Monday, February 22, 2010

Congressman Fred Upton's family corporation is up to its old tricks

With a few editing changes the following commentary is lifted directly from a private email Mr. Mann sent to recipients found only on his personal email address list, a list including Fred Upton who was copied with the original text of what follows. It's reproduced here with Mann's permission.

Congressman Fred Upton's family corporation is up to its old tricks, exporting manufacturing jobs and killing off support industries piecemeal.

Economic devastation suffered by the families directly impacted won't be adequately measured and almost certainly won't be covered in any depth by media. Blanket withholding of lucrative Whirlpool advertising might result as a punitive measure for media outlets exercising such vital, informative speech.

There is, however, one thing that can be adequately measured in this and that's Fred Upton's rank, thoroughly pious hypocrisy.

For whatever reason, I've been included a few times in Upton's phone networking with 6th District voters. I receive a phone call and his recorded voice informs me that I'm wanted for participating in a conference call with other District voters. A time and number are provided, then you call in and take part in a teleconference with Freddie boy moderating.

The main topic of (certainly) the last Upton teleconference I was invited to participate in was the economy. Fred made a stern point of damning the Obama Administration for losing manufacturing jobs, specifically jobs that had been exported. Fred Upton said, astoundingly enough and with as much masculine force as I'd ever heard him muster, "I want to bring those jobs home." That's a direct quote. I heard it.

What's abundantly evident here is Upton's willingness to shamelessly abuse the truth when he stands to benefit personally, financially and politically.

This is OUR District and Fred Upton IS NOT representing the majority's interests, nor has he for a very long time, if ever, despite his very carefully cultivated image as a moderate.

I'm personally familiar with Whirlpool job exportation. It started impacting people I knew, people who were my friends in Van Buren County more than 25 years ago. Ronald Reagan had just broken PATCO* and Whirlpool Corporation was one of the very first American companies that became known as a Maquiladora.

According to the linked website just above: "On average, clients can expect to save as much as 75% on labor costs when operating in Mexico."

Not only that, they're instantly out from under bothersome domestic pollution and worker safety laws as well.

Now Evansville is the latest town to lose Whirlpool manufacturing. The cost of moving those Indiana jobs to Mexico and the building or expansion of facilities to accommodate those jobs should be nicely covered by the $19 million Whirlpool "recently received from the federal government as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."

That's right. Whirlpool is the world's largest manufacturer of big home appliances, showing hefty profits year in and year out. YOU just gave them $19 million for "recovery."

We've been sold for decades on the idea that welfare and socialism are very bad things, especially for shiftless people of color. But for the biggest, richest US corporations, IT'S JUST FINE.

If that doesn't turn your stomach, then nothing will.

According to Whirlpool-owned brands include: "Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names..."

Next time you're in the market for a large household appliance, first make certain who the brand is owned by, then purchase from some other company. Even if you have to hold your nose and buy it from huge defense contractor, GE.

If enough of us did so we could put Whirlpool right where they, and Whirlpool heir Fred Upton belong --at the bottom of an outhouse hole.

John L. Mann Kalamazoo, Michigan