Wednesday, 10 June 2009

An Interesting Article On The Stanley Works...

Born in the fading days of the 40's, I'm a member of the Baby Boomer generation. As a "Boomer", I spent my youth fully immersed in the hippy movement, partaking in all the trappings and trimmings of that culture. Many who know me honestly believe that I am still stuck in 1967, a comment I find hard to argue with.

Now, as a college instructor, I deal with the current younger generation more than most. As I spend a great amount of time communicating with them, it is not surprising that I learn a great deal about their thoughts outside the ream of their artistic endeavors. It might come as a surprise to many of my fellow Baby Boomers, but these kids truly hate our generation, believing we represent greed and selfishness, an opinion I often agree with.

I often wonder what happened to the turn-on/tune-out crowd that I sat around the coffee houses with and listened to them pontificate about peace, love, equality and honesty, all while disclaiming any connection to “the man”, with his greedy, selfish ways. When did these kids turn from looking for a way to finance a dime bag of dope to financing a new BMW or Lexus?

As we Boomers now head off to pasture, we leave a world that, frankly, I wouldn't want to face. The world economy is in the toilet, governments are handing out billions in corporate welfare, money that will take generations to recover, and seemingly indestructible institutions are falling like flies around us. Let’s face it, who of you ever thought you would read the words, "General Motors" and "bankrupt" in the same sentence? What the hell happened?

Faced with numerous questions and no answers, a month or so ago I started to set aside an hour a morning to do some investigating. What I found was that no-one had definitive answers. To me, it seems that for every laid-off worker there is an armchair annalist spouting off a different reason for it. From what I gather, though, it seems that the mess we are in today really started decades ago.

Man, this is a long-winded introduction to an article, isn't it? Ok, to get to it.

This morning I stumbled upon this article, being drawn to it because of its title; The Stanley Works (now do you see the connection between this post and woodworking?). It is an excerpt from a book entitled, "The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences” by Louis Uchitelle. While the book is all encompassing in its subject matter, this excerpt deals with it as it relates to the Stanley Works and uses the explanations of that company’s CEOs to do it. It does an amazing job of giving the reader some insight into what lead up to our position in the Global Market today, greed and stupidity in the leaders of our financial institutions aside.

An excellent article on a subject that impacts of each and every one of us, not to mention insights into why Veritas and Lie-Nielsen are able to exist today.

Check it out at