Occupy the Great American Success Story

I had a friend for a few years who lived everything the American Dream used to think it was.  He was working for a steel fabrication company in Silver City, New Mexico during the 1970s doing grunt labor, but thinking.  He saw around him some flaws in the ways the process sequences were performed, believed he could advance in the company by suggesting improvements.

Marsh, I’ll call him, went home nights and worked in his garage inventing a tubing bender far more efficient than the one used where he worked.  After it was complete, he took it to the company, expecting praise and rewards.  They shrugged, brushed him off and kept him busier at work.

So Marsh applied for a patent, began manufacturing his bender in his garage.  He couldn’t keep up with the orders, so he quit his job and expanded, meanwhile inventing other improvements on what he’d seen, manufacturing and selling those, also, becoming a surprisingly wealthy man within a decade or so.

His business flourished, his children matured, and one of his sons started another business, inventing, patenting, marketing.  His son became wealthier than Marsh, far more rapidly.  The son, carefully examining his conscience and human needs, his business thriving, spent a million dollars and several months in Afghanistan during the early 2000s building housing, providing shelter for those left homeless by the wars there.

But during those same years Marsh began seeing his patented designs showing up in Harbor Freight and other Chinese import outlets priced lower than he could manufacture them.  His patents were being violated and the US government was allowing those violations to be imported with impunity.  During a Republican administration.  His own inventions competing with him in stores all over the US.

Marsh was outraged and gradually the business he’d built was being destroyed by theft with the complicity of the US government.

Marsh listened to daytime talk radio a lot during those years.  He got daily doses of opinion telling him the source of his problems, and those problems were caused, he allowed himself to be persuaded, by liberals in politics.  When the Tea Party emerged, he attended meetings and demonstrations hoping to bring about political change, hoping somehow to save his business, his livelihood.  Furious, frantic, determined, certain now, this president, this administration was out to destroy him.

Last I heard, it was doing so.  His business was declining to such an extent he was being forced to lay off longtime employees vital to continued operation.

All the years I knew him Marsh was an honorable, honest, solid, hard-working man, dedicated to the betterment of himself, his employees, his country and humanity. 

But somehow he missed the point, maybe because he was standing too close to the problem.  Maybe because he was holding to a dream of how things are that no longer was.

Marsh, to this outsider looking in, was destroyed by a government comprised of the illusion  of two parties.  Both were bought-and-paid-for by people bigger than Marsh.  Neither of those parties cared what happened to Marsh, to his family and employees, to the dream, the innovation, the drive, the ideal he represented.

Marsh was betrayed by the people who own the talk-radio host he listens to, who own the Tea-Party, who own every facet of this country where the decisions are made as to whether US citizens work, prosper and are rewarded for their labors rather than being merely consumers of foreign products.

Marsh didn’t belong in the Tea Party.  He belonged in Occupy Wall Street.

Old Jules

22 responses to “Occupy the Great American Success Story

  1. This is yet one more reason why I should have been born 200 years ago….

  2. one more story that shows the decay of what america once stood for. Independence, honor, integrity, and rights protected are no longer the american way. I pray for another world leader to set us back on the right path but don’t see any standing up to take the helm. All I see are more preachers with their hands in company pockets. I wished ole collin powell would have run, I’d have voted for him.

    thanks for sharing this story (~_~)

  3. I’ve been put out of two different businesses because of Chinese crap. Building computers was the first and building mini choppers after that. In both cases the market got flooded with cheap Chinese crap and I couldn’t even buy the parts to build for what the imported products cost. Americans don’t have a chance anymore.

  4. Old Jules,

    I like your site, man. Unique. Like the man.

  5. Love the post! Thank you for sharing.

  6. Thanks Jason. I appreciate you coming by for a read. Gracias, Jules

    I’m Dating A OnePercenter: Thanks. Jules

  7. You always surprise me with your ability to add a new perspective to a seemingly settled issue! AND…you do it without vindictive, vitriolic speech that would alienate. Thank you for reminding me that making a point is sometimes just telling a good story, with a slight spin!!

  8. Media smoke and mirrors, all to obscure who’s really doing it to whom – Marsh surely did belong in Occupy Wall Street.

    Is there really that much mileage in it for someone to have the U.S. borrowing Chinese money to buy back Chinese takes on U.S. invention and industry? – I find it hard to credit. But maybe it does just come down to Wall Street pushing debt like heroin, raking off its percentage and making sure that anything that gets in the way of this – like patent protection – gets stomped on.

    Seems to me you’ve told a very telling story here.

    • Thanks for coming by amigo. The entire thing seems self-defeating to such an extent it would be seductive to believe in conspiracy. But far more likely one hand doesn’t know what the other hand’s doing and no amount is too small so long as it falls into the target zone. Gracias, Jules

  9. But, it’s not the government’s job to enforce patents. Patents are private property — the patent holder is the one who should sue.

    This friend of yours thought the government was going to do his job for him? He may be a Tea Partier after all.

    • Hi Ed. He knew it was the job of US Custom Service to enforce and regulate imports and forbid import of US patent infringements. He reported it repeatedly. He thought the government would do the job it’s paid to do. Which evidently you don’t. But he wasn’t a hired hand for big money boys. Thanks for the visit. Gracias, Jules

  10. Thanks for the good words 🙂

    If you can stop by one of the occupations, they really need your help. Even just a few words to a few people will help us all to stay strong. Look forward to hearing more of your work.

  11. Thank you Jules, I am a part of the Occupy Seattle movement, and I have shared this with friends of mine. We all love your work, and how effortlessly you portrayed a convoluted issue. Thank you for representing yourself. America is built on the backs of honest men with spines of steel and we do not forget that.

  12. Customs will stop patent-infringing devices from coming in, if the patent holder has gone to court to establish the rights, and then gone to the Department of Commerce to get the order to send to Customs to get it done. The patent-infringing stuff must be officially declared contraband before Customs can act against it.

    A patent is the first step in the declaration of intellectual property rights, not equal to an act of Congress on trade. All intellectual property rights are difficult to enforce, often because they are not declarations from the government on government policy.

    No, I don’t have the answers. But I do know that, in keeping with the libertarian traditions in which they were written, government copyrights and patents do not provide any impetus for the government to do anything in international trade.

    That may be tragic. Ben Franklin was opposed to patents, rather generally, because he didn’t think keeping breakthroughs from production was a good idea in any case. He refused to patent the Franklin Stove, bifocals, and lightning rods, among other things. Of course, that didn’t keep England from banning the use of Franklin-style lightning rods during the American Revolution, which gave Franklin the opportunity to claim that “God burns the churches of the English, but not the Americans,” when summer storms did what summer storms do.

    In short, we can’t rely on government to take care of us, even when it promises to do so, even when it’s the policy to do so, even when it’s a good idea.

    • Darrell: The last sentence says it all about what we can expect from the government. The last 30 years says it all about what we can expect from multi-national corporations, banks, and CEOs who owe no allegience to this nation. Today says it all about what those two facts combined can be relied upon to produce. Thank you for the visit. Jules

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s