Monday, November 29, 2010
Our Giant Is Laying Down Quietly
Have you noticed the erosion? Factories are closing everywhere. In the larger cities, it might not have quite the obvious impact that it will in a smaller town, but don't kid yourself, we are circling the drain as a nation.
Take a small town of say, 57,000 people. Say that town has a large factory that employs 1,200 people all earning a decent middle-class income of $45 to $65K. Life is sweet in our little town. There is a whole infrastructure built around the existence of that plant. One that was necessary for it to survive. Stores, restaurants, hotels, services of all kinds. Banks, churches, schools and hospitals for the employees, entertainment centers of all varieties. The community serves the plant and the plant supports the community.
One day the factory says they are closing down the operation. With this decision, our little town will loose over $60 million every year from factory employees alone. All of these support businesses have to keep rolling because they are still here and with all of that activity the little town seems to have absorbed the loss of the factory, but all of the support businesses feel the loss and it starts a landslide. Soon our little town is more of a ghetto than a community. Crime rates soar as more and more people live in despair and on welfare. More of their children never complete high school and the crime rate soars again.
If we could peek around at the other side of the world, and, you know, through the big wall, we would see a nation on the rise. A huge industrial monster standing up to flex it's muscles and growl at us from across the ocean. This monster is running on steroids, because it is not restricted by pollution regulations or even quality standards. It has negligible concern for employees wages, benefits or working conditions. It is not burdened with invention, design or research and development. It's only mandate is to be cheaper, and we all cheer it on.
It seems our industrial giant has grown tired of carrying the crown and wants to retire in a recliner in front of a large screen tv. We want to cheer on China because we feel entitled to the good life, but we are too lazy to earn it. Consequently we need our good life to be easier to obtain, or more plainly - cheaper.