Tuesday, May 6, 2014
POST 13: OUTSOURCING/OFFSHORING: Two Cartoons
This humoristic cartoon depicts a pretty young grandfather and two of his grandsons. The children are sitting on a boat called "Believin' in America", while their grandfather is on the Cayman Islands, and has just finished digging a hole to bury all of his money. The grandfather in question here is Mitt Romney, the Republican party's candidate for the 2012 presidential election in the USA, which he lost to Barack Obama. At the time, and still now, he's very criticized because of all of his somehow "illicit" activities involving financial havens. The cartoons shows in the background other financial havens than the Cayman Islands, such as Switzerland or the Bermuda islands. It conveys a deeply ironic message. The fact that the boat is called "Believin' in America" while Romney is explaining the difference between "outsourcing" and "offshoring", both ways of taking a country's money to other locations makes this pretty clear.
This cartoon tackles the topic of Spaces & Exchanges: money can be exchanged in many different ways, and can travel through very different hands. Money also goes through very different spaces and depends on these spaces (banks, financial havens...).
This humoristic cartoon called "Simply Explained - Part 10: Offshoring" shows the business men's point of view of Offshoring: two middle-aged men, one of them in a shirt and tie are complaining about their employees in "another country", declaring that it's unbelievable that they want to be paid and that therefore, their company should move to another country. It explains boldly why rich companies offshore to other countries: simply because it reduces costs drastically and because it allows them to employ people in the worst conditions possible. Clearly, the author wishes to denounce the occidental world's attitude and haughtiness towards the working population of poor countries such as Vietnam, Laos or Bangladesh, where horrible accidents occur every year due to the terrible conditions the workers have to endure just so that the company saves some money.
Indeed, this cartoon deals with the notion of Spaces & Exchanges: Offshoring is a way of exchanging safe working conditions for more money and benefits. It also creates two spaces: the company's headquarters in a rich country and the different factories around the world, all located in very poor countries.