving technical assistance and so on – so they have a choice of paying 100 people to answer phones in the U.S. for say $8 per hour (around minimum wage), or, now that the world is made smaller by satellites and the internet and so on, they can pay 100 people in INDIA to do the same job, only for $2 per hour.
See in India, they don’t have the same laws for minimum wage, and AT&T, being an INTERNATIONAL CONGLOMERATE, isn’t subject to any ONE countries laws. It can pick the laws that suit it best.
And of course, then the competitor company, Bell, hasn’t much choice but to do the same, not if they want to compete. So they do too.
Its not too long before ALL the phone support technicians are working oversees, and there are no such jobs like these in North America.
The same can be said of a whole list of jobs that are outsourced to other countries, particularly manufacturing jobs, and jobs that don’t require a college education. A company can get around higher wages, unions, health benefits, pensions, and so on, by making all its products in China, rather than here in Canada.
The same can be said of hiring migrant workers – which happens all the time in the United States, particularly California. Mexican workers are used instead of American citizens because the owner doesn’t need to pay these workers minimum wage.
Most people see a problem here, a big problem. The problem, as they see it, is that these other countries are taking OUR JOBS!! Its viewed as a big ECONOMIC problem.
But its much more than that. I find myself ASTOUNDED as I hear politicians and news media pundits arguing about outsourcing, that it hasn’t occurred to anyone that outsourcing – is actually a form of SLAVERY.
SLAVERY IN THE BIBLE
See there are actually two kinds of slavery that can exist, and we see both of them right in the Bible itself. The first one is the one that everyone knows NOW is wrong; that’s the kind of slavery where one person OWNS another person. This is the kind of slavery that was going on in Egypt during the time of Moses, and the kind of slavery going on in the U.S. during the time of Abe Lincoln.
But there’s a second kind of slavery – its called INDENTURED SLAVERY. You see, if a Simon was in debt to Jonah, what he could do is go in to slavery, he and his family, working for Jonah for NOTHING, only it wasn’t really for nothing, because he was working to pay of his debt. AND the Old Testament is very clear that such arrangements could only be temporary, that eventually such debts HAD to be forgiven, for as God said, “you too were once slaves in the land of Egypt, and I freed you.”
Basically this second kind of slavery is not about ownership of human beings – its about creating a system where one person can be less entitled to the basic necessities of life than another person, even while doing the SAME WORK. Basically its about pay inequity.
And its not fair. It isn’t just. It implies that inherent INEQUALITIES in the way people are treated are just fine. But they aren’t fine. And it inevitably leads to a slippery slope to the OTHER kind of slavery, where people ARE owned.
I mean, I don’t understand how bringing up Mexican migrant workers to work SLAVE WAGES in a field all day is justified, by saying that its okay to give them work that Americans won’t do. Why won’t they do it? Are Americans too good for it? These people are human beings. If they are being brought up to work in a field, they should be PAID California minimum wage, even if they’re not American citizens.
And workers in a Beijing factory should be paid MINIMUM wage, at the very least – equal pay for equal work. It’s a MORAL issue. It’s a matter or JUSTICE.
Its the companies themselves that are acting unjustly and immorally, and those who benefit from them. It is they that must change their practice.
As economies and nations become dependent on these levels of inequity, they put themselves in jeopardy. The Egyptians, the Romans, these societies all had economies built on two tiered systems, on slaves and freemen. And they fell.
All humans, regardless of nationality, are ENTITLED to equal work for equal pay. Any company, and any society filled with companies, that chooses to ignore this fact, are not only acting in a morally precarious fashion, their also setting themselves up, for a time when those weak that are being taken advantage of will one day demand the rights to which they are entitled, as they INEVITABLY will. That’s when the warnings of the prophets come true, when we see the world get turned upside down.