Having graduated from a state college (heavily subsidized by federal and state funding), I got my first job with a large aerospace company. This was during the JFK years and we were going to the moon and produced one of the fastest jet aircraft ever built.
My company was developing the engine for this aircraft. They had hired over 5,500 employees – primarily engineers, skilled machinists, welders, etc. The pay was great, about $600-$700/month for beginning engineers. All of this was paid for by the federal government.
Later I returned to graduate school and took out a federally funded, low-interest student loan. Then I went to work for a company producing metals for the aerospace industry – nickel base and titanium alloys for jet engine parts.
This was a private company founded by a true entrepreneur. Starting with less than 100 employees, it has now grown to several thousand. It has been a godsend to the economies of the local communities (one of which is in rural South Carolina).
Although a private company, we were heavily dependent upon big government spending. A significant portion of our business was related to the U.S. (and foreign) military – jet aircraft, tank engines, submarines, SMAWs, etc. Ironically, we became somewhat dependent on foreign government spending. Great Britain and France heavily subsidize their aerospace companies to compete with the U.S. giants like Boeing, GE and Pratt & Whitney.
Over the years we began indirectly sucking profits from the taxpayers money in France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan and China. These profits helped pay my salary.
I want to apologize for being such a leech on the taxpayers of the U.S. and other countries for all these years. To make matters worse I’m now drawing Social Security and am on Medicare. Again, Bill Eckstine would say, “I apologize.”
The writer lives in North Myrtle Beach.