The Buffaloisation of America

Note: Sometime back I decided to stop writing this blog. I figured only a handful of people were reading it and I was unlikely to change any minds. I figured that I would be able to devote writing time to finishing my languishing novel and a couple of short stories that needed some work. Fact is I did not work on the novel or short stories. I did a lot of reading and little writing. Then I chanced to hear from friend I have not communicated with much in recent years. He reported that he enjoyed several of my blog pieces, a surprise because I did not think he even knew the blog existed. Long story short: I decided to give it a couple more tries. If you actually read this, let me know so I can be assured that I am not talking to myself.

The news out the other day: The US census reported that the poverty rate in the US hit the highest level in history. 3.7 million Americans joined the ranks of the poor in 2009. Unsurprisingly, single parents head 70% of poor families. Marriage, it turns out, is the number one weapon against poverty. If fathers married the mothers of their children, 2/3 would be lifted out of poverty. However, welfare discourages this solution by virtue of the welfare rules. In 1964 when LBJ launched his “War on Poverty” 6.8% of births were to single moms. Now it’s 40%. For Hispanics it’s 50% and for blacks it is now 70%. BTW, the US spends one trillion dollars annually fighting a losing battle against poverty.

Of course, with a nasty recession going on and some 15 million Americans out of work, you should expect poverty to be on the increase. But, this has been going on for a long, long time.

You may well ask what has this got to do with Buffalo. Patience. I’m getting there. I returned to my hometown of Buffalo after many years of absence and was amazed that it had not changed all that much. The biggest difference was that all the major factories were shuttered, stores boarded up and the place reminded me of Warsaw right after the Soviet Union fell apart… run down and desolate. I later learned that 50% of Buffalo’s population had fled since I left high school in 1959. I stayed downtown in the Hyatt situated in a four square block of renovated buildings filled with shops and restaurants. As I ventured out after dinner for a little cigar stroll, one of the several private security guys I ran into to warned me not to venture out past the “green zone”. On the same trip I drove by the waterfront where the once mighty Bethlehem Steel plant still stands, although now silent and empty, like a neutron bomb had gone off. All along the waterfront other industrial buildings all stood empty, silent monuments to failure.

I guess Detroit is worse but all across the “rust belt” of the NE and Midwest the story is pretty much the same. Industry has fled to more welcome climates, some to the south and many to overseas. “Greed” say my liberal friends. Really? I think not. Corporations have an obligation to their stockholders to make a profit and if high taxes, stifling regulations and intransigent unions prevent a business from making a profit, they will relocate and move to a more favorable environment. California is experiencing this outward migration of industry now as the granite headed Democrats that control things in Sacramento pile on taxes and regulations.

Now comes the Obama Administration with its collection of egghead academics with zero business experience and anti-business Marxists to finish the job on American industry. The policies already inflicted on business so far are breathtaking. From the auto bailout/takeover, financial regulation, increased taxes to the drilling moratorium and the new health care mess, businesses in the US are pulling in their horns and trying to ride out the storm. Obama and the Democrats seem determined to turn all of the US into Buffalo.

Americans are scared and rightly so. The rise of the Tea Party movement reflects this fear and represents a grass roots ground swell that has caught entrenched Democrats and complacent Republicans by surprise. Many are still in denial.

Reality for many will set in on November 2nd. Most pundits believe that the Republicans will take over the House and some believe the Senate too. I suspect that the Senate will wind up evenly divided insuring gridlock and an inability to overcome an Obama veto. It will be a long time before Obama is voted out of office and he replaces Carter as the most clueless president in history. He can still do a lot of damage even with a Republican Congress.

The US was once the industrial giant of the World. No more. Go into any store and look for something made in the US. Good luck. The good paying jobs for middle class Americans in factories across the US are gone as a result of decades of stifling government actions. And, they are not coming back unless some serious changes are made. Here are a few recommendations, made with the understanding that few, if any, will be adopted.

  • First, the brakes must be put on the trial lawyers and the rules that give hunting licenses to them. Every corporation has hundreds of frivolous lawsuits going at any one time costing them millions to fight.
  • Second, the US levies the highest corporate tax in the industrialized world. Capital gains taxes should be cut to zero.
  • Unions are way too powerful, especially under this administration that curries political favor from them.
  • Regulations need to be cut at all levels of government.
  • And, the death grip that the teacher’s unions have on education needs to be broken. For all the money that’s thrown at education the end product only gets worse. It’s time to try something different.

The above is just a partial list but you get the idea. The loss of good paying industrial middle class jobs falls hardest on the poor and poorly educated. From there many social problems arise from the poverty inflicted on the lower classes. When people see no way out of poverty, crime, drugs, unwanted births and chronic welfare dependency result. If we do not reindustrialize America the whole country will be like Buffalo… or Detroit. Heaven forbid.

Don’t forget to vote.


Filed under Buffaloisation, Election, Politics

2 Responses to The Buffaloisation of America

  1. This morning on the way to work there was a discussion about Donald Trump running for president. After a horrific moment of imaging his hair emblazoned on a coin or carved into granite I thought, “Why not.” Okay, so maybe not the Donald, but a businessman of some sort might make sense.
    However, after my immediate family fell victim to corporate outsourcing, (via Verizon and Brian’s former IT job, he wasn’t union)I’d like to see some kind of tarriff charged to US businesses who outsource their services. Larger companies are able to do this, to the detriment of small businesses and the American workforce.

  2. Dick,
    Keep on writing. I’ve visited this blog often and would miss your points of view. I’m a slacker when it comes to “keeping on top of things” politically, mostly turned off by the polarity of it all. I know how you feel about lack of response; it’s the same way with me and my blog site.

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