February 22, 2011- Because Americans are kept isolated from the truth in the form of corporate media omission and deception, many in this country haven't a clue of what it's like to live and work in countries that have no environmental regulations and no protections for workers.
Drive South of the Border far from the Pacific tourist coastline, if you're brave enough, and you'll suddenly feel as if you've entered a horrible nightmare. No picturesque postcards from this part of the country. There are no environmental regulations in Mexico to speak of. Factory workers slave all day in conditions that are known as "sweatshops". NAFTA or the so-called Free Trade Agreement made things worse by dramatically reducing safe environmental and working conditions. Factory owners can easily bribe or buy politicians on both sides of the border.
I've seen these shameful conditions and all I can tell you is that "abuse" and "criminal" don't come close to describing the cruelty of it. In one factory, for instance, women stand all day assembling parts for computers without a bathroom break at eight hours a stretch; they can neither sit down nor are they allowed to drink water or eat anything. They do this for $5.00 a day. This limits them to a little food and forces them to live in cardboard tin roof shacks with no electricity or clean water. Americans would find such conditions intolerable and illegal for our pets much less humans.
The pollution is another story in itself and I could write volumes about the unspeakable horrors of polluted land, garbage, pesticide and water contamination that would wretch your stomach and make you violently ill to look at let alone smell.
China is far worse than what I've described as far as slave labor and pollution are concerned, but at least they're trying to implement green energy technologies, and they have big plans for electric car production. Nevertheless, workers' rights are practically non-existent in China.
If you think, "Things are bad, but that can't happen here," think again; it has happened: The BP oil spill and the eleven men that were killed in the explosion were the consequences of negligence: The evidence proved that BP and their associates greedily cut corners by not installing safety mechanisms and there were no real government regulations (i.e. government officials were bribed by BP to turn a blind eye and rubber stamp the approval). Check this recent article that is being deliberately omitted on the network news: Scientists finds Gulf bottom still oily, dead. (AP 2/19/11) Did we learn anything from this horrific BP oil tragedy? Yes, we did: The oil industrialists have given orders to their Republican cronies to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency.
Let's get real, folks, this "South of the Border-no regulations-bust the unions" vision is the Republican Corporatists' goal, which they're finally managing to achieve. They've been working on busting the government in order to eliminate environmental and union protections for decades. And the best way to bust a government up, as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney know only too well, is to go broke on perpetual wars. They can bust the unions, cut Social Security and Medicare, and take away food stamps, but let's keep that $10 billion a month war in Afghanistan going! After all, that's oil country!