The technocrats declare that being against outsourcing is like being against the weather. That outsourcing is somehow a force of nature, and therefore all resistance is futile. The beliefs of the bellicose, the rantings of the complacent, and the bluster of those secretly afraid, afraid that you will discover their secret, the secret that they have guarded so closely, that the only thing standing between their mortality and their fatality is you!
The sit-in protest at Chicago’s Republic Windows and Doors is proof enough but an even better example was played out in the streets of Athens. It was the shooting of a fifteen-year-old boy by Greek police that set a spark to the tinder, but the riots were more about the growing disparity between rich and poor. The dwindling opportunities for the young in Greece versus a conservative government that believes the best answer always involves more police. I wonder how you say, “being against outsourcing is like being against the weather” in Greek.
Because the youth in Greece aren’t listening and the Athens police department has now run out of tear gas. The police backed off and abandoned the central city to the protesters, who in turn vented their rage on banks and fire stations and police stations, all symbols of government, saying with their actions, “Weather this!” Leaving the Greek government impotent with only the choice of caving in or opening fire to retain control of their streets. But that’s where they’re wrong; they are not their streets, they are the people's streets. The government is a product of the people and not the other way around, unlike the weather we can change them at will.
A government that shoots its people is declaring war upon them; a people that shoot back is a people pushed too far. A society that excludes its citizens from economic participation makes itself a foreign entity, unknown and unloved across the land. From Marie Antoinette to the Pullman Strike, from Red Square to Haymarket Square, the will of the people will make itself heard. So perhaps being against outsourcing is like being against the weather, but to quote Bob Dylan, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
Bank of America has sent an offer to the protesters at Republic Windows. In a statement, the Charlotte, NC-based bank sent a letter to the manufacturer indicating that it will provide a limited amount of additional loans to Republic. And that it was Republic's management who chose not to pay its workers for severance, vacation, and other claims they are legally entitled to. "We're worried about the employees first, and we'll worry about ourselves after."
Come on now; raise your hands if you believe that the Bank of America, freshly flush with government TARP funds, is worried about the employees at Republic. It is the protests and picketers in front of the Bank of America branches that concerns it more. The executives cower in the boardroom fearing for their phony baloney jobs. Because they, too, fear if thrown from their offices they’ll land hard on their asses. There is no work out there for unemployed bank executives either. How quickly they pass the blame buck while refusing to pass the actual ones. The signs of dark clouds are on the horizon, or as Dylan put it, “I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken, I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children, And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.”
The housing market continues to deteriorate and predictions are that another five million Americans will be foreclosed on in 2009. Just cast out onto the side of road by a government that believes that being against outsourcing is like being against the weather. In Detroit, farming in the vacant lots has become a new industry. Like ancient Rome falling into ruins, the country overtakes the once urban landscape. Like the decaying Rome, the streets are unsafe and budget cuts preclude the hiring of any more police. The falling knife of real estate values has frozen the market.
My son is looking for a house but he has worse than bad credit, he has no credit. He has paid cash for all that he has ever purchased and now the mortgage lenders want to punish him for it. He found a fixer upper, and since I have experience in real estate I’ve been trying to help him. The house listed a year ago for $104,900; today it is listed at $74,000, but the agent implied it could be had in the low $60’s. I answered more like the mid $50’s. Some of the windows are broken out, the carpet is trashed, the bottom of the garage door is rotting off. Not great, but all the problems are repairable.
Without a credit history the banks are saying no before I can fully introduce myself. There are tens of thousands of families needing homes and tens of thousands of homes being boarded up. The banks and mortgage companies would rather sit on their asses and do nothing than to take a chance. Today’s $60 is next month's $40 as the economy is coughing up a death rattle. Who will catch the falling knife? The bankers are too afraid to do anything while ignoring that doing nothing is just as fatal.
They insist on playing the game by the old rules, the same rules that brought us to this point. A lot survey for $350 on a property bounded by two fences and two public streets. A termite letter for $500.00 on a property that the bank already owns without one. Title insurance, PMI, all on a foreclosure that stands idle today losing value almost by the hour. Meanwhile this scenario plays out a thousand times a day across the length and breadth of this nation.
Americans voted for change in November, but will it come fast enough and strong enough to do us any good? God help us all if it does not, if they keep playing the game by the old rules we will go down to zero. The houses will be stripped or squatters will take over and the banks will get nothing. A self-perpetuating whirlwind of an economic storm where all will seek shelter and we all will do without. Where the term outsourcing will be thought of much as we think of a scab, a communist or a traitor today. Because outsourcing is not the weather, outsourcing is a man-made phenomenon. Created by those who seek personal wealth over national integrity, who pursue a tyrannical, economic dominance all the while blaming it on God almighty himself.
The answer is simple; it is the same answer our ancestors have always found throughout history, from Versailles to Gdansk, from Chicago to Dearborn. People will tolerate a great deal; but when you try to piss on their heads and tell them its raining their patience wears thin. This is where the expression "heads will roll" comes from and it is a quite literal statement. While we cannot change the weather we can change everything else and the rulers of the would-be feudal colony don’t have enough tear gas or guns or truncheons or jail cells to stop us if we get a mind to make that change.
If it were to come to that point, those captains and kings of industry should remember and be forewarned, the government will not protect them; it will only protect itself. Sic semper evello mortem Tyrannis, "Thus always death comes to tyrants." See the sky about to rain.