July 02, 2008

Hi. I'm America. I've seemed to have lost my manufacturing base. Has anyone seen it?


Oh, I'm sorry, didn't mean to disturb you. I see you're on your way to Wal-Mart again to buy more cheap Chinese crap. Hey, that's a nice "USA - Love it or Leave It" bumper sticker you have there on your Toyota. Oh, I see you have a flag pin on your lapel too. Nice touch.

Well, if you see my manufacturing base, let me know. Because if I can't find it soon, I have no idea how I'm going to promise future generations the prosperity that their parents enjoyed. And I don't know what I'll do with all my free time and all these people if I don't make things anymore. I guess I can always go down to Wal-Mart. They're hiring, right?

WANT TO BE TRULY PATRIOTIC THIS JULY 4TH WEEKEND HP'ERS? ONLY BUY AMERICAN. BOYCOTT WAL-MART. SHOP LOCALLY. READ THE CONSTITUTION WITH YOUR FAMILY. AND SPREAD THE WORD THAT FALSE-PATRIOTS ARE NO LONGER FOOLING AMERICA.


101 comments:

Anonymous said...

Read Jim Rogers "A Bull in China" to find out what happened to your manufacturing base.


DOPES!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, who needs a manufacturing base!

We need to fight them AL-CAYDAS!!!

Andrew from Russia said...

Hello America. Now, if you lose your CONSUMPTION base, you'll again have a balanced economy.

Lost Cause said...

That worked out realy great, didn't it?

Starbucks to lay off 7% or 12,000; close 600 stores.

Anonymous said...

Let it go folks, the ultraliberal administration at work in California:

San Francisco Shielding Crack Dealers from Deportation

A federal criminal investigation is underway in San Francisco to determine whether juvenile probation officers are shielding Honduran youths caught selling crack cocaine from prosecution and deportation.

According to a report Sunday in the San Francisco Chronicle, the drug offenders reportedly are being protected from prosecution and federal deportation under the city's immigrant sanctuary status, which prevents minors from being subject to the same U.S. immigration laws as adults.

Officials say the influx of young crack dealers from Honduras, and other nation states, has been on on-going problem in recent years.


http://tinyurl.com/56hu26

Your taxes are now paying for crack dealers from Honduras who are illegal aliens and don't get deported when caught by police. How nice. So you bunch of sheep just STFU and keep paying taxes up the wazoo, and don't forget that Hussein and his ultraliberal friends in Congress and from California are coming for your wallet. You better spin that hamster wheel harder to pay for all that expensive welfare. This is just the beginning. Crack dealers from Honduras, who happen to be illegal aliens, have more rights than you, little b!tches. No wonder California is bankrupt, but hey, gay marriage is priority!

Anonymous said...

get ready for another WMT rally .. time to buy WMT shares .. w00t w00t its the american way !

eric in vegas said...

"That worked out realy great, didn't it?

Starbucks to lay off 7% or 12,000; close 600 stores."

So what happens to a service economy when the service jobs go bye bye?

i've had it said...

there are many reason for the u.s. losing its manufacturing base (this has happened to many other industrialized countries, by the way), but one of the chief reasons is that unions got too greedy and used their power to extract wages and benefits that were far too high for the value their workers created. This allowed (forced) companies to ship their manufacturing to asia and other low cost producing countries.

Again, liberal policies help to destroy civilization once again. With all the other liberal policies being implemented, it is only a matter of time before america will be on its knees, ready to keel over (if it's not there already). i'll also say that the Repub policies of low interest rates have also contributed to the current state we are in from a macroeconomic perspective. But from a manufacturing perspective, a lot of the blame for its demise can be put squarely on the leftist -- and i might add, thugish -- labor unions.

Anon said...

Face it America. You're TOAST. No manufacturing base, in hock to the Extreme, decreasing net equity per household, lost morals (Christian nation - yeah right!), crime amongst the highest in the world, lowest savings ever, spead-out country dependent on low fuel costs, extreme separation of income,out of whack promises to the old (SS recipients that are continuing to receive every 2 years what they contributed their entire working life even considering inflationary factors), crazy Health Care costs that are only projected to increase (if Science was easy - everyone would pursue it, so, what are you going to do?), at war for what?...

keith said...

Agree - corrupt labor unions destroyed the American manufacturing base

The only thing they were successful at was getting all their workers fired while putting out crap overpriced uncompetitive products

Owner Earnings said...

Can't afford to shop locally.

Anonymous said...

You keep bashing Wal-Mart, but I shop there on a regular basis and I buy American made products, mostly food. A box of American made cereal is $1.00 cheaper than at the local grocery store. How is that un-American, buying American products for cheaper?

keith said...

Congrats on finding something made in America at Wal-Mart. That's so cute. But what else was in your basket?

When you shop at Wal-Mart (or Target or similar china-depots), another American worker loses their job or has their pay cut.

Your call. You may think you're saving money by shopping there, but you're killing America.

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/77/walmart.html

The Wal-Mart You Don't Know
By: Charles Fishman
The giant retailer's low prices often come with a high cost. Wal-Mart's relentless pressure can crush the companies it does business with and force them to send jobs overseas. Are we shopping our way straight to the unemployment line?

Stuck in So Pa said...

Agree again Keith! That's why the unions, having trashed American industry, have all fled to the federal government, states, counties, and school systems.

There, the big unions have found paradise! Their employer has bottomless pockets, there is no accountability, endless benefits, and none of that pesky "competition" that their old employers had that made them go under, because there is NO PRODUCT, unless you count arrogant, overpaid, government workers, crappy roads, and unbelievably dumbed-down kids!

Tray Deee said...

Try your best to find a television made in America. One that wasn't made in 1972. We're already stuck buying foreign goods.

Budvar said...

"keith said...

Agree - corrupt labor unions destroyed the American manufacturing base"


Then there's the other side of the coin with CEOs pulling a salary of $100 million a year. You couldn't spend that in a lifetime, as even at 5% in the old chequeing account it's making $96k a week!! and they're making this year after year.

Hey I don't begrudge anyone a livelyhood and the fruits of their labours, but the secret to immortality isn't worth a hundred million bucks a year, let alone sat in an office shining a seat with your arse.

Michael said...

I think there are some very smart people in this thread! Unions killed blue collar American (AKA our BACKBONE). Where are our steel workers? Where are our AMERICAN cars being made now? Unions allow some moron to extract 80K a year from a company for pressing a button. I applaud Wal-mart for not allowing its workers to unionize. The second that happens your prices will jump because some asshole will "negotiate" a pension that pays like their wages for like 20 years after they quit in 2 weeks. I'm all for buying American! Where can I buy a laptop or camera or other high tech device made in America? You can't! Make sure you thank of union worker today!

Unions had a time and place. But now they are used by unskilled losers to secure a high-paying job.

Marcie Sweet said...

ps and you will come home is dedicated to those who offer the ultimate sacrifice in order to preserve all that is right, good and truly American.
MLS# 991170: A mini video that has been written, directed, filmed, and produced by a builder and his agent in Nashville, TN as a means to market the builder's latest project, a majestic American Foursquare located at 1742 Hillmont Drive, Nashville, TN. In the film, a young American Korean War veteran makes his long journey back home after serving his country in battle. He is reunited with his family and inherits all that is right and good in life- the love of his strong family, a special heirloom gift from his proud father, and knowing he is finally home. At the end, he returns the favor to his son, years later.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdzPhqifcC4

michael said...

ketih,

are you saying that both parties had a hand in the demise of amercia?

it just can't be.

The Housing Bubble Ate My Balls said...

We have a manufacturing base...

Made in America....

People with MBAs and no clue (but, damn they must be smart, make them a CEO.)
The lowest MPG vehicles in the world.
McMansions.
Fatherless Welfare Babies.
Gangbangers.

Anonymous said...

A new national joke of a "politician" has been outed and has stepped up to take the media beating he so richly deserves.

The stunninly incompetent weasal Mayor of San Fran Freako the cuckolding main man himself Gavin 'any twosome' Newsome who never met a friend or campaign managers wife he didn't like...

Where does this gutter feeding shit come from?

Anonymous said...

I say good riddance. Manufacturing in the US makes no sense. It makes no sense to pay some drunk union member $25 an hour to perform a job 1/2 assedly when the same job can be performed for $2.50 by an Indian or Chinese. And in India there's no OSHA or any other bullshit govt intervention. Any CEO that keeps a factory in the US should be fired.

Anonymous said...

It's not just who owns the company, but where the products are manufactured. About 15 years ago, I had a part-time summer college job with GE. My boss explained to me that GE TVs (back when they were still making them) were made in Mexico while RCA, a French company, made most of their TVs right here in the states. Today, many Toyotas are built right here in US plants while GM makes many of their "American" cars in Mexico. Buying foreign products doesn't always mean you are putting Americans out of work and buying American doesn't always save American jobs. Think about it and then follow the money . . .

Anonymous said...

My father in law is on a buy-American kick all of a sudden. He's also turned into a China basher too. He's retired recently and I guess he spends his days reading blogs and in his old age is easily confused.

He and all of you protectinost twits should look up the Smoot-Hawley act and see how that all worked out. HINT: it extended the depression by about 5 years

Anonymous said...

Hey, Kieth,

Your pet project, Senator Obama, you remember: hope, change believe, blah blah blah.

He got a sweetheart loan deal from Northern Trust:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/01/AR2008070103008.html

For his mega-jumbo home loan.

Put him in the bin with Dodd et al?

The cons never change, only the names of the conmen and the marks.

consultant said...

Keith,

Pick up anything in your house that's less than 20 years old and my bet is it was made overseas. We make hardly anything anymore.

I call them corporate terrorists, super capitalists, the Gordon Geckos and the mysterious billionaire in the movie Network. America is just another place on the map to them. A place that, if you give them the opportunity, they will ruthlessly exploit for their own advantage. It's a game to them and the only thing that matters is whether they win or lose; and they only want to win.

Capitalism is a good thing, but like government, it needs a system of checks and balances to work properly. And no folks, the 'free market' is not enough of a check. See monopolies, inside trading, deceptive advertising and price fixing as just a small sample of problems we humans bring to capitalism.

A country can't remain properous if it doesn't MAKE things; manufacture stuff. Making things builds the social capital of a country. People figure out how to do stuff.

Americans are mostly consumers now. We've brought along a generation (40 and under) that mostly doesn't know how to figure out stuff (it's not their fault).

Go figure.

panicearly said...

americans preached globalization around the world for the last 30 years, where have you all been to be bitching about this now?
there are no loyalties with the business class.

Scott said...

I agree, it is the unions fault--
not to mention the real cause- teenage immigrant welfare mothers on drugs.
And of course those bree eating lib's.
Narrative and story are such fun!
I'm glad critical thinking is discouraged as a survival trait around here.

Buy Wal Mart, Buy American! said...

"keith said...
Your call. You may think you're saving money by shopping there, but you're killing America."

Keith, it's hopeless. There isn't time to educate these imbeciles one-at-a-time. These Wal-Mart upporters will make excellent greeters at the soon to be full-to-capacity FEMA camps. All they need to know is "May I help you?", toilets are over there...

Commnadant Cheney will be glad to re-educate them... Waterboards are the Blue Light Special today along with black hoods and plastic chinese handcuff restraints...

Heil Hitler!

Anonymous said...

You uninformed, MSM-parroting libs have already been schooled about the "loss" of the U.S. manufacturing base. Like the one-sided moron who keeps posting links about layoffs, all you have to do is Google the other side of the story to see how off base you are. It's called playing devil's advocate. Try it on yourself sometime.

Here's an article in the NY Times that talks about the "revival" of manufacturing in the U.S.: http://tinyurl.com/4mopbc

Revival is quoted because manufacturing never really went too far away. To see it you have to actually know blue-collar people and not talk about in your air-conditioned office tower break rooms.

Wow, 13 million jobs in a quarter of a million companies. I wonder if those 13 million say there is no manufacturing base? http://tinyurl.com/4nz6vg

Mark in San Diego said...

Aparently the word "BAILOUT" was added to the Constitution while we weren't looking. . .can we say GM, Ford, Citibank, American Airlines, etc. etc. . . .can't find much to buy - the American Flag I saw at Target was made in China!!

Anonymous said...

Then there's the other side of the coin with CEOs pulling a salary of $100 million a year. You couldn't spend that in a lifetime, as even at 5% in the old chequeing account it's making $96k a week!! and they're making this year after year.
-----------------------------

they don't make a salary of 100 Million a year. i know you are trying to make a point but come on.

they make less than 10% of that in salary.

The big numbers come from bonuses and other payouts, which seem to happen whether the company is doing well or not. The argument is when the company is doing well then they deserve to be rewarded. Ok, I agree. maybe it is excessive. The argument when the company is doing bad is "the company would be doing worse if it wasn't for me so CTC (Cut The Check) baby!". that is the one I really have a problem with. when you live by the sword you die by the sword.

Veronica Lodge said...

RE: BUY AMERICAN. BOYCOTT WAL-MART. SHOP LOCALLY...

Even if I go shopping locally in my American made vehicle, I will still need to power it with imported fuel.

The situation looks very grim:

US manufacturing base -- gone!

US domestic oil -- nearly gone!

US work ethic -- totally gone!

US leadership integrity -- long gone!

US dollar value -- going, going, gone!

The service-based, borrow and spend US economy is currently undergoing a slow motion implosion.

V.L.

Scott said...

"Only buy American"--in other words, DON'T BUY!

LIVE BELOW YOUR MEANS.

(Except, buy furniture from hardwoodartisans.com, and buy a bike from cannondale.com.)

(Headquartered in Bethel, Connecticut, Cannondale designs, develops and produces bicycles at its factory in Bedford, Pennsylvania)

Scott said...

Oh, and another manufacturing industry we still have--GUNS.

So buy a GUN.

Anonymous said...

Yes, let's blame it all on those corrupt greedy unions. So, okay, I'm asking for help to figure this out.

The last time I looked this stuff up (~2006?), the median union income was around $50k per year. For manufacturing, specifically, it was a bit higher, closer to $60k per year, I think (the service industry is lower than $50k per year). In order for outsourcing to make sense financially/cost-savings wise, the rule of thumb is that you need to contain costs to around 25% of what it would cost to manufacture in the US. The median income in China is less than $3000 per year. That's also without dental, vision, and health insurance. And also without any earned vacation days or sick days.

This means in order for the US to gain back its manufacturing base, it would need to reduce its median income to around $10k per year and do away with any and all other benefits.

So, Keith, and others of the blame-the-unions crowd, please educate me on what you think the effects of this would be on our economy and society, if any. Like I said, it's been a while since I looked at the numbers, so please update me with current numbers if you have them. If you believe our union pay is now out of control, please posit your scenario of how low they need to be in order to gain back our manufacturing industries. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Bush says he will sign bailout bill after all. Sorry renters.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/01
/news/economy/bush_housing_deal.ap/
index.htm?postversion=2008070118

drbungis said...

Actually a lot of Toyota's are produced in South of US
From wiki:
"Toyota has a large presence in the United States with five major assembly plants in Huntsville, Alabama; Georgetown, Kentucky; Princeton, Indiana; San Antonio, Texas; Buffalo, West Virginia; and a new one being built in Blue Springs, Mississippi"
BMW has a plant in SC and, I believe, Mercedes is either building or has built one in South also.
Conclusion is that you CAN build cars profitably in US and the issue is incompetence of Ford, GM, and Chrysler senior management. They made the same mistake twice (in 70's and now) thinking that oil is limitless and always will be cheap. I guess they can think only 1 year ahead while Japanese think 5-10 years ahead. So at least in this case blame them and not unions and government.

Anonymous said...

Unions destroyed America? Really? No doubt there are instances where "a moron could earn 80K for pushing a button", but putting the full blame on them is ludicrous.
As a society we decided that it'd be nice to have clean air and water and to have our neighbors be able to live above the poverty line and to retire with dignity. These things don't come free, and companies like WalMart have discovered they can eliminate the costs associated with these benefits by sending business to places where such niceties don't exist. So yes, you can buy a Chinese made toaster at WalMart for less than an American made toaster, but the side effect is that your neighbors, and your country suffers.
Unions? Sure. But a huge chunk of the blame is on major companies and on voters who just don't understand the concept of linkage.

edd said...

Babylon; Carthage; Rome;
Berlin; Tokyo; Pyongyang;
Baghdad; Harare; ... hmmm

suzanne researched it... said...

read the following article regarding the auto industry and los estados unidos. Grilled snapper turtle in the words of a great poet I cannot remember...

http://www.autoextremist.com/

-SRI

bickerer said...

A comment I made here about 8 months ago. It had to do with being revolted by, on a saturday, seeing 8 huge SUVs waiting at the drive thru line at Starbucks, because presumably it's occupants were too self-important to even make a cup of coffee anymore. Like the freakin Queen of England or something.

Comparing that scene to today, I think we've made some progress.

Anonymous said...

Obama gets sweetheart deal on mortgage. Seems like the Democrats are knee deep in mortgage fraud.

http://tinyurl.com/5rk3bx

Submit said...

Consumer Research

V said...

While I agree that losing our manufacturing base is a bad thing, I really don't see any way we could have kept it.

Even if you got rid of all our unions - how could we possibly compete with these other countries in terms of labor cost? I think it was inevitable that we would be in this position.

In theory, there was nothing wrong with letting other countries do our sh*t jobs (manufacturing) while we devoted ourselves to higher-level functions. However, it no appears obvious that we don't have an edge on these other countries even in the higher-level jobs now. India is doing to the service industry what China did to manufacturing, and other countries are sure to join.

However, I don't agree with the "boycott" mentality against non-American products. If my buying a quality foreign car puts some lazy, overpaid American union workers out of a job, so be it. They have nobody to blame but themselves for that.

You can't honestly expect people to overpay for products and services just so that we can keep our lazy union workers in an overpaid job with ridiculous benefits.

I say buy whatever product is the best and/or cheapest. Let the free markets work. Boycotts and tariffs don't work. America needs to wake up to the fact that we don't have the upper hand anymore.

I don't know what the solution is, but the "buy only American" sentiment sure as hell won't save us. We need to be more proactive and forward-thinking than that to get out of this jam.

Anonymous said...

I agree with some that unions were the partial cause. But the real culprit was Reagan and his supply siders. His administration vowed to get rid of the rust belt after he broke the union's back (starting with the air controllers) Problem was the Reagan admin didn't foresee the loopholes in their policy that allowed export of service industries and the key indutries. What all these experts fail to comprehend is when a country relies on another, such as manufacturing or oil, there is no guarantee that the foreign country will support the US. ie russian oil, african oil, both of which America supplied a ungodly amount of seed and investment money is now disincentivised to supply the US. I hate to, but I have to give China credit to lock up oil supplies around the world, thereby edging the US out of Number 1 Customer.

taloir said...

Manufacturing is so last century!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

hey, maybe that Russkie is right! we can ousource our consumption! Goodbye Ford! Goodbye GM! Goodbye Chrysler! Goodbye America, we are so F*CKED

Anonymous said...

WE ARE SLAVES WITHOUT CHAINS!

Slaves to corrupt government that fools us unto believing we elected them.

Slaves to The Federal Reserve System that has plunged our government and us into debt.

Slaves to the IRS who TAKES taxes from us to pay the interest owed to the Federal Reserve.

Slaves to the Supreme Court that does NOT uphold the US Constitution but rather redefines it.

Slaves to our other banks, mortgage companies, credit card issuers etc..

Slaves to large corporations through our jobs, our food, our utilities, our medicin.

Slaves without visible chains!

Willing compliance from the masses!!

It doesn’t get any better than that if you’re the slave master!!!

WAKE UP! PREPARE YOURSELVES! ARM YOURSELVES! JOIN OR FORM A MILITIA!

BE READY TO PROTECT OUR NATION FROM TYRANY AND RESTORE THE CONSTITUTION!

Also, listen to: http://www.theamericanvoice.com

Complain Here said...

http://www.affil.org/get_active/action-alerts

Anonymous said...

All fireworks are make in china. :)

Anonymous said...

First, I am not, nor have I ever been, in a union. Additionally, other than a brief 2 year stint in the Army, I have never worked for the federal, a state, or a local government.

That said, those of you who think it was the unions that killed this country are utter and complete morons wholly incapable of any independent thought or analysis.

You are, however, particularly well suited for parroting that which you heard douchebag Larry Kudlow, and his ilk, state.

The real culprits are you those of you that purchase cheap foreign products from countries with no labor or environmental standards, the corporations that have lost any and all sense of civic duty, and, finally, the bought and paid for government that passed so-called "free trade" agreements with countries which the US could never fairly compete because of a lack of labor and environmental laws/standards. Simply put, no country can compete with another when the playing field is not level.

If anything, then, the unions had the prescience and foresight to see this coming and did their best to prevent all the crap you are currently witnessing.

And, as they originally intended, i.e., the so-called "free" traders, you all, like a bunch of douchebags, blame the unions.

Please do humankind a favor and kill yourself and any offspring you may have produced - the world will be a much better place without your douchebag genes in it.

Anonymous said...

Why blame the consumers? They are not the ones shifting the production to China for low quality products.

The fact is, for the everyday stuff, the Chinese can produce them cheaper, much cheaper. So instead of spending money on training their US workers for producing products with higher added-value, the big business decide to move the production of the same kind of crap to China.

normando17 said...

keith,

I will spend the $2 I saved by buying cheaper Made-in-China toy from W-M in Starbucks. Made in China stuff can save me a couple of thousand dollars a year, and I will used these money for down payment for a 1/2 bedroom condo in California -:),so give house constructor, realtor, loan agent some income.

USA just goes to upper end of the profit chain, e.g. finance (unfortunate, this part corrupt and collapse, but it's not China's fault), service, etc.

Have you calculated that how many high end and service job have been created by money saved from buying cheap Chinese "crap"?

ALso, manufacture often means much higher pollution than service or finance, and USA has shipped majority of its high polluted manufacture industry to China. I have a friend from Pittstburg, as you know, where were heavily polluted by industry, he told me "The city is clean now," a little bit embarrssed, "all the pollution went to China."

Voldemort said...

I find the hostility to unions here puzzling. Who outsourced jobs to foreign companies? The unions? No, the management. Saying the unions made them do it is like a young kid saying his sister made him hit her.

And if the argument is that blue-collar workers should work for $1 a day, no health care, no benefits, and a ditch in the street for a sewage system, just like the people they're competing with jobs for, consider--would YOU? Henry Ford realized that unless he paid his workers a living wage, they wouldn't have enough money to buy his products. Corporations have forgotten that since then.

But just to inject some data into a discussion about unions that appears refreshingly uncontaminated by facts, I googled "unions in japan" to see how these competitors of ours who have apparently run rings around us deal with these troublesome rabblerousers. And here's what I found:

"The relationship between the typical labour union and the company is unusually close. Both white- and blue-collar workers join the union automatically in most major companies."

Here's a thought: the erosion of America's industrial base has coincided with the decline of unions here. Thoughts?

Mammoth said...

Why buy Chinese-made crap at Walmart, or waste your time searching far and wide for American-made goods (that probably cost twice as much) when you can hit a few summer garage or rummage sales and probably find what you are looking for at a better price?

Anonymous said...

Unins? CEO's? Outsourcing? What about technology? We can make orders of magnitude more stuff with technology, as in automating processes formerly done manually, than we could with human labor! I am thinking that the gov't will throw the people a bone, and maybe do some token thing like have president obama eliminate the tax breaks companies get for outsourcing. Or there will at least be lots of jawboning on this issue. What happens next though? Those rascally corporations will invest BIG time in to automating production, thats what! Now think about this, not only do we get a surplus population, but the WHOLE WORLD DOES TOO! what do governments tend to do with their surplus populations?
...
War, anyone?
-JDF

i've had it said...

For all of you here supporting the unions, you miss a very obvious point: Japan and Korea both have very good workers and policies around protecting those workers but they are kicking our butts when it comes to manufacturing, especially cars. Japan pays high wages and Korea's aren't so bad either. They just provide a better value for the money...that's why they still have manufacturing.

You make some valid points about not being able to compete against extremely cheap labor in china and other places, but the fact of the matter is that japan and korea put out all the electronics and cars at good prices and great quality. American unionized labor DID NOT! It was too busy living high on the hog, justifying huge salaries for high school drop outs and high school graduates, intimidating those who tried to reform their organizations to be more efficient and less hostile, lobbying congress for unjustified protections, screwing workers who didn't agree with their union or political philosophies, roughing up people who crossed their picket lines, etc. etc. etc. I could go on. Unions turned into a mob of thugs, led by rabble rousing activists who melded Marxist thought into their Industrial Relations courses at college. That's right. Your so-called leaders injected Marx's class struggle philosophy into the relations between mgt and labor, and therefore it was always adversarial. Marx was a loser, and now the union workers are too.

The unions screwed themselves, and more importantly, America. I see these workers wearing shirts with american flags saying "proud to be union - local 234 union" like they are god's gift to this country. The reality is that their union restricts employment and raise prices -- screwing Americans and America two ways.

The unions fucked up...face it. If they had been more accomodating to technological chanage, reduced benefits (my goodness, they want free health care their entire lives!), reduced wages as more competition arose, things would be different today. But no, they just took an adversarial, hostile, angry role and temper-tantrumed themselves into unemployment. Mgt. said "enough of these turds, lets go to China".

Anonymous said...

there was a good article last week on a female u.s. ceo wanting to produce a battery but couldn't find a u.s. manufacturer to do it.

on wal-mart's side, at least they did something about health care by offering $4 prescriptions, and now others are following suit.

google an article about "let wal-mart fix health care". interesting.

Macaca

Andrew Hac said...

This nation and most of its citizens, residents, dwellers, occupants have no ethic, no moral, no responsibility, no duty, no honor, and last but not least, no brain. What it has in plenty is greed, self-centerness, self-righteousness, ignorance, pompousness, lust, materialistic craze. An Easter-Island society comprising of no family value, no respect or caring for the world and the land they live in, the surrounding environment, no caring, husbandry for the long term future

The housing bubble is a shiny mirror in which the Americano can look at itself and ponder upon what may the future brings upon this land of the Snapper Turtle AKA the land of the Skunk.

A nation that mostly comprises of wallowing, scaby pigs feeding, tearing, roosting, chomping at the trough.
A nation with most of its dwellers obese, fat, diabetic, and plain ugly like a chimpanzee.
A nation where a Walmart cashier can buy a house for $500K.
A nation in which its citizen's brain IQ is lower than a snapper turtle.
A nation which rules by turkeys, skunks, and rats.

The Americano nation is as toasted as a roasted armadillo skewered from mouth to ass sizzling, fat popping, juices oozing with melted golden fat over a bed of white hot charcoal.

::: Yummy grilled Snapper Turtle :::
::: Yummy roasted the Americano nation and the Housing Bubble :::

Budvar said...

Anon said..
they don't make a salary of 100 Million a year. i know you are trying to make a point but come on.

they make less than 10% of that in salary.

The big numbers come from bonuses and other payouts"

Yeah fair comment, but if I'd added a "(with bonuses)" after the $100million, we're getting somewhere near.

Now traditionally (make of that what you will) CEOs (lets call them executives) made about 20 times what the guys on the shop floor made.

How many shop floor workers at these companies where executives cut themselves $100million paychecks are pulling $5million a year?

Yes some unions have taken the piss with some of their demands, but if a bit more executive pay was instead invested back in the companies, would it not be fair to say that these companies would be in better shape today?

It's easy to blame unions, but lets look at the bigger picture here.

mickeyc said...

Only buy American?! I wont touch most American products. If I want something badly made I'll buy Chinese for half the cost.
Toyota is an American success story.
They actually make a quality product on American soil.

Anonymous said...

I'm not smart enough like most on here to understand why it happened, but

DAYUM!

is it fun watching this cuntry get it's ass kicked.

Dixon Ticonderoga said...

Keith said-

"Agree - corrupt labor unions destroyed the American manufacturing base

The only thing they were successful at was getting all their workers fired while putting out crap overpriced uncompetitive products"

So which one was it that killed American manufacturing- Wal*Mart or the Unions? And no the answer is not both.

Wal*Mart is totally and completly anti-union in their corporate policies from denying their employees, with extreme prejudice, their rights to organize as guaranteed under the National Labor Relations Act and by pressuring their vendors, again with extreme prejudice, to shift their manufacturing to China if they want Wal*Mart to sell their products. The Wal*Mart workers go along with the program if they try to organize they will be fired, that is a crime but the Wal*Mart workers are in no position to fight and where would they go if they were fired by Wal*Mart?

The Companies that used to manufacture their products in this country are still in business but they have closed their factories here and fired all the American men and woman that worked in those factories. Maybe the price they charged for those goods went down a little when the shifted manufacturing to the China but not to the same leve that their manufacturing cost went down. These companies have been passing the increased profits on to Executives in the form of ridiculously high levels of executive compensation and stagnating wages for all of the downsized American workers.

Organized labor has been fighting all of this bullsh!t for years but it is an uphill battle because they also have to fight all the bullsh!t that the MSM has been feeding the sheeple about corrupt unions and their dull witted overly compensated workers.

Off the top of your head name three corrupt union leaders. No going on the Googles either just do it from memory. I'll even give you Jimmy Hoffa since he is the only one you will be able to think of.


Now name ten corrupt executives. A little bit easier isn't it? Kind of see a pattern there?

The MSM lies to benefit their corporate masters. I know you know that Keith. They lie about everything why do you seem to believe what they have told you about Organized Labor? This is the same MSM that worked very hard to make CEOs into heroic figures we should look up to. All lies. You see through the rest of the MSMs bullsh!t why not this?

Organized Labor is dedicated to fighting for the roghts of all American Workers not just the ones who are Union Members.

It is the corporations who have killed manufacturing in this country. What the corporations failed to realize was that when they fired all their American Workers they also fired their customers. The credit bubble made it possible for the sheeple to not notice that they could no longer afford to buy the sh!t they thought they needed even at Wal*Marts slave labor low prices that why they put it on credit cards or helocs. Well the music has stopped and the sheeple might actually wake up to the fact that they are broke. Then the Wal*Mart, the Chinese and the corporations might finally realize that if you pay a good wage, you get a good consumer and a sustainable economy.

"If you're after getting honey,
Then you don't go killing all the bees"
Joe Strummer

A little musical propaganda by Billy Bragg for your edification.

http://tinyurl.com/5zqtg4

If you don't know Billy Bragg and are still in England, ask around some old punk rocker will clue you in.

Reality said...

The trouble all started when the US allowed foreign car importation. I'm not talking about the Japanese cars or European cars of the post-WWII era, but back in the late 1800's: when German and French invented the automobile, it should have been banned in this country! Think about all the jobs that existed, not for generations, but for tens if not hundreds of generations: raising horses, breeding them, feeding them, all the carriage, saddle, harness and whip craftsman shops . . . those manufacturing jobs employed far more people than the automobile industry ever has! A modern car lasts 180,000 miles; what a tragedy for job creation! A cab horse in cities like NYC lasted only 5000 miles . . . that resulted in even more jobs in the horse replacement business!

What galls that Frenchman had in introducing gasoline-powered taxicabs to NYC after he felt gipped by the high price of a horse-drawn cab ride one day from midtown to downtown. How dare he imported French-made gasoline-powered taxicabs to undercut the fare price of horse-drawn cabs, good old American horse cabs! Where is his immigration paper? He should have been thrown into Gitmo and rot there; many of us would have good paying jobs driving and provisioning horses today! Think about it: at 5mph instead of 30-50mph, there would be much much more horse cabs needed to conduct the same amount of commerce as the number of taxicabs are doing nowadays. That means several times more jobs would be available as cab drivers! Just think the number of medallion sales the city hall would be able to do! Then each cab horse lasts only 5000 miles, or 3-4 months, the business of breeding and shipping replacement horses to the city would be thriving! Not to mention, all the horses' hay would have to be shipped in as well. If we can ban railroads and canals too, each horse cart carrying only enough hay for a hanful horses for a handful days would lead to even more jobs as hay cart drivers! Then there would the jobs of cleaning after horse shit on the public roads. Kids would also be brought up as real men as on their way to school everyday, they'd witness injured and exhausted horses being put to death with a bullet to the head right by the curb!

I'm telling ya, the US should have banned automobile import altogether to preserve those horse jobs!

(Tongue firmly in cheek of course :-)

Reality said...

Hope my last post put a smile on your face in the midst of this age-old grimey debate.

The value of a product, a service or a job is only that of its least expensive replacement. A house sold for $500k two years ago is only worth $300k if the next door identical one sold for only $300k today. Likewise, the value of a horse-drawn cab plummetted the moment a reliable gasoline-powered taxicab was invented. Likewise, the value of a piece of whatever resets down to whatever the most efficient merchant can bring it to the consumer for. Likewise, the real value of a manufacturing job's output resets down to whatever level a new worker in India or China can turn out a piece of "good enough" equivalent.

The only real question after that is who should be footing the bill for the capital loss in this creative destruction process. Should the government (i.e. all taxpayers) foot the difference between the $500k to $300k drop instead of the home owner and the bank that made the loan on the house as collateral? Should the government/taxpayer make the the horse cab driver whole as his capital asset dwindled to zero due to the emergence of automobile? Should the government/taxpayer/consumers pay for the value evaporation of a less efficient merchant? Should the government/taxpayer/consumers pay for the loss of market value of a manufacturing job when less expensive replacement is readily available if not banned?

That is the crux of the debate.

Most horse cab drivers, hay haulers, and even the horse executioners found different jobs . . . and thanks to the efficiency brought on by automobiles, their lives got better along with practically everyone else. Government intervention taking new job opportunities away (i.e. taxation and regulations) would however indeed get in the way of this job upgrade process. What is euphemisticly called "unemployment safety net" is actually a systematic process of removing new job opportunities and encourage people not to work . . . all for the sake of expanding a paper-pushing bureacracy and enriching special interest groups.

Anonymous said...

the poster making the argument about competing with a 3k median chinese wage being untenable, unions or no, is spot on. blaming the unions is completely ridiculous. just look at other sectors in which unions are practically non-existent and which have been heavily hit by similar outsourcing, such as (skilled) programmers or (unskilled) call center workers. blame the corporate decision makers and b-school types for putting profits before people, not organized labor.

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed that when we bash the disgusting unions, a bunch of strange trolls come out of the woods?

Just to show you how this country has ways to go, until every single one of these union parasites get the boot.

Oh man, and they love the Messiah...they want to become French, always whining because they work 30 hours/week by pressing buttons in a machine, while demanding six-figure salaries for being a high school dropout. After all, they need all that "extra time" to get drunk with Colt 45.

Anonymous said...

Union = Mafia

Anonymous said...

Now name ten corrupt executives. A little bit easier isn't it? Kind of see a pattern there?

What a stupid comparison and argument. Of course CEOs have more publicity because they're rich and the MSM is liberal. Now let me ask you one question, genius, if you union parasites are so hot $hit the way you vomit here, why don't you start and run a mega-corporation, instead of just demanding freebies for obsolete work? I rest my case.

Union workers are not any different than Realtors. Both dinosaurs that are about to go extinct by their own pathetic deeds.

Anonymous said...

Toyota is an American success story.
They actually make a quality product on American soil.


It's all about Kaisen my friend, a concept that union worker slackers can't never grasp. Their attitude is, "Who me, going the extra mile?"

Reality said...

What's the REO price?
What's the post-foreclosure auction price?
What's the Walmart price?
What's the India/China price?

These are essentially the same question: what's the price for the least expensive equivalent/alternative? That's the real price. Any asking price above that point are just fluff for ripping off the gullible. Government interventin to preserve a formerly inflated price would only lead to further economic dislocation.

What made manufacturing unprofitable in the US was fundamentally the fact that Americans had far better job opportunities than hunkering down and putting a piece of commodity manufactured good together. It's a little like farming has not been profitable in Manhatten for hundreds of years. Sure, in Japan, they have government subsidy for rice farming in the middle of Tokyo (where real estate is thousands of dollars per square feet) supposedly for self-sufficiency. We all know it's hogwash and classic government waste.

It's easy to fall into the intellectual trap supposing only the making of real tangible goods has value. That's certainly not true. Commerce has value. Think of this way: does the grain elevator have value? If you believe the storage of grain from one harvest to the next year's harvest, and even more importantly saving from one harvest to cover a lean year, has very significant value, then you have to also admit that the grain trader who moves grain from regions where there is surplus to regions where there is shortage also has significant value just like the granary that store for lean years.

Commerce and free exchange has another important value: it promotes specialization so each producer does what he or she is best at.

Coercion on the other hand has negative value because besides the zero-sum game of political transfers without market signals, the enforcers have to consume resources while carrying out their coercions.

Even banking has value, especially free banking as it existed in the US back in the 19th century. Coercive central banking on the other hand frequently shows its negative value in spades.

Anonymous said...

Lets get serious here folks .

The corporations pulled a fast one on the American people .

While it is true that the Union demands forced the Corporations toward outsourcing ,at the same time it will kill America .

Let face it ,America needs jobs for its workers,and no,slave labor isn't the answer.

The politicians and lawmakers need to change the tax structure to encourage corporations to start local manufacturing again .

The lawmakers need to encourage anything that brings back the jobs for Americans .In fact. anything that is manufactured outside of American needs a special import tax put on it .to stop this shit .

A better balance has to be reached between the Corporations and the workers . In the last decade it has been the REIN OF THE CORPORATIONS .

The American people need to protest and stop buying from Wal-Mart as Keith suggests .

In spite of the fact that it might mean a little higher prices ,American Business needs to employ
Americans at decent wages with benefits . While this might mean lower profit for the Corporations ,at the same time it will mean survival for the Corporations . The Americans will have the money to spent and it will produce volume of buying for Corporations . I would not suggest that we go back to the unbalanced situation of Unions forcing unreasonable wages and benefits on Corporations ,but it can't be slave labor ,no benefits, either .Somewhere in the mix there is a happy balance between the Corporations and the workers ,but competing with slave labor is just absurd .

Look at how these slave labor workers from other countries can't even afford to buy the cheap products they make for Americans .

It is absurd for the Media spinners to say that American workers have to back tract in time and compete with one dollar a day workers from other countries. because that is the way of the world today .The Corporations slipped that on Americans while we were busy playing with real estate .

One of the reasons why America became a strong country is because of the inroads that were made with employment laws . A strong middle class creates a stronger country .
Take back your jobs Americans and take back your Country . Boycott Wal-Mart before they rule the
world . Realize that the global markets was just PR spin by the Corporate greed machine that decided to betray America. Face it,you can't live off your stocks from the Corporate greed machine .

Object to the lack of job security and job benefits that the Corporations have gotten away with , and what a destructive force that has been in America in the last 15 years .Realize that a Country that only consumes is doomed to fail .


Realize that people who spin that a global work force is good and the wave of the future are simply the Corporations that benefit by having slave labor .

People always like to talk extremes, but a balance can be reached again between the Employer and employee. We want jobs in America and Americans spending money in America. No other Country would be this stupid to give their Country away .Must be a commie plot ,but actually ,pure greed is behind it .

Anonymous said...

Keith, I'll bet you still live in your parent's basement.

Lost Cause said...

German and Japan are heavily unionized. I don't think that you can blame the unions.

All you have to do is observe that the US is the only industrial power who does not provide nationalized health care. That puts American companies who have to pay for health care at a big disadvantage. All you have to do is notice that everything is made in Canada, and everything in Michigan is closed.

Carnap said...

This anti Wall-mart crap is annoying. I'm able to find more American made products there than any other store.

Anonymous said...

i've had it is right on the money. unions had a time and place. and yes they were instrumental in creating the 40 hour work week, etc.

but they grew too damn big. they became the parasite that eventually killed the host. GM and Ford are the poster children for what unions do to a company. there are assembly workers who make $100K+ a year for screwing in a part all day. and on top of that a pension and a gold plated health plan. and you see the results, GM's share price is where it was in 1954. and even so, the union mentality today is fuck GM, we want even more for our members.

Anonymous said...

Qweefie,

Isn't it a little ironic for your to go all protectionist while traveling all over Europe? While people don't think of it, tourism is an export/import business. A German visitor to Florida is essentially a US export to Germany. And vice versa. So as you chill out in London, Prague, Budapest and Moscow, you are buying English, Czech, Hungarian and Russian imports. No different than me walking into a Walmart and buying goods made in those countries. Yet somehow I'm a villain and you are a hero. Do explain this contradiction please.

Anonymous said...

Oh, hey, nope, sorry. All we're set up to do anymore is make them little tiny pills. Don't cost much to make'um, but we got one fer whatever ails 'ye. They cost a bundle, but if 'yer depressed, anxious, have ulcers, suicidal..due to the fact that we've totally fucked this country up..go to the doctor and get yourself some scripts for at least 10 kinds! You'll feel better.Hey, don't want to be sittin' there all miserable! C'mon, Americans biggest pill poppers in the world! Go on and pop a prozac right now!Pop two!We got plenty!
And if you feel good, you probably need some anyway. Hey, we sit around and invent diseases..and then we come up with clever names for yer new pill. Great life or what!


God, I'm tired.

i've had it said...

Anonymous 6:19am said that there has to be a balance somewhere between what labor and mgt wants. I think that's a fair statement to make, however, the ideological force driving the unions today is that of the Left Wing. And the Left's intellectual fire power comes from class warfare. It is what is taught to them in college. Make no mistake about it..the leadership of unions are college-educated folks majoring in Industrial Relations, Human Resources, Political Science, Sociology, and other similar disciplines where a good dose of socialist and Marxist thought is embedded in the curriculums. These are the people who ultimately drive the debate between labor and mgt. They are socialists at heart, or even worse, communists. They are revolutionary in their outlook in life and they transfer that energy to their profession of "union organizing".

What I'm saying is that it is quite difficult to get the balance "anon 6:19am" is looking for because people who are ideological revolutionaries do not understand the word compromise. They take no quarter until the beast is dead...or they are. That's the way the want it. That's their outlook on life. In this case, they fought the battle with management, as well as the American people, and lost...and now the unions are dead. These labor leaders now have dinner with each other and wax eloquent of the "good fight" they waged so long ago...they actually enjoy this sort of thing.

A complete re-thinking needs to take place within the ranks of labor and those who lead it. Unless they do, they will be permanantly wiped off the stage of commerce. Yes, like someone above said, they will become dinosaurs. Indeed, they have become that already.

Anonymous said...

Germany and Japan are heavily unionized, so unions are not the problem.

The problem is the government.

Tell me, who passed laws that made outsourcing the NORM?

The government, made up of politicians who were bought by the big business. They listen to the lobbyists and not to the ordinary working schmoe.

Capitalism works well when all players play by the same rules. When China doesn't have to follow inconvenient rules like safe workplace rules, etc., how can we compete? We can't, unless we want to live on 10 cents an hour.



One GOOD thing about the high oil prices: It will bring some manufacturing home. It is cheaper to make things here than ship it with higher ship rental costs + fuel costs.

Anonymous said...

LOL @ People bashing unions only 14% of Americans are members of unions most of the jobs being lost are non-union.

Japan and Germany have a much higher percentage the the US, and Toyota and Honda pay their workers about the same was the Big Three

Anonymous said...

Lostcause @ July 03, 2008 8:40 AM wrote:

"All you have to do is observe that the US is the only industrial power who does not provide nationalized health care."

This is because the USA has, for 60 years, taken on the responsibility and cost of keeping the free world safe.

If the US Navy were to disappear like the Soviet Navy and become a glorified Coast Guard, the ramifications for world trade would be huge. The Chinese are positioning themselves to own a good chunk of the world's port facilities and shipping construction. Without us to keep the peace, there is NOTHING to prevent sea piracy.

What do you think the US Navy practices on?

Anonymous said...

Let it go folks, just like I said it would happen. And you still belong to that pathetic cult? Where's the change? You do realize that "refine my policies" really means staying for a long time in Iraq and not withdrawing troops in the first 100 days like your Messiah promised, right? So here we have Hussein flip-flopping on everything he promised to the sheeple, even before election day. Where's the change, sheeple?

FARGO, N.D. – Senator Barack Obama said Thursday the United States cannot sustain a long-term military presence in Iraq, but added that he would be open to “refine my policies” about a timeline for withdrawing troops after meeting with American military commanders during a trip to Iraq later this month.

So let's review:

* Housing bailout for types like Countrywide and other fraudsters. Check

* Trying to fool the sheeple by calling a long stay in Iraq, "refining of policies". Check

* Voting with Bush on extending wiretapping power. Check

* Meeting secretly with Canadian officials to destroy American jobs. Check

* Got favorable mortgage rate from lender Northern Trust, for his $1.65 million dollar mansion in Chicago. Check

Anonymous said...

The department of Homeland Security ships all their documents with DHL, a company owned and operated by the German Post Office, instead of UPS or FedEx, two American companies. What other government agencies are doing the same?

Traitors!

Dixon Ticonderoga said...

Anonpussy said...
"Have you noticed that when we bash the disgusting unions, a bunch of strange trolls come out of the woods?

Just to show you how this country has ways to go, until every single one of these union parasites get the boot.

Oh man, and they love the Messiah...they want to become French, always whining because they work 30 hours/week by pressing buttons in a machine, while demanding six-figure salaries for being a high school dropout. After all, they need all that "extra time" to get drunk with Colt 45."


I guess I must be one of the "trolls" you are talking about so let me clear a few things up for you.

I have been reading and posting HP for about two years usually under whatever name fits the mood of my post but never as Anonymous.

I am a union member by choice not necessity. As were my father and my grandfather. I am a licensed contractor but I work Union because I do not want my livelihood dependant on the explotation of the real high school dropouts who could be making twice as much an hour if they had the skills and the brains required to join my Union. That is the definition of a parasite-one who profits from the labor of others.

If you can't tell from my posts I am not a high school dropout but from reading yours I have to sat if you did graduate high school or worse yet college you really should ask for a refund as you are at best semiliterate. I guess I had an unfair advantage because my fathers union wages helped put me through university and yes I did graduate with honors. Like I said I am Union by choice.

As far as the Messiah goes, since you capitalized the word you must mean Jesus. He said a lot of nice things but the people who say they follow his teachings must have read a different bible than the one I read at the private Catholic high school I attended. Did I mention I graduated from there?

Just kidding I know when you wrote Messiah you meant Obama and have no idea what I am talking about when I use fancy words like capitalize. As far as Barry goes, not a big fan. I am certain that an Obama presidency will not be good for this country. Sadly the only thing that would be worse is a McCain presidency. I went to college in Arizona (Did I mention I graduated with honors?) and never bought the bulls!t line that McCain is anything other than a loyal Republican party hack.

As far as the French go. God the French bashing is so 2003. Why does your kind hate the French? Because the French said that invading Iraq was a really bad idea and they would not join Bushy's coalition. Well how did that work out? Oh yeah, even the French are smarter than most Americans. Gotta suck being dumber than a lazy frenchman? and you say they only work 30 hours a week? I hear they also get like 6 weeks vacation and full healthcare. Man it must suck being you. The french have pwnd youa$$.

And as far as giving the boot to all us "union parasites" put on you best boots and come give it a try-You will soon find out what kind of Colt 45 a union man prefers.

And buy the way, you seem to think your such hot shit why don't you tell us all what you do for a living?

Anonymous said...

"Yes, let's blame it all on those corrupt greedy unions. So, okay, I'm asking for help to figure this out.

The last time I looked this stuff up (~2006?), the median union income was around $50k per year. For manufacturing, specifically, it was a bit higher, closer to $60k per year, I think (the service industry is lower than $50k per year). In order for outsourcing to make sense financially/cost-savings wise, the rule of thumb is that you need to contain costs to around 25% of what it would cost to manufacture in the US. The median income in China is less than $3000 per year. That's also without dental, vision, and health insurance. And also without any earned vacation days or sick days.

This means in order for the US to gain back its manufacturing base, it would need to reduce its median income to around $10k per year and do away with any and all other benefits.

So, Keith, and others of the blame-the-unions crowd, please educate me on what you think the effects of this would be on our economy and society, if any. Like I said, it's been a while since I looked at the numbers, so please update me with current numbers if you have them. If you believe our union pay is now out of control, please posit your scenario of how low they need to be in order to gain back our manufacturing industries. Thank you."

I have to agree with you on that one. I also blame the unions though. Let me explain. The unions took a good idea, basically adding a checks and balance system to corporate America, in a time when everything was skewed towards the company (sounds a lot like now). But they started to enjoy too much success and power, just like the corporations they were against. they became the enemy.

However, now the same thing has happened, only it is the Chinese worker and Indian worker that is being abused like the American worker in the 30's 40's and 50's before unionization. I have been to China, mostly Beijing, and I can tell you from first hand experience, that the flash and glitz that you see on the MSM does not even come close to describing what is really happening there. There is a reason that they are working so cheap, and it is not because they "are more efficient workers". It is because they are REALLY poor and have little in the way of choices. The people getting fat over there, are the same people that are getting fat over here - CEO's, financiers, bubble creators, bankers etc. the people there are like our middle class here - abused, squeezed every way possible, and struggling just to get by. the only difference is our inflation is higher. They make $3000 / yr, but necessities are subsidized heavily by the government making them comprable in real terms to our $50K salaries and 4 gallon gas.

All I can say is place the blame where the blame is due - whether India, China or the US, the same powers are victimizing the same people in the name of Capitalism.

Anonymous said...

Unions did help kill manufacturing.

My brother worked for Ford, where asking an assembly line guy who only puts on tires with an air hammer to sweep his work area was "not in my contract". So another job was created on a "differential rate" to sweep the floor so they could get another member paying dues. "Take it easy" was commonly heard from senior workers to newbies so everyone could milk the system.

Who says that a GED graduate should be able to raise a family of four and buy a house? All of these unions promote laziness and welfare mentality - this was tried by Karl Marx and his followers. It didn't work. Hard work and performance cannot be rewarded in the union mentality and setup, rather its all about seniority. If you do not improve / change your skillset when change starts coming your way - you are doomed.

Management also has to bear some of the blame. they designed poor, less reliable models than the consumer wanted. In the end every product will find a value niche. They're is one for the guy who likes to drive a Rolls andther is one for the Chevy driver. It is management's decision to find the optimum amount of product for the niche.

Anonymous said...

Ever wonder why Toyota beats GM and Ford while using American labor?

MIT did. http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2006/02/why_toyota_is_b.html

For some, it is always easier to bash unions and American labor, while ignoring differences in management and business practices.

Anonymous said...

I like your ideas for the 4th!!!

(1) Only buy American. Makes sense. (2) Boycott Wal-Mart. Makes less sense to me (aren't they American, too?), but I don't shop there anyway so no matter. (3) Shop locally; I dig that for sure for a variety of reasons. (4) Read the Constitution; excellent idea.

So...how's Moscow? Found any good American-owned shops selling American-made goods there? How about all the other places other than the US that you hang your hat?

How do you square your own injunctions to (1) buy American and (2) shop locally, given your personal choices as to where to live?

I like your blog quite a bit and read it daily. I do, however, think that there is very little intellectual consistency in a lot of your positions (e.g., berating folks for not supporting U.S. manufacturers by buying American in the U.S., while spending all of your dough overseas where you've chosen to live or visit for an extended period).

The best example is flopping from Ron Paul to Barack Obama. In a Venn diagram, the overlap between Paul and Obama supporters might consist solely of you.

My best guess is that you go with what "moves" you. That probably feels pretty good, as you glide from one source of excitement to the next, but a lack of intellectual consistency (without explanation) severely undermines trust in one's judgment.

I do enjoy the blog and I do hope you enjoy Moscow; I'm envious as I would love to visit Russia. Are you going to hit St. Petersburg?

With best regards.

Anonymous said...

Unions made it possible for all you white collar wimps to go to collage! Enjoy your chinese gadgets.

Anonymous said...

Please. Shoes use to be made in Manhattan. Nike's in Tokyo. It all moves every few years. Japan use to make everything now its China, before us it was the U.K. back when their waters were polluted. All countries adapt. Focus on the problem of brain drain if you want a similiar topic. Free global trade is important. One day China wont make "stuff" it will be Vietnam, and thats already begun. Careful what you ask for.

Reality said...

Lost Cause,

The US actually has national healthcare programs . . . they called Medicare and Medicaid. The overwhelming majority of a normal person's life time medical expense takes place after the age of 65.

Compared to most other countries of the world, what the US doesn't have is government-mandated price cap or eligibility for medicine. Most other countries are managed like a government-run HMO, with price caps on meds, and routinely disqualify older patients who might benefit from expensive procedures. That's why new drugs are invented in the US . . . and people all over the world come to the US for treatment when they can afford it. The "free" healthcare in their home countries simply don't offer the treatment. It's a little like, would you prefer living like a dog, to be given a free bowl of pet food every day and be happy about it. . . or would you prefer living like a responsible human being earning your own keep and having a choice on what you eat for dinner?

Anonymous said...

It doesn't really matter how we got in the spot we are in . What counts is how is America going to get out of the spot that it's in . The global wage force idea is not a good one at this time .

Whatever it take to bring back jobs to Americans is what counts now .

emmy said...

I live in southeast Michigan, and yeah, we are losing our manufacturing base. Only so many fingernails to chew, what will be the result? Here, everything is slowing down, and if we are any indication there is not going to be too many products bought any more. Please, no chinese crap, because if I am going to buy something, it has to be a good value, not something that falls to pieces on day two, or poisons my dog, or has poisonous chemicals in my toothpaste. I think manufacturing will come back slowly, but there is such demand destruction right now, who the hell is buying in quantity anyway? Certainly, not around here, with high foreclosures,dropping house values, $4.25/gallon gas and work dwindling away. Jeesh, it is so depressing these days.It is hard to get my head around all these changes, that look to be long term.

television is for idiots said...

"Try your best to find a television made in America."

Try turning off your T.V.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about food ingredients from China that are mixed in with our American-made edible products. A box of cereal from Walmart may not be 100% American.

Reality said...

Anon 12:41am,

"This means in order for the US to gain back its manufacturing base, it would need to reduce its median income to around $10k per year and do away with any and all other benefits."

This is certainly not true. The US justs has to make different kids of stuff. Indians and Chinese have been buying massive amount of computer chips manufactured by Intel and AMD for the last two decades, even when Indians and Chinese were much much poorer than they are today. Same with Boeing aircrafts. If you want US workers make more money than Indian and Chinese workers, come up ways for Americans to make things that are more valuable! On the other hand, if an American worker can only produce 100 pieces of a particular generic widgets, the exact same number as an Indian or Chinese worker, and the quality of all those 300 pieces are comparable . . . there is no way in hell you can have the American worker have a higher standard of living than his Indian or Chinese counterparts without ripping off some his fellow Americans. If you want to insert more bureacrats, who will also consume widgets, then the per capita widget count in America will only get lower with those bureacrats watching over widget making and buying without making any widget themselves.

"There is a reason that they are working so cheap, and it is not because they "are more efficient workers". It is because they are REALLY poor and have little in the way of choices."

It's the same damn reason why Ford open his plant in Michigan, and before that, Carneige opened his steal plant on the Ohio River valley . . . instead of say opening any of their new plants in Manhatten, Boston or DC, where most early cars were eventually "consumed." The work condition in those plants may look horrible to a Harvard gradute sociologist born with a silver spoon in his mouth and had maids waiting on him ever since, it was way better than back-breaking farm labor, the other alternative employment opportunity in those places like Detroit and Pitsburg! Guess what? Those plants' "horrible" employment opportunities worked out far better for the local population than the charities the government gave to the Indian reservations at around the same time.

The same scenario is being played out on the world stage today: the "horrible capitalist exploitations" are lifting billions of Indians and Chinese out of poverty, whereas international aid programs are condemning hundreds of millions of Middleasterners and Africans to lives of poverty, dependency and violence.

Reality said...

"Gotta suck being dumber than a lazy frenchman? and you say they only work 30 hours a week? I hear they also get like 6 weeks vacation and full healthcare. Man it must suck being you. The french have pwnd youa$$."

In case it's not obvious, even the French figured out that those work-discouraging and job-destroying employment laws have to be scrapped. This time last year, they elected someone into office who would indeed allow people to work more hours if they wish . . . and people can be fired so that businesses dare to hire new people. Yes, even the French are connecting the dots, finally, after a few thousand cars were torched by youth unrests due to high unemployment rate.

Reality said...

"Tell me, who passed laws that made outsourcing the NORM?"

The same people who passed the laws that allow you to buy what you want to buy. Comes to think of it, are laws required to allow you to say what you want to say? Good lord, some people are giving sheep a bad name: even sheep know to eat the grass they want to eat without seeking permission first.

"Capitalism works well when all players play by the same rules. When China doesn't have to follow inconvenient rules like safe workplace rules, etc., how can we compete? We can't, unless we want to live on 10 cents an hour."

This line of logic makes no sense whatsoever. Workplace safety rules are not inconveniences; they enhance productivity! Worker training and replacement are costly! If the workplace rules are so tedious and over-burdening that they get in the way of productivity, then they deserve to be trashed. Even the union knows that. When the union wants to express its displeasure without going on a full strike, it initiates a motion called workplace slow-down, which entails telling the members to follow each workplace safety rule strictly, dotting on the "i's" and crossing all the "t's." What does that say? Not even the unions follow the overburdening rules to the letter under normal circumstances!

Reality said...

"One GOOD thing about the high oil prices: It will bring some manufacturing home. It is cheaper to make things here than ship it with higher ship rental costs + fuel costs."

Good thing for Indians and Chinese, perhaps, as they will get to consume the fruits of their own labor. As for Americans, how can it be good when choices are being removed? It's like saying that Americans can no longer afford to ride airplanes . . . how can that be a good thing?