Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ray Buursma: American workers got what they deserved

By RAY BUURSMA

Community columnist
The Holland Sentinel

Holland, MI — Are you an American employee? If so, today’s column will likely offend you. If you’d rather not be offended, read no further. If you continue and then complain, I’m sorry, but that simply proves you’re, well, stupid. But then again, stupidity plays a large role in today’s topic.
 
Still reading? OK. You’ve had fair warning.

So you’re an American employee. Maybe you make car parts. Maybe you’re an engineer or designer. Maybe you’re an accountant, store clerk or tradesman. Whatever you do, you’re probably stupid or lazy. Yes, I wrote it, and I mean it. You are either stupid or lazy. Maybe both.

Now, I’m not referring to your work ethic or job performance. No, most of you are competent and devoted to your profession or vocation. I’m addressing the way you view economics and employment. I’m challenging your gumption to advocate for yourself and your fellow Americans. Here’s what I mean.

Remember the Reagan standard? Are you better off today than you were a decade ago? Two decades? Three? Unless you make more than $380,000 a year, the answer is no. In fact, your standard of living over the last quarter century has actually decreased while millionaires have added 30 percent to their net wealth. Why? Two reasons.

First, hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs went overseas while the politicians you elected did nothing to stop them. Yet you continue to elect leaders who offer nothing but tax cuts, as if that would stem the flow of disappearing jobs.

Did you demand your leaders address America’s trade imbalance or continuous outsourcing of jobs? Did you demand your leaders require foreign countries to buy a dollar’s worth of American goods for every dollar of goods they sell here?

No and no. You didn’t bother. You simply crossed your fingers and prayed, “I hope my job’s not next.” You made concessions to your employer and hoped that would stem the exodus of jobs, or at least yours. How’d that work for you?

Second, you bought into the myth that unions are the cause of America’s demise. You didn’t bother to learn America became a world power when union membership was at its peak. You didn’t bother to learn America became the envy of the world while 1 of every 3 Americans was a union member.

So, how are things going for you? How do your benefits compare to a quarter century ago? Are you paying a higher or lower percentage of your income for health insurance? Does your company offer a pension plan, or do you now fund your own 401(k)?

Maybe you’re thinking, “I’m not a union worker, so this doesn’t affect me.”

Stop being stupid. Union benefits provide a standard other companies have to match, or at least come close to. When those benefits are cut, yours are, too. Or do you think you operate in your own little employment vacuum?

To make matters worse, you’re again being played for a chump. The same puppets who did nothing while your standard of living decreased are now using the oldest gimmick in the book — jealousy — to continue their assault on American workers. Rather than protect Americans’ jobs, they deflect your attention through jealousy.

“Cut the pay of government workers,” they cry. “Increase their health premiums. Decrease their pensions. Break their unions. After all, you’ve suffered so they should suffer too.” And in your misery, you buy their argument while more jobs head oversees. Pretty stupid, eh?

If their antics weren’t so pathetic, if the consequences weren’t so dire, if they didn’t prey on your stupidity, and if you didn’t buy into their convoluted reasoning, this whole situation would be laughable. But of course it’s not.

I warned you I’d likely offend you, and I suspect I did. But once you overcome your anger, consider my analysis. Then, either wise up and do something about it, or resign yourself to a lower standard of living for the next decade.

Ray Buursma is a Laketown Township, Michigan resident. Contact him through The Sentinel at newsroom@hollandsentinel.com

Broadcast Union News: Harsh, but very true. If these economic times are not a wake-up call to all American workers to rise up and stand in solidarity against those who would enslave us, then we deserve to join the parade of the ignorant who are marching, with flags waving and bands playing, back into the middle ages and serfdom. - Bob Daraio

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

It seems that we in canada are suffering the same fate as the workers in the USA and it is a reality in Alberta where the big oil companies control our government and ask for tax breaks and then get modules made in Korea instead of in North America and yet they don't pass the savings on to our citizens. In fact if you look at all the other big oil producers in the world you will find that they only pay pennies per gallon not 3 to 6 $ per gallon like North America. Why are we subsidizing these oil companies and the rest of the world that don't pay these rediculous prices for their imported oil?
The polititions don't ask the pepole of their respective nations for their opinions ,they just go ahead and make arbitrary decisions that I beleive benifits them and not this so called democracy that we live in.
I truly beleive that what is going on in the Mid East is going to spill out into both our nations because we don't have a truly democratic system here but a semi socialistic system that lines the pockets of those in command.
I hope that we wake up before mits too late!!

Johanna said...

I have told my Senators and my Representative EXACTLY how I feel and they did not listen to me. So when they came up for re-election I voted against them. But the replacements are JUST AS BAD!! Big business runs our country. I go to EVERY union rally in my area since that dirtbag Scott Walker bushed the unions in WI. TAX THE RICH !!! Johanna Brackney