Outsourcing

Warning! First person ahead. I don’t usually talk about myself, don’t even like to talk about people, but this a story that I want to tell and don’t know how to otherwise do so. So, your forbearance, please. Those of you who have been around as long as I, have probably witnessed personnel changes that follow a change in political Administrations. I happened to be on campus when Reagan became governor in 1967 and saw people with no qualifications whatsoever, other than their political connections, take over high level administrative positions. As a child, I saw rural Postmasters come and go with changes in Presidential Administrations, and thought, wow, now that’s connected. Richard Nixon handed out contracts to build ships, and a whole sundry of other things. Gerald Ford was into skiing. In the 1980s, we saw Reagan’s Candy Store, operated by Ed Meese, handout Post Offices, funds for streets and roadways, etc. Bush I handed out an International Airport. Bush II, through his loyal sidekick, Little Beaver, pretended to hand out Hurricane Katrina relief, but in reality outsourced it to Halliburton, who outsourced it to connecteds in Texas, who outsourced it to hard-ups in New Orleans, who they never paid. Trump outsourced everything, or almost everything. Didn’t want to take responsibility.

On 9/11, in 2001, I was a gun for hire, a consultant for control systems. At that time, I was working mostly for the Bio-techs such as Bayer and Genentech. In 2002, when it came time to renew my professional liability, I was told that it would be $15,000 for six months; ten times a much as before; that I might not be able to get coverage at all; that it was just the market. I had never had a claim. Made a couple calls, same answer. So, I called my fellow consultants, to ask about perhaps subbing under them. They had ran into the same numbers. The younger ones took jobs with Bayer, Genentech, … Us older guys were simply out of luck.

Someone had decided to shutdown small contractors, to ensure all those contracts at firms like Genentech, Bayer, went to larger, well connected firms; firms that hired H1Bs almost exclusively. Doubt that Genentech, Bayer, … ever knew; though they were the losers, or would have been if bio-tech wasn’t basically cost plus. It had nothing to do with competence. I had spent many an hour explaining to these guys, how systems and components worked, and why something had smoked when they turned it on.

I really truly doubt that Bush II or Cheney I knew anything about any of this.  Though the agent mumbled that it did, it certainly didn’t have anything to do with 9/11. But in their Administration, there were those who were tasked with this sort of thing. Someone who had been given the list of, taken the calls from, those someones who had contributed lots of money to the campaign; tasked with responding when those contributors called in their chits.  9/11 was used as an excuse for a lot of things.

Without going into the weeds about patents, up until 2003, if one thought they had a infringement, they could make two or three phones calls and within hours they could get a lawyer to take to case on contingency. High risk for the lawyer, but these guys were willing to put up $millions of their own in return for the possibility of winning many times as much in settlement. Many fortunes had been made. By 2007, they all demurred, just couldn’t do it anymore. Cost too much, and the odds were stacked against them. Maybe Bush I and Cheney did or didn’t know about this; but someone did. Someone did it for them. Doubt that the call even has to come from the White House, but everyone involved knows what it’s about. Today, patents are only for the really big guys; infringement suits are now pissing contests amongst $Billoinaires. There must be a 9/11 in there somewhere. Let the record show, though history will not record, this is how politics work.

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