In your May 13 Viewpoint “Ups outweigh downs of the world market,” you assert that “The free market is the best mechanism for raising the standard of living, encouraging democracy and rewarding hard work.” I have to disagree with you on all counts.
I was in the plastic injection mold-manufacturing industry for over 30 years. For the last 10 years, if not longer, my standard of living has declined every year, just like everyone I know in manufacturing and farming.
People in the United States are getting less value for their dollar every day, along with fewer jobs that pay a reasonable wage. Businesses across the country are closing operations and moving them out of the country, mainly to China, at an alarming rate.
The standard of living in the United States cannot improve when manufacturing leaves, taking with it the money it generates for employees. That money is now in other countries, possibly improving the standard of living for a few people, but that will only last until the work is again moved to another country or region.
As far as encouraging democracy, I think if you ask the working people of China, you will see that Communism is still alive and well in that country. Along those lines, wasn't protecting the free world from Red China our mission in Vietnam and Korea? Now they take our jobs and we should accept that like we did when our troops died fighting in those countries.
Rewarding hard work. That is a statement I can laugh at. I was the owner and operator of my own injection mold-manufacturing shop for 21 years.
As a direct result of pricing from China, I can say that the only reward for my years in this business is that I enjoyed the work. In my effort to stay competitive and keep up with technology I took financial risks that at the time seemed like any other risks I had taken in the past, but now I regret them. As a result of the large number of shop closings, the price of used equipment has slid far below that needed to support loans.
Now, with very little to no work, I'm being forced to close my business and look for a new career.
Because of the risk I took, I will be financially reduced to where I was when I graduated from high school. This is my reward for the days, nights, weekends, and holidays I worked so customers could get their tools on time. I know I am not alone.
I believe the free market is the best mechanism to reduce your standard of living, hide behind democracy when using a country that doesn't believe in democracy can provide a short-term profit, and kick those aside who have worked within the regulations established by their own government.
Robert J. Grosse
Soon-to-be-former president Grosse Tool Inc.
Sun Prairie, Wis.