Friday, December 5, 2008

Being a Paper Society

There is a fundamental flaw when we can bailout the financial industry to the tune of $750 billion dollars in a short amount of time that created a society of paper instead of manufactured products and have the automotive executives grovel for $34 billion when this industry puts pedal to metal and product products?

We have become a mainly paper society in the hands of a few who themselves either created instruments, knowing full well of their short-term value, as in value for themselves to the tune of billions, or grossly overvalued these instruments through, these derivatives upon derivatives that have no known value. Paper!

Finding a way to maintain manufacturing in this country is obligatory.


David said...

In 1987, the Malcolm Baldrige award was created in partial response to our lack of competitiveness with Japan. It helped build a sense of urgency around quality in manufacturing. Interestingly, during the past 20 years, fewer and fewer manufacturers have applied and received the award, supplanted by health care and educational organizations.

We need to be more competitive in the manufacturing space. However, make no mistake, everytime as US citizen walks into a Wal-Mart demanding "falling prices" the pressure to offshore our manufacturing capacity becomes greater. Cause and effect applies here as well as anywhere else. What are we willing to do differently as consumers to make it the way we want it?

judith ellis said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comment, David. The question is a great one. It goes directly to the heart of personal and professional responsibility,as well as our excessiveness. Soon I will be going out to do a bit of shopping, usually at a small market that carry all of the goodies that I like and at Walmart too. I like the pulse of both distinct places.

This morning I actually thought about the various choices we have here in America. I thought about the wide range of products offered by both markets and the difference in prices. I am very glad that Walmart has such prices and products as well as the other market.

I would like for Wal-Mart to remain competitive, but I would also like for them to perhaps take better take care of their workers as they do their shareholders. Is there no responsibility here to the workers to share in the profit? Is being competitive a euphemism for greed?

David said...

For those of us who believe in an abundance vs. a scarcity mentality, such a world is possible. One in which a reasonable rate of return is achieved, leading to more investment capital, and where employees are paid a fair wage well above the poverty line, then allowing those employees to purchase the goods at the store or the cars from their Big 3 employers etc. I think it hearkens back to your earlier post on "enough." I am afraid we haven't yet solved that calculus but thoughtful discussions such as this at least put the questions before us.

judith ellis said...

Thanks, David. I agree. Well-said.