25 September 2007

Faith, Hope and George Wallace

I'm posting this for Country Girl who is a little under the weather today, but not so infirmed as to be rendered unable to rant via email:

"When I was growing up the country folks around here had it made...Ford was the Great God In The Sky. You had high school drop-outs making $75K a year (this was 30 years ago) with 12 weeks vacation a year and health benefits out the ass...my husband has two gold caps because when he was 16 years old, his dad worked at Reynolds, and he could.

Oh, and when my father-in-law retired he had SIXTEEN weeks of vacation a year.

Be real...how can ANY company function with employees getting 16 paid weeks vacation? In the case of Ford, when it got down to the line, and push came to shove, Ford finally said "fuck it." And packed up its toys and went home. We - the unions - really showed them.

My mother points out that the original unions saved millions of lives and changed the way industry functioned by making things a little...fairer. (Can we all say, "Upton Sinclair"?) But then things got out of hand.

Her cousin owned an employment agency in Huntsville, later bought out by a national firm, and they wouldn't touch the Shoals because of the unions. People over here remember 'the way it was' without remembering the consequences.

It's funny how people around here think. George Wallace was GOD in this state for years. I don't mean sorta, I mean Elvis kind of God. And years after his swan song, my elderly aunt would say, and mean it from the depths of her soul: 'If George Wallace were governor they'd bring back Ford.'

Nothing like a little faith. "

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