Skip to content

A Half-Century at the Local Tire Factory in a Globalizing World

Dissident Voice Article

By William Hicks

For most Americans who were alive at the time, 1963 was a traumatic year that saw the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the abrupt ending of the 1000 days in the White House known as Camelot. Despite that tragic event, that year in my small Midwestern hometown there was great cause for optimism. The Goodyear Corporation was finishing construction of a brand new tire factory just beyond the city limits. Over a thousand good paying jobs were being created in a community that had just over 20,000 residents. Good times would surely follow.

One of the people who benefited immensely from Goodyear’s decision to build that plant among the cornfields was my father, who was recently married and had just been discharged from a two-year stint in the Air Force. The timing of the plant’s opening allowed him to return home and earn the kind of living that would enable my parents to raise a family in the place where they both grew up.

Being a college graduate, my father quickly worked his way up into middle management and became a personnel officer in charge of recruitment. In the 1960s, he used to caravan around the Midwest searching for workers to become tire builders at the plant. It was actually not an easy job. Many workers my father recruited would decide after a week or so that the physical demands of tire building were not for them. Employment was so plentiful back then that quitting wasn’t a problem; they could easily find another job somewhere else the very next day. The local union was very powerful because of the strong economy, and was able to win numerous wage and benefit increases from the corporation.

My father’s service at the plant allowed my parents to live the middle class American dream. They bought a starter house in a brand new subdivision on the outskirts of town, and then traded it up for a larger model in town a decade later when the third of their three sons was born. Growing up in the 1970s, I was educated at good public schools and spent the long summers playing outside with the neighborhood kids. No video games or cable tv back in those days.

My father’s career flourished for more than 20 years. He never aspired to the senior management ranks, but was loyal to the company and content with his lot in life. But trouble was to strike in 1986 when, in a scenario right out of the movie Wall Street, Goodyear was subject to a hostile takeover attempt by British financier James Goldsmith. The corporation managed to survive intact, but at the cost of $90 million being extracted from the company’s coffers.

The extreme financial distress led to a huge round of temporary layoffs, including my father. The company brought him back after the affair was over, but at a level of considerably reduced responsibilities. He hung on for another decade before taking early retirement in the mid-1990s, but his previous loyalty to the company had been virtually extinguished. Working at the plant became just another God Damn Job.

During the next ten years after his retirement, the plant slowly reduced the size of its work force, and the local economy gradually worsened. A new Walmart was built on the outskirts of town, and the formerly vibrant downtown business district slowly withered and died. By the time I graduated from college it was evident that, unlike for my father, there were no good jobs available for me locally anymore, so I ended up starting my own career two hours away in Chicago.

Goodyear finally sold the factory to another corporation in 2005, severing its ties with my hometown after more than 40 years. Flashing forward to this past Christmas, the remaining work force at the plant, now reduced to about a fourth of its previous size, was locked out by management for two weeks until the union caved in and agreed to wage and benefit concessions. Management made it very clear that without the concessions the plant would be shut down for good. My father could only watch sadly from afar as these events transpired.

Meanwhile, the economy of my hometown was already in a state of virtual collapse long before the financial crash of 2008. A year before that event, there were two drive-by shootings in broad daylight downtown as gang bangers fought for control of the local narcotics trade. The previous home of my best friend from high school became a crack house and was raided by law enforcement. My own former home was boarded up and put on the HUD auction block for the pitiful sum of $22,000, and it was no longer safe to walk the streets of my old neighborhood after dark.

Many of those who are Peak Oil Aware constantly speculate as to what the future collapse is going to look like. I would argue that for a long time it is likely going to look a lot like what has been happening in my hometown for the past 20 years; a long, slow decay in which daily life just continues to get worse for most people as the jackals count their earnings from the dismantling the remainder of our industrial economy.

View the original article at

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Finance & Economics.

Tagged with , .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's all happening now big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale". This site must be on some list at GCHQ/NSA as my AdSense revenue which I rely on has gone down by a third. Either people are not helping out by visiting sponsors sanymore or I am being blackballed like many YouTube sites.

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally I know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know some people in prison now for the content they had on their "secret private group". Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. If you really need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA/GCHQ to hack into. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and that the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install or other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day - your smart phone. If you are paranoid ensure that you can remove the battery when travelling around and do so to prevent GPS tracking or phone mast triangulation. Even with your phone in Flight mode or turned off, it can be turned on remotely and any features like front or back cameras, microphones and keylogging software can be installed to trace you.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering rubbish) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.


Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?