The Olympics, known for being above politics yet always in the shadow of them, haven’t even started but the games are a showcase for the themes that are driving election year debate.
Privatization, a tenet of American conservatism and tea baggery, isn’t providing a very good answer to the question, “How’s that working for you?” The private security firm the British government hired at an equivalent of $444 million is unable to provide enough trained staff members in time for the games.
Guess who’s bailing them out? That’s right, Mr. and Ms. British taxpayer will provide army troops and police officers to make up the for the failure of the private sector to prepare security guards.
And then there’s outsourcing. American politicians and members of the public expressed outrage that the Ralph Lauren designed Team USA uniforms were — like almost everything else sold in this country — made in China. The company was caught short by the criticism, China was offended, and let’s face it, the entire country can be embarrassed that the lack of confidence corporations have placed in the American worker, coupled with our desire for more and ever cheaper goods, was exposed on the world stage. It did, however, lead to one of the lamest assurances ever released on company letterhead.
Ralph Lauren promises to lead the conversation within our industry and our government addressing the issue of increasing manufacturing in the United States and has committed to producing the opening and closing ceremony Team USA uniforms in the United States that will be worn for the 2014 Olympic Games.
Should we expect the role of tax cuts for the rich, issues around unionized labor, and restriction of women’s reproductive rights to make appearances before the games end?