A fact that we have come to accept, and are trying to enjoy, is that turmoil and uncertainty are the order of the day. Another truth is that there are no easy answers. I am fifty-seven years old and this may be one of the few things I have come to fully understand. We are a people and country that want simple answers and solutions to our problems. Yes, there are sometimes simple, direct answers to situations that are limited in scope. I feel that there are some simple answers to situations involving the relationship between responsibility, accountability, consequences and rewards. The vast majority of the problems we face today, though, are complex and interrelated. We are facing an election and the issues are economy, energy, environment, education, terrorism, and national security. Our present situation in each of these issues has been arrived at by many years of history and all are cross-related. The things that we are concerned about together; concrete construction, jobs, wages, tie wire, foreign competition, are all tied into the above mentioned issues and have taken a long and winding road to get here. Our political candidates struggle to get their messages in sound bites.
Let’s be careful not to seek simple, sound bite answers to our complex problems. Do your homework on the political candidates. Look on the Internet. There is a lot of information on each candidate there.
When I wrote to you a year ago last fall. I mentioned being confused. I mentioned the fact that prices were rising when construction was flat. I do not feel so embarrassed about being confused today because there are a lot of other confused guys out there: the steel guys, the financial market guys, the government guys, etc. It appears that the steel and wire rod price increases have stopped. The conventional wisdom is that prices will slide some during fourth quarter and then come back in the new year. All I know is that scrap fell last month and the steel companies are only giving back one third NEXT MONTH. Go figure.
For most of a week in September, I was in Washington, DC, trying to understand and discuss with our members of Congress why the Chinese government is allowed to continue to illegally manipulate their tax laws and the currency exchange rate in order to gain an unfair advantage. We know that what they are doing is in violation of their WTO agreement because the dollar value of the American labor in a container of tie wire is less than the freight cost to get it over here. I was in Washington, lobbying our legislators to make the Chinese play fair and follow the law. What can you do? Write your congressman and tell him to do something about the illegal way the Chinese are operating. The other thing you can do is to insist on Mar-Mac Premium products. Mar-Mac is made from steel wire rod made in the USA, and drawn, annealed and coiled in McBee, SC, by United States citizens.
In August, my son, Martin, again attended the International Iron Workers Festival in Mackinaw, Michigan. The rod tying contest winners were (1st) Domingo Valadez, (2nd) Larry Roughton, and (3rd) Lino Valadez, all from Local 55 in Toledo. Our friend Eric Costa was overall champion winning the spud throwing contest and coming in only seven hundredths of a second behind Wes Campau on the column climb. For those of you who don’t know, the column climb is a vertical 30’ I-beam with a bell at the top. The following day there was the World Championship Column Climb. Eric won World Champion. All winning times were less than six seconds. That’s faster than I could run it if it was horizontal. Mar-Mac awarded prizes for the rod tying contest and the overall winners. Go to http://www.ironfest.com to see it.
I attended the Southeastern States District Council Apprenticeship Competition in Charleston, SC, in June. Not only did I enjoy the hospitality and the welcome I received, but was impressed with the training and skill level of the apprentices in the competition.
Look for the PREMIUM band around the top of the box. It guarantees that it is Mar-Mac Wire and made by American families right here in the USA. If you take pride in your work, are proud of your country, and want to use the cleanest, softest, easiest to cut and tie wire in the business, ask for Mar-Mac Premium. Our premium brands include Mar-Mac, Mar-Mac Gold, SpeedWire, and SharkSkin. We are also proud to provide in our RodBuster Accessory Line QuickDraw Reel and QuickDraw Pouch, both made 100% in the USA, and TerriBand and cushion grips for your pliers. To fully serve our distributors, we round out our Mar-Mac premium line with the value-priced Contractor Brand Construction Products which include tie wire, wire ties, duplex nails, nail stakes, and anchor bolts.
Our Texas warehouse has been open since January and is giving great service and quick delivery to our distributors in that part of the country.
Remember to check out the Mar-Mac web site http://www.marmacwire.com. Go to the RodBuster page and see the new t-shirt design (motorcycle and RodBuster) or communicate with other RodBusters on the message board.
I cannot write this letter without acknowledging our military. They are fighting and dying every day for me and for our way of life. They follow a civilian commander and chief, whether he is right or wrong. It may not be a perfect system, but I cannot think of another system in the world under which I want to live. I am grateful to God for our country and our freedoms.
Our door is always open to RodBusters. Whether you are passing by or just in the area (within 100 miles) come see us. It is best to call ahead so I know you are coming and can give you a personal tour. Otherwise, just stop by. Say you are a RodBuster and someone will give you a tour. If you cannot come, give me a call. The office is (800) 541-2461. My cell phone is (843) 812-7676. Let me know you are a RodBuster when you call.
John Martin Wanda Wilson, Brandy Melton, Gretchen Roepke
President RodBuster Service Team