copyright © Judith Moriarty
You’ll never meet these folks. They represent the hundreds of thousands who have been kicked to the curb these past years (from Clinton’s NAFTA in ’94 until the current time). A ‘restructuring’ company (better known as hatchet men) took over their company in 2004 with lofty promises of Jobs etc. Fact is – these companies buy and resale companies. They were informed right before Christmas that they (122 people) no longer had a job by Watermill (International) Ventures. The company only decided to give two weeks severance pay due to the Governor’s intervention. Naturally, all their health benefits etc went out the window. Some of these folks had worked at this DECENT paying Modular Home Company for decades. They bought homes here (Claremont) and have children in college. These employees were highly skilled.
They were the leading builder here in New England of energy efficient modular homes/ businesses etc. They have won numerous awards for their outstanding craftsmanship and have been featured in many building etc, magazines.
This is a sample kitchen.
This is one of their energy efficient homes.
The skilled carpenters and craftsmen at CSI trained youngsters. This was not addressed in the numerous news articles (nor their great work). Today kids are leaving school – they seek men who will mentor and train them in skills they can use! They are not interested in perpetual testing and social engineering. Now this great gift to our area’s children is lost. Do the corporate predators care? No – they’re in the business of profits not the future of children.
While we are kept dutifully distracted with the drunken antics of air headed starlets (called breaking news) or the theater of mud slinging politics, few are aware of what’s happening in their own state, let alone what is happening across the nation. What ‘breaking news’ announced the closing of Maytag – in business for 114 years? The thousands losing their jobs due to this closure (parts – appliance stores – businesses in town) wasn’t deemed newsworthy? Mike, leaving Maytag, on the last day, doesn’t know where he’s going to turn. He was four years short of receiving his pension. Not so with our politicians. They needn’t invest 30 years before they’re eligible for pension.
A mere five years will see them given life long pensions (the longer in office the bigger the pension). Unlike work a day folks whose pensions are stolen – they receive pensions with yearly cost of living increases (plus life long medical coverage). This is WHY you see such a detachment on the election circuit. Those in cradle to grave political jobs have long ago lost any empathic understanding of men in their late 40s – 50s – 60s suddenly jobless in a nation without jobs (livable wage jobs that is).
Maine and New Hampshire have seen their paper/pulp mills closed. Like Maytag – the move is on to China. The usual patronizing PR of job retraining is lauded – and then, these men (families) get lost in the shuffle of time. This job retraining is a colossal joke. Another story.
We hear of massive foreclosures across the nation. The media would have you believe that every one, and his brother, is losing their homes because they bought homes they couldn’t afford. When mills, and manufacturing plants close, duh, banks don’t care if you can’t pay a mortgage. These steel mills (gone to China etc) forged the steel for our ships, planes (WWII) built the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge etc. The fuel company, electric company, etc, aren’t interested in your plight when the mill closes. You’re on your own after unemployment runs out. You’re now thrown into a job market where people highly educated with numerous degrees are being thrown overboard.
When a company leaves town, all the supporting businesses, where employees shopped go belly up. People worried about buying milk for the kids or keeping the lights on aren’t buying seafood, winter clothing, shoes, or pizza. Restaurants and movie houses don’t take promissory notes. The truth is America (due to drastic cutbacks) has no safety net. The only bailouts in the USA are for the corporate destroyers; loans, grants, subsidies, tax breaks etc. Towns boarded and closed search for investments such as box stores, foreign companies (promising JOBS) , high-end condos, or malls! All of which produce nothing and do not contribute to the fiscal health of a town.
Years of paying a bank, twice as much for a home (with interest) goes up in smoke when you miss a few payments. These mortgages held by foreign/corporate conglomerates don’t care if you end up living in your car, in a tent or under a bridge.
It is really quite insulting and degrading to hear officials laud the future opening of a foreign owned Tap Water/plastic bottle plant as a viable option to replace that job as a skilled craftsman! There appears to be this mindset that ‘any job will do’! These same officials don’t see their own positions (yearly raises – bonuses) being replaced ! You’d be hard pressed to see them identifying filling bottles with water, (making the molds) for $7.25 an hour (maybe $8.00) as an adequate job to live on (pay their mortgage – car payments – etc).
Steel workers in Pittsburgh were advised to get that job at Wal-Mart (part time of course). Filled with Chinese junk – it’s little wonder one cannot find anything Made In America. Wal-Mart is our nation’s largest employer. This should frighten people no end (also NH’s largest employee).
In the end, Corporate Greed (paid 400x more than common worker) is destroying the nation. In 1886, the Supreme Court declared that corporations were henceforth to be considered ‘persons’ under the law, with all of the constitutional rights that designation implies. Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, corporations reshaped every aspect of life in America and much of the rest of the world. The factory system turned self-sufficient small farmers into wage – earners and transformed the family from an interdependent economic production unit into a consumption- oriented collection of individuals with separate jobs. Advertising turned productive citizens into ‘consumers’.
Business leaders campaigned to create public schools to train children in factory- system obedience to schedules and in the performance of isolated, meaningless tasks. And now ? Corporations came to own and dominate sources all information and entertainment and the control of politicians and judges. Once upon a time, the robber barons influenced Washington. Now they sit on the cabinet and have been appointed to the positions of influence. The great exodus of immigrants taking place worldwide is their doing. Be it the UK – Sweden – France – the US – etc) the name of the GAME is cheap labor. The American – Mexican – UK etc, dream was all an illusion. Trade agreements make slaves of us all.