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Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES St. Paul, Va. Thursday, October 20, 2016 shoes..and ships..and giwax., by Ann Youn Gregory I Outsourcing and related matters Reprinted from November 15, 2007 too detailed for me at this point, and I'm unable to Have you noticed that it's difficult to purchase very many things like kitchen appliances, television sets and all manner of technological goodies which have been made in America? We can still buy automobiles which are made in the USA, but even many of them are made by foreign companies which have plants here (out- sourcing in reverse, maybe). All of this has a lot to do .with outsourcing which, I thought was a fairly simple concept until I began look- ing into just exactly what it means. According to one reference, outsourcing, a word which came into com~ mon usage during the 1980s, "refers to the delegation of non-core operations from internal production to an external entity specializing in the management of that operation. Outsourcing is utilizing exports from outside the entityto perform specific tasks that the entity once performed itself." An expansion of that definition goes on to say that and/or day-to-day execution of an entire business function to an external service provider." That sounds like a very cleaned up and acceptable version of "outsourcing as practiced by some companies is the practice of sending jobs held by existing (well paid) workers in existing plants in the United States to plants and (very cheap) workers in other countries." In some instances, mostly in the area of information technology and call centers the workers are trained and competent, but often, their grasp of the English language leaves. much to be desired. I often can't understand a word that's said to me on these calls! Further delving into definitions indicates that while the terms "outsourcing: and "offshoring" are often used interchangeably, they actually have different meanings. The reference I used relates the information that while "outsourcing" involves contracting with a supplier, which may or may not include some degree of off- shoring, "offshoring" is the transfer of an organization- al function to another country, regardless of whether the work is outsourced or stays within the same corpora- tion. "Multisourcing" refers to large, predominantly information technology outsourcing agreements. Whew! That's really more than I wanted to know. I think the bottom line, however, whether or not you've managed to absorb all the nuances of difference in meanings, is that outsourcing, for all practical purposes, means that greed has won, and domestic companies send jobs and production tasks to other countries where they can get the work done much more cheaply, thus guaranteeing a larger profit. I have always thought that NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) had a lot to do with outsourcing, but a look into definitions and dates has . me wondering. NAFTA evidently didn't go into effect until January 1, 1994, which is several years after out- sourcing began to become so popular among manufac- turers and information technology providers. NAFrA has to do with the elimination of tariffs between prod- ucts traded among the United States, Canada and Mexico, and gradually phases out other tariffs over a ten year period. It also protects patents, copyrights and trademarks and outlines the removal of investment restrictions among the three countries: It begins to get determine just exactly what the relationship between outsourcing and NAFTA is, if, indeed, one exists. One thing I do know, however, is that this country is fast becoming a nation of service providers (we have lots of jobs which require the dispensing of hamburgers and pizza and fried chicken, or welcoming people to megastores and checking out their purchases at a cash register, or selling a multitude of other things, but are few left in the area of manufacturing and related areas of employment which provided support to manufactur- ing entities. Likewise, many of our good, solid jobs, such as the full-time manufacturing jobs, many of which were protected by.unions, and which provided hospital insurance and retirement benefits, are gone. I remember reading a lot about the early days when Henry Ford was beginning to build his empire. One of the philosophies which he developed was that his employees who worked the assembly lines to put the Fords together should be able to buy the products that they built. So he improved their wages, and found that it paid off, not only in more devoted workers, but also in increased product sales! We've apparently forgotten that. Many of our serv- ice jobs are paxt time with no benefits at all. We know that forty-three million Americans (that's nearly fifteen percent) are without any health insurance, and that's nothing less than a disgrace, existing, as it does, in the richest country on earth. And the third item related to these others which has troubled me for the past few months is the recalls of items made in other countries---outsourced manufac- tured items (or at least I consider them to be out- sourced.) In some cases, the American company is n~rned in the recalls of Chinese-manufactured items-- companies named in the vast recalls of toys made in China because of the use of lead paint and other poi- sons, include Mattel, Hasbro, Thomas & Francis (wooden railroad toys) and Disney. Other items which have been recalled don't mention an American manu- facturer, and I don't know if they're items marketed by some t~celess and nameless Chinese entity or what. They include such items as toothpaste (marketed in the U.S., and which includes a highly toxic substance that's used in antifreeze);, blankets (which contain formalde- hyde and which have been marketed in Australia and New Zealand); pet foods (which contain toxic sub- stances); children's and adults' clothes, such as chil- dren's pajamas (some of which are highly flammable); children's jewelry (with a high level of lead); children's puzzles marketed as Sounds on the Farm and Sounds on the Go (small items which pose choking hazard); and many, many others. My simp!equestion ~is this: Why, if a.company: chooses to "outsource'~ its manufacturing processes to factories in other countries, is the home company not able to completely dictate what raw products and ingre- dients are used to make the items which are outsourced? Greed has apparently gotten the best of us. We need to return to good jobs at home, higher prices or not, with health insurance and care for as many Americans as possible. It doesn't seem to me that outsourcing has worked except to make some companies richer! Do the debates help us choose wisely? by Lee H. Hamilton We're in the middle of the presidential debates, and not surprisingly, they're drawing viewers in great numbers. The contest is close, and the chance to watch the two candidates spar with one another face- to-face makes' for enter- taining television. This is hardly a bad thing. Overall, presidential debates are a plus for the public dialogue. They get tremendous coverage throughout the media uni- verse, both while they're taking place and in the days that follow. They let the voters see the candidates under pressure and gauge their performance. As scripted as they can some- times seem, they still let us watch the candidates think on their feet. They're seri- ous events, and are certain- ly more substantive than campaign speeches and tel- evision commercials. It's true that they don't usually change the trajecto- ry of a race -- although we won't know until Election Night whether this year's debates played a role in the outcome. They can rein- force enthusiasm, but it's rare that they create it from scratch. Yet I think our focus on debates -- at least in the form they currently take -- is misplaced. It's not so much that they reward one- upmanship, a quick wit, and clever zingers -- although they do. Rather, I think they don't actually help us make a good choice. Over my years in Congress and afterward, I've sat in on a lot of meet- ings at the White House where foreign and domes- tic policy were discussed. For the most part, I came away impressed by the process by which presi- dents make tough deci- sions. They go around the room, asking each guest, "What do I do now?" They ask participants to define the issue, lay out the options, identify American interests at stake, and make recommendations. It's usu- ally a sustained, unhurried process, with very little fancy oratory: instead, I've heard sharp debate and thorough discussion char- acterized by forceful, rea- soned, fact-based, and responsible arguments. Presidents pay close atten- tion and sometimes take notes. They want to hear different opinions, seek advice, and then go off and make a decision. You have to remember that the choices a president has to make are complicat- ed and often very difficult -- almost by defmition, an issue doesn't get to that level unless it's a tough one. I've sat in on meetings with both Democratic and Republican presidents, and one of the things that often impressed me is that ideol- ogy has played a smaller role than you'd imagine. The conversations are quite pragmatic. What all this means is that the real quality you're looking for in a President is judgment: the ability to consider issues from all angles, weigh options care- fully, and then choose the wisest course -- some- times from among a tangle of unpalatable alternatives. That is what presidents do. But the qualities neces- sary to do this do not come through in the debates, which tell us very little about how candidates would do at exercising judgment in the fog of pol- icy-making. A campaign event that calls for impas- sioned oratory, a quick wit, one-liners, and sharp digs is not especially helpful for helping us choose who is going to make the best decisions. I think we can do better. Selecting a president is CLINCH VALLEY TIMES DEADLINES: Editorial copy (anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, calendar items, press releases, etc.) 3p.m. Monday ADVERTISING (Classified and display) 12 noon Monday serious business. We want to put control of the process on the voters' side, and not let the candidates get away with fluff. How do we do this? We change the nature of the debates. To begin with, I believe there should be a series of them, each focused on a single issue -- education, say, or national security. Candidates should face a panel of questioners asking them to address the tough- est questions on those mat- ters -- people who are sharp and incisive and are prepared to follow up and press candidates when they spout mush. Ideally, the candidates should face this panel one at a time, rotat- ing who goes first, and with other rules to assure fairness. The point is, we want voters to go to the polls not just with a good idea of where the candidates want to take us and how they're going to get there. We also want voters to have a clear sense of how sound the candidates' judgment is, because that's ultimately what will make or break their presidency. Lee Hamilton is a Senior Advisor for the Indiana University Center on Representative Government; a Distinguished Scholar, IU School of Global and International Studies; and a Professor of Practice, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years. To the Editor: The Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board-Area I, in collabora- tion with several partner agencies and organiza- tions, hosted the Coal Miner Appreciation Picnic on Saturday, Sept. 24th at the Russell County Fairgrounds in Castlewood. This first-time event was intended to show appreciation to the hardworking members of the region's coal-related workforce. With around 200 in total attendance, the picnic was a smashing suc- cess. The festivities started at 10 that moming and con- tinued throughout the afternoon with live music, door prizes, games and activities for both kids and adults (courtesy of Inflatable Connection of Norton), as well as a scrumptious picnic menu provided by Kathy's Custom Catering of Pounding Mill. I would like to thank a number of sponsors and partners for helping us to make the Coal Miner Appreciation Picnic a memorable event. Thank you to George "Pedro" Hunnicutt of Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Norton and Israel O'Quinn of Food City for graciously providing soft drinks, water, drink coolers, and other picnic items. Thanks to Kevin Mays of WDIC Radio for conducting a live remote broadcast the moming of the picnic, which added to the size of the crowd. Nearly 50 door prizes were made possible by generous donations from the following businesses and organizations across the region, including: 3B Consulting Services LLC of Lebanon, Ameriprise Financial (Peter Romano) of Bluefield, Appalachian School of Law of Grundy, Blossom Box of Big Stone Gap, the Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, Cinemark Cinemas of Bluefield, Corner Stone Gift Shop at New Graham Pharmacy in Bluefield, Donut . Connection of Grundy, Donut Diva of Tazewell, Duffield Lumber and Hardware Company, Inc., J & R Furniture & Appliances of Clintwood, Johnson Chevrolet of Clintwood, Mary Kay Cosmetics (Lyn Tatum) of Lebanon, Norton Floral of Lee County in Pennington Gap, Office Advance, Inc. of Norton, Rhonda's Hallmark Shop of Big Stone Gap, S & S Store of Pennington Gap, SmartStyle Hair Salon of Bluefield, Supercuts Hair Salon of Bluefield, Tazewell County Tourism, the Town of Bluefield, Tracy's Salon of Wise and Big Stone Gap, and Twice as Nice Thrift Store of Duffield. Thank you to several of our partner agencies who not only helped with organizing the event, but set up tables to greet pic- nic-goers and provide helpful information about their programs and servic- es. Those partners includ- ed: Clinch Valley Community Action (CVCA), our WlOA serv- ice provider; Mountain Empire Community College (MECC); Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC); Tazewell County, our WIOA pro- gram operator; the Norton office of the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC); and the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development (VTOED). Thanks also goes out to other partners - such as Regional Adult & Career Education (RACE), the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), and LENOWIS- CO Health District - for their help in getting the word out via social media and other outreach chan- nels. Lastly, I would like to make special mention of the contribution of my co- workers at the Workforce Development Board who toiled tirelessly behind the scenes to help make the Coal Miner Appreciation Picnic the huge success that it was. The coal miners and other coal-related workers who attended, including a number of retirees, were very appre- ciative to attend a picnic in their honor. It was a great day for'everyone. Thank you .all! Sincerely, Stephen Mullins Regional POWER Grant Coordinator SWVA Virginia Workforce Development Board - Area 1 135 Highland Drive, Lebanon, Virginia 24266 smullins@ wiaone.com 276/883-5038 (work) LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Readers are invited to write letters on matters of general interest to the public. Letters do not necessarily reflect the philosophy or edi- torial policy of this newspaper, which reserves the fight to edit letters. The Clinch Valley Times will not print unsigned letters. Good Morning Wise County service offered by WCSO The Wise County Sheriff's Office offers a free service to all seniors of Wise County and of Norton ' The Good Morning Wise County program pro- vides a volunteer to call and check on the welfare of all participants, to deter- mine if they have food, heat in winter, and cooling in the summer. They also want to make sure partici- pants in the program are not being abused, mistreat- ed, or neglected. All eligible seniors are encouraged to sign up and use this free service. To sign up call Wilma at 276- 328-7114 and leave your name and phone number. You may also call Sheriff Oakes, or a mem- ber of his staff, at 276-328- 3756. The only informa- tion required is your name, address, phone number, and a contact person in case of emergency. Clinch Valley Times .MEMBER VIRGINIA PRESS ASSOCIATION l~blished weekly in St. Paul, VA 24283, by tim CL/NCH VALLEY PUBLISHING CO., INC. The Clinch Valley Tunes serves the four-county area of Wise, Russell, Diekenson and Scott. with offices and plant located in the CLINCH VALLEY TIMES building, 16541 Russell Street. Periodicals postage is paid at the Post Office hi St. Patti, VA 24283. Allen Cr~gory Editor/Adv. Susan Trent Adv/Graphics ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: In advance: $28.50 in Wise and Russell Counties; $30.00 hi other 24- zip-codes; elsewhere $32.50. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: Clinch Valley Times, P.O. Box 817, St. Paul, VA 24283 SINGLE COPY- 50c Classified Advertis'mg: ati~ai- mum charge $6.00 for up to 20 words, in advance; 250 pet word after 20 words. Display Advert- ising rates on application Periodicals publication Post ISSN: 767600