The last several days I have been thinking and wondering about our great land and its many business opportunities. The media-print and television-have been replete with news of businesses, small and large, coming and going. Today, after taking the liberty to call my liberal friend, Bernie, to get his slant on things, I decided to put some of my thoughts in writing. So, Bernie, here goes. You asked for it.
Right up front, I need to say that I do not know all there is to know about “Free Trade” and what is involved in the process. Nor do I claim to have any simple solutions.
With the news that so many of our great corporations and public companies are going “across the border” and overseas, I wonder what in the world is going on. Is there no loyalty? Where is the satisfaction, pride and commitment to being the best company possible here in America?
There seems to be something wrong with the whole process when companies from other countries can come to America and do very well (Honda, for example), yet our own companies say they can’t “make it” here in America. So they go to other countries (to do business) where they spit on us and hate us, but are plenty willing to take our money and accept our help.
Along this same line, maybe our unions need to “wake up and smell the roses” since they are also a part of the process. Indeed, they are a very large part and can/should work together to affect positive change for company and employee alike.
Another thing I’ve observed is that many of our good, solid companies were started by strong individuals with exceptional work ethics. They believed in being totally ethical in providing quality, service, and “wow” for their customer. But when the business is purchased or passed down, there does not seem to be the same commitment to excellence.
I often think back to a trip that Kathy and I took with the Retail Confectioners International (RCI) association to Austria and Germany. In one of the cities we visited, a middle-aged guide came on our bus. She reminisced about World War II when Americans sent care packages and sometimes that was all they had to eat. She also pointed out the cities and buildings that would not have been rebuilt without help from the U.S.
I believe we still have that spirit here in America. Business and companies can flourish if we are willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.
Thanks for the encouragement to voice my thoughts.
“A little encouragement is all some people need to keep doing a good job.”
Jay R. King, co-owner and past president, RCI
West Liberty, Ohio
Fair Trade Dilemma
March 13, 2008