(Providence, Rhode Island) It has become clear there are many economic and systemic changes that will need to be addressed after the current Coronavirus pandemic eases in the US. International travel policies, medical infrastructure, and even simpler things like proper toilet paper rationing will need to be reconsidered. For some Americans, the recovery will also be about personal pride; a pride that extends back multiple generations, and tied to their family names.
We recently spoke with Douglas Cooper, a “retired” assembly line worker, who talked of this pride. “This great country was built on the backs of hard working skilled labor. Skilled labor that toiled 12 to 13 hours a day in soul-crushing and dangerous conditions at factories for AMERICAN-owned companies,” Mr. Cooper stated. “That’s the way things outta be. I used to work for the local Bic pen manufacturing factory here in Rhode Island, manning a machine that cranked out thousands of caps that went on pens that probably built much of this nation. My pens may have powered crucial signatures on predatory bank loans, medical insurance coverage denial letters, frivolous lawsuit paperwork, and possibly even declarations of unjustified wars. But the corporate fat cats decided they wanted to get a little fatter, and move production to CHINA, and put us all out of work,” Doug railed while shaking his fist.
He added, “Fortunately, I had an ‘incident’ with my back while stepping off the stool I sat on by the assembly line, and was put on long-term disability before the factory shut down,” Mr. Cooper said, while proudly showing a framed copy of the letter the Bic company’s liability insurance company sent to him stating he was indefinitely disabled and qualified for perpetual compensation. “Look at that signature by their claims adjuster; that could have even been signed with a Bic pen,” he added as his eyes misted up.
He quickly gathered himself and continued, “And that’s my point. The problem with industrial production being outsourced like it has for the last 30 years, has denied too many hardworking-intended people the ability to collect questionable long term disability from AMERICAN companies. Our unions fought hard to give these job injury handouts to AMERICAN workers in AMERICAN-OWNED factories...the country needs to bring production back for our right to do that again!” He added, “And for many out-of-work people like me, it’s a family tradition. My grandfather was on long-term disability from his job manufacturing door hinges, and my father developed a strange arm numbness doctors couldn’t find when he was making mattress springs. I come from a long line of long-term disability that is American, born and bred.” We left Mr. Cooper deep in thought, rummaging for a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer he knew was somewhere in the cooler on his front porch.
Let’s hope that, when this scourge is over, we can bring companies back to America, so honest men like Douglas can work for a few years, and then reap the rewards of a wonderful “disabled” life.