Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ford Layoffs in Georgia: Karma?

Yesterday's annoucement that Ford will lay off more than 25,000 workers and idle numerous plants across North America is certainly another tell-tale sign of our current President/Congress' inability to actually stimulate the economy. They point to job growth numbers, but are those jobs being created actually improving the lives of the people that are filling them? That is doubtful, what with Wal-Mart likely responsible for most of them. But that is not the point of this rant. This rant has to do with the reaction of the poor folks in Georgia who have to deal with their Ford plant closing.

From AP: Alan Hallman, mayor of Hapeville, Ga., where the Atlanta Assembly Plant is located, called the latest news "a setback for the state." The plant, which makes the Taurus, has about 2,000 employees. Hallman said it accounts for 9 percent of the small city's budget. "We've got hundreds of man-hours and thousands of dollars invested on various plans to keep them here. The fact that they've elected to idle the plant is very disappointing," he said. White House press secretary Scott McClellan said: "Anytime someone loses a job we're concerned about it, we're concerned about the community." However, McClellan said overall the economy "is going strong."

My feeling: they've had it coming for years. It's called karma and it is wonderful. These assholes down south have been stealing Northern manufacturing jobs for decades and with those jobs, many of the workers. The relocation of those workers led to the attraction of many of their friends and family to the South, lured by the promise of low taxes and abundant quality jobs. The result, the absolute collapse of many of America's once-great industrial cities. Places like Buffalo, Detroit, Toledo, and yes, Rochester, are in many ways skeletons of their former selves. The North gave America industrial innovation, the labor movement, civil rights, etc. What did the South give us in return? Wal-Mart? Waffle House? NASCAR?

Call me a spiteful SOB, but they're the assholes who voted for Bush and the Republican majority. They're the ones that so purposely and ruthlessly gutted the Northern economy. They're the ones that sit in their trailers watching Rusty Wallace and eating waffles while their wives are driving their pick-up to Wal-Mart to get another 30-pack of Bud and a fresh pair of Wranglers. So it's their own fault that they're finally dealing with layoffs like the rest of us. Welcome to the real world, jerks! As for the layoffs at Ford facilities in the North, Ford should be ashamed of itself, but unlike the South, we Northerners are used to it. We'll pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again. Can Southerners do the same? I hope not.