Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

I Wonder Too?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • I Wonder Too?

    I didn't want to crowd the "I Wonder" thread which is excellent, but I want some thoughts on this idea. What do you think would have happened if forty years ago, legislators from both sides of the aisle got together and and passed legislation similar to what other countries do regarding trade? I'm talking about import quotas and tarrifs on imports to protect our own manufacturers and producers just like most countries do.

    Chances are it would not have been nearly as profitable to seek out the cheap slave labor of the third world along with the absense of the EPA and OSHA. Imagine how many jobs would still be in the USA? Sure we would be paying much more for consumer goods and produce, but we would not be paying for millions of Americans to stay home unemployed! I believe we would also have better quality goods and parts. Municipalities would also be better off with more income from property taxes paid by all those American based businesses.

    I don't know if we would have hurt the rest of the world but I do think our economy would be better than it is now. Maybe we wouldn't have all the electronics available today, but that's a good thing. How long do those cell phones, ipods, digital cameras and laptops last in your household? We have to repurchase every two or three years due to breakage. Like I keep saying, the money leaves our economy never to return.

    Lastly, I ask again, how can our economy recover as long as we are forced to buy from communist china for most of our consumer goods?

  • #2
    Re: I Wonder Too?

    Franki,

    Once again you are under the impresson that all of this problem is external.... like it is the foreign manufacturers who have invaded our markets and have forced us to buy their products.

    Don't you think that if that were really true, that our manufacturers would have at least made some kind of stand against it and they would have used their all powerful lobby to block such trade by either tariff or quota?

    Every since I entered the job market back in the very early sixties, there has been a constant move by U.S. manufacturers to move our jobs overseas. Whether it was Union Carbide, Westinghouse, GE, Ford, or whoever... there has been a concerted effort to change the tax structure and the import/export laws to be in favor of U.S. corporations to freely and willingly move their investments overseas.

    For some reason, there are far too many of us who fail to comprehend that the biggest enemy to the American worker is the American corporation and it's greed. Of course a large part of that is simply Wall Street itself and it's thirst for maximum profit taking.

    And once again, you make the pitch about "slave labor"... but most of those slave masters just happen to be American and an awful lot of those slaves are right here in the U.S., trying to scratch out a living in the broken-down factory towns.

    U.S. manufacturing has continually closed perfect good operations here in the U.S. for no other reason than that it is simply more profitable to move across the border, or to move to Asia. Many of those companies do so without any fanfare and some case do so in an almost secretive manner. Over the last three decades, my ex-employer is one of those. To many people still think that Ingersoll-Rand is one of the last American manufacturers of compressors... but the fact is they manufacture very little here. Corning, Inc. is another example. They've shut down many facilities here in the U.S. and have invested $billions in China. Stanley, GE, and hundreds of other great American companies have done the same. Not only don't they have to be concerned about pollution and environmental responsibility, but they also don't have to pay the exorbidant healthcare costs that comes with being an American employer.

    Little story on the news tonight, regarding America's rapidly decaying infrastructure. It's not manufacturing of course, but it does relate to jobs and it is a damn good example of what is wrong with this country:

    "Spending money is part of the solution. China spends 7 percent of its Gross Domestic Product on its infrastructure. India spends 5 percent. The United States spends less than 2 percent." http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/...n6833955.shtml

    That is what we've done with our manufacturing too. Too many factories falling apart, workers subjected to poor and often dangerous working conditions. My plant here in Painted Post is well over a 100 years old. Many of Corning's facilities were almost as old. Down in Endicott, IBM's facilities were in decay, Endicott-Johnson is now a myriad of rat-invested broken down structures. You look around NY's southern tier and it's hundreds of empty structures and broken down buildings and roads and bridges. And, what new stuff you do seen being built is cheap, poorly designed buildings made of pre-stressed concrete panels and structural foam that start deteriorating within the decade.

    CWS

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: I Wonder Too?

      CW - I can agree with what you said.

      Being a staunch conservative...I don't like wall street too much either. But yet if someone makes a few million dollars a year (kind of off track here) I don't want any of their money either. They earned it..let them keep it. Sure they should pay higher taxes..but the government doesn't need to steal from them either.

      I'm on the fence as far as big business goes.
      Last edited by Flux; 09-04-2010, 01:15 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: I Wonder Too?

        C.W. we are in complete agreement. American corporations had no intentions of making a stand in the USA and saving jobs. They gladly picked up shop and left, those that stayed did not bother to retool. Legislation would have helped in my opinion, but I'm no expert in economics. I am pretty sure without Americans producing what Americans consume, it's just a matter of time before we crash and burn.

        I agree that American owned corporations manufacturing overseas contribute to the sub human conditions of thrid world workers. I believe they made a killing and got away with murder for years but have reached a point now of killing their consumer base. Once enough Americans can no longer afford to purchase their electronics, and other high priced ticket items they too will feel the pain. The poor slobs working for a few dollars a day in china sure can't afford ipods and $100 sneakers.

        Is it too late to take back America and start manufacturing? A no answer has got to mean we are in trouble. What or how exactly do the politicians expect the economy to turn around? You can offer small businesses all the tax breaks and incentives possible and still not turn things around. It took many years to feel the effects of all those jobs and businesses gone from America, and unless I am wrong it's gonna get much worse much faster.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: I Wonder Too?

          Don't worry, China will pay DEARLY in the next ten years. When their rivers run black with toxic waste, and their farms a barren desert, they will have no choice but to purchase food and water from other countries to stay alive. Something that will not come cheap, lest they will allow their workers to die off in the tens of millions, and lose the cheap labor they once so tightly held.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: I Wonder Too?

            I think that as those nations that have taken the manufactur.ing begin to modernize that the wage scale and unionization will eventually catch up with us and western europe. When that happens you will begin to see manufacturing spread out over all nations. In the meantime, repealing NAFTA, shelving Cap and trade and working toward less lopsided trade agreements will have to do. Econonomically we are in a strange time of transition ( so is western Europe ) However, though many large corporations have moved their operations overseas, there is still a whole lot of manufacturing going on here. I think the difference is in the type of product that they are producing
            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: I Wonder Too?

              Everything eventually comes around full circle. As countries industrialize, they pollute and their workers will begin to demand their fair share, which unfortunately they will probably never get. But eventually all countries will fall into this pattern and economies will rise and fall and the market will then be elsewhere.

              China does have severe environmental problems and it to a large degree recognizes it and is taking steps though often awkward, punishing to the working masses, and probably way too late. Here in the U.S., I think we've made tremendous progress just in my lifetime. But that too, is part of what drives too many corporations to foreign shores.

              I remember when I was boy just how polluted the Susquahanna and the Chenango rivers were. The river banks in and around Binghamton were filthy, strewn with waste and decay. Today, much of the river banks are covered with parks and walkways.

              Unfortunately almost all of this comes from tax money and rarely if ever, from the industries that have caused the pollution.

              Franki, you say the "The poor slobs working for a few dollars a day in china sure can't afford ipods and $100 sneakers." Man, you gotta get out more . You are right that the poor slobs out in the country can't afford it, but in the cities they are far richer than most of us realize.

              The United States is one of the most expensive places to own a cell phone. I read a few years ago that the cost of ownership and use hear in the U.S is far higher than it is in Europe or Asia. Of course I'm not there, so can't personally attest to that.

              I can tell you though that even without a job, a metropolitan in China has a cell phone, uses a computer daily, and is plugged into such technologies as Skype.

              In the late 90's, I had a young man from Moscow visit our plant here in Painted Post. This was at the time when our News was telling us that the economy was so bad in Russia that the soldiers were selling their uniforms in order to buy food for their families.

              Roman's first day here, I took him to Wegman's (a really great food market), so he could see where to shop for his food. We had fixed him up with an efficiency apartment for his six-month stay.

              I walked him through the store, pointing out all the features, varieties, etcs. I noticed that he was somewhat in "awe"... or at least looked that way. When we were through and on our way back to the office, I discovered his "awe" was actually "shock" He wanted to know how anyone in America could afford to eat! Even with our pay differences, his Moscow food prices were a fraction of ours. Of course that was Moscow... and I'm sure the rest of the country was much worse off.

              But, they had no real "trustworthy" banking system and nothing like FDIC. You wanted to buy a car, you saved and you hired a bodyguard to go with you and your suitcase full of money to the showroom. They had debit cards, but nobody had "credit".

              The funny, or not so funny, thing was we bothlost our jobs with the company at about the same time. But he called me out of concern, (it was much cheaper than me calling him). While I was elegible for 26 weeks of unemployment, he had no concern. His food was cheaper, his apartment under law was secure. Not only that but he continued to have a company car (I never had a company car), he kept his laptop, and under Russian law, he had a right to a job (we don't have have that right here). He continued to draw a percentage of pay, until our company found him another job. Now frankly, I don't agree with much of that, but we're talking about the "evil empire" here, which seemed to be treating its citizen a bit nicer than us poor unemployed here.

              I guess the point is that every country and region has thier advantages and disadvantages. Certainly if we were to compare hourly wages, there is a remarkable difference. But, "wages" really amounts to how many hours must one work to buy certain things. So while the actual money amount might vary, most of us still have to work 10 or 15 minutes to earn a loaf of bread. Here in the U.S. it might be staler than hell, but at least it's plentiful.

              Flux, I do agree with you to some extent about not wanting to take someone's money when they "earn it". But let's look at it a different way... at any given moment, there's only so much money in the world... and if someone is making exobitant amounts, then they are most likely stealing it from someone else. Perhaps what we do has different levels of value, but can we really say that anyone deserves to walk away with $millions, when most of us make less than a 10th of that?

              For example, if my 401K or savings or whatever is in your hands, I expect and should rightfully receive a fair return. If some guy is using our savings to make themselves a $Million and are giving us back a paltry 3 or 4%, then guess who is ripping who off. And my friend, that is where we are in this country today. The little guy, the factory worker, the service guys are busting thier butts to make a living and to save for their children's future and their own retirement. Out of that comes the cost of our tools, our clothes, our transportation, and our food. Along the way, we vote for and pay government officials to manage our civil affairs. We hire people to keep us safe, run our cities and towns. We hire people to take care of our savings and we hire people to teach our kids.

              When those people use their positions and our money to enrich themselves well above the average worker, then they are stealing. And then consider that their lunch and their transportation is deductable and probably directly supplied by thier employer as a "benefit"... along with the membership to the health club, corporate jet, vacations, etc.

              We have a country full of this kind of thing, with so-called public servents making significantly more than the average tax payer and paying little to nothing for things like health insurance and retiring way above the average social security recipient. In the banking and investment industries, the payback is almost criminal. While the clerical staff and support employee's making only average wages, there's a faction that is literally walking away with millions... all of which is made with your money and mine.

              So yeah, I think there's an element that earns their money and certainly an element that more than earns their pay, but there's those that do quite well for themselves by stealing from the rest of us.

              CWS
              Last edited by CWSmith; 09-04-2010, 09:53 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: I Wonder Too?

                CWS, when it comes to buying power, I use the following standard:

                How many minutes a man must work at minimum wage to purchase a loaf of bread.

                I had this discussion with my mother a few months ago about how hard things were back then in the 70's. I countered that it was much easier then, than it is today then proved it. Back then, a man only had to work ten minutes at the minimum wage at the time to afford a loaf of bread. Today, our workers, must work 25 minutes at minimum wage to afford the same loaf of bread.

                I firmly believe it is our food prices that is the leading cause of obesity. Mcdonald's can pump out a double cheeseburger for a dollar. That same product, if the ingredients were bought at a grocery store, would run up to about $3.25 (A guesstimate, but I know I'm close), but that cost is just for food. Factor in the cost of fuel to drive, plus the cost of electricity and/or gas for cooking. Does it make financial sense to buy the healthy foods, especially when millions are made poor in this economy?

                The fact that I have to pay $3.59 for a loaf of bread is a slap in the face indeed, especially when the only advice I ever get is to "work harder".
                Well, remember the book Animal Farm? Remember the horse's solution to every problem? Fat lot of good "working harder" did for him didn't it?

                I am sorely tempted to fall off the deuce and a half when I'm activated. It seems that the only way to secure a decent wage is to become too hurt to work.

                Edit:
                Oh, after reading your post again, I see you used the bread method too. I guess great minds DO think alike afterall!
                :toasts:
                Last edited by tailgunner; 09-05-2010, 12:02 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: I Wonder Too?

                  Originally posted by tailgunner View Post
                  CWS, when it comes to buying power, I use the following standard:

                  How many minutes a man must work at minimum wage to purchase a loaf of bread.

                  I had this discussion with my mother a few months ago about how hard things were back then in the 70's. I countered that it was much easier then, than it is today then proved it. Back then, a man only had to work ten minutes at the minimum wage at the time to afford a loaf of bread. Today, our workers, must work 25 minutes at minimum wage to afford the same loaf of bread.

                  I firmly believe it is our food prices that is the leading cause of obesity. Mcdonald's can pump out a double cheeseburger for a dollar. That same product, if the ingredients were bought at a grocery store, would run up to about $3.25 (A guesstimate, but I know I'm close), but that cost is just for food. Factor in the cost of fuel to drive, plus the cost of electricity and/or gas for cooking. Does it make financial sense to buy the healthy foods, especially when millions are made poor in this economy?

                  The fact that I have to pay $3.59 for a loaf of bread is a slap in the face indeed, especially when the only advice I ever get is to "work harder".
                  Well, remember the book Animal Farm? Remember the horse's solution to every problem? Fat lot of good "working harder" did for him didn't it?

                  I am sorely tempted to fall off the deuce and a half when I'm activated. It seems that the only way to secure a decent wage is to become too hurt to work.
                  Gunner, good post and point made, but bread of the 70's is a distant relative of our bread today. Read the ingredients, high fructose corn syrup, mono and dyglycerides, calcium proprionate to retard spoilage, etc. Reads like a chemistry book. Serving sizes are bigger, fat content higher and nutritional benefit much lower than food of the past. When you go to the food store fruits and veggies, fish and lean meats are through the roof while high fat, corn syrup laden foods are more affordable. Most of us are overweight and under nourished.

                  I know there are folks who play the system and fake getting hurt to collect, but you are a hard working and honest guy. I don't think you could live with the guilt. Am I right?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: I Wonder Too?

                    Man, "bread" is a real ***** session with me. The stuff that we buy today is an absolute disgrace compared to what we bought in the 50's, 60's, and 70's. It used to be that a loaf of bread was absolutely fresh the day of purchase. There was no such thing as "shelf-life" or "best when purchased by" or even "good until".

                    When it was on the shelf, you knew it was made the night before and if you wanted "day-old" you went to local bread bakery after 5:00 PM and bought it for half the price.

                    Today, you see the guy bring is bread and it says "good until" - three weeks from now. NO BREAD IS GOOD FOR THREE WEEKS!

                    I was just telling a young lady in the grocery store today how much I used to love peanut butter... but there's no sense in buying it anymore because you can't find fresh bread to put it on.

                    Tailgunner,

                    You are absolutely right! I have made the arguement many, many times. The person who is making minimum wage today, has a fraction of the buying power that a minimum wage had back then. Here's a very good example:

                    I graduated in 1963, went to military school for the summer, and when I couldn't get into service (like way too skinny) I took my first commercial job that fall, working in a dept store restaurant. I got minimum wage, $1.25 and only got 27 hours a week. My parents charged me $17 a week for room and board and that left me very little money.

                    This dept store was the best store in Binghamton. Their best shirt (Arrow), made in the U.S.A. of Pima Cotton was $5. I could afford to buy those. The best pair of leather gloves in the store were doe leather, with a fox fur lining... I bought my self a pair for $7. A H.I.S. sport coat, cordaroy, with leather welting around the pockets cost be $30.

                    That Christmas I bought my father a Smith-Corona portable typewriter, it was $23.

                    A loaf of bread was 24 cents and glass of my favorite draft beer was a dime. A burger was 15 cents, fries was a dime and a shake was a quater. I could go to Sharkey's and buy a pitcher of beer and a 100 steamed clams for $5 and I could buy a spiedy at Poncho's for 35 cents. A double-feature movie was 85 cents and my girl and I could share a bucket of popcorn, which cost 35 cents.

                    By 1965, minimum wage had risen to $1.35. I worked as an inspector in a local assembly shop and made $1.45. I also worked Saturday mornings as a parking lot attendant, back at the old dept store, at minimum wage. Gas was 28 cents a gallon and I was able to buy a brand new VW, which cost me $1869... complete with radio, white walls, and the optional gas heater.

                    When I got married in 1967, the minimum wage was around $1.50, IIRC. I made $2.50 an hour (a $100 a week man). With that, my wife and I lived in a second floor apartment and we bought our first furniture (Lane, which we still have and I've refinished). The following year, 1968 we trade in the VW and I bought a Plymouth Valient for $2600, which we drove for seven years.

                    When we got married, my wife made $85 a week (not take home) and we banked every dime of it. When the baby came along in 1969 we were able to buy our first house, with me making $3 an hour.

                    So, I feel sorry for young people today. They're really getting screwed over, as is anyone expected to live at or near "minimum wage".

                    The other thing I like to point out is the difference in the "cost" of money too. Back in 1965, my car loan was something like 6.75% and was for three years. A "bank-book" savings account paid 5.25%. That's only a 1.5 % spread, and the banks were all doing quite well and working in the bank was considered a pretty decent job as a young person. Older people could make out better working in industry, but it paid about the same as a job in retail did.

                    Now inflation is inflation, so we all know about $$$, but percentage doesn't get inflated, as it's the margin, "spread" or differential between saving and borrowing. So if the banks could make out with a 1.5% differencial back then, what the hell's the story today?

                    CWS
                    Last edited by CWSmith; 09-05-2010, 01:30 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: I Wonder Too?

                      Raising taxes on the corporate and business taxes

                      Let's say, you are a multi millionaire. You invest a considerable part of your money in stocks, bonds and securities. The government decides to up your tax rate. What is the first thing you do?

                      Rich people invest and spend a whole lot of money. They buy all those expensive things that keep factories working. They buy big boats and jet aircraft, vacation homes and diamond rings. When the fovernment decides to tax them further they slow down or even stop buying these things and companies and the people that work for them suffer. We all need to quit trying to punish rich people for being rich. Even if rich people paid no taxes they would still contribute 100% more to the economy than 1000 welfare deadbeats.

                      Business taxes: I have been in business for 36 years. In 36 years the business has never paid a cent in taxes. Why? Because every tax and fee levied by either the fed, state or local government gets added on to the cost of doing business and ultimately passed on to the consumer. Read and understand that again those of you that have never owned a business. Businesses do not pay taxes, consumers pay taxes. If the tax burden on businesses gets high enough that the business can no longer be profitable then the business starts laying off employees, cutting services, moving to another more tax friendly location or closes the doors.

                      Taxation always effects the consumer. Don't for one second think that all those morons in congress don't know that. They do. But they count on the average guy to not think things through. They play on folks natural inclination to hate big corporations and those that have more than they do. A large corporation like Exxon/Mobile makes millions a day. They also employ over a hundred thousand people and pay stock dividends to hundreds of thousands of people. Anyone with investments or a 401K probably has a piece of Exxon/Mobile. Who's best interest is it in to tax the living crap out of them and make them less profitable.
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: I Wonder Too?

                        NHM, I agree that taxing the wealthy is foolish but I maintain that import limits and heavy tariffs would have kept jobs in the USA. Very simply stated, if you want to benefit from the American consumer dollar, you will have to contribute to the income of the American consumer by employment opportunities. We do not have free or fair trade and never will when other countries protect their economies by playing by their own set of rules. I'm all for doing away with the current tax system, but if we don't do something about the imbalance of money going out of the USA, I'm afraid the rich, greedy corps and foreign manufacturers will suffer as the American consumer goes belly up.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: I Wonder Too?

                          We are the largest producer of cotton in the world. China is the largest importer of cotton in the world. Guess who China buys it's cotton from, makes clothes from and then sells those clothes back to?

                          The same scenario is true of more than cotton. Though tariffs are necessary, it is a delicate balancing act.
                          sigpic

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X