Tag Archives: economy

Rosie the Riveter: An icon for the marginalized in U.S. manufacturing and the labor market

I recently heard the NPR segment from August 4th about the plant where Rosie the Riveter actually riveted, along with thousands of other women who built B-24 bombers during WWII. The segment less discussed the time in history but rather the need to preserve what remains. It was a hopeful plea to help raise awareness of the funds needed for the Yankee Air Museum, which suffered an arsenal setback destroying portions of their previous collection. Obtaining the factory’s hangar doors would allow the Yankee Air Museum to house their planes and exhibits in the 180,000 square feet they are trying to acquire. The museum’s annual budget is unfortunately the barricade blocking the way.

The non-profit Yankee Air Museum has an annual budget of $2 million. However, the cost to restore the new facility will be $8 million. With a generous donation of $2 million form GM, the Yankee Air Museum is still $3.5 million shy of being able to salvage the plant where Rosie riveted before a planned demolition.

There is a great need to rescue and restore the relics of a time when women were first propagandized to join the labor market for the sake of scholarship in Women’s and Gender Studies, Economic history and the war effort, Aerospace manufacturing history, and Business law regarding Labor and Unions, at the minimum.  I would like to see this story have a happy ending and think publicity is the key to getting the word out of the importance of such special collections and historic artifacts.  This plant was unionized and racially integrated “where men and women both worked in manufacturing jobs doing equal pay for equal work in the 1940’s, when that was absolutely not the norm in American industry” (NPR–Museum tries to save the plant where Rosie riveted).  With such historical significance, I don’t understand why this plant is not yet registered as a historical landmark. It is possible that could be part of the solution to prevent demolition if the museum is not able to raise the total funds in time.

Furthermore, for local interest in the subject matter, the Special
Collections at the Oviatt Library at CSUN
holds an extensive collection of
labor documents and historical artifacts on propaganda in wartime and civil
rights in the U.S.  Many of these documents have yet to be exhibited however some are part of the upcoming exhibit “In Protest” set to open September 17, 2013 – July 26, 2014. This exhibit would be perfect for all disciplines in the fields of social sciences and humanities specifically, but not limited to Political Science, Sociology, Women’s and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Business Law. There are more documents to see aside from the exhibit which can be arranged at the Oviatt Library.

In Protest poster

Exhibits such as “In Protest” in Special Collections at the Oviatt Library at CSUN and the original plant that the Yankee Air Museum is desperately trying to salvage are the essential threads of the human experience in seeking an autonomous life and an independent community, reminding us of the price paid so that we can be ever closer to those liberties.

Vatican City economy

The Pope is resigning — the first one in 600 years. But since this is a business blog, let’s talk about the economy of his home, Vatican City (or the Holy See). According to its CIA World FactBook page:

“The Holy See is supported financially by a variety of sources, including investments, real estate income, and donations from Catholic individuals, dioceses, and institutions; these help fund the Roman Curia (Vatican bureaucracy), diplomatic missions, and media outlets. Moreover, an annual collection taken up in dioceses and from direct donations go to a non-budgetary fund, known as Peter’s Pence, which is used directly by the Pope for charity, disaster relief, and aid to churches in developing nations. Donations increased between 2010 and 2011. The separate Vatican City State budget includes the Vatican museums and post office and is supported financially by the sale of stamps, coins, medals, and tourist mementos; by fees for admission to museums; and by publications sales. Its revenues increased between 2010 and 2011 because of expanded opening hours and a growing number of visitors. However, the Holy See has not escaped the financial difficulties engulfing other European countries; in 2012 it started a spending review to determine where to cut costs to reverse its 2011 budget deficit of 15 million euros. Most public expenditures go to wages and other personnel costs; the incomes and living standards of lay workers are comparable to those of counterparts who work in the city of Rome.”

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the U.S. does almost no trade with Vatican City. Read the full report here.

In 2011, the Vatican had one its worst budget deficits ever, with a shortfall of about $19 million. As of this post, the Vatican hasn’t released the 2012 number.