Whatever happened to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act?

Whatever happened to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act?
 
Date May 11, 2006
Section(s) Opinion
Brief  
 
Whatever happened to the Sherman

Anti-Trust Act?

To the Editor:

I grew up in Clyde, Ohio — home of the “largest washing machine factory in the world.”

I saw the news last night, about Whirlpool slashing jobs. So I had to find out what was going on.

I wasn’t surprised to find articles in your paper regarding “incentives” from the state of Iowa as part of an effort to keep the plant in Newton. That is how large corporations work.

About a decade or so ago, Whirlpool made it known that it needed a jetport within several miles of its Clyde, Ohio, plant.

Of course, if a large corporation doesn’t get what it wants, it can insinuate that it will reduce its local operations or just move away. So the local governments built the jetport, removing several hundred acres of corn and soybean fields. As far as I can tell, the only serious tenant of that jetport is and will be Whirlpool. And who pays for the airport?

Talk about “free enterprise!” So what kind of subsidies will Iowa offer Whirlpool to keep the plant in Newton?

My father worked at Whirlpool for 30 years. So when he retired, what washer/dryer combination do you think he wanted in his house? He bought Maytag.

So I guess someone must have found out about it. Because now Whirlpool has purchased the Maytag label and closed the Newton plant.

As far as I am concerned, Maytag is now as extinct as Studebaker.

Seventy percent of the domestic appliance market belongs to Whirlpool. Whatever happened to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act?

Some people in Clyde, Ohio, are probably relieved and happy about the news. The jobs — at the moment — are coming to Clyde, and to the Marion, Ohio, division. But the larger a corporation becomes, the easier it is to decide to close and move a plant. Just look at General Motors.

What handouts are you going to give Whirlpool to change their minds?

Jon Adams

Hampton, Va.

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