Friday, March 4, 2011


My cousin posted this on his Facebook page. Several people liked it, didn’t leave comments. Of the comments that were left, about half were anti union. I hope he doesn’t mind if I run with the idea.

A public union employee, a Tea party activist and a CEO are sitting at a table with a dozen cookies in the middle of it. The CEO takes 11 cookies, turns to the Tea Party member and says "watch that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie". Enough said.

That got me to thinking.

Suppose the CEO owns a chain of stores that sells cookies. He wants to use those eleven cookies to buy more cookies, but he wants to get as many cookies as possible for his eleven cookies. He discovers that there is a country that will make cookies for him. This country can make cookies that are so cheap that the CEO can undersell all the local cookie makers near his stores. The Tea Partier and the union member can buy a few cookies even they only have one cookie between them. The only losers are the local cookie makers who can’t sell their cookies that cheaply and their customers who can’t buy their good cookies anymore because they’re out of business. The CEO keeps building more stores, sells more really cheap cookies and more local cookie makers go out of business.

People notice that the cheap cookies don’t taste as good as the cookies they used to be able to buy from the bakery on the corner. They tell themselves that is doesn’t matter so much because the cookies made in the far away country are really, really cheap and they can buy a lot of cookies even though they don’t taste very good. The only unhappy people are the out of work cookie makers and their customers who loved those really good cookies.

And then there's the delvery driver who got his hours cut because he worked for the company that supplied all the ingredients and other supplies for the closed down cookie makers. That business is slower now. The driver and some of the other workers were able to find new jobs but they had to move to do it.

Some of the other closed down cookie maker's employees and laid off supplier employees were able to get jobs with the CEO's company,but with fewer hours and lower pay. The second shift baker is now selling shirts and blouses imported from wherever and moved back in with her Tea Party parents. The teacher lucky enough to find that first job close to her home town got laid off when the local elementary school closed and the fire fighter had his hours cut when the local station was closed and the community contracted with the larger department a few miles away for fire protection.

How many threads can we cut out of the fabric of our communities before it rips beyond repair.


Lisa :-] said...

Excellent post, my friend! I know how true this is because the business my husband works in is a prime example of this scenario. Entire towns in the south lost their livelihoods when everybody went for the cheap fabrics coming out of the far east, and all the mills in the Southeast US closed down. Husband still has a job, but the factory he works for is actually more of an import house now. Anbd he hasn't gotten a raise in 8 years. Eight years they've been telling him he's lucky to have a job. And so it goes...

JACKIE said...

I originally tried to do it with Enron but it got too complicated. Then WalMart reared it's hydra headed monster and it worked so well.