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Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Let's Have a News Day, Because This is a Blog, And That's What We Bloggers Do.

Horrible News: Ford, having lost $1.6 billion dollars last year in their ill-fated car-making enterprise, is closing 14 plants and destroying up to 25,000 jobs. I know, I'm a day late with this. Everyone was talking about this yesterday, especially those good-looking news people on those shows where those numbers run distractingly in different directions across the bottom of the screen, and that guy with the goatee' who punches the button that makes bulls attack you. The consensus seems to be this: It's necessary for Ford to do this, but it still won't help. It's pretty sad when such a large business fails miserably, takes steps to unbury itself, and the consensus is still grim. Not only are they creating all sorts of hardship for people, they are doing it for no reason. I think they should keep all their plants, hire more workers, and go to the government with their hands out. That way nothing needs to change. That's what the governement is for, after all -- to stop change.

Of course, I'm being a little sarcastic. With a story like this, it's hard to know what to feel. If you read the news article I linked to, it basically goes like this: Bill Ford announces the cutting of all these workers (none of whom are likely to be named "Ford"), claiming that the company needs to do this, and that this plan would create better cars, better shareholder returns (bingo!), and "stability in the communities in which we operate" (um, shouldn't that be in the future tense, bud?). That stability statement is ridiculous, because all it means is that those lucky enough to avoid being fired will have an even lower chance of being fired in the future. Unless Ford fails again, of course. But that'll never happen, right?

The Bush administration says they hate the idea of all those communities losing all those jobs, but the "economy is strong" and there's a rainbow behind every rain cloud. Of course they don't mention that the sun needs to be shining for that to happen. I'm sure all these fired workers will be able to quickly get another job in the same industry for the same salary, right? Ok, maybe not.

The article goes on to say that the announcement was "shocking but expected" (huh?) to the workers, especially an Atlanta person named Kim. Kim claims she built her life on Ford and now there are no jobs she can go to, which is a heartbreaking way to feel but not exactly indicative of the American can-do spirit. But I'll give her a pass because I understand that it's traumatic to lose one's job. Now, she definitely should have had some sort of contingency plan, but it's likely that nobody ever told her that. It's all a big mess, and I feel like it's America's fault more than anyone else. Ahh...blame the Democrats and their culture of dependence. Or blame the Republicans and their downsizing. Or blame her for not realizing that Ford wasn't going to continue losing billions every year just so she could keep her job.

Of course, if Ford anticipates (or even follows) the increase in oil and gas prices, and builds its business on economy cars rather than Explorers and Canyoneros, Kim still has her job. Maybe, just maybe, the Fords should fire themselves. After all, Kim was just doing what she was told. It wasn't Kim that failed. The Powers That Be in the Ford Company were paid higher salaries because they were given responsibility to run the company. Well, they ran it into the ground, and then fired a bunch of loyal workers who weren't in any way repsonsible for the failure. Yikes. If you're a Ford exec, how exactly do you sleep at night?

I'll answer this one: On a big pile of money, with many beautiful ladies.

To be a little fair, they're also cutting 7,000 white collar jobs. I betcha most of those people aren't responsible for making decisions, either. Because why would you fire yourself?


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