A Response to Jason Patzfahl’s 'Dear Greatest Generation'

Not everyone on the political left supports Jason’s latest blog post.

I have read and reread Jason Patzfahl’s blog post titled “Dear Greatest Generation” and I found his positions not only wrong, but painfully misleading and unrealistic. I can understand Jason’s passion and his dedication to get his candidates elected, but I don’t agree with his unrealistic approach.

Taking the “Greatest Generation” to task because of their political leanings is not only wrong but misdirected. As many know I am a “leading cohort boomer” and my life has been immersed in the world of the “Greatest Generation.” Just as you can’t place any one age cohort or generation to fit a stereotype, you can’t do it with the “Greatest Generation” either. This generation has always had a great diversity of political opinion and beliefs. Jason’s sampling would lead one to think that they are of a single mind and that in some way they are betraying the following generations. Jason is making an error with his supposition and is coming off as sounding like the younger sibling that feels cheated by an older sibling. This approach not only doesn’t move forward the positions of the political left, but it alienates and will force many undecided to the right because of his “spoiled child” argument.

I also think that Jason is attributing too much power to the “Greatest Generation.” Just by sheer numbers alone, their generational power and ability to influence the outcome of elections has eroded. As of 2010, those who were demographically listed as members of the “Greatest Generation” comprised only 5.5 million. Even if they voted as a block one way or another, it wouldn’t be enough to significantly influence the election.  

Jason should be much more concerned with getting Millennials or Gen-Yers out to vote. They have the numbers and it’s their future that is being considered now. Rather than looking to the past, we all need to be looking to the future and the changes that are necessary to move our society forward while maintaining social justice for all.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Brian Dey October 29, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Lyle-cont... As one pie grows, another must scale back. In the company I was employed with, the demand for new products was never a priority. The demand to keep the costs competitive and maintain the highest of quality was our lifeblood. Because it was a union shop, the union preferred that job postings were posted daily and seniority was the rule. Depending on the part made and the piecework price for that part, the senior guys always posted for the highest price job, but that did not always mean that the best person to make a certain part was the person making the part. That was one strike I had against the union from a management standpoint. I want the best qualified person, not the most senior person on specific jobs to maintain quality. Secondly, we had to turn our R & D to efforts of producing more parts than to reduce costs, rather than how we can develop new parts. The price of labor was growing faster than what we could raise our prices. Yes, like I said, there were other factors, but many were variable costs that the company had no control over like the price of steel or the price of energy. One of the only fixed costs we could address was labor costs, yet union demands and several strikes drove up labor costs faster than anything else. Making more parts with less people was the answer to remaining competitive with Germany and Japan. cont...
Brian Dey October 29, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Lyle- cont... Thus the need to automate. That is real world Lyle. And we weren't alone, and the trend continues. However, more factors today play into remaining competitive. Higher corporate taxes plays into this, just like rising labor costs. When the rest of the civilized world has a corporate tax rate of 20 - 25%, and here at home we have an administration that wants to tax at a rate of 4% over the already 35%, there is an incentive for some types of companies to reduce expenditures by 10 - 14% without any further investment by going overseas. It may not be a sole factor, but a factor in decision-making none the less. I don't hate unions, but I do when they are not not willing to work to improve the overall bottomline of the company. As Chief Negotiator in my last year, the directive of the Board of Directors was to lower labor costs by reducing benefits and lowering salaries or investors were going to pull out. The first thing I told the President was that all non-union employees (officers, secretarial, management and support staff would have to be first to pull the trigger on any cuts to set the tone for negotiations. As the plant was a "Closed Corporation", they never had to open their books to the unions, and at my request, they did so. When I went back to the unions, they didn't give in and both went out on strike. Investors pulled out and the company was bought out at pennies on the dollar. cont...
Brian Dey October 29, 2012 at 11:05 PM
lyle- cont... 400 people 500 people lost their good-paying, good benefit jobs because it did not matter to them whether the company made money or not. The non-union employees accepted them because they understood the dire need to stay in existence. They lost their jobs also not because of their decisions, but of the unions. Yes, I have a real problem with unions that behave like that, and tha is exactly what the public workers did with their failed recall and to this day, they don't care with their continued lawsuits to stop Act 10. You can stick up for people like that, but it proves to me that unions are no longer a positive for workers, but a negative. Just ask the 500 in my plant that lost their jobs.
Lyle Ruble October 29, 2012 at 11:08 PM
@Brian Dey...You're not telling me anything that I don't know. Your business was dependent on your customers. As their business was impacted so was yours and I fully understand that. Whether the unions had pushed for higher wages and benefits or not, automation becomes the answer to increasing production. This has been something many people don't understand. Many of the jobs have been lost to automation,not just offshoring. Even if production returns to our shores, those jobs are gone forever. Our future is the manufacture of next and future generation products.
Dr. Saul Funkhouser October 30, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Projection....Whenever these leftist fools open their mouths they project their own motivations


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