In the last several months, I have visited several states in the northeastern part of the United States and have found the economy seemingly down everywhere, yet I observed many freight trucks traveling in all directions.

There are 20-plus drillers who have been forced to find other work in one state alone. Many of them had purchased new equipment, and the work has dwindled to the point where they were unable to keep up their payments. This is sad, however, it only will help those who survive.

As a means to survive, contractors have added geothermal loop drilling to their drilling options, and some even are excelling. Toward this end, a drill manufacturer I visited while in Michigan is busy refurbishing several late-model drills for geothermal drilling.

I came upon one drilling contractor’s location, and found his drill, support truck and portable welder sitting beside his home. It was obvious the equipment hadn’t been used for a long time. The welder electrodes were attached to the drill like he was welding on something. It was as if he just had gone to lunch and never returned. The outside of his home looked as if it had not been lived in for some time. There was a legal notice on the door, which I didn’t read. The porch light was on in the late afternoon. No one answered the door. The neighbors knew nothing. I called the phone number listed on the door of the drill and received no answer or recording. It looked like the driller just disappeared. It stated on the door of the equipment that this was a third-generation company. That’s really sad.

I see contractors with unused or old equipment just sitting and rusting away. This equipment still has some value. I urge them to consider putting it up for sale in their favorite trade magazine. This is a great time to pick up a few dollars. Much of this unused equipment is not necessarily junk, and is useful to someone. If you don’t need the money that would come from selling it, donate the equipment to a nonprofit organization that could use it in developing countries. It’s a tax write-off. If you don’t know of a good nonprofit organization, contact me.

On another point, personally, I have a problem with American businesses hiring illegal aliens. I was taught that illegal was defined as against the law. Doing anything against the law meant that the offender was put in jail or given a fine – not so today. Many illegal aliens have several people or families living in sub-standard homes. Most live on or near nothing. On Fridays, however, they are lined up in our post offices, buying money orders and sending their monies home to their families in other countries. I admire them for trying to support their families in other countries, but that is where a lot of our money is going. I’m no financial wizard, but it doesn’t take a wizard to see that’s what’s wrong with our economy.

It’s highly probable that our new president and his advisors will bring our economy back soon. However, I don’t see business and employment picking up a lot unless manufacturers stop outsourcing our manufactured products and importing inferior products. The only way we can have employment in America is to manufacture quality products in the United States, made by Americans.

At the beginning of this article, I said I saw freight trucks traveling in all directions. This indicates that products are being bought, sold and shipped; that has to be good for the economy. We must continue to think positive and work smarter, not harder.