American- JOBS- (What went wrong.)
Like you, I have been following the TOP news stories of the day:
Will the Baucus Health bill get passed..?? It is lurching forward like an old man looking for soup.
And we were PROUD when President Obama brought home the Nobel Prize for Peace. Because NO ONE expels “peace” like America, (and we will beat the crap out of you if you disagree.)
So I was bouncing back and forth between BIG news stories on David Letterman and Iran…
When a “chicken” forced me to take a good look at American jobs.
Yes, a “chicken.”
A news “source” told me that the Chinese have an “exploratory team” in America, searching for a franchise to SELL Chinese raised chicken.
The Chinese believe that they can sell chicken in America. (And do it at a lower cost, then an America poultry producer can.)
OK, let’s stop for a moment. Let’s analyze what we have just learned.
How can it be CHEAPER for a chicken to be raised in China, butchered and processed. Then place on a truck, to be delivered to a large ship. Then shipped across the ocean to America. Then placed in a refrigerated storage facility, to then be loaded onto another truck and delivered to your neighborhood store..??
How can THAT be cheaper than raising the chicken in America, placing it on ONE truck, and delivering it to your store..??
WHAT THE HELL HAS GONE WRONG..??
I mean, even if the chicken farmer in China only makes a dollar a day, still; you have so many costs in delivery of this chicken to America, I cannot believe it is cheaper..??
But it is.
It is, because it is already happening with fish.
When you go out to you neighborhood restaurant to order dinner, you could be eating Chinese raised fish, and you do not even know it. (I know this to be a fact.)
My goal with this series of editorials on JOBS is NOT to name, names.
I am not here to attack the LARGE national grocery chain that “may” sell Chinese chicken in the future.
My goal is not to expose the BIG national restaurant chain that is selling you Chinese raised fish.
I am not interested in pointing a finger at the farmers market that is selling you tomatoes that were grown in Mexico.
No, what good would that do..??
My goal is to talk about a “system”, that has made it CHEAPER to raise, grow, or make these things in other countries, and ship them here to America.
Because this is the HEART. This is the starting point. This is the reason for a lack of JOBS in America.
We do not “make” anything in America, anymore.
We “sell” stuff. (We are VERY good at “selling” you stuff.)
We “service” things. (We fix the stuff that we sell, we help you hook up and operate the things that we sell.)
We “service” people. (With food, movies, doctors, prostitution, etc)
But we do not MAKE anything, anymore.
Now, I know that some of you could comment that: “..We still make train locomotives at GE..” Yes we do, but GE just laid off 1,400 workers related to that industry.
“..We still make American cars..” (Need I even speak to that..??)
You could say- “AR, we still make Boeing planes in America.” You would be correct, but they are experiencing tough competition from Airbus.
Yes, there are a few industries that remain an “American Made” product, and I solute them for it. Being a capitalist, I can understand how tempting it could have been to move your industry overseas and use cheap labor and take advantage of lower environmental standards. But, you stayed here in America, and I thank you for that.
(I just hope that you stick around a while longer, till we get our shit together..!!)
In my series of editorials on “American JOBS”, which I will be presenting this winter Blogging season (2009, 2010), We will talk about what went wrong, exactly what we can do to fix it, and how to start implementing this “fix” today.
(It’s interesting to note that the founding fathers experienced a situation similar to what we have today.) We will talk about what they did, to overcome their dilemma.
But that is for a future editorial on JOBS.
Today, as you may have already guessed, we are talking about:
American JOBS- “What went wrong?”
There are thousands of industries in America. My fingers would get sore, my eyes would get weak, and you would be bored to death, if we dealt with EVERY industry, and what went wrong with each.
It is better to focus on one industry that has similar characteristics to all, and dwell on that.
Let’s go back to our “chicken.”
The Chinese chicken
What went wrong..?? THE PROBLEM
(Problem ONE) Labor
This one is real easy.
If an American chicken producer’s helper wants $12 bucks per hour, while the Chinese chicken producer’s helper (doing the same job) gets $12 bucks per WEEK, that is the problem.
If the American worker wants $480 per week.
And the Chinese worker wants $12 per week…
We cannot compete with that.
There is no way..!!
However, we do not want to lower our standards. We want the American worker to make that, and much more. If we can.
(Problem TWO) Planes, trains, boats, and automobiles
If you cannot “ship” a product into your region, then you have no choice but to make, or raise the product yourself.
HUGE tanker ships have made it possible to ship goods around the world and only add a fraction to the cost of each idem.
This is something that our grandfather’s generation could never have conceived, and never had to deal with…
MASSIVE ocean going ships.
A global semi- tractor trailer system that uses GPS satellites to navigate and guide products to their destinations.
Planes, that can ship things “overnight.”
HUGE warehouses that can accommodate any idem, any time. Regardless of whether it needs to be stored at 70 degrees, or minus 70 degrees. No problem.
Our great- grandfather’s generation would have a small heart attack if they saw this system. For in their day, they had to guzzle down beer as soon as the barrel was tapped. (Because there was no way to keep the beer cold and keep it from going bad.)
(Problem THREE) “Give me liberty (and clean air) or give me death.”
Let’s face it, when we demand clean air, clear water, and undisturbed soil, we make it more expensive to build something in America.
When we demanded that “strip-mining” be stopped, we pretty much nailed the coffin shut on the steel industry in America.
When we restricted the use of mercury and certain acetones, we sealed the fait of the American textile industry. We do not make clothes in America, anymore.
When we beefed up OSHA standards, we crippled the American factory.
(We could go on, and on. But I believe that the point has been made.)
I must state that I do not believe in going backwards.
I love having clean water. I can’t imagine living in a country that you “cannot drink the water, or you will get sick.”
I like the fact that we have clean air, or that I can plant a tomato in the backyard, and not worry if the ground contains mercury, or PCB’s.
We need safe jobs.
No one is saying that we head backwards and lower our standards to compete with China or Mexico.
But, to find solutions to our problems, we MUST know what the problem is.
To provide a safe work environment, that doesn’t pollute the air and water…
To provide a decent wage to the workers…
To allow foreign competition, regardless of an “edge” they have over us, or how they treat their workers…
We have made it impossible to build a new factory here in America, and hire Americans.
We have made it impossible to create American JOBS.
Which leads us back to the Chinese chicken.
“..How can it be cheaper to raise a chicken in China, and ship it to American stores..??”
(We have answered that question.)
When the American worker demands 40 times more money, than the Chinese worker…
When the American poultry farm MUST meet certain EPA, OSHA, and environmental requirements…
When the food that is fed to American chickens can be controlled, and the meat will be inspected at a greater level…
When a boat ride across the ocean is hardly any factor in the cost of the Chinese chicken meat…
That is how it is cheaper to raise a chicken in China.
That, is the problem..!!
This, pretty much, concludes my first editorial on American JOBS.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this.
American JOBS, I believe, is the top issue facing our country, as we move forward.
The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are important. We cannot lose site of solutions there.
Health Insurance is also important.
However, JOBS are as vital as air and water.
Without JOBS, we cannot pay our taxes. Without taxes, we will never be able to provide health care “for all” and win these two wars.
My future editorials on American JOBS are tentatively titled:
American JOBS- “What went wrong.”
(You just read that one)
American JOBS- “Safety First” (What’s in my chicken..??)
(Due out, in about a week)
American JOBS- “The solution” (Dream, the impossible dream.)
American JOBS- “Franklin, Adams, tell us what to do..??”
Written by AR Babonie for The Angry Republic
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