When a biz takes the money and runs

By G. Michael Dobbs, Managing Editor

I can understand if a company is losing money it considers moving to some place with lower expenses. But Callaway Golf is not losing money, according to their financial statements. They are doing better than they thought.

For me, then, their decision to move much of the film's operations from Chicopee to Mexico is a case of corporate greed.

By laying people off, they are contributing to an economy that eventually will not be able to afford such activities as golf.

People like to speak about patriotism all the time -- it's a standard theme on conservative talk radio and FOX -- but what is patriotism? I think that American companies who are making a commitment to stay in this nation with their manufacturing facilities are being patriotic. They see an opportunity to contribute to growth and recovery.

And those companies have truly earned their seat at the table when discussing reforms that can aid businesses.

Those that leave this nation simply to make more cash should be spurned.

Shouldn't "Buy American" be a new rallying cry in the months and years ahead?

***


Okay, who is right? On Thursday the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development released a report that preliminary job figures show an overall job growth of 13,200 jobs, with an increase of 19,200 private jobs in all nine sectors in July. The job growth is the largest monthly private sector job gain in the Commonwealth in the last 20 years. It continues as the sixth straight month of overall job growth in Massachusetts.

Naturally, in this election year, I received reactions.

Gov. Deval Patrick issued the following statement regarding the announcement, "The Massachusetts economy added 19,200 private sector jobs in July yet another sign that we are rebounding and the commonwealth's recovery is real. The fact that this is the largest monthly private sector gain in 20 years shows that our strategic investments in the innovation industries and efforts to improve the business climate are hitting their marks. Despite this good news, I still see the people who are looking for work. For their future and our Commonwealth's, we will continue to push forward."

On the other side was this paragraph from Treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill: "The latest unemployment numbers are indicative that Massachusetts is not 'on the mend and on the move' as Gov. Patrick claims. The fact of the matter is that unemployment has doubled since the governor took office and there are still nearly 11,000 more Massachusetts residents who are unemployed now than there were a year ago. If the governor thinks this is a success, then we have a long way to go for getting the 312,300 residents who are still unemployed back to work."

Ah, Tim, was the national recession the governor's fault? How about the mortgage melt-down?

***


Those of you who listen to Rush Limbaugh might recall last week he said that building a mosque near the World Trade Center site (by the way, it's not a mosque, but a cultural center and it's blocks away) that there might as well be a mosque near the Pentagon, which was also attacked.

There has been a mosque in the Pentagon for years. President George W. Bush attended it as part of his administration's Ramadan observations.

Rush should actually speak about things he knows. Why do people take him seriously?

***


It's been a very long road for the Victory Theatre in Holyoke since it closed in 1979 and the announcement last week that plans are to re-open the performance venue on Dec. 30, 2012, came as another installment of the good news the Paper City has been seeing in recent months.

I saw "Romeo and Juliet" there as an eighth-grader and remember going to see the musical "Camelot" as well.

Holyokers of a certain age, of course, have far more memories of the movie house, which died as the economics of the film business made it more difficult for single screen theaters to be profitable.

The Bing in Springfield, the Paris in West Springfield, the Grand in Indian Orchard and the Calvin in Northampton have all been re-developed.

Now, let's hope the plans for the Rivoli in Chicopee move forward.

This column represents the opinions of its author. Send your comments online to news@thereminder.com or to 280 North Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028.


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