Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What Happened to America?

I didn't write the following and I don't know the author but it is so so true.

Posted by an active worker.

As I grabbed my grease soiled lunch cooler and stepped out of my GM truck to head into work at Delphi Packard Electric I had to stop for a moment to digest the sight of a nearly 1/2 mile long 1/8 mile deep parking lot that was literally empty. I reflected for a moment on 2 American brothers, with the knowledge and ingenuity to develop high voltage ignition cable that in the early 1900's was only available abroad. From those beginnings in a factory near downtown Warren, Ohio evolved the largest automotive electrical wiring and component business in the world.

Eventually the North River Road complex became the center hub of all engineering and development. Some of greatest advances in automotive electronics were birthed right here I thought. At its peak nearly 15000 American workers filed through these doors. The huge parking lot that I gazed upon once filled to its capacity with American workers now looked like a deserted scene from an apocalyptic movie.

What happened to my country?

The regal blue engineering and research facility now totally empty. American engineering, and manufacturing skills built this once huge empire with blood, sweat and gears. Once the hard work was all complete and the business model set, little by little the corporate heads began to whittle away at this empire. Not for the sake of survival but for the seemingly insatiable desire to line their pockets in excess at the cost of each and every American worker, union and salaried that they could eliminate.

What happened to my country?

I couldn't help but get a bit emotional as I reflected on my own family members that had helped to build this empire and the excitement I felt when I was hired into the fold. The future looked grand here at Delphi Packard. But now each day is greeted with more uncertainty of the future of this once great American icon of business. No committment from a company whose intranet pages are loaded with the investments and accolades of plants in China, Mexico, S. America, Morocco, Turkey, Romania. The smiling faces pictured amongst brand new equipment and facilities. While the US operations makes more product per employee and higher quality percentages with equipment dating back in some cases to the 1950's.

What happened to my country?

Delphi Packard should no longer even be considered and American company with how it has forsaken it's homeland. So as I continued my walk on that cold January afternoon up the sidewalk towards the turnstiles, I could almost hear the voices and footsteps of the thousands of former employees that walked this same sidewalk, where now just a few hundred remain.

The sad part is, this same scenario, in different scales of severity is being played out all over the manufacturing base of this "once" great nation. For the sake of making a chosen sect of the American populous extremely wealthy they have forsaken Joe and Jane American. What they are beginning to realize though is that Joe and Jane American are the people who drive the American and world economy. Not the Ceo's and other corporate heads. Take away Joe and Jane's livelihood and you have the America that you see now.

What happened to my country?

Well I'm sure we may not all agree on the answer to that question. But one thing is for sure. The United States of America has changed drastically in the last 15 years and in my opinion not for the better. Greater empires have fallen. God Bless America....

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