Return Of The CarpetBaggers  

rm_pchamp012004 55M
1324 posts
10/8/2005 2:48 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Return Of The CarpetBaggers

Well it's been over 100 years since Reconstruction of the South brought in carpetbaggers from the North, but history seems to be repeating itself once again.

This is just one story taking place in Biloxi...

Jimmy Carter, an electrician who owns his own firm, has been repairing damaged homes and scrambling to find enough labor.

"I've found all my (eight) workers, but they worked two days and all but two quit and went to work for out-of-state contractors. ... Six quit in one day," Carter says, adding that out-of-state contractors are paying $4 more an hour.

End Story

I am so tired of the attitude of, "It's not personal, it's business". Has the entire country decided to try to be Donald Trump? People need to spend less time in front of the TV watching the Apprentice and more time contemplating the Golden Rule.

But who is really at fault here?

Surely it is not Mr. Carter (not Jimmy), who is trying to keep his small business alive and probably can not afford the extra $4.00 per hour the carpetbaggers are paying. He lives in Biloxi and is trying to reconstruct his own home, and business and life.

But is it the carpetbaggers? While I believe they are taking advantage of a horrible situation, the purpose of business is to make money ... and if that means crushing the local competition ... so be it. After all, doesn't the world admire what Sam Walton did with Wal-Mart? When Wal-Mart moves in ... small businesses die.

I tend to put the majority of the blame on the workers, <cringing in the corner from looks of hatred> where is loyalty? I know it's the 21st century and most employees don't work for 40 yrs at one job, then retire. But if not loyalty to an employer, how about to their community? These workers are helping to send money out of state. Without going into a complicated economics dissertation, every dollar spent in-state generates revenue of $0.38 to local and state entities, which while it doesn't seem like much, multiply that by the $200+ billion dollars that will be spent on this new Reconstruction. Already the City of New Orleans has been forced to lay-off a large percentage of city employees.

Now what are the ramifications of these workers jumping ship to work for out-of-towners?

1) Small businesses in the area (which are all on the brink of failing because of the disaster) fail.

2) Billions of Dollars end up in the pockets of Businesses that are based in States outside of the disaster area.

3) Local Government loses out on revenues.

4) Local Government cuts back on services.

5) Local People lose out.

6) A few years down the road, the workers that changed jobs for money, no longer have that job. They can't go back to their old job because all the local companies folded.

7) These workers rely on the Govt for services ... but receive none because there is no money.

O-kay now it's your turn ... tell me how wrong I am.

rm_1hotwahine 63F
21091 posts
10/8/2005 4:54 pm

If readers would like a pop culture frame of reference for this topic, I'd recommend the movie "You've Got Mail" and think of it, not as a romantic comedy, but as a dilemma regarding the Shop Around the Corner vs. Fox Books.

Personally, I also find the scenario that you described to be extremely frustrating - not only in assigning responsiblity, but also in how to fix it. I'm very interested in both free enterprise and also in economics. Yet I am also clearly on the left side of the fence at least 80% of the time, regarding socioecomical issues. So I'm afraid I don't have much to contribute in the way of insight. But I WILL be checking back to see if anyone else does!

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

keithcancook 60M
17827 posts
10/8/2005 11:41 pm

The economic forces at work here cannot be denied. Depending on how bad the damage is, some of these communities will never be reconstructed. At least in the short term.

People will go to where the jobs are. Large migrations of people have occurred within our nation before. Communities must adjust to their local realities on both ends of that migration. The Gulf Coast will eventually be repopulated when jobs become more available. If those jobs are slow in coming, then of course reconstruction will match that pace.

I do not think that Mr. Carters workers have done a negative thing. Perhaps they could be labeled "disloyal", but they are doing what man has done since the dawn of civilization.... looking out for #1.

tillerbabe 56F

10/9/2005 1:36 am

It would be nice if we had a "leader" that inspired people to "take care of each other".

I know I'm being really simplistic...but,

....math scares the s#*t out of me!

I'm more for "social responsibility motivated by spirituality," (not religion)...but spirituality.....{=}

smartmama 58F

10/9/2005 4:44 am

I don't admire Sam Walton. Is O'Reilly Factor really one of your favorite shows?

rm_bella_ 47F
4030 posts
10/9/2005 5:52 pm

I would not dare disagree with you as you are more than accurate in your assumptions.

rm_1hotwahine 63F
21091 posts
10/9/2005 10:56 pm

really? The O'Reilly Factor? That surprises me.

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

barbiebunny 36F
5597 posts
10/9/2005 11:40 pm

Youre dead wrong.. now get on our knees and kiss my boots..Opps wrong blog. *giggle*

Its good to be...ME

rm_pchamp012004 55M
2672 posts
10/10/2005 7:35 am

wahine, even if you are on the left 80% of the time, I still love ya

keith, they are looking out for #1, but they are near-sighted ... Or perhaps Mr. Carter is just a terrible boss to work for.

tiller, I don't recall a leader in recent history that has inspired us to care about each-other

smartmama, I watch the Factor regularly but I would rather watch Sci-Fi channel. Agree or disagree with O'Reilly, I like the way he explains how he comes to his opinions. Most pundits don't explain ... they just pontificate.

bella, thank you ... but then again I would not dare to disagree with you either ... unless you were wrong.

bunzy, which blog do I have to be on to kiss your boots?

lifeisablast333 54M

10/10/2005 8:34 am

well what can we say to that........the redneck

rm_pchamp012004 55M
2672 posts
10/10/2005 9:50 am

redneck, say whatever you want

rm_1hotwahine 63F
21091 posts
10/10/2005 8:12 pm

You're a righty? I wouldn't have thought that, for some reason.

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

smartmama 58F

10/11/2005 5:51 am

Can a righty and a lefty find happiness together?

I noticed that your favorite movie is the original "Exorcist" boy that was scary. I haven't seen it in years.

Where is Linda Blair now?

rm_pchamp012004 55M
2672 posts
10/11/2005 7:10 am

Wahine, I'm an independant but I lean to the right ... why wouldn't you have thunk it?

rm_pchamp012004 55M
2672 posts
10/11/2005 1:49 pm

smartmama, yes.

Last I heard poor Linda Blair was really messed up in the head. Lots of drinking, drugs, a couple trips to the looney bin ... I think the movie at that young age did something to her ... what were her parents thinking?

rm_1hotwahine 63F
21091 posts
10/11/2005 11:37 pm

Because I like your opinions, lol

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

rm_1hotwahine 63F
21091 posts
10/11/2005 11:37 pm


Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

rm_pchamp012004 55M
2672 posts
10/12/2005 7:48 am

wahine, since you like my opinions ... maybe you aren't as far to the left as you think. I like to think of myself as moderate, though I lean to the right about 80% of the time and only 20% of the time to the left. I try to research a subject, then put myself in the position of each of the affected parties ... then whatever feels right to me is what I go with. Not the most scientific of methods ... but it works for me.

Trav, I agree devastation of this magnitude can only be handled by major companies. What is happening here is that these companies are using smart business practices by hiring locals at inflated wages to avoid hiring local companies to subcontract for them. This saves the large companies lots of money, but puts the local companies out of business by taking away their skilled labor force. Once again I can't really fault the companies involved, they are by necessity large businesses and have to answer to a Board of Directors, and more importantly to their share holders (usually us ... we don't even know what we own in our 401K's). BTW, glad to see you here, I enjoy your blog.

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