Exporting our future
To all of the pure capitalists in the United States I say, "Enough!" How much longer do we really think we can maintain any type of industrial prowess without some sort of import tariffs? There is no doubt that we can compete in a global economy without protection, but that will require our wages to plummet from their current level. If you are prepared to make $6 to $10 per day instead of $10 to $20 per hour, then the problem is solved, and capitalism, in effect, worked.
What brings me to the point of writing this letter is that one of the final manufacturing sectors left in this country, the automotive industry, is about to be turned on its head by none other than our most favored trading partner, China. The year 2007 will mark the beginning of large scale sales in our country of Chinese cars. They will be 30 percent cheaper, directly due to labor costs, and will come with a 10-year, 100,000 mile warranty.
If you think NAFTA sucked the jobs out of this country, you'll be amazed to see the closed plants that this can produce. If you have a legitimate counter to this argument I'd love to hear it. It's simple math and a quick trip to Wal-Mart to look for a single American product should be all the proof you need.
This isn't something that can be put off. We've lost steel, textiles, electronics and basically every other major sector. It's time to either turn the tide or learn to live on 5 percent of our current salary. This isn't a Youngstown problem, it's a national one. And while it's great to have $10,000 cars and $100 TVs, those numbers only look good while you are making an American wage. Visit China and see how many of them can afford these bargains.
Youngstown and its council work to attract business
Recently, I have been the subject of comments on this paper's editorial page by both columnist Bertram de Souza and the president of our local Chamber of Commerce, Tom Humphries. Although these individuals would like to portray the city and myself as anti-development, nothing could be farther from the truth.
For the record, the city and its legislative authority have brought to fruition the following projects: Salts Springs Road Business Park, Performance Park off Poland Avenue, the Ohio Works Business Park, the Youngstown Initiative Program, two large prison projects and soon a new convocation center. We have directly provided assistance to over 200 local companies.
The city has been the recipient of two esteemed national awards, one from the U.S. Conference of Mayors for our Best Practices on Brownfield redevelopment and the other from the U.S. Small Business Administration for economic development leadership.
We provide cutting edge economic development incentives not only to bring business to Youngstown but to keep them satisfied while they grow. Our efforts have led to over 5 million square feet of new or renovated construction, in excess of $1 billion of new investment and the creation of several thousand new jobs. We fully understand that our future is new investment in Youngstown.
As this New Year unfolds, you will continue to see the efforts of our work through the announcement of new and exciting projects. Hopefully, in the future Mr. de Souza and Mr. Humphries can start to look at a glass that's half full and not always the negative alternative.
RUFUS G. HUDSON
Second Ward Councilman
Here's a tough-to-fill jobthat immigrants can have
There have been many articles and editorials written about President Bush's controversial plan to revamp our immigration laws to allow illegal aliens to hold jobs here "legally" by issuing temporary worker cards. President Bush insists this is specifically designed to fill the jobs that American workers do not want or American corporations cannot fill, albeit, because of substandard wages and, or poor working conditions.
This plan allows a temporary worker, of which there an estimated 8 million, to take a job for three years, which is renewable for another three-year period. This, in my opinion, would have a devastating effect on our economy and our lives as we have come to know them. Is this plan designed to help us as a nation or is it designed to put more money in the already bulging pockets of the CEOs of big business?
Keeping all the above in mind, I have a suggestion. By all accounts in the news today, our country's National Guard and all other branches of the armed forces are experiencing a decline in enlistments and reenlistments. The National Guard's men and women are having their tours extended causing hardships for themselves and their families left behind. I suggest that all illegal aliens, after a crash course in the English language, be given the usual basic training for combat troops and take the job of serving in Iraq or Afganistan for their first three-year period as a "temporary worker." Isn't that a job that Americans don't want and will become harder to fill by the military as time goes on? Any alien refusing to serve should be immediately deported. After their tour of duty they could then be given a three-year job in the United States and then return to their country, south of the border, with a big "thank you" and a small three-year pension, patterned after Mexican wages.
Maybe this would curb the influx of illegal aliens coming to the land of opportunity. If this didn't work, maybe we should consider a 30-foot high electrified fence along the Rio Grande. That would alleviate some of the problems of our Border Patrol and aid Homeland Security.
DAVID P. GAIBIS Sr.
Looking for the good points:
I have been trying to compose a letter weighing Bush's good deeds during the past four years against the plans that have gone wrong. When I tried to list the good points I couldn't find much except to dispose of Saddam.
When I tried to list the bad side: Unending war in Iraq with its cost to us in people and money, as well as the cost to Iraq in both material things and men, women and children's lives lost or ruined: largest trade and budget deficits in history: turning most of the world as well as the United Nations against us: creating more division in the country in both Congress and the general population than has been seen in recent history. The list just got out of control,
On top of that, his plans for the next four years include dismantling Social Security and Medicare as they now exist and making further tax cuts to increase the deficit to the point that Congress will be forced to make further cuts in social programs to avoid a fiscal meltdown.
I hope the people will be as happy with what he hopes accomplish in his next term as they were in his present. I just wish someone could point out to me what he has done to improve the lot of America and its people to date. There must be something I can't see.