Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Please Pardon Our Confusion, Mr. President,

...but weren't you supposed to stimulate our economy, not China's?

Somehow, I don't recall telling you to spend one trillion dollars to help anyone else other than America. But, we see you don't really care about us. Again you've demonstrated your inexperience and ignorance of economic matters by enriching other countries instead of your fellow countrymen.

What we don't need, Mr. President, is an expansion of government jobs. What we need is diversity in the job market. What we need is a rejuvenation of the manufacturing sector.

As a former member of the manufacturing sector of our economy, I have witnessed the downfall of this once mighty part of America firsthand. In it, I found a happy medium between excercising my mind and working with my hands. Learning about geometry, trigonometry, and the physical characteristics of metals, combined with the activity of actually shaping the metal into a useful part with various machines and cutters was fullfilling in many ways. I was able to support myself, a wife and a child, and purchase a home, all without a college degree.

Don't think for a moment that I didn't study. I spent two years in high school learning the basics of the trade, then another four years refining that knowledge in a toolmaking apprenticeship. I took other classes as opportunities arose in CAD drafting and quality control inspection. I looked upon my craft as a lifelong love, adding to my knowledge in a never-ending quest to add value to my skills, and subsequently, to my employer.

I've made parts that enabled transport trucks to ship goods, printed circuit boards to be made, doctors to minimize suffering and the Space Shuttle to fly. All I ever asked for in return was a chance to continue to ply my trade and make a decent living. But somewhere along the line, our government decided that we should become a "service economy". When NAFTA was passed in 1993, I was laid off within days of its' signing when the company I worked for relocated to Mexico. I and many of my friends and coworkers began to face a life where our livlihood was no longer in demand. Not all of us were skilled in the machining arts, some were painters, welders, electricians and receiving clerks, all able to support ourselves in a part of our economy that was made obsolete with the stroke of a misguided pen.

Mr. President, we had hoped you would stop the flow of jobs out of America and into other countries. We had hoped you'd lead a new era of economic prosperity for all Americans. We had hoped that you wanted the best for your nation and its people.

We were wrong.

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