Friday, March 13, 2009

An Economic Fable

Today's Link

Today's Saying
Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own. ~Harold Coffin

Today's Picture
Betty's mother end of last row

Once upon a time, not a long time ago, there lived in the town of Widgetville , USA a very smart and dedicated young man. He created the widget and named it after the town.
From the first widget on it was a great success. He started building them in his garage with just his wife and kids to help. But as the demand for Widgets grew he bought and old garage and hired some friends to help and they made more widgets. He treated all of his employees like family and saw to it that they were paid well for their work. They took pride in their widget making and made wonderful widgets.

But still the demand grew. So he bought a bigger building and hired more people. But still he treated them as family. He paid the best wages in town and if anybody got sick he paid their hospital bills. In fact money from his enterprise helped build the local hospital and he donated to it every year. The workers took pride in their work and made the best widgets ever. And the demand for widgets increased.

So they said to him you need a much bigger factory and many more workers so go public, sell stock and get the money you need to expand. So he did. Now he had a board of directors and lots of legal paperwork. But still he treated his employees as family . He set up a company funded pension fund and paid for really good health insurance. The workers continued to take pride in their work.

But the Board of Directors said the stockholders weren’t getting big enough dividends and replaced the smart young man with a highly trained CEO. The CEO gave no more raises, required the workers to pay into the pension fund, and part of their insurance premiums. He slashed costs and increased dividends. He gave himself a huge salary.

But the employees now no longer felt like family so they formed a union and made demands. After a bitter strike they got higher wages and the company funded the pension. But they no took no pride in their work.

Soon the market was flooded with widget imitations made by low paid workers in foreign countries and the sale of real widgets began to fall. The CEO had to cut costs to insure profit. He could cut management salaries or deal with the workers. He liked his salary as it was so he went to the workers and asked them to take a temporary pay cut for the sake of the company. But they said we are unionized we never take a pay cut and held firm.

So the CEO laid them all off and outsourced his widget production to a foreign country where the workers got paid lots less and still took some pride in their work. So the workers had no jobs but they were still Union people and hadn’t given up anything. Their lack of employment was the fault of the Republicans at least so they thought.

The company continued for some years to sell quality widgets but then a strange thing happened. All across the country companies were laying off workers and outsourcing their products. Soon there weren’t enough people left with jobs to buy widgets. The company entered into bankruptcy . The town hospital closed. People left the town in droves. The CEO blamed the Democrats for not bailing them out despite the importance of widgets to the economy.
The CEO now had no job and lost his yacht and three houses.

And then came the stimulus package but no matter how you tickle a dead horse or where it still won’t stand up.

News from Pigeon Falls
The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal
A trainload of tourists arrived in Pigeon Falls yesterday. They came to seethe dragon display in the evening but came on the milk train. So they spent the day enjoying the town and spending money. Every business in town from Wink’s Woods to the Happy Pigeon shared in the wealth. Over at Kivi & Maki’s they sold out of a number of items and swore it was the best day all year. They drank lots of coffee and ate lots of saffron roles as well as getting full meals at the restaurant and the Happy Pigeon. They loved the dragons.
The day itself was beautiful . The sun was shining with flowers growing everywhere. There were birds singing and pigeons cooing. Everything was just about perfect.
Tommy UK and Tammy got to spend a little time together and each promised the other that they would never drift apart again. Tommy did , however, hold off from telling her about the rock while telling her he was adopted.
Pigeon Falls is now like an oasis in an ice desert.

Wrap UP
A good day today. I posted Sunday's bulletin to St. Mark's website. Then I went looking for blogs for the "today's links" for the next few days. My son Pat called and he and my grandsons are coming tonight. So I had to move some things to the other computer because my grandsons will be using this one. Then I visited all the blogs that left comments yesterday and the day before. Now I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger Nessa said...

A sad but true fable.

3:36 AM  
Blogger Caution Flag said...

"Ouch," Caution whispered from Motown.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

And that reminds me... What ever happened to Elf Tales? I MISS them!

Hmmm... Ya know what? Pigeon Falls is boring when everything's going right! I just hope the whole place doesn't fall into mass destruction when the week is up!

6:42 AM  
Blogger Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Is that photo taken at a Grand Logde? Was someone a mason? My husband is a member of 2 lodges.

7:15 AM  
Blogger aims said...

So many lessons to be learned today. I am still wrapping my brain around them.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Gattina said...

My cousin "The Brita Filters" started like that, but he is still treating his workers like family and his filters are well known in the whole world now. Sometimes fortunately there are exceptions.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Pat - Arkansas said...

Your Widgetville story is right on target, Dr. John.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

Hey, Jerry is another one of my bloggy pals!!!!!

10:50 AM  
Anonymous quilly said...

I liked this parable so much I read bits of it out loud to OC. You are one heck of an economics teacher.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Jientje said...

Sorry, I did not know what to think anymore. The two of you had me very confused, and I want to keep the both of you as my good friends!

... And perhaps giving the word challenge a bit of a twist by quiveling along a a little! I really had no idea there were rules attached to neither of them, so ...

(And if there were, I'd probably bend them a little anyway! That's me! **insert wicked smile**

11:34 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

Reminds me much of the story of the quaint fisherman who was talked into fishing for a living and establishing this big fish market packing company.

Only he longed to retire someday to sit on his quaint little boat, on a quiet little pond and go fishing again.

11:39 AM  
Blogger juliana said...

so it goes...
a great fable and, alas, so true...

i wonder if too much good turns out to be not so good after all...

1:00 PM  
Blogger Lori's Minute said...

Say hi to Pat and the boys for me.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Cherie said...

Glad to see that you had a good day. I had one too. Got to give the message at a women's service tonight, and I didn't even sttt-udddder. Well, except for that one time, but you have to expect that kind of thing. ;)

8:36 PM  

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