— Calvin Luther Martin, PhD
If you had told me a year ago that Donald Trump was going to run for President, you and I would have laughed.
If you had told me a year ago that I would be supporting Trump for President, we would have laughed even harder.
I’m not laughing any more.
What changed my mind was an old pair of moccasins belonging to my wife. I flipped them over.
“Made in USA.” In fact, “Made in Malone NY.” Nina’s moccasins were made a couple blocks from our home.
Savor this for a moment, the way you’d savor a fine cigar. Inhale what I just said, “Made in Malone NY.”
They were made by people Nina sees as patients or by relatives of her patients. (She’s a doc, in case you didn’t know.) This means these people were employed, and it was a good job. Steady work. Good benefits. It also means Malone was thriving. As in this charming (and really old) photograph.
Now, take a look at my new boots. I bought ‘em at IBC last September.
I love them! Comfortable. Waterproof. Well made. Okay, now turn back the tongue of the boot . . .
“Made in China.” Whoa! These used to be made in Malone NY. Now — China?!
This got me ransacking our kitchen. Here, take a look at our cookware.
Now our Corning Ware. Had this piece for years.
Turn it over . . .
“Made in USA.” Actually, made in Corning NY.
Last fall we bought a “Corning Ware” mug . . .
Turn it over . . .
“Made in China.” Still “Corning Ware,” but “Made in China.”
Ladies and gentlemen, this pisses me off! What the f**k happened?! Did people in Malone NY suddenly forget how to make shoes?
Look at this man’s hands. Gary Monette. From 1969 to 1974, Gary made shoes at Tru-Stitch. Did Gary forget how to make shoes? Did his sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, and neighbors — all turn their backs on making shoes?
Did the folks in Rome NY forget how to make pots & pans? Did Corning NY forget how to make cookware?!
Shoes, pots, pans, cookware: “Offshore.” Overseas. China, Southeast Asia, India, Mexico, West Indies, South America, etc. It was given a name. “Globalization.” “Globalization” is government lingo for “You’re screwed!”
“Malone, you’re screwed!”
There’s another government expression that likewise translates into “You’re screwed!” It’s “trade agreements.”
The white dot on the map represents Rome NY, Corning NY, and Malone NY.
Here’s a better way of seeing this.
“Globalization.” “Trade agreements.” “Offshoring.” Three different ways of telling the American worker, “You’re screwed!”
The first major trade agreement was signed into law by none other than Bill Clinton. Yeah, the guy married to Hillary, who wants to be next President. It was called NAFTA. North American Free Trade Agreement. Free trade between Canada, Mexico, and USA. NAFTA has been a fiasco for working Americans. (For corporate America, it’s been a gift from heaven.) Listen to Ross Perot describing NAFTA as a “giant sucking sound” — sucking jobs out of America.
Turns out that Mr. Perot was prophetic. Bill Clinton was full of blather. Watch this assessment of NAFTA’s impact on America and Mexico on the 20-year anniversary of Clinton’s signing it.
NAFTA was just the beginning of the “gutting” of American jobs. There have been loads of these agreements since then. Click here.
To get a better feel for the “giant sucking sound” Ross Perot referred to 24 years ago, run your eye down this list of American companies who were about to move their manufacturing or other services “offshore” in July 2013. Note the text highlighted in red.
Data from Manufacturing and Technology News, July 2013:
Flextronics Americas in Stafford, Texas, will lay off 147 workers because their jobs “are being transferred to Juarez, Mexico,” writes Chrystal Broussard Johnson, a Workforce Account Executive at a TAA “One-Stop Operator/Partner.”
Jabil of Tempe, Ariz., will lay off more than 500 workers making printed circuit boards and box-build assemblies for the medical, industrial and aerospace sectors. “We are in the process of moving several assemblies to other Jabil facilities in Mexico and Asia in order to reduce labor costs and meet our customers’ pricing expectations,” writes Jabil HR Manager Dawn Tabelak in a July 15 TAA petition.
Joy Global of Franklin, Penn., will lay off 245 workers making underground mining equipment because production is “being shifted to a foreign location, outsourcing increased imports, articles and services,” writes Timothy Buck, a union official in York, Penn.
Phillips Lighting Company’s Bath, N.Y., factory making finished lamps will lay off 265 workers because “production is being shifted to a foreign country,” writes Amy Heysham, Director of Human Resources for Phillips.
Hewlett Packard will lay off 500 employees working in customer service and technical support in Conway, Ark., due to “global restructuring,” according to Mazen Alkhamis, Business Solutions Analyst for the state of Arkansas in Little Rock.
DAK Americas of Leland, N.C., is laying off 340 full-time workers and 264 contract workers because it closed its entire production facility at its Cape Fear site due to dumped imports of competing products, according to Stephen Seals, DAK Americas’ Senior Director of Human Resources. “Imports of PET resins have continued to rise in quantity over the last several years, especially from China and Oman,” writes Seals. “The low price of these imports as well as the increasing volume continues to have a negative impact in the U.S. marketplace. For DAK Americas’ Cape Fear site, it is the price suppression that these low-priced imports has brought with them that has been the most damaging. The continuing decline in prices has forced DAK Americas to rationalize capacity.” Shutting down the Cape Fear PET resins manufacturing plant “would not be the outcome if the increasing volume of low-priced imports had not driven the manufacturing economics for this site beyond a state that cannot be maintained and be viable.
“DAK continues to participate in trade actions against these low-priced imports. There are three major trade cases for antidumping actions for Certain Polyester Staple Fiber products against Korea (A-580-839), Taiwan (A-583-833) and China (A-570-905) that remain active with trade actions aimed at controlling the dumping of fibers from these countries, yet the flow of imports continues to affect our business and the marketplace. As a result of continuing imports of those dumped products, DAK will be closing fiber manufacturing at the Cape Fear site. A significant portion of the Polyester Stable Fiber produced on-site will now be transferred and be manufactured in Queretaro, Mexico. . . Even with the renewed anti-dumping trade case affirmative actions against Korea, free-trade agreements with Korea were put in place that bolster the ability for these imports to continue. If imports were not given increased access to the U.S. marketplace for the products produced at DAK Americas Cape Fear site, the site would not be forced to rationalize capacity and shut down its operations resulting in the loss of approximately 600 jobs at the site.”
Eli Lilly will lose nearly 1,000 sales representatives nationwide “as a result of the loss of patent protection from two of its best-selling drugs: Cymbalta and Evista,” writes Susan Fracasso, Rapid Response Coordinator for the state of Connecticut in Wethersfield. “Those two products will be made generically, likely by facilities outside of the United States.”
Charles Inc. of Council Bluffs, Iowa, will lay off 60 furniture workers. The reason: “Since mid-1990s, many upholstered furniture companies have been importing completely upholstered furniture, cut & sewn kits and raw materials from China, Mexico, Vietnam and other Southeast Asia countries,” according to Lindsay Anderson, TAA Coordinator for the state of Iowa. “This has resulted in Charles Inc.’s inability to compete with them and be able to meet their prices. Charles Inc. has tried many different approaches, but the labor and material saving on imported products was too much for Charles Inc. to overcome.”
PDM Bridge based in Proctor, Minn., will lay off 35 workers because the company is “losing local contract product bids in the last year to multinational and overseas buyers and producers of like and similar bridge products,” according to Debra Schlekewy, TAA Coordinator for the state of Minnesota.
Honeywell Process Solutions, manufacturer of electronic industrial control units in York, Penn., will lay off 110 workers. “Company filed WARN stating closure in the first quarter of 2014 with layoffs expected to begin in August 2013,” writes Terri Zimmerman of the Pennsylvania state government. “Per company official most of the work is transferring to Mexico.”
Nordex USA Inc., maker of wind blades in both Jonesboro, Ark., and Chicago, Ill., will lay off 80 workers because production is “being sifted to a foreign country,” according to Francene Miller of the Arkansas state government.
Tyco Electronics TE Connectivity/ ICT Division in Tullahoma, Tenn., a manufacturer of electronic connectors, will lay off 33 employees because “production has been shifted to a foreign country,” according to workers filing on their own behalf.
Campbell Soup Co. in Camden N.J., has laid off 100 workers because their “services are being transferred to a foreign country,” writes Patric Donovan, Employment and Training Specialist for the state of New Jersey.
Cooper Interconnected, a division of Cooper Wiring Devices headquartered in Peachtree City, Ga., will lay off 56 workers from its Salem, N.J., facility. “To meet competitive demands on product manufacturing, the plant activities are being transferred to a plant in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico,” writes Randall Zimmerman, Director of Human Resources at Cooper Wiring Devices, on behalf of the workers. “Competitors are currently located in similar foreign locations.”
Sensata Technologies of Attleboro, Mass., is laying of 16 employees because it is “transitioning manufacturing of burn-in test socket products manufactured in Phoenix, Ariz., to locations in China and Korea,” writes Cheryl Stanton, Senior Human Resources Generalist at the company.
Motorola Solutions’ Louisville, Ky., electronics repair facility will lay off 55 workers because their jobs “are being relocated and will ultimately end up in Mexico,” writes Loretta Baker, Regional Trade Facilitator at the Kentucky Office of Employment Training in Louisville.
Sealed Air Corp. in Duncan, S.C., has laid off an undisclosed number of workers after it purchased Diversey Holding Inc., in 2011 and decided to outsource its information technology computer support to WIPRO in Pune, India. “Thus, the Sealed Air internal service desks in Europe, China, Brazil and Duncan were outsourced overseas to India and employees/contractors lost jobs,” write three former workers whose names were redacted from the petition (received July 17).
Transportal of Charlotte, N.C., a company that transcribes medical records, laid off 25 workers when their jobs were “underbid by another company, Nuance, who offshores work,” writes Dianna Rivera, TAA coordinator for the state of North Carolina.
NIDEC Motor Corp. in Paragould, Ark., is laying off eight workers making dryer appliance motors because production is “being shifted to a foreign country,” writes Francene Miller, Business Solutions Analyst for the Arkansas state government in Little Rock, Ark.
Omega Engineering in Stamford, Conn., has laid off 40 employees making thermocouples. Omega “was acquired by Spectris (UK) in 2012,” according to Michael Shavel, Career Development Specialists for the Connecticut State Labor Department. “In October, the company opened a Customer Service and Manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China. The welding department located in Stamford, Conn., was downsized from 45 workers to five presently. At a company meeting in 2012, Global Director James R. Dale announced plans to open facilities globally, including China, Spain and Brazil.”
Walgreens in Mount Prospect, Ill., has laid off 23 data processing, mainframe operations workers. “Services (IT Operations) have been outsourced to Chennai, India, and Queretaro, Mexico,” according to workers who submitted the petition. “All phone calls since March 2013 have been rerouted to these foreign countries.”
Narroflex of Stuart, Va., will lay off 55 workers making textiles because of “increased imports of products [and] outsourcing to foreign countries by our customers,” according to Robert Diesel, Narroflex Chief Financial Officer.
Keystone Printed Specialties in Old Forge, Penn., has laid off 40 employees in its lithographic printing department because the “company has lost customers such as Stanley/Black & Decker due to their production being moved overseas,” write workers filing on their own behalf. “Company also lost business with Menasha Packaging Corp., and Packaging Corporation of America, Just Born Candy, Rock-Tenn Corp. and International Paper (formerly Temple-Inland). Increased outsourcing of the production of consumer packaged goods has negatively impacted the domestic production of corrugated and folding packaging [and] lithographic printed labels.”
Council for South Texas Economic Progress is shutting down its call center in Winston Salem, N.C., because “as call centers nationwide are being sent overseas due to cheaper labor, call center workers are left with very few options for jobs and very little education to assist with finding jobs,” according to workers filing on their own behalf. “Our call center is just one of many that are being shut down.”
Staples’ Columbia, S.C., accounts payable team will lose up to 20 jobs because its “processes are being shifted to India,” write workers filing on their own behalf. “Accenture representatives have been trained at our shared service center as well as in India. The knowledge transfer will continue through the end of our term. On April 2, 2013, our management team announced the elimination of our positions to Accenture.”
Here are other TAA petitions that were being considered by the Labor Department during the month of July:
IBM in Montpelier, Vt., will lay off 500 workers involved in design and manufacture of computer chips and hardware. “We have received information from IBM displaced workers and others that design, production and logistical operations are being outsourced to foreign facilities,” writes Rose Lucenti, Director of Workforce Development in the Vermont State Workforce Office.
IBM will lay off 747 workers involved in computer manufacturing at three sites in New York, according to Susan Serviss, State TAA Coordinator in the N.Y. State Department of Labor in Albany. Serviss writes: “The company has contracted to support the development and application of hardware and software for IBM’s mainframes. [IBM employees have] been training workers in China during the last few months of the worker’s employment to perform the contractor’s responsibilities using the procedures that the contractor had created. [M]ost of the operations at the Poughkeepsie site are gone to Brazil, India and now China.”
Spartanburg Steel Productsin Spartanburg, S.D., has laid off 500 workers because it did not win a contract for automotive body stampings and weld assemblies from BMW in South Carolina. “BMW is changing car models and Spartanburg Steel was not able to retain all of the new parts for the new vehicle,” writes Kelli Grant, TAA Operations Coordinator for the state of South Carolina. “Those parts will be produced by two foreign-owned companies that have plants in the upstate of South Carolina: Gestamp and Drive Automotive.”
Atlas-Copco Drilling Solutions LLC / Dynapac in Garland, Texas, a maker of drilling equipment for strip mining and road machinery, will lay off 15 to 20 employees because “all Dynapac production was shifted to foreign countries,” according to workers filing on their own behalf. “Roller machine was shifted to Sweden. And a new factory was built in China for the production of the Asphalt Paver. The Paver is to be marketed as an American Design to be sold to USA and Australia with the USA tier 4 emission standards developed at Garland, Texas.”
Boeing Co. will lay off at least 1,000 workers at plants in Auburn, Wash., Everett, Wash., Payallup, Wash., Renton, Wash., Seattle, Wash., and Tukwila, Wash., “with more WARNed,” writes Dean Tudor, of aerospace union SPEEA and Tom Wroblewski, the IAMAW District President in Seattle, Wash. “Production of Commercial aircraft has been outsourced to offshore locations,” they write in numerous TAA petitions certified in July by the Labor Department. “The result of the outsourcing created assembly problems which has caused multiple locations in Washington to react by increasing manpower. The continuation of outsourcing after the initial increase has caused the company to decrease its workforce.”
General Motors Powertrain division in Saginaw, Mich., has lost between 150 and 200 jobs involved in the raw and semi finished castings of blocks and heads. “A major portion of the production has been shifted to a foreign country resulting in the reduction in workforce at our facility,” writes Harold Cripps, president of the local union. “About 75 percent of the heads we produced for the 5.3 liter V Head and 50 percent of the 5.3 liter blocks we produced will now be done in Mexico. We also produced Lost Foam 4 cylinder blocks that are now manufactured overseas in China and Korea. This process has been eliminated completely from our facility.”
Kingston Technology of Fountain Valley, Calif., is laying off 80 workers involved in DRAM and Flash memory products for electronics because “our company has been and continues to shift primarily production work from the U.S. to China,” writes company Human Resources Manager Denise Stevens. “Other groups affected include shipping, warehouse workers and to a lesser degree, finance, engineering and IT positions.”
Hasbro Inc. has laid off 200 workers in Pawtucket, R.I., because “the industry as a whole is suffering due to Chinese imports, as well as new technology manufactured in foreign countries,” write workers in their petition for TAA benefits. “Design for these products has also become frequently sourced to Hong Kong due to cost of labor in the U.S.”
Perkin Elmer is laying off 110 workers at its Downers Grove, Ill., plant because it is “relocating two production lines to their Singapore facility,” writes Susi Pihera, Rapid Response Liaison with WorkNet DuPage Career Center in Lisle, Ill. The facility was making medical instruments for laboratory use and radiation detection equipment.
Keithley Instruments, maker of electronic test and measurement equipment in Solon, Ohio, laid off 59 employees because the company “transferred the majority of [its] manufacturing operations to China in a staged process over the course of 2011-2013,” according to Ontoinette Threatt, Workforce Planning Analyst at the company.
Cambridge International’s Alloy Wire Belt facility in Modesto, Calif., is “being closed because they were moving it to Mexico to cut operating costs as the labor there was cheaper,” according to Julie Odell, an Employment Program Representative for the state of California in Turlock.
Callaway Golf Balls has shifted production from its Chicopee, Mass., facility to China, Taiwan and Mexico impacting 23 workers, according to workers submitting the TAA petition.
Cameroon PCS, a maker of pressure vessels in Magnolia, Texas, has laid off 100 workers because “production has been outsourced to a foreign country. We were told to China,” according to workers submitting the petition.
Caterpillar Inc.’s Mapleton Foundry in Peoria, Ill., is laying off 80 workers making engine liners and engine blocks because “the company is outsourcing engine block and head production as well as the finishing products,” according to Lori Graham of the Illinois Workforce Network “The products have been outsourced to Technicost, a company located in Mexico.”
Wonik Quartz International Corp., a maker of quartz glass for the semiconductor industry in Albuquerque, N.M., is laying off an undisclosed number of workers because “all parts of being outsourced to China because it is cheaper,” according to the company workers submitting the petition.
General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products division in Saco, Maine, has laid off 100 workers making MK19 40MM Grenade launchers because the contract “was awarded to another company, Fabrique National (FN Manufacturing), located in Columbia, S.C.,” write GD workers in their petition. “FN Manufacturing is a subsidiary of Belgian Herstal Group located in Herstal, Belgium in Europe.”
Rockwell Automation of Milwaukee, Wisc., intends to lay off 45 workers in its global financial services group because a “letter of layoff from [the] company and [an] e-mail copied to some of the affected workers stating their jobs are being redeployed. . . to Poland,” according to Roger Hinkle of the Milwaukee Help-In-Re-Employment (HIRE) Center. “People from Poland came to Rockwell to be trained.”
A.A. Laun Furniture Co., based in Kiel, Wisc., will lay off 45 workers making wood furniture because “cheaper products and materials from overseas have made it impossible for American made furniture factories to compete, forcing them to go out of business,” write the workers who submitted the petition.
Automatic Data Processing will lay off between 50 and 200 workers in San Dimas, Calif., because the company’s services have been “outsourced to India,” says Linda Ellen, TAA Analyst for the state of California in Sacramento. “Staff were required to train the associates from India in correct letter writing, communications and grammar.”
Federal Mogul’s Chicago plant has laid off 130 workers due to production being moved to Los Reyes, Mexico, according to Stacey Miller, the company’s Human Resources Manager.
Sony Pictures Imageworks in Culver City, Calif., is laying off 100 workers involved in visual effects and animation because “the work is being outsource to Canada and India,” according to Susan Campos, a TAA specialist with the state of California in Los Angeles.
Seco Tools based in Lenoir City, Tenn., is laying off 72 workers because “the manufacturing is moving to Seco plants located in France, Sweden and India,” writes Jennifer Ostroff, HR manager at the company.
Baldwin Hardware, a subsidiary of Spectrum Brands (and a subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker), in Reading, Penn., is laying off 166 workers making door locks and hardware because “production is being shifted to Nogales, Mexico,” writes Sylvia Lehn, HR Manager at Spectrum.
Osram Sylvania in Winchester, Ky., is laying off 24 workers in its lighting division because “LED lamp assembly at the Winchester, Ky., facility is being transferred to the Juarez, Mexico, facility between 6/2013 and 9/2013,” writes Janice Berryman, Osram Sylvania Human Resources Manager.
Agilent Technologies of Cary, N.C., is laying off 41 workers because “all production activities are being shifted to Agilent Technologies Inc. manufacturing facility in Penang, Malaysia,” write workers filing on their own behalf. “All R&D functions are being transferred to Agilent Technologies Inc., in Waldbron, Germany.”
Lou Dobbs calls the process, “Exporting America.” Some years back, when he still worked for CNN, Dobbs compiled a list of the companies that are exporting your job overseas. In his words, “These are U.S. companies either sending American jobs overseas, or choosing to employ cheap overseas labor, instead of American workers.” Click here.
Let’s make this more personal. Let’s feel the “burn.” In February of this year, Indiana’s Carrier Corporation (air conditioners) told its hundreds of workers they are soon going to be jobless. “We’re moving the plant to Mexico!” Here’s raw video taken by one of the workers in the room when “management” broke the news.
As of this writing, this video has been watched 3,782,758 times. That’s 3.7 million righteously angry (i.e., pissed off) people.
Within hours of Carrier’s announcement, one presidential candidate went through the roof!
Within hours of the Carrier announcement, when only several hundred people had watched the “firing” video, there happened to be a Republican presidential debate. Donald Trump went out of his way during the debate that evening to bring up the video (he had obviously watched it) and denounce Carrier, saying that as president he would put a stop to this outrage.
I watched the debate that night. The other candidates looked at him as if he was from Mars.
Donald Trump isn’t from Mars. He “gets it.” He “gets” the bitter significance of this photograph.
Trump also “gets” these photographs.
Somewhere in one of those containers (huge boxes) on one of these mega-Container Ships, there’s a pair of moccasins — the pattern copied (stolen?) from the moccasins that used to be made 3 blocks from my home. There are also pots, pans, Corning dishware, the underwear I’m wearing, my T-shirt (that used to be made by Gildan here in Malone), the hiking boots I bought at IBC (see above) and, well, just about everything you & I buy in terms of hardware, clothing, building materials, furniture, appliances, and on and on.
Mr. Monette, if you’re wondering where the shoes went, they’re in one of those containers onboard those freighters. And your job — your job was given away to the country where that ship picked up its cargo. It was given away in a fancy document called a “trade agreement.” Also known as “globalization.” Hillary Clinton is big on “globalization.” Her husband got the “screw the American worker” wrecker-ball rolling.
If she’s President, guess who will be advising her?
As you listen to the Democratic and Repubican presidential candidates, don’t get too excited by the stirring rhetoric on “foreign policy,” “abortion rights,” “conservative v. liberal,” “immigration,” “ISIS,” “the economy,” “jobs,” “ObamaCare,” “Social Security,” “national security,” “Wall Street banks,” “Jesus,” “Ronald Reagan,” “Vladimir Putin,” “North Korea,” “the evangelical vote,” “the black and hispanic vote,” “millennials,” “gay rights,” etc.
Yes yes yes, these are all important — but each is either away beyond your sphere of influence (e.g., foreign policy and national security) or was long ago captured by special interests (e.g., health care and banking regulations) or is quite simply too vague, vast, and abstact to have any practical meaning (e.g., the “economy” and my favorite, “growing jobs” — as if jobs are turnips or carrots). It’s all stock political slogans, platitudes, catch-phrases, bromides, wishful thinking, and fantasy.
In short, rhetoric that has nothing to do with Nina’s moccasins.
Several weeks ago, Nina & I drove to Burlington. Have you seen downtown Chateaugay lately? It’s boarded up. Just like downtown Malone. And downtown Massena. And downtown Tupper Lake (until some wealthy philanthropist built a big honkin’ phony “nature center” that attracts lots of tourists). And downtown St. Regis Falls. And downtown — you name it, as you drive across the rooftop of New York State.
Dead. Boarded up. Many people depressed. Many living on food stamps and other social services. Drug dealing and drug use rampant.
It didn’t used to be this way. Shoes, T-shirts, woolen hunting clothing, uniforms, paper goods — Malone made these and more. Our downtown was vibrant. Food stamps and other social “safety net” services were nowhere near as prevalent. Drug use was comparatively trivial.
Today Malone makes — prisons.
Several centuries ago, England was screwing its American colonies. The colonists responded to England’s economic tyranny with a gesture of defiance celebrated in this medallion struck on the bicentennial.
Is that what’s really in those zillions of containers arriving daily in our ports: Economic tyranny?
“Made in the USA” are the most important words being spoken in this presidential campaign. Drive around Malone, repeating those four words to yourself. Nothing else being said by Hillary or Donald or Bernie matters as much to Malone as those 4 words.
Only one candidate is saying them.