Jobs? You want Jobs? "I, Pencil" revisited http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6IFPRaO5I0
This is a fascinating video of the complexities of making a simple pencil and how environmental terrorism by government pollutes the neighborhood.
Another blogger sent "I, Pencil" to me after I posted my own “How many jobs are in a can of peaches?”
As long as the current political campaign is about “jobs”, let me take a moment to point out a serious flaw in the beautiful “I, Pencil” video. The narrator, “Professor Chesterton” speaks eloquently of the processes of cutting and shipping the unique Aromatic California cedar logs for processing into pencil blanks to a San Leandro, CA facility. That is no longer true!
Hark back to the early 1990’s when I was President of the fledgling Bio National Corporation. We grew naturally occurring microorganisms in a fermenter and stored them in our freezer until needed to naturally consume oil spills. We applied a heavy dose of microbes on a heavy insult to the environment. When the microbes’ natural food – oil - was all digested, they died, often leaving behind some great fertilizer as a byproduct. We almost got contracts to help clean up the EXXON Valdez spill, the Huntington Beach spill only to be headed off by ignorant bureaucrats who were convinced our oil eating microbes would “mutate and eat the world!” We stored them in plastic bags in a freezer with no safety requirements! Bio National failed before the pencil plant was forced to move.
We did get a contract with the pencil blank company, CalCedar, the world’s premier processor of aromatic cedar into pencil blanks – the company still is. They were being harassed for some contamination of soils on their plant site and asked us to help clean it up. That was only the beginning of CalCedar’s troubles with the environmental bureaucrats. Here is a brief segment of their company’s history that goes back to 1860:
"In 1999 Cal Cedar acquired the slat production assets of a key competitor, Hudson I.C.S. (a former subsidiary of Berol Corporation, the successor to Eagle Pencil company), gaining access to additional market share and use of their EcoSlat® brand of slats made from species other than Incense-cedar. Then in 2000, the P&M sawmill and lumber operations were reintegrated into California Cedar Products Company to further improve cost efficiencies."
"At this time members of the 3rd generation of the Berolzheimer family assumed leadership at CalCedar and within just a few years also at Duraflame. These transitions lead to a significant re-evaluation of the various businesses and restructuring of the company’s global supply chain and manufacturing operations over the next several years. Ultimately, the decision to close U.S. based pencil slat manufacturing in Stockton, CA in favor of a new facility located in Tianjin, China."
"In June 2001, Tianjin Custom Wood Processing, Co. Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of CalCedar (which formerly produced Basswood window slats for P&M), processed its first CalCedar® brand Incense-cedar and EcoSlat® Basswood pencil slats in China. By April 2002 all pencil slat production had been transferred from California to China initiating a new era of global manufacturing strategy for the company."
Note since the narration was written in 1958, though “YouTubed” in the age of flat screen TV’s and Smart Phones, it failed to notice the company closed its San Leandro (San Francisco Bay Area) facilities and moved them to Stockton to get away from the State’s worst harassments.. Remaining in California only threw more organics on the fire. The bureaucrats were busy throwing out an assemble-your-own furniture company in the Stockton area, which moved to Mexico and Oscar Mayer meat processing – “we don’t want your kind in Los Angeles” – I witnessed both incidents. You don’t smell bread baking any more- damn volatile organics make smog!
Pencils and peaches - Both “I, Pencil” and “Jobs in a can of peaches” failed to even scratch the surface of what the awesome range of jobs, skills and natural and productive resources to produce a simple pencil or a can of peaches.
Every Education guru, incentive killing, harassing EPA regulator, “Job creating” Congressman and Obama Administration slug should be required as a condition of employment to learn ALL the steps and skills needed to produce a pencil or a can of peaches! Such an appreciation is hard to find in the backward single-minded politically correct academic setting most of our college grads have been subject to.
By approaching environmental problems with a sense of awe, they could accomplish more by participation in how to make things better by exhortation rather than harassment and fines which stifle creativity and shrink corrective resources. The free marketplace can easily function in freedom with stewardship. The whole world would prosper from it. The USA has certainly led the way in spite of the greed of manipulators and power lusting legislators, lawyers and bureaucrats. They might even enjoy seeing us all grow! We might even be able to afford to pay them well for doing something Constitutional!
Gerald V. Todd
Biography - Gerald V. Todd
Jerry is a retired engineer with strong experience in environmental technologies and an avocation in writing and study of philosophical and biblical themes as they apply to the body politic. Survived stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006; now in excellent health.
A graduate of the University of Illinois (1958, Industrial Engineering), Jerry had post graduate studies at both the University of San Francisco and the University of Santa Clara in California between 1961 and 1963 (Logic, Marketing). As co Founder and seminar presenter he was awarded a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Valley Christian University operating under California private-post secondary statutes for mid career student,
Hosted local broadcast radio and TV shows, "Religion on the Line" and "The News Firm" (jointly with wife, Joanne), respectively.
Jerry has published several books that are available at Amazon.
Jerry is available to speak as a visiting lecturer at the high school, college or community organization level.
Jerry is married 52 years to Joanne Dean Todd – 3 children, 8 grandchildren.