Raking it InTo the Editor,
I find Jim Hightower's column to be a hit-or-miss affair, and his most recent one is a definite "miss." His discussion of telecommunications jobs which have been exported to India implies that this particular manifestation of globalization is bad for the Americans whose $14,000/yr customer service jobs have disappeared, bad for Indians who are doing the same work but at the cut rate of $2,000 a year, and good only for evil corporations who are exploiting the cheaper Indian labor. But I wonder whether an examination of the numbers wouldn't indicate that overall, workers are better off under the new arrangement.
Consider: the gross domestic product per capita of the U.S. is about $34,000 per year, whereas the GDP per capita of India is $1,800 per year (source: The World Factbook 2000). Therefore, workers who are making $14,000/yr in the U.S. are doing very poorly relative to the populace of the U.S.; but workers making $2,000/yr in India are being paid well relative to populace of India--telecom jobs there are hardly as exploitative as Hightower makes them out to be.
The point is that absolute wages are deceptive. In a country where fewer than 5 percent of households had a yearly income of $2,300 or more in 1995-1996 (source: The World Factbook 2000), an influx of $2,000 a year jobs is nothing but good for the workers and communities who get them. Anti-globalization populists often conveniently overlook this fact when they rail against the export of jobs from America.
--John S Costello
Bad CompanyTo the Editor,
Tom Danehy's most recent article "Dia de los Madres" (May 10) is in keeping with his usual ill-thought "comedic" spew, including past articles dissing on, of all things, single mothers and women with shaved heads.
Danehy apparently finds it ridiculous that people with the capacity to think critically regard his insults as misogynistic and backwards. He doesn't realize that people judge you by the company you keep. Similar anti-single mother remarks have been made by "Dr." Laura Schlessinger, Pat Robertson and the Promise Keepers. Why do you keep paying him to write this bilge?
Note to Danehy: Single mothers headed 23 percent of families in 1998 (U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Surveys, March 1998). While not the majority, single mothers have definitely become a norm, particularly in lower-income communities. The largest difficulties faced by children of single mothers are because of economic reasons, rather than social stigmatization. So if Camryn Manheim wants to buy a spermsicle, who are you to judge? She has the economic resources to provide for her child.
Perhaps the (mistaken) logic which Danehy employs is that in order to raise a well-balanced child, one must have a female figure (for nurturing) and a male figure (for throwing baseballs). Give me a break. The gender roles lauded by antagonists of single-parent families are stale and reek of Leave it to Beaver. If you want to really address a problem with single-parent families, why not comment on all of the deadbeat dads out there? Sheesh.
Anti-racketeeringTo the Editor,
The May 10 Skinny item about me called "Hart Attack" was inaccurate.
The Skinny said, "Hart's candidacy enables her friends at the Pima County Attorney's Office headed by "Santa" Barbara LaWall to carry on the office's long tradition of campaigning on the taxpayer's time and dime. Indeed Hart should be able to squeeze in a few campaign plugs for herself in the crummy newsletter ...."
Had you actually researched my contract or bothered to read the "crummy newsletter" you would have known that my contract and the newsletters I write are not paid for with taxpayer dollars. Anti-racketeering funds pay my contract and the newsletter costs.
I believe the newsletters are important avenues for Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall to keep in contact with her constituents and staff.
I would never hide or disclaim my support of, or friendship with, Barbara LaWall. I openly worked on both her campaigns and I believe she is doing a fine job for our community.
--Vicki Hart, Candidate for City Council Ward 3