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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

A sign of changing times?
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Dave Munson Mid Illinois    Posted 12-19-2003 at 06:50:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
Tuesday, a man jumped from a high bridge into the Illinois River. The obituary said he was 50. A friend told me that he was a skilled worker, working at a small manufacturing plant. He had gotten laid off. One of those permanent layoff’s where there is no hope of what was. I can not remember if she said if the company was gone or just cutting back. She said he had found work but at “one of those places” where normal people would not work. You know, the average worker there cant read or is on drugs.

Here, in the Illinois Valley, times are changing but not for the better. More people are getting ‘laid off’ and businesses are going under. Reading the news I see that this region of the country is not the only one suffering hard times. I talked to a another friend that runs a small company. He says that the government has raised taxes for his company and that foreign competition and what people will pay keeps the price for his products low. He had purchased some used processing equipment from a bankrupt competition. It won’t drastically change or help his overall business but it will set it up so he is paying his own people rather than sending the work out.

From what I read, other places around the country are not a lot better off.

It will not take much to go from bad times to something a lot worse here in the Illinois Valley.


Ana    Posted 12-19-2003 at 16:33:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
If anyone is listening to these common folk here, the economy is NOT improving for most of us, not matter what the media and our government are telling us.


Taylor Lambert    Posted 12-19-2003 at 15:54:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
When I lost my job I almost had enough money to buy a used dozer with to add to my side job. Iwas too busy to find anything to jump off. I saw 2 folks at the unemploymen office wanting to get an extension on there benefits. They told me how no jobs were to be had. I get aggravated there alot of jobs a person can have but they dont take because they think its unfit. When i get a big job on the side like a retaining wall Ill hire 10 people if I can. I pay 10 to 12 dollars an hour and all drinks,and dinner and if i work late ill get supper. Uaully all the hard work Ill do with the backhoe or tractor. But alot of folks wont do this or dont want to. I have 2 mexican friends not much older than me and they will bring friends or cousins with them and work all day not to mention get to work on time.
Ive also learned its good to know a few trades I am a machinist and welde by trade but also am a heavy euipment operator to. I can usually find a good job to pas st he winter by.


Willy-N    Posted 12-19-2003 at 11:57:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
If things were that bad I would take my life I think I would try to rob a bank and see if I could get away with it first! Just wasting one's life over the loss of a job is not enought reason. Mark H.


Jimbob    Posted 12-19-2003 at 10:57:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
I got laid off last year. I have a high skill level, but the whole division was shutdown. I can set up an entire auto manufacturing plant, bring the building(s) out of the ground, install all utilities-electric power, water, storm, sanitary, fire protection, process equipment, etc, etc, etc AND meet all codes. Yet, I can not find a job in this field- go figure! Most do not want persons in their early '50s. Pepsi generation, ya know.

As I limped away, I remembered the many design skills I have. I started two small businesses & making a living. Also, I ship some items overseas bringing back a few dollars that has left this country.

As the businesses slowly builds up, it appears I may make more $ than I ever had in the past with about 25% of the sweat & worry.


rustyfarmall    Posted 12-19-2003 at 11:54:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
I know just what you mean, I used to dream about being self-employed. All of a sudden, I have been forced into it.


Dieselrider    Posted 12-20-2003 at 11:37:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
I know what you mean. All the complaining I used to do about my job but, I would probably never have up and left as long as it was there. Even though I'd thought about doing something on my own alot. Then when they shut the doors I was forced to try something on my own. My partner and I started a small machine shop here in central PA.


d    Posted 12-19-2003 at 10:35:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
Welcome to the real world. This is exactly what happened to Canadian jobs under NAFTA, except those jobs went to the US thanks to massive US (and state, and local) government subsidies and tax breaks that we just couldn't hope to match. Now that Bush is spending hand over fist in his pet war, you get to deal with it too. I know many people here who have never found another job since the factor closed and moved 800 jobs to North Carolina in the mid-90s. One of those people walks up and down the centre line of the highway about 8 hours a day, in any weather, not caring if he gets hit or not, and has for years.


Les    Posted 12-19-2003 at 12:48:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
Maybe you should have joined the US military. When I was in the USMC 30+ years ago, we had lots of officers from other countries, including Canada, Guatemala and Spain.
But then, it's probably easier to sit home and b1tch about how unfair you've been treated.


fritz    Posted 12-19-2003 at 17:44:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
As the old Indian said Don,t say anything untill you have walked in other mans shoes. There is alaways two sides listen carefully


Jimbob    Posted 12-20-2003 at 07:35:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
Amen Fritz.


toolman    Posted 12-19-2003 at 13:43:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
or you can come on here and b1tch about eveything.


Les...ROFLMAO    Posted 12-19-2003 at 15:11:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
WTIME!!! Good one, toolman.


steve19438    Posted 12-19-2003 at 10:20:24       [Reply]  [Send Email]
we, as a people (americans), are soft. many people under the age of 50 do not know what hard times and/or sacrifice is all about. we have been enjoying good jobs and riding high on the hog, then when something bad happens we don't know how to deal with it. the depression era americans learned how to deal with adversity, they adjusted and moved on. (most of em anyway) we have had it too soft; now we don't want to do jobs/work that we feel is beneath our dignity and we look down our sorry noses at the "foreigners" who are just glad to have a job! we have forgotten the notion that work, any work, is a noble quest whether you clean toliets or are a CEO. (yes; i have cleaned many a toliet)


Dieselrider    Posted 12-20-2003 at 11:49:40       [Reply]  [Send Email]
You are right Steve, we have it too good. When compared with other countries the USA does not have any "poor" people.
I think you really have to go over the age of fifty though to find people here who have had it tuff. I'm sure there are a few exceptions but the folks in th US to last see real tuff times were the one that survived the depression. I didn't see those time but from the reading I've done we just can't compare to those days.
I am really glad to be a spoiled American. I hope it lasts another 200 years or so.(Not for me but for the country)


LH    Posted 12-19-2003 at 09:55:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Despite what some believe I dont think one political party is to blame for our economy, its just a cycle that I hope we get through very soon. Until 4 years ago I had a great job that paid decent wages considering I dont have a college degree. When that job went away I did my best to make a few bucks raising horses and exotic animals. The exotics were a hot commodity for a while until the bottom fell out then you couldnt give them away. Eventually lost the farm, my butt, and my family in the process. Tried very hard to find any job locally but it didnt happen. I finally relocated to New york state and now have a job that only pays half of what I was making, and I am one of the very few American employees with the company. From what I see and have been told from the labor perspective in this area most white americans dont want to work the heavy labor jobs thats why we have so many spanish speaking immigrants performing these tasks. The tough times arent over, but there are jobs available if folks are willing to forget their pride and get back to working for a living. They may not be great jobs but if they pay the bills and let a person support themselves and their families is what is important to me


Dieselrider    Posted 12-20-2003 at 12:03:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
Amen!


Salmoneye    Posted 12-19-2003 at 09:52:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
I was 'downsized' twice between 92 and 96...Managed to pay off a house at the same time...

Both times I came out on top and better off...I guess I will just never understand despair...

Sorry to hear that someone ever feels that it is a good idea to chuck the gift we have been given...

Almost enough to make me find religion...


Les    Posted 12-19-2003 at 12:43:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
Amen and amen, Salmoneye. Despair feeds on itself. Sounds to me like you already got religion. ";^)


Les    Posted 12-19-2003 at 09:26:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
See now, if everybody had voted Democrat, that never would have happened.


big fred    Posted 12-19-2003 at 09:56:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sure makes me glad I don't live in the same country as some of the responders below. I bet they'd give anything if they could come and live in the United States.


Salmoneye    Posted 12-19-2003 at 09:49:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
Where do I sign up...



TB    Posted 12-19-2003 at 08:43:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
The problem is that meny US companies are building plants and mooving jobs overseas. If a US Co. builds somthing in china and ships it over it is considerd transfering stock or suplies from one branch of the Co. to another, NO TERIFS. If an overseas Co. does it thay have to pay high terrifs. So a good part of it is our own US Co.s

This is my opinion.


Short Round    Posted 12-19-2003 at 07:38:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
China is going to take over this country and never fire a shot.......think about it.


Jimmy    Posted 12-19-2003 at 11:14:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Do not under estimate China. Wars are mostly fought with ecomonics. China is a world power.

The developments there are moving forward at an alarming rate- industry, energy, argricultural, etc. In the 5-7 years left on a 30-year project, they will have enough electrical power to operate the whole country from just one dam that belittles any of our electrical hydro generation plants. If I was to move there, I would not have time to sleep with the wide open job market. (I'll stay here).

The incident of the fighter jet hitting our military plane a few years ago is a sign of they are not going to take any US aggression- none! They only backed off due to economic relations with the US.

Watch China, they may become more powerful than the US in 10-15 years!


PDB    Posted 12-19-2003 at 14:16:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
You forgot how advanced they became with nuclear weapon and missile technology they bought from a certian ex-president in the 1990's for a few measly campaign dollars.


Salmoneye    Posted 12-19-2003 at 14:25:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
It has been estimated that those deals jumped them 24 years in a matter of only 5-7 years real time...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/missile/keystories.htm

http://www.rense.com/general2/super.htm

http://members.tripod.com/~RaineyM/china-2.html



Jimmy    Posted 12-20-2003 at 06:31:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yep, real spooky. China even rents a US Navel port in California for trade and only gods knows for whatever else! The US feels they can not be stopped as a world dominating power so join up with them. Problem is China wants no partners. They wont even help address their neighbor N. Korea regarding its nuke threats.


We can't afford to    Posted 12-19-2003 at 08:59:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
lose our production base. Simple as that. The service industry will not sustain an economy.
We have to produce. AND we have to produce quality in all areas we strive to own market share.

But, hey... what do I know.


fritz    Posted 12-19-2003 at 17:52:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
If we have to go to war with these importing companies I hope we can have three years lead time so we can order our weapons and ammunition as we won,t have any steel or manufactoring plants operating at the rate things are going Better think strong on this as it will happen


jf    Posted 12-19-2003 at 18:20:58       [Reply]  [Send Email]
reminds me of in GONE WITH THE WIND where rhett butler says their is not a single cannon factory in all the south. Whereas the confederate says what difference does that make to a gentleman, and butler says its gonna make a great deal of difference to a lot of gentlemen


Mike D.    Posted 12-19-2003 at 07:24:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hello Dave,
Hard news. I feel bad for his family. Sure don't make it easy, no matter what time of year. Holidays make it worse.
I'm blue collar. Been through many a downturn. It is hard to go through, but what choice is there? Bridgejumping is one way, but I bet he had other problems working against him too.

I hocked 2 generators, 6 nailguns, and two compressors in March 1990. Kept the farm that way. Never done it before, or since. Not to say I won't need to do something like it again though.




Doc    Posted 12-19-2003 at 07:10:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
The writing is on the wall. Is anyone reading it? As is in most cases, erosion is usually to slow to notice what is really happening.

A woman I used to work with hung herself the other day. She lost her job last year. It wasn't just work but that had a lot to do with it. Left two teenagers behind.

God help us in the coming years.


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