Flat World? NO, Flat Wrong!

Filed under: General — Administrator at 11:23 am on Thursday, December 15, 2011

The world isn’t flat. Our trade agreements aren’t “FAIR” & OUTSOURCING our jobs hurts our country. As an American living in today’s economy it is breathtaking to see all the changes in communications & technology which have given us instant access to much information 24/7…. from around the world. So I guess it would be fair to say the world is shrinking in both time & distance. But it isn’t flat!

Tom Friedman… who some admire for his writings speaks of Bangalore, India, China as he marvels that technology allows American companies to hire engineers in India for a fraction of the cost of an American engineer. He also sees China as the inheritor of low cost manufacturing opportunities because of it’s abundance of workers willing to work for slave labor wages. In addition, he sees all of the other countries (offshore) becoming a platform for the same slave labor practices that continue to damage the American workers not only in the manufacturing sector…but as well technology, accounting, & finance sectors right behind wiping out & reducing the American worker to a SERVICE economy by which we are seeing the results of. Mr.Friedman, sees the opportunity to transfer both capital & technology to nearly any spot on the globe as an incentive & serving as a benefit to CORPORATIONS who seek to lower production costs which in return gives the so called consumer to reap the benefits of lower prices on the products they buy… Now….. some may marvel over the whole “CHEAP” thing… and applaud the briliance of these so called genius corporate heads…but I say this…”Is it worth having a cheaper product as it destroys the standards & wages that we have fought so hard for in this country for the past century”? The answer is obvious as we now are feeling the wrath of “CHEAP”. This country is now headed for a race to the bottom, so now that we are down here…How do we get back up there???? My opinion…GET THE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS for starters..Stop trying to pull up other countries at the risk of giving up our standard of living, rather we should be setting the example by setting the template & being a role model….”Well,…we use to be a role model”. Today we have diminished our standards at home in order to compete with a GLOBAL economy! I am not sure why we continue to go down a dead end, brain dead road to distinction…. GREED…PROFITS OVER PEOPLE …You betcha! I think it is fair to say the American people should have a decision to determine the kind of economy and future it wants for itself. we should also have a voice in our trade policies and set the tempo that would benefit the American people…NOT THE CORPORATIONS!
The question is, do we have the patriotic will to step up as a people and a country to do what is right for the this generation & those to follow? I believe for the most part we are a country of good people who want to do the right thing….I say it is time to grab the steering wheel and change the direction back to the “American Dream” Boulevard…. It is time to honk your patriotic horn, shift the gears and put the car back on the right track. HONK….. HONK….

Our Votes Are Important

Filed under: General — Administrator at 6:27 pm on Sunday, December 11, 2011

With election season vastly approaching….I hope those who cast their votes do so with an educated ballot. Sometimes I wonder if folks take the time to see voting history of those who are running for office. With all of the major layoffs and a questionable economy…The next time a major lay off hits your community, and good jobs are sent overseas, remember to ask those who represent you in Congress how they voted on the attempts to shut down the perverse tax loop holes that continue to go unanswered & continue to encourage corporations to move jobs overseas.

To this day, I continue to ask why anyone would vote for this tax break? As an American… I am troubled by those who choose to hurt their fellow Americans by such an obvious no brainer vote, that would clearly help the people of this country. Needless to say, for many who continue to vote & support moving jobs overseas is just of course corporate interest doing what they do best…Profits over people and the same old status quo…Maybe, some think it is good policy, but as you & I know they are just dead wrong!

So I ask you, do you think these loopholes might have contributed to the loss of massive manufacturing jobs over the last 40 years? I DO! Often… when I engage this conversation with friends and family I am reminded that OUTSOURCING is just a new way of doing international trade… more things are tradable than were tradable in the past. And that’s a good thing, so I am told. Obviously, in addition to loopholes… we have the fact that jobs are fleeing this country as a result of bad trade agreements and special corporate tax breaks supported by this administration and those in the past. Corporations, Corporate lobbyist, or the US Chamber of Commerce all of course pushing to continue the tax breaks and incentives that drive this freak show which continues to erode this country even deeper.

Sadly… as I continue to hope that this issue will one day change course… I remain determined to remind the people of this country… that the power to make change is right in your pocketbook, & that you & I will continue to dictate the success & or failure of companies who continue to sell out the American Worker, for GREED & PROFITS while throwing us to the wolves!

Fall Newsletter 2010

Filed under: Jobs Facts — unionprez at 7:16 pm on Thursday, November 4, 2010

Good Evening Brothers and Sisters,

In the Morning Call Friday, September 17, 2010 is an article in the YOUR MONEY section titled, “More people in U.S. living in poverty”. It states, “ rate climbs as recession pushes more middle-class workers into the ranks of poor. Those falling below the poverty line today are full time workers who cannot earn enough to meet their needs or middle class workers driven into the ranks of the poor by lost jobs or shrinking incomes.” Economists and other analysts actually said the data was better than they expected given the severity of the recession and the massive job losses last year. They credit the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the expanded unemployment payments with keeping millions more from the same fate. These same analysts worry that poverty levels will continue to climb. The incomes of ordinary families has also declined over the last decade. The Census Bureau reported the mean household income dropped 4.2% since 2007. In the previous 3 recessions an income dropped after years of income increases, this time comes on top of years of income stagnation through 2003-2007. We are in a sad state of affairs and yet the largest outsourcing has yet to be done. At the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals 2010 world summit, one presentation had a slide:

“Outsourcing is one of the greatest organizational and industry structural
shifts of the century.”
James Brian Quinn, BuchananProfessor of Management, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth (Letter to Mike Corbett, April 2, 2002)

No wonder this has been the GREAT RECESSION. As Ross Perot said when he ran for President, “That giant sucking sound you hear will be all the jobs leaving this country!” He was dead on target. We have lost over 290,000 manufacturing jobs in PA alone since 2000 due to outsourcing. If you remember the discussions about NAFTA only the dirty jobs were going to go, we were going to have all the intellectual and research jobs. Well, we’ve seen engineering jobs at Mack Trucks go global and our country has seen over 1 million high tech research, software development, chemical engineering and other scientific high paying intellectual jobs sucked away from us just over the last 5 years. No wonder the recession became the GREAT RECESSION! There are very few good paying jobs left. No economy can survive without investing in jobs and leveling the playing field – we need fair trade. The free trade has been that we freely gave up our standard of living so companies could and did put profit over people. The Germans only buy German products, the Italians only Italian products, the Koreans only Korean products, the Japanese only Japanese products, the Americans will buy anything but American products. What are we out of our minds? If we bought products made in the USA it would force corporations to bring manufacturing into the USA because their foreign products would rot on the shelves. We can fix this but it is up to us not our politicians. If every American bought one American made garment it would add almost 9 billion dollars to the economy. The amount of jobs that would create is extraordinary. Our politicians caused this problem. Look at Toomey and Dent. They still want to outsource and not fund the Stimulus Act that kept millions out of poverty. They believe people aren’t trying to get jobs, that’s why people are unemployed. Ask our recently recalled Brothers and Sisters what kind of jobs were available when they were laid off in 2006.
As a country we cannot lose jobs to other countries and lose the revenue they create in taxes and continue to function as a country. Remember “It’s the economy stupid”? During the 90’s millions of jobs were created and the government had a surplus instead of a deficit even with the signing of NAFTA, which started the giant sucking sound of jobs leaving, but the full effects of which we feel today with the lack of jobs.

In a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal, Thursday, September 16, 2010, The Cato Institute (a conservative think tank) stated, “ in all fairness, both parties got us into this mess. “Deficits don’t matter,” Vice President Dick Cheney scoffed as the Bush Administration and a Republican Congress led one of the biggest spending sprees in American history, nearly doubling the federal outlays over eight years.”

During those eight years the American worker was trashed while money was spent on wars and for the first time in history taxes were cut not raised to pay for the wars! The first time in history a war was not funded by a tax increase. Now a new administration is spending on the American people with health care for all and stimulus for jobs and unemployment benefits for those who have lost jobs the same forces from the Republican Congress that believed deficits don’t matter are now saying they do. Apparently deficits only matter when American people receive benefits from their tax dollars. They believe we deserve nothing but the rest of the world should receive our tax dollars. If we buy American we can create enough good paying jobs to improve the economy and pay down the deficit. It is up to us. What we do matters and if we convince others to do as well it can change this country back to greatness.

Our trade deficit and economic problem’s will worsen unless we as a people decide to buy American because it is the American thing to do. To truly be patriotic we must support our economy and each other by buying American. The outsourcing of jobs threatens our economy and our National Security. It can be difficult to find American made products but they are out there.

***The solution is just too simple. The American people need to start requiring the government, that works for us, when using our money to purchase all goods and services bought on our behalf, to be only from United States sources. That is what our founding fathers wanted.

The concept that they are saving us money by buying off-shore is bogus, as the jobs lost and subsequent lost income will eliminate the ability for us to buy any products at all. This can only exacerbate the increased unemployment, and cause company bankruptcy. Don’t be fooled, their intention is to grab more power by making us all poor, and by controlling more big business.

If Obama won’t help, the people can do it themselves. Let’s say 300,000,000 Americans each simply reallocated 1 dollar per day, spending 1 dollar less on foreign-made goods, 1 dollar more on American-made goods. (That’s $30 per month, per person, and it is not an extra $30 per month, but just where you spend it!) After a year, this would add up to $109,500,000,000. What could the real, productive American economy do with an extra $109.5 billion? How about 2,737,500 new jobs paying $40,000 per year?
The greed of us all wanting lower prices is also cutting our own throats in the process. The government and businesses, as well as the consumer has forgotten what made this country the greatest in history.

In 1933 President Roosevelt signed into law the Buy American Act. It helped with our expansion and job creation over the following decades. We need to get back to this basic reality. The time for action is now! This week and for the rest of the year try to buy something American. This election vote with your wallet. This means people who want your job overseas or in Mexico don’t deserve your vote. All of us at Macks I hope do not want our jobs in Mexico. That’s what Freightliner and Navistar have done. By buying American we will be sending messages to the companies, the government and to those who can’t understand how important this is. Our companies (Mack, Americold, First Student, Lower Saucon) can’t afford healthcare and want to dump it on us. Every negotiation is about cost shifting to you. Look at our retirees with lifetime language for healthcare but the company never put money away to fund it. They would threaten bankruptcy because of healthcare. They sued our retirees in court to reduce or eliminate their healthcare. Our pensions would be in trouble except for federal laws that force them to fund our pensions. Who among us could believe there is not a healthcare crisis in this country? The Census Bureau shows an increase of 4.4 million people in 2009 without healthcare. That means we are now at 50.7 million people without healthcare. Who pays for them? We do through taxes and higher healthcare costs. A job crisis? The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 9.6% unemployed on benefits and a total of 16.6% unemployed with or without benefits as of August 2010. There has also been a fear whipped up over Social Security and is now threatening the lifeline for millions retired and for those yet to retire. The battle ground is upon us. The middleclass may not exist in decades to come unless we do something about it. For our children and our children’s children sake we must act now to return jobs to this country. We can do this, we must do this! Buy American.

Edward P. Balukas

Save America Buy American

Filed under: General — Administrator at 8:06 am on Thursday, October 28, 2010

We Make Our Own History….. These inspiring words still hold true for many Americans who while looking back are proud of the many sacrifices they made collectively to fight for what they believed was a way to create a better future for workers and their families.
Sadly, the once patriotic values that defined and built this country we call America appears to be all but gone. America’s lack of social responsibility has turned the land of opportunity into now the land of little or no opportunity. American corporations have sold our most precious commodity, THE AMERICAN WORKER to foreign soil for cheap labor. What I ask has happened to our moral obligations to take care of our own? Where is the might of our people who founded these principles here on American soil? Have we lost the power and patriotic values that once echoed through the mountains and valleys and through the neigborhoods of many who now live in the streets and destined to poverty? Some have said there is no power on earth equal to the power of free men and women united in the bonds of human brotherhood and sisterhood. So I ask, are we united?

As an American, I am deeply troubled by the controversy in finding solutions to the job crisis we are faced with. If we are to change this deep - seated cancer….. then we must take this action into our own hands as consumers and refuse to purchase any product and or services made on foreign soil, corporations will have no choice but to return the work to this country. Foreign Governments will have no choice but to create and maintain level playing fields in every aspect regarding fair trade. Foreign workers will have no choice but to demand their wage and benefits be equal to the American workers. Clearly, we do not subscribe to the notion that Americans must lower their standard of living to poverty levels to compete with foreign labor for work that was once ours exclusively.

We the people have witnessed for too many years the results of those who have been corrupted or influenced by money, power, and by lobbyist who love the “business as usual” and the “same old status quo” Save America Buy American would like to know if you the American consumer are ready to send a strong and unmistakable message to those companies who choose or have chosen to ship our jobs to foreign soil….. that we the American people will no longer purchase their goods until those companies bring our jobs back to the people who made them great….”The American People”!. I would like to know if you are ready for the fight? Together, we must save America and restore the possibility of the American Dream. What Do You Think?