Reports Of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated….. But The Death Of Globalization Is Not.
One of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain. No, I’m not dead. But I have been taking a hiatus. I’m going to try to get back to a post a week or so. Lot’s to talk about. Too much, actually. But on this Halloween, let me keep it brief. I visited my family last week and the small community I grew up in has been obliterated over the last 30+ years by the massive corruption of the U.S. government, Wall Street and state-propped up corporations. What used to be an incredibly wealthy, educated community of generally blue collar workers is now a heroine, meth, bath salts capital with massive unemployment, underemployment and, maybe more importantly, no hope for many. It is a shithole for many. But, people try their best and most are very proud people who have done whatever it takes. These are the people who made America great. And the state has just about taken everything from many. That’s a very dangerous dynamic as history tells us. In ancient Athens, in France and elsewhere, those people rose up and expired the political and economic aristocracy. Let’s hope that what remains of our constitution can be used to reform our society without the madness. We shall see.
When I was a small child I had my first experiences with neoliberalism. I saw many of my family members and friend’s parents lose their jobs as factories began to shutter and jobs were moved to relatively cheaper options; be that in the U.S. or elsewhere. Most of this was accomplished through mergers and acquisitions. One visual I will never forget is my best friend’s father, a single parent raising two boys, with no money, no hope and no ability within his control to save his own dignity after his job disappeared because the company could move their factory elsewhere. Memories of his two boys, him and me standing in his kitchen with him near the breaking point are something I will never forget. I might have been 10? Don’t tell me kids don’t see this. Kids live substantially through the experiences of their parents and caregivers. What is a small child to do? That memory still haunts me. I think I’ve only told one other person of this, my mom, and that was years ago. But there isn’t a year that goes by when I don’t think of that moment half a dozen or more times. That man was one of the most decent people I have ever met. Now, he eventually found a way to make it to retirement by bartering and odd jobs but he never did find another stable form of employment.
Off the top of my head there were probably seven major local employers in that community of 10,000 people. I’ve added this up with the help of relatives and there were probably about 5,500 good paying jobs in those employers. People from other communities and the countryside worked in that town. The factories were generally unionized and they had retirement plans. And most were locally-started and locally-owned. You could roll out of bed when you were 18 and get a job where someone invested in you, trained you and made you a productive asset in society. The school systems hadn’t yet been destroyed either. Nor had the fundamental social fabric as is the case today. Today, only one major employer and it has been thrown around like a hot potato. It has been owned by many major multinationals and is now owned by the largest steel producer in the world, Arcelor Mittal. For those of you who don’t know, Arcelor was probably the largest steel company in Europe through acquisition. Mittal was the largest steel company in India through acquisition. Arcelor Mittal is a company that is headed for the dung heap. As I have noted many times, the mergers and acquisitions bubble of the last 20 years is incredible. Maybe $200 trillion plus globally in size. It is going to pop. Mark my word. Arcelor Mittal and most of these other massive firms are on borrowed time. Other the last ten years one of the major themes on here is that we are in the midst of the “end of big”. The dinosaurs are nearing extinction, be that the state or state-created firms that are propped up by rigging the game for the benefit of state actor. (As as aside, what if that money had been spent on human development and rebuilding our communities instead of useless financial wizardry?)
Anyhow, the only manufacturer left is a pretty large steel mill. It produces highly-specialized products and is tied in very tightly with globalization. The talk of the town today is about this mill. For the last 10+ years, I believe this mill has been running three shifts, seven days a week. By the end of the year, I was told they will be down to one shift. A family member knows one of the local executives quite well. He told my family member that everyone who was hired in the last 7 years, or possibly more, is going to be released by the end of the year. I told my family that those jobs are never coming back. Ever. That is, unless we see this economic system collapse or defeated by humanity. (Which WILL happen. The universe is already well on its way to dismantling this great evil.) I don’t know how many people will be laid off or if they were running the same production loads on all three shifts or what, but I can imagine this could be quite a few hundred people. If they were running three shifts at full production, it will likely be a whole lot more than that. The reason given was a slowdown in Chinese orders.
Can you imagine how that is going to impact the local economy and the ripple effects it will have? Do you think Obama or Paul Ryan or any of these other political dunces are going to save those people? Hahaha. That is an effing joke. Politicians and the state destroyed the lives of those people. How many thousands and millions of examples of this are happening around the world? What is a Washington politician, thousands of miles away, going to do to solve the millions of unique, individual issues that people have across this nation? They can’t. It’s an impossibility. The only way humanity will ever be able to do that is by recreating community. And that means taking their power back from the state, politicians, bankers and corporations.
You can’t believe any of the mainstream media’s bullshit. And you can’t believe politicians because they are the ones feeding the media the bullshit.