Oil Prices, Government and the Economy – A Reflection of American Greed
The entire flooring industry has become stagnant. The cause, as explained by many in this industry, is the combined effect of Crude oil prices and the current economical complexities that have disrupted an entire nation of consumers. Most flooring products are dependant on petroleum distillates (crude oil products) in the manufacturing process and resulting product. Nowhere is the bond between crude oil prices and flooring prices more prevalent than in the soft-surface market. Carpet and carpet cushions have nearly doubled in cost in the past two years. Most consumers are unaware of the effect that oil prices have had on this market, and exhibit great distress when shopping for new carpet for their home. The flooring industry has tried to compensate for the growing costs of raw materials by offering carpet products that do not depend so heavily on petroleum. Over the past few years they have tapped into recycled PET plastics and micro-fiber technology (PTT Yarn) that depends on corn oil rather than crude oil. This has controlled costs to some extent, but raw material prices still continue to soar beyond that which anyone could have anticipated.
A portion of these costs can be attributed to the state of our economy as a whole. As prices rise beyond that which is affordable by the average household, we could always count on financing to make up the difference in a families "disposable" income. The current economic crisis, whose onset can be traced to greedy people offering "creative" financing for so much of the real estate market, has virtually yanked the rug out from under our feet. Whereas, under normal circumstances, we might be able to offer financing to cover the additional cost of new carpet even this option becomes unviable as an additional method to sustain flooring sales. We watch as one dealership after another folds under the pressure, and pray that we are not next in line.
The greed of corporate America has caused a great calamity to befall us. This becomes more and more apparent as congress and the senate search for a possible way to repair our broken economy. As hard as they may try, we will not see the benefits of any solution for a distant time to come. We cannot completely repair a broken economy until we ascertain the cause. Corporate greed has been and continues to be at the root of our current crisis. Until small to medium sized businesses are able to wrestle back some level of control over corporate giants, we will all suffer under their tyrannical rule. Large corporations have stolen the means and method by which most small businesses are able to sustain themselves. The evidence of greed and lack of concern for small business can be clearly seen whenever a corporation decides to open a new outlet in any given geographical area. We can watch as a dozen small businesses fold whenever a superstore opens it’s doors to the public. Large chains of stores that allow you to buy directly from a manufacturer instead of buying those same products from your friends and neighbors in small businesses. This always has the stench of greed. I can’t remember the exact words, but last week a politician proclaimed that it was our patriotic duty to dig deep into our pockets, and bail out corporate America. How dare he even speak such words. We have already paid our debt in taxes, insurance and finance charges. They dug the hole, let them fill it. We would not be in this mess if it weren’t for the selfishness and greed of those corporations that placed us in peril. And yet, it is our selfish greed that has spawned the corporate beast. That’s correct you and I have spawned this monster through our desire to save money on products. This is the mechanism that spawned the corporate beast, it is our own desire for selfish gain. And the monster could not continue to exist without our help. Every time we choose to shop at a super-store or factory outlet, we feed the beast a little more. As it grows it continues to devour our economy. But we pretend ignorance, and proclaim our outrage, that our government did nothing to protect us from it. The government did not spawn this monster of greed, how can we expect the government to save us from ourselves. We live in a republic which allows us freedom of choice, and we continue to choose to feed the beast.
I am old enough to remember a time when manufacturers would only sell products through small business. This was a time of shared wealth in America. It was a practice by which every community was able to share in part of the wealth. There used to be an attitude of integrity and a willingness to allow small business to share in the overall wealth of our great nation. No self respecting company would even think of bypassing their retailers in order to keep all the profits to themselves. It used to be common practice for corporations to establish joint ventures and affiliations with local small business so that both parties could benefit. It was thought to be absolutely anti-business to go over a dealer’s head, and directly sell your products, and to keep the resulting profit. Many flooring dealers were specialty stores that were the only ones allowed to carry a certain line of products within a geographical area. In fact you may have been the only dealer for a manufacturers product in your home town. Dealers were loyal to the manufacturer and customers were loyal to a dealer that exhibited integrity. Things have certainly changed for the worse. Corporations have dealt a death blow to distributors, dealers and retailers throughout the United States. To top that off, they want to add to their profit margins by using cheap foreign labor in the manufacture of far too many items. Corporations have virtually stripped small and medium sized business of their ability to sell any item and make a profit. Factory direct stores are popping up all over, and robbing retailers of their fair share of the profit. With the current crises our financial institutions are enduring, they now threaten to take even more out of our ability to run a business, by removing a dealer’s ability to receive or offer financing. We need to consider the cost of our greed. Our desire to save a few dollars by buying directly from the manufacturer is the catalyst that closes the door on small business and costs people their jobs. Would you be willing to spend a few dollars more on a product to insure that your spouse keeps their job or your neighbors retail store stays open. Consider the toll that greed and selfishness has taken on our society. It has cost us our wealth, our livelihood and our integrity as a nation. Seriously consider boycotting these super-stores, direct stores and outlets. When we shop at these places, we pay a horrible premium in humanity under the disguise of saving some money. What is more important, people or products?
We can only pray that this will be a wake up call for all of America. We need to re-build our American labor force and be willing to share our wealth with small business. We need to re-establish "made in the USA" as the quality standard for all other nations in the world to follow. We need to become self sufficient for raw materials needed to manufacture our goods and let American hands assemble them. We need to use our own plentiful wind, solar, coal and natural gas to power our nation, and keep our wealth for the people of our own nation. If we don’t, we will continue to see greed strip away the remainder of our wealth and morals, until there is nothing of value that remains.
We cannot allow government to slap a band-aid onto the gaping, infected wound of our economy. Greed has become the driving force in our economy, and it reflects in the thoughts and attitudes of our children and grand-children. We need to stop this monster before it devours our Country. Some may ask how we would even attempt such a monumental task. The answer lies in America’s core values. We need to repent of this evil and return the the core values that built this nation. We need to be unashamed to say "In God We Trust"! When you start at that position, the only way to build is up. Our economy is a reflection of our character whether we like it or not. Rebuilding our character will lead us to the path that we must now follow. We are American citizens, and we do not need the government to pass legislation that simply puts the beast on life support, we have the power of government within us, and our destiny is in our own hands. It is the power of choice. If we recognize the beast for what it is, then we already know what needs to be done. We simply allow the beast to consume itself. It has grown far too large for us to feed it any longer. Let it consume itself and we will rebuild upon the remains of it’s carcass. We will build a new unselfish America, that has the genuine concern for our fellow citizens at it’s core.
My original intent for this writing was to simply report on rising carpet prices…
It seems as though I may have strayed slightly from my intent. Yet I cannot content myself with a mere report when the need is so great and the consequences are already at hand. Please join me in support of mankind. People will always be more important than products and the price of a product can never attest to it’s true value. The most valuable product on earth is a person’s soul. Greed has no soul and therefore it has no value or purpose. We have a soul, and that is to be treasured above all things. We can judge the value of the human soul by the price God has paid to redeem it.
May God Bless America,
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