The Hightower Report

Oh, the indignity! Royalty gets the commoner treatment, sort of; and 'offshoring' gets a new name


THE ROYAL TREATMENT IN MIAMI

It's time for another peek into the "Lifestyles of the Rich ... and Cranky."

No doubt this story will make you cry about the way Homeland Security agents treat airline passengers these days. I'm not talking about the way us commoners are subjected to long and slow-moving lines, forced to strip down and take our shoes off, and treated gruffly by overworked screeners – I'm talking about the alarming fact that a member of the royalty has been subjected to passenger screening! Gasp! – what is this world coming to?

This outrage occurred at Miami International Airport, when Crown Prince Felipe of Spain arrived in a chartered jet. He, his fiancée, and four bodyguards were connecting onto a commercial flight when – I know you won't believe this – they were told that they would have to submit their bags and themselves to electronic screening. Well, you can just imagine the diplomatic flurry this caused!

Of course, Prince Felipe and his entourage did not have to stand in line with us riffraff, take off their royal shoes, or be treated gruffly. No, no – they were politely taken to a private lounge and discreetly checked out by what a Homeland spokesman called "top-notch screeners with VIP experience."

Hmmm. "VIP" experience. Who else gets this kid-glove handling? Maybe that's why our lines are so long.

Well, you'll be relieved to know that the mayor of Miami-Dade County, Alex Penelas, has kissed the Crown Prince's royal ego and made it all better. On the very day of the "incident," the mayor sent the entire royal family a letter of apology, calling Felipe's treatment a "lamentable situation."

By the way, this is the same mayor who helped to orchestrate last year's Miami police assault on us U.S. citizens (including thousands of retirees) who were there for a peaceful protest against yet another corporate free-trade scam. Now that was truly a lamentable situation. Where's our apology?


HOW DO YOU SAY 'OFFSHORING'?

Excellent news, Americans! U.S. Corporations say that they are no longer "offshoring" our middle-class jobs. It seems that they have grown afraid of the rising public anger at this self-serving fattening of their already ample bottom lines at the expense of working families. They fear that there will be a political backlash from workers, customers, Congress – and plain ol' American patriots.

Does this mean that greed-headed CEOs are no longer shipping our manufacturing, professional, and high tech jobs to India, Pakistan, Russia, and other low-wage centers? Of course not. It simply means they no longer say the word "offshoring." Instead, the doublespeak artists of corporate PR departments have coined new euphemisms. Rather than offshoring, they now call it "remote global sourcing" or "right-shoring" to disguise the perfidy.

A new report finds that offshoring (by whatever name) is not only continuing unabated, but accelerating rapidly and expanding into new fields. If you're an architect, if you do legal work or tax preparation, if you're an editor or radiologist, say bye-bye to your professional position, for CEOs are putting these and many more on a virtual boat overseas, with about 80% of them going to India, where they can get the work done for a third or less than they pay to us Americans.

The report, prepared by Forrester Research, says that offshoring is increasing dramatically. Forrester's previous prediction was that the U.S. would lose 588,000 jobs to offshoring by the end of this year; now it estimates that 830,000 will be lost – a 41% increase. Nearly half of the corporations surveyed say they're either offshoring jobs now or preparing to.

Well, says one offshoring specialist, so what? "It's free enterprise. We're trying to make money." Yeah, and so are bank robbers.

The proper word for what these CEOs are doing is not "offshoring" – it's stealing. They're stealing America's middle-class future.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Homeland Security, Miami International Airport, Crown Prince Felipe, Spain, Alex Penelas, offshoring, remote global sourcing, right-shoring, Forrester Research

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