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Manufacturing jobs in the USA

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  • #16
    I just took a look at some of my other power tools.Does anyone remember the B&D Quantum line(they were dark green)?I have a Quantum plunge router that is made in Switzerland.I saw the same plunge router several years later with the DeWalt name on it.The same is true of the B&D "Industry & Construction"(black) cordless drill showing up as DeWalt's,Usairways had both kinds and they were exactly the same.

    I also have an old Ohio Forge electric sander,made in Taiwan and sold exclusively at H-D.

    I would swear that the briefly sold Delta cordless drills at Lowe's were virtually the same as the Porter-Cable's.They are both owned by the same corporate parent,after all.

    And that is probably the shape of things to come,brand engineering,or a "well known" US brand slapped on a Chinese drill.

    I will seriously check out the corded Ridgid tools-Oh,I already own one-a shop vacuum-made in Canada!


    • #17
      Sorry, but we must all deconstruct the "value chain" that a tool manufacturer, a distributor, and a retailer, bring to the consumer.

      The manufacturer brings market research, tool engineering and design, and understanding (?) of marketplace needs, to a new tool's feature set. The QUALITY of the tool is a specific design objective, and must be consistent with the value (price) point objective, as well.

      Walk into any HD, Lowe's, or Sears Hardware, and browse for a cordless drill. Find one made anywhere EXCEPT China? No.....they all are.

      That means that MANUFACTURING and PLACE OF ORIGIN costs are almost IDENTICAL for two drills of equivalent feature sets out of the factory.

      What, then, do we pay for? We pay for the maker's KNOWLEDGE, for the DESIGN, for the MARKET RESEARCH, and the ability to craft a supply chain that meets HIS customer's needs. If you're selling to any of the Big 3 in hardware, then that latter -- the integration of software and telecom systems -- is where the margins are to be made today!

      The retailer provides us PLACE utility -- you can buy good tools on the web, just as you can buy good computers on the web, but a tool HAS to fit your hand and eye; a computer doesn't. Therefore, there must be a place where you can go to see it, touch it, feel it, and hopefully discern what's better/worse than any other tool on the market. In return for providing you with this selection, and hopefully, some counseling, you pay the retailer's "markup" for that tool.

      Being human, we don't buy strictly on features, or quality -- we buy for social needs, status needs, perceived "shopping" and "bargaining" success needs, and for keeping up with the Joneses needs. The members of this forum, dedicated to a line of "professional" tools, have one set of needs, but a mass retailer can't ignore any of these segments. They simply try to put together the best mix of need-fulfilling products, at the most attractive price, and in the most convenient place. Given the mountain of product (yes, mountains -- look at an aerial photo of the Ports of Savannah and New York) that moves along these routes, they all deserve a vote of thanks for driving the prices so low that the average Jo(e) can buy a superior tool that her/his father couldn't have imagined two decades ago.

      I bought one of the first cordless drills 25 years ago -- a B&D 7.2 Volt "Ranger" with a plug-in charger for a NiCad battery. Ran 10 minutes on a 3-hour charge, and cost $150. Wife was thrilled to get it as a present. Last year I bought a Ryobi 4-pack for $169, with 18V drill, plus all extras, carrying case, and ability to sheetrock a whole room on one battery charge. Designed in America, manufactured in Japan, paid for in dollars, the best anti-tyrannical tool the world has ever known. FREE TRADE WORKS -- and it makes the traders freer people, too.

      Don't gripe about steel, don't gripe about tools, don't gripe about silicon chips, because these are the history that WAS -- gripe about software and telecom today, the history that IS, and biotech tomorrow, the history that WILL BE. Either we continuously innovate, or we become a second-class society. Free trade levels all.


      • #18
        "Walk into any HD, Lowe's, or Sears Hardware, and browse for a cordless drill. Find one made anywhere EXCEPT China? No.....they all are"

        The Bosch cordless drill are made in Switzerland,the Milwaukee's Germany,the DeWalt's -USA,The PC's- Taiwan,Hitachi-China,Black & Decker,China,Makita-USA and China,Skil-Malaysia.

        This is the point that some of us here have been making,why pay top dollar for an unproven Chinese cordless drill?


        • #19
          Grey, there is a lot of this here now. I could make many comments about any power tool or product. I choose to only make comments about those tools I own or have owned. I wish others would also adopt that practice.

          The purpose of this forum it to serve as an exchange of information concerning many topics. While I have read many disagreement about ways to do different tasks they have generally been well thought out views of accomplishing woodworking or plumbing tasks. The thing about those posts was that the people respected each others opinions because they could agree to disagree.

          However, too many people who are posting about items they don't own diminishes the forum as a whole. Everyone makes fun of people who have never owned a particular brand of car degrading that brand without knowing of what they speak. Seems that some people are that way about power tools as well.......


          • #20

            Gosh,this harmless little response to njtooltalker set you off?

            "The Bosch cordless drill are made in Switzerland,the Milwaukee's Germany,the DeWalt's -USA,The PC's- Taiwan,Hitachi-China,Black & Decker,China,Makita-USA and China,Skil-Malaysia."

            "This is the point that some of us here have been making,why pay top dollar for an unproven Chinese cordless drill?"
            Posts: 33 | From: South Carolina | Registered: Nov 2003 | IP: Logged |


            Member # 2891

            Member Rated:
            posted 12-05-2003 07:36 PM
            I take it, from your 31 posts, most of which are negative, that you have assumed that it is your God-given duty to come to this forum and make your points known to all. You freely admitted in your own posts that you own no Ridgid power tools and don't plan to purchase any. So, what is your point in doing all these posts running down Ridgid? If you were this negative toward US Airways, I can understand why you are an "exUSAirwaysmech." I can also understand why you elected not to allow any of your peers to rate you.


            you wrote:
            "You freely admitted in your own posts that you own no Ridgid power tools and don't plan to purchase any."

            Can you please post my direct quote pertaining to this?


            • #21

              you wrote:

              "You freely admitted in your own posts that you own no Ridgid power tools and don't plan to purchase any."

              "...I hardly think ownership of a shop vac (which you said you liked) qualifies you be a professional critic of Ridgid power tools."

              Thanks for all of your research and de-facto admittance of the error of your first statement.

              I would never,and have never,claimed to be a professional critic of power tools,Ridgid or otherwise,but go ahead and do a search on it anyway if you like.


              • #22

                you wrote,

                "Respond if you like, however, I will respond no more to the likes of you. "

                Just exercising my right of free speech on this forum without any ad-hominem attacks,just my humble opinion.If that bothers you than grow a bit thicher skin,please.


                • #23
                  I agree with what Rgad has said. I don't blame companies one bit for wanting to get the most return on "their" dollar. I would not be surprised to find out that they are not saving very much per unit by switching to over seas production (I would really like to know the real savings). But, when you make hundreds of thousands of units....The big question should really be, what is going to be done to make it profitable for them to stay at home?

                  [ 12-09-2003, 07:04 AM: Message edited by: I love audio ]


                  • #24
                    Has anyone considered that our tax system is a formula for job loss in the global economy? Obviously no one in our government has.

                    The US leads the world with the highest percentage of government revenue derived from taxes on production (payroll, income, unemployment, workmans comp, etc.) and the lowest percentage derived from taxes on consumption (sales, VAT, etc.) We are also near the top in property taxes, which are really taxes on investment and saving.

                    Income and business property taxes are overhead that must be built into the price of the product or service you produce. Ultimately, the entire price of a product represents income to someone. So, the 25 - 50 percent that Americans pay in income in taxes are 25 - 50 percent of the wholesale price. On the other hand, consumption taxes are generally imposed at point of sale so do not appear in the wholesale price. This includes VAT (Europe) and GST (Canada) as they are not assessed on exported goods.

                    When we trade with a country that taxes on the consumption side, our goods carry the burden of both governments. On the return side, their goods carry hardly any tax burden at all when exported to us. I'll never understand why this is not the same thing as dumping or tariffs. I guess they have better trade negotiators.

                    The magic of percentages makes our burden appear lower than it is. If on average we are taxed about 1/3 of our incomes (a reasonable estimate considering employer matching FICA, unemployment, disability, etc.) this is the same as a 50% sales tax. Psychologically, taxing income appears to take smaller bite. I wonder if this is taken into account when our government claims our taxes are lower than comparable countries. Either way, income taxes are a huge overhead that Americans can no longer make up for with higher productivity. Even if take home pay were equal, the American worker is at a huge disadvantage in a global economy.

                    The best thing we could do for American jobs is get rid of all income taxes for the bottom 90% (like it was when originally imposed in 1921) and switch to sales tax. Then at least imported products would share some of the tax burden. Personally, I have no problem with people buying imported products. But it burns my a-- that not a dime of federal tax revenue is generated. Yet I can't earn my little $20K/yr. without cutting government in for 25%.

                    Incidentally, I recently quit my engineering career in large part because of the overhead on my salary. Out of $60K, I paid $20K/yr in taxes (more like $30K with employer contributions) and $15K/yr rent (2br apt. in expensive area). Now I live better in a modest house I built for cash - AND all on the same money I used to pay in taxes. Sorry government - you've been downsized!


                    • #25
                      The believe that a some of Porter Cables tools are manufactured in the US. Also for hand tools some of Stanley's are made in the US.


                      • #26
                        What you say is true, however, have you ever lived or spent alot of time in a country with consumption based taxes? In general life in those places is no where near as good as in the US, in many cases it is a horror show. Salaries are generally lower, but the cost of products is often double or more. I've been there and I would wish that kind of society only on my worst enemies and the french.


                        • #27
                          Byte butcher.

                          You're an anarchist. Don't you think that Bill gates already supports a lot of the bottom 90 % of the world. Do you drive on roads, Those were paid by government. Do you have police protection. Again government. Fire department. Laws that protect businesses against patents. In china they don't. I am not supporting everything our government does. It's very large and complex. It's very inefficient as well. However, to scrap our entire way of taxation because you don't like it doesnt' make sense.
                          Europe pays a HELL OF A LOT MORE IN TAXES than we do.

                          I guess if you lived in china you may pay less taxes. But may go to a work camp too. Aren't you curious why the mexicans are so quick to flee out of their country?? Maybe you need to move to another country to be happier.

                          If you had a 60,000 salary, you didn't pay 30 percent in taxes. Salaried people shouldn't look at what their company pays in taxes b/c they're not entrepeneurs. Are you mad the way your old company purchased their resources too. It is what it is, could use some tweaking. But what you are proposing would take all the money from our government and thrust us into a 3rd world status. Watch how much proliferation happens in our borders with no money to protect them. Love reading these posts.



                          • #28

                            Wow, I said all that?

                            First, I did not even hint at cutting overall taxes. If anything, net revenues would increase with taxation of imported goods. I'm simply pointing out that we rely primarily on production taxes while others do not. Did you even read the post? Apparently you think there is something sacred about income taxes. Does that mean America wasn't great before income taxes were imposed in 1921? Income tax was in favor at the time because it was one of the more efficient means of reporting and collecting. It was also only intended to be applied to those with ability to pay - the top 10%. Prior to 1921, all kinds of targeted taxes were attempted including silver and carriage taxes. Most of them cost more to implement than they collected. Now that practically every transaction is computerized, a consumption tax is no more difficult to administer than income tax. Most states already do it. Democrats dismiss it as regressive, but so is the payroll tax. You can make it as progressive as you want by excluding basic needs such as rents (up to low income levels), food, health care, etc.

                            Either tax system is equally viable in the absence of trade. But in a free market global economy, jobs will migrate to the lowest cost producer. This post was about keeping jobs in America. I simply wanted to point out that there are things we can actually do about it, as a nation, and as individuals. I was not bashing my former employer or America - only our leaders who let foreign products in tax free and then whine when Americans lose jobs and tax revenues decrease. It was my former employer who hammered into me the importance of being the lowest cost producer in a shrinking market. Surviving six rounds of layoffs in 12 years and two mergers convinced me that they were right. I simply applied the lessons to my personal life. More income isn't always the answer. Government will also have to learn to accept that eventually. We don't have to work for third world wages either. There are costs and risks associated producing in these countries. As long as we can keep the costs close, jobs will stay here.

                            Second, I suggest you take a look at the tax tables. I did include an extra $1500 in taxes on $4500 in interest I earned on the money I was saving for a house. Sorry, I was trying avoid making the post even longer. Today, the Bush tax cut would have reduced that by another $1500. Still, that's about $17K (filing single, standard deductions, 5% state income tax). That comes out to a total tax rate of about 31% in 2000 and 28% in 2003.

                            I don't understand your argument about not including taxes paid by my employer on my labor. Tax is tax - income, FICA, unemployment, workman's comp. They all have to be built into the price of your product. I don't know the average rates for all the miscellaneous taxes on labor employers pay, but I know there's at least 7.65% matching FICA. An estimate of 40% total taxes on a $60K salary is no exaggeration. Sure you can cut that a little by taking on a huge mortgage, putting money in a 401K, investing in rental properties, etc., but that involves significant risk.

                            As for Bill Gates paying enough taxes already, I assume your talking about the misleading assertion that the rich pay most of the taxes. Let me make it clear, I'm as conservative a person as you'll find, but the statistic you cite applies only to the personal income tax. If you check your tax booklet you'll see that personal income tax is only 43% of total federal revenue. 35% is FICA. FICA drops off at $87K so the bottom 90% pay the majority of it. If you honestly think FICA is a retirement program and not just another tax, I've got a banana plantation up here in northern MI for sale.

                            Sadly, most people do not realize how quickly the tax rates climb. The marginal tax rate (amount of tax on the last dollar earned) for a self-employed single filer with standard deductions and 5% state income tax, making over $36,200 is 45%. With the exception of the small 48% bracket between $77K and $87K, that's the highest rate. Thanks to the FICA cap, the rate drops to 36% above $87K climbing back to 43% for millionaires. Bottom line - a self-employed carpenter grossing $18/hr nets only $10/hr for overtime. Some baby sitters make that much.

                            Finally, I'm not even gonna respond to the crap about living in Europe, China, or Mexico - although I do like the weather in Baja. If you want to base your opinion of a tax system on your opinion of the country, that's your prerogative. I should point out though, that Japan tax system is closely aligned to our system and their economy has been stagnant for over a decade. Most of the Japanese electronics brands you know are now "Made in China".

                            If you've got a viable solution, let's hear it. I certainly haven't heard any from any politician or economist. With nearly a half trillion dollar trade deficit every year I think were beyond "a little tweaking".


                            • #29
                              ok we can agree somewhere in the middle then. I did not read entire thread. Just the end and was basing my answer mostly on the attack on the tax system and radical overhaul. I pulled out my Federal Tax schedule and first 30,000 of your income would have been 1t 10 & 15 % so I think your 31 % is a tad high but I do agree that the 7.5 % should not phase out at 60k.

                              One thing I learned in my tax classes is that government doesuse taxes to promote and deter various behaviors. But I don't see the structure changing. BTW, it's not just the manufacturing jobs that are going overseas. There are still lots of blue collar jobs that will never go away. Buidling / painting / mechanic / etc by their nature. It's natural that our jobs will change over time. In the past generations we all worked on assembly lines.

                              My biggest concern about jobs in this country is the outsourcing of ALL JOB CATEGORIES. manufacturing & Accounting & technology & legal & customer service. If it's one segment phasing out and others replacing them. They do need to find a way to equalize this issue. I have not yet found any viable solution batted around anywhere????



                              • #30

                                With you on that point. Probably half the jobs in this country are exportable. That's one reason I got back in construction.