Who Moved My Cheese…

When I first read the book, “Who Moved My Cheese?”, I thought that I understood that you have to continually reinvent yourself to find a productive/self-sustaining niche in society, and when that opportunity fizzled, you just looked for something new again, as a never-ending cycle…

Due to the nature of my job, I can’t go into too much detail here, but there are two things bothering me on this particular issue:

1. I always envisioned myself “looking for my cheese” in the US economy,and assumed that the American workforce would always be something that you could find an opportunity within. We used to be capitalists who were still patriotic and would keep jobs in the US. It now seems to be not only a trend but the popular/accepted thing to do to think globally (which is really just code for “outsourcing”, which is moving any job overseas that can be moved.) Should we now stop looking for our “cheese” within the American job sector and abandon our patriotism and loyalty in favor of a global view regarding personal job security? At what point does capitalism begin to directly conflict with the sovereignty of our nation?

2. I went into Circuit City last week… I normally don’t ever go there, but was drawn in by the 80% off signs stating that there were 2 days left to their going out of business sale… while I was in there, I noticed the mostly empty shelves and the employees who were still selling the few items that were left, even though they would most likely be out of a job in a few days. They were also dismantling and selling the shelving units, audio/video cables, display racks, etc. What really struck me here, is that it seemed like such a representation of America as a whole… are we selling everything, right down to the internal hardware and infrastructure to foreign interests (or even foreign components of “global” companies) with just a certain level of US management benefiting financially from the sale? Will we wake up one day and realize that there is nothing left but an empty shell, with no services or goods to offer once everything has been outsourced?

On a related note… why was it such a BAD thing when Nike was caught using child labor in foreign countries… is it because they were doing it directly? Many US and EMEA countries do the same thing indirectly by sending jobs to foreign countries… the US companies aren’t hiring child labor, but the government (who they seem to have contracts with) do hire child labor… I’ve personally been in India and seen barefoot women and children digging telecommunications trenches with sticks and living in tent cities next to the jobsites… I guess it’s okay though since we didn’t do it directly. I do recognize that child labor is a relatively new offense in the West, that hasn’t really caught on in other countries where a 12 year old is more than willing to work to help support their family… coming from a poor family myself, I get that, I really do… it is just interesting to see where things are going and what we choose to be offended by.