Apparently neither did good benefits, healthcare, life insurance for families and on the job training or other sensible business practices which attracted and kept good workers productive.
Nor did "big" government spending on infrastructure expansion or education. The Cold War and Defense spending was also a part of the economic engine of course. So was the "space race." A lot of the engineers and scientists who made all of the previous possible were educated via the GI Bill. Damn that Socialism!
I grew up in Bethlehem PA. Born just months before this ad was run. My dad started working in the plant at 21 after having to marry my mom because of my arrival. He worked night shift, while going to Lehigh University to become an engineer. He continued to work in the plant for 13 more years as a foreman during the golden years of "the steel." He was able to later become a salesman for the company and made decent money. He sent my brother and I to a top boarding school and on to college. Myself to an Ivy. All that and retire after 30 years at only 53. He lived comfortably on his pension and savings until social security kicked in, which he mostly just saved too. Aside from spending top dollar on our education, he and my mother lived frugally all their lives and taught us the value of thrift as well. When he passed on suddenly at 75, from Rapid Onset Alzheimer's, he left us a surprising portfolio of investments, bank accounts, and other assets, none of us knew he had.
Contrast all that with the situation we're in today. Especially the situation our bright young people are in.
Bethlehem Steel is gone now. For many here that's still impossible to believe. There are a lot of differing opinions about what killed it. You can search the web if you're interested. I can't and don't want to write a book about it today. My goal today is simply to highlight in a very real tangible way that Republican/Conservative ideas and policies and everything they tell us is Total Bullshit.
This country began to decline when Ronald Reagan was elected. The decline acclerated as more and more Conservative Movement policies were implemented and began to effect the economy and our country's standard of living negatively. Then George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and the Neo-Cons took the decline into hyperdrive.
These are demonstrable facts.
Why can't people grasp this reality any more?
(note on the image: this was emailed to me by one of the still activist steelworkers union guys. its a scan of an old local paper ad. I hope it is public domain by now, but if not, and there is a problem with posting it, please let me know and I will remove it. the diary sort of doesn't make sense without it though...)
For an insider's look at what it was like for the people who worked 'down the Steel' in its golden years please see my ongoing diary posts from my father's brilliant memoir titled: "The 28 Inch Mill."
Thank you for your interest,
Stanley R. Frantz II