- Once upon a time: people shopped on downtown city
streets, frequented local diners, and had a choice of jobs to choose
from. Towns employed parents in auto plants, machine shops, textile mills,
ship building, farming, fishing, and every imaginable manufacturing job.
A man working in a steel mill or auto plant; could encourage his son/daughter,
to go to college, and attain a profession that he had only dreamed of.
If not college, a trade, that saw one with a livable wage, was readily
available. This country had marvelous craftsmen, machinists, designers
of great buildings, bridges, and damns. Now we can't build a simple levee
to protect a population.
- Today there are more prisons than farmers! Rural Americans
- who once farmed, had dairy farms, or were in the timber business etc,
now find they are competing for prisons to be built in their communities!
Snake oil salesmen, in the guise of Economic Development, promise lucrative
wages, and a vibrant community. Grand claims are made for economic salvation,
which has many towns giving up a lot, for what they hope to gain? Imagine,
locking person up, is now recognized as a "growth industry" in
this country! In our state (NH) our former Governor announced that 'garbage
was a growth industry'.
- So, this is what we've come to - garbage, prisons, ski
resorts, malls, and tourist Mecca's and box stores! Many communities across
the nation, in order to entice a prison to their community; donate
land, invest in costly sewers and water upgrades, and offer all kinds of
subsidies and tax abatements (private prisons). Prior to 1980 only 36%
of prisons were located in rural communities.
- Through the 60-70s an average of just 4 new prisons had
been built in rural America each year. From 1990-99, 245 prisons were built,
with the end nowhere in sight. Every 15 days saw a new prison open somewhere
in the nation. In Texas 11 rural counties acquired prisons, where earlier
only one prison existed. Nine new prisons have opened in Appalachia, with
3 new Federal prisons being planned. If it sounds too good to be true,
it usually is, but try and tell that to town officials, who are only
hearing the cha-ching of a cash register, be it garbage, prisons, a mall,
or box stores.
- Corporate America knows only too well that there's a
sucker born every minute, and that most of them hold some kind of office
in rural America. If they were Eskimos, you'd have no problem selling them
ice cubes. Regretfully, towns don't take the time to do their
homework, in finding out just what promises have come to naught in other
rural towns, and what problems have resulted from acting hastily. In the
end, the criminal and former logger, farmer or local craftsmen, suffers
imprisonment. It never ceases to amaze me that men/women, would voluntarily
lock themselves up, for the greater part of their lives, in seeking such
employment! It's a far cry, from a day in the woods, milking the cows,
building a barn, or bringing in the hay.
- Charles Seltz remembers when Rochester, NY, was a bustling
manufacturing town. Now, all the 58 year old unemployed engineer sees (
just like our town in NH) is a landscape of empty buildings. "There's
nothing made here anymore", the former Eastman Kodak employee says,
his eyes welling with tears as he talks about his struggle to find a new
job. ."Wealth is really created by making things. I still adhere to
that." Of course Charles is right, what's created by a prison, a casino,
a garbage dump, an incinerator, or a service sector job? Nothing is produced
except a person eking out a living; hardly able to afford the gas to travel
to work, let alone that college education for his child. Forget a home,
a decent vehicle, or ever taking a vacation. All one has to do is
look around and note that it is almost an impossibility to buy a product
made in America it's all junk that breaks within a month's time.
I'd rather never shop then subject myself to a concrete bunker experience
of aisles and aisles of slave labor camp trinkets!
- Fifty years ago, a third of U.S. employees worked in
factories, making everything from clothing to lipstick to cars. Today,
a little more than one tenth of the nation's 131 million workers
are employed by manufacturing firms. Four fifths are in services!
Since the beginning of 2000 (when GWB Cheney came into office), more
than 1.9 million, factory jobs have been cut. Many of the factory
jobs are being cut as companies respond to a sharp rise in global competition
and trade deals of, for, and by multi nationals! Jobs are being
moved abroad as companies take advantage of slave labor. In 2002,
film giant Eastman Kodak the largest employer in Rochester and the
mainstay of that community, shut down its plant that employed 500 employees,
who made throw away cameras. The work will now be done in China. Engineer
Seitz, was laid off in '98, after 26 years at Kodak. It was right before
Christmas, and he was TWO months away from being eligible for full retirement
benefits (USATODAY Barbara Hagenbaugh). Politicians in
Foggy Bottom, D.C. can't relate to this, as they've set themselves up (at
our expense), with obscene pension packages, with yearly cost of living
increases, and full medical/prescription coverage. When they cast a vote,
rest assured, it's not for their own well being.
- I know that Thomas Jefferson said that "Dissent
is the highest form of patriotism", but if he were around today; he'd
see that it's got twisted to mean, that like garbage and prisons, it's
a 'growth industry'. Joe Six-pack can now pick up a few extra bucks working
part time; as a Ninja mercenary for political conventions,
peace marches, hurricanes, or rally's where citizens are protesting
American jobs being shipped overseas! With all the armor, helmets, clubs,
etc, one can imagine themselves as Super Turtle out to save the cosmos.
The best thing about this job is that you can legally kick, club, and beat
people into submission, without the fear of being arrested. If you've got
a psychotic bent to your character, this is the perfect job. Nobody's
remarked that these Ninja mercenaries are better outfitted - against students,
mothers, and seniors, then our men at war? A Ronald McDonald job, is super
specialized with openings few and far between. In the UK those trying to
muscle themselves into this position, see themselves dutifully arrested.
It's another one of those cradle to grave jobs and most probably
Ronald will pass it on to his McKid.
- Casino jobs are another tough field to enter. Unless
one manages to get a Blackjack Dealer job or runs the security (puts
the Pentagon to shame); you'll end up with a flunky job, of cleaning up
the drunken vomit of those throwing fistfuls of loot around. There's stripping,
serving drinks, and bouncer jobs; which demands that one relocate to a
casino haven. Not career enhancing jobs; but then the President did
tell us, that people today, can expect to hold several different jobs during
their lifetimes. Me, I'm thinking of trying lap dancing for awhile;
but I can't find any government programs that will pay for my training!
I guess I'll have to go straight to Foggy Bottom, and get myself
some on the job experience, like Monica did during her internship; which
included everything from computer skills, to pizza deliveries!
- Day labor jobs are becoming pretty competitive. This
requires that you speak a foreign language; and are willing to work at
the most dangerous jobs for $6.00 an hour, with no protections, and no
guarantee that you'll get paid at the end of the day. Now if you
make it to age 80, you'll be eligible for that Home Depot job which
you'll need if you want to eat. The Wal-Mart family looks like a lot of
fun. The great thing about them is, that they'll help you apply for those
tax payer, subsidized benefits (medical and earned income tax credit),
to fill in the gaps of their less than attractive wages. Lastly, you're
going to have to be on your toes, if it's that seasonal - northern - job
that you're looking for. Greasing ski lifts, making snow, shoveling driveways,
parking cars, making beds, grounds keeping, washing down yachts,
or waiting tables etc; have become pretty scarce; what
with the politicians helping out their tourism buddies (contributors),
by passing legislation, that allows hundreds of thousands of
guest workers, from foreign countries to fill these jobs. With
people from Ecuador, the Philippines etc; there's no worry over benefits,
health insurance or demands for higher wages. On a global plantation these
problems are quickly rectified. If employees are dissatisfied; fire
them and bring in illiterate slave labor from a third world country
end of problem!
- One can now understand why our current educational system
is lacking on any emphasis on literacy, science, math, or history. It's
a given that none of this superfluous knowledge; will be needed for
making snow, digging a ditch, greeting someone at Wal-Mart's, mopping up
puke, or knocking someone to the ground with a club and gassing them. And
it's a fact that if one is thinking of entering the arena of politics that
the only thing needed is some skills in jive talking, double speak,
nonsensical jabberwocky, a good haircut and expensive shoes.
- With third world countries now manufacturing goods for
the world ( vastly inferior); fishing, farming, steel producing,
textiles, machine shop, and auto making down the tubes; I think
we can all take a lesson from the President, who held several job positions
( sort of). He ran for Congress and lost, invested in a Hollywood movie
(The Hitcher), bought an oil company in Texas, but couldn't find any oil;
the company went bankrupt, bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a
sweetheart deal that took land using tax payer money. With his father's
help and name he was elected Governor of Texas, set the record for the
most executions of any Governor in American history, then went on
to become President of the United States ! Sure he came, by luck of the
draw, from a family of privilege, which afforded him degrees ( no student
loans ) from the most prestigious of schools, which only means that the
'common man' is going to have to invest a lot more sweat equity,
in realizing the American dream, or find themselves a sugar
daddy, who will finance their endeavors.