Opinion

The Great Debate

Auto plant wars sparked decline of industry

May 25, 2009

dewar-headshot-150x150– Robert J. Dewar is a former Ford Motor Company general foreman and author of A Savage Factory: An Eyewitness Account of the Auto Industry’s Self-Destruction. He currently lives in Cincinnati, OH and runs a successful packaging business with his wife and family. The views expressed are his own. –

The war in the auto plants never ended. It flared up and died down, but it never ceased. Management and labor circle each other like sumo wrestlers searching for an opening. Like any war, it ignores honesty, human dignity and common sense. Like any conflict, it leaves collateral damage.

As a supervisor at Ford Motor Company’s largest transmission plant, I fought on the front lines. Despite leaving the auto company many years ago, the factory skirmishes were a key factor in the industry’s disastrous decline in the 1980s, and likely continue to play a part in the failures of the industry today.

The factory foremen had one big gun: Form 4600. It was the stepwise disciplinary tool that could take an employee up the punitive ladder to termination. Many supervisors rose in the management ranks not because of job performance, but by virtue of their 4600 tally. The auto industry rewarded tyrants rather than qualified managers with integrity and an ability to successfully lead.

The UAW arsenal easily outgunned management. Production was sabotaged. Critical employees were absent when high production was most needed. Tools mysteriously disappeared. Bad quality was run purposely. The weakest, least desirable employees were protected with the full power of the labor contract. When management and the UAW stood eyeball to eyeball, management always backed down – they had too – productivity and profitability hung in the balance.

The Ford factory was operated by two warring gangs. Clearly, this business model is doomed for failure.

The spark that ignites the factory battles is ever changing, but the underlying philosophy “us against them” remains the same. Foremen lead by oppression, intentionally making the work environment as uncomfortable as possible for the hourly employees. They justify these conditions with high salary. The UAW fights back the only way they can – production sabotage.

My time in the trenches still haunts me. One particular occasion I was assigned the task of scrutinizing a single employee’s every move for an entire eight hour shift. My only assignment was to nail him with something, anything, by the end of the day. The orders were clear. At the end of the shift someone would lose their job – it would either be him or me. What good was a supervisor who could not nail one single employee after observing him for eight hours?

Like a voyeuristic watchdog I was expected to follow the man to the rest room, noting how long he took to relieve himself, hand count and record his hourly output, follow his every move…

One employee brought his snub nose .38 to work with the explicit intention of murdering me. Fortunately he was so drunk that he left the gun under the seat of his car, and fell into a drunken stupor at his work station. The UAW saved his job despite repeatedly showing up for work intoxicated.

There were the regular bathroom sweeps – teams of supervisors and security guards periodically raided restrooms to ensure nobody was resting. Anyone caught not standing at a urinal or sitting on a commode was slapped with a 4600 disciplinary form.

The Coffee Pot War during the midnight shift was particularly noteworthy. Management confiscated and held hostage the only coffee pot available to the hourly employees, reportedly because they were taking too many breaks. This ill-conceived plan was designed to punish the workers and increase productivity. Things quickly turned sour. Machines stopped running properly. Production dropped. A critical tool that was needed for all the machines went missing. Squads of supervisors and security guards raided lockers, searched cars in the parking lot, and overturned trash cans. Foremen and UAW committeemen screamed in each others faces. Production came to a standstill. The critical tool could not be found.

The Coffee Pot War raged for days. Bleary eyed supervisors, fighting fatigue, faced the possible shutdown of assembly plants in four states because they were running out of transmissions. The foreman of that department had a nervous breakdown, and was carried out of the plant by mental health workers. In desperation, management returned the coffee pot. Within a few hours the missing tool showed up as mysteriously as it had disappeared. Production returned to a normal level.

These never-ending battles on the factory floor ushered in the quality control nightmare of the 1970s that caused 33 states to pass “Lemon Laws” designed to protect American car buyers from the Big Three. The wars destroyed confidence and trust in American built cars, which marked the beginning of the end of the U.S. auto industry. It opened the door for smaller, weaker, less experienced foreign auto companies to come to our shores and beat us at our own game. The wars drove the final nail in the coffin of Detroit.

Comments
140 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Benny

I’m just using my right of free speech under the first amendment, this just happens to be the forum.

As for the substance of my posts, i have never wavered in my stance of a Free Capitalist economy, one in which a person can take their wage and spend it in anyway they see fit.
Nor have i wavered on my stance of a Honest Wage for Honest Work.

You, however, have pushed for sharing the GDP, pushed for wealth distribution by automating the FED, and have pushed for a “Open Economy”.

I have never “Attacked” you for your ideas, I simply offer alternative ideas. This is called a Debate.
Some people can do it in a more “Civilized” manner.
Rather like lawyers in Court.
One side expresses its opinion.
The other side retorts.
The readers of these posts are the Judges.
How American is that?

Can you disagree (In a public Forum) with the governments of China, Iran, Burma, Venezuela, or with terrorists?

You seem to have a bit of a Totalitarian in you. “Attacking” a person for simply disagreeing with you, or having a differing opinion is something children do.

What makes America great is the ability people have to express themselves freely. Some just do it in a more civilized manner.

Posted by C.D. Walker | Report as abusive
 

Interesting CD,

I ask you what you are trying to do and if you know whether what you’re doing is right. And your response is that you have a right to do it.

Nice. Weak. But nice.

 

Benny-

You make me laugh.

Benny said
“I ask you what you are trying to do and if you know whether what you’re doing is right. And your response is that you have a right to do it.”

I’m talking to you, discussing different ideas with you, trying to persuade you that your views of sharing GDP, or automating the FED to distribute wealth, or creating an “Open Economy” are not needed in this great system we already have in place called a “Free Capitalistic” society.

You work for what you get. You should get an Honest Wage for that work. And with that money, you can do whatever it is your heart desires.
The only other point I’m trying to make is that Business has become irresponsible with the economy, with Lobbying to influence laws to benefit them, and only them! Who do you think lobbied for De-regulation of all Businesses that got De-regulated? It most certainly was the people who work, like me and you.

Those who would DIRECTLY benefit from De-regulation are the ones who pushed for the LAWS OF THE LAND to be repealed.
Why were those law in place?
To prevent EXACTLY what is happening to the Global Economy RIGHT NOW!

But if you don’t think I am being clear
and concise
and civilized
and American

then i’m sorry for you and your misunderstanding of what this country was built as, and founded on. Liberty and Freedom of the People. “We the people, for the people.”

Posted by C.D. Walker | Report as abusive
 

oops!
“Who do you think lobbied for De-regulation of all Businesses that got De-regulated? It most certainly was the people who work, like me and you.”

It most certainly was NOT the people who work, like me and you.

wouldn’t want you attacking my WRITING, like earlier, instead of offering a real rebuttal to the points i make.

Posted by C.D. Walker | Report as abusive
 

CD

“The only other point I’m trying to make is that Business has become irresponsible with the economy, with Lobbying to influence laws to benefit them, and only them!”

And the only point I’m making is that if everyone has their own stream of income there would be no way for “business” to be irresponsible with the economy. There would be no way for them to pass laws that benefit only them. Because you would have just as much economic pull as them.

 

Benny-

And AGAIN i say to you, you work for what you get. You don’t get a “Stream of Income” unless you are WORKING!!

i’ll do this again for you, maybe it will help this time

No work, No Pay
work, get paid.

People deserve and Honest Wage for Honest Work.

Posted by C.D. Walker | Report as abusive
 

Money is not “what you get” for doing good work. What you get is a better quality of life. Money is simply a tool to help you do your work.

And we can dance around this issue all day long CD. You’re still wrong if you think that a resource that is just as important in this economy as air is to life, should be controlled by a few poeple while the rest are left to suffer. Go to the link I posted earlier. It’s on this site. It illustrates the point. The person loosing their home lost their job in this economy.

And by your logic this person now deserves to loose not only his home, but any respect, or consideration as a human being, because he has no money and no one will hire him to do “work”.

And if he’s homeless now then it’s because he didn’t do his part.

But I understand. I’ve read your writing.

You just can’t help it.

 

Benny, benny , benny-

“Money is not “what you get” for doing good work. What you get is a better quality of life. Money is simply a tool to help you do your work”

What else do you get for your work benny? beads? sticks?
When i was doing insulation, my actually doing the insulation WORK DID NOT better the quality of my life. The MONEY i got for HONEST WORK bettered my life. Because in this Free Capitalist society, i could take that money and go to the pool hall. Or i could build a car, or motorcycle. I could save for retirement, go to school, improve my house, what ever i want with the FREE will i have.

Benny said-
“And if he’s homeless now then it’s because he didn’t do his part.”

REALLY! so all the factory workers at GM and Chrysler, it is ALL THEIR FAULT that Corporate Executives FAILED in their responsibility, IN THEIR WORK, to keep viable in a world economy?

Benny, your still using laughable and illogical strings of thought to back up what ever it is your selling, but after all these posts, i don’t think you really have Americanism, or what it is to be a FREE and HARD WORKING American in your heart.

Posted by C.D. Walker | Report as abusive
 

CD

Do you have anything by way of a solution to offer? Or are you going to simply tell me that I’m wrong by using the same argument I have already clearly answered several times?

Is that all you’ve got? Really? I can tell you why the idea I bring to the table is a good one. And I can tell you what benefits to expect.

All you’ve got is “it won’t work” that’s pretty much it.

Say something that offers a solution.

 

Benny-

I have been saying my solution the whole time.
Honest pay for Honest work.

If Businessmen in general(Corporate executives like CFO’s and CEO’s and other members of the Board of Directors, not your local factory manager, or shop manager, but the ones who set the pay rate) had more patriotism, more civic duty, a better sense of that “Republican Responsibility”, more loyalty to country, and their fellow Americans they would pay people more.

If Business followed a “Henry Ford” economic model, we would be much better off.
Ford viewed economics like this; Pay your employee more and you save in employee training(Unlike today with the McDonald’s Fast Food corporate model, make it as simple as possible so you can turn over employee’s faster)
since you instill LOYALTY by paying a person and HONEST WAGE for HONEST WORK, and they stay with the company.
By paying your employee a Honest wage, it instills pride in them, gives them a sense they are worth something, since they are being paid.
When more Middle Class people have a better income, they can spend more, thus, bettering this economy because SPENDING is the lifeblood of this economy.
What does it say about “Business” in general when they know SPENDING is important, but “Business” does not give people the means with which to keep this economy going?

Sort of daft of “Business” not to follow “The Basics of the American Economy”, unless you see that “Business” and “Banks” are more like Communist China in how they keep raising inflation(which increases property prices across this land) and the cost of living(Thanks to Business raising its prices) in an effort to OWN EVERYTHING. In Communist China, China owns all the land, no private property.

What is the FED and the banks that support it trying to do as they raise inflation, thus the cost of homes, while credit is denied to those who don’t make enough, and people don’t make enough because “Business” won’t pay!

Banks and Business are not for America, or private property, or you and me. The actions of Banks and Business prove it. Listen not to the words, actions speak louder than any LIE SCREAMED!

Posted by C.D. Walker | Report as abusive
 

Nice out of context quote.

“Benny said-
“And if he’s homeless now then it’s because he didn’t do his part.””

Actually I was summing up your logic. After all, you have stated repeatedly, the idea of “no work no money”.

And since this man lost his job and can’t work, he doesn’t deserve any money.

Since he doesn’t deserve money he doesn’t deserve the home he now occupies. Nor does he deserve to be respected or helped financially.

I don’t even have to quote you. It’s all over your other posts. And I’m also pretty much the only one who still answers you. Quite a few people have already denounced your lack of manners and offensive tone. But I don’t think I’ll waste my time replying to you any more. You’re just going to say what you’re going to say. You don’t really want to understand, or offer any solutions, much less do anything about anything. If that makes you happy then I suppose you’re not hurting anyone so no biggie.

You just keep typing away bud. Perhaps there are others here with which discussions might prove more productive.

 

Benny-

Out of context eh?
Well, how did the guy lose his job? If it is because he didn’t work, then obviously he didn’t pull his weight.

If you lost it because of the Irresponsibility of Bank and Business Executives, is it his fault?

Whose side are you on Benny? Let me go through all your posts just to make sure, but I don’t think there was one post in which you said you were for
Americans
America
Freedom
Liberty
Capitalism
Constitution
or the Ideals of Freedom and Liberty this country is based on.

Posted by C.D. Walker | Report as abusive
 

Remember the German Catholic priest let out of a concentration camp at the end of WWII? After running down the list of “others” who were taken away (who he didn’t defend, since he wasn’t a communist, Jew, Gypsy, etc.,etc.), he took the blame for his own fate, since by the time they came after him, there was nobody left to speak up.

Well…the auto industry and union workers were more than happy to buy imported garbage that ruined every other industry, and now they’re shocked that a generation that sometimes works 2 jobs for a lower standard of living than their father had can’t afford their overpriced cars.

Auto loans went from 2 to 6 and 7 years…exactly when was the simple math going to occur to them, along with the idea that when the rest of the nation has to “compete” with people not paid enough to escape their trap, you no longer have consumers.

And without consumers, business is dead. Now the “cornerstone of capitalism” is holding out its hand for government money and ownership, and the “great UAW” is crying to the textile, steel, (other) manufacturing, air traffic controllers…even computer folks who can’t compete against an Indian making peanuts…to please save them.

We’re in the same sinking ship. Shut up, grab a bucket and help bail.

Posted by Brian Foulkrod | Report as abusive
 

Brain-

“great UAW” is crying to the textile, steel, (other) manufacturing, air traffic controllers”

What Textile? Even Levi’s Corporate Executives decided to move the production facility overseas.

What (other) manufacturing? Large Multi-nationals bought out almost ALL small machine shops across the country.
The Rust belt contained many of these skilled men and shops. Communist Banks and Businesses can’t have QUALITY here in America, so buy them up, send the work elsewhere, it wont be as good, but it will be cheaper.

Posted by C. D. Walker | Report as abusive
 

Benny and C.D. — In the spirit of a debating forum, I’m going to ask for your closing arguments. Please address them to the entire audience.

Regards,
Richard Baum
Reuters.com

 

To any who might have any interest in this:

In the declaration of independence of 1776 it is written,

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”,

http://www.law.indiana.edu/uslawdocs/dec laration.html

Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. If you look around you in this country today, you can see that the promise of this declaration has yet to be fulfilled for every American. Many Americans don’t have much in the way of a life. Many don’t have much in the way of liberty. And many more yet, are so oppressed by the conditions in this country that their only “happiness” lies at the bottom of a bottle, or the end of a needle.

A close examination of the problem shows a common thread. And that thread is money. But not just money itself. The problem comes from the profit motive, which changes money from a medium of exchange to a medium of control.

Just look around you. Read the headlines on this site. You’ll see right away that I write truthfully. Whether the problem is attributed to CDS, credit liquidity, poor regulation, etc….
The problem revolves around money, and quarterly profit reports.

I advocate for the automation of the treasury and federal reserve. The reason is simple. The people who run those bodies come either from wall street or Washington. As a result, they will implement policy that protects their own interests first. The sole job of the treasury/federal reserve is to maintain a consistent supply of money, and to maintain the value of that money. This resource (money) must be kept in limited supply. That’s why simply printing more causes inflation. The accumulation of this limited resource for its own sake is called profit. And when money is constantly drawn from the system to the tune of billions every day, then eventually a deficiency develops.

And if you look around you today, the deficiency is tremendous. And our government has decided to add to the debt in order to “fix” the economy. Now all of this is well understood by many and to a much greater depth I’m sure, than I understand.

But what puzzles me has been the idea that this should some how mean that human beings should suffer because of this. Our money has no real value whatsoever. It’s not even attached to the gold standard. The value of our currency is based on the “good faith and credit of the United States Government”. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have little if any faith left in our government. And our credit is terrible.

But considering that our money is worthless, why not simply divide GDP across the board equally to all adult citizens?

Most of the time the reaction is one of knee-jerk fear or disgust. But if one looks at the free open software movement, one can see that great productivity and innovation flourishes in an environment where access to the building blocks of production are accessible to everyone. Linux started up in the 90′s, well after Microsoft and Apple had become established. And in recent years (the past ten or so), Linux and open source software have become major players in the marketplace despite Microsoft’s efforts to keep them out. Open source and Linux don’t depend on the profit motive, so lack of money is only a side inconvenience because programmers have to have other jobs in order to pay their bills.

Code is not locked down as intellectual property to which no one else has a right. Instead code is shared and given away. This allows young would be programmers to get their hands on real code and create applications that are useful and help them develop their skills free of legal or financial encumbrance.

Open source software is important because it demonstrates that allowing the building blocks of production to be available to all without restrictions, encourages innovation and forward thinking.

In our economy the building block of production is the medium of exchange. If you are unable to exchange resources, you can’t provide for your needs, let alone your wants. In our society money is printed by the government. Our declaration of independence grants us the rights of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Money is needed in this society in order for any of those things to happen. And since our currency is not attached to a gold standard but is simply printed on government presses and set with an arbitrary value, then that makes the dollar public property. The government is a public body. The money it creates is public property.

Divide GDP amongst the citizens. And this way the gifts and talents of all Americans are given the means to flourish. As of yet I have had no logical arguments that speak to any flaws that can be examined. I have gotten arguments saying that people must work for money. But the idea I bring to the table is a complete departure from this philosophy. Any attempt to understand this idea from the work=money perspective will be impossible.

Yet the very idea I bring forward is applied in our capitalist structure already. It’s called investing. “It takes money to make money”. And so even though the idea I present has been called socialist, it is actually much more individualist and capitalist. It is simply capitalism of a much higher order. Money can’t cure AIDS. But it CAN pay to educate the young mind that will. Money can’t solve the energy crisis. But it CAN finance innovators that have the technological solutions.

Dividing GDP equally actually gives every American a truly equal opportunity to live the American dream of life liberty and pursuit of happiness.

The question should not be one of “should we do this?”, but rather “How do we do this?”

 

Oh yeah, Union vs management… like Sumo wrestlers? Hmmm, lessseee…

Maybe, if either Sumo were allowed to put the other permanently under the ground. Maybe, if labor under feudal conditions were a sport, instead of a largely one-sided fight for livelihood. And maybe, it might also help if you get the order of business straight – it’s management versus labor, every inch of the way. Has been since the coming of the railroads, and looks like it’s here to stay thus.

Does labor steal management’s pension funds? Does labor decide to short the parts that it takes to make a vehicle safe, or reasonably fuel efficient? Does labor decide the fate of entire cities and states of the Union (no pun, etc)? Does labor determine the degree of financial rigamarole enslaving consumers of the automotive end product? Does labor suck taxpayer bailout money like suicidal fat people slurping super-sized “diet” soda beverages at all-you-can-eat binge-fests?

No, on all counts.

Yes, you can find anecdotal evidence and more of certain unions emulating certain management crookedness. Occasional sabotage here and there seems like a relatively small price to pay in return for litany examples of peonage, marginalization and outright assassination by the other side, not that I’m excusing either one. Please be sure your arguments are no less impartial.

Unions are all labor has in its possibly vain struggle to survive the rigors of rotten management. And sorry should this surprise some readers, but after a century or so of managerially-determined uneven playing field conditions this struggle you are witnessing, or attempting to ignore as the case may be is not liable to become a sporting one any time soon.

Meanwhile, the war on labor by American management is unrelenting. Only the excuses and the excusers of management predation have changed. And not for the better, I may add.

It is important how this crisis is resolved – important enough not to fall into the trap of not being able to see the obvious: that American management at corporate level is on the whole as foul as your average agribusiness pigsty, as poorly monitored, less fragrant and possibly more inhumane.

No amount of anti-labor rhetoric is going to change this, much less solve the problems mismanagers such as one sees in Detroit would have on their conscience. If they had a conscience, that is.

Too big to jail? Al Capone thought he was. Big Three execs seem to think they are. But are they, really? I for one don’t believe they are.

I’d rather watch that than Sumo, any day.

Posted by The Bell | Report as abusive
 

To all who have read what has been written. Re-read it. Think about it.

To me, Benny, has yet to really put forth a Clear, Concise, and Easily understandable system of economics.

Truth is simple, lies are complicated. You work hard, you deserve an honest pay. If you do not work, you do not deserve to get paid.

In a larger sense of business, is it fair for a small group of men (CFO, CEO, Board of Directors) to reap the most benefits off of their employee’s labor?

You know why the Great Pyramid is the last wonder standing? Who was more important in its building? The Priests, Royalty(Men with money), or even the King -
Or the workers and foremen who left their blood and sweat on every brick?

Besides, was the Pyramid built for Profit? or to show Humanity what can be built by hard work, and some dedication.

Posted by C.D. Walker | Report as abusive
 

Benny-

“The value of our currency is based on the “good faith and credit of the United States Government”. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have little if any faith left in our government. And our credit is terrible.”

The Federal Reserve (which you love so much)which controls Credit and Inflation

IS NOT a part of the government

Posted by C.D. Walker | Report as abusive
 

I started on Monday.

Memorial Day

In honor of my Grandfathers, Father, Uncles, Friends, Americans, Those Who Gave All to America, To those who Gave and cannot be Found, and in the Spirit of our Founding Fathers.

I love Our Constitution.
I love Our World
I hope with these poor words
Given Freely with Love

I have helped others to see
That we can do, build, and be
Better than what we are right now.

“and on the seventh day he rested”
Sounds like a good idea
God Bless America

Posted by C.D. Walker | Report as abusive
 

I thought long and hard. I re-read Benny’s stuff. I can now see why he thought i was like him. It can seem like I want to just take from the Bankers and Executives and just distribute the money.

Before i rest, i must explain the difference between His and mine, as i suddenly see it.

In a “welfare” system, like Benny poses, one where everyone just gets a “Stream of Wealth” or “Piece of the GDP”, you become a Slave to whoever gives you the “Stream” or “Piece”. Meaning you are a dependent, you depend on them. And once your a dependent; they can do whatever to you they wish.

In My system, my “Working” system, You are a Free man or a Free Woman. Dependent on no one but YOURSELF, your hands, your work. It is a little harder, my way, the “Working” way. But you are Free and Liberated from the demands of others.

Liberty and Freedom are never easy.

Now i can sleep. Sorry Benny.

Posted by C.D. Walker | Report as abusive
 

One commenter suggests that the problems we face now are due to lack of investment. How? All the leveraging and dubious financial instrument trading of the past 20 years was nothing but “investing”.

The problem may be there are no real opportunities for the ‘dis-invested”. This country had it’s boom days when it was still largely agricultural with a much smaller percentage of industrial activity – prior to the thirties.

It seems to me the enormous pressure on this country will be to lower the cost of labor to match the low cost labor of other developing and more productive countries. We can’t all be engaged in medical billing, or stuff the state and federal bureaucracies with bodies. We can’t all work for school systems.

And the atmosphere of government control over everything will be more pervasive because it is the former communist countries and those still making a transition to free market economies, that will be trying to ensue that there is still a safety net to ensure population stability. I am sure China is terrified of it’s own massive and historically very volatile population. How else did the present regime get there then by violent revolution. When was the least time this country saw a labor riot?

The problem we all have is we can’t escape anymore to the great planes or the wide open west. The problem is we cannot effectively work for ourselves for peanuts and invest in our own homesteads. We don’t raise large families that can work almost at slavery conditions to keep the farm alive. WE cannot easily lower our overhead costs for a deferred better day. The day when those hard worked children inherit the farm – or at least a piece of it.

I also tend to think that education is a false mantra. I have been over-educated for most jobs I ever held or else had the wrong education. And almost no place I ever worked really cared how productive I was. My best paying employment was the least productive. I worked in a service department of a defense industry company and that was practically welfare with a jacket and tie.

Maybe the only solution in the future will be the guaranteed government issued paycheck that can be augmented with employment if that can be found. A “Bread and circuses” economy. Perhaps the near future will require people who can learn how to live on very little and know how to use their leisure. But I doubt it. We will have massive wars first and try to thin the herd.

World War two and the death of about 85 million people is probably what really what ended the Great Depression. We probably aren’t above the rules of the natural world after all. We can overgraze our habitat, so to speak, unless we can find more. And the oceans still sit there slowly turning into a garbage can. There is 75% of the earth’s surface waiting to be occupied. Why waste so much energy and billions of pounds of natural resources building vehicles with built in obsolescence or stick built square miles of rotting and burnable housing that can’t stand even a few weeks of abandonment when we could be building floating cities for a more relaxed and less consumer driven lifestyle.

How much money should one make? Or how hard should one expect to work to be able to claim one is making a decent living? It seems that what we really need is a way of life not driven by consumption. An economy driven by the production of long lasting assets and durable goods would provide an affordable life without the need to replace the same things over and over again.

I could damn the computer manufacture that sent me an update that disabled my ability to system restore. They want my four year old machine to become useless so I am forced to get a new one when I have no real need for a newer or much larger or much faster computer. Or automobile with computer chips programmed to die when the manufacturer feels it is time for me to spend more money on transportation.

We live in a clumsy, stupid and archaic economic system with no real clear priorities and too much interest in fashion driven manias.

Posted by paul rosa | Report as abusive
 

“It seems to me the enormous pressure on this country will be to lower the cost of labor to match the low cost labor of other developing and more productive countries”

Why don’t industrialized countries like England, France, USA, Germany, and Other EU and NATO countries say F U to China and other slave labor countries and start making stuff for themselves.

That way, NATO, EU, maybe even India and Russia can keep the price of labor at a level you can live at, instead of Letting China use SLAVES to undermine Free and Liberated peoples economies and societies.

Nixon goes to China in the 70′s, and slowly China, like an evil octopus undermines all of the free worlds economies, thus the free worlds society because it undermines peoples pay, undermines the quality of life.

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive
 

The wicked never rest, guess i can’t either.

Paul-

“It seems to me the enormous pressure on this country will be to lower the cost of labor to match the low cost labor of other developing and more productive countries.”

China is follow America’s manufacturing blueprint from the 50′s and 60′s, but instead of using their wealth to better the lives of their people, Communist China is using their SLAVES(people) to undermine ALL ECONOMIES of the world.

Since we are dependent on Communist China for almost all of our manufacturing, we are slaves to them, and they are using the money we send to them, to buy our debt.
OWNING US in a way.

And our Fed and Banks, even “Businesses” that depend on Communist CHINA for products are helping them OWN US by raising the cost of our homes, the cost of living, the cost of credit, the cost of ANYTHING keeps going up as AMERICANS are being paid less and less, if they can even get a job.

Wake up people, Communist China is buying America, It already owns our BANKS and BUSINESS. Don’t listen to the words, look at their actions.

Why did we start doing business with the enemy? When did it start to happen? Nixon went to China in the early 70′s for what? Republicans ALWAYS back the BANKS and BUSINESS for what reason?

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International Banks (IMF & WTO) USE words like “Protectionism” so they can keep using CHINA and other SLAVE labor countries to keep undermining EVERY NATIONS economy. When other NATIONS economies are wrecked, they (IMF &WTO) can them come in with money and products from CHINA to “Save” the economies they wrecked.

When you(or a nation) depend on another, you become a Slave to them. Welcome to the new war folks. MONEY, MANUFACTURING, PRODUCTION, and economic PROPAGANDA are the new weapons. COMMUNIST CHINA and the IMF and WTO are out to own everything by undermining the World Economy.

If I’m wrong, prove to me the actions of CHINA and the IMF and WTO are not doing what I say they are doing.

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NATO, her ALLIES, and other Nations that wish to stay FREE simply need to become “Self Dependent”, meaning we depend on NO ONE, NO COMMUNIST NATION for what we can make ourselves.

We, America, EU, NATO, and other Nations can simply band together for form an economic block of Freedom. We can set our own prices for pay, set up a truly free capitalistic society not based on EXTORTING and PROFIT, but based on Liberty and Freedom.

That Liberty and Freedom can be achieved! We just need to disengage from letting our ENEMIES make products for us. WE CAN MAKE OUR OWN!

IMF & WTO & CHINA use words like “More Productive” to fool you into giving them business, which they use to undermine what little economy we have left, and it matters not if it is in America, or France, England, or Germany they use those “Phrases” and “Lingo” to trick, deceive, and fool the masses.

We need to sift out these double-crossing economic SPIES and FREE ourselves from CHINA IMF WTO before it is too late and THEY DO OWN EVERYTHING.

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Does no one find it an amazing coincidence that we are in Iraq and Afghanistan on some seriously SHADY intel, basically lied to by Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, and Gramm?

Republicans so far gone to Business. Look at all their connections to “Business” since the 70′s, since Nixon went to China.

Could they have PURPOSELY started a war in that part of the world, The part of the world where the IMF & WTO & CHINA have the least amount of Influence?

CHINA was the first to invent Gunpowder and Guns. Sun Tzu wrote “The Art of War” 2400 years ago. CHINA can not beat us Militarily, but by buying certain Republicans, and working slowly, bit by bit for 40 years, they have almost BOUGHT the whole of America and other Industialized Nations.

9/11 could have been a CHINA plot, throw blame to Arabs, Use the Republicans they have in office to “FORCE” a war in the area. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gramm, Rove, all made HOW MUCH through KBR, and Haliburton?

The economic conditions right after 9/11 allowed the FED and its supporting banks to do what? Allowed Big OIL to do what? The Bush administration relaxed how many Regulations, that led to “BANKS” and “Business” to grab how much private property?

We are at war my Friends and Allies, Know your enemy!

How many America Soldiers have died for WHOM! and WHY!?!

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And NOW, you know why Cheney and his administration allowed TORTURE. Under torture a person will say anything.
Throw blame where ever, on who ever, for whatever reason.
Waterboarded 83 times? After that “I” might even say I MASTERMINDED the whole 9/11 attack.

Think about it for yourself.

Is China(Look how they treat their own people, and Tibet) capable and will to try and enslave the whole world?

Do you think Cheney is the kind of person who seeks that kind of control over another human being?

Do you think Cheney has friends like him? I do.

You decide.

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Folks,

You have to ask yourself a fundamental question.

What kind of person does it take to control a “Multinational” corporation?

How did a person even Gain Control in the CUT THROAT world or Upper Executive Management?

Most of the Fortune 100 make more money than most countries.

So what does Cheney do as soon as he gains office? As soon as he gains control of the largets Military in the World?

Create a situation where his Haliburton and KBR get NO BID contracts worth BILLIONS? Big OIL is in for sure! Once in under Military Protection, Hmmmmmm, Almost Free OIL! that they can sell to us for how much?

Need Arabian contacts? ISRAEL has those, and most definately could use a Islamic Rising to their advantage to grab more Palestinian land.

The truth will set you free.

Maybe the 4 horseman of the apocalypse really is

Cheney War
Rumsfeld Pestilance (G.D. Searle- How did it pass FDA?)
Rove Lies and Deceit
Gramm Money Greed (Whatdid he have with Houseing)

It fits to me if you just look at these people in POWER who wish to CONTROL who are full of GREED and DID NOT get to where they were by living with LOVE!

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In my book, “Going Up Through The Looking Glass”
on deviantart.com, FOR FREE

I say that God whispers his love to everyone.
The devil twists his words with greed, lust, pride, hate.

I can hear without the devil yelling.

Posted by C. D. Walker | Report as abusive
 

How else did a small town midwest farmer with only a high school education saw this at only 31?

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My Friends and Allies,

Where is Osama Bin Ladin? My Father told me of the cunning tunnels Mr. Charlie conceived. Do you not think China has done the same? How close is the Chinese border to Afghanistan? How easy would it have been for Osama to slip over, or in this case Under, the Chinese border into that country?

Our Military can not enter without war? Don’t the Terrorists use Communist AK-47′s? Who has been funding Osama and his networks?

Who has the most to gain from a collapsing American Economy, and a tired Military that has been LIED TO, USED, and ABUSED. China is building it Navy? Why? Invasion?!

If we are poor, broke, tired, and Weary of a needless war in the Middle East, and a burnt our economy, who has the most to gain?

CHINA

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Friends,

I do not wish revenge, that would be more needless war.
I am not inconsistent with my Love. We need to start bringing our Soldiers home, they have been used enough.

We need to help each other. What have our Soldiers been doing? Building Infrastructure? Trying to Keep Peace. What do we need here at home? Time is nothing, Timing is everything.

If you want to throw the first punch, any enemy of mine.
I’ll finish this fight.
But isn’t peace easier on your soul?

And the Whole World?
Why fight each other
Lets rebuild together

Those responsible
Justice under the Law
Not revenge, lets not demean ourselves
Justice. Fairness.
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness through
Love and some Responsibility

Posted by C. D. Walker | Report as abusive
 

If anyone thinks this is a bad idea, please, by all means tell my why and i would Love to discuss it civilly.

Posted by C. D. Walker | Report as abusive
 

My eyes my eyes
my double crossing spies
Are they wise these blue-gray eyes?
This child of compromise?
After the LAST civil war there was a Promise.
That no matter how dark the hour
No Soldier, Sailor, or Civilian
Any One with AMERICAN blood in them
We will not harm our own
No matter What
United WE Stand
divided WE fall

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A little about me

I remember the first time i heard The Band with Dave Mathews. (So sorry guys) I was sitting in engineering in School there in Virginia.

Changed my life. What could I do with LOVE?

I also beat the first Zelda with my NES. Found Every Heart with out cheating. Know how? Methodically bombed every nook and cranny.

I want love. But i will not be a slave or a Forced Dependent to no Man or Corporation. Nor will i wish it for any people.

I’m telling you, LOVE is the only way to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Posted by C. D. Walker | Report as abusive
 

In the scenario i’ve laid out, you know what the amazing thing is? It all can be attributed to some really bad decision by Upper Management.

Peace is easy when both sides come to the table wishing it.

Isn’t that right Israel? All of Judea is not to blame for the wishes of so few. Chosen of God? What PROOF do you have of your GODLY actions?

Enough blood has fallen in Jerusalem, and Afghanistan, Pakistan.

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Let me list all the ideas

Turn as many Empty Factories in Every State of the Union into Greenhouses that catch as much water, sun, and energy
to be as self sufficient as possible. They can be oasis’s of Food, Heat, Shelter with Structure as Homes around these Depressed areas are Rebuilt. Plus, We would not be so dependent on food being shipped, less gas used, less pollutants.

By placing just One Solar Panel and One Wind Generator with a new Battery (A large one they will use in Electric cars) The Jobs created to make the Panels, Generators, and Batteries will be an Immediate help to our economy. The Instillation will create Jobs.
Homes that can Produce their Own energy will Lessen OUR need for Fossil Fuels across this country. This will put less pollutants in the air, as well as lessening the demand for MORE power-plants. Our National security as well as Security for the Population will increase since homes can produce their own Energy in Emergencies.

Creating a Magnetic Train system(Like Europe, but MUCH better) will lessen the amount of OIL needed for air travel since the train,Using Solar panels ALL ALONG the tracks, with wind catchers to catch the trains passing wind and mother nature, should help power itself, making it cheaper to operate, making it cheaper to travel! If we connect ALL State Capitals, Major Cities, Universities, and Casino’s how easy would it be to see OUR COUNTRY in all her Glory?
Small Business thrives on tourists!

Casino’s have always been hubs of underworld activities like Prostitution, Drugs, and Money Laundering. Why should we let Gambling make Millionaires and Billionaires out of Mafia Types, who wish to make money on our vices, when we can take that money and create a Free Health Care System. How much can we save when we CUT OUT ALL HEALTH INSURERS, who don’t care about your health, only THEIR PROFIT! Doctors pay would not be affected since Skill and Ability in that field always rise to the top. Malpractice would be rethought, since Insurers are not involved. How much better could Health Care in general be when we take out the PROFIT motive, and focus on Healing and Caring for the Ill, not making as much as possible off of them.

Where is all the State Lotto money going? I thought it was supposed to go towards Schools? YET School budgets get slashed every year while the money spent on Lotto’s keep going UP? This needs to be looked into, this discrepancy in BUDGETS.

Where is could the money come from to start these projects? How much has been spent to bailout “BANKS” and those who have been ripping us off? These people made how many BILLIONS off of the Public, you and me, NOW they get more BILLIONS to rescue them from THEIR MISTAKES, and HAVE YET to start letting the “CREDIT” flow?

Big Oil has been “Speculating”, “Price Fixing”, and engaged in “Anti-Competition” practices for HOW LONG? When was the last time you saw a “Gas Price War” from your Local Gas Stations? I’m not saying Nationalize, but why don’t we Freeze some of the Accounts of Leaders, go through these Oil Company Patents and see if they have BOUGHT technology that would improve Gas Mileage. Remember, Big Oil makes money PER GALLON, so the lower MPG your car gets, the better for them, and they have how many BILLIONS to LOBBY Congress? No wonder America’s MPG Standard is the Lowest in the World.

It is only a subtle shift in Thinking. Instead of PROFIT and CONTROL being the Focus of our Economy, we need to Make our Economy Strong, Steady, and Reliable by Building it to be that way. We just need to change LEADERSHIP at some places atop these TOO LARGE MULTINATIONALS, who do not care about the individual, region, or Nation, they only care about them, theirs, and their Bottom Line.

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I work for the US Postal Service…the environment you describe is alive and well at USPS…

Posted by R. Hughes | Report as abusive
 

I have been constantly of auto industries alarming downtrend in U.S.A. market.
Here, in India, we also faced problems of over production,rate of loan interest was high,some sudden job losses in major IT and manufacturing sectors.
But auto market starts giving some less prices,Governments new economic,verdict on stable government formation,appreciable insulated banking policies have started showing sales in this sector.
In USA,we have to wait and watch economic stimulants to show results.
Hope for the best.

Posted by krishnamurthi ramachandran | Report as abusive
 

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