Pursuant to the recent article "Battle ready," (Smart Business, August 2003) I find myself in strong concurrence with Baker McMillan Co. President Bill Kimmerle describing our economic globalization battle as "weapons of mass destruction." As a long-time manufacturers agent in the industrial sector, I am very concerned about this issue.
With manufacturing sacrificed to the gods of the lowest world wage pursuit, our educators with good assured salaries, automatic step increases, bountiful wage, health and retirement packages, the poor slobs forced to use public-funded facilities have become indentured slaves to a system rigged against them.
Think about it. What other industry is the only game in town, able to set prices by contract with a captive customer base?
In our collapsing economy, with not only the first of laid-off blue-collar workers in trouble but countless white-collar mid-level executives with them this time, only government workers and education elite -- the last union strongholds -- are able to enjoy and expand their standard of living. The economy is badly out of sync, and the wage gap is broadly expanding.
The great manufacturing economy that we have known for generations, the engine that propelled us to an unprecedented $11 trillion economy, is in freefall. The highly questionable free trade nostrums have crippled many formerly strong sectors to the point where they may never return.
We must have some sacrifice from education, government and legislators in order to fix this problem. Nothing will change unless there is a concerted political effort put forth.
Chas. A Byrne
The Byrne Group