With a recent forum topic that claims economic power is shifting to China why is it that the US gave it their jobs? Is this the new look of freedom for democracy?
It's embarrassing and we don't like to talk about embarrassing problems.
People love to talk about embarrassing things John, take a look at embarrassing bodies on TV.
On the other hand people don't like being called racist and this sort of discussion always seems to descend into chants of racist.
I know! It is kind of like the Hitler comment usually comes along when discussing extreme displeasure or opposing views.
No, they love to talk about other peoples embarrassment. Very few will openly hold themselves up to ridicule.
Well hypocrisy does breed strange bedfellows for some. Please understand I am not saying either of you are hypocrites but the discussion is absent when talking about the dilemma of where the jobs went and why it is good for the US when using capitalism as the clearinghouse for all things free. The lack of jobs would be turned around by the US worker accepting the lower wages that are paid overseas is ludicrous as the standards of living are too far apart. So what could be the equalizer? Who is profiting from the current model and who has the most to lose in a correction?
The lead really has to be taken by the consumer. Demanding home made goods would be a start but I doubt that will happen when the goods are more expensive than overseas products.
Of course the government could pursue a path of protectionism but that may just increase the problems as other countries follow suit.
You could adopt Johns favourite hypothetical system of total socialism though, but then that's fated to failure from the start.
You make a strong point. The corporate profit margin is ruled by reducing costs. Through legislation, (NAFTA and TPP) the low tariff goods were imported cleansed of high cost American Labor. Also cleansed from the costs was the environmental and safety regulations adhered to by American companies producing the same products. Just as bad was the mindless consumer buying up the low cost imported products not realizing that they were supporting a loss of their jobs in the process. So how can the tide be turned. We are told education will make the difference as the American technologies will provide highly skilled jobs to replace what we have lost. The crux of the matter is that the American education system has seriously fallen behind the world in the ability to provide applicants for these not yet ready jobs. In the mean time the business model for new jobs almost expressively is in service related industries. How is it possible to catch up? One thing we still lead the world in is weapons that do require engineers and the like but more and more vacancies for these jobs are not being filled because our college graduates majored in other subjects. Where is the twain to come together?
twain, twain? Hmm... wasn't he a writer?
Regarding NAFTA and TPP, although a lot of folks hate the idea - capitalism is the economic engine of our society, and both programs were good for capitalism, thus good for our economy.
Agreements like NAFTA are not the problem. But they do serve to highlight two big problems we have to solve. One is the "isolationist" mindset of folks that see these type programs as the problem, and the other is to educate our populace to understand that U.S. labor demands have changed, and will continue to do so.
You are right in your belief that no U.S. worker can survive on the type of wages paid in 3rd world countries, that due to modernization in manufacturing technologies that allows them to perform the jobs that the U.S. manufacturing industry used to do. But I think we need to understand that, like the need for buggy whip and button factories, our manufacturing processes, and labor needs, have made those models obsolete. If you remember there was an on-going discussion - the change in American labor needs, that pointed this out.
And I think you are right that our educational system has failed us, but I think that is only part of the "education" problem. It is true there is a need for more engineering and science technology-type graduates than are currently graduating, but it is also true that there are a lot of "trade skills" and service industry jobs standing vacant because too many folks just went for the degree. "I have to get a college degree," so the easiest one is Liberal Arts, or History, or whatever. Yep, lots of job skill demands for Liberal Arts majors. The most ironic picture is the MBA graduates working as McDonald's managers.
To answer your "twain" question... the meeting will occur when Americans realize "times are a changing" and we have to change with them. Status quo and progress are not compatible.
With the advent of NAFTA and the TPP there was no turning back as returning the manufacturing to the US is already happening but with one caveat as you describe. Mechanization has been able to replace the worker in many areas leaving the much larger unskilled labor overseas. These jobs are still necessary for assembly and packaging that are busy finger jobs and pay very little.
The US labor force transition to much higher skilled occupations is a tough one as our children have been taught with a mindset that working with your hands is dirty low paying work and to be avoided at all costs. So, as you say, you have MBA's working at McDonalds to avoid running a bulldozer or a CNC plywood cutting machine. Is desperation the answer as Mom & Dad die off and the children are left to fend for themselves? Perhaps capitalism will be the savior as it has no place for excuses as to why a person will not accept a job working with their hands.
I am and have been a tradesman my entire professional working career and as a business owner I find more and more that the new trades people coming up have no idea about what they are doing. I also find that the customer has little respect for the skills and experience when confronted with cost decisions. Choosing less costly materials or components seems to be their concern while assembly and labor costs drive the price more than anything else. With an Ikea mindset people expect to outfit a five or six million dollar house with a Ready-To-Assemble set of kitchen cabinets while wondering why they fall apart in less than a year!? A hard nut to crack but I am constantly bombarded by this mentality.
And yet the skilled trades are still one of the more stable and sustainable ways to make a living. I know of people with PhDs who gave it up and decided to enter a skilled trade instead.
It is the Pink Elephant in the room when discussing the merits of capitalism. I am surprised that nobody has commented on how the unions and government restrictions have chased the labor market to some of the most flagrant of communist human rights violators. But I guess if there is a profit to be made all is fair in the scheme of things.
What is really embarrassing is that there is no interest to address or change the race to the bottom this is taking.
Gotta love them Conservative businessmen.
"What?! Our workers are striking until we pay them more than the bare minimum for back-breaking factory work?! We could hold negotiations, but...that would be acknowledging that our workers are actually human beings, and that's just silly. Fire them all! And find somewhere else where we don't have to acknowledge our workers' humanity, and set up shop there!"
The greediness that came from both sides is what caused the change to occur. But how was the change made to happen? The government got involved with NAFTA and TPP agreements by politicians bought to do so. Does that alone show proof that an oligarchic change in our government has some legs now? The people still sleep and the wolf is let loose in the chicken house is what is taking place. How long can we continue to vote for these politicians that sell out our best interests for their own gain? Yet there are millions that participate in the lies and conceit that are running our political process. Is this what the framers of the constitution had in mind would run the country? The hypocrisy that democracy, while messy, is the purest form of government there is while slave wages ,when adjusted to American labor standards are applied, are paid to Chinese labor to circumvent the American standard of living is now the norm. It is striking how so many ignore the obvious.
Places where people have a lower standard of living and less rights will always be able to do unskilled work cheaper.
The US needs to have a knowledge/skill based economy, not retreat back into treating workers like disposable cogs in the machine.
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