||Shutdown & Occupied|
The following crap I got in an email sent to me by one of my Good Orange County (CA) Republican [GOC(CA)R] coworkers blames the working victims for the callous economic crimes committed against them:
John Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN) for 6 am. While his coffeepot (MADE IN CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN MALAYSIA). He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE IN INDONESIA) and tennis shoes (MADE IN VIETNAM).
After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN KOREA) he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN TAIWAN) to see how much he could spend today. After setting his watch (MADE IN THAILAND) to the radio (MADE IN MYANMAR) he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY) filled it with GAS (from Saudi Arabia)
and continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN JOB.
At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day checking his Computer (Made In ABU DHABI), Joe decided to relax for a while. He put on his sandals
(MADE IN BRAZIL) poured himself a glass of wine (MADE IN FRANCE) and turned on his TV (MADE IN INDONESIA), and then wondered why he can't find a good paying job in AMERICA.
By shafting the American worker out of his living wage through downsizing, outsourcing, and offshoring, employer executives seek to use these liberated funds to enhance their corporate profitability (and their own compensation packages). After all, the workers grow on trees and will work cheap for bananas. right?
Who cares about the little guy who labored mightily to provide that profitability? The real story goes much more like this:
As John Smith's cost of living rose, his employer decided that it wasn't cost-effective to raise employee wages. The dividend obligations to shareholders had to be met, and the only business cost that wouldn't have a negative repercussion on profits was wages. Thus the employer held the line against requests for raises and other economic relief, such as no increases in health care premiums and copayments. This left their employees with less money to spend on American-made products, but they still had needs that had to be met. The employees had no choice but to buy what they could afford, usually a product that was imported. This meant that the employers sold fewer products in their domestic markets. Lower domestic sales meant lower total revenue, and the executives decided to lower the wages and benefits of their employees while raising the financial obligations those employees already carried to compensate.
This cycle continued for many years, until the loss of domestic sales revenue forced the manufacturers to abandon those employees who had remained loyal and on the job despite what few low raises they were granted over the years. These employees came to work one day, only to be greeted by locked doors and a printed notice with the employment redevelopment office address on it. Not even a kiss after being screwed!
Let's see how this worked out for these newly unemployed after their unemployment benefits had run out:
Rather than shopping at Sharper Image for that new alarm clock (Made in SWITZERLAND) needed to rise early for job hunting, John Smith the former employee had to settle for one purchased from a little KOREAN lady for $2 (collected by recycling discarded aluminum cans) at the swap meet. It went off as he was dreaming of dumpster diving and actually finding something he really needed - and it wasn't rotten or otherwise spoiled! EUREKA!
He was just reaching for his tote bag that he'd found in another dumpster a while back to carry it home and - BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!
Prying his disappointed eyelids apart, Smith desperately needed coffee. But as his coffee pot had broken a while back, he instead heated some water in his grandmother's teapot on his propane grille (which he had picked up at a yard sale with what was left of his last unemployment check) and poured it over some instant coffee (which had only earned the GUATEMALAN a single dollar for a day's bean harvesting) that he bought on sale at the closeout store. He couldn't afford eggs, so he didn't need his mother's old iron frying pan. Besides, it was still in the sink waiting for Smith to buy some dish soap and clean it. Smith could only locate some stale day-old bread and a little greasy peanut butter, which he made do for his breakfast.
Smith needed a new cord for his electric razor, but the model was discontinued when its manufacturer left the country seeking lower-wage workers for higher profits. No replacement cord was available at any price, so he instead used a straight-edge razor that he'd bought from the ILLEGAL ALIEN street vendor who came down his street one day. It didn't cut too badly if one didn't apply too much pressure - and if the peanut butter hadn't dried yet!
Smith didn't bother wearing one of his few remaining interview dress shirts (Made in BANGLADESH for pennies each by an AMERICAN Label) as he didn't want to have to wash them again so soon just to drop off another hundred resumes at the usual locations. The shirts were already getting a bit threadbare, like his sport shoes (made in VIETNAM for pennies each by an AMERICAN label) Smith had bought when he still had a job as an automotive parts assembler (the job got moved to EL SALVADOR by an AMERICAN automaker), and laundry soap didn't grow on trees. Smith needed what little money he still had to cover the cost of paper and printing time tomorrow, so he put on that old team jersey (made in HAITI for pennies each) he'd bought when he could still affort season tickets in the nosebleed section at the stadium, and went out again on his daily errand of constant futility and frequent rejection.
Upon return from his day's travels, Smith found a bank statement in his mailbox. Since he knew there was no money in this account, Smith didn't bother firing up the old calculator (assembled in MEXICO with AMERICAN parts manufactured in INDONESIA, SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA, and INDIA for pennies each) that he got from the bank when he signed up for that adjustable-rate mortgage deal which included a free (at the time) checking account. The checking account had been overdrawn for a long time now, and Smith was sure the latest statement was yet another empty threat to pry blood from the completely squeezed turnip that his life had become. He did wonder briefly if the bank had yet managed to sell the house that was once Smith's after they had foreclosed on him. He stopped making the payments when his job went South. With the Chinese now sniffing around the US for good investment opportunities, Smith thought the bank might finally have a chance at recouping something of their investment in domestic domiciles - if they were even still in business that long. Banks were failing with increasing frequency, and Smith thought he recognized some of the people in line at the employment development office recently as having once been tellers and loan officers.
Smith's feet were sore from walking all day. There was no other option. Not only was there no affordable public transportation, his AMERICAN car needed smog components that cost more than the car was worth before it could be repaired - not that Smith had the funds for that expense. "I should have bought that import like my ex-wife told me to," he mused, remembering THAT car was still purring like a kitten for that ungrateful @#$%^ with minimal maintenance - and still recording lower pollution numbers - than any brand new AMERICAN-labeled "World Car" (created with components that were made and assembled in many nations EXCEPT AMERICA around the world, hence the name) could match. Smith unguardedly began in his mind to read once again that last letter she wrote him, the one that began "Dear John...", but he quickly shook it off. He couldn't afford to waste his time pining away over lost love, and time was of the essence.
Smith needed to know what time it was, but he'd long ago pawned the cheap Timex that he was once given by his former bosses as a production incentive reward. He needed to get to the library to use the free-access computers for checking the resume site for any new interview notices, and to print up a few more copies of his resume for tomorrow's distribution. But since there was a power failure in the building that day (the landlord claimed he couldn't afford AMERICAN ELECTRICIANS, and whoever did do the job didn't do it right), the swap meet alarm clock only flashed "12;00" constantly.
Unsure for sure now that he still had enough time, Smith chugged the remains of a flat Coke (MADE EVERYWHERE) rather than spend the time to make another peanut butter sandwich (assuming that he still had enough edible bread) and raced to the library as fast as his tired feet could fly. The strenuous effort gave him GAS (made in his UNEMPLOYED AMERICAN stomach). but he had to ignore that problem. His medical insurance was canceled even before his employment was, and the Free Clinic had to close due to a loss of funding. All of this effort in behalf of his future employment was for nothing, as the library had a notice taped to the door (made from trees that used to grow in OREGON) that announced that operating hours had been cut due to the recent tax cuts pushed through the legislature by the elected representatives of the state's wealthiest citizens.
Forlorn, our erstwhile employee-errant stopped by the electronics store to watch a few minutes of sports news on the vast selection of foreign-made HD televisions (made for a couple of hundred dollars each in countries which still asked for THOUSANDS of AMERICAN DOLLARS per unit), but the minimum-wage security guards began to gather around him as if Smith was about to steal one. This wasn't going to happen, because the HDTVs weighed much more than someone with only a peanut butter sandwich and some Coke under his belt for the day could manage. And even if Smith was going to steal a TV, he couldn't also take the stand and the heavy power supply modern televisions needed. In fact, it would take an organization of Smiths to achieve the feared action.
But rather than antagonize nervous guys who were unemployed themselves not that long ago, our rejected and dejected citizen left the store and made his way slowly home, once again going over all those lame job hunting and morale-boosting tips Smith had received at the employment seminars he had to attend before the unemployment ran out. Smith tried to remember if the seminars had covered how to deal with those who cut into line instead of waiting their turns like he had to, for he had already decided not to risk losing his straight razor trying to cut their throats in the tussle.
Upon reaching home, with nothing edible left to fill that increasingly empty space beneath his navel, our former member of the middle class took off his old team jersey (made in HAITI for pennies each), and hung it on the chair (scrounged out of a garbage pile left behind after a local eviction) to air out the armpits so he could wear it again tomorrow. After sniffing it, Smith decided that he'd have to wear something else tomorrow.
Smith doffed the sport shoes (made in VIETNAM for pennies each by an AMERICAN label), and noticed that one of his soles had a hole in it. He made a mental note to watch for card stock on the street tomorrow. Old six pack cartons were best. They were made thicker so the beer (made in America by FOREIGN OWNERS who laid off much of their American staff to cover the costs expended in purchasing the American brewer) remained cold longer. This material also resisted dissolving in wet weather, and didn't that weather tease seen just before tonight's sports news segments mention something about rain tomorrow?
Lying down on a mattress (retrieved from another apartment after the tenant abandoned his belongings when he found a girlfriend with a job and her own place), our hero John discovered the eviction notice on his makeshift pillow (made in DESPERATION from his only other pair of pants with the torn crotch stuffed with old newspapers), feeling it crackle loudly beneath his sleepy head before it was seen. The old flashlight (found on the street next to an old abandoned gas can) flickered just long enough for Smith to read "THIRTY DAYS NOTICE..."
Sighing, our hopeful job seeker laid back, entrusted his fate to the deities of the universe, and fell asleep, hoping to dream of better days and munificence instead of trash containers and deprivation.
You guys in the UAW especially need to pay attention to this tale, for it toils for thee. No matter how much of your package Gettelfinger gives away, your jobs are still toast. The Republican party that too many of you voted for over the years are about the stick the stiletto between your clavicles just because you are unionized. Listen especially to Senators Richard Shelby, Bob Corker and Robert Bennett, who are leading the charge to rescue the automakers on the back of your pay scale (even though it isn't going to work). Then get prepared to live like your grandfathers and great-grandfathers did as they chased rumors of jobs across this nation during the Great Depression v1.00.
Just remember - your poor voting choices did this to you.