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Javaman

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Name: Me
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Here
Home country: And
Current location: There
Member since: Fri Jun 11, 2004, 11:37 AM
Number of posts: 53,164

About Me

I do stuff. And when I finish that stuff, I do other stuff.

Journal Archives

this is how it's done...

first: leverage buy out. destroys a union shop (if it were one to begin with)

second: return with new owners with lower wages

three: those who stay in town (not being able to afford to leave) have to take the same job again at a lower wage but work more hours to make up the difference.

four: workers get burned out having to work additional hours to make ends meet so they turn to "help" to get them through the shifts

five: meth, crank or crack is that help.

six: the slow disintegration of what was a solid working class town.

seven: repukes blame the problem on unions "being too strong or unwilling to compromise"

eight: the middle class overall continues to vanish and is replace by low wages workers who have no power and are meant to feel thankful they have a job, all the while being mentally whipped into servitude.

The corporate epidemic and meth.

I’m currently reading a book called Methland by Nick Reding. It depicts the rise of meth from the shady days of its birth to today’s wide spread use.

While the book focuses mainly on meth and its growth, the author alludes to and indirectly places blame of its growth on the leveraged buy outs by corporations during the era or Reagan’s deregulation. It never comes right out and talks about this elephant in the room.

While I’m still only part way through the book, the two towns that are the current focus of the book are Oelwein and Ottumwa, Iowa.

Oelwein; was once home to a union ham production factory. And Ottumwa: a transportation, factory hub to the west and strongly union.

Both suffered greatly under the “hostile take overs” of the early and mid-80’s when “greed was good”.

What happened next was a mass exodus to the coasts and the major cities as the now unemployed populations looked for work.

Those who remained saw their wages slashed from 15 plus dollars an hour middle class wage to $5.60 an hour minimum wage. Those folks now had to work at least 3 times as hard to maintain what they once had before.

These two formally strong union towns were destroyed and what replaced them was a depression. Not just in an economic sense, but also in a mental sense. Lives which once had a future and purpose were stripped of the dignity of good solid jobs, and now decayed into a drudgery of wage slaves with no benefits.

In steps Lori Arnold, half-sister of Tom Arnold. Living on the edge most of her life she found a purpose in the mass production and distribution of meth to not just these two towns but basically to all of the mid-west. She preyed upon a clientele eager to feel something other than destitution. However, even though she got out a year early of her 10 year sentence on a variety of federal drug related charges, she liked to model herself as someone who actually helped the people of Ottumwa. She cites the daycare she had built right next to the bar where she distributed meth to the moms and dads of those children in that same day care. She was a real icon of the community. She honestly believed that she was helping people.

Around this time, the mid to late ‘80’s, the Reagan administration via Nancy Reagan, started promoting the “Just Say No” antidrug propaganda, but their main focus was on coke and crack. Alarm bells were ringing in local governments regarding meth, but no one in the federal government level paid any attention to the “small time” drug.

The people in this nation were still under the belief that the “real” drug problem was in the cities. But anyone paying even the least bit of attention knew for a long time that drugs played a major role in small town America.

As each major employer in the small towns of America were leveraged out, closed down and social fabrics destroyed; meth moved in.

But the question needs to be asked, why meth? Why did it take such a hold and so quickly?

People, who were now desperate to make ends meet, worked double and triple shifts at low wage jobs. They used meth to get them through those extended shifts, at the few remaining jobs at the plants. The effects of meth allowed them to work longer, with less food and virtually no sleep.

When the plants, with the few remaining jobs, eventually closed down, the unemployment rate skyrocketed and so did meth use. As a result, in many a small town, the only soul source of income, was the dealing of meth.

The closing down of these plants in these small towns, were their ultimate goal of the likes of Bain Capital, Cargill and their ilk.
This effect is repeated itself throughout the U.S.

With the selection of corporate glad hander George W. Bush as president of the U.S., meth use went into high gear as the economy crashed leaving whole sections of the US with double digit unemployment and small town companies ripe for the picking.

While much as been done to stop the manufacture of meth; via the controlled sale of Sudafed, one of its main ingredients, clever chemists have found new and creative ways to continue to manufacture the drug.

And over the past few years, the major meth labs have been broken up, but much like hitting mercury with a hammer, it has spurred smaller labs and gave rise to the “shake and bake” method.

However, the root cause of meth use still has yet to be fixed; unemployment in the America. Sure we are seeing growth in the cities, but the towns and communities, which are part of the “flyover states”, still suffer enormously.

Until we as a people, wake from our daze of corporate propaganda and stop working against our own best interests, nothing will change and it will only get worse.

To quote from the movie Jaws, “what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine”, but what these corporate machines eat are people and their hopes and dreams. They care nothing for our future, but only for their own bottom line, golden parachutes and the next victim. And in their wake they leave a scared mental battle field to be exploited by those who seek out the desperate for profit at the hand of meth.

While I have long known of leveraged buyouts and the spread of meth throughout the nation, I never put the two together.

Until we as a nation stop sucking up to corporations and start putting the people first, nothing is going to change.

I have always been a strong union supporter, now I am more than ever.

I see rumblings of discontent and people taking chances to form unions, but until the corporate control of the small towns is finally broken, the big achievements that are made in the cities will only be a Pyrrhic victory when it is compared in the rest of the nation.

I haven’t written about the topic of unions and peoples rights in quite some time. I admit that I too had gotten so completely disenchanted with how this nation treats its workers and the basic rights of the people. This book, even though I’m only part way through it, has reawakened something in me.

I hope my small piece give you all food for thought.

Cheers.





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