Volume 38, Issue 11, November 2003


Bob is Back!
Dear USG,
Bob Lawrenceís August column was well-said! 
On Imports: While Iím not a protectionist or alarmist, I firmly believe that our manufacturing base is the true strength of this country. Iím in the plastics compounding business. First it was the toolmakers who lost their jobs to China, now itís the molders and extruders, and soon it will be the material producers. I, for one, do not relish becoming a greeter at Wal-Mart! Corporate America should realize that there will soon be fewer people able to buy their products at any price if this trend continues. Consumers should be aware that there is a future price to pay for that Chinese hammer. 

On Litigation: Perhaps one of the biggest enemies of economic growth. High insurance costs, doctor bills, adding to product costs artificially and a deterrent to small business growth.
On Insurance: Back to the lawyers again. 

On Employees: We will need more manufacturing jobs for people who want to work and have a legitimate chance to advance their lives. 

Service jobs at Wal-Mart and Burger King wonít pay for houses or new cars. 
On Governance: Heís right! The recent tax break wonít help much. What would help more is to stimulate growth in business and manufacturing here in the United States. Letís redirect some of the billions we spend overseas and modernize our infrastructure and manufacturing. Perhaps with tort reform and a few other simple measures we can make manufacturing in the United States competitive once again.

To answer his question: Iím sorry to say that it will likely have to get much worse before congress wakes up.

Thanks again. Great article.
Joe Emma
Leominster, Mass.

P.S. Maybe heís right about all lawyers not being bad, but itís close! My apologies to his friends and good luck to his wife.

Dear USG,
I enjoyed Bob Lawrenceís column in the August issue regarding our legal situation. Iím sure heís aware that many attorneys and plaintiffs used to struggle for years before they would ever see a dime from us defendants. But no more! Now, thanks to an innovative idea, you can get paid up front by contacting lawsuitfighting.com. Attorneys can get the much-needed financing they need to go after the big corporations and plaintiffs can get paid up front. The only requirement is that you allow a lien to be filed against your future award.

Itís only a matter of time before Wall Street decides we can collateralize these obligations, just like a mortgage, and then you and I could invest in these ďsecurities.Ē Of course, the next step would be to put these securities on the futures market, create a hedge fund and create derivatives. Only in America.

Gifford Olin
Alpha Glass and Mirror Co.

Dear USG,
This letter is in response to the article in your August issue by Bob Lawrence.
I take great issue with the assumption that our entire fault can be laid at the feet of attorneys. How about the CEOs with their insatiable need for money and boats and planes that stockholders are paying for? How about the ludicrous salaries that they are being paid, making it necessary for a company to continually swallow up their smaller companies so that the CEOs can continue to get their huge salaries at the expense of the ordinary worker?

How about putting the blame on some of these people? Attorneys have been taking the rap for all the trouble of the country. How about putting the blame on companies that only look to make money regardless of who is hurt by their voracious appetites? They only worry about the price of their stock, not what it may be doing to our economy by having large corporations dominate markets. Why not put the onus on these corporations and the top echelon that run them? It seems that attorneys are always the scapegoats when we find ourselves in difficult or unpleasant situations.

How about being a bit realistic concerning all of this? Letís stop putting blame on one profession only. Letís share it all between everyone, since we all are a large part of the problem.

Thanks for allowing me to vent my feelings regarding the article. I do believe Mr. Lawrence has a right to his opinion; however, I want to express mine also.

Phyllis Marell
Seaboard Industries Inc.
Monterey Park, Calif. 

More Letters About Lyle

Dear USG, 
I was greatly offended that Lyle Hill wasted column space kissing up to Debra Levy and her mother (see the August 2003 USGlass, page 80). His cynical view has always prepared me for the rest of the pleasant magazine.

As a penalty to him, I now intend to read next monthís USGlass in reverse, meaning front to back.

Keep up the great columns.
Tom Chamberlain
Vice President
Frankís Glass Services Inc.
Lake Bluff, Ill. 


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