Windows on the World of Raymond Plank
Founder, Apache Corp

Vol. 2014 No.  4

 A Continuation of Essay #3


The one and only world we know appears to be flaming out of control like a skyrocket as the U.S. seems more committed to dependency versus independence, which fosters creativity and well paying jobs, which lift all the little boats mired in political muck.  Technology races ahead, far in advance of socio/political responsibility which should engender responsibility with accountability.


On Friday, July 18th, Jim and Dee Dee (Dumpling) drove in from Billings, Montana a city one hundred-twenty miles north of my Wyoming residence.  They brought with them a delicious luncheon, which we devoured in the Gazebo across Piney Creek.  They spoke of a youthful drug addict who had stabbed to death a fellow Billings’ resident; fortunately we dealt with a number of other topics.


Unfortunately, here in the U.S.A. criminals go through a process which encourages the separation of crime from punishment.  Instead, why not save months or years and hundreds of thousands of dollars before penalty, perhaps years of serving in prison at another $40,000 per year.  Why not death before a firing squad with half the rifles loaded with blanks.  Why not?  Montana?  Why not the U.S.A. in which the united is floundering?  Why not, why not?  Are we sick in the head?  Are we floundering in indecision instead of deterring crime and legal bills?


More on Shrewd Sanctions:  So, we’ve decided to penalize South Korea with an import tariff?  This smells rank to me, suspiciously like a sanction on a friendly ally.  Are they still an ally or are they angry and hurt?


Switch gears to South Carolina and the remarkable story of the German BMW.  Not yet handicapped by rampant politically inspired sanctions festooned by the administration; BMW has set record sales in South Carolina which have attracted the auto-world while inspiring Michigan competitors to build better automobiles at lower prices.


When Deborah Koehler and I travelled in May through Munich, we were astounded by the immensity of the BMW factory on both sides of the highway.  In a number of Euro countries, the workweek has been shortened to thirty-five hours, and vacations extended to a month.  The Germans, with Hitler behind them, are here to capitalize on their ingenuity.  The precedent of the shortened workweek was established to provide employment when jobs were scarce.  Germany offset part of the burden via actions well beyond autos, to the medical field, education, still able to build high-performance automobiles and observe the purchase power of the Euro which spurts ahead of the American and Canadian dollars.  Yet we offend Chancellor Merkel of Germany by spying on them – a cousin of "shrewd sanctions.”


South Carolina’s average wage reached $43,107 per year by 2012, perhaps well below Americans able to take advantage of all government benefits per David Higgins, which reached $50,000 per family of four a few years ago.


Of the BMWs, seventy percent of their production in U.S. is shipped to one hundred and forty countries, and natural gas prices at BMW home base are well above those in our country.   BMW has passed G.M., Ford, and Chrysler in production and in Michigan as a whole, which I find hard to believe. 


The competition isn’t all bad.  While the unions gear up, encouraged by the Obama handholding, G.M., and Ford, (I don’t know about Chrysler) are making some outstanding new vehicles!  If the president unionizes Wal-Mart, my largest holding, I’ll shop there for a while, as the proceeds from share sales go to our land, water, and research stewardship program.