Discussion:
OT: On China - Mini Rant Warning
(too old to reply)
Peter Wieck
2017-03-10 14:53:41 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
There is an undercurrent here on the overall desirability of "things Chinese". This is a subject on which I have strong feelings for very, very specific reasons. So, a little background.

My wife and I have been to China. Yes, it was part of a carefully managed and conducted tour, but it lasted ten full days in-country and covered large and small cities. We went into several neighborhoods, including a public school, private house in a Houtong in Bejing and similar. So, for the record, most Chinese have the same goals as most of us - make a living, make a better world for their kids, have some fun. However, it is much harder for them than for u to do this. NEVER forget that.

Now, things Chinese that I avoid like the plague they are:

a) Tools: My tools are US/Euro. Full stop. Better made, better steel, longer lasting in every way imaginable. This includes knives, hammers, pliers and so forth. So I pay 4 X the first cost. My pair of Channellock linesman's pliers, now 47 years old is, truly, as good as new despite very hard use.

b) Electronics: My audio stuff is US/Euro with the exception of Japanese CD changers - there are few Euro changers, and the Sony devices have been extremely reliable for many years of my sorts of use. The 200-disc device drives my transmitters, the 5-disc changers are at each other stereo. Our televisions are Japan.

d) Clothing to the extent possible. It is still possible to purchase non-Chinese clothing for many uses. Where we can, we do.

e) Toys & Games: Yes, Virginia, it is entirely possible to purchase desirable (to kids) toys not-from-China. In our case, it is mostly Germany and the US.

f) Books: all too many books these days are now printed in China. Not in our house.

g) Paper goods: As above.

h) Vacuum tubes: Whereas there appear to be some decent tubes now made in China, those few I have experienced have universally wound up slagging themselves.

This has nothing to do with xenophobia, or anti-Chinese sentiments. This has everything to do with skills and industries that *MUST* be supported within the US so that this country remains competitive in the real world. A company I worked for 43 years ago, still extant, still family owned, will pay *any* skilled machinist a $60,000 wage to walk in the door. If that individual proves out, that salary is only the beginning. Yes, there is a skills shortage, and yes that shortage is driving business off-shore to find *any* skilled sources whether the business wants to or not.

There are NO LCD screens of any size or type made in North America. Although they were invented and developed in Pittsburgh, PA, not even the capacity exists in the US - so that F35 Advanced Fighter has a Korean or Chinese LCD display. The 787 Dreamliner - the same.

That is one tiny example. There are thousands. And more are threatened each day. The example I use is the $0.99 pair of underwear. Had it remained on the shelf and the $1.99 pair purchased instead - the world would be different. But, no, they flew off the shelf. So, now my neighbor cannot pay his mortgage as he, his wife, and his oldest child were laid off from their jobs at the spinning mill. So, his house goes into receivership. There is nobody to take his place, so the entire neighborhood declines. That $0.99 pair of underwear is all-of-a-sudden very expensive. But we would rather threaten our neighbors' jobs than make a choice to support them.

And the result is that the spinning, weaving, cutting and sewing mills are pretty much all gone, along with the machinery, skills and knowledge involved. Meaning that retooling, redevelopment and retraining would take years should a need arise, and be a massively expensive undertaking. That is what happens when an entire industry dies.

You pays you money, you takes you chances.
Carter
2017-03-10 17:04:12 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter Wieck
There is an undercurrent here on the overall desirability of "things
Chinese". This is a subject on which I have strong feelings for very,
very specific reasons. So, a little background.
My wife and I have been to China. Yes, it was part of a carefully
managed and conducted tour, but it lasted ten full days in-country
and covered large and small cities. We went into several
neighborhoods, including a public school, private house in a Houtong
in Bejing and similar. So, for the record, most Chinese have the same
goals as most of us - make a living, make a better world for their
kids, have some fun. However, it is much harder for them than for u
to do this. NEVER forget that.
I would respectfully submit that it is hard to generalize..
Post by Peter Wieck
a) Tools: My tools are US/Euro. Full stop. Better made, better steel,
longer lasting in every way imaginable. This includes knives,
hammers, pliers and so forth. So I pay 4 X the first cost. My pair of
Channellock linesman's pliers, now 47 years old is, truly, as good as
new despite very hard use.
I have a battery operated drill from Harbor Freight made in China. Well
built, still operating flawlessly after a dozen or so years.
Post by Peter Wieck
b) Electronics: My audio stuff is US/Euro with the exception of
Japanese CD changers - there are few Euro changers, and the Sony
devices have been extremely reliable for many years of my sorts of
use. The 200-disc device drives my transmitters, the 5-disc changers
are at each other stereo. Our televisions are Japan.
My Chinese electronic toys are fine, Kindles used for years, still work
fine, Echos made in China work fine. A Chinese made weather station
(Accu-rite) has worked fine for years -- and still does. Also had, and
am having, great luck with Chinese made smart phones.
Post by Peter Wieck
d) Clothing to the extent possible. It is still possible to purchase
non-Chinese clothing for many uses. Where we can, we do.
This presumes you think Malaysia or Viet Nam is any better than China.
Post by Peter Wieck
e) Toys & Games: Yes, Virginia, it is entirely possible to purchase
desirable (to kids) toys not-from-China. In our case, it is mostly
Germany and the US.
f) Books: all too many books these days are now printed in China. Not in our house.
What's a "book"? Since getting our first Kindles years ago, we've never
looked back. ;-)
Post by Peter Wieck
g) Paper goods: As above.
h) Vacuum tubes: Whereas there appear to be some decent tubes now
made in China, those few I have experienced have universally wound up
slagging themselves.
Yeah, but...what choice do you have? 3-500Z triodes for my amateur radio
kilowatt amplifier are *only* available from China. Svetlana (Russian
tube manufacturer) went out of business years ago.

The Chinese make junk and they make good stuff, you just have to be
selective as you can and buy Chinese products from an American company
that has good quality control over their Chinese manufacturing and who
will stand behind what they sell.

Your mileage may vary.
Peter Wieck
2017-03-10 17:55:37 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Carter
I have a battery operated drill from Harbor Freight made in China. Well
built, still operating flawlessly after a dozen or so years.
This fits very well into the Underwear example. I am entirely willing to pay a premium, often significant, to get my tools from the US, failing that, Europe for the ultra-precision (watchmaker level) hand and power tools. So that the skills necessary to make these tools remains here. And, so that near-and-far, my neighbors with such skills remain employed.
Post by Carter
Post by Peter Wieck
b) Electronics: My audio stuff is US/Euro with the exception of
Japanese CD changers - there are few Euro changers, and the Sony
devices have been extremely reliable for many years of my sorts of
use. The 200-disc device drives my transmitters, the 5-disc changers
are at each other stereo. Our televisions are Japan.
My Chinese electronic toys are fine, Kindles used for years, still work
fine, Echos made in China work fine. A Chinese made weather station
(Accu-rite) has worked fine for years -- and still does. Also had, and
am having, great luck with Chinese made smart phones.
Post by Peter Wieck
d) Clothing to the extent possible. It is still possible to purchase
non-Chinese clothing for many uses. Where we can, we do.
This presumes you think Malaysia or Viet Nam is any better than China.
These are easily avoided as well. Look about, you *really do* have options. Just that they are not the absolute cheapest options.

I would prefer my goods, if they cannot come reasonably from the US (which is sadly too often the case) are at least from the same hemisphere. Again, it is very much a long-term goal. I could go cheapest-way, live in a McMansion, drive an expensive car and carry the usual debt typical of that life. However, we choose to live in a house built in 1890, that was never on farmland, keep our vehicles for a very long time, maintain what we have scrupulously using top-quality skills and materials (we just installed six (6) Andersen Renewal windows as one example, with six next year, six the following), and we carry no debt. But, if my choices keep first, neighbors, then friends, then friendly acquaintances healthy and employed, I have no excuse cutting them off for the sake of a few bucks on a tool.
Post by Carter
Post by Peter Wieck
e) Toys & Games: Yes, Virginia, it is entirely possible to purchase
desirable (to kids) toys not-from-China. In our case, it is mostly
Germany and the US.
f) Books: all too many books these days are now printed in China. Not in our house.
What's a "book"? Since getting our first Kindles years ago, we've never
looked back. ;-)
Nice thing about books - when I am done with one, I can pass it to someone else. And if I am at our summer house and the power fails (not unusual), I am not SOL when the battery dies. And, if it gets REALLY cold, I can burn it for heat. Or, mulch it for the garden. With a Kindle, not so much.
Post by Carter
Post by Peter Wieck
g) Paper goods: As above.
h) Vacuum tubes: Whereas there appear to be some decent tubes now
made in China, those few I have experienced have universally wound up
slagging themselves.
Yeah, but...what choice do you have? 3-500Z triodes for my amateur radio
kilowatt amplifier are *only* available from China. Svetlana (Russian
tube manufacturer) went out of business years ago.
The Chinese make junk and they make good stuff, you just have to be
selective as you can and buy Chinese products from an American company
that has good quality control over their Chinese manufacturing and who
will stand behind what they sell.
Your mileage may vary.
When I have no choice, I have no choice. I never stated, suggested or implied otherwise. But when I do have a choice, it is not between China and the US, or quality vs. junk, or even high vs. low cost. It is a choice between my neighbor having a job, or not. THAT is where the thought and implications of each little choice become more specific and more real.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
C.Copperpot
2017-03-11 14:42:10 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
I'm right with you Peter.
It seems like the divide between the "well off" and the poor is
getting wider. We need more medium income jobs for the under educated.
Moving manufacturing offshore took away most of that. Geez, look at
all the homeless people these days. Buying the cheap labor made stuff
just makes it worse.
Carter
2017-03-11 20:00:41 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by C.Copperpot
I'm right with you Peter.
It seems like the divide between the "well off" and the poor is
getting wider. We need more medium income jobs for the under educated.
Well, being from the Detroit area, I can tell you that the days of a
high school dropout being able to get a $30 per hour job at the auto
companies are LONG GONE.
Post by C.Copperpot
Moving manufacturing offshore took away most of that.
I would respectfully suggest that you are overlooking a big part of the
story. Yes, a lot of jobs went off shore because of very low labor costs
and lack of costly environmental laws overseas -- but a LOT of jobs were
lost to technology, the piece you seem to be overlooking.
Post by C.Copperpot
Geez, look at
all the homeless people these days. Buying the cheap labor made stuff
just makes it worse.
As it turns out, the shopping public LIKES cheap prices. The politicians
that promise to "bring back the jobs" are making a promise that will be
difficult -- if not impossible -- to keep.

Q: Bring back the jobs from where?

A: China.

Q: OK, why are the jobs in China?

A: Because of 50 cent an hour labor rates and lack of environmental laws.

Even if you could convince the CEOs and shareholders to give up the
cheap labor and lack of environmental costs, it is unlikely that
Americans will work for 50 cents an hour. Thus, in the unlikely event
that the jobs do "come back", you can *guarantee* costs to the American
consumer will go up, probably significantly -- and you can bet that the
consumers won't be happy with that.

It's like being for motherhood and apple pie, certainly I would like to
see my neighbors have jobs. Unfortunately, it entails a lot more than
just making blowhard political promises that may be impossible to keep.

Just my 2 cents...
Jim Mueller
2017-03-11 20:39:21 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Carter
Post by C.Copperpot
I'm right with you Peter.
It seems like the divide between the "well off" and the poor is getting
wider. We need more medium income jobs for the under educated.
Well, being from the Detroit area, I can tell you that the days of a
high school dropout being able to get a $30 per hour job at the auto
companies are LONG GONE.
Post by C.Copperpot
Moving manufacturing offshore took away most of that.
I would respectfully suggest that you are overlooking a big part of the
story. Yes, a lot of jobs went off shore because of very low labor costs
and lack of costly environmental laws overseas -- but a LOT of jobs were
lost to technology, the piece you seem to be overlooking.
Post by C.Copperpot
Geez, look at all the homeless people these days. Buying the cheap
labor made stuff just makes it worse.
As it turns out, the shopping public LIKES cheap prices. The politicians
that promise to "bring back the jobs" are making a promise that will be
difficult -- if not impossible -- to keep.
Q: Bring back the jobs from where?
A: China.
Q: OK, why are the jobs in China?
A: Because of 50 cent an hour labor rates and lack of environmental laws.
Even if you could convince the CEOs and shareholders to give up the
cheap labor and lack of environmental costs, it is unlikely that
Americans will work for 50 cents an hour. Thus, in the unlikely event
that the jobs do "come back", you can *guarantee* costs to the American
consumer will go up, probably significantly -- and you can bet that the
consumers won't be happy with that.
It's like being for motherhood and apple pie, certainly I would like to
see my neighbors have jobs. Unfortunately, it entails a lot more than
just making blowhard political promises that may be impossible to keep.
Just my 2 cents...
It's possible that JOB FUNCTIONS may come back to the U.S. but less
likely that actual JOBS will. Most job functions that come back will be
automated. We already have automated computer tech support.
--
Jim Mueller ***@nospam.com

To get my real email address, replace wrongname with dadoheadman.
Then replace nospam with fastmail. Lastly, replace com with us.
Peter Wieck
2017-03-11 21:44:01 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Carter, it entails being willing to spend $59.99 for a drill rather than $29.99. If you are willing to do that, you are part of the solution. Otherwise, you are part of the problem. $30 might seem like a lot, but in the long run, it will be mighty cheap.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
Peter Wieck
2017-03-12 13:13:51 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter Wieck
Carter, it entails being willing to spend $59.99 for a drill rather than $29.99. If you are willing to do that, you are part of the solution. Otherwise, you are part of the problem. $30 might seem like a lot, but in the long run, it will be mighty cheap.
Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
Let me take this just a bit further as sometimes a very big "Clue-Stick" is necessary:

In the western part of my state is a moderately small town called "Meadville". The largest employer in town is a very old-line company called Channellock, making hand tools of very high quality. This is a foundry and forge processing metal in hot, loud and difficult conditions. Their top-of-the-line Linesman's Pliers sells for $20.

https://www.amazon.com/Channellock-349-Premium-Wiremaster-Linesman/dp/B00004SBD5

I could buy a pair at Harbor Freight for $6.

http://www.harborfreight.com/8-inch-professional-linemans-pliers-94385.html

And if more-or-less everyone did, Channellock would shut down, and the town of Meadville would pretty much go with it. Multiply that across Klein, Estwing, and others, and *perhaps* the reason to think through one's purchasing choices might penetrate. Each Harbor Freight purchase - when a better quality US alternative is available - is a deliberate and specific step towards eliminating Channellock, Klein, Estwing et.al. - and the jobs that go with them. Whether this is acknowledged or not.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
Carter
2017-03-12 14:49:15 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter Wieck
Carter, it entails being willing to spend $59.99 for a drill rather
than $29.99. If you are willing to do that, you are part of the
solution. Otherwise, you are part of the problem. $30 might seem
like a lot, but in the long run, it will be mighty cheap.
Peter Wieck Melrose Park, PA
What you say presumes that there is an American company that
manufactures a $59.99 drill that is *made in America*. There is a very
good chance that this won't be true. Maybe an American name
company...but actually manufactured overseas. My American Fluke brand
Digital Multimeters (DMM) are made in...China. How about my
Hewlett-Packard financial calculator...made in Indonesia? For better or
worse, globalization has driven many American manufacturers out of
business or forced their manufacturing overseas, making it impossible to
find that $59.99 American made drill. In Detroit, the Motor City, the
former "arsenal of the world", there are no more mom and pop tool and
die shops, all gone overseas.

How long until your beloved Channellock CEO decides he can make more --
and please his shareholders and preserve his job -- by being an
"American" company that manufactures overseas? And who is to say that
the $6 Harbor Freight clone won't last as long as the original for most
casual users -- or that maybe 2 or 3 of the clones used one after
another will still be cheaper than one of the originals? Rhetorical
questions certainly, but questions that should be considered.

For the record, I have seen NO companies manufacturing Echos or Kindles
here in America.

Finally, Carter is wealthy enough to afford the extra $30 (again, if
there even exists a competing American manufactured product). However,
many people are not as fortunate as I am (or you are) and therefore
flock to Wally World or Harbor Freight for cheap prices. And yes, I
realize that people have to buy cheap because they don't have well
paying jobs. A classic case of Catch 22 or the chicken or the egg.

Instead of continually saying "Carter is the problem", maybe you should
realize that the real problem is the 1% versus the 99% issue, the greedy
CEOs and shareholders that can make more money by being overseas.

I would *love* to see my neighbors have well paying jobs. Unfortunately,
it is a knotty problem with no easy answer. Greed has been a human
condition for millennia. I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.
Feel free to have the last word.

P.S.
You actually CAN share Kindle books -- but I will grant you that they do
not burn very well. :-D
Peter Wieck
2017-03-12 15:36:33 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
DeWalt power tools are pretty much 90% or more US-made. Not so very long ago, they repatriated much of their parts making functions - very highly automated, of course.

Similarly, Milwaukee is doing the same, albeit at a much slower pace. Many of their low-end power tools are still Chinese. One has to read the label carefully.

Mac/Snap-On and similar are making a strong effort to make even their electronics (automotive diagnostic tools) at least 50% US-origin, they have also raised that nasty LCD screen issue.

These companies will continue with these efforts as long as it is profitable. Which is as long as there are buyers for their products at a profitable price. So, making the rationalization that they will move off-shore anyway, so I may as well buy-by-price reduces the pool of buyers that will support these companies.

GE repatriated their compressor manufacturing facility a few years back - also highly automated, but none-the-less here. Is that a reason to purchase a GE refrigerator over a LG? We found it so, and there actually was no premium. That was 8 trouble-free years ago, about 1/3 of what we expect. And even foreign names - our Bosch dishwasher and tankless water heater are made in Tennessee, and so forth. We could have gone with an LG or a Takagi at a substantially lower cost. We use Cree LED lamps - they are at least assembled in the US, and some are actually more than 80% domestic content. At twice the cost. But, neither do they step on our electronics as some of the cheaper options have proven to do with our neighbors.

This is not a matter of greed, and taking a passive position based on the vague thought that one cannot hold back the dike with a single finger is simple surrender. Which, for the record, is *not* the "American Way".

I repeat: When I have no choice, I have no choice. That, sadly is too often the case. But when I do, I choose.

Side note: "Truth, Justice and the American Way" was written of an illegal immigrant who entered the US without papers and was adopted without any records, went to public schools and (presumably) to college - all the while without being naturalized. Go figure. Somehow, there are no protests about this awful abuse, are there?

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
D. Peter Maus
2017-03-15 18:25:52 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter Wieck
Carter, it entails being willing to spend $59.99 for a drill rather than $29.99. If you are willing to do that, you are part of the solution. Otherwise, you are part of the problem. $30 might seem like a lot, but in the long run, it will be mighty cheap.
Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
The economies of scale would suggest that $59.99 drill would present
less cost if more were made in the US, and sold both domestically, and
oversees. Cheap labor will only get a company so far in the marketplace,
when well marketed quality products are available elsewhere.

Meaning, that if we all bought American, the market based price
differentials would reset themselves, and prices import, or domestic,
would, in fact be closer to equivalent. Then, quality would make all the
difference, and the lesser quality pieces would go the way of Radio Shack.

But, that $30 difference is only applicable at first purchase.
Consider, that a well made tool will outlast the cheaper product by many
years. Making that $59.99 price tag a one time limit of cost. While the
cheaper good may be replaced many times over the lifetime of that $59.99
tool. With replacements at ever increasing costs. Making the cheaper
good more expensive with the first replacement.

I bought a Chinese special from Harbor Freight a several years ago.
Paid, coincidently, $30 for it. It failed in its second year. The
replacement failed shortly thereafter. Including travel, and the hassle
of dealing with HF on the failed pieces, the cost was not insignificant.

I bought a DeWalt, for about $90, instead. It's been rock solid in
extreme use ever since without missing a beat.

Had I bought the DeWalt first, it would have been only $79 dollars.
And the replacements, the travel to HF and the headaches would not have
happened. And, I'd still be $10 to the good.

Buying on price may seem attractive, but, it's a false economy. Buy
quality. Find what you want. Find quality, THEN find the best price on it.

There is no going wrong from there.

p
C.Copperpot
2017-03-17 23:19:06 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Carter
and lack of costly environmental laws overseas -- but a LOT of jobs were
lost to technology, the piece you seem to be overlooking.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. We use the "technology" here.
Electronic manufacturing in the U.S. is automated.
When I worked for GE, we were sending some of our products to China.
We had some Chinese come to our plant to show them how the product was
manufactured. I showed a Chinese engineer how to program and set up an
automated pcb pinning machine. A couple months later, I asked my
supervisor if they had any problems with the machine. He said they
couldn't get it to work. I said let me talk to them, or send me over
there. He said "That's OK, they just hired 10 women to put the pins in
by hand."
Carter
2017-03-18 01:56:09 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by C.Copperpot
Post by Carter
and lack of costly environmental laws overseas -- but a LOT of jobs were
lost to technology, the piece you seem to be overlooking.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. We use the "technology" here.
Electronic manufacturing in the U.S. is automated.
When I worked for GE, we were sending some of our products to China.
We had some Chinese come to our plant to show them how the product was
manufactured. I showed a Chinese engineer how to program and set up an
automated pcb pinning machine. A couple months later, I asked my
supervisor if they had any problems with the machine. He said they
couldn't get it to work. I said let me talk to them, or send me over
there. He said "That's OK, they just hired 10 women to put the pins in
by hand."
Interesting story, but...

...I meant jobs *in the USA* have been "lost to technology", i.e. robots
for example. In other words and to pick an example, say 100 jobs went
overseas a few years ago. If those jobs came back to the USA today,
maybe only 50 or 60 of those jobs would be still available to American
workers, the rest of the jobs having been replaced by "robots" or other
technology like your pcb pinning machine.

I thought it was obvious what I meant but apparently not. Sorry for not
being more clear initially.

P.S.

Thank you for proving my point. Labor is SO cheap in China, that "hiring
10 women" is the trivial case for the Chinese -- and what we have to
compete against when a bloviating politician claims to be able to "bring
back the jobs".
C.Copperpot
2017-03-18 04:04:26 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Carter
Post by C.Copperpot
Post by Carter
and lack of costly environmental laws overseas -- but a LOT of jobs were
lost to technology, the piece you seem to be overlooking.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. We use the "technology" here.
Electronic manufacturing in the U.S. is automated.
When I worked for GE, we were sending some of our products to China.
We had some Chinese come to our plant to show them how the product was
manufactured. I showed a Chinese engineer how to program and set up an
automated pcb pinning machine. A couple months later, I asked my
supervisor if they had any problems with the machine. He said they
Thank you for proving my point. Labor is SO cheap in China, that
"hiring
Post by Carter
10 women" is the trivial case for the Chinese -- and what we have to
compete against when a bloviating politician claims to be able to "bring
back the jobs".
Meh - hardly. If you don't mind exploiting cheap labor - go ahead.
C.Copperpot
2017-03-18 04:15:41 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Fri, 17 Mar 2017 21:04:26 -0700, C.Copperpot
Post by Carter
Post by Carter
Post by C.Copperpot
Post by Carter
and lack of costly environmental laws overseas -- but a LOT of jobs were
lost to technology, the piece you seem to be overlooking.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. We use the "technology" here.
Electronic manufacturing in the U.S. is automated.
When I worked for GE, we were sending some of our products to China.
We had some Chinese come to our plant to show them how the product was
manufactured. I showed a Chinese engineer how to program and set up an
automated pcb pinning machine. A couple months later, I asked my
supervisor if they had any problems with the machine. He said they
Thank you for proving my point. Labor is SO cheap in China, that "hiring
Post by Carter
10 women" is the trivial case for the Chinese -- and what we have to
compete against when a bloviating politician claims to be able to "bring
back the jobs".
Meh - hardly. If you don't mind exploiting cheap labor - go ahead.
Oh, and btw, the idea that most of those jobs - if they came back
would be lost to robot/automation is BS. Most of those jobs were
already automated when they left the country. I'm not talking about
jobs from the 1940's - I'm talking about year 2000 and up. You've been
listening to too much tv news spin.
Carter
2017-03-19 21:27:49 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by C.Copperpot
Post by C.Copperpot
Meh - hardly. If you don't mind exploiting cheap labor - go ahead.
Oh, and btw, the idea that most of those jobs - if they came back
would be lost to robot/automation is BS. Most of those jobs were
already automated when they left the country. I'm not talking about
jobs from the 1940's - I'm talking about year 2000 and up. You've been
listening to too much tv news spin.
Well, this is a fine kettle of fish.

It's too bad that you and Wieck find it necessary to be downright rude
and insulting rather than trying to have a polite and intelligent
debate. Me "vituperative"? Hardly. It clearly seems the shoe is on the
other foot.

1) As to your "exploiting cheap labor" comment...

First, you have to ask yourself what you mean by "cheap labor". As we
speak, many rural Chinese subsistence farmers are absolutely happy to
move to the city to work for 50 cents an hour; they consider it a big
step up, not being exploited.

Also ask yourself why you are singling me out -- while giving the many,
many CEOs a free pass for being overseas.

2) The change to replacing jobs with technology is a *continuous* and
ongoing phenomena, nothing to do with 1940 -- or even 2000. As you are
reading this, many people in America are staying awake nights to find
ways to use technology to replace workers that have the nerve to get
sick and to want time off. [sarcasm alert]

3) I am not particularly a big fan of Harbor Freight one way or the
other. It is just reality. My comment about them was that I was there
once, bought a drill -- and that it was not "junk", the point being that
at least some of their products are OK.

4) You seem to be continually and insultingly place the blame of cheap
foreign labor on my shoulders alone.

Why don't you try placing some of the blame on the CEOs and shareholders
of the *many, many* companies that have gone overseas?

You may not believe it, but I am just trying to be a neutral observer,
reporter -- and questioner.

The *observation* is that it will be hard for us to compete with cheap
labor for what are many times decent products, like HP calculators,
Chinese made weather stations, Kindles and yes, even drills [to name
just a few foreign made products that I have had good luck with].

The *question* is, can low overseas wages be overcome and will consumers
balk at paying higher prices? Maybe a glib, blowhard politician (and his
gullible followers) think this can happen, but it will be a tough,
uphill battle all the way.

a) First, you have to convince the CEOs (and the shareholders) to give
up the extra money brought to their corporation by low wages and no
environmental costs in China.

b) Next, if two (or more) companies make the same widget in China, you
have to convince ALL of those companies to move back to the USA;
otherwise the one that goes back will have a strong financial
disadvantage compared to those that stay in China.

c) Finally, if you can pull off a) and b) above, you have to deal with
consumers that will not be happy with the higher prices they have to pay.

In light of the above, will it be impossible for a president to keep his
promise to "bring jobs back"? No, not impossible, but certainly very,
very difficult.

Does this mean I am anti-American jobs? Not at all. Rather just an
observer of reality. For better or for worse, globalization is here,
isolationism isn't. And before you start the insults again, I'm not
taking sides, just observing and reporting reality. The globalization
genie is out of the bottle. Don't keep making the age-old mistake of
blaming the messenger.

Please re-read my second sentence above and feel free to take your
rudeness and insults elsewhere.
Foxs Mercantile
2017-03-19 22:07:34 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Actually, if you're looking for who to blame, then you need
to start at the source.
Malcom McLean, the father of container shipping.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcom_McLean>

That was THE genie that was let out of the bottle.
Prior to the adoption of containerized shipping, everything
had to be unloaded from the trucks at the dock and loaded
into the cargo holds of the ships, and a reverse being done
at the receiving end.
<Loading Image...>

The key to unlocking globalization was transportation.
Because it doesn't matter if you can manufacture something
for 1/10th of the cost if you can't deliver it.

Even locally, within the United States, the rail roads
figured out the unload-load-unload-load cycle being the
bottle neck and developed the Trailer Train(tm) which
had tractor-trailer truck trailers mounted directly to
a flat car rather than having to unload them into a freight
car and reload them again at the far end.
--
Jeff-1.0
wa6fwi
http://www.foxsmercantile.com

---
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
http://www.avg.com
Peter Wieck
2017-03-19 22:45:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Carter, I will cut to the chase:

Channellock could Pacific Rim tomorrow. They deliberately choose not to *because* there are still enough people in this world that choose their product over *much cheaper* Chinese product. I can tell you for a fact that Channellock is widely popular in Saudi Arabia. So, yes "this world" is not just the US.

DeWalt CHOSE to repatriate their power-tool manufacturing. Milwaukee is doing the same over time. They will not regret the choice if their products continue to be successful - and make a profit.

Some few companies are back that few knew ever left.

These companies are attempting to do the right thing - and they will be successful if they get the support they need to survive.

That you own a Harbor Freight tool *DOES* make you part of the problem _~! IF !~_ there was a legitimate US alternative. In the case of a power drill, there are several. Globalization allows *ME* access to many things that I would not be able to have otherwise. But those are things that are *NOT* otherwise made in the US, Saffron from Spain, or Nutmeg from India being two that we use (Bulletin: Several groups are trying to grow saffron on US Soil just lately). Otherwise, why-in-hell would I make a deliberate and thoughtful choice to put my neighbor on the unemployment line to save $40 on a cheap tool? As that is the specific and deliberate sort of choice we are discussing.

There is no 'neutral observer' in this process, as each purchasing decision includes many factors that must be considered. Where is food grown? How is it harvested? How is it processed? Who is making a living from it? Where is it made? How is labor being treated? Who is making a living from it? It is impossible - yes, I admit it - to be 100% pure. But it is possible to be thoughtful and deliberate - and to make decisions that have the lowest possible negative impact (at many levels) and the highest possible positive impact.

What one single-of-many facets of that looks like: Total Life-Cycle Cost: from mining the minerals, refining the raw materials, casting, machining, assembling, packaging, transporting, operating, maintaining, repairing, scrapping, recycling, landfill... What is that?

Sure, I can purchase three HF Drills at $19.00 vs. one DeWalt at $60.00. But, I have thereby created four times the waste, four times the transportation, packaging and so on and so forth. Not a very wise choice in that light, is it? Oh, and my neighbor cannot pay his mortgage... a bonus!

That is the point you continue to miss. And miss. And miss.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
Peter Wieck
2017-03-18 12:11:41 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Carter:

The bottom line is that you are so focused on what cannot be done as to be blind to what can be done. And, already defeated, you *MUST* defend your position.

This is called "learned helplessness", and means that you take the position that as you cannot do everything, therefore you are permitted to do nothing. You are the sort that keeps Harbor Freight growing, and Channellock threatened. Which is simply too bad, because it really means that you are entirely and completely focused on yourself with no reference to what is called "the social contract".

And even though I am well practiced at the art of vituperation, in your case, I will use a more gentle term-of-art than is my wont to describe you: Invincible Ignorance.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
g***@gmail.com
2017-03-20 14:44:51 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
I was reminded of what I'd read on this thread during a job yesterday. I had to bore a 1 inch hole about 14 inches deep in 3 places in an old oak stump that I need to burn out. I used the 35 yr. old Milwaukee USA made 1/2 drill and I'd never worked it that hard. Bit was smoking and the drill warmed up but never stalled, never got badly heated even when the bit got pulled deep into the stump. I was thinking,"I wonder how even the best HF or a chinese made Milwaukee would have handled this." Just my .02, but I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Wieck. And I'm very happy to hear that Milwaukee is moving production back home. If you don't make the effort to buy at least US power tools, then you're part of the problem in this country. It's a simple black and white issue, and is the right thing to do in my opinion.
Michael Black
2017-03-20 18:00:47 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by g***@gmail.com
I was reminded of what I'd read on this thread during a job yesterday. I
had to bore a 1 inch hole about 14 inches deep in 3 places in an old oak
stump that I need to burn out. I used the 35 yr. old Milwaukee USA made
1/2 drill and I'd never worked it that hard. Bit was smoking and the
drill warmed up but never stalled, never got badly heated even when the
bit got pulled deep into the stump. I was thinking,"I wonder how even
the best HF or a chinese made Milwaukee would have handled this." Just
my .02, but I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Wieck. And I'm very happy to
hear that Milwaukee is moving production back home. If you don't make
the effort to buy at least US power tools, then you're part of the
problem in this country. It's a simple black and white issue, and is the
right thing to do in my opinion.
But of course, you porbably paid little for that drill at the time, and
things were made differently.

I have my Black & Decker drill from 1975, I paid around $25 for it. It's
variable speed, but doesn't reverse. The only thing I've fixed over the
years was to replace the brushes. I don't use it heavily, but I expect it
to last "forever".

In the past ten years, I've bought a backup at a garage sale for $3 and
another one in the garbage when the students moved out at the end of the
term. They are all about the same vintage.

A lot of drills sold now may be the same price on sale, but they are
lighter etc. Most, because that's the trend, will be cordless, which
don't seem that great as drills. And a common problem will be the
battery dying, and no cheap replacements unless you open the battery piece
yourself and replace the batteries.

Michael
Peter Wieck
2017-03-20 18:08:47 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
But of course, you probably paid little for that drill at the time, and
things were made differently.
I have my Black & Decker drill from 1975, I paid around $25 for it. It's
variable speed, but doesn't reverse. The only thing I've fixed over the
years was to replace the brushes. I don't use it heavily, but I expect it
to last "forever".
http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/

$113.20 today.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aws/cart/add.html?AssociateTag=price106220d-20&ascsubtag=231179066&ASIN.1=B001TL0BXU&Quantity.1=1

$116.96 at Amazon. Today.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA

Loading...