A Time To Remember; My Time

A Special Group – Born Between 1930 to 1945

   Interesting Facts: If you were born in the 1930s to 1945, you exist as a very special age group.

You are the smallest group of children born since the early 1900s.

You are the last generation, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war which rattled the structure of our daily lives for years.

You are the last to remember ration books for everything from gas to sugar to shoes to stoves.

You saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans.

You saw cars up on blocks because tires weren’t available.

You can remember milk being delivered to your house early in the morning and placed in the “milk box” on the porch.

You are the last to see the gold stars in the front windows of grieving neighbors whose sons died in the War.

You saw the ‘boys’ home from the war, build their little houses.

4.2.7

You are the last generation who spent childhood without television; instead, you imagined what you heard on the radio.

With no TV, you spent your childhood “playing outside”

There was no little league.

There was no city playground for kids.

The lack of television in your early years meant, that you had

little real understanding of what the world was like.

On Saturday afternoons, the movies gave you newsreels sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons.

Telephones were one to a house, often shared (party lines) and hung on the wall in the kitchen (no cares about privacy).

Computers were called calculators; they were hand cranked; typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and changing the ribbon.

The ‘INTERNET’ and ‘GOOGLE’ were words that did not exist.

Newspapers and magazines were written for adults and the news was broadcast on your radio in the evening by Gabriel Heatter and later Paul Harvey.

As you grew up, the country was exploding with growth.

The G.I. Bill gave returning Veterans the means to get an education and spurred colleges to grow.

VA loans fanned a housing boom.

Pent up demand coupled with new installment payment plans opened many factories for work.

New highways would bring jobs and mobility.

The Veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics.

The radio network expanded from 3 stations to thousands.

Your parents were suddenly free from the confines of the depression and the war, and they threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined.

You weren’t neglected, but you weren’t today’s all-consuming family focus.

They were glad you played by yourselves until the street lights came on.

They were busy discovering the post war world.

You entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where you were welcomed, enjoyed yourselves and felt secure in your future though depression poverty was deeply remembered.

Polio was still a crippler.

You came of age in the 50s and 60s.

The Korean War was a dark passage in the early 50s and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks for Air-Raid training.

Castro in Cuba and Khrushchev came to power.

You are the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no threats to our homeland. The war was over and the cold war, terrorism, “global warming,” and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with unease.

Only your generation can remember both a time of great war, and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty.

You grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better…

     You are “The Last Ones.” More than 99 % of you are either retired or deceased, and you feel privileged to have “lived in the best of times!!!”

Wealthy Middle Class

My Flag Flies Everyday

My Flag Flies Everyday

What a joke to watch the Big Three CEO’s squirm on Capital Hill today. They gave the Senate an earful. Basically, we would have gotten off with a bargain had we accepted the 25 billion bailout the carmakers asked for in November. Of all the jokers who spoke before the Senate, I thought the guy from the UAW was most off base. After listening to a proposal from GM which could save an estimated eight billion dollars a year, he proceeded to argue about how he didn’t really believe the numbers of the proposal. Of course not. The proposal meant the UAW would lose some jobs. These are jobs that should be lost. GM, Ford, and Chrysler all carry dead wood because of the UAW contract. In the meantime, their Japanese and Korean competitors are hiring people in this country who are only happy to have a job. They work for considerably lower wages than a UAW greed monger will.  The typical UAW response was one which was adversarial to the management of GM. Even in a hearing which held the life of the company in it’s hands, the UAW forgot why they were there and began to argue against the management. They were there to support the company. They could not. They are the problem, have been the problem and will be the problem for as long as they are in existence.

It has been my experience that everytime a UAW worker goes up against GM he takes the attitude that “I’d sooner see you go down and look for another job than lose this contract negotiation to you bastards.” Over the years, GM has caved in, time and time again in order to please the stock holders. In the meantime, the UAW has become the strongest union on the world. At least it thought it was strong. All it was doing was looking at the immediate bottom line for its workers. Never did they imagine that the mighty GM could crumble. Never did they imagine that the Japanese and the Koreans would steal their lunch.

My opinion of the GM management is not much higher. They were arrogant enough in the seventies, eighties and nineties to believe that the Japanese could not unseat them as the number one carmaker in the world. In the meantime the Japanese continued to do everything right. Little by little they chipped away at the GM market share which went from forty-five percent in the seventies to twenty percent today. They are lucky to have that. The management of GM today is finally waking up and making some good cars. Their quality rivals the Japanese. They have a way to go with overall reliability, but their quality has improved. Their styling sucks. Their current hot car, the Cadillac STS is a winner, but the Chevy Malibu, their work horse, is a dog. I can’t believe that with all the design talent in the USA and within GM that they continue to make cars that look shitty. I can only blame it on the management. Their designers are better than that.

In the meantime, the Japanese continue to work their fifty year strategic plan. Their car companies are in union with the government. They work together in thier industries for the good of the country. The car company employees work under a job for life program. This program keeps them from organizing. These employess are also retrained to work in many different areas in order to reamain employed. They do so. In the meantime our wonderful UAW is protecting jobs even when they are no longer needed.

Another famous UAW contract point is the pay for no work. When a US car company sees a downturn in business, and needs to cut back to save money, the UAW workers continue to get paid eighty percent of their normal wages for up to eight months. What a sweet seal that is. Get paid for nothing, bring on the layoff.

Henry Ford created the middle class when he began building cars. Over the years the UAW has created the “wealthy middle class.”  Thier workers are so well paid they rival the wages of our most educated college students. A UAW worker does not have to give up four or more years of his life to study either. He works the line doing some mundane job better served by a robot.

In the meantime, GM does a profitable business in other parts of the world. Why? Ask yourself that? Why can they compete in other countries but not the USA? The Japs sell the same car against them in other countries, so why do they do so poorly in the USA. Two reasons: The first is perceived quality. GM has sold us such crap for so many years we don’t believe that it is improved to that of the Japs. Second, GM costs are too high compared to their competitors, and they cheeze the car to make profit. That second point only hurts the first one.

If Congress gives them the money it should be with the following caveat: eliminate the UAW, or get major concessions from them. Another option, let GM build cars in another country and import them to the USA.

Tracey J Boothe Publishing Blog

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