October 12, 2007

Anyone remember when this meant something? Wal-Mart doesn't. Nor do most Americans.

I especially don't understand the faux-news watching, country music listening, George Bush supporting, flag-waving, uber-patriotic Americans who then run off to Wal-Mart and Target and load up their foreign cars with cheap crap from China.

One word: Hypocrites.

I'm anti-union, so don't get me wrong. Unions killed American manufacturing by making it uncompetitive and inefficient. But what I'd like HP'ers to think about is when given a choice between an American-made product, and one from China, if you truly love America, truly care about your fellow countrymen, and want to do what you can make your country a better place, buy American when you can.

Wal-Mart says they have to buy from China since their customers don't have the money to buy American. Why don't American Wal-Mart customers have the money to buy American? BECAUSE THEY HAD THEIR JOBS TAKEN OR WAGES SUPPRESSED BY CHINA AND NOW HAVE TO WORK AT PLACES LIKE WAL-MART!


The Countrywide Toxic Mortgage wristband from China was the last straw folks. There had to be an American company who makes those things. But like importing cheap illegal labor from Mexico to build his crappy houses, Angelo just had to cut corners so that he could enrich himself even further.

Buy American. Support American businesses. Shop local. Buy second hand. Don't shop atWal-Mart. Know where your stuff comes from. And do you really need all that cheap crap from China?

(And don't forget, the trillions of dollars of cheap crap we bought from China so attractively priced because of their manipulated currency caused our housing bubble as China bought US t-bills with the imbalance thus artificially deflating our interest rates causing the suckers to overpay for houses)


Now back to faux news for sheeple with the American flag in the corner of the screen and our regularly scheduled programming.

CEO Says Wal-Mart Needs Low-Cost Imports So It Can Offer Prices People Can Afford

ROGERS, Ark. (AP) -- Chief Executive Lee Scott defended Wal-Mart's reliance on low-cost imports Thursday against what he called emerging economic nationalism. Scott told a retailing conference he would like to stock more American-made goods but that Wal-Mart's business model is based on offering the lowest price for consumers who cannot afford to spend more.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which imported $18 billion in goods from China in 2004, has been a lightening rod for critics who say overseas buying by retailers has cost U.S. manufacturing jobs. Wal-Mart has said it finds the lowest prices for its customers and creates jobs at its stores.

"Even with the economic nationalism that's emerging today, the anti-China kind of thing, much of the product, if it moves out of China because of tariffs, is going to move to Indonesia or Vietnam or Cambodia," Scott said.

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that 20% of Wal-Mart customers are illegal Mexicans who came over to build the houses

Anonymous said...

I couldn't care less is something is Made in the USA. If I have to pay a union slob $40 an hour or pay a Chinese non-union worker $4 a day to get the same product, guess which one I choose as a consumer?

Union greed and stupidity killed American manufacturing. They still have some auto jobs and yet the UAW is hell bent on killing GM, Ford and Chrysler.

Anonymous said...

If we don't become a production economy again soon, we are certainly going to become less of a consumption economy.

The problem is the total lopsided nature of imports/exports.

Unions were a large part of making us non competitive, as were excessive employee protections. Look at France!

Keith - the economic crash that is headed our way should be egerly received by HPers. It is the NECESSARY first step to correcting the problem.

When this crash finally wrests the candy out of the manic America consumer's hand, then we're on our way.

We will need several years of pain, and a complete change in our values. Americans will need to re-learn the values that brought the 'greatest generation' through the depression. Goodbye ipod and hummer, hello work ethic and discount clothing.

B

MrBill said...

What would you guys say if you were told that US manufacturing output is at or near an all time high, even when adjusted for inflation?

Anyone who denies this please cite your source.

Stuck in So Pa said...

Anonymous said...
I couldn't care less is something is Made in the USA. If I have to pay a union slob $40 an hour or pay a Chinese non-union worker $4 a day to get the same product, guess which one I choose as a consumer?

Union greed and stupidity killed American manufacturing. They still have some auto jobs and yet the UAW is hell bent on killing GM, Ford and Chrysler.
___________________________

That’s why the unions have all gone into the public sector, you know, state and federal worker's unions, teacher's unions, etc.

Unions had their place at one time in American history, but they got too greedy and powerful. Having trashed American industry they had to have a new source of income; what better than the government. Where else can you work and get high pay, cradle-to-grave benefits, no accountability, no responsibility, no competition and you produce no product, unless you can count mindless, useless bureaucracy, crappy roads, collapsing infrastructure, and dumb kids as products!

AND the union’s company (your government) gives them fat pensions, for life, that you could never hope to equal, ON YOUR TAX PAYING BACKS! Why, because the "company" has an unending source of funds, YOU’RE WALLET!

I see that Chrysler’s on strike now, I hope that the UAW trashes the ‘BIG THREE’. With the unions unending demands, and the crappy products the American car companies put out, they both deserve to go down hard. Like an FB, that is the price you ultimately pay for being stupid and greedy!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous @ 12:30:

"Union greed and stupidity killed American manufacturing...."

True to some degree, but so did CEO "greed and stupidity"...and stockholder "greed and stupidity". We are all collectively to blame for allowing it to occur. So in some respect, we get what we deserve.

However, pro- or anti-union as anyone may be on 10/12/2007, if there'd been no unions on 10/12/1907, the conditions a la "The Jungle" would've continued on into today. A lot of the "normal" job conditions we know today were created by the sweat, tears and blood of unions.

Do unions need to "modernize"? Sure...but if anyone expects a rebuilding of our economy without a similar rebuilding of the union's core value (protecting workers from dangerous conditions, unfair practices, etc.) in either reformed unions or a new paradigm, is in for a rude awakening. Don't eat the new American sausage...

uniball said...

Keith:

I assume you spend the weekends shopping at local American businesses.

Anonymous said...

Made in the USA
What about movies, music, bombs, and porn?

keith said...

No, I don't shop at American businesses living in England, and I find it sad that there's not much in the way of American products here (except two of our worst - marlboros and bud), but I pay plenty of US taxes for wars I don't support and services that I don't use and social security and medicaid/medicare which I'll never see.

Meanwhile I do seek out british-made products and businesses versus communist china's, and only support locally owned businesses and restaurants and pubs so that my money stays in the community in which I live

but point taken - and being an expat can get a bit confusing.

I sure miss heinz dill pickles and good buffalo wings too

Andrew from Russia said...

Err... ehm... Two bottles of Tabasco(R) in the fridge and three Kingston DIMMs (possibly made with Asian chips anyway) in my PCs. Even the box with my copy of WinXP comes from Ireland.

But yes, greenbacks are ubiquitous - any Russian household has more in these than in US-made goods that could back the moribund paper.

Bitterrenter said...

So Keith thinks unions made american goods too expensive an uncompetitive and is anti-union. Only 7% of workers belong to a union. Then why is manufacturing still leaving this shithole country?

You always want it both ways. And you never see how your conservative leanings are the problem.

Bitterrenter said...

The collective conservative ignorance here is why this cesspool of as culture is doomed. The best thing would be for america to hasten its demise and do humanity a favor by disappearing.

Anonymous said...

Communist China? But Keefer you are a communist as are your followers. You should celebrate China.

Mammoth said...

Let’s not blame the unions for the crappy American-built cars.

The responsibility for this sits squarely on the shoulders of the greedy CEO’s and management (i.e. the decision makers) who continue to put cost-cutting ahead of the quality and reliability of the ‘Big Three’s’ products.

-Mammoth

Anonymous said...

I bought a few American made cars.They went down in value about twice as fast as an import and lasted half as long as an import.Sorry American car makers you now lost me as a customer.I now only buy imports as cars.I want my car to last longer then 3 years, im on 10 years now with the import.As Walmart i agree and i try to buy american made goods although ts hard to find them sometimes.

russdog said...

It's instructive to read the Wal mart exec's reply..
It shows how the GW crowd policies have unleashed a race to the bottom through their slash and burn capitalism.

If Wal mart didn't do it somebody else will. Talk about downward wage pressures.

Don't think I support the UAW though. They seriously do have 80-90K/year janitors. 12/ hour was enough to attract workers once the UAW agreed to a dual-tiered pay system. But the UAW isn't singly to blame. They don't design the lackluster cars, but their high legacy costs force the designers / engineers to make risky or stupid design decisions and compromises.

Remember the firestone tires? Cost pressures. Same with numerous other recalls. they were efforts to skrimp costs that blew up in the faces of the auto companies. Desperate to cut costs bc of the union health care / pension tabs out of a reducing market share, the Big 3 mgt was becoming completely schizo. I learned that GM has 2+ retirees for every active worker.

In Japan the health care is socialized to a high degree, to the advantage of their manufacturers. In China they don't have much health care for bottom-rung workers, to speak of.

Anyway I saw this firsthand as a development engineer with 2 different suppliers. Also learned that some things (car seats) actually weren't going to be successfully outsourced to china yet bc of shipping costs/ damage potential/ and the knowledge required in supplying the product.

thanks for the blog- you saved me from making dumb house purchase & a dumb investment decision in financial stock.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I couldn't care less is something is Made in the USA. If I have to pay a union slob $40 an hour or pay a Chinese non-union worker $4 a day to get the same product, guess which one I choose as a consumer?

Union greed and stupidity killed American manufacturing. They still have some auto jobs and yet the UAW is hell bent on killing GM, Ford and Chrysler.

October 12, 2007 12:30 PM

This tripe is representative of the thinking that has caused our collapse as a great industrial power, capable of producing great amounts of physical wealth.

And UAW is not responsible for the demise of the American auto industry. That award belongs to the off shore hedge funds typified by Cerberus (the 3 headed dog who guards the gates of hell).

You support the hedge funds who produce -0- of any value and at the same time moan about the pay rates for skilled labor who produce wealth that you need.

And do morons like you realize that the auto industry has the largest concentration of "machine tool" capabilities in the United States? If you let the hedge funds bankrupt the auto industry then you'll lose your machine tool industry which will all but guarantee the demise of this nation.

Jeff in Florida said...

Hey Mr. Bill,

How about citing your source?

Jeff in Florida said...

A few weeks ago I was in a major chain drugstore and came accross a display of those magnetic "Support Our Troops" ribbons that you see affixed sideways to all of the gas guzzling SUV's.

I turned it over and sure enough it read "Made in China".

I turned everyone of them around on the display so that maybe one of the hypocrytes can see that they are actually supporting china's troops and not ours.

Anonymous said...

Kieth,

Reality is calling, please pickup.

Anon

Anonymous said...

.


Most Americans don't understand because they haven't bothered to learn the language !


.

yousuck said...

Though I am not in favor of excessive unionization, to blame the unions is just dumb...

Most of the excess cost of American production in related to paying into Medicare/SS, various taxes, health insurance, quality control (to protect consumers), regulatory compliance (heard of Sarbanes-Oxley?), complying with workplace and enviornmental saftey, providing livable wages for 500K shoebox housing, on and on.....

I guess the downside of globalization is that our country/corporations needs to treat it's workers and it's enviornment and it's consumers like a third world Communist nation...where do I sign up?

I guess the other downside is that payroll taxes (once illegal) will now have to support our massive government since we won't be able to levy corporate taxes anymore.

You skanks talk about this stuff as if you wouldn't mind working 20 hour days for slave labor while breathing toxic fumes...and how about your 10 year old - we need kids in the factories too...

Most of you think you are better than REAL workers - but weren't these things brought about by lawyers who were trying to improve America...or that's what they said...over the past 50 years....

God, the ignorance blows my mind.

You deserve what you get...

Anonymous said...

this is the honest to Gods truth..

At the White House picked up a mint...said made in China on the mint (hotel style) with WH logo on it..

michael said...

My daughter was 7 years old and had started reading labels and things. When she realized all her dolls and toys were made in China, poor thing started crying. Later that year we were attending a 4th of July parade where they were handing out the little paper-flags-on-toothpicks.

Sure enough, in tiny little letters "Made in China."

Out of the mouths of babes:

"They couldn't even find someone to make flags Dad?

Anonymous said...

Unions didn't kill American manufacturing. Management and government trade policies killed American manufacturing.

Germany is much more highly unionized than the U.S., their workers are much higher paid than American workers, and they export more manufactured products around the world than anyone but China.

When you come to understand why that is, you'll understand that railing against unions is, well, ignorant.

42 said...

well in most cases I don't have the luxury of choice between made-in-China/Viet Nam/etc and US-made general products (discounting cars and high-end shit, though much of the content in your Mexican Chevy comes from China). about the only US-made clothing left are socks of all things. sure there's American Apparel on the high end but that's not much of a choice when the only store is on the most expensive street in town.

given a REASONABLE choice, I will buy American. in most cases the choice isn't there at all or the price spread is enormous. and I will never buy a US car because they're all complete shit.

US manufacturing for producers/industrials may be at an all-time high, but for consumer products, 70% of our economy, it's nil. I am not in the market for a set of GE engines for a 787.

k.w. - southern ca. said...

Well, we still have strong unions for our public sector jobs, and the salaries for these areas continue to go up.

Every worker here deserves some protection from corporatations, but it must be within the best interests of both - and that's where the problem always lies.

If this country had spent more time building up it's manufacturing base, instead of busy cutting wages and shipping jobs oversees, we'd be alot better off now, and we wouldn't have a need for cheap products made at Walmart.

Anonymous said...

Heres another "effect" of the Walmartization of the US economy.

IRS Report Shows the Worst U.S. Income Inequality on Record
Increase DecreaseOctober 12, 2007 (LPAC)--The wealthiest 1% of Americans earned 21.2% of all income in 2005, according to the IRS - a record beating even the dot.com bubble days of the 90s. It was "only" 19% in 2004, and beats the 20.8% of 2000. The entire bottom half of the population earned only 12.8% of all income, down from 13.4% in 2004 . The IRS says this income disparity was last seen in the 1920's, although they don't have precise records for that era.

President Bush, asked about this by the Wall Street Journal yesterday, responded: "First of all, our society has had income inequality for a long time. Secondly, skills gaps yield income gaps." His No Child Left Behind is aimed at solving that, he said. He made no mention of his "No Child Left Alive" veto of the SCHIP children's health insurance bill.

The Brookings Institutes's James Furman (of the Hamilton Project) says there has been increasing inequality for 30 years, other than an artificial improvement after the dot.com bubble burst.

The IRS report showed that hedge fund managers were far out on top, with the top 25 hedge fund managers earning more in 2004 than the CEOs of all the S&P 500 combined! Also, profits per partner in the top 100 law firms doubled between 1994 and 2004, to over $1 million.

The IRS also showed that median income of the lower 50% fell by 2% between 2000 and 2005.

keith said...

Union membership has fallen from 32% in 1948 to 13% today

Unions put themselves out of business, and put American manufacturing out of business, with their unresonable compensation and benefit demands, combined with their ass-backwards anti-productivity posture

If America is to ever make things again, it'll have to be without unions. And that'll be a good thing

Watch for China to open up factories in the US one day especially for heavy industries like cars, trucks and planes

The dollar's downfall will eventually make Made in America attractive again from a pricing standpoint. But by that point it may be too late, as we won't be making anything.

And we especially won't be making houses.

Anonymous said...

I really don't see why people hate Walmart so much. I don't buy a lot of crap, but I do buy my food, toiletries, dishes, etc from Walmart. I don't buy their bicycles, tvs, furniture... But the dishes and glasses I got from Walmart were made in the USA. The food usually USA or Italy (pasta). Toiletries are USA made. You can find a lot there that is made in the USA. But if you are there to buy stuff to fill your house, then you are out of luck. Now one thing I did buy were dress pants & dress shirts there which are non-USA made. But I have been to places that are expensive ($200 a piece) and they are still non-USA made. If you can't get USA made stuff period, then might as well go with the cheapest. I'm sorry if you disagree but Walmart is inexpensive and offers variety including USA made items.

Mammoth said...

Keith wrote,
“Unions put themselves out of business, and put American manufacturing out of business, with their unreasonable compensation and benefit demands, …”
---------------
It is not realistic to solely blame unions for the offshoring of American jobs. For an example, take Mackie http://www.mackie.com/), a firm that makes music-related equipment. At one time they had over 400 people working in manufacturing. There was never any union there.

Guess what – they laid off ALL their production personnel, and moved their manufacturing to China, where their product are now built.

No, the greedy CEO’s and their boot-licking management minions get the credit for these American jobs that were lost – not the unions.
-Mammoth

Anonymous said...

The myth of the reliable foreign car is mind boggling. Repeat something often enough and it becomes true.
My wife recently had one of her friends tell her with a straight face that he Toyota minivan is great. It has 50,000 miles on it and she "only had to replace the transmission".

Meanwhile my 12 year old Ford T-Bird is still going strong. I'll probably keep it another 5 to 8 years.

People buy imports because they're snobs.

Anonymous said...

While I am not necessarily a union supporter myself, and generally agree that some of the unions held too much sway, the unions did not kill America- the real culprit was and remains corporations and politicians bought and paid for by corporations- that and granting China most favored nation trade status- which was bought and paid for by corporations.

Anonymous said...

The last thing that I believe that I bought that was made in America, other than the pizza I just had, was a set of Oneida flatware that I purchased at Target about 5 years ago. Yeah, it cost more than the other stuff that they had at the time, but it was actually of much higher quality and was, and remains , all nicely polished. And, stupid as it sounds, to this day every time that I open the drawer to get a fork, knife or spoon, I actually get a little smile on my face and am proud of my flatware that was Made in the USA- most likely at their facility in Buffalo, NY.

urgent wake-up call said...

AND...

Now ADD all of the American workers who either:

Lost their job
Fired
Laid off
Reduced wages
Reduced sales commissions
Reduced bonuses
Reduced hours of work

And you'll see the REAL picture.

Bush, Cheney and the rest of the GOP regime are now considered as a gang of criminals, thieves, liars and mass-murderes. From the fake election results, to the 9/11 fake attacks, to the "no-oath" 9/11 investigation cover-ups, to the lost and unwanted Afgan and Iraq bush-co wars, death and injuries to thousands and thousands of American troops, to the massive authorized home loan scams, moving jobs overseas, not taxing foreign auto imports, the destruction of the US Constitution, providing fake economic data, increased gas prices, triple house prices, to fake national news stories, to illegal torturing, countless international war crimes, illegal spying on ALL americans, consentration camps, illegal profiteering and wasting over $2 trillion in unneeded bush-co theft wars, I would say we have WAY enough information to arrest any republican who supports the bush and cheney criminal regime.

Supporting a criminal (or hiding the truth about a criminal act) is a criminal act. Bush and Cheney need to be impeached and/or arrested ASAP! If you do not support impeachment, you are now considerd a criminal (either for republicans (except for Ron Paul), democrats, independents or mass media CEO's and board members as well)

anon666 said...

there's not much in the way of American products here (except two of our worst - marlboros and bud)

Dude, those are my staples.... life can't be that bad there.

Osman said...

....being an expat can get a bit confusing.

Especially when you get smacked with double taxation.

Ultimately, the cost of American goods are now a whole lot cheaper courtesy of the declining dollar. It hasn't filtered through completely (yet) but it's coming.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if we had Unions we would have these problems! If Americans don't have the income to by the crap at Walmart what are Corporations going to do. Everyone can't be tomato pikers here.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to use web sites like BuyAmerican.com or usstuff.com if you want to buy goods made in the U.S.A. I'm sure there are other web sites too--just check Google....

MrBill said...

"Hey Mr. Bill,

How about citing your source?"


Here is a good summary, look at slide 6 at the bottom of page 3.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/cea/
forbes_nabe_usmanufacturing_3-26-042.pdf

There are detailed reports that give the exact numbers year to year but this is enough to show the trend. Certainly manufacturing jobs have been lost and some of them have been lost overseas. But the vast majority of lost jobs were victim to increased productivity.

JP said...

Keith,

Unions are only a small part of the problem. Here's one real-life example:

Back in the 80s, I got a couple of RCA console TVs from a guy for free and tried to repair them (I was studying to be an EE at the time). One TV was from the early 1960s, and one was from the early 1970s. I got the schematics for both sets and was shocked to see that there was virtually no design improvements to the chassis in TEN YEARS (other than combining separate tubes into one, and then changing to the tiny steel-encased tubes called Nuvistors).

Meanwhile over in Japan, they had decided in the 1950s to take over the American TV market and were working steadily toward that end, using newer technology (transistors) and superior designs.

So when the Japanese "solid-state" color TVs hit the American market in the mid-1970s, they blew the outdated, unreliable American TVs out of the market in short order.

Rather than spend the untold millions it would have taken to stay competitive, the American TV companies closed plants and outsourced production to foreign countries (or sold relabeled Japanese-designed sets).

You can't blame the unions for this kind of thing. The lack of long-term vision, willingness to reinvest company profits into R&D, and so on falls directly upon upper management of any given company.

I also worked in the auto industry during college, so I have first-hand knowledge of the UAW. The non-assembly-line union workers (painters, pipfitters, janitors etc) were the ones with the cush jobs, whereas anybody that works on an assembly line works their butt off and deserves to get paid well for what they are doing.

BitterRenter said...

Yeah Keith, China does have lower labor rates. They just force people to work for free, chain children to tables making crap for us and harvest organs from poor people to sell to rich people around the world.

Sounds great and MUCH preferable to the big, bad, greedy unions.

Anonymous said...

You people have no sense of economics at all. Exports are not just things you put on a ship bound for the other side of the world.

US movies are sold worldwide and generate billions in revenue for US companies. Same with music. Sae with CNN which is available and paid for by literally billions of people worldwide.

Anytime someone clicks on a google ad from Japan, a US copmany (google) gets revenue. That's a US export.

Ebay is used by millions of people all over the world. Every time an item is listed on ebay from outside the US , that is an export.

I personally have done consulting work for a French company this year. I was paid about $10,000 for my services. That was $10,000 worth of US exports even though I never even set foot in France nor did I make a "thing" that went to France.

And on and on. Stop focusing on the fact China makes your toothpaste and focus on the bigger picture.

Anonymous said...

It's not the Chinese who are letting tens of millions of dirty, stupid, illegal aliens invade their country!

America has thrown its future away.

China is at least smart enough to look after itself.

I prefer Chinese products, since an American product is simply a vote for more illegal immigration and the morons who put up with it.

Shakster said...

That was before you were born Kieth.1950 caddys,and fords were the cream then,then some bankers got involved.

Anonymous said...

Keith,
I'd like to start by thanking you for saving me from a BIG mistake in real estate in the last year. I will always be in "debt" to you for that.

I also admire you for the time and effort spent on informing and educating others.

I'll be 50 this year, yeah.... I'm one of the terrible boomers ruining our country. I've been in the same house for for over 25 years and have very little debt and a stay at home wife. I've spent the last 31 years of my work life in and out of union work places. The first 16 spent in union construction & electricial utilities. The last 15 spent as a non-union technical professional. Thirty of these years have involved working 24/7 rotating shifts, nights, weekends & holidays.Twice in those 30 years I've been "stuck" at work 3 days non-stop in near blizzard conditions. The first 8 years also involved an average of 1000 hours per year of overtime. Yes 1000 hours.

In recent years I hear many of my younger associates at work speak badly of unions without the benefit of experience or knowledge. I'm not familiar with the UAW or government employee unions and so I will not comment on them. I can tell you that my experience with the men and women in the union construction and electricial trades were the best years of my work life. You would find it difficult today to find a harder working, better trained and educated group.

In my current work place we lack the respect of management that existed during the time I spent in union workplaces. I have watched as the wages and benefits of those of us that actually perform work have slid with respect to management. I see the decline of our infrastructure and the increase of risk taking in the pursuit of profit everyday. It pains me to think of the changes I've witnessed in 30 + years. Many of my younger associates are the "sheeple" you write about. In general, I find them to be more than willing to complain about the world and current conditions, but unwilling to speak up for themselves or take any action to make a change for the better. Very few of them vote.I have cast my vote in every election since I reached voting age.

As for unions ruining the American work place..... I have to disagree with you!

Might I suggest you look at the rise of the multi-national corporation (of which many are American) and the greed of those who lead them. Also consider NAFTA, the amount of "un-documented" immigrant labor performing all those jobs "Americans" do not want to do (for the wages offered) and the resulting suppression of wages. The export of "American" jobs has more to do with these corporations ability to move work to anywhere they can exploit under-educated and economicly disadvantaged peoples than damage by unions. I suspect some union bashing results from those who envy the will of others who are willing to risk their futures for fair & equal treatment and a decent standard of living. I'm not claiming unions have done no wrong, but I can tell you from "experience" that the world as I know it, is a better place due to the unions I was a member of.

I make a special effort to purchase "American". But what is "American". After an unbroken string of 12 "American" automobiles, last month I purchased a Honda Accord, my first "Foreign" car. I considered models from all the "American" makers I've purchased from in the past. For the first time I considered "Foreign" brands. After 2 months of test drives, reading and comparing, I bought a "Foreign" car assembled in "America" by "American" workers, containing a percentage of domestic parts as high as many "American" cars. I'm torn by my choice. What is "American" today?

I can tell tell you what was "American". Much of what I know as "America" was fought for and "Earned" by the Unions I wish I could be a member of today.
I'm glad they dreamed of what could and should be, and had the courage to organize and fight for a safe and fair workplace with jobs that paid a decent wage that provided a standard of living that was the envy of the world.

If you want a better country and life, Work hard, Vote, don't whine, act, hold politicians accountable, save for the future, be true to yourself, never stop learning, always remain curious, ask questions, be an independant thinker and be thankful for those who made possible what we take for granted by doing these things.

Anonymous said...

YOU KNOW I AM SICK AND TIRED OF PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY THAT CONTINUE TO BASH UNIONS. I CONSIDER
THIS THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD AND I AM A PROUD HARDWORKING
UNION ELECTRICIAN. UNIONS IN THIS COUNTRY ARE LIKE WALKING DINOSAURS,
YET STILL EVERYONE WANTS TO BLAME THE WOES OF COMPANIES ON THE LABOR
FORCE. WITHOUT UNIONS, IMAGINE HOW
MUCH LESS OF A MIDDLE CLASS THERE
WOULD BE IN THIS COUNTRY. UNIONS WERE CREATED TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS
IN THE WORKFORCE AND CREATE A LIVING WAGE. SOMEHOW MOST PEOPLE
IN THIS COUNTRY HAVE TAKEN THE
CORPORATE SIDE OF THIS STORY AND
BLAME LABOR FOR EVERYTHING. I GUESS
ITS WRONG TO WANT TO HAVE HEALTH CARE, A PENSION, SAFETY STANDARDS,
PROPER SKILLED TRAINING, REPRESENTATION, ETC. WHAT AM I THINKING I ONLY DESERVE HALF MY PAY
WITH NO BENEFITS, MEANWHILE THE CORPORATE REPS DESERVE THE MILLIONS THEY RECEIVE AND THE ALL
TIME CORPORATE PROFITS FOR MOVING
OPERATIONS OVER SEAS.
BAD MANAGEMENT, CORPORATE GREED, AND UNWILLINGNESS TO CHANGE WITH TIMES ARE THE PROBLEM NOT LABOR. LABOR DOES NOT CREATE ITS OWN WORK, THEY SHOW UP AND DO THE JOB AND COLLECT THEIR PAYCHECK. WHEN THEY SHOW UP AND THE GATES ARE LOCKED, ITS NOT LIKE THEY CAN CONTINUE OPERATING THE BUSINESS.
I AM AN AMERICAN FIRST, NOT A REPUBLICAN OR A DEMOCRAT. WE HAVE
SERIOUS PROBLEMS ON OUR HAND THAT
MUST BE RESOLVED. AT ANY TIME GM,
CHRYSELER, AND FORD COULD FOLD THEN
WHAT. ARE THE WORKERS GOING TO SAY IT CAN'T HAPPEN. THOSE COMPANIES EASILY COULD HAVE SAID YOU TAKE $20.00 HR OR WE CLOSE!!!
UNIONS WERE CREATED BECAUSE THERE WERE SEVERE JOB SAFETY ISSUES, EXTREMELY LOW PAY, NO REPRESENTATION. HMMMM SOUNDS ALOT
LIKE THE CHINA WORKFORCE, AND THATS WHAT EVERYBODY WANTS HERE.
WOW! THE CORPORATIONS REALLY HAVE THIS COUNTRY BRAINWASHED. SOUNDS LIKE THIS COUNTRY IS GOING BACKWARDS.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT UNIONS DO HAVE TO ADJUST TO THE TIMES ALONG WITH THE CORPORATIONS. WE HAVE BEEN AN ECONOMIC SUPERPOWER WITH UNIONS, AND WE WILL BE AGAIN.

LONG LIVE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!

Anonymous said...

Mr Bill sources come from the White House and Forbes. bwahahahaha, what a tool!

Anonymous said...

Unions are repository for those who can't. Teachers, auto workers, government workers, etc. Without unions you would be living on the streets.

Unions are nothing more than a welfare scheme. Sit on your ass all day and collect a "pay"check.

If you had a skill to offer you wouldn't need a union. You would get paid what you are worth. The fact you belong to a union proves you have nothing to offer an employer and use the union to artifically prop up your pay.

Anonymous said...

Keith,

I am an American living in SE Asia working for a british company, running a factory and presided over some factory closures in Europe with products coming into my factory.

Question: Am I un-American? I have to file US taxes.

Bill Cheeser

MrBill said...

Well Mr Anon, just about any economic report is going to have its roots in gov't data. There's a 75 page PDF compiles by the BLS with all the details going back to the 40s.

So Mr Smartypants, where is your competing data? Do you have a report showing US manufacturing output for the last 50+ years that is not based on government data?

Didn't think so. It's easier to just whine than to produce facts.

Anonymous said...

"THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT UNIONS DO HAVE TO ADJUST TO THE TIMES ALONG WITH THE CORPORATIONS. WE HAVE BEEN AN ECONOMIC SUPERPOWER WITH UNIONS, AND WE WILL BE AGAIN."

Any reason you can't write without ALL CAPS? Idiot!

Anonymous said...

"US movies are sold worldwide and generate billions in revenue for US companies. Same with music. Sae with CNN which is available and paid for by literally billions of people worldwide.

Anytime someone clicks on a google ad from Japan, a US copmany (google) gets revenue. That's a US export."

None of which helps the person whose manufacturing job went to China, or the guy who lost his IT job to someone in India. Moron!

Anonymous said...

I suspect most of the durable and consumable purchases made by our 'fearless' host at HP are not made in America.

He would probably like it that we would pay American workers $4/hour in order to give him the smug satisfaction of saying "I buy American."

At the same time, our host would rail against providing our low-wage American compatriots proper health and medical benefits.

And when it comes time to raise a few taxes to maintain the roads so he can drive to this week's bargains at Walmart, our host will surely bitch and moan about government inefficiency and tax dollars wasted.

Hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

America needs Unions because Corporations would take advantage of workers without them .
I have witnessed Corporations taking away pensions ,health plans ,profit sharing ,and everything that made a employee have a stake in a Company .
The Americans are screwed now because the Corporations are into global selling and cheap labor ,so who cares about American jobs.

What made America strong is a strong middle class that could get ahead in part because of the protection of Unions .The balance scale started tilting a little to much in favor of the employee ,but that could of been worked out .
Now the Corporations have totally dumped on the American workers in favor of outsourcing and cheap labor anywhere they can get it,even outside the American borders .
Just watch the Wall Street cheerleaders and you will see that all they can talk about is how well global markets are doing ,while the Americans use credit cards to maintain their lifestyle that is quickly vanishing .
America needs good paying jobs to keep strong ,and we should not have to compete with slave labor in China .We should start taxing American Corporations enough to make it unprofitable for them to take jobs away from Americans .America can't live off the sports and movie industry ,or real estate bubbles or stock market bubbles for very much longer .

Anonymous said...

I don't want any of that toxic, cheaply made crap from foreign countries anymore .

It was OK when 10% of your goods was from foreign countries but something is wrong if your a American and 90% of the goods you buy are produced outside America.

Yep, Corporations would love for the American to keep buying the crap they produce outside our borders after they paid some slave 3 dollars a hours to produce it .Don't kid yourself ,there isn't any quality control .

Anonymous said...


"Hey Mr. Bill,

How about citing your source?"


Here is a good summary, look at slide 6 at the bottom of page 3.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/cea/
forbes_nabe_usmanufacturing_3-26-042.pdf


Oh wow!!! The White House web site! Now that sure is an unbiased source. You must have also believed Bush when he said that their were WMDs in Iraq or when he said that offshoring good-paying jobs to India would make everyone prosper.