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December 12, 2008

What is happening?

I know this blog is a "Bigfoot blog", and focuses primarily on the issues surrounding the research of this undocumented animal. But, I must tell you, there are larger problems in this world, that have gotten my attention, and may effect us more than you might think.

This country is in trouble.

I do mean serious trouble. For a very long time, our country has not only been a military giant, but a manufacturing power house as well. The manufacturing portion which helps keep our economy functioning is now falling apart. As of this morning we are looking at by far the worst crisis of manufacturing ever. Who didn't see this coming with the creation of "NAFTA"? (North American Free Trade Agreement. Signed by then President William Jefferson Clinton. September 14th, 1993)

Our elected officials in the Senate rejected the bailout for the "Big 3". For those of you who do not know who the "Big 3" are:

General Motors
Ford
Chrysler

I have never been a big fan of the UAW,

But, the bailout failed after (TX-Rep) Senator John Cornyn met with the UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and had come to an agreement. Mr. Cornyn then went back to the Senate, and watched the entire bill fall apart. In a Press Conference this afternoon 12-12-08 Mr. Gettelfinger discusses what the UAW feels is the cause of the bailout loss.

While I am not a fan of the UAW,

Due to the high wages that make new vehicles almost unbelievably high priced. I find the enormous salaries of their CEO's (while asking for federal bailouts) much more out of line. I also think at this point we need to understand the high wages paid to employees of the auto companies (which average roughly $28.00 an hour, according to Mr. Gettelfinger) are needed to help fuel this economy. The President of the UAW stated this morning on CNN, the auto industry is looking at a lay off of 3000 employees by February of 2009. Already GM announced massive layoffs in Canadian and U.S. plants today. How will that effect our already crumbling economy?

Do you know what that means to an already struggling economy?

Now workers will slow down buying for the holidays, fearful their next check will be their last. Stores will suffer. The manufacturers of clothing, televisions, video games and all those things your kids want so desperately will suffer. Which means more businesses may suffer, go out of business or at the minimum more layoffs (KB Toys announced today they are liquidating due to the failing economy). I personally think this is already a disaster, that's just waiting to get worse. This move by the Senate just lit the fuse.

The US Treasury released a statement today,

Saying they are prepared to step in, to help the "Big 3" with funds, until Congress comes back from their break...But, that means using the remaining 15 billion left over from the banking industry bailout. Steve Forbes says he thinks this money won't even make it to General Motors, it will most likely end up in the courts, tied up in more legal red tape.

Here is a crazy idea.

Why didn't the Federal Government (knowing there was an economic crisis in this country) not give that 700 billion in money ear marked for the banking industry, and split it by household? This works out to roughly $200 thousand (after taxes of course) per household. What kind of economic upsurge would that have created? People would have paid off their failing bank loans, deposited money into the banks, bought new cars and spending alone stimulates the economy. Instead, that 700 billion ($700,000,000,000) in tax dollars was given to corporate CEO's, and who knows where it went? There are already allegations of misappropriations by some of the corporations that received that cash influx (AIG). What could you have done with that 85 Billion given to AIG?

Here is a heads up for our government. Stimulating the economy starts with the people, not the corporations. The banks are having problems, because the Taxpayers do not have money, not the other way around. So, by giving this $700 billion to the banks, who did they actually help? No one. Because the taxpayers still do not have money, or the resources to make money to put back into a struggling banking system. Where does it end?

Why are our elected officials not on planes headed back to Washington? Where are our elected officials? Your elected officials are headed home for the holidays. They already have their paychecks, they are good to go. Are you allowed to simply walk away from your job when there is a crisis? No, you are encouraged to stay and "pitch in for the team", or they simply announce overtime, and you stay.

Our country is facing a financial melt down of epic proportions,

And our elected officials have decided to simply leave their offices. Even though General Motors clearly states they will not make it into January. If the auto industry fails (GM is but the first in that domino) it will be far worse than anything we have seen from the airline industry. The airline industry has installed a revolving door to the House and Senate of this country, and they make nothing, they only provide public transportation (and help in various mailing services) and they get money every time they show up.

Here is an admission I am embarrassed to admit.

I am a card carrying republican. This mess is getting worse because of the republican partys issue with organized labor. Yes, I may not agree with organized labor, but there are definite benefits to the people who opt to bring a union into their place of employment like the UAW. Fair wages is just one benefit. Why should a CEO get paid millions off the sweat of others, and employees not reap any benefits of their long and tiring hours?

When you really think about it,

Is $28.00 an hour an extreme amount of money to be paid, when the corporate fat cats are making so much they are able to charter private jets, for a plea to Washington? Can you afford to charter a private jet?

The UAW lobbies for Health Insurance benefits unmatched by most. Fair labor practices. Do you know how hard it is to get fired when you work for a union? Check out your states laws on your rights as a worker without benefit of a union. There is a major push in this country for states to go with what is called "Right to Work Laws". In what is called "Right to Work States" you are basically stripped of your rights as an employee, to the benefit of the employer. The employer can fire you - regardless of the reason, and you will not get unemployment compensation. Look into it folks.

So, apparently our elected officials feel it is the responsibility of the american auto worker to handle the brunt of the financial crunch of the "Big 3" auto companies. When it has also been reported that our government gave money to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars to Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes and BMW, to build here in this country (in our southern states) with no requirement to pay it back (not even a request for repayment by our government) Your tax dollars brought competition to this country, and the government didn't even have to ask you. But, now that american taxpayers need help, they are refused? Our auto workers are basically told to "deal with it"? What crisis were these foreign companies experiencing that they needed the financial help of the american taxpayers? Our tax money was used without our consent (or even our knowledge) to I'm sure help create jobs. That's nice. Build up others, so we can destroy ourselves?

While the "buck" may stop with the President of this country,

Our elected officials in the House and Senate have just as much power over these situations (as well as other issues that went ignored until it was too late ie, troop funding) They are choosing to ignore this problem and solve it. To the detriment of this country. If I were a member of either of these branches of government, I might start considering what might happen come the next election. I think americans are about to realize the problem is not always the President, but those who are in the other branches of our government, and time and time again pass their failures off on one person, when they had the power to solve the problem.

How does this effect the "Bigfoot Community" at large? Good question. How many of you are already feeling the strain? I know of many who are. How many organized groups depend on donations? The work we do in the field is helped with the aid of equipment, and some of that equipment is pricey. How long will it take before this crisis is felt within this community? We have already felt the pinch of higher gas prices. What will the loss of jobs do? How much field equipment could you have bought with roughly 200 thousand dollars after taxes?

Our newly elected President Barack Obama, (as if on cue) has released a statement saying "he was disappointed by the failure of a Senate deal to bail out the U.S. auto industry and hoped that the Bush Administration and Congress "will still find a way" to help the struggling car makers."

Politics as usual rages on, and in the end, we (the American Taxpayer) will pay the price.

2 Comments:

  • At 5:00 PM, Blogger Gene Romo said…

    To say the current lot we find ourselves in is a complicated one would be the understatement of the century, maybe the millennium! Some of the major issues leading up to it, (opinion only)was our current general "way of life",I feel that WE as Americans are spoiled rotten and under educated.( I am incl myself) Not only have we allowed this to happen ("We get the government we deserve"] we didn't ,as a group, see it coming.(ignorance of history), know your past as they say. Also , we are very divided, We are more alike than we differ, yet we continue to label ourselves and each other based on "perceived" beliefs, ideals, etc.. Conservative , Liberal, Red , Blue, Blah,blah, blah.
    Ironically, "The BF. community" seems to be a microcosm of society. which became very apparent this past Summer with the Georgia Hoax debacle. It was very interesting to watch. Good guys, Bad Guys, everybody huddled up in their little groups, and though rocks at each other. Think about it, more than a few longtime friendships dissolved this past Sept, over a couple of "Yahoos" pulling a prank in N.Ga. Interesting. Just Imagine what can happen when something as big as our "Way of Life" is the issue at stake.
    Anyway, just a few thoughts, I have no answers. All I can do is pray. (No influence intended)
    Thanks,
    Gene Romo
    Cary,NC.
    "Joisey gene"

     
  • At 7:44 AM, Blogger Mike said…

    I see what you mean, Mel, and I agree though I have not been following this as closely as you have.

    I have been a union member and to be honest with you if not for that reason alone I would now be living under a bridge somewhere. Long story that I won't go into right now.

    I feel that we are indeed facing a major crisis right now, in several ways.

    I recently learned that it wasn't until several months after the market crash in 1929 that the depression really hit the common people of America and the the drop in the stock market that we have just recently experienced is even larger than the crash of '29. On top of that, the government's efforts to bolster the economy back then actually prolonged the depression.

    I feel for the the members of the UAW who have many years under their belts, and I especially feel for the retired members who are being described as a big burden to the big 3. In actuality their retirement pay and benefits are a pittance compared to either the CEO'S and managements pay, benefits and retirement, as well as the Union Officials pay, benefits and retirements.

    I think that corruption within the Unions is just as bad if not worse as the corruption with politics, and the working members are thrown under the bus.

    Yes, a simple bail out to the people of America would have been a much better solution, but I honestly believe that this crisis is intended to make things more difficult for the common working person in order to make way for other things.

    What concerns me the most is that this whole crisis has put the U.S. in a position of vulnerability - at least in the eyes of our terrorist enemies if not in the eyes of others who would like to make some kind of move on crippling the U.S. as the world leader.

     

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