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Author: Subject: Merry Christmas Carrier employees

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 12/20/2016 at 05:33 PM
quote:
Appreciate your well reasoned response Swifty - ah an intelligent exchange of ideas in the Whipping Post. It feels good.

I see the retraining issue as a bottle neck, there simply are not enough opportunities in the "new" economy than existed previously for people who were able to attain middle class status in the "old" economy.

I went to automotive trade school with some people who were laid off a Werner ladder manufacturing plant in PA as the production was shifted to Mexico. But new hire auto techs don't get paid what they used to. Why? Because there is an oversupply of qualified applicants trying to get in the field. So much so that alot of old-time techs, the ones with decades of knowledge are being forced out by new hires because they can pay them less and the employer believes they produce similar results. And I have friends and family in teaching and nursing - both fields are saturated with people looking for work in those areas. The gas and oil work was booming here for a while, but that too has fallen on hard times. There are just so many people trying to find that good paying job and it truly is a bottle neck, too many workers fighting for too few jobs. Atleast in my area of NE Ohio and Western PA there just is not enough well paying jobs or even just enough jobs in general in healthcare, education or other service industries, including building or automotive trades.

I know there are new fields of advanced manufacturing that require new skills that some laid off old manufacturing workers could receive. And I know there are opportunities in tech, depending on where one lives. It just doesn't seem like enough is out there, retrained or otherwise.

I just feel that saying "people need retraining" as kind of an easy way to offer a solution to the problem, when in reality, my opinion, by and large it doesn't even begin to solve the issue. Retraining into what? If 1000 people at a manufacturing plant get laid off, what field of employment is lacking 1000 workers that they need to be absorbed into if they get retrained?

I also want to say that LL Bean does make and sell some things in the USA. I am very very in touch with what is or isn't available made in USA to the extent my life almost revolves around it. LL Bean produces some of their boots in the US as well as blankets for beds. Pretty sure they also sell a heavy fabric (almost canvas) material bag, like one might take to the beach or something that is made in USA. You can get your name on it. LL Bean's catalog, as do other catalogs, state which products are USA or some companies use an American flag or something to identify which products are USA as a selling point.

Which brings me to your largest point.

Many companies have realized that advertising and marketing items as Made in USA can be a selling feature which I am very happy about and I even take time to thank some companies for doing so on their websites or catalogs.

But very very few companies, certainly no large companies, are going to market Made in USA over their brand. I might like that, as it sounds you would. But from a business standpoint, growing and promoting a brand name will always be the primary objective. Companies own their brand, it's who they are and they use it to differentiate themselves from the competition. Nobody owns Made in USA, piling money into an ad campaign to promote a companies products that are Made in USA may net positive results, but it isn't the same as promoting their own brand as being the go to source for quality. If two American companies make a boot in the USA, say Thorogood brand and Danner brand...advertising both as made in USA means less because they are both made in the USA. So then these companies are going to use the good will and reputation of their brand to help the sale. The USA feature cancels out.

I know what you are saying that the quality, or perceived quality of a USA made product is what should be promoted. But I'm sure we both know that the USA has no monopoly on quality. I mean, hell, an Oppo DVD player made in China is one of the best DVD/BuRay/Media players on the market period.

So what is better really? Many Japanese products are of very high quality, in some cases better than US. Is a Toyota branded car engineered and made in Japan better than a Ford branded car engineered and made in the USA? Some would say the Toyota.

If we look at electronics, there are still some very high end audio components made in the US and Japan. Most as we know have gone to China, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, etc. Not really even that many electronics coming out of Korea these days that I see. Seems most of the A/V equipment in my lifetime was first made in Japan, then outsourced to Korea, now outsourced to a host of lower wage Asian companies. But I am getting off track.

When it comes to high end electronics there is a huge price difference from say made in USA Triad Speakers vs imported big box store Klipsch speakers. Put Triad and Klipsch in a store at their representative price points and what will sell more?

Put a 6' long metal shelf assembly, the kind you might buy for your garage, made in China for $85 vs a 6' long shelf assembly made in USA for $135 and what will the sales be? Will the USA one be of higher quality, probably, the fitment and quality control will be likely be higher. But will the consumer value that?

I know your example of people in Mexico wanting made in USA, but if you have an American consumer standing in Home Depot wanting a shelf for their garage, which one will sell more? 8 out of 10 consumer I would suggest will buy the cheaper one. Sure maybe they know it may not be as high of quality, but it might be good enough quality for what they need it for. And they can make their dollar stretch further and buy more stuff. Price controls a majority of purchasing decisions. And alot of times it comes down to what people can afford.

Now I've cited many examples where something made in USA is sold for the exact same price as something imported. I actually see it all the time. And in those cases, people are going to buy a brand they know more often than not. Somebody is likely to buy a Stanley hammer vs an off brand hammer if the price is the same irregardless of where it is made. While buying things made in USA has become more important for people, at the end of the day brand and price are bigger driving factors for the majority of people I find.

My friends and family know how much of a USA freak I am, and they all tell me how important it is to them often giving me stories they think I will appreciate. But then I catch them not following their own practices. My Mom just gave me a made in China Christmas card! My Mom! If anyone is more in touch with my country of origin obsession it would be her. Of course I called her on it and she said she forgot to look. A good friend of mine tells me how much he always buys USA, then I see him wearing shoes that are imported. People often say one thing and do another.

I do not think we are going to get a significant number of US consumers who want to buy on the USA feature first and foremost, at best it may be a 3rd criteria for most people after price and brand. And since I don't see companies abandoning brand promotion in favor of USA promotion, and vast majority of people are always going to buy on price then I don't see your solution being viable. As to the Mexican consumers wanting things made in USA, I'm sure your experience is true. But then I read that people in Korea buy Korean, and in fact there are protests over the importation of US beef that is going to compete with Korean raised beef.

So then, I feel that it can't be left to business to do the right thing and it can't be left to consumers to do the right thing. What is the right thing? The right thing is doing what benefits local communities, states and ultimately the federal government. Financially healthy communities, states and government at the federal level, I feel, is best achieved by having people employed, making good wages with more tax revenue coming in than expenditures going out. Less social program spending as people are more self sufficient.

I believe you and I both want the same net result, we just have different visions on how it could be achieved. I think the only realistic way to achieve my vision is with the hand of the government because I can't see consumers or producers doing what is necessary on their own to achieve the goal.


What I was proposing in my prior example was a model that could be competitive in a new global space where there are three main players. Right now the US is the dominant force globally in most important areas. China and Russia also have global aspirations but they are both only upstarts when it comes to competing in a global economy. China and Russia in different ways both have historical predispositions that will constrain them as they continue to expand.

President Obama was asked the other day about whether Russia was a serious threat and he said that they really only had a few commodities for sale. Besides oil and gas they sold arms, he said. He also mentioned that they donít innovate. The Chinese are also for the most part not innovators. Neither Russia nor the Chinese have any kind of cultural system that would allow the new middle class to embrace as they climbed the social ladder in their respective countries. The US cultural system which includes visual and musical creations is totally dominant globally. The US is way ahead of the game in terms of culture and innovation, the two things that people prize most dearly.

The US though needs to be more selective in terms of a market.

quote:
Free traders like to say "the world has x number of people and we are only y% of that world population, we can't just buy and sell among ourselves we must sell to the world". Great in theory, but how many of the world population can actually buy our "stuff". How many people in Central America or Africa or even Asia, how many of those people have the income to buy things made here? And who is to say that just because an American company can sell into that market, where is that stuff made?


From this any reasonable economist might conclude that the world is too scary and say letís just create a protected economy which produces and consumes its own goods.

First, there are a lot of people in Asia and not all of them are poor. This is from Wikipedia, but there are sources and so you can decide for yourself if itís credible.

quote:
Standard of living in India varies from state to state. With one of the fastest growing economies in the world, clocked at a growth rate of 7.6% in 2015, India is fast on its way to becoming a large and globally important consumer economy. According to Deutsche Bank Research the estimates are nearly 300 million people for all Middle Class.[1] If current trends continue, India's share of world GDP will significantly increase from 7.3 in 2016 to 8.5 percent of the world share by 2020.[2] In 2011, less than 22 percent of Indians lived under the global poverty line, nearly a 10 percent reduction from 29.8 percent just two years prior in 2009.[3]

According to NCAER, India's middle class population would be 267 million in 2016. Further ahead, by 2025-26 the number of middle class households in India is likely to more than double from the 2015-16 levels to 113.8 million households or 547 million individuals.[4] Another estimate put the Indian middle class as numbering 475 million people by 2030.[5] It is estimated that average real wages will quadruple between 2013 and 2030.[6]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_of_living_in_India " target=_blank> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_of_living_in_India


As well,

quote:
Chinaís middle class is on fire. According to a study by consulting firm McKinsey & Company, 76 percent of Chinaís urban population will be considered middle class by 2022. Thatís defined as urban households that earn US$9,000 Ė US$34,000 a year.


http://www.businessinsider.com/chinas-middle-class-is-exploding-2016-8 " target=_blank> http://www.businessinsider.com/chinas-middle-class-is-exploding-2016-8

For the real purchasing power of the emerging Indian and Chinese Middle Class, one has to factor in remittances from abroad. Over half the applicants to Ivy League schools with really high SAT scores are Asians. The vast majority of them stay in the developed countries to work and they send money back to China and India. These remittances are so prized that India does not tax them.

quote:
Atleast in my area of NE Ohio and Western PA there just is not enough well paying jobs or even just enough jobs in general in healthcare, education or other service industries, including building or automotive trades.


I think we need to be realistic about what constitutes retraining. In any major shift you are going to lose people. When offices went from typewriters to personal computers many secretaries lost their jobs. People are close to retirement, they donít feel like picking up new skills, they have grandchildren to babysit, or they are burnt out. For the Rust Belt to be truly revitalized there needs to be new opportunities that require fresh enthusiastic mindsets and new skills, which may be very different than old skills.

Nobody is going to be able to reproduce yesterday and create a vibrant economy. Trump claims he can but he is either not being honest or he feels he can sweep through the Rust Belt states and captivate them with his continuous campaigning. I see no choice but to go forward. You might be right Nebish

quote:
I also want to say that LL Bean does make and sell some things in the USA. I am very very in touch with what is or isn't available made in USA to the extent my life almost revolves around it. LL Bean produces some of their boots in the US as well as blankets for beds. Pretty sure they also sell a heavy fabric (almost canvas) material bag, like one might take to the beach or something that is made in USA. You can get your name on it. LL Bean's catalog, as do other catalogs, state which products are USA or some companies use an American flag or something to identify which products are USA as a selling point.


Most of my clothes are from LL Bean and they are all are made abroad. I have no doubt that some of its products are native. The point I was alluding to was that LL Bean was diluting its brand by trying to appeal to too many markets and this was fragmenting its identity. I was at LL Bean in Maine once and there were two groups--one German and one Japaneseómaking movies about the place. LL Bean sells itself. It is the American part that people need to be reminded of.


I think your main concern was where would the money come from to pay the workers. $10 an hour is not going to cut it in the US at this time. Will the real rich folk give up their hard earned billions to help men support their families and rediscover their dignity? They might if they can be shown that there is an economic rationale for it.


quote:
I believe you and I both want the same net result, we just have different visions on how it could be achieved. I think the only realistic way to achieve my vision is with the hand of the government because I can't see consumers or producers doing what is necessary on their own to achieve the goal.


There is always the invisible hand of the market. American is operating from a position of strength at present. It has a unique identity and people continue to be enthralled by this uniqueness. Middle classes when they first emerge have no real distinctive identity. There could be a match here.

Thanks for the exchange. I've learned quite a bit putting together this economic plan and much of this was trying to respond to your points.


 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 12/21/2016 at 09:47 AM
I sincerely appreciate your responses.

Most times we have our positions and aren't going to change another person's mind. What I've always tried to do is to have other people see or understand the reasoning behind my opinions all while also learning the rationale behind those who feel different. It is why I've enjoyed posting here with more people who perhaps feel differently than I do rather than going somewhere for positive reinforcement. I prefer listening to liberal talk radio for the same reasons - I find it much more stimulating...LOL, but true. Your posts responding to mine have been welcomed.

Just to be clear, I do not want to close off the US from the world. I am however cynical about how trading with the world has done more damage to our country and certainly large group of our population through trade imbalances and out sourcing.

You paint the picture of the growing middle class in India and China, which I am not opposed to those people reaching a higher quality of living perhaps with some opportunity to buy American made products. And to be clear, buying an American made product and buying a product sold by an American company are often two very very different things.

I look at China. Our #3 export to them is waste and scrap - as classified by the International Trade Administration. Ag products, Transportation products are 1-2 with drinks and tobacco products being #4. All told we have 10 product categories where we have a trade surplus with the Chinese and 21 with a deficit for a $367b trade deficit in 2015, that was actually the highest defecit in the last 10 years with them.

The trade imbalance with India is $23b in 2015, more than double what it was 10 years ago.

As these countries see a growing middle class, the net trade balance isn't improving for us, it is getting worse.

The government has some pretty good data online for alot of things. You can play around here if you haven't before - http://trade.gov/

The vulnerability for US workers is not limited to those who just work in the rust belt. What if Goodyear decides to close it's Lawton Oklahoma plant, just as an example. Over 2000 people work there. Goodyear has closed US plants before to make tires in other global facilities, which they then bring back to the US to sell on the retail market. What are those people to do in a case like that? It happens quite often, the Carrier example I think highlighted the number of companies currently planning or considering closing down production here in favor of foreign production. And it has happened before in the south with furniture and textile production. I don't talk of trying to save and protect labor in a certain part of the country, I'm trying to do it for everyone nationwide because vulnerabilities exist everywhere on small and large scales.

I see this problem of US companies outsourcing and expansion of foreign companies/countries importing here as such a major problem in the last couple decades contributing to so many of the problems we are facing. Homelessness, drug addiction, crime, shrinking middle class, wealth flowing to the top 1%, state budget crunches, federal budget deficits...the list goes on. I truly see the trade imbalance and trade agreements we have passed as the primary driving factor to all of those problems we try to deal with and fight about here and in Washington. All while we are told by corporate owned members of Congress and higher from the left and right that we need more free trade, more agreements - and the net result is always the same. More trade imbalance with more regions of the world and more suffering here because of it.

As much as I try to be hopeful for Trump's potential to turn the tide, I pray and hope that it isn't just talk. I want to tell you that I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary because of his views on what has happened with these trade deals. The only two major party candidates to get as far as they did to take the positions of trade and making things in the USA. Clearly there are differences in the approach between these two men, and in Trump's case prior practice, but there is agreement that we have made a very wrong turn down a dark path for our nation. And hopefully for Trump it isn't hot air. Getting Democrats to follow a more nationalist economic plan would be much easier than getting Republicans to do it. So how and if we try and correct it, if we can correct it with the reality of politics being what it is makes one wonder what really will change.

I can't control much. But I try to buy as many things made in USA as I can. I search high an low for US made product. That and I talk on this message board about the importance of getting back to making more things here. My friends and family constantly find themselves in conversations with me about it. None of which make a bit of difference at the end of the day, but it is all I can do to take a stand for something I very strongly believe in. I suppose there is a next step I would have to take to try and really have a meaningful impact. I've thought about trying to open a made in USA retail store locally. Not sure how successful it would be. Many online websites exist with that theme.

 

A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 1/1/2018 at 05:15 PM
Richie Rich the stubby fingered fat boy said there would be "consequences and retribution" for companies that offshored jobs. Anybody heard what the "consequences and retribution" for all those Trump clothing lines made in China, India and Mexico might be ?

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 1/1/2018 at 06:20 PM
He should've ceased the foreign production of his products to align with his political policy position. Gave the opponents a clear and real edge and hurt his own credibility.

Now I would've liked him to do this. But, I have to wonder, if he had brought the production of all his foreign products from foreign countries to the US, wouldn't his critics say he is profiting from his political speech and position, drawing attention to his brand and benefiting from MAGA slogan for his bottom line? It's lose - lose in today's political climate.

 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 1/1/2018 at 06:43 PM
quote:
He should've ceased the foreign production of his products to align with his political policy position. Gave the opponents a clear and real edge and hurt his own credibility.

Now I would've liked him to do this. But, I have to wonder, if he had brought the production of all his foreign products from foreign countries to the US, wouldn't his critics say he is profiting from his political speech and position, drawing attention to his brand and benefiting from MAGA slogan for his bottom line? It's lose - lose in today's political climate.



Nah, doesn't matter in the slighest. In the grand scheme of things, where Trump makes his products is way down the list of reasons his opponents dislike him. And his fans will make excuses all day long as to why it doesn't matter (he was right when he said he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Street and not lose any of his voters). In the end it's just politics as usual, and more broken promises that won't hurt him in the end. To his supporters, Trump is a cult of personality and as long as he dislikes the same people that they dislike, that's all that maters.

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 1/1/2018 at 07:08 PM
I've heard 'the supporters' say he is the best President ever...like just recently I literally heard that.

But it might matter. Any or all of this stuff might matter in the end. The die hards on the left and right are one thing, but they don't decide elections right? The far right, or even the mainstream right, isn't what won Trump this election. The people that crossed over and those in the middle, I would think they are watching and their votes will be heard in the future.

I agree, it is just one thing to not like him for, and like you say, it isn't a big reason, but Mark Ramsey brought it up so I addressed my view on it.


 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 1/2/2018 at 03:02 AM
quote:
I've heard 'the supporters' say he is the best President ever...like just recently I literally heard that.

But it might matter. Any or all of this stuff might matter in the end. The die hards on the left and right are one thing, but they don't decide elections right? The far right, or even the mainstream right, isn't what won Trump this election. The people that crossed over and those in the middle, I would think they are watching and their votes will be heard in the future.

I agree, it is just one thing to not like him for, and like you say, it isn't a big reason, but Mark Ramsey brought it up so I addressed my view on it.




You have a good point. Trump won the election by a thin margin, based on just a few thousand votes in just a few states. Is Trump going to pick up new voters that he didn't win last time? Not likely. Had some Berne or bust voters in a few states not stayed home, he never would have won in the first place. But Trump lovers will never change their mind. All that matters is that he still hates the same people they do, and in some cases that he kept the only promise that matters to them, and that'a appointing an anti-abortion and anti-gay rights supreme court justice. Trump haters are never going to change their mind. Those who reluctantly voted for Trump last time probably won't again, but who knows. The big question is who shows up at the polls. And very unpolular politicans have been reelected before, sometimes due to third party candidates splitting the vote.

 

Peach Head



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  posted on 1/2/2018 at 09:14 AM
We're going to federally regulate where and with whom corporations can do business and eliminate the massive profits generated by manufacturing overseas versus domestically?

Still trying to figure out how this fits in with the rest of Trump's agenda?

HINT: it doesn't

 

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