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Wed May 29, 2013, 11:24 AM

The corporate epidemic and meth.

I’m currently reading a book called Methland by Nick Reding. It depicts the rise of meth from the shady days of its birth to today’s wide spread use.

While the book focuses mainly on meth and its growth, the author alludes to and indirectly places blame of its growth on the leveraged buy outs by corporations during the era or Reagan’s deregulation. It never comes right out and talks about this elephant in the room.

While I’m still only part way through the book, the two towns that are the current focus of the book are Oelwein and Ottumwa, Iowa.

Oelwein; was once home to a union ham production factory. And Ottumwa: a transportation, factory hub to the west and strongly union.

Both suffered greatly under the “hostile take overs” of the early and mid-80’s when “greed was good”.

What happened next was a mass exodus to the coasts and the major cities as the now unemployed populations looked for work.

Those who remained saw their wages slashed from 15 plus dollars an hour middle class wage to $5.60 an hour minimum wage. Those folks now had to work at least 3 times as hard to maintain what they once had before.

These two formally strong union towns were destroyed and what replaced them was a depression. Not just in an economic sense, but also in a mental sense. Lives which once had a future and purpose were stripped of the dignity of good solid jobs, and now decayed into a drudgery of wage slaves with no benefits.

In steps Lori Arnold, half-sister of Tom Arnold. Living on the edge most of her life she found a purpose in the mass production and distribution of meth to not just these two towns but basically to all of the mid-west. She preyed upon a clientele eager to feel something other than destitution. However, even though she got out a year early of her 10 year sentence on a variety of federal drug related charges, she liked to model herself as someone who actually helped the people of Ottumwa. She cites the daycare she had built right next to the bar where she distributed meth to the moms and dads of those children in that same day care. She was a real icon of the community. She honestly believed that she was helping people.

Around this time, the mid to late ‘80’s, the Reagan administration via Nancy Reagan, started promoting the “Just Say No” antidrug propaganda, but their main focus was on coke and crack. Alarm bells were ringing in local governments regarding meth, but no one in the federal government level paid any attention to the “small time” drug.

The people in this nation were still under the belief that the “real” drug problem was in the cities. But anyone paying even the least bit of attention knew for a long time that drugs played a major role in small town America.

As each major employer in the small towns of America were leveraged out, closed down and social fabrics destroyed; meth moved in.

But the question needs to be asked, why meth? Why did it take such a hold and so quickly?

People, who were now desperate to make ends meet, worked double and triple shifts at low wage jobs. They used meth to get them through those extended shifts, at the few remaining jobs at the plants. The effects of meth allowed them to work longer, with less food and virtually no sleep.

When the plants, with the few remaining jobs, eventually closed down, the unemployment rate skyrocketed and so did meth use. As a result, in many a small town, the only soul source of income, was the dealing of meth.

The closing down of these plants in these small towns, were their ultimate goal of the likes of Bain Capital, Cargill and their ilk.
This effect is repeated itself throughout the U.S.

With the selection of corporate glad hander George W. Bush as president of the U.S., meth use went into high gear as the economy crashed leaving whole sections of the US with double digit unemployment and small town companies ripe for the picking.

While much as been done to stop the manufacture of meth; via the controlled sale of Sudafed, one of its main ingredients, clever chemists have found new and creative ways to continue to manufacture the drug.

And over the past few years, the major meth labs have been broken up, but much like hitting mercury with a hammer, it has spurred smaller labs and gave rise to the “shake and bake” method.

However, the root cause of meth use still has yet to be fixed; unemployment in the America. Sure we are seeing growth in the cities, but the towns and communities, which are part of the “flyover states”, still suffer enormously.

Until we as a people, wake from our daze of corporate propaganda and stop working against our own best interests, nothing will change and it will only get worse.

To quote from the movie Jaws, “what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine”, but what these corporate machines eat are people and their hopes and dreams. They care nothing for our future, but only for their own bottom line, golden parachutes and the next victim. And in their wake they leave a scared mental battle field to be exploited by those who seek out the desperate for profit at the hand of meth.

While I have long known of leveraged buyouts and the spread of meth throughout the nation, I never put the two together.

Until we as a nation stop sucking up to corporations and start putting the people first, nothing is going to change.

I have always been a strong union supporter, now I am more than ever.

I see rumblings of discontent and people taking chances to form unions, but until the corporate control of the small towns is finally broken, the big achievements that are made in the cities will only be a Pyrrhic victory when it is compared in the rest of the nation.

I haven’t written about the topic of unions and peoples rights in quite some time. I admit that I too had gotten so completely disenchanted with how this nation treats its workers and the basic rights of the people. This book, even though I’m only part way through it, has reawakened something in me.

I hope my small piece give you all food for thought.

Cheers.





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Arrow 35 replies Author Time Post
Reply The corporate epidemic and meth. (Original post)
Javaman May 2013 OP
Newest Reality May 2013 #1
RKP5637 May 2013 #2
KamaAina May 2013 #3
Javaman May 2013 #5
KamaAina May 2013 #8
arely staircase May 2013 #31
Javaman May 2013 #32
arely staircase May 2013 #33
Javaman May 2013 #34
arely staircase May 2013 #35
phantom power May 2013 #4
Javaman May 2013 #6
freshwest May 2013 #7
HiPointDem May 2013 #9
Javaman May 2013 #20
HiPointDem May 2013 #21
Egalitarian Thug May 2013 #10
hunter May 2013 #11
Half-Century Man May 2013 #14
LiberalLoner May 2013 #12
Half-Century Man May 2013 #16
SalviaBlue May 2013 #13
JNelson6563 May 2013 #15
loyalsister May 2013 #17
HiPointDem May 2013 #18
loyalsister May 2013 #24
HiPointDem May 2013 #25
loyalsister May 2013 #26
HiPointDem May 2013 #28
loyalsister May 2013 #29
HiPointDem May 2013 #30
Starry Messenger May 2013 #19
Initech May 2013 #22
nikto May 2013 #23
Yavin4 May 2013 #27

Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 11:32 AM

1. When platitudes and

propaganda no longer suffice, some kind of "fuel" is need to keep the capitalist wheel turning faster and faster and...woah...what's that smell? Then the hub starts burning from the friction and the spokes fly off and... well...it doesn't turn and it's not really a wheel anymore.

But fear not, Richie Rich is doing great and paying the burning wheels no mind as long as the oxen are still yoked to them, burning along with them, if needs be. Expendable humans are the newest and most promising trend in economics. Ride 'em in!

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

Keep movin', movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them doggies movin' Rawhide!
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just rope and throw and grab 'em,
Soon we'll be living high and wide.
Boy my heart's calculatin'
My true love will be waitin', be waiting at the end of my ride.

Move 'em on, head 'em up,
Head 'em up, move 'em out,
Move 'em on, head 'em out Rawhide!
Set 'em out, ride 'em in
Ride 'em in, let 'em out,
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in Rawhide.

As for me, I'm prone to getting off the "wheel".

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 11:42 AM

2. Very interesting and informative! Thanks!!! n/t

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 11:49 AM

3. "over the past few years, the major meth labs have been broken up"

 

Like every other form of American manufacturing, meth labs have been outsourced: since the Sudafed crackdown, most meth is imported from places like Mexico and the Philippines.

Oh yes, if you're interested in using Sudafed to make meth, the most efficient way to get it is not to run around to every drug store in town, but simply to steal it. Making people with allergies "show their papers" at the pharmacy counter isn't going to stop that.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #3)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:03 PM

5. Here in Texas at least, people need a script for it.

scripts can be faked of course but it has cut down on it's use for making meth. Which made chemists only find another way to make meth as I state in my piece.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #5)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:10 PM

8. I'd heard there was a way to make the product nearly impossible to use in a meth lab

 

by putting the ingredient in liquid rather than powder form. You'd think the manufacturers would have been all over that.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #5)

Wed May 29, 2013, 07:51 PM

31. you don't need a script for it in Texas

you just have to be willing to show ID to the pharmacist and be put in the system.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #31)

Wed May 29, 2013, 07:56 PM

32. I needed a script for it when I got it last year.

I live in Austin too.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #32)

Wed May 29, 2013, 08:01 PM

33. maybe it has changed but i have a friend who made a very

stupid decision and let a boyfriend talk her into going "smurfing" - going to every CVS in a hundred mile radius and buying Sudafed. She didn't have a script but the feds had her on record doing what she did because she had to ask the pharmacist for it and show ID. she is now in the penitentiary. this all happened about three years ago, so maybe it has changed. but I wasn't aware of it.

btw - thanks for your OP.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #33)

Wed May 29, 2013, 08:42 PM

34. Dang, that's rough.

How long is she in for?

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Response to Javaman (Reply #34)

Wed May 29, 2013, 08:46 PM

35. 22 months

she made the purchases 3+ years ago (which were extensive). but she just started serving her time about a year ago, so she is a little over half way done. no parole in the fed system.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 12:59 PM

4. more business for the prison industrial complex

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Response to phantom power (Reply #4)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:03 PM

6. Yup. It's all connected. nt

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:07 PM

7. +1

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:11 PM

9. kr. it's been my belief for a while that areas of high unemployment are deliberately

 

targeted for drug sales.

lori arnold, sister of roseanne's ex?

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #9)

Wed May 29, 2013, 02:07 PM

20. Yeah, she's Tom Arnolds half sister. nt

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Response to Javaman (Reply #20)

Wed May 29, 2013, 02:09 PM

21. interesting. i looked up the book & found you can read excerpts online. hells angels/california

 

Last edited Wed May 29, 2013, 07:51 PM - Edit history (2)

connection to her empire, with the gangs already 'scouting' the area.

targeted, she was just in the right place (married to a motorcycle gang leader who'd supposedly come to the area to 'retire' -- at 37. uh-huh.)

the angels controlled amphetamine distribution nationwide as early as the 60s & had ties to old-style mafia orgs -- who in turn have ties to the pols.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:15 PM

10. K&R Not just the jobs but the helpless hopelessness and dissatisfaction their loss brings.

 

The inhuman system that threatens deprivation for any that resist or refuse to conform.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:18 PM

11. The USA oligarchs have moved on from havesting forests...

... to harvesting people.

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Response to hunter (Reply #11)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:28 PM

14. They maintain a well diversified portfolio of exploitation.

Always have, Always will.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:24 PM

12. Great book. I read it awhile ago. Highly recommend. My home state of Montana was hit hard by meth

for the same reasons, really. We have to start fighting back, we really do.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #12)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:40 PM

16. Legally, what is the standard..

For a laboratory animal using violence to secure it's freedom and release from suffering?

If a people are culturally suppressed, economically enslaved, have had protective legislation stripped away, pay at a higher tax rate without actual political representation, have had a privileged minority granted special favors, and their environment destroyed with complete disregard for human life in the name of money (with is a definition of manslaughter); at what point and to what extent can violence be used?

And how do we stop it before the USA burns?

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:25 PM

13. Great post!

So sad, but understandable, how people turn to drugs when they are so stressed and there seems to be nothing else. Corp greed is responsible for most of our society's woes.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:30 PM

15. Excellent post!

Couldn't agree more with your conclusions.

It's as though there's a deliberate plan to create lots of people with no options outside of the military, prison or a McJob.

Yet we are suppose to believe those letting this happen love America.

On another note, I absolutely LOVE that you still have that great photo in your sig-line. It's comforting that there are least a few constants in the world.

Julie

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:49 PM

17. Another region that has been hit is one that never had the infrastructure you mentioned

Ozark towns in Missouri are somewhat similar to the most isolated Appalachian towns. In those cases I see it as something similar to bootlegging. Suddenly people who were trying to live off of barely productive farms had an opportunity. The thing that happened in MO is that a culture developed where unlikely citizens developed tight ranks of drug lord and enforcement roles.

"Winters Bone" is a pretty good representation of that.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #17)

Wed May 29, 2013, 02:03 PM

18. 'ghettoization'. it's not just for the inner cities anymore.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #18)

Wed May 29, 2013, 06:14 PM

24. It never was

Even before prohibition was in place, moonshiners were making a living in a similar form to how meth producers do now. They had intruded on the farmers production and markets dragging down small town economies.

People make fun of it, but the temperance movement had some interesting merit.
Women's rights were limited and a husband with a drinking problem dragged families down in status and economic security. Divorce was unheard of and domestic abuse was not even a concept. Women's property rights were not present and\not enforced. Not to mention the fact that running a farm alone is not easy when there are children to raise.

Even worse, children of alcoholics were among those identified as genetically defective and were among those involuntarily sterilized.

Interesting tidbit.. "Matilda B. Carse became an activist after her son was killed in 1874 by a drunk wagon driver."

Of course Temperance aggravated many of those situations. But, it took a lot of changes in laws to get to a point where women's lives weren't totally destroyed if her husband was a drunk.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #24)

Wed May 29, 2013, 06:54 PM

25. a bit different. small-scale moonshining always existed in backwoods locales, for local use, &

 

wasn't controlled by big capital -- it was actually to evade paying big capital prices (read the history of the liquor industry in the US). prohibition changed that situation -- in the same way the 'war on drugs' did. It turned a lot of firepower against relatively innocuous small-scale local producers, & the ultimate beneficiary was big capital.

ghettoization is about the divestment of large capital from geographic regions and its replacement with an underground criminal economy that can also be traced back to big capital.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #25)

Wed May 29, 2013, 06:58 PM

26. My bootlegger great grandfather died in prison

Different but there are plenty of similarities.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #26)

Wed May 29, 2013, 07:00 PM

28. and in what year was he imprisoned?

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #28)

Wed May 29, 2013, 07:05 PM

29. Sometime during the Depression

.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #29)

Wed May 29, 2013, 07:21 PM

30. precisely.

 

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 02:04 PM

19. k&r

This is brilliant Javaman. I hope you will consider submitting it for publication somewhere too. More people need to read it.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 02:19 PM

22. Support your local Los Pollos Hermanos.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 02:51 PM

23. 1 Helpful factor in those hard-hit places could be cannabis legalization

 

If cannabis legalization is handled properly (oriented towards small-operators, dispensaries and growers rather than big
distributors favored by outside investors, as recent votes in California have enabled), the profit$ can mean new business opportunities
for the "little folks" in the economically hard-hit communities.

Local tax funding will increase somewhat, for sure.

Also, money will be saved by local citizens on Corporate Pre$cription drug$, some of which can be readily replaced by cannabis.

Permitting recreational use increases the market even more, and also holds potential for "local flavor" attractions,
in a similar manner that small but prestigious high-quality wineries
can attract tourists to a region.

Add a few locally-owned cafes, snackshops, motels and maybe a local music festival or 2, and rural America can re-discover
the local flavors
it once had, before "mega-corporation saturation" set in.

Also, in areas with decent agricultural lands, inexpensive hemp, with 3-times the tensile strength of cotton, could be grown, to feed into local clothing, or camping, or sailing products manufacturing industries, yielding more jobs and non-corporate-controlled opportunity.

Cannabis-hemp is all good for these impacted places in these ways, and probably others I haven't even thought of.

Cannabis/hemp are enemies of The Corporate Way Of Doing Things.
That's part of the reason they were originally banned back in the 30s---So a whole new generation of parasitic industries could rise and dominate, with all their connected environmental degradation and intertwined profit-connections.

Those parasitic industries have had their day.

If we keep the Corporates out of cannabis legalization, the most parasitic industries will suffer permanent setbacks.


[link:http://www.advancedholistichealth.org/history.html|


And areas like those mentioned in the article, smashed-down by Corporate Economics, can have another aid in their recovery.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 06:59 PM

27. Your post also explains every inner-city, predominantly African American communities as well

From South Central LA to Oakland, CA to Chicago, IL to Detroit, MI to Cleveland, OH to Baltimore, MD, etc. etc. etc., in all cases there were large urban areas with factory jobs that paid decent wages, and in every case, those jobs disappeared and were replaced with utter despair which lead to drug use and the dissolution of the African American family.

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