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  • #61
    Mark IV----if you REALLY knew about manufacturing and quality, you'd know it sure wasn't the American workers who chose to cut corners on the quality of that flag kit! Decissions on quality of materials is made by managment. Decissions on how much quality control inspection is done, is made by management. Oversight of the work being done by labor, is done by management. To site an example----it wasn't that long ago that American auto makers blamed the poor quality of their cars on the work ethics of their workforce.

    Strangely enough, Toyota, Honda and I think, Nissan, have all built plants in America, using American labor----they have continued to maintain their high quality standards with American labor----only the managment system changed!!

    There is no question, however, that evidence of a two-class society can certainly be argued based on the fact that the mfg. jobs leaving this country, were certainly higher paid than the service and support jobs which have come about to fill the gap.
    Dave

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    • #62
      I REALLY do know about manufacturing and quality, because that's what I do.

      PLEASE don't try to put me in the "American workers are no good" box. I haven't said that and never would. Doesn't sound like you read the whole post.

      The point (which was clearly made) is that buying American, solely because it is American, is not the right thing to do. It doesn't help America or American workers. It subsidizes cr@p. I didn't say all American products are cr@p. I said don't subsidize the ones that are.

      Neither Ridgid, nor the government, invented the world economy. If some American companies choose not to compete in it, and place the product's country of origin above quality and value, they will get what they deserve. They should not get the business with inferior merchandise just because it was Made in the USA.

      If you want to turn the flag example into some kind of management vs. worker thing, you are spinning your wheels. Jimmy says he will spend a couple more bucks to buy American.

      I say, buy American when it is competitive. When it's not competitive, ask why, and fix that. It is sometimes management (most management works butt off to be the best, in my experience), sometimes our tax code and regulatory weight, and sometimes other things.

      There 5 billion or so other people in the world economy who are going to base their buying decisions on value for the money, period. That isn't going to change and American companies need to provide that value.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by daveferg:
        There is no question, however, that evidence of a two-class society can certainly be argued based on the fact that the mfg. jobs leaving this country, were certainly higher paid than the service and support jobs which have come about to fill the gap.
        No Question? The Bureau of Labor Statistics begs to differ.

        Where is all this "evidence"?

        The "middle class" itself is kind of hard to measure, and the so-called decline of the middle class has been partly a result of the middle moving up to the "upper class", generally considered a good thing.

        Increases in the "lower class" have been partly a result of immigration. Immigrants have typically taken lower paying jobs, and at least initially have higher birth rates .

        The "shrinking" of the middle class is overstated to begin with, not all bad news by any means, and not necessarily the result of manufacturing jobs going overseas. Service economies include six-figured technicians and programmers as well as burger flippers.

        By any standard, between 60 and 70% of the "two-class society" that the evidence allegedly points to, are in the middle class. Many manufacturing "workers" are middle class as well, it's not just management.

        And back to Ridgid: if the change to Ryobi was really a result of tooling disputes with Sears, is any of this blather relevant?
        If Emerson/Ridgid is so poor at marketing, why is their plumbing and HVAC product so successful? And why isn't IT exclusively available through HD?
        We can't know why the HD connection was so poor, but maybe it just kept a lid on the simmering controversy and legal wrangling about tooling, patents, etc.

        The issue isn't really about American jobs moving overseas, but about what becomes of the Ridgid WW product plan. There is more to the story than meets the eye, and class jealousy may not contribute much to understanding it.

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        • #64
          Well----you can bend whatever figures you like about jobs going overseas, vs. what's replacing them, but the fact remains that mfg. jobs---the one's where workers made "middle class" wages, are leaving and the one's that are created are highly skewed towards lower hourly wages.

          Whether you intedended it or not, you rant about the flag kit certainly sounded like a condemation of American labor---a cry I heard all too often just before a company moved it's factory overseas.

          And, if that product is poor, it is managment's fault. All you have to do is read any book on quality management to know why.

          But I will agree that this is a tangent compared to what happened with Emerson/Ridgid. I think you put your finger on one big problem----if Ridgid's plumbing and HVAC tools were exclusive to HD and these lines were successful----it points to a problem with HD, which Ridgid should have corrected with better field rep/merchandiser programs/commitment.
          Dave

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