Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Woman Worker

War Effort week continues this Wednesday with this picture of a Woman Working. The picture was taken in 1942. It was made at the North American Aviation, Inc.'s Inglewood, California, factory. The woman in assembling a B-25 bomber engine. In looking at these pictures this week I was sort of saddened by how little manufacturing is done in this country any more. It feels like almost all of these jobs have been shipped overseas. For all the economic problems we are facing, and all the different ways you can try and assign blame, I think it all comes down to this: we will never recover unless we actually start making things again.


  1. A person doesn't realize how complicated things in the airplane industry was, even back then.
    How easy it would be to miss just one step, and then the thing would fall from the sky.

    One reason for shipping jobs overseas is the cost of labor.
    I know some of you Union people will get on your high horse, but they are to blame for a lot of it.
    Grant you the unions were a good thing when company owners were abusing the workers, but now they are just GREEDY, and are driving the jobs overseas to place that do not have unions.

  2. Agreed. Our great country cannot survive as a "service economy."

    My mother and father both worked in the shipyards during WWII. (San Pedro or Long Beach?) I wish I knew just what their jobs were then.

    Folks, talk to your parents and older relatives while you can. Its amazing how much you will want to know, after it is too late.

  3. Our GREAT NATION does the inventing, and some other country does the building.
    Cheap labor.
    I agree with R, the unions have driven many companies to their knees. Look at how they treated the auto industries when they were a eye blink form going under.
    They would not budge an inch, and when the company goes belly up, who will pay the pensioners then.

  4. I agree unions are a big part of the problem. I dont think though, that the model of "We invent, and someone else builds" is a sustainable model. Probably 1 out of 10,000 people in the country "invent". What does everyone else do? These inventors only need so many manicures, tanning salons, and trips to hooters.

  5. Please don't single out the unions for our woes. The proper word was used by R in describing the union management, but, the same word can be used to describe most all of management. Greed. CEOs in the '50's earned an average of 17 times the average income of their worker bees. That same stat in 2010, I believe is nearer 250 times. And when they get fired for incompetence their golden parachute is obscene.

    I used to work as an underground miner, and contrary to popular opinion, managers are still abusing their employees for the sake of the bottom line.

    Personal opinion, one of the worst things to happen to this country was the Harvard MBA.

  6. We'll never start making things again because that would mean we'd be empowering those greedy, horrible CORPORATIONS like American Aviation, Inc. and horror or horrors...PROFIT. We can't have that. And what liberals and progressives did to American manufacturing, they're about to do to healthcare and energy. And remember, we're in the midst of a "jobless recovery" more hopey/changey fun times for the American working family...but then...working families are so "fly-over country" all clinging to their guns and bibles, so I guess it's all good. Those 1970's misery index fun times are headed our way. Oh, and who will pay for the big union pensions you ask? We'll all be paying. Problem is, if no one is "making things" and no one has a job where the hell do they think the money's going to come from. It's not. With socialism, eventually you run out of other people's money to tax. Too many takers and not enough makers. That's the historical lesson in socialism. It doesn't work, it's never worked and yet here we go....

  7. I agree that Unions are not the only problem. Executive compensation is a big issue. If an executive successfully leads a company to make huge profits, and the executive is compensated by a bazillion dollars, I have no problem. The issue is that executive compensation is not tied to performance. They make a bazillion dollars whether the company is successful, or run into the ground from incompetant management. Yes, reward sussess, but punish failure. For a true free market, you do not reward failure.

  8. Well, the issue of who is too greedy is complicated.

    One issue is big institutional investors who don't give a rat's ass about dividends (earnings) they just want to cash in on rising stock prices. And they don't invest for the long term. So managements all go for short term gains in stock prices rather than adding value. That encourages exporting jobs, buying and selling other companies and similar strategies that have no real productive gains.

    As far as the bank fiasco goes, I personally think it can be traced back to a congressional action that let banks go national. Previous to that time (it was sometime after 1970 I think) banks were chartered by states, counties or cities and there was sane, local control. The bank president who answers to his neighbors is bound to be more cautious than some wild stockbroker from NYC.

    If you ask me, congress can't find its hip pockets with both hands, a wall mirror and a back scratcher.

    They're a bunch of worthless swine only adept at getting re-elected. The best thing that could happen is a 100% turnover in congress followed by the following reforms:

    1. No congressional pensions.
    2. The buy their health care on the open market.
    3. They have to take a recorded vote to increase their salary or perks - for that matter, all their votes must be in person, recorded and published on the internet.
    4. Any misdeed on their part is a felony, investigated by the sheriff of a county located outside their own state, and conviction carries a 10 year prison sentence at Leavenworth, no parole.
    5. Finally, they have to be able recite the bill of rights, and the entire constitution and explain each of the articles clearly before they can take the oath of office. Violations of that oath will be regarded as treason and treated as such.


  9. Just a minor point, PJM, but the lady is working on the engine mount not the engine.

    I have heard some commentary that a number of jobs are returning to the USA. When shipping and handling is factored in with the rise in the economic indexes of China and India, it seems that it is more profitable (there is that supposedly terrible word) to set up production here. I think this is simply a "leveling of the pool" from years past when the greater part of the labor was done overseas.

    Labor unions have been in decline for years but under the current regime they are begining to grow once again. Unions have a place in the system, but they should never be allowed to become a force that can dictate national policy.

    Finally, the very nature of the workforce has changed from the time I entered it in the early
    70s. 90 percent of the changes are good, but I worry about the millions of kiddos being raised by people other than their parents for all but about 4 hours a day (my grandchildren are a fine example). I believe if we as parents are not careful in our selection of the people we leave our most precious thing on the earth, the country will be in sorry shape in less than 10 years.

  10. Bruce,
    i am in agreement with your points, but dont think you suggestions are adequate. The only way to reform Washington is to cut off the oxygen. pass a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget, unless they get approval by 2/3 of the state legislatures. That is, the state governments must approve any federal budget not in balance. The system will not reform itself you have to remove its fuel.

  11. There are a lot of manufacturing jobs being added in the South. The southern states are giving huge tax incentives to companies to come in and employ folks. In California, where I live, the state just adds taxes and taxes to the companies so they are all closing up shop and moving.

  12. I agree with the previous posters re the fact that organized labor is mostly to blame for our current situation. There is no question that labor unions served a valuable purpose during the last century’s Industrial Revolution in advocating safe working conditions and decent wages for their members.

    However, with the enactment of minimum wage and labor laws, organized labor is essentially unnecessary today (except in certain high-risk industries). Their sole purpose these days is merely to extort as much money as they can from their employers - specifically the auto workers the teachers’ unions, and the public employee service unions. The largest employer of the organized labor is the Federal Government. Federal, state, and city employees have had their noses in the public trough for far too long.

    And . . . did you know that many high-profile Democrats who accept money from and claim to support organized labor own private business that are non-union - such as John Kerry from Massachusetts and the evil Nancy Pelosi??? Kerry is married to Teresa Heinz, who’s owns the Heinz Ketchup empire - and they sent all of their jobs overseas years ago. Millionaire Nancy Pelosi owns a hotel chain that does not employ union employees. Gee, I wonder why?

    What a bunch of hypocrites!!!

    I’m certainly not in favor of unfair labor practices or gouging, but the simple fact is that if a company cannot make a profit, then it cannot employ people.

    This is capitalism, folks (or what’s left of it these days).

  13. Then we will not recover. Most companies have things made cheaper out of the country. If every American worker worked at the minimum wage, it would still be cheaper to make things in the Far East. And companies owe no loyalty to the nation any longer but rather to management, stockholders, boards of directors.

    Anti-union comments arte just plain silly. Would you want your daughter to wolrk a mill as they do in China? Why blame unions and not the people who own the plants? Does Nike shoes really cost so much less now that they get made in Indonesia for 15 lbucks worth of material and labor? Nah. They pay super stars to advertise and chartge a hundred ormore dollars...look at the recvent coal amine disaster in W. Vir,. just about all the coaml mining diasasters in recent times have taken place at non-union mines, where miners had no say in conditions. In sum: stop looking for scapegoat at unions. The uhnions are not hiring illegal aliens from Mexico! guess who is!!
    ps: I am not in a union.

  14. Sorry, Anon. Can't stop blaming unions because they are the problem. In a free Republic with free markets, no one is forced - at the point of a gun - to work anywhere union or non-union. Don't like the mine working conditions? Start your own coal mine...sell an eBay a diner...clean hotel at WalMart as a a GM dealership with all that government bailout money and free healthcare you're getting from Obama's stash of cash. And guess what??? That girl working in China? She doesn't have a choice where she works. China is a communist country, as are most countries with dismal and cheap working conditions. Wake up! You live in a free least for now.