sábado, abril 08, 2006

348) Gente: está faltando gente, na China!!!!

Parece incrível, mas é verdade: estão faltando trabalhadores na China, e os salários dos que já têm trabalho está subindo, confirmando uma das velhas leis da economia, aquela da oferta e procura: a fator escasso, valor acrescido, ou seja, a maior procura, maior preço.
Leiam o editorial abaixo do The New York Times deste sábado, 8 de abril de 2006, que já tinha sido antecipada em despachos similares publicados na imprensa ocidental e em matérias do próprio NYT nas últimas semanas: a "novidade" é que está faltando gente na China e os empresários estão desesperados atrás de traablhadores...
Sim, a China ainda tem algo como 500 ou 600 milhões de camponeses miseráveis para "puxar" dos campos para as cidades, mas o problema é que eles não têm as mais elementares noções do trabalho em fábricas, sim aquelas mesmas fábricas do velho capitalismo de guerra: linha de produção, disciplina, atenção e sobretudo um mínimo de conhecimento técnico sobre como operar máquinas, ler instruções, aprender novas habilidades, essas coisas que o capitalismo já fez no Ocidente nos últimos dois séculos desde a primeira revolução industrial...

Trading Up in China
The New York Times, April 8, 2006

Whoever thought it could happen? The world's most populous country, with what seemed like a bottomless pool of low-skilled workers, is experiencing a labor shortage in its big manufacturing regions. David Barboza of The Times reports a shortage of workers at hundreds of Chinese factories, particularly in Guangdong and Fujian, the two provinces at the heart of China's export-driven economy.

At first glance, the result looks like a union leader's dream come true: wages are going up, and workers are demanding — and getting — better working conditions and benefits. Minimum wages, which averaged $58 to $74 a month, excluding benefits, in 2004, have climbed about 25 percent over the last three years in Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai. Wages at larger factories operated by multinationals, which are typically $100 to $200 a month, are also rising.

But it is a far more complicated story than that, a textbook case of how the global economy has developed. During the last 100 years of industrialization, low-paying manufacturing jobs, primarily in the textile and apparel industries, have been the first rung on the ladder to development. America, Britain and other rich countries all went through an inevitable — but painful — process as their economies grew. When wages in the lower-rung factories increased, manufacturing companies looked for cheaper labor. In America, that meant moving from the Northeast to Southern states like the Carolinas.

Then along came China, which jumped into the textile market with a bang: a seemingly endless supply of workers ready, willing and able to make T-shirts, bras and other underwear for much less money than workers in South Carolina. Simply put, South Carolina was no longer poor enough.

China's move up the textile ladder will produce the same difficult changes that other countries have experienced — among them the persistent problem of what do with the workers whose jobs leave. But workers in China are seeing their wages and benefits increase, and China's progress bodes well for workers in poorer places like Cambodia, Bangladesh and Madagascar. Factory owners may be complaining that they can't find workers in China, but that means they will do what they have always done in such cases: look for cheap labor elsewhere.

These jobs are no picnic. The women and men put in 10 hours a day, six days a week, churning out one garment after another. Much of the time, they have to move far from their families to get work. To make ends meet, most live with five or six others in rooms that have no electricity or running water. Sometimes it's a fight just to get paid. Factory owners and managers in poor countries sometimes delay salaries through incompetence. Such delays are particularly painful because the workers are often paid only once a month.

But the alternative is far worse. In the developing world, there is too often little work to be found. In Cambodia, young men spend their days leaning against their rickety moped taxis, hoping for passengers. In Ghana, young girls run up to cars at Accra's few stoplights, selling oranges for nearly nothing. For all the toiling and monotony, factory jobs in these countries can mean survival for a family of six, supported by the monthly paycheck from one sister who sews shirts for the Gap.

All this speaks to how woefully misguided it is for members of Congress to respond to these pressures by trying to stop the flow of goods from China. The better off China is, the better off the rest of the world is — poor countries because they will get a shot at the jobs that leave China; rich countries because many more people over in China may finally be able to afford the expensive goods that are made in America.


Anonymous Humberto said...

Hoje mesmo li na imprensa brasileira que um dos trunfos para o crescimento da China no longo prazo seria justamente a reserva "ilimitada" de mão-de-obra.

O artigo do NYT chega a ser inusitado porque toca num ponto que parece que ninguém tinha pensado até agora: que a tal reserva é de camponeses desqualificados para ingresso imediato na indústria e outras atividades mais sofisticadas.

Será que salários mais altos poderiam limitar a competitividade das exportações chinesas?

Abraços! ;-)

domingo, abril 09, 2006 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger Paulo R. de Almeida said...

De fato, a China tem uma reserva ilimitada de trabalho, ou melhor, de trabalhadores pouco qualificados. A medida em que se sobe na escala de agregacao de valor e de sofisticacao tecnologica, essa mao-de-obra torna-se escassa e mais bem remunerada, portanto. A China nao escapa às "leis" da economia, mas ela tem muitas "reservas" para continuar distorcendo as regras do jogo durante certo tempo.
Os desafios para o Brasil são de toda forma situados no terreno da competicao em manufaturados leves e crescentemente em certas linhas de manufaturados mais sofisticados...

segunda-feira, abril 10, 2006 12:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anônimo said...

I say briefly: Best! Useful information. Good job guys.

segunda-feira, julho 03, 2006 8:54:00 AM  

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