Prosperity Maine

United States

#1 Dec 9, 2011
Many large and allegedly American corporations currently exist - on paper - outside of the United States for their financial benefit and are doing a very profitable business with communist China. These corporations who initially succeeded through the exploitation of American immigrant labor are now using the social inequity of emerging nations to increase their global profit margins exponentially in spite of the fact that unemployment is at record-high levels in the United States and in spite of China's atrocious human rights practices. Yet Governor LePage can only cite allegedly prohibitive American labor and environmental law in the face of unprecedented poverty in the United States and in particular, the State of Maine, as reasons for the sixty years of economic stagnation that Maine has been saddled with. Not a lack of long-term planning or geographic isolation, but rules designed to protect individual American citizens?
Discussion regarding how to go about making Maine prosperous have been a part of our state's social and political landscape since (at least) the nineteen fifties, when many of Maine’s Factories left for warmer climates and nominally cheaper labor. Sound Familiar? That’s because the actions of wealthy factory owners in the first half of the twentieth century involved the same low-level stop-gap type of thinking that allows Governor LePage to think that removal of worker’s rights, subsequent prosperity and environmental safety are what is best for the Maine business community. The same non-innovative react-without-thinking mindset that sent American corporations overseas in search of social inequity.
In fact, future innovation and business growth will occur in areas focusing on perpetuation of environmental sustainability and business practices that contribute to and reinforce prosperous and responsible citizenship. This is a proven business strategy integrated with a way of life that can no longer be ignored; and yet our state government bemoans environmental and employee-rights initiatives as being prohibitive to the success of businesses in Maine.
In the European Union, many countries are suffering effects of economic crises as much or worse than the citizens of Maine. Members of the EU in dire economic straits are looking to stronger nations for economic support (as Maine has been to the Federal Government). Primarily, EU members are looking to Germany for help. Recent investment advice for Americans fearful of owning too many US bonds in this economy recommends diversifying by purchasing German Government bonds instead, due to the country’s stronger economy.
As a nation, Germany has been a world leader in development of sustainable construction and manufacturing practices for decades. They build high quality products and do it more often than not in an environmentally responsible way. Their construction policies are not only stringent, they are becoming standard practice throughout Europe due to their overall efficiency and level of quality, which in the end, creates overall value in the real estate market.
Where should Maine take its inspiration from in working to structure a new and stronger economic future? An incidentally-elected dogmatic republican who’s greatest success is having run a discount store and who’s vision of Maine includes reducing current effectiveness of worker’s rights and environmental policy, or an environmentally cutting-edge nation who may just posses the strongest economy in the world? Think about it. Governor LePage built his politics on a pro-business platform, but it is painfully obvious that he knows nothing of modern business practice. And as for worker's rights, let's not forget that in a democracy Mr. Lepage and his cronies, work for US.
When working citizens prosper, so will industry, business, financial and governmental institutions. To do so on any other terms is to abandon the ideals that once made this country great.

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