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Charm and Culture: The Old South with a New Global Modernity - Essay Example

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Listening to one television program with Paula Deen as she goes through the paces of cooking up a great meal reminds the viewer of the Southern charm that has been indicative of that region for centuries. Sweet tea, picnics outdoors, and deep fried foods have been the hallmarks of the Southern culture for decades…
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Charm and Culture: The Old South with a New Global Modernity
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Download file to see previous pages The transformation of the South is taking place whether or not it is recognized and the future that is coming will include them in surprising and welcomed ways.
The American South is currently one of the more globalized regions in the United States, despite a continued belief in the social positions of the Old South. Cobb reports that the South was found to be attractive to more than half of the foreign investors to build businesses within the United States, with one in eight workers in the South getting their paycheck from a foreign investor. It is understandable why this largely underdeveloped region previous to that time would be attractive to foreign industry as the weather, the local incentives, and the largely blank canvas of the South would make an ideal place to put a business. Industrial underdevelopment in the South included a lack of pesky unions thus providing for lower wages and while a detriment to workers, this was a boon for manufacturers and other resources for jobs.
The primary problem was that because of the pressure of unemployment and poverty, the need for business outweighed the need to have fairly distributed equity between the advantages to the company, the civic need for taxes, and the needs of the workers who find some relief in earning some money, but when wages are so low that living is not met with enough resources, the continuation of poverty becomes engulfed with the working poor. Cobb gives the example of Mercedes Benz who positioned a plant in Alabama in 1993 and was given 253 million in subsidies to put their plant in that state. This provided a mere 1500 jobs for the state with 63,000 applicants who largely were turned away (1). With friends like these, foreign investors would be crazy not to participate. It is also proof that the hand of desperation is not a good one to play. Human development suffers for the cause of industrial development, a nonhuman concept taking precedence over the needs of human beings. As an example, 266 million dollars was cut from education in order to support subsidies to Hyundai and Honda in 2001 of 318 million dollars. This begs the question as to the real benefits of bringing in business at the expense of human development which would likely lead to American ingenuity over the dependence upon foreign investment. This is not the only problems in the South where human considerations are concerned. The textile industry has been depleted in the South in the sense that much of the clothing that is purchased in the United States is bought overseas from cheap labor to drive down costs. Even when workers were making clothes in the South they were paid a poverty wage, but now those jobs no longer exist further increasing rural poverty where many of these operations were based. The inequity that exists is driven by a lack of work in rural areas with a development of industry in urban centers. Cobb describes the situation when he writes that “East Alabama gleams with new auto factories while West Alabama hemorrhages apparel plants” (3). In order for the South to become the elevated region of industry that it has the potential for there is a need for social responsibility to play a part in the development of business and enterprise. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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