Monday, June 27, 2011

DECLINING AMERICAN JOBS: Our Number One Threat!

Recently I have blogged about education, unions and the loss of American jobs overseas.  Without even being aware of it, or even seeing it for that matter, we are wittnessing the next great seismic shift in the loss of jobs to a whole class of Americans.

When I graduated from high school, my first job was as a time keeper in the Pipe Shop of the B & W in Barberton.  My Dad was so proud of me because I made a living being clean and "pushing a pencil".  He and my two brothers were steel workers working in a foundry.  I kept time on the evening shift and hated it!  I worked the job for six weeks, quit and joined the Navy.

After the Navy I took a job as a spec writer at a local tire company.  Eventually, after being a supervisor, foreman, and general foreman,  Manager of the Milling, Calendering and Tubing Divisions, I became Manager of Tire Production.  My hundreds of employees required an entire department of time keepers and a payroll department.

Somewhere in those years a seismic event happened, computers joined the work force.  Had to love computers.  They never got sick, filed a complaint and rarely made an error.  When they did err it was because of  human imput not something that the computer did.  They kept time and made payroll.  MY NUMBER ONE INTEREST BEING THE "BOTTOM LINE",  I REJOICED THAT TWO  WHOLE DEPARTMENTS OF EMPLOYEES WERE ELIMINATED.

WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND!  In May of 1980, twenty-one North American Tire Companies closed on the same day.  Plant closures were common in that period.  Along with tens of thousands of others across the nation, at the age of 49 I lost my job.  My wife, a Technical Engineer with the same company, also lost her job.  We took a three month vacation, travelling around the USA, Mexico and Canada in a travel trailer deciding what we wanted to do.

The culprit was not computers, the unions or government regulations.  The problem was a wonderful improvement in tire construction.  The radial tire had arrived.  Tire life was extended from maybe 12,000 miles to 60,000 miles at basically the same price.  WHAT A BLESSING FOR CAR OWNERSThe country only needed a fourth of the tires that they had been buying.  Auto manfacturers immediately changed  to all radial tires. 

I decided to shift gears and became a stock broker, tripling my income and retiring early.  Most did not share the same experience.  I've met a lot of my former employers and fellow managers.  For the most part, they had become service employees.  One of my favorite employees had become a janitor at a hospital where his wife was an RN.  A fellow manager became the Maintenace Manager at a large library where his son was Librarian.  One of my lead foremen became the plant manager of a company making airplane tires in Florida.   I have met a lot of these folks, however, working at car washes or mowing lawns at the school.  Plant closures was the catalysts for many divorces and even some suicides.

Yesterday I called my wife's attention to another trend towards the loss of American jobs of seismic proportion.  It is a service job that millions of low education people depend upon.  The loss isn't even apparent yet.  I watched.  Noone even noticed it taking place.  I've seen it grow from a trial change to a change of major proportions and all too soon it will be a complete change with horrible consequences to millions.

CASHIERS ARE ABOUT TO GO THE WAY OF THE BUGGY WHIP OR WHALE OIL!  Or maybe, bias tires!

We were in Walmarts, the world's largest store.  This one company probably employees thousands of cashiers.  In this large Walmart yesterday they were operating nine checkouts.  Six had cashiers, three were "self" checkouts.  The lines to the cashiers were long and slow.  The three self check out stations were fast and constantly in use.  At the very least, the day is soon approaching when there may be one checkout with a cashier to whom you will pay extra to use.  THE REST WILL ALL BE AUTOMATED CHECKOUTS.

Do you recall when department stores had cashiers at every counter and managers of each department?  No longer!  Serve yourself, take your purchase to a single check out.  Department manager, what's that?  Service?  What do you mean, service?

If you are a real old codger, you might recall something called Service Stations.  Ask your children or grandchildren about service stations and observe their blank stares.

 Remember when you pulled your car into a "Service Station" and you were met by a smiling attendant who faithfully cleaned your windshield, checked your oil and the air in your tires while he pumped your gas for maybe thirty cents a gallon.

Even delicate, well dressed ladies today pump their own gas.  Although they pay well over three dollars a gallon for the gas, they will pay with a credit card and respond to "Receipt?".  Check the air in your tires?  Try finding a station with air.  When you find it you will probably pay seventy-five cents to run the compresser for a few minutes.

WHATS THE POINT?  We have become a SERVICE nation and the service jobs are fast disappearing!  This loss will not only continue, in my opinion, it will excelerate.  WHAT TO DO?  First of all, we had best get some leaders who run on responsibility and not on free government care.  Secondly, as individuals, we had best become educated to compete in a world marketplace.  Lastly, prepare for the worst case senario and pray.

Take care and God bless you and yours.

God bless the USA.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

UNDERSTANDING CALIFORNIA PROBLEMS: They Think This is Funny!

The Story of the Three Little Pigs



Three little pigs went out to dinner one night.  The waiter came and took their drink orders.

I would like a Sprite, said the 1st little piggy.
I would like a coke, said the 2nd little piggy.
I WANT BEER, LOTS AND LOTS OF BEER SAID THE 3RD LITTLE PIGGY.

The drinks were brought and the waiter took their orders for dinner.

I want a nice big steak, said the 1st little piggy.
I would like the salad plate, said the 2nd little piggy.
I WANT BEER, LOTS AND LOTS OF BEER SAID THE 3RD LITTLE PIGGY.

The meals were brought and a while later the waiter approached the table and asked if the little piggys wanted dessert.

I want a banana split, said the 1st little piggy.
I want the cheesecake, said the 2nd little piggy.
I WANT BEER, LOTS AND LOTS OF BEER SAID THE 3RD LITTLE PIGGY.

Pardon me for asking, said the waiter to the 3rd little piggy, but why have you only ordered beer.




(In California this passes for humor)






WELL SOMEBODY HAS TO GO "WEE, WEE, WEE" ALL THE WAY HOME!



Gotta love life in Ohio, WV, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia or wherever other than California, huh?

God Bless!
  

RED CLOUDS IN THE MORNING: Sailors Safe Today!

A CLEAR SUN RISE ON KNOX LAKE
Up and At'em early this morning.  And, why not, it is such a beautiful morning and the beginning of a beautiful day.  The cool weather continues at Knox Lake in north central Ohio after record breaking heat.  Fifty-one degrees, mostly clear, 92% humidity, visabililty 10 miles and wind SE at 5MPH.  Sunrise will be at 5:55AM.    I am wearing a jean jacket and it feels great.  I love it and am thankful!
The parking lot of the boating area, which is ajacent to the family retreat, is almost empty.  It was empty when I took the dawn picture of the lake.  When I went back to take another picture a lone fisherman had launched his boat and another man was just starting to launch.  Look out little fishies, those big bad fishermen are on their way.
SUNRISE LAUNCH ON KNOX LAKE
The launch area was closed to cars for two days for resurfacing the parking lot.  Didn't they do a good job?  We use this parking lot when we host large outings at the lake.

We have some flowers in bloom and the bianual hollyhocks are about ready to burst into bloom.  I can hardly wait.  I have large plantings of multi-colored hollyhocks on either side of a trellis with a swing overlooking the lake, a great place to sit and do nothing. 

BREAKFAST TODAY
Eggs, Sausage, Hash Brown, Toast and Black Coffee
 As I continue to develop a lakeside family retreat at age 80, living a private, peaceful existance, life is good.  I am warm and dry.  Food and drink is abundant.  I have computer, cable tv and a Kindle with a 745 book library.  I have the companionship of a faithful dog.  I have dinner guests from time to time.  My wife, and usually our housekeeper, visits me each weekend.  I have abundant friends.  There is much work for my hands to do.

Nature abounds!  There is a pair of nesting Eagles on the lake and many, many Great Blue Herons.  I feed Humming Birds.  Deer and wild Turkeys are frequent visitors.  Owls talk to me at night.  Is this great or what?
VIEW OF KNOX LAKE FROM RETREAT DECK
 IF LIFE GETS ANY BETTER AT AGE 90, I CAN HARDLY WAIT!

I pray that you likewise know peace and plenty and that your life be blessed by God!

Monday, June 13, 2011

THE 3 SU's OF SPEECH: A Good Commencment Address

NORTH CENTRAL STATE COLLEGE COMMENCEMENT PROGRAM
Professor Phil Martin was named the 2010-11 Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year at North Central State College where my grand daughter Jessica Pierce just graduated.  Professor Martin used the  Three SU's of Speech, Stand Up, Speak Up and Shut Up in his Commencement Address.  I was taught to do the same by Mrs. Elsie Rairden in 1947.
NORTH CENTRAL STATE COLLEGE AT MANSFIELD, OHIO 
He urged the graduates to consider four most important thoughts.  (1) Ask WHY, (2) Ask WHY NOT, (3) SPEAK UP when you see wrong and (4) TELL YOUR STORY.  He made his point and shut up.  Good Speaker!

As we entered the auditorum I was reminded of taking my 80-year-old mother to Disney World.  My sister, Elizabeth, and my wife, Julie, pondered how they would suggest that my mother let us push her around the park in a wheel chair.  Mom was a wise and practical lady, she loved the idea.

When we were allowed early and favorite seating at all the shows at Disney World, it gave Mom great joy.  I can still see her riding in that wheel chair wearing her Mickey Mouse sweat shirt.
MOM AND DAD
In their mid-60's 
On the floor or the North Central auditorum, along with the graduate seating, was great seating on folding chairs for the ELDERLY AND HANDICAPED.  Others had to sit in the bleachers.  With my daughter-in-law's mother being "elderly", uh, sorry Marilyn,  and with my cane I was obviously  "handicapped", my son arranged excellent seating for the four of us.  I felt much as my mother must have.
WALT IN RESERVED SEATING
The speaker, demostrating  the practically of the many majors, observed that one of the graduates in CRIMINAL JUSTICE might one day taser a criminal using a new taser developed by one of the graduates in ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY, who would then be treated by one of the 89 who graduated in NURSING and then be represented in a lawsuit against all of the above by those graduating in PARALEGAL STUDIES.
JESSICA ELAINE PIERCE
Graduate Respiratory Care Specialist

In the HEALTH AND PUBLIC SERVICE DIVISION, Jessica was one of  only 17 getting a highly specialized degree in RESPIRATORY CARE.  She will do well!  Incidentally 20, nearly a fourth, of the 89 graduating as nurses were male.  Times have changed, probably for the better.

MY FIRST 7 GRANDCHILDREN WHEN THEY WERE SMALL
Jillian Elizabeth, the small one, is now starting her 2nd year of Graduate Studies 
Like their parents before them, all of my nine grandchildren, excepting the 10 and 12 year olds, have now graduated from college, one with a Master's Degree and another currently in her graduate studies.  I was present at each or their births and have never missed an event in their lives to which I was invited.

Good job, kids, I love you all dearly and am so very proud of each and every one of you.

May God also bless you and your's as he has me and mine.

May God bless the USA.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A HELPING HAND: At The End Of Your Own Sleeve!

OUR HELPING HAND IS AT THE END OF OUR OWN SLEEVE, WELL THAT'S THE WAY I WAS TAUGHT BY MY PARENTS, THE WAY I TAUGHT MY CHILDREN.  It worked for me.  It worked for my children.  It's working for my grandchildren.

Never in the history of our country has it been so easy to get an education, or with so many support groups for those who need it.  Single parent, small child?  No problem, the college has child care provided.  No money, no sweat, the government will loan it to you.  Work really hard, as my grandchildren did, and the colleges will provide for all or part of  your education.

WHY BOTHER WITH AN EDUCATION?  One reason most don't even think of would be to keep out of prison.  Three quarters of the immates in state prisons are high school drop outs as are 59% of those in federal prisons.

HOW ABOUT GETTING AND KEEPING A JOB, IS THAT REASON ENOUGH?  Those with only a high school education are twice as likely to be unemployed as are those with a bachelors degree.

Oh, thats right!  If you are unemployed the government will still pay you, and pay you and pay you.  Don't like the available jobs, just stay home.  Right!  Uh, I think the goose laying that golden egg is about to expire!  It will if my vote counts for anything.

HOW ABOUT MAKING MORE MONEY FOR YOUR LABOR?  The median income reported by the U.S. Census Bureau for high school drop outs is $18,734,  those graduating from high school earn 49% more than the drop outs, $27,915.  The median income for those with a bachelors degree is 85% higher than those with just a high school diploma, $51,206.  The median income for those with graduate degrees goes on up to $74,602.

 An education sure makes sense to me!

Considering the above reasons, only 15.5% of the nation has bachelor degrees and only 8.9% have graduate degrees, according to the Census Bureau.

Approximately four million students are completing their college degree on the internet or through computer multi-media, broadcast television or correspondence courses.  One such person is dear to me.  She is a distant cousin, my great grandfather is her great great grandfather.  Her two sons both finished college some time ago.  She has just received her Bachelor's Degree.
CHERYL BUCKLEY, BS
The Green Cord?  The Sneaky Pete Award!
(Its the Pierce In Her!)
You might think she has some special background, or whatever.  Well, she probably does, but my friends, she is from CAMPBELL'S CREEK, WEST VIRGINIA!  No, I'm not making fun of this lovely little village in the hills of WV, my wife has relatives there also.  But people born up a hollow like my Mother or on a creek like my Dad usually can't claim any special support in life except that which they find at the ends of their own sleeves.

My granddaughter Jesica Pierce also graduates from college this week.  I am so very proud of her.  I have a part in her graduation, Uh, I get to make the potato salad for her reception.  Don't laugh, I had to argue with her Mother who just wanted me to "come", something about being old and grey probably.  HA!
JESICA PIERCE
 When they were small, and still today, three of my granddaughters were specially loving to me.  If I was in the room, they were on my lap.  Jess is one of those sweeties!

WAY TO GO, JESS!

Although she had the total support of both parents, for not only college but also for 12 years of private school, Jesica has been independent since she graduated from high school, almost always working two jobs, sometimes three.  SHE KNEW WHERE HER HELPING HAND WAS, HUH?

God Bless

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A PERFECT GIFT; For A Most Perfect Son

My oldest son, Mark, celebrated his birthday with most of his family and friends back on May 18th.  We just could not match our schedules until today.  It was an event worth the wait, I thought.
MARK HUDSON PIERCE
 Just how old is Mark?  Old enuff to know better but too young to care!  Something like that.  I know I was 27 when he was born and now I am 80.  If that works out to be 49, works for me.  He is a handsome guy, just like his Dad.  Ask him, he'll tell you.  I taught him to always say Thank You when the comment was frequently made, "You're just like your Dad".
MARK AND TODD, 8 AND 10 IN THE CUB SCOUTS
Mark became a Life Scout and was a member of The Order of the Arrow
I know this, when he was about four he won the Master Barberton title.  Like Leroy Brown, he was the baddest guy in the whole dern town!  Ain't changed all that much!

I was eager to give Mark his birthday gift.  When he was a young and an emensely successful stock broker, he celebrated the fact with both a new sports car AND a new air plane.  It appears I have the only snapshot of  he and the new toys.  He has observed several times that he wished that he had such a picture.  It has hung in my bedroom, with other family pictures for decades.  Now it resides on his desk.

I found a perfect frame for the picture.  Scripted across the bottom of the frame were words that commented that it was the journey that made life worthwhile, or something like that.  Julie and I searched for over a month for a perfect frame and I think this one came close.
A LARGE CHINESE FAMILY DINED NEXT TO US USING CHOP STICKS
Julie and I met Mark, and his lovely wife, Mary Kay, at the Hunan Gardens Restaurant in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, about a twenty minute drive from our lake retreat.  This is mine and Julie's favorite source of Chinese food in this area.  We knew it was good when there was a large Chinese family gathering in the table next to us
eating with chop sticks.
JULIE "DOGGY BAGGED" HER GENERAL TSO'S  CHICKEN
All I Can Say Is ARF! ARF!

 Tomorrow is my son Todd's birthday.  He is, or soon will be, in Virginia Beach with his family.  I know they will celebrate in a big way.  On June 24th it will be my wife's birthday and on August 1st my beautiful daughter, Kimberlies, 39th birthday, again!  I may be late with their birthdays also but I usually come through eventually.

I almost always bake a cherry pie for Mark on his birthday.  One year I did it a month early.  He didn't seem to mind.  Oh, well!

 OH, I ALMOST FORGOT!  Mary Kay didn't like the picture I took of her.  She looked lovely, as she always does  and I couldn't leave her out.  Julie complimented her on a beautiful, unusual necklace.   Mary told me that I was not to put the picture in my blog.  PLEASE DON'T LOOK!
MARY KAY: One of my two favorite daughters-in-law
God Bless!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

WORK OR RETIRE? A perplexing question for many.

A Gallup Poll on retirement conducted in all 50 states on April 11, 2011 indicated that 44% will want to work full time and that 36% will have to work full time.  Equally as interesting is that only 15% will want to stop working while only 3% will have to stop working.

OLD ROCKING CHAIR GOT YOU
"RETIRE TO SOMETHNG AND LIVE, RETIRE FROM SOMETHING AND DIE", my advice to many.  It was just an opinion based upon observation and not upon any special qualification.  At age 80 and 20 years into my own retirement, I still believe it is true.  Researchers today say it is only as true as that cell phones cause cancer.  Remember when they said the same thing about smoking?

Except perhaps for medical and dental care, I do not think money is particularly needed for long life.  My grandfather lived to be 91 on a terrible diet, nil medical care and with a bare minimum of money.  He was always active and enjoyed being alive.  He walked everywhere or drove a buggy.  He chewed tobacco and his wife, who lived to be 89, like a lot of Irish ladies, smoked a small stone pipe with a straight, unfiltered stem.  Grandpa grew her tobacco.

GRANDPA PIERCE WAS A GREAT STORY TELLER AND I THINK HE ENJOYED LIFE.  My attitude is much like his and as edited in this story shared by my friend Pat.
 HEADING DOWN LIFE'S HIGHWAY ENJOYING LIFE

As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself.  I've become my own best friend...

I have seen so many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read my Kindle or write on my computer until 4AM...

I  will still do a jig to a fast fiddle tune or  dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 40's and 50's, and at the same time, if I wish to weep over a lost love, I will..

I will walk Myrtle Beach in a swim suit displaying my large stomach and ignor the glances of the jet set as I soak in the hot tub.  They too will get old if they are lucky....

I know I am forgetful but somethings in life are better forgotten. I remember the important things.  Always!  God, Country and Family!  And, friends... 

I am so blessed to have lived so long that my remaining hair has turned grey and that the youthful laughs forever etches deep grooves in my face.  So many have never laughed or lived to see their hair turn silver!

As you turn older, it is even easier to think positive.  You could care less about what others think.  You have earned the right to be different or wrong...

I like the person I have become.  I like being old.  I know I am not going to live forever and I compensate by eating my dessert first.  Un Huh!


MAY YOU LIVE LONG AND PROSPER!

God bless!