It appears so, many Britain’s shocked by their country’s vote to leave the EU, waking up the next morning trying to absorb what it all means, younger voters feeling somewhat betrayed because they overwhelmingly voted to stay while their older counterparts were key in the final elected push to leave. Older voters cheering what felt like a major victory for the working class, putting Britain first over foreign trade deals syphoning British jobs, the British people making choices for themselves, their country rather than major decisions being declared from hundreds of miles away in Brussels, a portion of taxes going to them as well. Signaling Britain taking control of its boarders in the wake of the terror attacks in Brussels, France, concern about the Syrian refugees in light of global terrorism, their economic impact on the country as many call them economic migrants seeking out the UK for a better life; a collective vote to leave even after a deranged man shouted ‘Britain First’ and shot member of parliament Jo Cox, in favor of remaining in the European Union, experts reading it as citizens would not want anything to do with an act so violent, so extreme as the virtual assignation of a parliament official. Still the leaves had it by a slim margin, yet enough, but it quickly became apparent all was not well concerning Britain’s stab for independence from the unified coalition of countries known as the European Union, some astonished their vote counted, Britain had actually managed to garner the votes to leave. Others expressing regret, asserting accusations pro leave politicians, activists lied to get their vote; at the same time people from other partner nations in the EU living and working in Britain nervous about what this referendum means for them in terms of renegotiating their immigration status with an independent Britain, forget keeping their jobs, homes, determining where they will live, determining where their children will be educated. Specific comments on internet posted news video indicating votes favoring Brexit had to do with deeper dysfunctions within the EU not just jobs, independence, a feeling of lost, dwindling national cultural identity rather a collective fatigue with being forced to shoulder, manage, aide, bail out member nations like Spain and Greece, ‘where socialism has failed,’ from crushing national debt, multiple debt crises; remarking these immigrants too would have to return to their home countries and their problems to find work, eke out a life, freeing up jobs for currently unemployed Brits. Seemingly confused, punch drunk UK citizens drafting petitions online calling for a revote, amassing almost 4 million signatures, entities like Scotland saying there must be a second referendum, that option must be on the table; Prime Minister quashing any such notions, for Britain, at least moving on to announcing before parliament they must find a way to expediently implement the people’s choice. That country in a constant state of flux; adding to the globally felt uncertainty, there are the technicalities of extricating itself from the EU, essentially navigating a particularly nasty divorce on a national scale, leave champions saying, now the vote has been cast, there is no need for haste. On the opposing side, EU bluntly alerting them and the world they want Britain out as soon as humanly, governmentally possible, putting them on notice there will be no preferential treatment when it comes to trade renegotiations and other foreign relation matters; then Prime Minister David Cameron asked to leave an EU post Brexit meeting, a day later Cameron resigning as Prime Minister. While the rest of the world had its hands full just trying to cope with the immediate fallout; Britex and the vote deciding Brexit something we’d only heard minor murmurs of on U.S. shores, frequent news watchers and event analyzers couching it as similar to forces deciding the presidential primary here at home, those against the political elite, pushing back on trade deals like CAFTA, NAFTA and TTPP seen as taking American jobs overseas the way Ford and Nabisco are currently, Verizon tried to and Currier is in the process of as this article is being created. Votes for Donald Trump as hopeful, future president cast by members of the rust belt, manufacturing towns, older citizens with only their social security left, upset their children are leaving said dilapidated areas for better opportunities, wanting them close enough to come visit once and awhile, to paraphrase Chris Mathews. Echoing the same thoughts on immigration who remembers this exclamation, ‘without boarders you don’t have a country,’ not only against Mexicans ‘taking our jobs’ but those same Syrian refugees Trump unfoundedly ties to ISIS; examiners of the unfolding phenomenon, existing viewpoints highlighting expertly the undercurrents of nationalism, fear and paranoia. Deftly warning Americans to be warry of the same potential mistakes, but will they listen or is the Trump train destined to follow in the earth shaking footsteps of Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage sticking it to this county’s version of mega business puppet David Cameron, President Obama? Equally representative, in their minds, of wealthy people lining their pockets with yet more wealth on the backs of the poor; President Obama and other liberals who have ‘wrecked the country nearly beyond repair,’ are too passive, their code for weak, citing President Obama’s unwillingness to call out Middle East based, inspired terrorists as members of radical Islam. President Obama being the black president and what a victory that was heralded despite him, in the eyes of people like Trump, making things, race relations worse, having done nothing to calm or unify parts of the black community with the rest of the nation. Only time will tell but the world shift to Brexit type mindsets, referendums and votes seems to be in two words bad and increasingly inevitable, people having to learn the hard way.
Impact felt immediately as world stock markets tumbled after the profound uncertainty of an outcome every educated person looking at it said wasn’t likely to happen; comment from one British analyst: they lost more in one night than in 15 years of payments to the EU, the pound cratering to a 31 year low against the dollar. Potentially great for tourists planning a trip to Britain, looking to exchange money on their vacation, perhaps it will be great for Donald Trump’s golf course as he predicted speaking about Brexit from there shortly after the vote; not at all great for the British working class, poorer workers likely first to be effected by negative Brexit fall out. An odd move for said voters; feeling their interests had been largely ignored, their voices economically unheard, unconsidered, purportedly seeking greater representation of those interests, greater opportunity. Worries there, now former Prime Minister Cameron was onto something when he forewarned of a possible self-induced recession, the UK representing the largest to second largest, depending on source, European economy, thought being where they go others will follow or be caught in the undertow; thinking not limited to economic realities, who could be hurt in the interim 2 years it may take to engineer the UK’s lengthy, complicated, convoluted and, complex EU exit, who could find themselves in dire straits as the UK implements Brexit, shifts from EU guidelines, regulations and laws to exclusively UK ones. While worries in America center on their own coupled with global financial markets, stocks tumbling for 2-3 days straight, 401ks, retirement accounts losing up to $5,000; market uncertainties not going anywhere knowing as, stated, it could take up to 2 years for the UK to process its formal, official I’s dotted, T’s crossed exit. Down the road issues of trade, alliance on a global political scale, what the threat of a breakup of the UK, more likely the EU, means for global security, a constant American concern as definitive global leader in shaping worldwide events. Real trepidation is reverberating through Europe other countries will follow suit using Britain’s example, that it could reach so far as to divide the UK itself; Scotland for example, overwhelmingly voting to remain in the EU, already having held their own internal referendum seeking Scottish independence from the UK in the not so distant past. Defining catalyst behind forming the EU was to shape a post-soviet Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, moving from vision to existence a unified Europe for the benefit of participating nations pillared on ‘four freedoms’ of: movement of goods, services, people and money; emphasizing these are small counties land mass a faction of the United States, populated landmasses in Canada, Asia causing a coalition, unification like the EU to make sound sense allowing people things, workers, service to flow freely in such close quarters, increase trade, lower costs, completely disconnected from the elitist power play, better to go it alone lines fed to the people. Processing the leave vote, worries there may be significant problems operating their national health service as it depends heavily on other EU members for doctors, nurses, support staff; estimate putting up to half its total workers from foreign EU members, and 80% of their version of social workers providing services to adults. Important because it is already facing shortfalls, one of the huge points against a national healthcare system in the states is horror stories of long wait times to see doctors, their lack of nurse practitioners allowed to dispense prescriptions and basic preventative care making their scenario worse long before Brexit; citizens vote for all intents and purposes virtually ensuring things aren’t going to get any better, despite the millions politicians promised to put into it, minus a large chunk of doctors. Data suggesting any drain on their NHS is coming from born UK citizens not migrants, predictions the UK’s choice to leave the EU could cause a massive reverse exodus meaning 1.3 million Brits living in other EU nations returning placing more strain on said NHS, the very foundations of EU healthcare to be shaken when traveling Brits can’t get currently entitled to healthcare in a participating EU country or vice versa, EU participants no longer able to access the same quality care. You don’t need a crystal ball to see the looming regulatory nightmare involving formerly uniform acceptance of all EU member doctors, nurses’ credentials, frameworks for regulating, monitoring medications, human clinical trials for new medications, regulation of medical devices, even intercountry cooperation on warnings, monitoring, containment of infectious disease. Over there items as basic as working hours as their week, work time directives for any industry is capped at 48 hours, making America’s admittedly patchwork, state by state differing parameters look remarkably sane compared to what’s coming; open question, will they keep the EU guidelines, regulations drafted by the EU as a whole or will it repeal them, amending, then adopting, their own? Unclear also is if the UK has anywhere close to enough doctors and related staff waiting in line to fill jobs left vacant by exiting EU members told to ‘go home;’ numbers would say no or they wouldn’t be hiring so many member country foreigners would they? Interesting facts, probable perceptions, intricate questions taking into account NHS funding alongside immigration, dealing with middle east migrants were top selling points for leave movement organizers, and this is only a rudimentary breakdown of what might happen to one UK agency, next imagine it across all the sectors comprising the backbone of any country legal, financial, trade, scrutinized above, medical. Further, hours to days post their historic vote Boris Johnson announced he won’t run for Prime Minister, Nigel Farage resigning his independence party membership, David Cameron orchestrating his exit stage left; Cameron’s action somewhat understandable believing he no longer represents the will of his people therefore should leave. The other 2 are conspicuously self-serving having gotten what they wanted and not sticking around to mold the UK they said they desired, fully intended to create, urged the people to create; a new Prime Minister may turn out to be a good thing eliminating the animosity Cameron created with his country’s vote, his failure to sway his country to remain in the EU. Undeniable the new Prime Minister’s job, an already daunting task in light of the leave vote, will be exponentially complicated by an official new to the high ranking position, under enormous pressure to come through where Cameron did not, lacking the relationship with top EU members, the knowledge gleaned through years of service beside said members, ability to read them, craft your arguments knowing how they respond to certain ideas, words, diplomacy tactics generating more uncertainty that could devolve into chaos.
Most disturbing in seeing citizen influence on national events, global standing, a warning of foreshadowing for Americans if they continue to blithely listen to Donald Trump and like-minded persons, is hearing people’s explanations behind their vote, thought processes, lack thereof resulting in the shockwave magnitude world consequences; comments like they didn’t think their vote would count, thought their vote insignificant, they didn’t really want to leave they just wanted to make a statement, shrugging it off saying they could always vote differently next time. Right after the vote’s announcement the most googled thing from there, what is the European Union, what does it mean to leave the European Union; shouldn’t that have been a topic you were googling before you cast your ballot, whichever decision you made? It’s like watching a montage to the uninformed voter, would be funny if it wasn’t so serious; people who didn’t even seem to understand the benefits they had under the status quo, didn’t comprehend the coalition their country was part of, forget why. Subsequently, how can you think your vote insignificant, that it won’t count, you’re not deciding with your family on where to go for vacation, this is a big deal housing lasting ramifications, voting on issues affecting your nation; at the same time, how can you not know having 27 surrounding countries in which to work, live, travel freely to and from is a good thing, did you do any research into current trade deals and partnerships made possible by the EU benefiting your country? Have to say, at least in America when voters and potential voters think their vote won’t count, won’t matter, is meaningless, they simply don’t vote, not vote the opposite of what they think out of some twisted sense of ‘riding a protest vote into power’ to the end game of god knows what. I myself abstained from voting for years after reaching voting age precisely because I didn’t want to do anymore damage to things than had already been done, didn’t think I had the political acumen to vote responsibly; now I vote in an effort to keep things from getting any worse. How can you not know, being a British citizen, your reputation continues to proceed you, being Britain is the biggest economy in Europe, the 5th largest in the world, what you do as a country is felt by the rest of the globe; from what you are able to give to developing nations, NATO financing, WTO participation, to what we’ve seen on major stock markets. Closer to home, things average working class people care about around their kitchen tables, you saw world accrediting agencies for countries down-grade America’s credit rating when politicians there couldn’t seem to get their act together and make the decisions, run their government to pay their bills on time, resolve their debt; what could possibly make you think this wouldn’t have similar implications? Biggest problem with these working class individuals, neighborhoods of people complaining about a lack of jobs seems to be their choice to remain in a brick and mortar, urban, suburban fishbowl rather than go to a bigger city, adjacent member country; looking to your own boarders, remembering how small the UK is, ease of travel facilitated by smaller landmass, and the NHS numbers, consider do you have a talent in any of those fields, can you learn them, be satisfied with them and earn a good living? It’s just like in America, if your goal is a larger paycheck, creature comforts obtained by that paycheck, you go where the jobs are, you scan industry trends and choose the one that best matches your talents, capabilities, anything you can stomach to learn, excel in by focused hard work toward that goal of making better money. Following comment illustrating brilliantly, if somewhat longwindedly how unsatisfied citizens might have handled their complaints with the EU more constructively, “The EU (good / bad / indifferent) is a titanic issue, which is barely getting any press from people that actually KNOW anything about it. Truly, you might as well pose a question concerning a ‘representative democracy vs direct democracy’ and then listen to every ass who calls himself a journalist expound on something he or she last studied (or even thought about) in high school. Economics is an incredibly complicated issue, especially when combined with nationalism, and the minutiae of regulating commerce – but you’d never know it from the level of discussion we’re having. The author is absolutely right that the powers-that-be have conveniently dismissed very serious criticisms of the EU and relegated legitimate antagonists as mere ‘racists’, ‘nationalists’, etc. because – yes – there are a ton of those voices on that side… And then, of course, the know-nothings writing about such things have allowed this dismissal to go on, thus completely missing the point that the EU has often been at odds with its stated mission. The complete disaster that the EU allowed Greece to create is just one example. (And of course, the banks, debt holders, rating agencies, etc. were essentially excused from responsibility – sound familiar?) But, rather than address the possibly solvable problems of the EU, the ‘leave’ camp apes too-stupid-to-be-real language of the far right: Faceless, unaccountable bureaucrats (in another country!) making decisions about my ‘freedom’ to buy unregulated milk, (or whatever.) And this idiocy has truly filtered down everywhere. Jack Baruth, an automotive ‘journalist’ at Road & Track, for example wrote an article expounding on the benefits of the UK leaving (recycling this stupidity) and even suggested that the British auto industry could see a boom in the absence of the EU – never even noting that the company that owns Jaguar and Land Rover is now estimating the future loss of well over a billion pounds (just in the UK!) because of Brexit. So, he couldn’t even be bothered to demonstrate knowledge of his own industry before pontificating and making a fool of himself on this much larger issue… Its just typical worthless noise from people with access to an audience, while real concerns go unheeded.” [Sic] Raising interesting questions about how things in Greece and Spain were allowed to get so bad sans being better regulated by the EU or expelled; did anyone think of more efficient ways to make the EU, UK membership in the EU, better function for the average worker, better strike a balance between worker grievances and the elites to ensure everyone is getting their fair share, identical exposure to opportunity to make a better life, fulfill the unspoken commandment thou shalt leave better for their children than they themselves had, before coming to the illogical conclusion Britain, the UK had to leave in order to achieve this goal? But, you’ll vote, can always vote to remain next time; what do you mean next time, there is no next time, if you vote out, the nation votes with you, as it did, you’re out of the European Union, who knows when, or if, you’ll get back in. British born comedian John Oliver never letting up on Britain for their monumentally stupid decision, quashing calls for a revote with this succinct line: there are no f-ing do overs, sentiments needing to be prevailed upon the public prior to election day obviously, realization coming too late; the punch in the nose, mentioned during the first set of videos at the top of the piece, coming to the voters who thought this would solve your problems. Politicians lied to you, shocker—that’s what politicians do; they said the 300 million pounds going to the EU daily would go to the NHS, strongly implied it, and it didn’t? Except anyone having passed high school level government 101, knows the excess money not used by countries in paying bills, seeing to operations, funding various programs is usually funneled back into generic government coffers and there are no earmarks; someone please tell me if UK democracy, democratic republic structures are that different. Following information there were none, to almost no, migrants from Syria residing in Britain, the portions of it responsible for the leave vote, generating the shocking responses telling why they voted the way they did; migrants they’re actually taking issue with are fellow EU members very nearly holding up their economy, channeling John Oliver, way to shoot yourself in the foot.
What could this mean for Americans poised to make their own decisions, we can’t keep buying into the Trump mantra of making America great again by dragging back jobs from China, Japan, Mexico, everywhere when existing trade deals, trade memberships like with the WTO, stand in the way. Moves away from them could mean drastic ripple effects not singularly for us but other westernized and developing nations alike. We can’t buy that one liner realizing it doesn’t matter how many jobs he might bring back with different deals if it translates into making enemies out of people we must trade with, equal world players, superpowers holding their own weight to throw around who can make things infinitely worse in trading with the United States, if animosity is the ‘weapon’ of choice, and most importantly, when we don’t have the skilled workers waiting to fill those suddenly available jobs. Young people today seen as being pushed away from dirty jobs, working with your hands, Mike Rowe and Bill Maher fond of saying “we can’t all be the person drawing on the cave wall,” the former saying we need people to do something, forever sounding the alarm about the skills gap still failing to understand what’s truly behind it. Young people are going in different directions to follow job landscape shifts yes however, also possessing different talents and seeking out different places to ply them; regarding America, business, including the remaining facets of the manufacturing, skilled trades, construction, exc., failing to be candid and forthcoming about their need for workers, the academic subjects needed for success in field X paired with places to receive training. Mirroring trends in the UK a significant portion of those bemoaning the lost days of manufacturing boomtowns, the American rustbelt are currently on social security, past working age, enjoying, experiencing their golden years, sparking serious questions there and here about who the work environment for top industries should be geared toward, those who have 40 odd years to put into it or a maximum of 15? Here we have steadily tried to integrate, craft workplaces, spaces designed for young people, offering the alluring perks to get them to take in demand, high vacancy jobs to growing success. It’s nearly the same situation tackling immigration here or across the pond; those interviewed using boat metaphors to describe their country and too many people in it, admonishments anymore and it will sink are people in their twilight years who won’t be around to see whatever impending disaster they have convinced themselves is coming. Proceeding comment neatly summing up their viewing lens on the world around them colored by misunderstanding and fear, there are those key words again, and holding portends for the cyclical future, “They have the same problem as the United States. Jobs are disappearing, not because of economic recession, not because of globalization, but because of increased productivity and automation. Nobody has any ideas of how to deal with this problem, so there are going to be a large number of people who are dissatisfied with the status quo, whatever it is. If Britain finally leaves the EU, the same people who voted to leave will be demanding that they rejoin ten year from now.” Mystifying is why they care so much so they are willing to take a good chance at ransoming the future away from those who must live it; if they are largely older persons, and they are in generalized terms, maneuvering through retirement, receiving their county’s benefits to retired, age-d workers, will be shortly, why does it matter so much how many jobs there are, how many young people are standing idle on street corners, staring at the local job centere (UK spelling) as if it were the devil, evil in carnet? Because, the one fear not heard mention of on news broadcast interviews where citizens explained their vote to reporters is, unlike here, that those social benefits won’t be around to the end of their lives, that they will become a burden to their loved ones in their growing dotage, even younger, still workforce participants, 40-50 didn’t seem to share that fear. NHS concerns, for all they were a part of the Brexit vote, unlike stateside, there were no ponderances healthcare would not be there for them when needed, similar to Obamacare fearmongering at home, care would be rationed for older persons as NHS’ budget got tighter, UK version of ‘death panels.’ Redundancies setting in, unlike America, possibility of increased crime rates with bored young people possessing nothing to do except get into trouble, anxiety over their personal safety as their neighborhood gets younger, young people become more and more angry at their plight didn’t enter into it either. The one complaint missing, once more unlike here, their children, grandchildren are returning home begging to live, sleep on their couch for a lack of work opportunities, stories seeing their offspring, younger counterparts struggle to make the kind of life they were able to give their children, empathy and sympathy for younger family, younger workers navigating this changed world. It consisted of instead, all nebulous anger about who is and isn’t making decisions for UK citizens, and decidedly selfish attitudes, opinions about them not liking the look of their country anymore, somehow wanting to press rewind back to non-existent glory days. Parroting the long winded commenter quoted via the preceding paragraph, sound familiar? Discussing America exclusively it’s heartwarming to hear people want their grandkids and children to visit regularly, that you, the you depicted in those statements, have that kind of relationship with your kids and sad to think that might not happen thanks to changing job landscapes, the need to branch out on one’s own; unheeded referencing the Chris Mathews narrative, the idea that if you let them leave without making a lasting production out of it, pontificating about long lost times, how trade deals and politics have ruined U.S. manufacturing, sounding every bit like you are 60 years in the past, they very well could make enough money to return regularly, move shorter distances away in order to see you more—oh. Generation gap thoughts inconsistent with reality where current millennials, the oldest of them who’ve already had, are having your first and second grandchild, grandchildren, are staying closer to home, as a result, experts say, of the constant coddling, spending their lives going no further than their mother’s, largely metaphorical today, apron strings; analyzed another way, relying on that support network of friends, acquaintances, I’ve talked about repeatedly now instrumental in getting first jobs, not just parents, to help manage stress, avoid depression, reduce the anxiety research claims is on the rise in this age bracket related to the reasons given, advice telling them to do so when starting out. Nationally we remain in the midst of continued sandwich generations starting, raising their families simultaneously caring for aging parents, seniors living longer meaning perhaps 3 generations to juggle the needs of, it falling on the youngest of age adults to make it all work. Not exactly the every young person feeling out of town picture given by Chris Mathews’ age bracket; article after article written about young people ‘so attached to their technology they won’t take steps to get so much as a drivers license,’ invest in a $200 Greyhound bus ticket to neighboring states with lower unemployment rates, during and post the 2008 recession young people staying closer to home, seeking get a job type jobs rather than traversing across the country for a dream, focusing on stability—another oh. While I blew profound holes in the New York Times author’s premises about the feasibility of their suggestions, right or wrong, it tells a different story regarding what young people are actually doing, actually looking for from the big wide world.
As the child of a blue collar, unskilled worker, a parent who did factory work, who grew up as part of the transitional generation between pencil and paper, the typewriter and the computer, smartphone, tablet, information age I’m struck by one fundamental question, why can’t we understand industry, working, job markets have changed; manufacturing had its heyday, height in the 1950’s, 60’s, yet hasn’t been boomingly viable for 35-40 years. Manufacturing’s slow dying wane began well before the 1970’s and it’s better explained that service, according to recent examination of data, has to the surprise of many, been a consistent and evolving majority of U.S. economics and therefore simply outpaced industry, manufacturing, skilled trade, construction. In fact according to a 2012 article the last time industry kept pace with service was in the 1880’s, something to think about as Donald Trump pontificates on making America great again. Bringing us to another monumental mind blower, those lost manufacturing jobs have been replaced with something— services, services including barbers to bankers pre-world war II and increasing wealth coupled with increased demand for services, not industry, post-world war II to present has been the largest fuel in changing job availability, not trade policy with foreign governments shifting all jobs overseas to lower wage workers. “The decline in manufacturing output and employment is a long-run phenomenon, not just a short-run problem. This means that policies designed to boost manufacturing need to be designed with this long-run trend in mind, and not just react to problems of the last 10 to 20 years. Neither tax cuts nor tougher trade policy address the demand for more and varied services, nor will they address the relatively slow productivity growth in the service sector.” The person in the above paragraph also correct it is increased productivity and automation reducing these type jobs too, just not in alleviating the need for immigrants, migrant workers to pick fruits and vegetables, why they called it routinely a jobless recovery because many workers had been replaced by machines programed for simple tasks, technology experts predicting a drastic shift in the face of what future work looks like. Leading my analytical mind to a single set of follow up questions, where is the revitalization of steal towns, coal towns, rust belt areas to match the changing job landscape whether from the government or neighborhood by neighborhood renovations instigated by the people? UK or America, if you don’t like your neighborhood can you mobilize people and supplies to do what the woman in video 1 is doing bellow turning vacant houses, dilapidated buildings into a community hot spot; the man in video 2 started with a bucket of paint and an idea people joining his effort to provide the fixer-up help as well as hands to wield brushes, media attention and improved esthetics, at least in theory, holding the likelihood of drawing people and business to Glouster, Ohio. Struggling to get by on social security, retirement doesn’t have to be your last act scores have reinvented themselves in the later half of their lives, started businesses, opened community centers or merely kept working at the job they loved into their 80’s and 90’s; ask yourself is there a talent, hobby you could turn into extra cash or used to fulfill a need in your area, something you always wanted to try but never had time for while working, saving, taking care of family? If you don’t that’s fine; if you do, imagine if some of those older citizens in the UK seeing the younger people on street corners offered to teach the knowledge, skill they worked in for years, did things like the last man in the video giving haircuts to the homeless in a public park, a vehicle to a homeless person perhaps achieving a job, looking less dirty and unkempt. As the child of someone who wore out their joints with repetitive stress injuries and needed a steady diet of anti-inflammatory medication to dull constant pain I understood coming of age the toll, hard work, dirty yet necessary, completely unglamorous jobs of the defined working class could take on the body. My mother’s experience influencing my journalistic commentary work to this day in reminding people those with said injuries, aliments and medication regiments need their retirement at 55, don’t need the ever climbing eligibility ages to begin drawing social security and shouldn’t be shamed for taking their social security disability on the advice of their doctor. I knew classmates in high school studying car care, small gas engines and welding in prep for being a mechanic, interested in construction, excelling in those classes where I relished in standard academia; my father cooked for a living holding down 2 part time jobs to get in the traditional 8 hours. But I quickly understood something else too in my formative years, physical disability and extremely minor fine motor skills problem aside, I wanted nothing to do with the kind of work she or he did, not because I was too good for it, like she often thought, an utter contradiction she was full of those, and I guess aren’t we all, because she repeatedly claimed I couldn’t do it, using it as an insult or a means by which I was never to challenge her parental authority, think too much of myself. Instead because I was too bad at it, possessing no mechanical ability whatsoever, lacking her acquired speed sidestepping completely the stress in that type job of making rate—fulfilling the hourly quota of cogs, machine parts, electrical doodads deemed acceptable by your employer, bosses who haven’t worked on the assembly floor at all or in years, staring at output sheets and product demands not maximum employee capability, especially working with increasingly difficult, if not substandard, parts. I hated messing with the stove, much more drawn to the microwave, didn’t want to handle raw meat and hated the mess, mess of dishes cooking, though the results were yummy, inevitably created. I, polar opposite of my mother or father, had always been creative, had always been a dreamer; acting, dancing, singing, directing these things appealed to me and little else. So when the time came for career decisions by the time I was graduating high school I took the most practical route in that genre, writing aware of the journalistic stable jobs, writing various types of things for the clueless business majors referenced in a humor piece distributed by one of my English professors; life turned out nothing like I’d hoped or planned but there are far more dynamics to that than a not-do- something job. Change doesn’t mean industry is dead merely diminished in the rises of other things apart from ‘bad trade policy screwing the U.S.;’ you will always need plumbers, bricklayers, construction workers, electricians, carpenters. Tasking the heads of those industries to attract persons good with their hands, who like working with their hands, who like to know and understand how things work; HVAC heating and cooling installation is popular in my town for the hands on aspect and the good money. Young people also exist in a back and forth tug of war either between what they want opposite their parents blue collar work derived from differing talents, a hate of what it did to their parents, or wanting to follow in their parents footsteps being at odds with them because they want better for their children, they got into coal, steel, construction, factory work because it was work, it provided for their family, wishing their children would do anything but and fighting tooth and nail to ensure they do. Instead of the radical new old idea of letting people be and choose for themselves what they want for their lives, ply the skills god gave them, but blocks to good manufacturing and rescuing the dilapidated towns surrounding them is bad trade deals—face palm.
Globalization is here to stay, thanks to the efforts of democracy, more developing nations seeing democracy modeled functionally for decades elsewhere and fighting for it where they live, more countries are becoming players on the world stage; what we then have to do is make the most of it. We have to quickly decide we don’t want to be another Brexit combined with heavy handed tactics drawing the world’s ire, walling ourselves off into corners in the name of nationalism, nativism discarding what hard working immigrants and people who want a better life have to offer and wrestling what we want from the world by any means necessary. Shouting make America great again, laughing down a native American who made a counter hat that stated just that make America native again (i.e. restoring rights and respect to the American Indian) without ever realizing America is fine, not perfect but holding its own when the rest of the world isn’t. While places like Japan have been in recession for 30 years and austerity not the EU is the abject failure in Europe, America has managed to survive the recession as a whole. And working towards solving the problems in this country, putting the money into infrastructure, rebuilding old, crumbling roads, bridges, airports, 100% possible if politicians could be bothered to put in the effort, allocate the money, would make further strides in bettering the lives of Americans than yanking jobs back from China, Mexico, pick a dot on the globe. America isn’t in a rooted, rutted state of not winning, of losing, of we have to restore it to some ill-defined bygone era faulty, selective memory reveals wasn’t so wonderful after all; America is truthfully riding the tides of ebb and flow every country goes through, experiencing high points and low points median points, which is where things seem to be now. Certainly we have our problems to fix and if left too long they will be much harder to reverse, but those fixes aren’t achieved by carpet bombing ISIS making whole swaths of the world uninhabitable via chemicals, like we haven’t done that enough with pesticides and improperly disposed of electronic parts unscrupulously dumped on the 3rd world, over there where no one we care about resides. Concurrently making everyone else on the planet scared to death of us key in getting aggressive sorts like Vladimir Putin to back off; there is already a 21st century cold war brewing only with diplomatic nose thumbing and old fashioned fisticuffs absent the nuclear arms race element. Wasn’t it Donald Trump who said Ukraine was Europe’s problem asking why Germany and adjacent countries hadn’t seen fit to take a greater role; should we do things similarly in the South China Sea let them, China, do whatever they want because it serves our interests or our growing disinterest of not getting involved anywhere because there might be a cost to us, an inconvenience? What if the goal were less power and pissing matches about who’s winning, who’s losing, who’s the greatest, who’s the best and countries were rather recognized by what they could bring to the global table? After all we have globalization so we all aren’t paying for $14 per pair of socks, because if we did we wouldn’t survive. Now understood is these are novelty, specialty socks featured, in the final video above, and Made In America, or in this case Inspiring America, has prompted people to rethink their buying habits, dig a bit deeper into their pockets for the slightly more expensive if they know it will continue employing an American worker, they did reach that goal, revitalize a factory, keep people employed. But $14 socks when people can walk into Target, Wal-Mart and buy a pack of 10 multi or basic color socks for at or less than $10. Contrastingly I’ve found made in the USA drinking glasses perfect size for me, my tastes, my needs, plastic largest size $3.00. And for people with less and less disposable income due to forces that again move far beyond U.S. trade policy that’s important, for those former steel workers on their social security it matters; realities we forgot in the overwhelming noise of make America great again. How about we keep the great America we have?