By Gary Pichon of Dawson County
A few years ago, I took a bicycle ride around the state of Ohio with my son-in-law professor, because that is where he lived. Everywhere we rode, we could see factories closed and weeds growing in the parking lots.
Those manufacturing plants had all been moved to China. Why did that happen?
I spent my career in manufacturing and I know first-hand. I worked on a lot of factory floors to inside the corporate suite. I have a first-hand knowledge of every detail of this transformation of America.
The primary push was made by the liberal Democrats who thought they were making things better for the people that worked in factories. There were three agencies of the federal government that were involved. The National Labor Relations Board that ruled on labor management disputes. The Environmental Protection Agency that enforced environmental rules. And the Occupational Health and Safety Agency which enforced safety rules.
The great ends of the agencies were noble and good. The reality is that they were peopled with those certain of their own righteousness and arrogant in their daily pronouncements. They drove people like me, trying to run a production line, nuts with their unending and often changing demands.
Between labor unions which became too strong and crazy regulations, factories in the mid-west came south to avoid the fights. That worked so well we kept going south to Mexico and then even to China. Now just about everything is made in China and is shipped back to the USA. The Chinese do not have to comply with those previously mentioned agencies of the federal government. All we did was export pollution, draconian labor practices, and hurt people who make things into other countries.
Oh yes, and the state and federal governments failed to prevent hostile takeovers of conservatively managed public companies and let the junk bond boys leverage up major corporations while raiding their pension funds. Now all corporations are run with an eye on the stock price and not on generating dividends. Now CEOs make a zillion dollars a year and labor unions have almost no power.
The fault for this mess rests with the liberals of Congress and those that roam the halls of the big national agencies that think they know better than the rest of us. Had those agencies done their jobs with a sense of balance and restraint this mess would have not happened.