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Stories like this make me want to curl up into a ball and pretend the world doesn't exist.

Bill Hicks

It's also worth mentioning that this is the business model of Amazon.com, which just scored a huge competetive triumph this week by successfully driving Borders out of business. So our consumer economy devolves yet again, from the big box retailer model to the online warehouse retailer model. I almost hesitate to ask what comes next.

Brian M

And remember, it is the (almost universally supported) policy of the United States to have population growth (that is, the constantly increasing population caused when the combination of births and immigration is greater than that of deaths and emigration). Population growth helps keep inflation (that is, wages) low. Population growth helps keep demand (that is, consumption) high. Population growth helps make rich people richer. What else is there, really?

Ahhh.... life in the empire is good.


Yup, add another 10,000 people to the army of the unemployed and for whom our government will do nothing. Once unemployment compensation runs out (should you even get it), you will end up sleeping in a national park next to an angry raccoon. But I suppose that's better than working in one of those warehouses.


Very depressing.


The stuff of nightmares.

Robert Morgan

You should send this to Mike "Mish" Shedlock, in case he might then re-think the virulent anti-union, anti-worker's rights stance he so often promotes alongside his excellent economics commentaries. Just for comparison of wage rates given here, in UK minimum wage for persons over 21 is just over £6 per hour which at current exchange rates is just under $10 per hour - about 35% higher than in whatever state this warehouse is in. Almost all the practices described - phone confiscation, arbitrary sacking, keeping people as temps indefinitely - are illegal under UK employment law and, I believe, in all EU countries. Yet still lots of people in UK look up to the USA, thinking it's the "land of the free" and that most things must be better there than here!


I'd like to suggest:

"Bob Hall 2012"


Please read, watch, or hear Chapter 1 of his candidacy speech on the economy and jobs.

Also, you might take a look at his "College Girl, Economy, Jobs" video--a great favorite and only 4 minutes long.

If we can't get behind a guy like Bob Hall, we're done for.

David Koepke

Conditions and pay and meat packing plants are even worse and they have horrible injury rates reported 8.4/100 workers and that's probably understated. It's back to the days of Upton Sinclair.

Dr. C

This kind of crap has always gone on in the USA, just as it has everywhere else. In the last 50 years, a lot of the international slave scene has been at the instigation of US based transnational corporations. If there's been any qualitative difference between the US & elsewhere, it's just that the Americans are more accomplished hypocrites and talk a better game.


GCK, just a question. Is college girl's ambition a middle-class, manufacturing job in a factory?


Whatever college girl's--or anybody's--ambition, manufacturing provides the means. We need wealth creation first: manufacturing, agriculture, natural resources. Economically productive endeavors support everything else, including all services.

There are tens of millions of people in this country who would love to land any kind of job, much less one that would put them in the (now-vanishing) middle class. I'm guessing college girl would rather work at a (now-vanishing) middle-class manufacturing job than for minimum wage in a retail/service occupation.

But if we industrialize, again, we need not limit our ambitions--or those of our children.

Don Levit

This story describes capitalism at about its very worst.
Without personal initiative, ingenuity, creativity, and risk - capitalism evolves into "who can do the same thing for cheaper, wins."
We need a society which encourages individual initiative.
Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote about the destruction of our human resources being the greatest tragedy our country faces.
Millions of men and women go to their graves, with their music still in them.
Slavery is alive and well in the U.S.
In capitalism, man uses man.
In socialism, it's just the reverse.
Don Levit


First off, GKC, I kind of doubt whether College Girl is real.

Either way, I wonder about this:

"We need wealth creation first: manufacturing, agriculture, natural resources. Economically productive endeavors support everything else, including all services..."

Does this include any notion whatsoever that we live on one, finite planet with finite resources?

And finally, I would love it if you could elucidate this:

"There are tens of millions of people in this country who would love to land any kind of job..."

Does that include the soul-crushing jobs in the warehouses described in this post? Or maybe spraying carcinogenic insecticides on fields in 95 degree heat?

My point is, I think we have a bit more of a problem here than outsourcing.

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