Buyers and sellers become masters and servants

You really have to worry about the tosh that comes out of Australian universities these days?  And is there really a Journal of Industrial Ecology?  I wonder how many stars it gets.

I received this media release from Sydney University the other day.  Evidently trading partners buying and selling for mutual gain is very last season.  It is now masters and servants.

All this study tells us that there are different per capita incomes in different countries and different labour intensities of production.  Nothing to see apart from the obvious conclusion that trade leads to higher per capita incomes for nations, although I doubt whether Ali and Joy would agree.  Oh dear.

Read it and weep.

Master and servant relationships among nations

 More people are working from outside Australia to provide Australians with consumer goods than are working within Australia.

The finding is from a University of Sydney study which analyses international employment and reveals that in 2010 there were more than 11 million workers outside Australia working for the Australian people, while the total workforce in Australia was about 10 million.

In the same year:

- the full-time equivalent work of more than 200 million labourers in China and India was dedicated to producing exports for other countries

- the average domestic wage in Japan in 2010 was $US53,000 while the wage of foreign workers producing imports for Japan averaged $US6,500

- more than 27 percent of the Bangladeshi workforce was engaged in producing clothing for export to countries such as the United States, Britain, Germany and Australia, at an average wage of approximately one quarter that of people working to satisfy its domestic consumption

- 70 million workers from outside the USA supported the lifestyle of American citizens

- 70 percent of Madagascans who worked for export industries had much lower wages than those working within Madagascar for their own country’s needs

“Our unique study brings into full view the complex supply chains around the world, making clear which countries are acquiring goods and from where,” said Ali Alsamawi, lead author of the study recently published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology.

Ali Alsamawi is a PhD candidate in the Centre for Integrated Sustainability Analysis (ISA) at the University of Sydney’s School of Physics.

The study analyses the production of a country’s direct and indirect imports using employment and income footprints.

“The tracing of the ‘master-servant’ relationships could benefit businesses, governments and non-government organisations concerned with corporate social responsibility and committed to fairer trading,” said Dr Joy Murray, another ISA researcher on the paper.

“The master-servant description is economic and does not make assumptions about how workers in these countries perceive their labour.”

The results reveal there are ‘masters’, or net importers of employment who rely on workers in other countries to maintain their consumption, and ‘servants’, or net exporters, who work to support other nation’s lifestyles.

Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Switzerland occupy the top-ranking positions of master countries, while many African and Asian countries are servants.

To satisfy its consumption, each Hong Kong resident needs seven ‘servants’ from the rest of the world for each person in its own workforce, Singapore needs five and the UAE needs four.

Australia is number 10 on the list of master countries. For every 100 domestic Australian workers, there are 103 workers located overseas creating goods for Australian consumption.

“Our results show commodities that are especially ‘servant intensive’, such as electronics, agricultural products, and chemicals, tend to have complex supply chains, often originating in developing countries,” said Dr Murray.

A computer bought in Australia (average domestic wage US$59,700) might be assembled in China (average domestic wage $US2, 700) and Thailand ($US2,100) using electronic circuits made in the Philippines ($US1,700).

 “This research reveals exploitation through complex pathways affecting millions of people worldwide, and as such is a powerful analytical tool.”

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48 Responses to Buyers and sellers become masters and servants

  1. Rabz

    “This research reveals exploitation through complex pathways affecting millions of people worldwide, and as such is a powerful analytical tool.”

    No, it’s fact and evidence free marxist horseshit.

    Would they prefer that all the third world peons referred to in this work of fiction were unemployed and engaged in a subsistence lifestyle?

    Presumably yes, think of how small their ‘carbon footprints’ would be then.

  2. Matt

    the average domestic wage in Japan in 2010 was $US53,000 while the wage of foreign workers producing imports for Japan averaged $US6,500

    Where do they think the $US6,500 comes from?

  3. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Ust file it under ‘clueless’ and forget.

  4. Fibro

    This research an absolutely brilliant example of the ways that taxpayer money can be used on a complete load of horseshit that justifies the person, the position, the ‘centre’ of studies, hell, even the faculty.

    Like the guy at Sydney Uni who has a self annointed Masters in Traffic Management, there is another 20 behind making sure the message is pushed out the door.

    Total sum of usefulness? ZERO. Do something useful and stop wasting my bloody money.

  5. .

    Ali Alsamawi is a PhD candidate in the Centre for Integrated Sustainability Analysis (ISA) at the University of Sydney’s School of Physics.

    Bwahahaha!

  6. Driftforge

    Leaving aside the issue of language, the research itself is interesting.

    One of the notions I’ve been pondering on is the effect of a minimum wage. Now one obvious effect is that a certain portion of work that would be done here is done elsewhere. Another is that our cities are advantaged over our rural areas.

    I wonder if the ‘work being done elsewhere’ isn’t of some social benefit. We are artificially minimising the gap between rich and poor in this country by taking advantage of a willing poor in other nations. We attempt to minimise the social cost of this by focussing educational efforts on achieving a minimum standard, at the cost of improving our smart fraction; those who still don’t meet the lower limit of valuable contribution are cared for by society.

    It’s obviously not of economic benefit, but that hardly measures everything.

    We need as a starting point a regionally adjusted minimum wage, and I wonder at times whether giving the RBA two levers – the minimum wage and the interest rate – with which to run the economy might not be a more functional system than having separate FWA and RBA.

  7. Cato the Elder

    Looks as though even the hard sciences are now infected with leftist bullshit.

  8. lotocoti

    School of Psychics, perhaps.

  9. .

    A computer bought in Australia (average domestic wage US$59,700) might be assembled in China (average domestic wage $US2, 700) and Thailand ($US2,100) using electronic circuits made in the Philippines ($US1,700).

    Fucking chumps.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balassa%E2%80%93Samuelson_effect

  10. Bruce of Newcastle

    Master and servant relationships among nations

    Well I’d say master-servant relationships do exist in the international landscape.

    Putin’s Russia would be an example of a “master” country, and the EU is a “servant” country…given recent events.

    Its doubtful Ali Alsamawi had quite this in mind though.

  11. Toiling Mass

    Isn’t this the old marxist dodge to get around the fact that the working classes were also getting richer contrary to the belief that capitalists only grew wealthy at the workers expense? That first world workers gained at the expense of workers overseas?

    Not sure of whom the Chinese workers are living off the exploitation. They must have a pretty shitty life though, after being robbed not just by the old first world, but all the teeming millions from numerous other countries that have also joined the middle class in the last few decades.

  12. Ant

    Have they compared the income/benefit split from the old Soviet Union?

    I believe it was something like 290,000,000 people were supporting the lifestyle of a few thousand communist politburo members, communist party apparatchiks and assorted communist party hacks.

  13. Julian mclaren

    If they earned US$2,700 and had to buy a house in Sydney (average price AUD$700,000), we would have cause for concern. But they don’t, so the research is meaningless.

  14. Ant

    …or maybe North Korea.

    Over there, they’ve got about 24,000,000 slaves scratching the dirt with their fingernails to look for grassroots to eat, supporting the lifestyle of the kind of elite these academics think they are.

  15. Fleeced

    I remember paying thousands for my first PC system at the end of my un i degree (I couldn’t afford one during – and since I was doing CompSci, this meant I pretty much lived in the computer labs).

    They’re far more powerful now, and much, much cheaper now than they were back then – even in unadjusted dollars. And the countries producing it all have a much higher standard of living… all thanks to this so-called “exploration”

    These clueless clowns really piss me off.

  16. Fleeced

    “exploitation”

    Damn autocorrect… LOL

  17. Derp

    What kind of parochial crap is this… where does it stop?

    x% of Queenslanders work to support the lifestyles of Tasmanians.
    y% of farmers work to support the lifestyles of inner city academics.

    A thinly veiled attempted to wheel out the guilt barrow, AGAIN.

  18. Derp

    I remember paying thousands for my first PC system at the end of my un i degree

    +1
    A serious outlay they were

  19. Love it.

    Next time I’m down the fish and chip shop, I shall bark orders at them to get on with my laundry, polish the ManChild’s shoes, and then bring me breakfast in bed on a tray the next morning.

    After all, I am PAYING THEM for their SERVICES.

    Damn flunkies.

    Pass the port.

  20. Fleeced

    A serious outlay they were

    Can get a much better one now, far cheaper… when you use adjusted dollars, it’s almost a complete price collapse. Even Macs are cheaper than PCs of old. Thank God for progress – I just hope he protects us from the so-called progressives.

  21. x% of Queenslanders work to support the lifestyles of Tasmanians.
    y% of farmers work to support the lifestyles of inner city academics.

    z% of Western Australians pay for the entire country.

  22. Wozzup

    I wonder if these masterminds have understood that international trade is one of the main ways that standards of living increase in under developed countries. With all this hand wringing about people in poor countries having low incomes its no doubt lost on them. But if they (a) bothered to read any books on developmental economics or (b) conduct longitudinal studies of these countries you would find that over time they climb up the development ladder, people in these countries become more wealthy and leave poverty behind and development of the economy often goes hand in hand with liberalization of systems of government and freedom and human rights become more widespread.

    One of the first indicators of a country that is about to develop in the manner has traditionally been – according to the experts – imports to that country of sewing machines. The rag trade is often the first step on the development ladder for many countries and while people often have to start out in sweat shops this has been what has kick started them and their countries. Eventually the rag trade becomes less important and that country begins dabbling in other mass production industries like electronics. Yes these people initially have low wages – that is exactly what gives them comparative advantage over other countries and kicks off the beginning of development. But usually their wages and standards of living begin to track upwards over time – slowly in some countries and more quickly in others. Depending on how enlightened the culture and government of that country are. Make no bones about it. World trade does not exploit people – it advantages them.

  23. Tim of Kilsyth

    What Ali conveniently fails to tell you is how much the wages in places like Bangladesh and China have risen in the last 30 years due to international trade.. In my own personal experience of doing business in China the basic factory wage in the late 1990′s was maybe $50 per month , this in itself a massive rise from virtually zero as a subsistence farmer as they were pre the 1980′s . Nowadays it is around $500 per month plus and many less hours worked as well. Bangladesh has had quite a rise as well but as we are aware there is a bit of work to do on factory conditions there.
    This would have to be the biggest load of hypocritical drivel I have ever read. Ali would have sat in a Chinese made chair and and table and typed this up on an Asian made computer whilst wearing his Asian made clothing plus texting on his Chinese made I phone. All the time completely oblivious to the fact that he could afford these items due to low production costs in Asian countries and that we as Australians are able to pay for these things due to a small number of exporters who work their collective backsides off to earn foreign currency.
    Excuse me whilst I throw up at the thought my taxes are paying this guy to produce such ideological, self evident useless drivel.
    PS Did he ever think that the workers in low cost countries would be starving to death if we “masters” were not buying from them?

  24. pete m

    “This research reveals exploitation through complex pathways affecting millions of people worldwide, and as such is a powerful analytical tool.”

    Amazing. “Master” countries are exploiting “servant” countries by buying their locally made goods and services.

    Tosh is the politest word you could say about this.

    Complete marxist bullshit (as per Rabz), is about halfway to what I think it is.

  25. “This research reveals exploitation through complex pathways

    Yes. The ARC, principally. I’ll bet he’s on a grant.

  26. Joy Murray is Senior Research Fellow at Integrated Sustainability Analysis (ISA) in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney. She joined the group in 2003 as manager of a two-year action research project working with representatives from business and industry, government and non-government organisations to develop a user-friendly software tool driven by the ISA TBL methodology. Joy is also working with residents of government housing estates in Eastern Sydney on a project to build leadership capacity. In a previous life she was the New South Wales manager of the state government’s IT training strategy for teachers. Her PhD from Wollongong University centered on teacher learning.

    http://www.isa.org.usyd.edu.au/about/team_profile.shtml

  27. Fleeced

    PhDs weren’t always that useless, were they?

    I actually wouldn’t mind so much if my taxes went to some semi-autistic geek to do some hard-science research – at least not in principle – but obviously government spending can never be trusted on such things, and turns everything to shit.

    Government grants just need to stop. Completely.

  28. .

    Joy is also working with residents of government housing estates in Eastern Sydney on a project to build leadership capacity.

    Yeah fuck off. The poor downtrodden housos of…Tamarama Beach?

  29. DrBeauGan

    This is what you get when you increase the numbers going to university. Dimwits under the impression they are educated.

  30. .

    Could you imagine if an economics faculty did a report by two doctorate holders on why quantum relativity is bunk and sub atomic particles don’t exist?

    This is the same level of legitimacy this study has. Absolute nonsense.

  31. Squirrel

    So, can I “like” it on Facebook? – this industrial ecology stuff sounds like a really cool way of assuaging first world guilt (if you’re that way inclined).

    The passing reference to marketing/product differentiation opportunites shows a hint of a glimmer of a spark, but that’s hardly new, is it? – Anita Roddick et.al. worked that one out a long time ago.

  32. Beertruk

    This is what you get when you increase the numbers going to university. Dimwits under the impression they are educated.

    They stay at Uni to eventually become academics or leave to become Public Servants. They have never worked outside in the real world.

  33. Tel

    A computer bought in Australia (average domestic wage US$59,700) might be assembled in China (average domestic wage $US2, 700) and Thailand ($US2,100) using electronic circuits made in the Philippines ($US1,700).

    And who designed those? Who writes the software?

    Is someone out there enslaving those Asian workers, not me, that’s for sure. If they want to stop work and do something else, there’s nothing I would do, or could do about it.

  34. Fleeced

    Is someone out there enslaving those Asian workers, not me, that’s for sure. If they want to stop work and do something else, there’s nothing I would do, or could do about it.

    They’d feel much better if they were forced into child prostitution instead.

    Lefties aren’t just “wrong” – they’re absolute scum, and their ideas are dangerous. If implemented, they would destroy standard of living in both countries.

  35. Tel

    The rag trade is often the first step on the development ladder for many countries and while people often have to start out in sweat shops this has been what has kick started them and their countries. Eventually the rag trade becomes less important …

    England starting in the 17th C got into wool production, then moved up the supply chain to spinning, then weaving and knitting, then whole garments, suits, fashion, etc. By the time Australian wool came online England couldn’t get enough of the stuff for processing.

  36. .

    Hey, why don’t we stop buying their goods and stop building factories in Vietnam etc, after all, a 90%+ drop in real incomes for developing countries would surely be equitable?

  37. Jim Rose

    some people will never be happy. no matter how much progress, they find an underbelly.

  38. Jim Rose

    Andrei Shleifer in The Age of Milton Friedman found that as the world embraced free market policies since 1980, living standards rose sharply, while life expectancy, education and democracy improved and absolute poverty declined.

    XAVIER SALA-I-MARTIN (2006) found that for 138 countries in 2000, poverty rates and head counts were between one-third and one-half of what they were in 1970. There were between 250 and 500 million fewer poor in 2000 than in 1970.

    A simple test: visit Asia regularly since the mid-1990s. I was tall when I first visited – looking over the top of the crowd. No longer the case for the young adults. I now look up to the young Chinese in Hong Kong. Go to Hong Kong if you want to see if capitalism works, Milton Friedman used to say.

  39. Sally Moore

    What we see here is the green/left/human-rights movement building up a case and campaign to restrict world trade on their terms, and then only let goods and services “past the gate” if you pay them for their sustainability/corporate/social-responsibility certification schemes, labelling, employ their friends (consultants etc) or go along with their demands. It’s largely a rent-seeking coercion and extortion scam, sitting on the foundations of emotive claims that keep fooling well intentioned people. It has very little to do with any real concern for people and the environment or objective facts, and a lot to do with power and money. The next step is that that they will influence politicians to get such things made compulsory, so you won’t be able to trade without buying into these schemes. Or they will carry out damaging smear campaigns against businesses who refuse to go along with their demands.

    Some relevant links:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhdUW3LI2po
    http://www.accsr.com.au/html/learning.html
    http://2012.ingoodcompany.fsc.org/
    http://www.green-certificate.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=41&Itemid=16
    http://online.thunderbird.edu/executive-certificate-corporate-social-responsibility/#.Uxg5A_mSxFs
    http://bschool.pepperdine.edu/programs/executive-education/certificate-csr/

  40. hzhousewife

    One of the first indicators of a country that is about to develop in the manner has traditionally been – according to the experts – imports to that country of sewing machines.

    I was sad to read lately that in Africa the small home businesses of women seamstresses are
    being decimated by the bulk imports of cheap chinese made clothing. As a home sewer myself,
    I find I cannot source good quality fabric locally any more, I resort to op-shop buying and
    re-styling, and enjoy having the skills to do so.

  41. Yohan

    If you take their argument to its logical conclusion, and work or service that is provided to another person in compensation for money, is a master/slave relationship.

    In fact this is the entire basic principle of the Marxist exploitation theory. Unless we are self sufficient subsistence farmers, sewing our own clothes and farming our own vegetables, then we are just slaves to some hierarchical authority that is exploiting us.

  42. nerblnob

    I was sad to read lately that in Africa the small home businesses of women seamstresses are
    being decimated by the bulk imports of cheap chinese made clothing.

    You mean, second-hand Chinese-made or Bangladeshi-made clothing that has been dumped on the market by “charity” shops collecting clothing for da poor 3rd world peoples.

  43. rebel with cause

    To satisfy its consumption, each Hong Kong resident needs seven ‘servants’ from the rest of the world

    The fact that he puts ‘servants’ shows that he doesn’t even believe his own Marxist garbage.

  44. Jim Rose

    notice that several of the master countries – japan and HK – were poor 50 or so years ago. they became rich through capitalism.

  45. DrBeauGan

    Both theoretical and experimental physics are difficult and demanding. With the need to get bums on seats, the pressure on the less able is to do something easier. In the past some tried things like chaos ‘theory’. Now it’s itegrated sustainability analysis. These poor fools are just some of the pseudoscientists sucked in to the system. Others do ‘climate science’. If science loses the trust of the public it damn well deserves to. It’s all a consequence of the bureaucratisation of universities and the residue of genuine scientists are suffering for letting it happen. Serve them right for not fighting. Just another aspect of the fall of the West.

  46. Nato

    What an outrage!!

    These third world Master countries are exploiting us Servants for enduring cash that is taken out of our economy, put into their own, and handing back baubles that decay to worthlessness within Months.

  47. They imply that, rather than be paid their local wages, they should be paid in our wages, but the alternative to being paid their local wages is to not be paid at all.

    Of course, what they really want is for the jobs to come back to Australia with all the union bells and whistles, as though Australians would gladly pay $20,000 for a dodgy computer.

    This is all an extension of the Marxist fallacy that workers are not paid what they’re worth based on the fact that their employers make profit. Unless you are a slave, that is bullshit. But was Marxism ever about that economic fallacy or was it simply a narrative to sell to the majority, who were then the working class? Methinks ’tis nothing more than a selling point.

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