HOUSE OF CARDS ECONOMY - Ready to fall _____________________________________
By: Paul M Donovan, Steelworker, Local 188 retired from SteelLabor Magazine 2001/2002.
People get worried because 5,000 (Cleveland) LTV steelworkers may soon lose their
jobs and the community will lose millions of dollars because these jobs added dollars for others up the line from raw product
to the finished product and then through distribution channels.
If this is dangerous, we should
know that once there were 140,000 steelworkers in Ohio (1965 Statistics) represented by five union Districts. There is now
only one District left in the State. In our local region, we once had 29,000 steelworkers and now there is less than 8000
left. (since then, 5000 more steelworkers have lost their jobs with only 3000 left in the region now in 2002).
Our region, which led the way in steel and other manufacturing, is
now replaced by an economy based on taxpayers with very little value-added stages left. Of the top twenty-five employers,
five are government employers. The biggest employer is the Federal Government with the County and Cities close behind. Seven
are related to the medical industry. Three are in school systems or colleges. Two are utilitiy companies. Following
these employers are banks and insurance, which depend on other value-added stages to exist. So, out of the top twenty-five
employers, only two are left who are value-added manufacturers.
This is an economy based on a house of cards. ( and primarily supported
by taxpayers.), If only a few more cards are pulled from the base the whole thing will topple. The businesses that are thriving
are temporary help offices, payday loan stores and equity loan businesses. This is not a foundation to build your economic
house. We have a house of cards economy ready to fall.
(Paul M Donovan )