Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fat Cats or Flat Out Rats

The world may be flat these days but do we in America have to 'flat-line?'
The majority of Americans are hurting and many are just holding on for dear life.  Jobs are scarce and the ones that people have are constantly under the microscope.  But they are not being reviewed because they are suspected of being incompetent but rather too costly for the wealthy business owners who are so much in the driver's seat these days as to be embarrassing!
The divide between the poor or middle class and the Uber Wealthy has never been wider.  And with a favorable Congress and Supreme Court it figures that the distance between the two groups will only increase.
We have long had the blooming obvious future of a world economic trade system but most of us had hoped for a bit of fairness toward the workers who allowed the wealthy ones to actually become so.
Boy were we naive!  Or should I say criminally insane?
Back in the 1990's I spoke to the textile industry about the future world where corporations would be sending American jobs overseas because they were not punished for doing so.  In fact they were almost implored to act in that un-American way lest they fell behind their competition who was most assuredly doing so.
When a corporation can get the same work output for less money it behooves the company to move and move quickly.
Unfortunately two things happen:
1.  Americans are laid off and unemployment rises in this country and
2.  The quality of the product produced by the newcomers from the foreign land is nowhere near that of the original worker's.
But the bottom line is who cares as long as the American consumer can buy the product for 25% less than before?
I'll tell you who cares - the consumer who no longer has a job here and cannot afford to buy the inferior product even if he wanted to!
When I first started working in the Textile industry a very smart savvy man told me that I should never tout our product as cheap but rather inexpensive.  "Cheap," he said "meant that the item was poorly made and not worthy of the market while inexpensive was a good deal that customers would naturally want!"
Well what we have in America these days is a sh*t load of CHEAP crap at relatively inexpensive prices.
But if you factor the fact that you will have to replace the cheap crap sooner into the equation the overall cost goes way up!
Sooner or later the corporation will have to start replacing inferior items at an annoying cost and they will have to pass along that cost to the consumer lest they lower their profit margin and not be able to take home their obscene profits!
At that point they will tell their retailers, "We've upped our pricing so up yours!"
All we have to do is look at many of the items brought back into America by these "multi-national" corporations that have caused health problems or dangers or even death to realize they moved too quickly or our Government was asleep at the switch in their closed-eyed pro-business way.
But in order to turn things around now will take time. It will take lots of time!
You see there are many American workers sitting at home surfing the internet or pounding the pavement looking for work.  The business world can have their pick of the litter.
And the word litter is an apropos word since that is what they think of those of us out of work for so long - Litter; garbage!
We are asked to fill jobs at less than half what we used to get if we are even asked in the first place!  And the corporations are raking in the profits and raping the public and still the government only shakes their collective heads.
Unemployment numbers are at near record levels and Congress debates how much money should be gifted to the wealthy people who caused most of the pain and suffering in the first place!
No matter what deal now comes out of Washington DC it is incredibly clear that those of us on the ground - the real Americans - the ones who were once considered the backbone of the country are looking toward a real and scary future that is nothing but flat!

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