Wednesday, September 2, 2009

U.S. Green Building Council and the AFL-CIO


It is absolutely amazing to me that in spite of a national history that dates back to a time long before any of us were born, we as a nation of Americans cannot for a moment remember the significance of that history nor discipline ourselves to embrace the technological philosophy our forefathers embraced without coming to an argument about what we as Americans today are supposed to do with our present set of technological riddles and responsibilities.

Think about the above statement for a moment or two.

Think about the concept that a bunch of guys and gals centuries ago had both the insight and wherewithal, not to mention the audacity to dream of building a quite technologically advanced ship that would enable them to sail from the safety of their ancestral homeland to the outer reaches of a universe very few at that point in time were willing to either admit existed or were curious and courageous enough to want to find out whether or not it actually did.

Think about the notion that not only were they capable of designing and engineering that ship, but they were as well capable of loading that ship with all of the tools and supplies that would enable them to build an entirely new nation once they arrived at a destination they weren’t at all certain even existed.

In the sociological terms of our America today here in 2009, these folks probably would have been considered as radicals, hippies and of course people who were entirely out of touch with any form of traditional national beliefs. In psychological terms, these folks today would be considered “developmentally challenged”. And, of course in economic terms, these folks would today be considered as being anti-establishment in their politically oriented, non-cash contributing anti-national financial deficit frame of mind.

Yet, while those who chose to consider their sailing goals as an affront the normal life of their ancestral homeland, these folks did indeed build and supply as well as board the ship that would take them to a new world.

Having said this, the essay you are about to read will in all likelihood have little to no interest to you whatsoever if in fact you are one who has neither kept up with the historical significance of our nation’s constantly evolving industrial marketplace or refuses to accept that change is once again in the air for the nation these dreamers sailed to, founded and assured the longevity of.

Fast forwarding a bit, and in doing so hoping to bring our current 2009 national financial crisis into the perspective of our last eighty years of industrial progress, between 1934 and 1937, we as a nation underwent an industrial transformation that was more than likely not the least bit different than the transformation the dreaming sailors who ultimately founded our nation went through when they chose to leave their homeland.

As this transformation was of course our response to the aftermath of the Great Depression, knowing full well that we as a nation of early 20th century industrial sailors could not continue nor would ever again want to endure the hardships of this depression, by 1937 we as a nation working remarkably well together as a seasoned crew aboard a clearly maturing industrial navy, took it upon ourselves to list in quite some remarkable detail, the tools and supplies we as a nation would need to assure that our historical industrial evolution would never again be subject to poor communication amongst ourselves.

Within this response, we found ourselves quite collectively able of becoming modern American industrialists who after the experiences of “The Great Depression” were able to conclude that if we were to become the nation that leads all nations and to never again experience the national economic and industrial confusion that caused The Great Depression, we had better and “once and for all” get our collective national industrial and economic ducks in a row.

(a note from the author: The term “once and for all” is quite remarkably misleading. None the less, there a reason for this term as it is used to prepare my readers for the ultimate, nationalistic point of this essay)

To get our industrial and economic ducks in a row, it was determined that classifying the varying industrial processes that we had invented up until 1937 was of utmost importance. If we were not willing to ever again suffer the economic disaster of the Great Depression, we would have to document in no uncertain detail, virtually every single industrial process that went in to assuring our continued and sustained economic prosperity.

Hence, in 1937 we created S.I.C. codes.

Establishment of these Standard Industrial Classification codes enabled us to put a sense of order to an American industrial economy that up until this time had no order whatsoever.

Indeed, the very reason America experienced the Great Depression was due exclusively to the fact that while we were clearly becoming a truly advanced industrial society, virtually no one in America understood why what their neighbor was doing in one industrial sector had any bearing on what it was they were doing in their own industrial sector.

In other words, up until 1937 when an Iowa farmer purchased a new tractor, his decision to do so was based simply upon the fact that he needed a new tractor. As he was a farmer and he had knowledge of the fact that new tractors were being made, his entire focus up until 1937 was getting the tractor and using it to plow his fields. As long as he had his tractor, he had as well a means to plant, grow and harvest his crop more efficiently. Due to his singular interest in farming however, that farmer had virtually no knowledge of a new sewing machine someone in New York wanted for more or less the same reasons that he as the farmer wanted his tractor. While both the farmer from the west and the seamstress from the east were as happy as two peas in their separate socio-industrial pods and while both of these people prospered from the use of their individual and separate technologies, because neither one of them knew much of anything about one another’s separate technologies, they as well knew little about one another’s separate economies. Thus The Great Depression, which has historically been characterized as being economic in nature was in fact social in nature. Living in entirely separate socio-economic worlds, the farmer and the seamstress as well as millions of other Americans living in millions of other socially segregated industrial pods essentially went broke due to the fact that industrial single mindedness was the model of American commerce up until 1937.

Knowing that such social single mindedness was in fact the cause of our collective economic failure, the United States Department of Commerce set about the task of listing these otherwise separate industrial functions for the singular purpose of uniting them. Having said this, one has to think about the fact that while our forefather’s chose to name our nation The United States of America, they could just as easily have named our nation The United States of Industries. While of course, this observation is being made in hindsight, it is in fact that hindsight that has always enabled us individual Americans to come together with all of our separate technologies as United Americans from Separate Industrial States in times of national crisis. Hence as our national response to the socio-industrial collapse of The Great Depression enabled us to create the S.I.C. codes of 1937 and in doing so unite virtually every separate national industrial function for the betterment of our much larger economic function, in doing so, that same unified national industrial response prepared us for the victory we as a nation would ultimately realize in World War II.

As the factories that produced the multitude of industrial machinery needed by us as United Americans from Separate Industrial States to be victorious can, in no uncertain terms be associated with the establishment of the Standard Industrial Classification codes of 1937, once again in retrospect, what took place up until 1937 as well as for decades after, is quite unfortunately taking place again here in 2009.

Having said this, the very fact that America was unanimously successful in ending World War II was due to the industrial benchmarks we as a nation chose to discover, understand and successfully establish in 1937 and as getting our industrial ducks in a row prior to WW II was the singular benchmark in our victory in that war, it was in turn the singular benchmark of a continued national and global economic prosperity that we today are still very much experiencing but also largely suffering from both socially and economically, not to mention technologically.

In spite of what can be summarized as an overall fear and an overall sense of industrial, economic and social bewilderment in our nation today in 2009, the fact of the matter remains that because of our decisions in 1937 to document and organize the multi-faceted functions of our maturing 19th century industrial economy, we, in doing so laid the industrial and economic foundation of our nation’s successful 20th century which in turn, has led us today to a somewhat vague but none the less dynamic and quite powerful idea or vision of our 21st century American industrial, economic and social potential.

In other words, while we were successful in World War II and for many decades later, and while the organized understanding of our 19th century industrial complex led us to military victory mid way through our 20th century industrial economy, after the final burst of our 19th century economy, we found ourselves only halfway through documenting and organizing the industrial processes of our 20th century economy only to face the fact that our 21st century economy was rapidly approaching.

If you’re getting the gist of my message here, then you are no doubt realizing that while we are in the midst of living in the 21st century, we are as well living in the final quadrant of the 19th, only ¾ of the way through our 20th and 1/8 of the way onto our 22nd century while we are in turn entirely ignoring the fact that our 21st century actually exists.

Much like the farmer who bought the tractor and the seamstress who bought the sewing machine in our early American 20th century, we collectively once again find ourselves suffering from “Un-United American Post Industrial Stress Disorder”. As laughable as this term might be, it is in fact not the least bit funny that while the S.I.C. codes of 1937 more or less saved our nation, there are many in America today who would still rather live in the mindset of the singular 19th century farmer and the 19th century seamstress. There are still people in our United States of America who would rather live within the framework of the organic simplicity represented by simple American 19th century farming and economics. I of course am one of them (just ask my horses, chickens and cows).


In 1997, the United States Department of Commerce established the N.A.I.C.S. (North American Industrial Classification System). While this system enabled the free market mechanisms of America’s industrial success to be brought to the political tables of our nation’s global partners, it in effect, not only signaled the closing of our nation’s 19th century industrial ideology, but displayed the tarot cards that would document the closing of our 20th century ideology as well.

If you understand the concept of time lapsed photography then you will understand as well the concept of time lapsed industrial economics.

Within this concept, overlapping industrial cycles coexist with the larger understanding that overlapping social and economic cycles will both intervene and eventually help shape the positive national outcome of all these cycles. Having said this, in as much as what we think we are experiencing in our 2009 America today is mass confusion, what we are actually doing is living within a time lapsed photograph. With nothing either truly negative or positive happening within our economy, there is as well nothing truly negative or positive happening within the industrial sectors that ultimately make this economy work. What all of this means is that due to the fact that we are essentially sitting on our potentially productive 21st century green industrial asses looking at old photographs of 19th century tractors and sewing machines and as we are as well anxiously rocking on our butt cheeks sketching imaginary dreams of 22nd century tractors and sewing machines, we can’t afford to pay for the 21st century chair our butt cheeks are truly sitting upon.

This time lapsed sub-consciousness is of course quite dangerous to our overall 21st century national security as it is as well, entirely counterproductive to our overall national economy.


While we have successfully fostered the growth of free market trade worldwide via the incorporation of our 1997 N.A.I.C.S. and essentially this system has enabled the entire world to understand the inner workings of America’s potentially productive 21st century industrial mindset, all we have done by establishing these codes is given away our 20th century American industrial trade secrets to the world. To the point where our global economy today is as fragile as it was in the 1930s does not however imply or suggest in any manner whatsoever that while we have given away the blueprint of our nation’s 20th century marketplace, we must or can continue to do so.

As at some point in time we must (just like every other nation in the world) lay the foundation and actually begin to build our own deeply private and nationalistically secure and technologically advanced 21st century industrial marketplace, my suggestion is the sooner the better.

Erasing the N.A.I.C.S. which, from its’ inception, I have always consider to be a giant waste of potentially productive American industrial time or a giant pregnant pause essay on our collective and highly negative obsession with wholly imaginary if not still borne, time lapsed photography, doing so will in fact have tremendously powerful and wholly positive repercussions for the financial livelihood of every American and every American industry.

As the N.A.I.C.S. is based upon the cumulative understanding of our nation’s 19th and 20th century industrial-economic model and as this system will do us well in developing industrial relationships in third world political economies, that’s about all it will do.

I choose to call this logic “Third World Tractor and Sewing Machine Redundancy”. In fact, I have actually done market research on this form of still borne, time lapsed American industrial photography. My consultants (horses, chickens and cows) and I have concluded that by marketing T.W.T.S.M.R. with the catchy tag line of “The Duh Factor”, more than likely my investors and I will be completely broke but quite and simplistically happy by January 1, 2010.


What about The United States Green Building Council?

What about the AFL-CIO?

What about the master carpenters (I am one) of America?

What about 21st century green American industrial entrepreneurs?

What about the Iowa farmer cruising his fields on a tractor guided by GPS or the New York seamstress cohabitating with a sewing machine guided by CNC technology?

None of this rocking 22nd century butt cheek dream is going to be realized if we as Americans don’t finally strap ourselves in to the pilot seats of America’s third industrial renaissance. The only way we will accomplish this dream is if in working in unison with one another, the men and woman who are working to craft the industrial/economic blueprint coming out of The United States 21st Century Green Building Council work in unison with the men and woman crafting the 21st century labor force coming out of the AFL-CIO.

Towards this goal and being once a sailor aboard a United States naval vessel, I write my essays in the hopes of discovering and enjoying my country’s 21st century, green industrial homeport.

M. Patrick Dahlke

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