by Robert Fireovid
Back in the 1980s, I was a manager in Black & Decker, at the headquarters outside Baltimore. At the time, Black & Decker manufactured mostly small kitchen appliances (mixers, toasters, etc.) and power tools (e.g., DeWalt). I led a team that purchased the plastic resin and plastic parts that went into the appliances and tools sold by the company.
During my time at B&D, I was a witness to the outsourcing of B&D’s plastic molding operations to China and Mexico. As a result, the company closed down all of its U.S.-based plastic molding facilities. There were three – Easton, MD; Fayetteville, NC; and Tarboro, NC. The workers in these plants made decent wages and benefits, and many if not most of them were of African descent. In an effort to prevent the closing of their workplaces, the employees worked very hard to lower their production costs and maintain product quality. But to no avail.
It was heart wrenching to watch this destruction of American manufacturing. Lord knows what happened to these workers, but I am quite certain that their lives were turned upside down and torn inside out. Multiply that across the United States and it’s easy to see why this ship we call our Nation is sinking. How did this happen?
From my vantage point at B&D, I was privy to how the Chinese were able to produce plastic parts at a much lower cost than B&D’s plants could do it. So low that the Chinese could produce the parts and ship them overseas. Lower labor costs certainly played a part. But a major reason why the Chinese could produce plastic parts at such a low cost was because they manufactured steel molds for injection-molding equipment at half the cost of a mold made in the U.S.
These molds are expensive, and their manufacturing involves expensive machining equipment. Most of the cost involved in producing plastic parts stems from the capital cost of the equipment. So, to be able to produce them at half the cost is hard to understand. How did the Chinese do this? I was never able to get an answer to this question, but a very plausible explanation is that the Chinese government massively subsidized the manufacture of these molds. In short, rather than spending money on its military and attacking the U.S. directly, the Chinese government conducted intelligent economic warfare against the U.S. It was a brilliant strategy; they torpedoed this ship called the United States; and U.S. citizens are suffering as a result.
Back in the 1980s, no one with any power did anything about the gutting of America’s non-military manufacturing base; and they still aren’t doing anything. Our business leaders knew what was going on, but they didn’t talk about it. Our military and intelligence agencies must have known about this (it was after all economic WARFARE), but they didn’t talk about it. Our news organizations didn’t investigate this. In short, U.S. citizens were intentionally screwed by the very people in government and the private sector on whom we expected, indeed depended on, to protect us.
In the end, while the Chinese were rightfully taking care of their citizens, regular Americans were beaten up by their own ruling class.
It seems that our institutions are hopelessly rigged so that many of those who make it into positions of influence and power have neither a conscience nor a moral compass regarding the plights of ordinary citizens. Instead of tackling the increasing lack of opportunities for regular Americans to enjoy the satisfaction of laboring in vocations that provide others with necessities like shelter, transportation, and healthy foods as well as opportunities to enjoy a decent standard of living, our “leaders” invent fake bogeymen like systematic racism, widespread white supremacy, and bigots of all types that society must wage war against. They make up fake belief systems like Genderism to confuse us and our children. They self-righteously pretend to be oh-so-caring of all those who are poor. But in fact, they don’t want to help the poor, even racial minorities, achieve self-sufficient, middle-class lifestyles. Instead of working to strengthen equal opportunity to pursue “The American Dream”, they promise equal outcomes for all (i.e., communism, aka – everyone is a slave).
Even worse, many voters are woefully or intentionally blind to what’s going on, and/or they are happy being just obedient servants. They limit themselves to knowing only what their party’s propagandists, including the media, tell them.
Pretty sad excuse for a Labor Day.