Fighting the wrong battles

Fighting the wrong battles

The battle of wills between public unions and the mostly Republican efforts to dismantle them was inevitable. Both sectors have a long history of mostly ignoring what the long term consequences of their actions would be.

Time Magazine’s March 7 edition had an excellent article regarding public unions. The following sums up some of the less than desirable traits of many unions. “I’ve spent years pleading for modest concessions from the unions. The reaction is, you can’t make me. The idea that school principals should be able to decide who should be part of their workforce seems incomprehensible to most teachers—and yet that sort of accountability is at the heart of any system that aspires to excellence.” The writer of the article went on to say that the middle class (including teachers) need to be well paid in order to achieve economic stability and to assure first rate public services.

I believe that without a vibrant middle class the American dream of upward mobility will become just that — a dream. I also believe that often you get what you pay for but that employers need a lot more discretion in deciding who goes and who stays

In the same edition of Time, the chairman of Stihl (a German company) said that U.S. companies “don’t try hard enough to keep production inside the country.” The writer went on to say “Our country does it’s very best to outsource as much as it can.” Since 2000, one out of every three manufacturing jobs has disappeared mostly as a result of outsourcing.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, China imported into the United States $296 billion of goods in 2009 and $365 billion in 2010. America exported to China $70 billion in 2009 and $92 billion in 2010. Our country in essence lost $499 billion dollars in sales. Is it any wonder why our country is having a financial crisis? Ohio and most other states need to get their financial houses in order. As a retired CPA, I can assure you that cutting costs is only one part of the solution.

In order to discourage American companies who already have or are contemplating relocating offshore a large tariff needs to be imposed on any goods or services that they either import into this country or provide for us. Just as charity begins at home, I believe in principle that American jobs should also stay at home. Our very existence and national security are at stake.

Gerald Heitkamp, Youngstown

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