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Wisdom or Whining?

January 5th, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Today is my birthday; I turned 52. With it, I wonder if I have become wise or just jaded.

No offense to those who do not live in the US, but I am frustrated that so much of the "stuff" that is for sale in stores is from China. I mentioned to DH today that if we were cut off from China's exports, we would be hard pressed to have anything. DH received a set of WWII dvds, and it talked about industry stepped up to provide so much for the war effort. I don't believe we could do that today.

Then, I think about the Civil War and the fact that the north was industrialized and the south was not, and it certainly hurt the south. I know there was much more than this issue for the war, but it is kind of scary. We, in the US, do not seem to manufacture too much anymore.

My own city has an economy that is hurting. We used to be a blue collar town with many industries. So many of those factories have shuttered and we have so many folks without work or underemployed. This has gone on in the past decade, and the recent recession has not helped. Although factory work is hard and grueling, it almost always included benefits and wage increases. Those folks who had the jobs spent the money at the stores and restaurants that helped the service industry so they in turn could buy some of the things manufactured. The circle has been broken, that's for sure. I know some are embarrassed about the blue collar image, but honest hard work is nothing with which to be ashamed.

So, perhaps my age is making me see the big picture. Or maybe I'm just jaded. I am hoping that it is leaning more towards wisdom.

15 Responses to “Wisdom or Whining?”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    Happy birthday, rob!

  2. rob62521 Says:

    Thanks, Ima!

  3. Amber Says:

    Happy birthday!

  4. Looking Forward Says:

    Happy Birthday!

    I wish more items were made here too. Smile

  5. LuckyRobin Says:

    My dad was a worker at a pulp and paper mill. I remember growing up with full medical and dental benefits, he had a good pension program, and they gave him a meal ticket which was good at various restaurants in town. It would have provided for one meal a day five times a week, except Dad took his lunch. Then on the weekend we would go to a restaurant as a family and be able to use that meal ticket for it. He also had paid time off every year and the longer he worked there the more he got per year. I don't even know of jobs today that might pay that much in benefits.

    Happy Birthday.

  6. baselle Says:

    Happy birthday Rob. I was shocked to find out the carpet tile (Flor) is made in the US. Shocking how I can be shocked about that.

  7. Swimgirl Says:

    Happy Birthday! Hope it's a great celebration! Smile

  8. Wino Says:

    I have worked in manufacturing all my adult life.

    I now live overseas.

    You fill in the blanks.

  9. mjrube94 Says:

    I read a book a while back called "A Year Without Made in China". It was eye opening to see how hard (and expensive) it is to avoid those products. I recommend it if you're interested...

  10. ceejay74 Says:

    I'm concerned too. I think this is something that worries many Americans, but it's hard to agree on what we can do to fix it!

  11. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Happy birthday! Hope you had a good one. Smile

  12. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Happy Happy birthday to you...I am a '61 baby as well. Your concerns are shared, but change seems insurmountable- :/

  13. wowitsawonderfullife Says:

    Happy Birthday from another '61 baby.

  14. Says:

    Happy birthday.

    You're not alone in your concern. Overseas workers can make things much more cheaply than Americans, it seems. Various US governors are union-busting and while I don't belong to a union, I can see where many previously salaried positions are now being farmed out as contract jobs, sans benefits, health insurance or employee protection of any kind. Just doesn't seem morally right, but of course, American capitalism is not about morality, it's about profits.Things won't change until there are more jobs to be filled than qualified workers.

  15. creditcardfree Says:

    A little late, but Happy Birthday!

    In our new town, we see a lot of manufacturing, however, it isn't hard goods, but processed foods and soy bean processing for foods and fuel. We often smell Cheerio's on our way to school. It kind of grosses me out to see these big industrial plants churning out 'food'!

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