Topic: The Economy
Business Notes: Oh, Canada!
Note this item from July 1 -
Dream on. There's a problem here structurally as CBC reports. American states offered twice the subsidies, and the Toyota folks decided, no, that didn't matter.
Okay, okay, but what about northern states with, presumably, better educational systems?
Well, its seems that there is a second factor.
So when did the United States stop being the right place?
A long time ago.
In the late nineties I spent two years in London, Ontario, managing the systems shop at a General Motors locomotive plant there. When I arrived I faced the task of building a staff, from scratch, to manage the business and manufacturing systems there. I recruited from the local auto plants. There are a few. Toyota already produces the Corolla and Matrix at the old Cambridge plant (they start preproduction of the Lexus RX330 SUV soon). Chrysler was down the way in Windsor. Every Ford Crown Victoria - the US police car - is produced down in Saint Thomas, just south of London. Honda builds its cars in Alliston. Oshawa? That's GM building the Chevrolet Malibu, Buick Regal and Pontiac Grand Prix - and the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado pickups. Ford builds most of its engines at its Essex engine plant in Windsor.
What is going on here?
We don't want a healthcare system like Canada's, or the one in France, or the one in the UK - or any of those in Europe, or the far east, or wherever. Yes, discussed that has been discussed in these pages before, as it comes down to our holding true to the idea that that would be "socialized medicine" (oh no!) and the government should stay out of the whole thing. The marketplace will take care of it all - the invisible hand of competition lowering costs and assuring everyone gets what they need. That, and pigs will fly. The price for our steadfast purity in these matters of unregulated capitalism? That's pretty obvious. Forty-four million uninsured, hoping they don't get sick. And the Republican mantra of "keep government out of it" will keep us happy as the jobs go north, or south. Better purity than jobs.
And I left teaching for many reasons, but one of them was it paid crap. My first industry job, at entry level, paid more than twice what I earned after a decade of teaching. And I recall being a guest lecturer at the UCLA Extension seminars on "Alternative Careers for Teachers" back then, looking out at the sea of faces, thinking that the best want out and to have a relatively prosperous life, while those who can't get out - who don't have the skills or ambition - are the ones left to teach the kids. The losers have to stay. They wanted to know how I made the transition. I felt as if I was then contributing, in my own small way, to the disintegration of the educational system. But then again, I was not part of the crowd railing against higher taxes for schools, nor ranting that the teachers unions where a bunch of whining crybabies being greedy. And I'm still not part of the crowd who want to make science classes more Christian and true to the Bible, and who want this book or that banned because it makes kids learn what could make some parents uncomfortable and open some kid's eyes. I only did a little harm. The no-tax-increases and keep-our-children-pure party has done far more harm than I, in my small way, ever did.
This is what you get. But it's only one new auto assembly plant we've lost. We lost the main battle long ago.