Monday, April 08, 2013

Toyota billboard: we should try harder to make things at home in the USA

I passed a billboard ad in the Metro for the Toyota Avalon, with a US “map study” showing six manufacturing plants in the United States:  TN, KY, MO. MI. AZ, and two in CA. 
I thought, at least that’s the heart of the silliness in our economy and job market.  We need to make more things back here, do more for ourselves, create real wealth.  It doesn’t do much good if we just serve each other fast food, or sell each other packaged deals for stuff, or live off commissions. 
I came out of my eldercare situation in relatively good shape, without strings attached in the will or trust as far as I can tell.  But it’s easy to imagine things that could have happened.  Suppose there had been terms that I stay employed and struggle “like everybody else”.  What’s left, hucksterism?  I don’t mean to slap the insurance (health and life) industries and tax preparation and financial planning businesses that get touted to seniors.  But so much of it deals with soft skills and social connections, much of it that would be strengthened by having children.  And we constantly see examples of how we have turned into a nation of people trying to invent (and sell) schemes to beat the system.  My email is flooded with it every day, and not all of it winds up in the spam, folder.  Robo calls continue.
I can think back to the way the old fashioned mainframe job market imploded, turning largely into W2 contract gigs and living n corporate apartments.  Not good for family values.   Later we’ll talk again about why it was hard for older professionals to learn “new ways” of doing things.  

There's one little political issue here to watch:  should immigration and naturalization be easier for individuals who really employ people in the United States?

Later today:

This Allstate board on the Metro shows what happens when you're an insurance agent.  You dedicate your whole image, literally, to the purpose of "selling" somebody else's product.  That corruption of identity isn't for me.  But when you have a family to support, you have no choice. 

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