Northern Valley Beacon

Information, observations, and analysis from the James River valley on the Northern Plains----- E-Mail: Enter 'Beacon' in subject box. Send to:

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Open the gas oven doors, mama, here come American workers

A Washington Post columnist, Robert J. Samuelson, today looks at the future of manufacturing in America. His main point is that the U.S. is still very viable and competetive in manufacturing. It has maintained production, but it has dramatically reduced the number of workers--in other words, eliminated a number of jobs. He quotes the CEO of the bankrupt Delphi auto parts manufacturer, saying that the U.S. can still compete if it slashes wages and eliminates fringe benefits. In reorganizing Delphi, the CEO hopes to eliminate health insurance payments for retirees by putting them on Medicare when they hit 65. That will help restore the profitability of the company, he claims. No doubt.

The column dismisses the plight of American working people and their health as an inconvenience that they must endure, but then looks at China with its vast populations and super-cheap wages as the biggest threat to the viability of U.S. manufacturing. Of course, the column did not mention that Republicans are looking at Medicare payments to cut as a way of reducing the huge budget deficit.

In case you haven't noticed, the war on American workers by the Republicans and their corporate fuehrers is going one hell of lot better than the war on Iraq. The insurgency in Iraq just keeps setting off bombs, while the American workers and the poor are quietly herded into destitution camps.

Patriotism. Long live the corporations. Destroy the people.

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