biography of george english


EDUCATION:George . English
Benedictine High School, Richmond, VA 1953-1957 High School Diploma
Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO 1957-1961 B. A. Business Administration and Banking
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 1964-1965 M. A. Economics
Thunderbird Graduate School of International
Management, Glendale AZ 1970-1971 B. A. International Management
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 1975-1976 M. M. A. Marine Affairs
(Sponsored by NOAA under the Government Employees Training Act)

U. S. Army, Fort Carson, CO 1962-1964 Rifle Platoon Leader (1st LT)
NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, TX 1965-1970 Management Intern
Northrop Airport Development Corp, Vienna, VA 1971-1974 Economist
NOAA National Ocean Service, Silver Spring, MD 1974-1995 Economist

Theater Usher, Brush Cutter, Drafting Trainee (VA Hwy Dept), Dishwasher & Busboy (College Dining Halls),
Architect's Office Assistant, Taxi Driver, Accounting Clerk, Business Interviewer (University Research Project).

I am the eldest of five children. Three of my four grandparents were immigrants from Central Europe. My father was employed as a Textile Finisher in Northern New Jersey, Richmond, Virginia, Mexico City, and Central Pennsylvania for over 51 years, starting his career as a water boy in the textile mills at age 13. He never had the opportunity to attend high school and was the sole supporter of 10 siblings and other members of his family during the Depression. Although he attempted to volunteer for military service during World War II, his job was deemed war critical and he was not accepted. He served for many years on the town council and was later Mayor of East Paterson (now Elmwood Park, NJ). In 1950, he was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the special election to fill the Congressional seat vacated by J. Parnell Thomas (R-NJ) after the incumbent was convicted and subsequently imprisoned for payroll padding.

My mother was the fourth of five daughters raised on a small dairy farm owned by her immigrant parents. She and her sisters had to milk the family's cows by hand and deliver the farm's products to their customers from a horse drawn wagon every day before going to school. She held an office job until shortly before my birth and then stayed at home to raise her children. At age 43, she had to take my four younger siblings by bus to Mexico City because my parents had to pay for the family's relocation costs from Richmond. At the border, she was delayed almost a week because the Mexican buses didn't have the larger cargo bays used by Greyhound's scenic cruiser buses and she had to make arrangements for the family's steamer trunks to be shipped by rail from Laredo. After my parents returned to the U. S from Mexico in 1965 at their own expense, she worked at minimum wage job for a wholesale publication distribution company until her retirement.

My family struggled through major dislocations and years-long stress resulting from my father's career in the first of the nation's runaway industries. By his hard work and financial sacrifice, four of his children were able to graduate college despite the turmoil of his being employed in an unstable and disappearing industry. Eventually, my parents were able to enjoy a modest but comfortable retirement before both of their premature deaths at age 73. Of all the company pension plans that my father participated in throughout his working career, the only private pension that he collected was that earned from his last ten years' employment in Pennsylvania. All of his other company pension plans were long defunct because those companies had gone out of business many years before the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation was established. He received no retirement benefit from his eight years employment in Mexico because the U. S. and Mexican Social Security systems were not linked, unlike the reciprocal employment credit arrangement with Canada. If it weren't for Social Security, both of my parents would have lived their retirement years in near poverty.


I have been fully self-supporting since graduating college in June 1961 except for two brief periods when I lived at home immediately before entering the Army and later for a few months after leaving Thunderbird before relocating to Washington. / know most personally exactly what it is like to be 2,000 miles from home, unemployed, and broke. For a month, I drove taxis 60 hours a week at night for 88 cents an hour (plus 25 cents in tips) until obtaining a better-paying job. (At that time, the minimum wage was $1.25 an hour). Having then been briefly at the bottom of the economic totem pole, I have never forgotten what it is like to be treated like social detritus and since then have greatly benefited by always being financially prudent as the result from that unpleasant but most valuable personal experience. Today, I am keenly aware 50 years later that 50 million or more of my fellow citizens still are experiencing that dehumanizing treatment every day of their fives.

Following service as a rifle platoon leader at Fort Carson for two years, I earned Colorado resident status, which allowed me to earn my Master's Degree. As a staff member of the NOAA Structures and Mechanics Division,1 performed a variety of tasks. My main achievement was the acquisition of Wang programmable printing calculators, the precursors to personal computers, that enabled our engineers to discontinue the need for punch card submission to the main computer center or use of slide rules in order for their daily work. As an economist for Northrop, I developed a computerized airport facility sizing proposal and the financial income and related accounting estimates for a proposed new airport for Bangkok. As a NOAA economist I produced the cost comparisons that showed the mid-life ship rehabilitation delayed the need for new vessels for ten years at half the annual cost for the NASA fleet operations.

I arrived in the Washington area in October 1971 with all my possessions in the rear seat of a $350 used car before beginning my employment with Northrop. When that company closed in January 1974, I worked temporary jobs and "pounded the pavement" in D.C. for a few months before being employed by Northrop and tater 110AA's National Ocean Service. I also know what it is like to be unemployed in my mid-30s and still remember that persistent knot in my stomach caused by stress from the uncertainty and fear of rejection after dozens of SF-171 forms sent out in the mail and hand delivered to Federal offices went unanswered. I've "been there and done that" and have great empathy for all who now experience that same job loss stress and frustration. As difficult as it was then to get a job, the employment situation now for finding a job is infinitely worse.


The continuing wave of successive corporate downsizing episodes with employee pay and benefit cutting taking place while executive pay skyrockets is a national disgrace and requires Congressional attention. A 70 percent income tax rate should be applied to all executive pay and benefits that exceeds ten times the median value of pay and benefits for all other employees in that company. The SEC should prohibit outright publicly listed companies from paying exorbitant executive compensation (more than 10 times the median value of employees' salaries and benefits) while they are in bankruptcy or during those periods when companies are reporting no taxable income. If corporate Boards of Directors are unable to end this despicable management abuse of employees and company stockholders, then the SEC should step in and do so! (Even most Captains of pirate ships 300 years ago took only their fair share of the booty!).

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