First-time readers, this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020).  Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution.  More about Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date.  Annual assessment whether Revolution plausible.

Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments. 

Scene: Pilot Truck Stop, Central Illinois. Jordan having breakfast, sitting at the counter.

waitress-clipart-waitressWaitress to Jordan: “Coffee?”

Jordan: “Yes, please. Thanks.”

Waitress: “Ready when you are.”

Jordan: “Two eggs, over easy; hash browns, dark; English muffin, dry.”

Waitress: “Orange juice?”

Jordan: “Good idea.”

middle_aged_man_by_asimplesongPatron (Sitting next to Jordan): “Excuse me. Visiting?”

Jordan: “Yes. Wife’s family. Taking a break. My wife is with her mother and sisters. They won’t miss me. You visiting?”

Patron: “No. Live nearby. Come here for breakfast every now and then.”

Jordan: “You farm?”

Patron: “No. Retired now…but not by choice.”

TurtleneckJordan: “What happened?”

Patron: “Factory closed. We made axles for medium and heavy-duty trucks. You know the 18-wheelers. Then the owners moved all the production to Mexico and China.”

Jordan: “What’d you do at the plant?”

Patron: “Skilled trades – machinist.”

Jordan: “Why’d they move?”

BeanCounterPatron: “Supposedly cost. Some bean counter claimed it was too expensive to manufacture here compared to Mexico or China.”

Jordan: “Employees try to save their jobs?”

Patron: “Yeah, but the suits…I mean management really didn’t want to listen. They seemed to have everything lined up before we had a chance to try to save our jobs.”

man_in_suit_clip_art_22944Jordan: “Was management right? Costs lower in Mexico and China?”

Patron: “I’m no financial expert but here’s what I do know. The plant here made high-quality product. Turn-around time was short. And customers were very happy.”

Jordan: “What about now?”

Patron: “From what I hear turn-around times are much longer and customers are frustrated.”

Jordan: “You think they’ll bring the work back here?”

Patron: “Probably not. The plant is closed and management would rather keep the crow-clip-art-COLOR_CROWplant in Mexico than to have to eat crow and admit a mistake.”

Jordan: “What’s happened to the town?”

Patron: “You drove through it. It’s dying. The farmers are doing OK but there are few to no factory jobs. Middle-class America is dying.”

Jordan: “If you were president, what would you change to bring factory jobs back to America?”

Patron: “The tax laws. Look, I’ll gladly pay my fair share. But people who don’t really Money-clip-artproduce anything – you know, those cats on Wall Street and those guys that manage money…”

Jordan: “…the hedge fund managers?”

Patron: “That’s them. Those guys and the guys that get all those stock bonuses…they should pay a higher tax rate than guys like me. I mean what do those guys really bring to the table for all that money?”

Jordan: “What about CEO’s…you know, heads of companies?”

Patron: “”When I had a decent job, I didn’t much care what the big dogs made. We could afford a decent house, an OK car or two and even take a little vacation now and then.”

factory_07Jordan: “But then the plant closed.”

Patron: “You got it. The plant closes and I get screwed along with about 1,000 other people. Yet the CEO and his buddies make even more money. That does not seem fair.”

Jordan: “By the way, you OK talking about this? I don’t want to ruin your breakfast.”

Patron: “My breakfast has been ruined since the day they announced the plant would close. What’s one more ruined breakfast?”

Jordan: “Two questions. #1 is Do you think CEO salaries should be capped. Have some sort of limit? Say some multiple of the average worker.”

UnfairPatron: “You mean if the guy on the shop floor makes $50 grand per year, the CEO could only make 10x as much? So how much is that…$500 grand a year?”

Jordan: “That’s the idea. Some countries have such limits. The US does not.”

Patron: “I like that idea. The current system is unfair.  There ought to be some limit on those CEO’s and especially those guys on Wall Street. I’m still not sure what they do to deserve all that money.”

Jordan: “Second question. What political party did you vote for when you were working?”

dunce capsPatron: “Mostly Republican. You know this is small-town America.”

Jordan: “How about after the plant closed?”

Patron: “I hate to admit it because it sounds so stupid now. I voted Republican.”

Jordan: “Why do you think voting Republican was stupid?”

Patron: “Because I was voting against my own economic interest. Republicans were not for the little guy like me. Their policies favored the rich and screwed guys like me.”

Jordan: “But you voted for them anyway.”

Patron: “I told you it was stupid on my part. Then I eventually woke up.”

Jordan: “And joined the Revenge Revolution?”

abraham_lincoln_clip_art_15515Patron: “You bet. What the Republican leadership forgot is the Republican Party is the party of Lincoln. And what did Lincoln say about fooling people?”

Jordan: “You can fool some of the people all the time, and all the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”

Patron: “We’d been fooled long enough so we said ‘no more Republicans.'”

Jordan: “You think Democrats will bring the jobs back?”

Patron: “What I know is the elected officials in DC need to start working together on policy changes to help bring jobs back to this country. Otherwise, all these smaller towns – and maybe some mid-size towns – are going to suffer a slow death. When middle-class America goes away, then what?”

Waitress: “More coffee, gentlemen?”