Monday, July 18, 2011


In keeping with my newly adopted policy of being the kinder, gentler Ernie, I’m not going to lecture, or berate. I’m simply going to underline a few things that deep down in our hearts we already know. I just want to add some food for thought. Some of us are saddened to see the direction that America has taken lately. Some haven’t paid attention, then maybe some of us are too young to know how great America once was, where a man could support his family, buy a new car every three years, pay off a mortgage, send the kids to college, and take a two week vacation to, say, French’s Campground or Richardson Grove. All that on a simple manufacturing or construction job.

The fact that Walmart may move into the defunct Gottschalk building is all over the news and blogs of late. Everybody has an opinion about how fair or unfair Walmart is to their workers. Some vow to never shop there, others don’t give a darn about anybody, all they want is the low prices. The “right or wrong” of either position is not something that I want to debate. I have thoughts about both sides and I even understand the reasoning behind both positions. So, you ask, where am I headed???

As Americans, we have been sold down the river by the ultra-wealthy. How many times have you heard the phrase “We live in a world economy now. Too bad you don’t have a job. The only thing that you can do is educate yourself, because now we live in the information age”. We can buy Chinese products for a dime on the dollar compared to American manufactured products. Our Wall street investors have shipped buying to China and other places with cheap manufacturing. On the surface you think that the Chinese are simply willing to work harder for less. When actually their choice is to work or starve. They are only paid enough to keep themselves alive. Americans have not slipped that far…. Yet.

We, in America, treasure our antiquities. We would not think of building anything on or near an old Indian burial ground. We consider our heritage as being sacred. We would not even cut two 8” redwood trees to make our highways safer through Richardson Grove. We value trees more than human life itself. Again, I’m not criticizing. Just pointing out facts that I, also, mostly agree with.

The counterpoint to America valuing our treasures is what China does with its Antiquities. They used up the world supply of scrap-iron to make re-bar reinforcement iron for the Three Gorges Dam. They also used up the world supply of premium cement for the concrete in the dam. Now, here is the part that I really want you to think about: The three gorges that they are flooding has been occupied and civilized so far back that it is forgotten in history. At the time that all of the British Isles, and much of North America were covered with sheets of ice, the three gorges were occupied by humans! Think of the antiquities, burial grounds, and simple treasures that are being flooded with water. The dam is so big that it is expected to change the worlds weather and cause earthquakes in the local region.

The reason that the Chinese built the dam was, in part, to provide free hydro-power to manufacture products to sell to people like Walmart, and in turn you and I, John Doe American.

We are supposed to be protected from unfair competition like this by our elected political leaders. But they are elected by wall street, we don’t have the money. The ultra rich also own the media. You can expect to hear “That we live in a world economy now” until you believe it. I don’t know which is the saddest. The fact that Americans would protect American trees while using Chinese toilet paper, or the fact that we are encouraging the Chinese to deface their heritage by buying their products. We would be far better off as Americans if we had a fair balance of trade. We give China Billions of dollars a year more than they buy from us. At one time, back when America was the Great American dream, we had trade laws that protected us from unfair competition. It’s my job to get the best deal that I can get for my family. Whether or not we boycott Walmart will make no difference. We need to get back the vote and elect people that will take care of us.

Any thoughts?


Dennis said...

What drives me crazy is when someone will argue that all of these jobs, company headquarters, etc. will return to the U.S.A. if we simply lowered the corporate tax rate. Nonsense! These companies will still manufacturer where the lowest labor markets exists. This will never change. Wall street demands profits that are just outrageous, and the only way to maintain these margins is to take advantage of those who are desperate.

Such a crazy world we live in these days!

Rose said...

How much does one of your refrigerators sell for?

spyrock said...

In 2010, the union membership rate--the percent of wage and salary workers who were
members of a union--was 11.9 percent, down from 12.3 percent a year earlier, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of wage and salary workers be-
longing to unions declined by 612,000 to 14.7 million. most of these union people work for the government. in the private sector, less than 6% of the jobs in america are union. i have one of those jobs. yet my interests are different than the government unions who lobby to raise my taxes and create more government jobs and benefits at my expense.
in other words, the vast majority of american workers already work for a company like walmart. and most people will drive to the nearest walmart rather than shop locally unless we are talking about isolated areas like yours.
so basically, its the local mom and pops who would be hurt by this. where i live, i save gas and time because the new walmart is one mile away instead of 7 miles away. it's actually had the effect of bringing more customers to town who have been shopping elsewhere as well as local shoppers like me who have been driving out of town to shop. no one has gone out of business. new business has been moving into town. the old radio shack moved to the new walmart shopping center area right next door to target. the only store i go out of town for these days is costco. demonize walmart if you want, but most of the jobs out there offer no benefits, low wages, and no retirement.

Anonymous said...

Does Rose actually work for a living? Oh, that's right, she does not! She is living off inherited money, invested in companies like walmart that pay dividends that are taxed at 1/5th the rate actual workers are taxed.

Fuck you Rose.

Joe Blow said...

Ernie says:
"But they are elected by wall street, we don’t have the money."
"We need to get back the vote and elect people that will take care of us."

Why is it you can't see the contradiction here? You continue to preach failure. Your vote is a proven joke.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I don't understand your question. If you are asking if I can supply a refrigerator cheaper than China... No I can't, for all of the reasons that I pointed out above, and I apologize for Anon 3:07’s vulgar comment. But, I think that the comment say’s more about Anon than it says about you.

Maybe the Stock Market would do just as well if we got over this “world economy” crap. The stock market did remarkably good when they were invested in America. With a few adjustments for China ruining their environment for cheap products, we could do quite well.

I think that most people would agree that we don’t want to put a dam across the Golden Gate and flood the Sacramento valley just for cheap enough power to compete with China. So, it’s unfair to allow their products into our country and at a reduced cost, and the destruction of the three gorges.

This post was to make people think about the world that we all live in, and that it isn’t okay to screw it up at American workers expense.

You’re just not paying attention.

Anonymous said...

The problem with America is people like Ernie sputtering out nonsense about subjects they know nothing about. Shut your mouth Ernie. Stick to things you know a thing or two about. Refrigerators. Um, other kinds of refrigerators. That's about it.

spyrock said...

Rupert Murdoch’s crumbling media empire officially has a body count.
Sean Hoare, former News of the World reporter and the first to make public claims about illegal phone hacks conducted by News Corp was found dead in Hertforshire, UK this morning, BST time.
this war against the working man is nothing new in california labor history. but people like murdoch who paid no taxes at all last year control the media and brainwash us into voting against our own interests. its really sad but hard to see the truth through all the lies. i would just hope some smart law maker requires ceos who move their companies to foreign countrys have to live in that country and forfeit their american citizenship.

two crows said...

Ernie you are always talking about the past and how everything was different then. And now you say we need a different vote to change the tide. Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported to CNBC that in the last 50 years 42,000 FACTORIES have moved off shore.So that means when you were 15 driving the water truck and life in garberville was the good old days. The post war rebuilding around the world was pulling (forever jobs) out of the US with tax breaks and post war subsidies. Look around we allowed it. After the war the government wanted every GI to have a job. So the american woman was covered with house hold crap so she wouldn't want a real job. Press them down at all costs. Well some body had to make all of the house and kitchen crap for Susie home maker. And it was cheaper outside the US. So just what vote do you want to change? That will turn 50 years of Congress BS around?

Ernie Branscomb said...


“Well some body had to make all of the house and kitchen crap for Susie home maker. And it was cheaper outside the US.”

We whole heartedly agree that China and other offshore labor and energy markets can out-compete America! What I want everybody to understand is that, we are environmentally concerned in America. We give a shit! We can’t compete against a government with a national policy of not giving a shit about the environment.

I’ve never been to China, but I work everyday with someone who has. He said that the sky is so polluted that you can look directly at the sun. He also said that it was that way everywhere that he went, and it was that way every place that he went. How is it fair to have to compete against such loose environmental restrictions? Who is going to protect us from such unfair competition? We have no say about how they run their country, we never will, we can’t beat them in any way. We have no control at all over how they run things. Our only hope is to have tariffs against their products, or at least import duties to limit what they ship to the U.S.

It’s simply not fair that we would shut down one of the worlds cleanest pulp mills in Eureka, while blowing our noses on Chinese toilet paper. (The Kinder gentler Ernie cleaned that phrase up).

Maybe Rose owns Walmart stock, I couldn’t blame her if she does, it would be a good investment for her. But, if American companies were a better investment, I’m sure that she would reinvest in them.

Anonymous gives me little credit for knowing anything. How do we know that he isn’t a Walmart paid troll sitting back watching a “Walmart focused” search engine. Watching the net for any sign of discrimination of Walmart, and he gets paid to discredit any anti-Walmart remarks? He is not even very good, if he worked for me he would be fired. How can you just call somebody names and run off. “The problem with America is people like Ernie sputtering out nonsense about subjects they know nothing about. Shut your mouth Ernie. Stick to things you know a thing or two about.” No reason behind what he says whatsoever. Yet there are people that will think that he knows what he is talking about. Why doesn’t he say how he thinks I’m wrong, and where. Even China knows that they are polluting the world, it’s just that they don’t care.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Off subject: I picked and ate my first wild blackberry today. A full two weeks late ripening!!!

skippy said...

I wonder what our economy will look like and where we'll be at 10 years from now? To think China was a closed communist economy not all that long ago... and have become the biggest capitalist players on the planet. Sheesh. That didn't take long.

Despite my continual and earnest (no pun intended) eye, I have yet to see a ripe blackberry-- or anything close to one.

charlie two crows said...

Skippy, ripe blackberries! Did,t you hear? Ernie has (indoor). He has a card.LOL

two crows said...

Walmart NO! Macy's. YES! Macy's has announced on its web site 5 new store opening in the west. All stores are in existing malls. My money is on Someone like Macy's or Dillard's coming to the Eureka Mall.

Joe Blow said...

Not paying attention? Says YOU? Look again All Knowing One and you'll see I pay too much attention. But, then your remark is typical.

Your way too late, now you reap what you sow. Take a hard look at some reality: "What’s happening across the world is an attempt by the financial sector to really make its move and say this is their opportunity for a power grab. And they’re creating this artificial crisis (raising the debt limit) as an opportunity to carve up the public domain and to give themselves enough money. They’re taking the money and running, because they know that unemployment is going up. The game is over. They know that. And the only question is, how much can they take, how fast?" Here's the source for those interested.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe Rose owns Walmart stock, I couldn’t blame her if she does, it would be a good investment for her. But, if American companies were a better investment, I’m sure that she would reinvest in them."

uh, isn't wallmart an american company? Arkansas is still in the USA. just because it sells oodles of foreign goods does not make it unamerican, that is actually quite american.

spyrock said...

i agree with mr blow this time. i think this financial crisis created by the tea party over raising the debt limit is just another way for the rich ceo billionaires to send mom and pop to the poor house by raising our interest rates. this my way or the highway strategy is all about protecting the bush tax cuts to the oil industry and other billionaires like rupert murdoch who control the media and the minds of millions of americans.
i don't want to get into how the media does this because i don't want to disrespect the good people who are tricked into voting against their own interests. its just a sad state of affairs that greedy rich people are allowed to take advantage of people who have worked hard all their lives.

spyrock said...

although i have been a union man for over 40 years, i have rubbed elbows with a few corporate types.
Mrs. Clinton was not Mr. Walton’s first choice for a woman on the board. That honor belonged to an executive at Nordstrom, the upscale department store. But Nordstrom opposed its employees sitting on a competitor’s board, so Wal-Mart turned instead to the 39-year-old Mrs. Clinton. They offered her about $15,000 a year for her time, generally four meetings a year.

yes hillary was on the board of walmart from 1986 to 1992. rupert murdoch is also a big supporter of bill and hillary. he covers all the bases doesn't he.

the lady from nordstroms who was first offered the walmart board job is a good friend of mine. she always talks about turning down the walmart job that went to hillary she knew the waltons really well up to that point but she is actually part of my tribe these days. as is her husband who made his money running red robins. so it's not like i'm out to demonize rich people. just the greedy sob's that deserve it.

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