Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hillary In The Hoosier State

Barack Obama was in Plainfield (a suburb of Indianapolis) this past Saturday, Bill Clinton was in the state Tuesday. And today, Hillary started her rounds beginning with a visit to Terre Haute, a longtime den of Democratic politics and birthplace of Eugene V. Debs.

The Indianapolis Star covered this event.

Sen. Hillary Clinton began the first Indiana sweep of her presidential campaign this morning with a visit to a crowded diner in the hometown of Sen. Evan Bayh, one of the state’s most popular political figures and someone frequently mentioned as a possible running mate.

Bayh introduced Clinton, saying it had been about 40 years since Indiana had had a meaningful presidential campaign.

"It's about time," he said.

Very true. Indiana has its primaries in May, well after the nominations of both parties are usually decided. But this time around, the Democratic party is pretty evenly divided over who the best candidate should be in November and the state is in play.

Bayh said he wanted Clinton's trip to start in Terre Haute both because this is where he grew up and because the city, like Indiana, has both challenges and blessings.

The challenges include a struggling economy. Terre Haute’s unemployment rate is 6 percent, well above state and national levels.

The spirit of Eugene V. Debs is still alive and well and has been a huge obstacle to the economic growth of Terre Haute, for years. I can remember a picket line at a drug store chain when I lived there in the 80s, because the company successfully thwarted an attempt to unionize store clerks. (Yes, you read this correctly, a drug store.)

Today, there is still a large sector of the population that believes jobs should just fall into their laps.

Clinton said she is optimistic the nation can make needed changes.

However, she added, "It won't be easy."

To her credit, she at least understands (and communicates that understanding) that change doesn't come magically.

I do not agree with the majority of her views on how to effect change, mainly because I do not believe that the majority of Americans believe her brand of change is what is indicated. The idea that government should meet more of our needs is not what made this country so successful, over the years.
But, try telling this to the communities that think they have gotten a raw deal in the area of job losses, over the past two decades.

No company wants to move into an area that lost jobs, due to labor woes created by dealing with unreasonable unions.

5 comments:

Mustang said...

In the battle for competing interests, and we’ll use profit vs. wages as our illustration du jour, here come Unions, who stole millions of dollars in dues, and convinced simple-minded people that they are somehow entitled to a share of the company’s profits. Well, that argument has never been successful, and mostly because it has never been true. Wages are the cost of doing business. If employees want a share of the company’s profits, then they need to become stockholders. Nevertheless, constant demands for increased wages (which is what caused sharp increases in the cost of goods and services to begin with), resulted in companies to turn to offshore labor markets. Yes, labor market is the right term because companies, like consumers, will shop around for the lowest (labor) costs.

Now those jobs are gone — probably forever — and not unlike employees of White Trucking, who once milked their employer for $25.00/hour, which caused Mr. White to go out of business, had to find jobs at MacDonald’s working for the minimum wage. Who did that? Workers and their unions did that. As for the trucking industry, we are now purchasing large tractors from Europeans — money lost to the American economy.

I do believe that American companies who hire offshore workers should forfeit some of their tax advantages, but to think that Mrs. Clinton can change the way business is done in our country (since it is a free-market system), is no more than political candy. The question is, “Do voters remain so ignorant to buy into the rhetoric?” If the answer is yes, then I don’t feel sorry for them when the worst thing happens: higher corporate and individual taxes, which lowers disposable income and reinvestment dollars. Isn’t it enough that China now makes everything you purchase at the store? If voters elect Hillary (or Obama), then I think we haven’t seen anything yet . . .

LASunsett said...

//If employees want a share of the company’s profits, then they need to become stockholders.//

Sweat equity is nice and some companies do offer stock options as part of a benefit package to valued employees. But it is the choice of the company to use this kind of perk, for the purpose of attracting the kind of workers they feel will make long term commitments to the profitability, of said company.

But when workers demand it, it says something psychologically about the quality of the worker. In short, it means they want a piece of the action, without taking a risk. Or to put it better, they want something for nothing.

Putting up hard earned money as risk capital is very different than merely showing up to do the job that the person originally agreed to do, for the wages they agreed to accept to do it.

Another problem with the union mentality is, many workers in the union ranks have become complacent with doing a good job. The reason is simple, they know how hard it is for companies to terminate the dead weight.

When I worked for the state, I was in middle management and had to deal with union grievances that were usually filed because I dared to counsel an employee for performance problems or poor attitudes. To fire an employee that truly deserved it, it took about 18 months of impeccable documentation. And at that, it still wasn't guaranteed.

During this time, I also had to endure the occasional bad press that came with mistakes made by people, on the public payroll. When an incident that made the news had occurred, the question would always become, why such incompetence was allowed in the operation of state business? The answer was simple, the union.

Anonymous said...

I’ve been wondering where Greg is . . . heard a rumor from Stan that he was seen dancing with Hillary Clinton at a fundraiser in Pennsylvania. You have to admit, that’s a damn sad story, not to mention a miserable way to end the day. I have to go to bed now.

Cartman

LASunsett said...

Greg,

Are you ready to repudiate these accusations made by Cartman? Who else have you been involved with? What's the square root of an isosceles triangle? Declare, if thou hast understanding.

Greg said...

Where did you get that story - the NYT? There are several obvious logical flaws with the story. One, I don't think Hillary likes dancing with men. As Bubba once said, "She's eaten more pussy than me!" Second, I wouldn't fundraise for the woman. Instead, I have quietly recruited Republicans and Independents to temporarily change parties if necessary and to vote for her in the primaries.

Speaking of Hillary, why have I not seen any political commentators note the hilarious irony in the Florida delegate story? Why aren't Democrats flocking to Florida to chant "Count! The! Votes!"? Sharpton said it would be a "civil rights violation" to count the votes, and he would sue. hehehehehe.

I'm just a typical white person, loving the Democratic nomination process.