The loss of the American Dream; The Recession / Depression hits home hard.

The loss of the American Dream; The Recession / Depression hits home hard.

The following article was written by a long time Biker Law Blog member Sandra Lee Miller as a guest author. Her article is about how the bad economy is affecting her and her families life. As you read it you will realize that she poured her heart into this article. It makes me wonder what is happening to our nation.

I was born in Maysville, Kentucky, the number one tobacco market in the USA.
The last time I went home for a visit, I was stunned at how many manufacturing plants and jobs were gone. We had the Cotton Mill which ginned cotton. My great-grandmother, great-grandfather, two great-aunts and maternal grandmother all worked there. The business has since closed and the buildings have been torn down. Why? Because, we no longer gin cotton in the United States.

At one time there was the Pants Factory, located in Manchester, Ohio which made Haggar pants. It is now closed and a building stands vacant as it deteriorates with the passing of time. Why? The work that was once performed by hard working Americans with two eight hour shifts, five days a week has now been outsourced to Mexico.

Wald’s Manufacturing, also in Maysville, Kentucky made bicycles, was another place that my family worked. My paternal Grandfather worked there over 20 years. My Great Aunt and a Great Uncle worked there as well. The plant was closed and two shifts of both men and women are out of work today. Why? Inferior bicycles are now made in China with sporadic recalls and safety concerns an issue. I never thought that I would see the day that you would have to take a child’s bike away from him because of the lead in its paint.

At one time the pride of Ripley, Ohio was its Red Cross Shoes Manufacturing Company. This is yet another company that employed men and women who worked one of the two shifts, five days a week in order to fill the demand for quality and stylish shoes. The plant was closed in the late seventies. Why? The plant was moved to Mexico and has since gone out of business. Now the country of Mexico has unemployed workers as well!

As a teenager I remember there was excitement in Maysville, Kentucky when Blue Grass Industries built their state-of-the-art facility that was perched on top of a beautiful hill, surrounded by the renowned glistening blue grass. The company manufactured men’s t-shirts and underwear. They were of durable and fine quality then. You would recognize them as JOCKEY. Today, Blue Grass Industries is closed. Why? Their work has also been outsourced and production is now in Mexico.

Next is, Welded Wire of Manchester, Ohio which manufactured industrial wire. When I last returned home for a visit, Welded Wire was only running one shift with a skeleton crew. Today, as I fact checked, it appears that Welded Wire has fallen by the wayside and the property and building are now advertised for sale. I can only wonder what the two hundred plus men and women are doing for work these days. Why? Welded Wire is a victim of the times and American trade policies. This is a fact and not a political comment.

The four small river towns I have written about are dying on the vine, so to speak. The downtown areas where there were little retail shops, bakeries, restaurants, drug store, Doctor’s Office and beauty salons, to name a few, are all gone. Why? The hard working, honest men and women who were formerly employed by the manufacturing plants and facilities cannot support the small businesses that once thrived in those areas.

Today, I reside with my husband in Sebastian, Florida. Unemployment in INDIAN RIVER COUNTY is now 12.4 percent. By the grace of God, we are working. The jobs are not our normal line of work, but like so many of us, we are finding ways to bring in income and pay our bills. We have a 2002 Harley Davidson Fat Boy. This year due to economic times, the bike sits in the garage a lot more than days past. We used to look forward to our weekend getaways to beautiful Daytona. We would roll our clothes and fill the leather saddle bags and head for a motel. Sometimes we would order Papa John’s Pizza or head out for Seafood. Next morning we would rise, pack our gear and head out to breakfast. We used to stop at every Harley Davidson dealership to purchase one of their t-shirts and spent anywhere from $50 on up. We can no longer afford to patronize the stores. The gasoline, motel and food expenses add up quickly. We won’t even mention the purchases at the Harley Dealerships. I did not buy this years Harley Davidson Christmas Ornament. I did not shop at the Harley Dealership this year. Credit cards are not being used in my house. They are for an “Emergency”. WE are smart enough to know better than to make unnecessary debt. I do not want any extra bills in my mailbox. I no longer go to a movie when I feel like it. I go to a Matinee because it is cheaper. I eat before I go so I pass up the concession stand. A small popcorn is $4.75……too expensive for my budget. Then you have to have a $4.75 Small Soda to wash it down.

I now grocery shop where I can redeem coupons and have to watch every penny that we spend. Gone are the days of eating out two or three times a week. This past Christmas, the outdoor decorations were left in the attic to collect dust because of the additional $200 that would drive up the electric bill. I now consign clothing and buy clothes at Consignment shops as well.
We used to sit and count our dollars at the end of the week. Today, we count pennies.

Written By: Sandra Lee Miller
Sebastian, Florida

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney

71 Responses to The loss of the American Dream; The Recession / Depression hits home hard.

  1. That is very well written Sandie. It is a very sad state the economy is in. Unfortunately it will likely get much worse before it gets any better.
    I was laid off from my drafting job in June of 2008. There are no job openings in my field. I live very close to Kennedy Space Center, so with NASA preparing to close down it will get much worse here. We are expecting to be a ghost town in the very near future.

  2. This is only minorly splitting hairs, and your point still stands, but what would your fourth town have been? Only three were mentioned.

    Also the Ripley Shoe Factory closed in the early 90s, if I remember correctly.

  3. Even more dismal news for this hard hit area. Today my Great Aunt Jeanie, 94 years old, who lives in Delhi Hills, the Greater Cincinnati area told me that local news reported this AM that there are massive layoffs coming to the employees of the Greater Cincinnati Airport. We are bleeding and the bandaid is not holding back the flow of blood.

  4. Welcome to the Biker Law Blog Marlene. Norm is always happy to see guests and members always welcome new people. I want to thank you for your comment and reply as well. This is the first time in over 30 years…since Maysville Community College that I have written anything except a letter. I fact checked with the Maysville Ledger Independent Newspaper and the Manchester Signal. I will call tomorrow to make sure I did not transpose years on the Red Cross Shoe Factory. I am human and could very well have made a mistake. Far be it from me to claim to be perfect. The fact is Red Cross Shoes closed. Folks are out of work….yet again. The 4th town was to be Aberdeen, Ohio. Bisotti’s Restaurant, Brown’s Restaurant, Pennington’s, family owned full serve gas stations and Clyde’s Grocery Stores are all gone. The drive-in has closed and been torn down. There was employment at these businesses. I left a paragraph out…and I even proof read it. Sorry for my mistake. My point is that small town Main Streets are dying. No jobs are coming in to these towns. The hard working folks are strong. They used to plant tobacco to take care of their families. Not these days. The four major tobacco warehouses in Maysville are closed. Farmers are paid by the government to not plant tobacco or corn. It is just scary and one must wonder what the folks are doing to survive. I am not having it easy either but am thankful to be making it. This small town in Florida is dying as well.

  5. I live here in Manchester and have 1st hand experienced the down sizing of a company here in Adams County…i worked at Weasted for 10 years and 1 1/2 ago they shut down the plant in Seaman due to the fact that the work went to China and Japan..i’ve seen the towns around here slowly becoming ghosy towns due the ecoonomy…

  6. This was such a touching and heart breaking blog. You can tell that Sandra poured her heart out when she wrote this. Keep on blogging Sandra, I want to know more.

  7. I guess this just reminds me of what President Ronald Reagan once said about sitting on our front porches and telling our grandchildren what America used to be. Its time for Americans to take our country back to those who seek to destroy it and to destroy our Constitution.

  8. I agree. I’m in Tallahassee,Florida. I’m unable to find work. I’ve applied outside of my normalline of work even at fast food joints. The mall here is nearly vacant. There are basically no cdl or construction jobs here. I was laid off twice last year as a dump truck driver.

  9. One thinks and hopes they will pass on good things for our future generations….just not so anymore. Sunday night I had a new biker friend from the Fort Lauderdale stop by my home, he has a Masters Degree from University of Pennsylvania in Library….no jobs. This young man in his early thirties is trying to make it selling boats. His girlfriend has a college degree in Design and she is working in a retail store. Two college educated people who can not find gainful employment with their college degrees. I also agree with Gene Holman, I have faith that God will take care of us. I also believe that God wants us to help ourselves. So many folks are finding no jobs and waiting to get pink slips if they do have a job. Not a day passes that I do not hear about someone losing their home, car, truck, boat and sadly their motorcycle.

  10. May comment is for Sandy Miller, I to have experienced hard economic times. I remember as a young man seeing my Grandpa at the trading store talking to the old farmers, while Grandme did her trading and now as I go back all those mom and pop stores have all gone. People used to wave as they passed by, just simple country folk, but they cared about their fellow man. My brother-in-law worked at Whirlpool Corp. for 30 years, when he first hired in their were 30.000 jobs which was the main support for Henderson, Ky. and Evansville, In. Now that same plant is now moving to Mexico. What will these people do? How will they support their families? I fear for our Country, and I fear for our Children. I believe that God will take of us, He has made this promise, and I put my faith in His promise.


  12. It is very much true that this country is probably facing it’s hardest economic times in the last 70 years. Why? Outsourcing, partly. Jobs going to other countries, partly. Other countries providing equally quality products at lower prices, partly. Reality all of these are contributors, but the greatest evil is our own greed and laziness. Many people say they want to work, but want take a job at McDonalds or 7-11, or a resturaunt. Its beneath them or restricts their time. Noone wants to work overtime, 40 hours only. It is not only the lower payscales and higher profits that has caused companies to move out of our country. It is partly our fault as well. We teach our kids they should get something for nothing. We teach them they should not appreciate anything. The union says the company owes you a job. The government says the company owes you a job. There is no loyalty to the company for giving you an opportunity in the mind of the employee. Companies have had to enact drug screening to protect themselves against workman comp claims. Yet, now we find a shortage of labor, because people are immoral and do drugs therefore unhireable. Before we blame everyone else for our woes, we need to look at ourselves. Are we willing to change to the moral society we were once were, so God will bless us again?

  13. I feel your pain, since I grew up in a Hatting family in Danbury, CT our Factory was sold to Stetson and now does not even exist, since Hats are now made overseas…I wish the days of spending quality time with your family or friends did not cost so seems all we do is is meant to enjoy, at leat a little bit. I hope the good times of the past can come back at least for a while in the future.

  14. Maximizing profits no matter what the cost, giving it to the lowest bidder (or country), greed, corruption, not giving a damn about the other guy, selfishness. Paying unskilled help outlandish salaries and full benefits. I’m sure this list can grow to ten feet long.

  15. Thanks…I hate to put my business out there but here goes. I was laid off twice last year. My girlfriend and I recently split up and I went over the road driving. I drove 3000= miles solo the first week,and drove as a team the next week. I wasn’t getting paid so I took a greyhound 36 hours home. She moved and I came home and moved in to her house. She has a great job and doesn’t want to move. I mentioned that 2 years ago. At one point she said we would move if I found a job. I’ve applied in other states as well but once you hit bottom you don’t have the funds to move either. I hate it but I know I’m not the first or only one to lose a bike, car, house, etc. I just read on yahoo that premiums will double but Obama swears they will decrease and it says to read the fine print. An old friend of mine growing up was between 60 and 80. He took me fishing, and babysat my sister and I. He was like a grandfather to us. He lived through the depression and he told me it was getting rough before he passed away. He said the people are in for a rude awakening and it was going to get rough. I thought he was just joking. But he was correct. it’s been rough for 3 years here. I’ve had to leave jobs because 3 days with no work, or the checks were barely covering the gas to drive to work. There basically no transportation jobs or construction jobs here. The community has a lot of vacant houses here which is abnormal for a college town. One of the malls is nearly closed. Cdl jobs were once plentiful. Now if a job opens and you show up it’s not uncommon for them to tell you,you’re the 200th person that applied for one open slot.

  16. I too fear NASA shutting. down. I am 30 miles south of Patrick Air Force Base and 5o miles south of Kennedy Space Center. I can tell you the home I bought 13 years ago is worth $35,000 less than what we paid at closing. How can that be? There has never been a refinance, never any home equity loans…it is scary. When NASA shuts down more folks will be walking a way from their homes. I agree with Norm it smells like a depression!!!

  17. We too are living this nightmare. My wife and I both had very good paying jobs. Things changed quickly though. She was laid off June 2008 from her job at an engineering firm and I had been put out of work a year later when Chrysler closed the dealership that employed me and 80 other workers. We live just a few miles from Kennedy Space Center and have an unemployment rate of over 12 % with it expecting to hit a high of 17% by the end of the year. With the shuttle missions ending soon and no new plans for US launch’s in the future this is just the beginning for us.This area is expecting 9000 more people to become unemployed directly related from the space center with an other 4-5000 more unrelated job losses. There is no work here at all. When Burger King is hiring counter help they get 500 applications for one position. We are both professionals in our careers, in our 50’s trying to compete in the job market. What are we to do?

  18. Michael..sorry to hear you are in my boat, too. Like I’ve said before it’s a domino effect. I get laid off I quit eating as many BK burgers, then bk employee gets laid off and he can’t afford to watch as many movies…then theatre guy gets laid off. On that note…my financial institution just called and left a message b/c my bike is over 2 months later. I’ll call them back shortly.

  19. New unemployment numbers today for Indian River County, Florida. 14.5 and they admitted that did not include anyone who is not collecting unemployment. Gixxer, just some free friendly advice….call the bank that has the loan on the bike and talk to them. They definitely do not want to pick up your bike. They will work with you. Maybe interest only payments…good luck. Do not avoid the bank. Everyone has had a major life style change. I have seen how the government has ran social security, Amtrak and the post office into the red…..I do not want them in control of health care. I am hurting but I do not want someone who is richer than me to be taxed unfairly. I think the USA is the land of the free and home of the brave. Don’t take from the rich and give to the poor. The government is not Robin Hood.

  20. I would be willing to apply for a job out of my expertise, but I do have other limitations. I am extremely sensitive to chemicals. I cannot tolerate perfume, cologne, body sprays, air fresheners, and most cleaning products. That leaves me out of almost all jobs that require contact with the public. Those are pretty much the only jobs that are hiring. What now?

  21. Gixxar I am so sorry. The lady should not have been rude. I know somebody that GE Money Bank let make interest payments for 9 months. Instead of $300 some dollars, they paid $51.00. It did not hurt to try. I am hoping that some work comes your way. Al Woodard up above posted a comment regarding some us must change our line of work. I know that I have. Tomorrow morning I am going to go clean a rental for a Real Estate Agent here in town for a mere $75.00. It is not my “work” but hey, it will pay my internet bill or cell phone bill. Do I like it??? Absolutely and positively no. But I will be there on time and work to the best of my ability.

  22. Sandie,
    I called them and spoke with them. I might could borrow the money and “catch up”, but why? I can’t find work I’ll just dig into debt more. All they did was say they would turn me into collections. I told them I was laid off at Thanksgiving and haven’t found work yet. They already have several repos. They know what is going on…who doesn’t? Then the lady became rude and hung up. I’ve borrowed money once and still haven’t found work.

  23. Let us all join together to bring back the GOOD old times…it maybe possible. I am so tired of all the HEADLINES of Forclosure and Bankrupcty…What can we do to bring things back to a state of mormalcy???
    GO for a RIDE and forget about it for a while, I guess!! At least the air is still free to breathe??!!

  24. I do believe the outsourcing is the root of the problem.
    There have been many Internet campaigns asking people to boycott imported products. I doubt many people actually follow through long term on the boycotts. Too many of us are faithful to products we don’t even realize are imported. We need to be reading labels closely! We need to buy US products, and show our strength with some real numbers.

  25. Buying American is not that easy anymore. I went to Dillard’s for Christmas shopping to get one of those Hawaiian Flower Print Mens shirts. I looked at the labels and finally asked the young man if there were any made in America. He laughed and told me not one in his department. We paid $62.00 for a Tommy Bahama made in Korea. All our sewing factories must be outsourced. My husband was a framing carpenter foreman,and has not had to look for a job in 28 years. He is from MI. My brother in law in MI worked for a company that tanned leather for the Big 3. He is unemployed at 61 years of age. Unemployment is fixing to run out….wonder what he will do!!

  26. I have been looking for a work at home on the Internet options. Most of those are scams. It is almost impossible to find a legit one!

  27. No Sir I have not spoken to a bankruptcy attorney yet. Sandie said she is currently cleaning offices or homes for under $75.00 and will dothe best job she can but I don’t recall their former professions being stated.

    Sad but I believe many stopped buying American made due to crappy workmanship and the “Walmarts and other corps” only have majority foreign made products.

    The bad thing is many are still being greedy.Many are using the current situation to benefit their profits even more.

    The old saying “without trucks America stops”, I believe to be true. And my profession since the 90’s has been trucking in some shape or form. Trains are used more frequently and cuts drivers out of profit. However, currently trucks are still required because trains can only do so much. Many drivers hate delivering to the Northeast for many reasons. One of the reasons is the tollroads and times on the receipts must match. Many companies require drivers to pay lumbers to unload their freight.I’m sure it’s charged back to the load or broker but this is crazy. Lumpers are common in the Northeast but used in other parts of the country too. I can only guess, but I’m guessing it’s a loophole to not classify people as employees or to outsource the unloading of freight.

    There is an old country song performed by Allan Jackson called the “Little Man”. Here are a few of the lyrics “I remember walkin round the court square sidewalks
    Lookin in the windows at things I couldn’t want
    There’s Johnson’s Hardware and Morgan’s Jewelry
    And the ol’ Lee King’s Apothecary
    They were the little man
    The little man

    I go back now and the stores are empty
    Except an old Coke sign dated 1950
    Boarded up like they never existed
    Or renovated and called historic districts
    There goes the little man
    There goes the little man

    Now the stores are lined up in a concrete strip
    You can buy the whole world with just one trip
    Ya save a penny ’cause it’s jumbo size
    They don’t even realize they’re killin the little man
    Oh the little man”

    I was recently in the Northwest last month. I asked the locals if there was a —–, or a ——. There response was no all those places closed when Walmart came along. And although walmart has jobs it did away with many of the other jobs. It looked like Tallahassee except smaller meaning many places have closed down,and are continuing to close down.

    Personally,I have always hated Walmart. I remember going to a Walmart DC and the employees taking their good old sweet time,until I reached my maximum of Federal law allowed driving time. Then was told to get the heck off of their property. I advised them I couldn’t legally drive. I even advised them I was running out of time to drive because I had been there unloading a long time.

    When my girlfriend moved from central to north Florida. She couldn’t understand why I hated shopping their. I told her why, and explained I felt many were incompetent. I explained my trips to Walmart to buy a cd and there was a 75 year old employee in the music department. I asked for a country cd and he couldn’t help me locate it. Finally I was aggravated and I said do u listen to Country,rock, rap,jazz,classical, pop, etc. His answer was “No”. He didn’t listen to any type of music or know where it was located. So why are you working the music section?

    Then there is the classic asking where an item located or if there carry it and being told oh it’s over yonder, or I don’t know,or I don’t work in this department…..So why the heck are you over here then. Not to mention standing at a counter while the employee talks 20 minutes on his cellphone to his baby mama about his babymama drama…LOL. (climbing off my walmart soapbox)

  28. Gixxer…. the second comment above your last states my husbands “real” line of work. Hubby “worked for 28 years here in Florida as a framing carpenter supervisor…the bottom fell out of the residential market. It is cheaper to buy a foreclosure than have a home built now. There was no work in the State of Florida in his line of work. He went to Virginia, the Smithfield, Williamsburg area to work for his nephew who is a General Contractor. He worked there for 19 months. Work came to a halt there in July. A General Contractor here in town is now cleaning out, repairing and maintaining foreclosures. That is what hubby does now. I did office work, I have also been a bartender and served food. There is not much chance getting a bartender or food server job…if there is one opening 1000 people are standing in line. I liked your comment about Wal Mart and the elderly. Our local McDonalds has a 90 year old woman working 4 full time days. 90 years old and working because she can’t make it without the McDonald income. Gixxer, I am up 0600 hours and heading off to do a nasty job that I do not “really” want to do but… is $75.00 more than I have now. Thank you for your comments. I honestly do hope that something happens for you. Here at this house, we know your pain.

  29. I think Sandie’s situation is typical of for US citizens today. Those of us who are baby boomers have never really experienced an economy quite like the one we are living in. My husband works as a contractor for custom interior work on new and remodeled houses but the last 5 years, he has taken any type of construction work or remodeling work he can get. The last two years, he has had very little least any of substance. The economy in Grant County, Indiana has been bad for a long time. Businesses either shut down or moved out. Some of it is picking up now but have a set number of people they hire and at age 61, you are placed on the no list or at the bottom of a long list.

    If “we the people” don’t start rallying, our country will never return to being the country of opportunity and wealth. Our freedoms are dwindling…listen to what is happening. Our country needs a make-over and we are the ones who have to do it…bigger government is not the answer…we are.

  30. Caterpillar has given pink slips warning 121 folks they have 60 days to work, before they hit the unemployment line. More lost jobs coming for the State of Indiana. I agree with Karen, that we who are baby boomers have never seen or felt anything like the current economy. It is frightening. I too fear for our children.

  31. I spoke with a trucking company and DOT has implemented a new body fat calculation for truck drivers. And requiring sleep apnea machines for certain body fat calculations.

    Many other eegulations are coming that may bring inexperienced truck drivers on the road as experienced drivers are phased out.

  32. Sandie,
    Great story, not enough people take the time out of there busy lifes to think about besides care about where America is going. It’s all about ” Whats in it for me ?”

  33. Hopefully things will turn around for our country. Maybe we will once again be the leading country in the world again. Something needs to be done to keep our industry in the USA. The CEO at Caterpillar said this morning,if the Health Care Bill passes it will cost Caterpillar over 100 million dollars…..he said they can’t do it and more layoffs will follow and more work will go out of the USA.

  34. Norm you make lots more cash than most of those. You will be the one paying for everyone to have free insurance. You are the one going to get hit on income taxes. I do not believe in robbing the rich to pay for the poor. Yes we need reform. I have no health insurance at this time. I know the pain. I do agree that he big insurance companies need to be controlled. Yes, pre-existing needs to be covered, yes it must be affordable. My brother is a lawyer and he did better than the average doctor last year. Should he be taxed unfairly….absolutely not. Ellis Rubin had a house in Miami before he dies that is of movie star price range…he is a lawyer. Mark Gergoes has how many mansions??? Another lawyer. If someone works hard..they deserve to be paid. I do not think anyone, no matter what their line of work is should be unfairly taxed because the government thinks they should be. I see what a great job the government has done with Amtrak and the post office and social security….we know they will do great controlling health care. I do not think so. I am not for borrowing any more money from China. We are leaving a nasty mess of debt for our Grandchildren. By the way, I agree with you more than we disagree.

  35. My comment is for Christine G: Come Friday night my husband and are heading out on a weekend trip with a budget. We will take pictures and write down comments as we travel around Florida. Norm has been so kind to let me write another article. This one will be weekend road trip on our bike with a budget. I am looking forward to the trip. We will see what you can do on $210.00. Thanks for your comment and hope to see you back on BikerLawBlog soon.

  36. Gixxar as you most likely have heard the Construction unemployment number in the Sun Shine State is 27.8%!!! I believe it too!! The area I wrote about is suffering more….unemployment numbers there are higher than last month. I do not know what people are going to do. Our jobs keep leaving. I have heard Caterpillar and three others say that with the passage of the Health Care bill they will be laying off more and jobs from their companies will go out of the country. They said they have no choice. I watched this on the Business Channel.

  37. Time will tell. We will see by the news headlines. We will see as more folks lose their jobs. I am not even sure the President/Teleprompter read the bill. He has stated that children are covered immediately….that ain’t so according to the bill.

  38. Well Norm, the Vice President, Gaffe Biden said the government will own the insurance companies. Government now owns the banks, car companies and the list goes on. Al Sharpton stated to Geraldo Rivera that the American People voted for “socialism” when they overwhelmingly voted for this President. Al Sharpton clarified his comment by saying the President was true to his word. Al Sharpton is a ardent supporter of this President. A example of dismal failure in government forced health care is right here in the USA…the State of MA. Check into how it is not working there. Costs are too much for the State and making them broke. We are in agreement that mid term elections will either show the folks are happy or the folks are not happy. Depressing numbers came out here in Florida. Our great state has hit 12.9% unemployment. They said that number was reached by how many are getting unemployment. That does not count the folks who are not working but getting no employment. What a mess. I am still scratching my head about why student loans will now be controlled by the Feds under the Health Care Bill….that will put over 4,000 more folks out of private jobs. It will increase the Federal Payroll. Prime Example of growing the government. That is not right. Why make folks who need student loans to go to college pay for someone who does not work to have health insurance????

  39. Norm I am not on any political side. It is just the way I see things. heck, we can blame George W for a bunch of stuff. Heck, we know Bill Clinton made a horrible mistake signing NAFTA!! Jobs went out of the country at a fast pace. we can also blame Clinton for the home foreclosures. Clinton had Fannie and Freddie giving homes to folks who did not have to make down payments or have decent credit. I quote Clinton. It is a right for everyone to own a home. It took me 6 years to save up my down payment. the mortgage company knew all my business…I mean they check ed it all out!! It was as bad as an enema!! Neither party is perfect. I do not have insurance. I see my Doctor. I pay $40.00 for an office call. My insurance was billed $120.00 after a $20.00 co-pay. Not a bad price. I pay it with the money I make cleaning or doing whatever. I do not want Norm to be taxed more to pay my stuff. I want to do it on my own. The government is not Robin Hood. they need to do something about the cost, get folks with pre-existing covered, let us cross state lines to buy insurance…..there is a lot to reform. The “taking over” is what I question. Reform has been needed for many years.

  40. Norm as I commented on another article….the discussions have been most “respectful”, not heated and polite. I do think more folks are paying attention to the happenings in DC more so than in the past. I want what is best for our Country and the people who love their country. We all can agree on that comment. North American Free Trade Act was signed under Bill Clinton. I lived in Homestead, Florida at the time and I remember the 18 wheeler trailers with the NAFTA SIGN and a BIG X marked through it. The farmers there were not happy. I too voted for and liked Bill Clinton’s politics….I did not care for the “Tiger Woods Syndrome” Clinton had at the time. He did a good job for our country. 2 major mistakes were NAFTA and letting anyone get a home. We could very well see a Third Party Ticket in 2012….I do not know if that is a good thing. It hurts the Democrats badly when that happens. All we can do is hope and pray for the best. For sure our country has a lot of unrest, folks are scared and folks are unemployed and not able to take care of their family. We have a lot of hungry people in Florida. The food banks can’t keep food. Each day there are more folks needing help with food. This just does not seem right when we live in such a great country.

  41. I have to say, that I agree with you. And you know what, it make me think…. The beuauty is arround us.I know a woman who died of breast cancer because she did not have health insurance.Life can be hard. Keep on posting.

  42. Welcome Paddy Paddy!! Yes, it seems like things are not improving for anyone. I too had a friend who died of breast cancer because she had no insurance. I do know that there are no jobs. I recently started selling some items on Ebay to supplement our income. It is a dog fight out there. This morning in church the Preacher announced his 18 year old son was enlisted in the Army and leaves in July. There just are not many options for our graduates. Times are tough and sad. Just as soon as Norm can think of another topic for me to pen…I am ready. This has been an experience. I thank you for your comment. I hope you will check back as well.

  43. Hi to BLB from Australia.
    Sarah, a pertinent piece of focussed writing on just what is happening to our local industries. It’s exactly the same here in Australia. Textile, hardware, electronics all gone overseas. We have been “lucky” during the GFC ‘cos China has been a constant buyer of Australia mining products….but in the long term, those industries really go nowhere. The sad part here is that now Chinese foodstuffs are inflitrating the supermarket shelves. If the cans or frozen good aren’t marked Made in China there is some cryptic reference to containing “local and overseas ingredients”!! What can we do? On a personal level I now just try to buy local made stuff, but it’s getting more and more difficult to source that sort of thing.
    On a brighter spot, what a lovely website this is, congratulations…always interesting. See Yah in Sydney one day. eh?

  44. I would love to come to Sydney!!
    I Just heard on the Fox Business Channel that the USA imported 80% of our products from China. China took in less than 12% from the USA!! It is no wonder we have no jobs!!
    At Christmas I wanted to buy a shirt for my brother-in-law. I went to Dillard’s. I Looked at everything in the Men’s Department. There were no shirts made in the USA. I spent $78.00 on a Tommy Bahama Shirt from Thailand. I was forced to do so or get nothing.
    Yes, the food is also something folks have not looked at. I bought a 1/2 pint container of blackberries at Publix. I looked at the container at home and the 17 blackberries that cost $3.99 were from Mexico.
    There was a special on television about “tuna” from Thailand. Thailand does not have a FDA or inspection standards we have here. I can tell you if that can of tuna is from Thailand….do not eat and do not give to a cat!! The tuna packing house shown was deplorable!! I do not thin it is fair to import food that does not meet the Guidelines set up here in the USA!!
    This is a “lovely” website!! It is fun and you learn things as well. It is always friendly and welcomes anyone new!!
    Thank you for your comments. Come on back soon!!

  45. Sandie there is no need to apologize. You let us know what is going on in your part of the country. This stuff is happening all over the nation. This is a wake up call for all of us. We can fall apart as a nation like the Soviet Union did in a matter of just a few years, or we can stand tall and be Americans.

    I am sure that the Great Depression seemed like the end to many Americans back then, but this depression is different. China is kicking our asses, and we keep borrowing money from them, and buying their products on credit, like they are a drug dealer or something.

    Money, trade, and commodities, are all man made things. There is nothing stopping us from continuing to be a great nation but us. The greed of corporate America, the bankers, and the like, is killing out nation. We could still be manufacturing things here, we could still be thriving here. The trouble is, when you got someone in China who will work for a dollar or two a day, there is no way to compete.


  46. Good luck Ed. You know in the great depression that was a huge migration of people to the west coast looking for jobs. Now we have an average of 12.4% unemployment in California, with 15% in the County of Los Angeles, and 20% in some Inland Empire cities.

    The answer may be moving to an area of the country where there are jobs in such an area exists.

    I will tell you what, this is a depression if there ever was one. It looks like a depression, smells like a depression, acts like a depression, and feels like a depression.


  47. Sandie the health care thing from Caterpillar sounds like propaganda to me. If anything the only persons who has anything to lose with the health care bill are for profit big health insurance companies, and over paid doctors.

    The real issue here is that we have all been getting screwed by health care insurance companies for years. Big medicine in this country is killing us. Doctors salaries and health care costs have been going through the roof for years irregardless of the how much our salaries have gone up. Doctors in this country live like movie stars; big mansions, expensive cars, etc. I will say it because it is true.

    Unfortunately we need to reign them in a bit and train more doctors. This is a national crisis. If the average doctor salary is $330k, with average increases of 30k plus a year, how do we sustain that as a nation.

    If anything part of our national crises has people losing their jobs and their health insurance. Those who have no insurance are covered by the rest of us through taxes and deficit spending.

    I do not see how anyone who is struggling to find a job would not want to have health insurance for their family. Furthermore, I cannot see how anyone who has ever been unemployed or who has been denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, or who has been cut off by insurance company bureaucrats because they got sick, would be against health care reform.

    If we as a nation can invent the nuclear bomb, send a man to the moon, pay billions of dollars for a protracted war in Iraq and Afghanistan, then turn around and borrow money from the Chinese to rebuild these nations, the least we can do is give our own people security through health insurance and reform.

    Sandie we disagree on this point. I do not follow political party lines on issues like this. My own family has been screwed over by health insurance companies, members of my own family cannot get an individual policy because of pre-existing conditions. I know a woman who died of breast cancer because she did not have health insurance. I do not see any viable argument against Health Care reform unless you are supporting the Health Care industries maintaining of billions of dollars of profit per year and their present practices.

    Just because a certain political party tells you to not support something, does not mean that you should believe them. Hell these are the same guys who got us into this depression. They do not do squat except support big business every which way they turn.

    Anyway enough of my rants for now. Time to go on my trip!


  48. Sandie it does not make sense that Caterpillar would be laying off because of the health care bill. They get increased Federal subsidies as a result of the bill, and the provisions requiring insurance for all do not take affect until 2014. It looks to me like they are trying to use layoffs to affect the political debate. If anything, they will get more money than they do now for providing health care to its workers.


  49. Yes time will tell that is for sure! I think the bill immediately prevents insurance companies from denying children based on pre-existing conditions. Within a few months it puts together a fund of money which allows persons that are considered high risk, including adults, to join a pool to buy low cost “private” medical insurance. The main parts of the bill do not take affect until 2014 for most adults.

    That is the thing about this bill, if you lose your job, thank god, you will still be able to have medical insurance. I would have wished that there was a public option for all, but there is not. If you lose your job you will have to get insurance through medicaid. Right now people who lose their jobs don’t have squat, except maybe go to a free clinic or wait until it gets so bad that they go to the ER, in which case the tax payers get stuck with the tab anyway.

    What blows me away about the politics of the bill is that some people are against it simply because Obama championed it, even though it will help them or their own families.

    It could be a dismal failure, but at least someone tried.


  50. Sandie with all due respect your last comment sounds like all of the talking points that are being used by a certain political party right now.

    Our nation got into the mess it is in long before Obama took office, under the governance of a certain political party. Hell the last thing I would want to do is give it right back to them to screw up more.

    At least give someone else a chance to fix things. The way I see it, both parties are screwed up, one is just more screwed up than the other. At least one cares about ordinary folks like you and me.


  51. You see Sandie that is why I do not write about politics on the Blog. Clinton has not been in office in over 10 years, under his leadership we had a balanced budget and the economy was doing great. Bush virtually destroyed us.

    Point being; we can go round and round and round and never agree on anything when it comes to politics.

    One thing for sure, I would be very worried if the same bunch that has been running the place for 8 years were to come back in.


  52. Sandie are right, Clinton signed it, the Republican controlled Congress ratified it. No one is innocent here. You must also admit that when Clinton left office, we had a balanced budget, and a strong economy. The economy started going to shit during Bush’s 2nd term.


  53. Wow, I stumbled back across this, having forgotten that I had commented upon it.

    To the writer — I wasn’t trying to be critical or to pass judgment upon you as a writer; I’m sure you did your legwork. I enjoyed the article very much, and was only confused on one or two points.

    My memory is possibly fallible as well — I only know what I remember of the US shoe factory, and I could have sworn that it was around at a time when I could have actual memories of it — and I was born in 1984.

    I suppose that it might have become an outlet only, but at my young age, I was under the impression of there being workers there. I clearly remember when it became an outlet for Esprit shoes though. *shudder*

  54. Numbers are not good for economic recovery. Fox Business News reported that the USA is on record for 3 million home foreclosures by year end. Unemployment numbers for July were dismal 464,000 new claims. The Unemployment numbers for all 50 states will back in double digits by November Retail was down like 1%. Sure don’t sound good for a joyful Christmas.

      • Norm: I think you have done a great job with this Blog. I love it. Yes, things are scary. A person just doesn’t know what to do. So many people are looking for new lines of employment. I have just started a course for Medical Billing & Collections. I figure the medical field is a win only situation. I am hoping that it is…!!! I have to change my line of work…. or live under Interstate 95 in a box.

          • You are correct. Adapt and Improvise. At 50 options are few. The older we get, the harder the Employer looks at you. Truthfully I did research to find out that the Medical Field and Anything Computer are excellent fields to make a career. If I were not so old I would go to college. Does your daughter work in a hospital, Doctor’s Office or……. From the looks of my textbooks and workbooks this will not be a cake walk. I have not been to school in over 30 years. I do have some fear.

  55. The local newspaper for Maysville, Kentucky, The Ledger Independent” on December 9th headlined with 5.2 TONS OF FOOD handed out to the needy.

    No jobs and no money for food.

    I can not picture 5.2 TONS of food.

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