First, let me state clearly that I have nothing against the folks from India trying to improve their standard of living by seeking work from the U.S. But my primary concerns are for my employees, my region and my country in that order. Mr. Singh's proposal, while worth investigating, would put approximately 10 of our good North Country staff members out of a job, and that is a major impact on my priorities noted above. On the surface, we would be saving not only their salaries but the costs of insurances, computers, software and all the other intangible aspects that go with employees such as transportation issues, personality conflicts, illnesses, snow days, lack of production, training, scheduling and many more we don't have the space to list here.
The concept, while interesting, goes completely against my core beliefs. There is so much more to owning and operating a small business than just producing profits alone. The ultimate American dream is to operate a successful small business, produce a valued product, and create local jobs while meeting the needs of your customers.
While this world may be getting smaller and the technology is readily available, I just can't imagine giving in to this global approach. Our company, like many, cherishes its role of being an asset to the community. Our founder, William Denton, was proud to say, as we do today, "We are more than a newspaper, we are a community service." I fear, through technology and competition, that greed will continue to overwhelmed our good judgment.
There was a time when buying American meant something special. The pride behind American ingenuity and the American worker has been challenged, in many ways by that same American worker who values discount pricing when spending their money but expects wages and benefits to be on the increase when privately owned small businesses are struggling just to keep the lights on and Fortune 500 companies may already be employing an offshore strategy. We can't have it both ways, but if lower costs are what consumers want, then American businesses have little choice but to meet that demand by trimming expenses.