Posted by: realengr | December 21, 2011

The Lack of Logic of Union Supporters

I received a letter from a union representative that complained last year about a company that was cutting pay to bring it more in line with the local prevailing wage.  While it may be reprehensible in some odd way to lower pay for people, the fact is, the corporation was well within their rights to do such a thing in times of profit as well as hard times.

The following is my response to some of the most emotionally ill conceived logic I have ever encountered indicative of the entitlement mindset that is destroying our country and modern civilization. And no.  That’s not too harsh.

 

 

UNION REPRESENTATIVE:  19.50 is not outrageous money. Hard work should have value, and when a company is profitable pay should not have to be cut. People plan their lives based on a pay they think have negotiated. By the way Unions negotiate a contract, not s…teal it, and outsoucing happened because CEOs had to cut costs so they could justify making more millions if dollars that they are not worth. And if the CEOs can negotiate their contracts, then what is wrong with others in the company also getting what they are worth.? Why shouldn’t a person be able to make a decent living if he works hard? Why should only those with degrees be able to make enough to buy a house or pay to send their children to college if that’s what they want. Without the Union Dad would have made a fraction of what he did at Ford.
Unions are still important. Left to their own devices management will not usually do the right thing. When they do,(Like in case of Costco), the employees don’t organize.

I have organized several different professions, including nurses, teachers, janitors, and newspaper reporters. They all deserve to be able to sit down with management and negotiate for wages and working conditions they are worth. They …deserve to have a break, and to not have workloads that are unhealthy for them or (in case of nurses) for patients.
We all deserve to be treated with respect, and it is disrespectful to ask an employee of a company who us making money hand over fist that the employees need to make less, because they are a commodity. If that is case those sane employees should be able to go to CEO and upper management and say cutting your pay by a million or so dollars. There’s out of work CEOs and managers that would take less to do those jobs, I am sure.

 

MY RESPONSE:   no disagreement on negotiating for what you can get.  But that works both ways.  Your questions show a dangerous lack of logic that is symptomatic of the downfall of our economic system over the longhaul.  Let’s answer them one by one:

“And if the CEOs can negotiate their contracts, then what is wrong with others in the company also getting what they are worth.?”  You are worth what you can get.  If the prevailing wage in an area is less than what you are making then by definition you are overpaid for that area and job.  Just because you want and depend on $19.50 does not mean you are worth that.  Poor premise, illogical conclusion.

Why shouldn’t a person be able to make a decent living if he works hard?  Because life isn’t fair and no one has even a right to a ‘decent living’.  Most of the world works hard but lives in abject poverty.  That’s the norm.  You have no ‘right’ to a decent living.  Hard work does not equal a decent living.  There are those who hardly work at all (union auto workers in jobs banks) and make above average livings.  So, do you believe that dishwashers in the local Mexican restaurant ‘deserve’ a decent living because they work hard? Doesn’t work that way.  I’ve worked hard all of my life and have little to show for it.  But I’m not running crying about it. Life is not fair.  Get used to it.

Why should only those with degrees be able to make enough to buy a house or pay to send their children to college if that’s what they want.  Well, because they don’t have a RIGHT to that.  If they made poor decisions and decided to work at a non-skilled or low skilled job they probably won’t be able to afford those things.  The lack of logic in that question is disturbing.  No one is owed a living wage. That’s a myth created by people that think there is some kind of cosmic job karma.  We don’t always get what we want, but what we work for.  Didn’t have enough foresight to get a degree?  Too damn bad.  Not my fault and not your employer’s fault.  Good for my uncle  for belonging to a union and being able to make more money.  But honestly, auto workers have been ‘overpaid’ for years.  To say that an auto worker turning a few nuts and putting a water pump on is worth their over inflated pay and benefits and worth more than many of the engineers designing the complex machinery and automobiles they are making is sheer lunacy and that is why the American auto industry is on the ropes compared to the foreign auto plants that have located here.  Maybe they were ‘worth’ it in the past, but not now in this world.  Many people are disgusted when they look at the pay and benefits that accrue to these guys especially the job banks pay where they get 90% of their salary for a couple years while not working.  I spent a good part of my early career replacing many of them with robots that paid for themselves in a matter of months.  Lower salaries in other industries make it difficult to justify replacing someone with automation.  But autoworkers practically have huge targets painted on them saying “automate my job away” because with three shifts at auto plants you can justify spending $200k for a robot very quickly.

So, “what we want” is the criteria for how we should be paid, not market value?  Come on.  Why even bother going to college then.  Those with college degrees made the hard decisions and sacrifice to make themselves marketable and mobile within the job market so they can send their kids to college etc. Those who don’t make good decisions end up reaping the results of their decisions. Total Fail.  You actually just questioned why anyone should improve their education or skills to get ahead.   The new criteria is ‘what people want’.  Hell no.

Something (including labor) is worth only what people are willing to pay for it, not what we think or believe it is worth or even if we think we need a certain standard of living. Hard work does have a value and that value is based on what the market will bear.  The union has the right to negotiate and the company has the right to do so also. Mott/Snapple is not immoral for trying to reduce costs by bringing labor prices within market conditions.  Are you saying they should only do this when they are in trouble? That they can’t do this even when making a profit?  What is an unacceptable level of profit for you? What imaginary line do they cross when it becomes unacceptable?  I know:  You’ll know it when you see it right? Do they have their first legal and moral obligation to the stockholders or to the employees?  Are employees stockholders, family, or just labor contractors that get paid money in exchange for their time?  You see, when you answer these questions honestly it becomes evident that an entitlement, looting mindset is pervasive in our culture.   While I have no love for the plethora of looting, incompetent corporate CEOs, the primary motivation for outsourcing is that labor costs are radically different in other places than the US and companies started sending labor overseas to be competitive, partially to cut costs

outsourcing happened because CEOs had to cut costs so they could justify making more millions of dollars that they are not worth”

If that isn’t envy then I don’t know what it is.  Who are YOU to say CEOs are paid too much?  You just told me that somebody pushing a button and watching a machine, that could probably be replaced by a computer and a video camera should be paid $19.50 but then you turn around and say that someone that produces millions of dollars in profit for their stockholders are not worth their pay.  Cuts both ways.  Are you really saying that if they could cut costs by outsourcing they should not have done it?  Why?  Out of obligation to the employees or stockholders? Which group do they have a greater legal obligation to, the stockholders or the employees?  The answer is self evident, but I’ll bet you give me the wrong answer on that.  You see, when you start asking questions like this it becomes evident that the plunderers are not the CEOs but the people putting forth insane ‘nice’ solutions instead of  the logical, stark, truthful ones, no matter how ‘fair’ things seem be.  Keep in mind that the word ‘fair’ in our society has become simply another term to be used to steal from someone who has more than you do.

Let’s look at a little history on how unions helped the textile workers in the south.  In the south, many textile mills were family owned operations.  Pay was minimal but people were paid what they were ‘worth’ based on what the consumer could pay.  When the unions came to each little mill, the workers organized, hammered through often unworkable pay structures and the mill owners were forced either overseas or out of business because the local workers failed to recognize the textile market was international and they were competing with a Haitian or Mexican making a fraction of what they were.  Rather than demand a ‘reasonable’ wage based on their true worth in an international market, a higher wage was won.  Yippee!  I see shuttered textile factories throughout the south.  Unions ruined the textile industry in the US.  If UNITE showed up on your doorstep, within 5 years you were out of a job.

To answer your questions:  Why can’t they get what they are worth?  Read the article.  They are overpaid compared to surrounding laborers.  By definition, they are paid more than they are worth locally.  CEOs produce dividends and earnings for their stockholders.  They get paid a salary based on that.

With the laws in place today, unions are close to being superfluous.  Most companies in this country are non-union so your logic on companies not doing the right thing if left to their own devices just isn’t borne out in actual practice.  Unions have a bad rep because of their many abuses.  SEIU (the union you worked for) is known far and wide for its thuggish practices.  Links to organized crime abound.  My dad often experienced intimidation from ‘enforcers’.  Locally we have a national carpenters union that has banners at many area businesses and even churches , personally attacking people running those places. Their crime?  They hired a contractor without checking that the contractor used union labor.  Turns out that the employees at the contractor voted not to have the union because they gained nothing.  Like a spurned girlfriend the union has been picketing these places for years.  People here hate them, including the workers that voted against the union.  These idiots put signs up that say “Shame on xxxx” .  It’s the only thing they can legally say since they have no real gripe.  They push their luck when they post things on the signs that say ‘labor dispute’ when there never was a labor dispute.  The people picketing don’t even know what they are picketing for. They are just employees of the union that were sent there from outside the state without a dog in that fight.  Is that the kind of behavior you condone?  If you do, then you have fallen far, far from knowing what morality is.  I honestly believe that a Christian union organizer is an oxymoron.

The day you become a business owner with 5 or more employees you treat well and a union shows up to organize them despite the best intentions of yourself is the day you will change your opinion on this.  If my bike biz ever gets to that point I will pay my employees a fair wage for their labor. But the first time they try to organize, I will put my fixtures in a shipping container and move the whole operation to South America or somewhere else.

“it is disrespectful to ask an employee of a company who us making money hand over fist that the employees need to make less, because they are a commodity”.    You admitted it!  Their labor IS a commodity.  The very fact that they are a commodity makes their market value go down.    Why is it disrespectful?  This is business.  We are dealing with money here.  So who made you the profit police?  Once again, what magic margin does a company have to make before it goes from being respectful to disrespectful when they ask employees to cut their pay to regional levels?  Haven’t got an answer for that do ya?

 

. If that is case those sane employees should be able to go to CEO and upper management and say cutting your pay by a million or so dollars. There’s out of work CEOs and managers that would take less to do those jobs, I am sure.  Not a shard of logic in that paragraph.   Employees have no right to ask the manager of a company to cut their pay.  Your premise and then concluding statement are fallacy.  IF workers’ labor is a commodity, THEN they should be able to go the CEO and upper management to have them cut their pay.  What cosmic rule is invoked that makes this true?  CEOs and upper management typically are given stock ownership in the company so they are owners.  Employees typically are not.  So, you are saying that if you owned a company that your employees have some magic right to ask you to lower your pay?  And where did you get this quaint notion?  Not in MY company. That’s MY company.  If you don’t like what I am paying I will find someone down the street who will work for it, especially in this economy.

 

Posted by: realengr | April 6, 2010

New Website

Well, it really isn’t finished since we have to set up the shopping cart but it’s looking pretty good.   We are having a professional photographer go through each bike and posting as we get done.  The Jett Creek pics will be up in a couple of weeks.   Keila did a pretty good job of this.  There were some issues with the files and she is currently uploading the corrections……Hope that happens pretty quick here since BROL alerted everybody to our new site…….Doggone.  You can’t slip anything past Bryan if it has to do with recumbents….

Go to www.edgerecumbents.com

Posted by: realengr | April 6, 2010

Creeping Along

Well, that’s how I feel about our progress.  We are in process of building 20 Cantos for a distributor in Korea.  Our main frame welder has gotten a multi million dollar contract with the government so now we are small potatoes.  I don’t think they are interested in our work so we are moving on.  There’s no shortage of people in this area to do our frames but the fits and starts of small batches annoy fabricators I think.   Anyway, we are still making frames, but looks like it’s going to be over here closer to our main assembly facility.  Our investor may be interested in setting us up with our own inhouse welding so I could really deal with that.

Posted by: realengr | February 26, 2010

EXPORTING Recumbents

This has to be one of the oddest things I have heard of.  Apparently Americans really dominate the recumbent manufacturing in the world.  We just got an order for 20 bikes to be shipped to KOREA of all places.  It’s exciting and will enable us to also produce some other bikes.  We have an additional 21 bikes we have to produce so in the next 8 weeks we have to make and produce 41 bicycles.  Over the next week we will work out the export licensing and shipping and escrow.  We start cutting metal right after that.

We continue our emphasis on keeping everything on  our bikes US made except for the components.   We also are working on our two new products to be introduced later:  the Haiku hi racer and the Edge Leaning Trike.
More on other exciting news in another post.

Well, it seems we have dropped off the face of the earth for a few months. We had some momentous things happen to us that have set us back a couple months. Rest assured, we are still supporting dealers and still backing our bikes, but personal events and some unforeseen circumstances have stopped production during the summer. I have been dealing with family matters over the summer. We also had a partner leave and our manufacturing suppliers had distractions and shut downs due to the economy. This has forced us into a new direction that has actually made us into a stronger, more viable company with more flexibility. We have a new manufacturing partner that is enabling us to cut our costs, decrease cycle time to market, and is going to give us the ability to do real marketing for our dealers, including some possible TV/Media spots.   One big benefit: The ability to bring several new models into the market. We know that the overall recumbent season is dropping off, but the market is still there, so we have resumed building since we are back on our feet with new enthusiasm and resources. We have Koosah and Jett Creek long wheel bases in process as well as a couple Djangos and Hepcats.   And there are a couple of surprises coming this winter that we are so excited about,…… well…..you’ll have to see. Keep watching the new website and dealers: you will be getting new marketing materials soon.

The http://www.edgebike.com site is being revised with actual content.  That ‘under construction’ moniker is annoying.  The got-bent site has been totally redone and the webmaster is adding more content.

We also are negotiating a deal with a major sporting goods chain which will give us a good monthly sales volume. This will enable us to have sufficient cash flow to put more money into marketing for our dealers and to expand our dealer network.

Well, we are still here and welcome inquiries.

Regards,

Bill

Posted by: realengr | August 28, 2009

Moving Dad and Mom

As I drove across the east I had plenty of time to ponder the events of my life and the influence of my parents on me.  I was driving my mom in her van to a new home in New Jersey.  My dad was in the passenger seat of the truck in front of me, while my younger brother John drove the truck.  Dad had a stroke 3 years ago and my mother had been managing his care with disastrous results. She was on medication herself and confusion in managing Dad’s medication and diet had resulted in a weak, disoriented, emaciated old man.  Mom moved in a daily fog hovering between lucidity and dementia. They were alone on a farm in the middle of northern Missouri with the nearest child living in St. Louis, 150 miles away.  We could call but trips to their farm were 650 miles of driving.  It was finally time for them to live in a more managed situation with my brother and his wife.

He had a bad episode in the winter and after that he had daily care and management for two months.  When we visited in March, he was lively, lucid, and humorous.  His voice was often strong as before.  It was evidence that daily therapy and management of his medication did a lot of good.

It wasn’t always this way.  Going through their things before the move, I had found a pic of dad and uncle Vern taken just before his stroke.  They were both laughing, standing in a construction site, a gleam in Dad’s eyes and a full 210# on his frame.  Dad could have probably taken on a handful of younger men and beat them soundly when this picture was taken.  He was out welding a trailer when the stroke hit him.  Not being one to go to the doctor and living with no one who monitored him, it was 7 months before he was diagnosed.

Heartbreaking.

We all age, and as long as my parents were running along that continuum of retirement without incident it really didn’t bother me.

We talked on one trip a few years ago:

“Dad, what do you mean?”

“Hell, I’ll be dead soon”

“Heck Dad, you’ve got a good 20 years on you! You’re healthier than I am!”

“ Think so?”

About a year later: the stroke.  And then a diagnosis of Parkinson’s.

Now, as a drove my parents across Pennsylvania, images  of two young people in photos ran through my mind:  a young man leaning back laughing with his three little boys at his side,  a picture of a young, shapely woman with long dark hair, a muscular lively twenty-something guy standing beside his van with a camera in his hand.

That young woman was sitting beside me in the car asleep, with her grey hair neatly combed.  The young man was in the truck ahead, staring out at the countryside with a faint Parkinson’s mask on his face, his lively blue eyes retaining little spark.

My mom didn’t see the tears streaming slowly from the corner of the sunglasses I wore.  At the rest stops I would sob against the car uncontrollably while they were walking their dogs a couple hundred feet away.

John, my brother, almost seems stoic about the whole affair, but he is dealing with it in his own necessary, detached way because he has to in order to execute the care they need.  My brother commands hundreds, if not thousands of men in his position as Crew Chief of McGuire AFB.  No doubt his military training serves him well in times like these, but you could see the pain  in his face and the occasional frustration as he executed the almost military plan to get the folks off the farm.

I did a lot of thinking about life and what’s important on the trip and it seems that parents and family are pretty much the sum of it.  Not your money, your toys, your house, your career, or your car.  Only the time you spend with them, the brief few seconds that you have before you or they blink back out of existence into eternity….  Lots of regrets about spending the last quarter century building a great engineering career, but it doesn’t seem like it’s worth much when you weigh it against the lost time one could spend with the two exceptional people who are my parents.

Dad and mom both had eighth grade educations but managed to raise 4 kids who have had varied levels of what the world would call success.  The thing that I am thankful most for are the simple memories of camping and fishing and traveling that we have, as well as a work ethic and moral code that have served us well.  We all move to our own compass and we have dad to thank for the individualism that keeps us going forward.

More on my Dad and Mom in my next post.

Posted by: realengr | March 31, 2009

Quality is Job 1

We’ve got our bikes in dealers now and we have received some nice feedback.
First of all, whenever you design something, even if it is tested locally, you may not get honest feedback. Dealers can be brutal and so it was refreshing to hear that we have done well with our design. There are issues that we fell short on (manuals not shipping with bikes…we have that rectified now) and we have some design suggestions from the dealers. However, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback on the quality, design, and price point. The seat seems to be a winner with the comfort rating right up there with the big boys in the industry. We had a limited first run so only have the bikes at a few select dealers. We are making more and some of these will go for re-orders already at these dealers. If you want to be a dealer, you may want to get an order in now, because we already have about a third of the next lot spoken for.

Posted by: realengr | March 13, 2009

Selling Out……

Burley Strut Installation

Burley Strut Installation

…of bikes and seats that is.

A couple of news notes:

1)  You can now use your Burley struts with an Edge Seat.  Just reduce the length on the top part by 4 holes, off the bottom part by 10 holes and attach to the seat lateral brace just on the inside of the strut tabs.  Works great.  No adaptor needed

2)  EDGE recumbents are now available at the following dealers:

  • BicycleMan in Alfred Station, NY
  • K&G Bikes in Dayton, OH
  • Mt. Airy Bicycles in  Mt. Airy, MD (see our bike at the Demo Day on March 22)
  • Greenlee’s Bicycles in Knoxville, TN
  • Easy Chair Recumbents in Signal Mountain, TN

3)  We only have a few bikes left so if you are a dealer and want one, get it now.  I anticipate they will all be gone within 2 weeks.  It will be at around 4 weeks before we ship again

4) Aftermarket seats went fast.  I’ve only got 3 left.  New seats will be in by early April if we get any more interest.  We have those in various states of completion.

5)  Don’t forget….if you want to use a Volae seat, Volae struts, or even a Volae hardshell seat, they all fit on our bikes.  If you order from a dealer and want these options, we can supply that.  There is a change in price for the Volae seat system.

6)  We re-weighed our bikes and they are 1# lighter than the Burley Koosah.  That makes the overall weight come in at 37# not 34-1/2#.  We are updating the website

7)  Our new website will be going live in the next couple weeks with dealer section, shopping cart, etc.

8)  We will take credit card orders within a few weeks.  We are setting up the merchant account now.

Posted by: realengr | February 17, 2009

We are shipping!!!!!!!!

Our CFO doesn’t want us to make any press releases, but as of this week we are shipping. Our first bike goes out this week to a large recumbent dealer in the Northeast with other bikes going out through the week. By next week we should have no other bikes left except for three bikes that had some blems in the powdercoat. Those are being sold locally and we hope those will be gone by end of next week.

So, where do we go from here? We are already getting ready to make our next 25 bikes and have some of the parts already pre-fabricated. I’m cleaning up drawings and getting new quotes. This manufacturing cycle should go pretty fast since we now have all the bugs worked out down to how we pack and ship. Official press release will have to wait until after we get feedback from dealers on our bikes. We are not going to steal Bryan’s thunder so no details now, other than that: We have our first batch of bikes done and in boxes and shipping out.  However, we have placed a pic of one of our bikes  here for your perusal. No harm in that.

The New Edge Koosah

The New Edge Koosah

Posted by: realengr | January 21, 2009

Is it MINE or is it YOURS?

Once again, a reactionary neo-liberal can’t address the issue at hand and resorts to immature name calling. Below is correspondence from a liberal from New York. Before you go any further, note that I never called Patrick names and tried to keep my arguments impersonal. Patrick just couldn’t help himself. Our original discussion was about my rights as a business owner to ‘own’ my jobs. Then it degraded as liberals responded saying their individual rights extended to owning my job, etc. While I don’t advocate Jim Crow laws and employment discrimination, I threw out some arguments from my libertarian perch and got an impassioned response from this guy who obviously thought I was being racist since HE injected race into it. I do have to say for the record that I do agree with him on many points below, but there are conflicting ‘rights’ when we are talking about the property rights of business owners as opposed to the rights of prospective workers.

It’s also obvious he is another Obama Kool-Aid drinker since he doesn’t know that Obama has openly been a member of a Socialist party in Illinois. Another uninformed voter.

Once again, my comments are in bold.

Ah! I failed to realize I was debating with right-wing libertarian lunatics. Liberal playbook rule #1. Call your opponent names. It makes up for logic. As an aside I’m wondering why he didn’t call me a NAZI. That’s typically done. Even though Democrats use the term they don’t realize their party name roughly translated into German means NAZI. I wonder if they ever make the connection. My bad! Anyone stupid enough to buy Richard Epstein’s the “free market would solve racial discrimination in the private sphere” argument displays a shocking lack of understanding of history and human nature. Funny how free market capitalism never got around to ending hundreds of years of slavery and nearly a century of racial segregation. It took affirmative government legislation to end these practices.

Nope. Never read him. I’m not a lunatic, but as the typical neo-liberal template goes, you’ve resorted to immature name calling. I threw that out there. You really didn’t keep in mind that we were originally talking about the line where I was talking about business owner’s rights to jobs, etc. Anyway…

I wish all libertarians such as yourselves could be made to go back to live in the good ol’ 1800′s and early 1900′s when government operated more or less under your libertarian principles. And then if you were forced to live as blacks then all the better. Maybe then you’d have an appropriate appreciation for government regulation of the private sector that makes our society function as well as it does.” Oh I do. I think we need some, but we have way too much now. Let’s badk off on the govt influence. By the way, read Amendment 10 lately?

And Bill, I understand where you are coming from as a Libertarian, but you are an certified idiot if you think Obama is a socialist or communist. If I belong to the socialist party, I am by definition a socialist. Obama belonged to the New Party in Illinois which is an affiliate of the Democrat Socialists of America. Their bylaws plainly state: “We are Socialists”. The party was formed by their own admission out of joining socialists and communists. What part of this don’t you understand? You would have to be brain dead not to acknowledge this simple logical conclusion. Do I have to explain this to you? And you called me an idiot…… You destroy the meanings of these two terms both when you use them interchangeably and when you apply them to liberal Democrats such as Obama. I mean if you can’t see the difference between Karl Marx and liberal thinkers such as Richard Hofstadter you are a moron. I have always understood the definitions between the different political/economic systems. I also understand that many of Obama’s philosophies are in line with Mr. Marx. Once again, more typical liberal name calling. My IQ is high enough but I have simply deferred joining Mensa. What, pray tell, is your IQ?

Let me break it down to you simply. When it comes to economics, liberals believe in limited government interference in a free market where private individuals retain control of all means of production and commerce. (Note how he redefines liberals. This is amazing. He just described many conservatives and libertarians and now he uses this definition in connection with neo-liberals. See. By his definition I am a liberal) Dude, I’m a libertarian, not an anarchist! Socialists believe that the government should control all the large means of production and allow limited free market commerce. We will be there soon enough. Communists believe that the free market should be abolished and government should control all means of production and divide all outputs equally. There are many elements of communism in Obama’s words he spoke during the campaign then. Get it yet? Please stop dumbing down political debate.”

I do not agree that the government has a duty to prevent employment discrimination.” — Only an ignorant ass white man could make such statement. Well. That was a racist comment if I ever I heard one.    I hate employment discrimination but does the govt have that duty to regulate against it and where does it draw the line?  I do not believe the Feds have any say  in it, but it would be nice if the State govts did something.   You are a fool to think that a black person such as myself would ever have an even shot at making something of himself/herself in this country without the Supreme Court rulings and government legislation that banned racially restrictive housing covenants, racial job discrimination, and all the Jim Crow laws. The free market would never have corrected these injustices because the free market is limited by the prejudices of individuals. I actually agree with you. I was just throwing it out there. And I will concede that we had to have these things to create the diverse and very ‘equal’ society we have today.  Keep in mind that I am an SDA who has been on the receiving end of discrimination because of my religion. But the crux of my argument is still: Is it MY job as the employer or YOUR job? Who owns that job. And if I own it, does the govt have the right to tell me what I can do with it.  If they do, then it isn’t mine is it?  You haven’t answered that.

Since the abolition of slavery, racial prejudice always trumped economic self-interest. Poor whites even when it was in their ultimate economic interest to cooperate with poor blacks never did so because it was more important for them to maintain a sense of superiority over blacks than to better their economic condition.”

A restaurant owner who might attempt to draw in both black and white customers and increase his profits would lose all his white customers because they refused to eat with blacks. A research laboratory that comes across a brilliant black scientist doesn’t hire him because his white colleagues will not work with him. A black family seeking to better their living condition are barred from a good neighborhood and are forced to raise their children in a ghetto. The list goes on and on. Without government action to force whites to deal with blacks on an equal footing in housing and employment blacks would never have an equal chance. And because whites were forced to deal with blacks on an equal basis by government action that resulted in changing their racial prejudices towards blacks, the election of a black man as President became possible.Obama is more white than I am. He is mixed race and not black. Only by the old racist definitions of black is he black (‘one drop of black blood’). By some estimations looking at his family tree he may be up to 94-95% Caucasion. I know that really fries you, but accept it. He ‘identifies’ with blacks. But because he has that little bit of dark in his skin doesn’t make him black. Hell, my wife is more black (13%) by genetic makeup than Obama but because she is ‘high yellow’ most people think she is Hispanic or white. In point of fact Obama may be more white than I am since I am 13% Native American. It is truly a shame that this has to be explained to you Bill and that even with this explanation you still probably don’t get it

I get it.  Really Patrick I do.

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