Bring back industry
In our last edition, Editor Bill Riccio, Jr. published a “short history” of the city’s decline into fiscal insolvency, beginning with the Energy Crisis of 1973, and working his way forward. Judging from some of the comments we’ve received we would say the piece accomplished what it intended – to educate the public as to how West Haven went from a destination community to one that is not even an afterthought in the minds of many moving into the area.
But the brief history is one that was a case study, if you will, of the entire Northeast, and, for that matter, the entire Northern tier of the United States. The events of 1973 and beyond laid bare the problems living in colder climates. When energy costs were minimal as they were prior to 1973, businesses were clamoring to come into a region where skilled labor was plentiful. Change that dynamic, and what were once bustling factories became rusting hulks of what was once our prosperity.
Of course, we would be telling only half the story if we didn’t include the devastation that came with the global economy. Jobs that were shipped South of the Mason-Dixon Line due to cheaper labor and cheaper costs, eventually were shipped overseas to developing nations that were paying pennies per hour.
But that arrangement has laid bare its own problems as shown by the Coronavirus pandemic. Our once-thought stratagem of attempting to open up the Communist Chinese economy to free markets and with it a freer society is in shambles. The Communist government has with its recent reneging of freedoms in Hong Kong shown it is no friend to the West, and only sees its expansion as the end goal of trade.
With this jolt of reality, nations must now reallocate those industries that not only provide for the common defense, but offer jobs to its citizens. There is a real threat to national security when the globalist push allowed defense industries – our defense industries – to allow a totalitarian regime control over production. It was ludicrous, in fact.
Bringing back industrial production to the United States is also good for the bottom line and the intellectual property of the various corporations. Trillions of dollars were lost over the last 20 years by allowing China to steal our patented processes.
In a sense, then, our future might be found in our past. The resurgence of manufacturing jobs away from totalitarian China and back into this country can provide a renaissance to the cities and regions devastated by globalism.
No, we are not naïve in our statements. We realize it will never return to the boom years of the war and post-war eras, but having defense industries back in this nation will ripple into the re-emergence of other industries that will take back – at least partially – some of what was lost over the last four decades.
West Haven, then, will be able to find its way back in a more balanced approach of service industry jobs, and potential manufacturing, that will reestablish the middle class as the backbone of our local economy.
RIP Joseph Cullen
The city was devastated to learn of the death of Joseph Cullen, a former chairman of the City Council and short-term mayor. Cullen’s tenure on the council was at a time when many controversies surrounded decisions made in City Hall.
He was always well informed and well prepared in taking his positions, be they pro or con, on a given issue. He was also a straight talker, not given to overly florid prose, but getting to the point. This newspaper crossed paths, and swords, with him over his time on the council.
We respected him, and always believed he had the best interests of the city at heart, agree or disagree with his positions.
We offer to his family our deepest condolences at this very sad time.