Thursday, April 09, 2009

Un-exportable Jobs with a Future

By Dr. Ada M. Fisher

In all the social reengineering of the Obama/democratic dominated administration/Congress and the silence from the lambs of the Republicans, the gorilla in the room underlying our economic slump is really about jobs. What jobs can we support in this nation which can’t be shipped overseas or sent south of the border? What is it that we make which is unique and isn’t likely to be under-bid, outsourced or taken from us? Or even more important, can a nation sustain itself and an able bodied population without a manufacturing base?

At a recent Washington, DC INC 500 Conference, Margaret Carlson Nelson, CEO/Chairman of Carson Hospitality which employs about 170,000 worldwide said, "Creating jobs is philanthropy. Growing our companies IS giving back!" Bingo! She gets it and it is time for large corporations to absorb and act on her message.

Green technology sounds good but the reality is the Japanese, Koreans, and Barefoot University in India have already shown that solar panel batteries can be produced for five dollars or less and used in lanterns. North Carolina is ahead of the curb in developing sustainable products such as porous asphalt used in highway paving to limit the need for run-off catchments basins. However, the number of jobs so affected is not as one would like.

North Carolina is the poster child for undeveloped resources and industries which can help people throughout the world meet their basic need for food. The redistribution of wealth in this society is beginning full steam ahead under the Obama administration while the opportunity to redistribute food to the world is being lost and in some respects assaulted. Food is something we do well here and have the land for; however, many of our children don’t want to be farmers even though hunger and clean water remain the number one worldwide problems.

Congress has been subsidizing farmers to not grow while the demand for safe foods increases. Russia’s permafrost makes agricultural diversity difficult, China and India’s population booms consume land just to exist, the continent of Africa is overrun by drought while the USA sits on the best currency of exchange it has, food production. Farming is our competitive advantage which is being swallowed up by agri-businesses squeezing out family farms.

Farmers are being disadvantaged by labor cost to the same extent as that felt by the auto industry. The H2A legislation granting green card status to immigrants who work six months and then agree to return home has contributed to the burgeoning illegal immigrant problem. North Carolina reportedly has the highest rate of these cards.

Bush passed legislation supporting H2A with a proviso that prevailing wage rates would be paid (a bit higher than the minimum wage was being averaged). Obama has already reversed this which is threatening to send these wages to $9.02 per hour which will encourage more illegal immigrants to stay competing for jobs which citizens ought to be required to do in lieu of receiving continual welfare support or as alternative sentencing for those convicted of non-violent crimes. (Comment period is still up on the federal register) Thank you organized farm labor for increasing cost in another critical jobs sector.

Fisheries and associated industries in wildlife which contribute to our edible consumables are regulated through the Fish and Wildlife Service not through agriculture where it belongs. Are then the Sierra Club and others dictating what we eat? Somehow that just doesn’t seem right.

Could our food contamination problem be contributed to by those things imported from nations using human feces for fertilizer? Who’s watching the store? The safety of our food and water supply is another one of those national security issues that we don’t want to think about. It is the silent bio-terrorism unseen by those who should be watching the store.

Dr. Ada M. Fisher is a licensed physician, secondary education teacher for mathematics and science, previous school board member, and the NC Republican national Committee Woman. Contact her at P. O. Box 777; Salisbury, NC 28145; telephone (704) 223-2321.


Anonymous said...

Is that the same lady that was on The Rachel Maddow Show throwing Michael Steele under the bus?

Anonymous said...

yup thats her