With the strain of economies in limbo and some just plain in the tank is it imperative now more than ever to have all products made in China so that the cheaper goods produced can be made affordable? China has made Americans so dependent on cheap sellable goods and corporate profits so much more attainable by selling labor at slave levels is there any possibility that American Manufacturing can ever come back? If so what standard of living will be attainable for the American worker?
Would you prefer the US to be a center for cheap labor? Or would you like to pay $100 for a little plastic toy? Or do you just fantasize about turning the clock back 100 years or so?
The wages for American labor have not risen in years and the costs have gone up exponentially. Eventually the US dollar will be in the tank because of our phony money with nothing to back it. This scenario already sets us up for payscales that may soon rival Chinese labor. That $100 toy may not be out of touch soon.
Nobody can go back in time but this evolving to a service based economy and workforce will have the same ramifications if we don't move towards protecting our jobs.
No, that's not going to happen. Does it make you upset that water runs downhill?
Boy am I relieved I was wrong. You really set my mind at rest with your insightful and intuitive answer. I can just work harder than ever knowing that you know that my fears are not going to happen.
I'd prefer to turn the clock back 25 years, when we didn't have to worry about plastic toys poisoning our children, may not be able to buy one toy or another if it were too expensive (so bought something else). It wasn't 100 years ago when people bought nicer dinnerware and kept it for years, people bought brooms that not only swept the floor but lasted for years, toys for kids weren't all that expensive, people (doing, say, office work) and earning $7 or $9 an hour could buy a decent-enough American car for $6000 or $7000. If people didn't buy that $100-plastic toy OR a cheapy version of it manufacturers and suppliers would figure out what they need to do (one way or another). The whole picture we (in the US and world) have going on today is a lot more complicated than just the cost of materials.
Well, that ain't gonna happen either.
(be glad you don't have to worry so much about the lead paint and asbestos)
How much do you "save" when you buy low quality? You just end up buying it over and over. This of course contributes to landfill waste.
The "cost" of a product can not be accurately measured by what you pay for it at the checkout counter.
This is a valid point for people than discern for themselves what a quality product mean to them.
The Walmart and Target customer goes more for bang for the buck. The result is that cost is the factor rather than the quality. This is the fastest growing segment of the marketplace. Just look at flat screen sales with virtually every television made in Asia.
The fact that a ecological element factor exists will fall on deaf ears with this group.
I guess it is the blessing we all thought Walmart should recieve.
Nope. American manufacturing isn't coming back, at least not until we experience the coming economic collapse brought upon us by Obama and his cronies!
Then the answer is in Obama to get our jobs back. Thanks!
When Obama causes the collapse. Weren't you listening?
Yes, right after, but first there will be Marshall law and anarchy. All those things you were expecting to get like health care, welfare, social security and medicare, will be gone. You'll be forced to forage for food or grow your own if you have land and the means to protect it from intruders or what's left of the government militia.
I guess we will have to wait for the Obama disaster to happen so we can rise like a Phoenix from the ashes.
As I recall, the economy of the USA collapsed 6 to 8 months before George W. Bush left office and it was the direct result of his laissez-faire banking policies. The first stimulus package was designed by the Bush administration with the blessings of Democrats in Congress. Do you remember TARP and the $700 billion released by Congress prior to Jan. 15th, 2009. Let us not forget that President Bush, on December 19, 2008, used his executive authority to declare that TARP funds would be spent on any program he personally approved. On February 5, 2009, Elizabeth Warren, chairperson of the Congressional Oversight Panel, told the Senate Banking Committee that during 2008, the federal government paid $254 billion for assets that were worth only $176 billion. Billions of dollars fell into a black hole at the Bush controlled US Treasury Department. All of that took place a bit too early to blame on “Obama and his cronies.”
Manufacturing jobs have been leaving the USA on a huge scale since NAFTA and the Clinton administration. Those jobs are not likely to ever return. America’s economy now depends on service industries and some advanced technologies. It will not see prosperity again until it learns how to export these skills to foreign markets. In the end, we will have to watch our newly spawned Landscaping Professionals follow the money to other countries and we will be left behind to cut our own lawns.
I'm not a big fan of those "cheap, sellable, goods" that we now have to watch out for when we're shopping if we want quality. Someone gave me some novelty salt/pepper shakers made in China, and when I washed them before trying to use them the whole outside sloughed off when the the water got hot. I bought a broom at a dollar store (what harm could there be in that?). It DOESN'T WORK! The bristles are weird and cheap. A couple of cheap mugs I thought were colorful turned out to have paint that does some very weird things (cracking) in the microwave. Then there was the toy/poisoning thing, and the pet-food/poisoning thing. Colors run, materials are weird and cheap - and shopping for US-made stuff is a real challenge. "Cheap, sellable" good are really unusable, disposable, crap (and that doesn't even touch on the wages/working conditions of the human beings making it, or the smaller stores put out of business by places like WalMart).
Are you sure you had the right end on the floor? The instructions can be tricky.
I must admit I didn't read any instructions, but I definitely held the broom correctly. Maybe it was for "ornamental purposes only". (I once saw a made-in-China sugar-and-creamer set in a junk store, and the box had a warning: "For ornamental purposes only. Not to be used with food." I have a feeling that was not the original plan, based on the picture on the box.
I know you do as this is where all you conversations end up. You really should take a look at that sometime.
It is you who needs to forgive yourself. It is not your fault you lack a decent education. But taking it out by antagonizing. more well educate members just makes you look sad.
Look on the positive side. It is never too late to go back school. No one will think any less of you.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful advice, but I really don't have the time to work on a PhD just now.
Don't worry about TK, he really can't help himself. By interjecting himself into the converation he soon runs out of data and information and concentrates more on the antagonism. Hey he fights fair most of the time and while he doesn't bring the best out in me I somewhat enjoy the banter.
I agree the misdirection he adds doesn't help the subject matter but he is always predictable.
Come to Australia tk, we have free education
Thanks, but if I were to pursue a PhD I'd want to study somewhere better.
Maybe try finishing high school? We also offer bachelor degrees if you did finish high school.
So you studied for a bachelors degree in the US? Interesting... the best education in the world huh?
What did you study? Where did you study? Or is that a secret you want to keep?
No secret, that's your game. I have Bachelor degrees in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston University and a Master's in Linguistics from Umass Boston.
I am scared. You studied philosophy, you should understand the logic behind my fear.
Hire a shrink to work on your fears. Not my problem.
LOL. This sentence was amusing and very telling.
Ah - a typing error. Well done for spotting that. You must feel very....... educated. Thank you so much - I normally employ people of your calibre to point those out for me - but I love it that you will do it for free.
Please follow me around and make note of any others. I am not skilled with the keyboard. My fingers are a little too large.
Thanks again. Did you take the cow's advice and arrange some education?
The problem with globalization is that it has been has been driven by American economists aided and abetted by UK economists. They have no interest in the well being of workers in either in the US, UK or China. When I say workers I mean anyone below the CEO level.
What we need is a country like Finland setting the rules for free trade. Yes, I know it won't happen but...They would demand that workers in Third World countries worked a forty hour week as basic then get overtime payments. They would demand trade partners had free trade unions. They would demand a minimum wage. They would in this way ensure fair competition and benefit the vast majority in both the First and Third World.
Of course, anyone at CEO level and above would suffer horribly from a strategy like this so it is an impossible dream.
Ah yes, a centrally planned economy. Those always work!
Yeah the corrupt political greedy atmosphere we have here is well in command of keeping that out. There was a time when monopolies were outlawed and broken up but the lobbyists and lawyers in congress have worked out a way around it with the bribes and campaign financing they run.
Rhamson asked the question " Can American Manufacturing ever come back ".?
America is facing economic exhaustion. For half a century we have hollowed out our productive economy, shipping it to the rest of the world, and replaced it with a paper-based financial economy that is internationally dependent on the good will of the rest of the world to continue to operate. Yet the 300 million plus American people are still a powerful economic resource, and, with investment, the economic infrastructure still exists. The challenges of the increased cost of energy and polluted environments will require a great deal of effort to get back on track...But it is doable..
The political front that is bought by big business seems to be at the heart of the issue. With NAFTA and other trade agreements how do we counteract the entrenchment the politicians have put in place to effect this change in a US labor resurgence? Can it be done outside the political spectrum?
I agree that the energy costs present problems but don't the other manufacturing countries have just as much of a energy cost burden?
You must understand that we have tied our own hands through the complexities of environmental law, labor law, " green initiatives " based on false or exaggerated data, sloppy and uninspired political leadership, lack of an aggressive energy policy ( Oil exploration, Atomic power plants, thermo-hydraulics, and fusion ), funded education in the hard sciences, short-term brainstorming for immediate jobs creation, and a sustainable approach to local energy solutions ( solar, wind, etc..)...
The other manufacturing countries you mention do not, for the most part, have to operate under these formidable roadblocks...You want jobs back..? You want manufacturing back..?..You want a strong, vibrant, independent economy back..?...Then clear the decks, turn the great American entrepreneur loose and watch how fast this nation can come together....
Yeah. send those kids up those chimneys. Fill those rivers with cadmium. Drill those national parks. Poison the population with melamine. Forget drug testing. Lets get back to basics and just f**k each other over like the good old days.
Or maybe we could demand decent standards in other countries as part of trade agreements.
You should check out the long, long list of environmental disasters in China before inviting those disasters to your own country.
Sounds weak, I know but I would like the kids born today to grow up with a future.
I don't understand how you think by turning the entrepeneur loose you can convince them to create jobs here rather than exploiting foreign labor pools. The only way that could be done even with changing government reguations would be to lower the wages of the American worker to that of their competition overseas. A race to the bottom so to speak.
You seem stuck in the anti-capitalism shtick...I believe in free enterprise, and the freer the better...Unfettered American ingenuity ( within a well-defined ball park ) is limitless in its capacity for improvement of the human condition...You would not need to " convince " them to create jobs here...Henry Ford, our first, true entrepreneur, knew this and paid a good wage because he knew they would buy his cars...sure, the world is much different now, from Ford's time, but the lesson still applies; pay a good wage, sell your product at profit, retain loyal employees, and strengthen your community...Yeah, there are still plenty of folks that have the integrity, honor, and patriotism to make this happen...Again...
Ummmm. What planet are you on? There is no reason this could not still be done. With absolutely no changes to anything.
But - it has not happened.
What exactly do you think is stopping American companies from doing this?
How do you combat globalism? Do you propose tarrifs?
What - like "capitalist competition" ? Surely integrity, honor, and patriotism would overcome this? No?
What then? Import taxes?
Since you have this rather annoying habit of asking and answering your own inane questions, perhaps you have something more substantive than cloying sarcasm...
Oh - OK - don't answer it then.
Guess I am just anti-capitalist and lack honor and integrity huh?
I am not as stuck in an anti capitalism shtick as I am in the logic it takes for business to logically find the least cost with the greatest gain. If your labor cost is three to fours times as expensive to make something here as it is to make it overseas then the logical choice is over there. Sure you can offer tax incentives and low interest loans to entice domestic production but the labor cost in just about every product is the determining factor.
I have a little manufacturing experience and overseas labor is the only solution to be competitive with your competition and that is to get an edge anyway you can. Adding three times the labor cost to your product and remain competitive is a no brainer. I am dealing with pennies to make the difference in manufacturing costs.
I am well aware of the struggle for profit now...and the extreme measures that must be taken to assure their continuation...I am merely suggesting that old ideas be recast in modern challenges...I have seen the power and benefits of enlightened entrepreneur start-ups...social and economic... One thing is certain: we must increase student funding for the hard sciences if we ever expect to compete, anywhere...
I understand that the sciences and technology is a major plus in making up the chasm between lower skilled jobs that are offshore and advanced applications of technology here. But that is not a direction the masses in this country can exploit. Much of our advanced technology is developed here and adapted for manufacture overseas by lesser paid labor.
The products that this type of scenario you speak of must have such a great economical success to thrive in the US job market so as to overcome the need for overseas labor over there and hold great control through patents and protection to assure its viablity. Unfortunately there are not too many products that fit that criteria.
It is so very hard to make something that can bare the cost of US labor and be competitive at the same time. Your competition is not dedicated to making it here, why should you fail by not going there for manufacturing?
Your vision of an emasculated American manufacturing sector implies a slow drift to a service and information economy suited towards your definition of " the masses "...I agree that labor, skilled labor, is off the charts re world parity...where will these folks go..? The same question was raised when the automobile was invented; what will all the blacksmiths, furriers, coach builders, and buggy-whip makers do..? Supply and demand, that old and cold economic fact, remains the bedrock for almost all strategic corporate planning... the problem is, the corporate world has created this monster of cheap consumerism so loved by your " masses "...They can also replace it with a sensible, sustainable, and qualitative market in-demand, if motivated by self-survival...I may be Pollyannish with these remarks, but I have great confidence in the human spirit to raise above life's challenges...it may take catastrophe, an earth-shaking event, or a sudden groundswell of a frustrated people to change the current economic paradigm...
Unfortunately I think you are right on many points but I think the reality of these events happening will be poverty and turmoil beyond our comprehension befor the type of change you suggest could take place.
As so many here are. Thanks for your thought-provoking posts.
Scare stories do nothing to advance this discussion...But of course there must be enforcement, intelligent enforcement...
You've already filled your quota of personal attacks for the day. You can relax now.
The switch from American labor to foreign labor is predictable as overseas they do not have the problem of enforcing the law. Some estimate around 44 million children are involved in this practice with many in abusive situations.
This is employed by Walmart, Target and the like to sell us our cheap affordable products.
It is a shame on us we will pay for eventually.
ANU is a top 10 ranked university if you do want that PhD. That is unless you were considering Oxbridge or the Ivy League?
On another note, there are more than a handful of Australian universities ranking higher than Boston, all free.
I wasn't comparing specific universities (pay attention). I said that higher education in the US was by far the best in the world, and that is true.
Not according to the evidence you are presenting.
Well I am sure you are the exception that proves the rule. Just remember - you are special.
I was not insulting you. Merely making an observation.
You are very good at spotting typing errors. Do you do that for a living?
Gosh, that's cute. Do you intend to go on insulting me?
I knew it. You are very good at it. Well done. You are a credit to your school. It must have taken many many hours of training.
So - why do educated people upset you so? It seems as though you have quite a good education your self. Admittedly, not top tier, but you look for typing errors for a living. You don't really need a top class education to do that.
See if you can spot any typos in this for me, would you?
So you do intend to just continue insulting me? Why?
No no - I am not insulting you. Is there something wrong with not having a top class education? If so - I apologize. I had no idea this would be an insult.
You are very good at what you do. I missed that typo and you were on it like white on rice (not a racist attack).
Gosh, clever again. Feel free to relax anytime, really.
Good grief. Am I hallucinating? Yes, the US has some great universities, and some extremely good research, but... ever heard of Oxford, and Cambridge? Ever heard of Germany? Give yourself a slap, now there, won't you....
Not sure what anyone felt was the origin of this discussion but for me, this quote is more than fitting.
For someone who claims to hold a masters in linguistics and a bachelors in political science and philosophy, this discussion was over before it started.
I really want to know, really really want to know... please wise one can you do me a favour and relieve some of my ignorance. How is it that the US manages to tower over the world in quality higher education? Please, please can you help me, please give me some facts.
Because the system is based on competition and draws the best of the US and the rest of the world.
Good Lord -- and other universities are not based on competition??????? Now *that* is something I can tell you about....
The problem always seems to be the same. Look, America is a great place. Point accepted. Anyone would be insane to dispute this. But Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Britain... I mean the point is that all these places are all enormously impressive -- I mean, in terms of history, they are miracle entities; true marvels of human achievement, and staggering success. Who cares if x is a bit better than y in some ways -- *all* of them are the envy of the four billion who are deprived of the things we take so for granted.
Did you notice what country represented the top spot and the vast majority of at least the top 25 of the list you linked to?
Yawn. Look. Only a madman would dispute the general point; thank God for American scholarship, and research. Absolutely. No question.
But for God's sake, give some of the rest of us some credit. I mean, Canada, with a population of only 30 million, has two universities in the world top twenty, according to some charts. And Australia, with 15 million, even has one, by some measures.
I mean, you've got the biggest economy in the world, and an enormous population, equivalent to that of Western Europe, I'd imagine; under these circumstances, you'd better hope you're in the top rankings!
That's all I'm sayin' - yo. Taking nothing away from the many fine centers of higher learning all over the world. Maybe you have to see the context from which this whole line of discussion began. A couple of my good friends here trying to play "You're a dummy! You should get some education!" foolishness yet again. (again! )
according to the link I provided, of the top 5, US holds 2 spots, UK 3.
There are many ways to look at stats, but as previous poster stated, 'by far' is a bit dramatised.
judging a nations education system on the few at the top is hardly a true measure. Even still, it is argueable.
And when US universities tend to be unaffordable for many, and German universities cost 200 dollars a year to attend...
Oh please. OK, I'll revise that. US "private" universities.
Not even then. If a student has the ability there is a vast array of options for financing an education at the very best university he or she can be accepted to (including, of course, scholarships).
All I can say is that in Canada a large number of students usually end up with a mountain of student debt that they end up defaulting on anyway -- great way to run an education system
Of course there is a cost to obtaining anything of great value.
Well, of course, as you know, I have been spoilt by forty years of free health care. I also do not have to pay for police services, fire services, road building and road repair, and didn't pay for my education until I was eighteen. I also don't pay for water or sewer.
Of course, in fact I pay for all of these things: through taxes, and in fact there is no reason in principle why higher education cannot be paid for through taxes -- but this is surely a whole other debate....
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