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  1. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Some here in the USA value clean air over standard of living and advocate destruction of infrastructure -- mostly politicos, press and trust fund babies who have other agendas.

    I'm impressed with the quality of debate in this thread.
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  2. There was a good PBS program that addressed this very subject. The conclusion was that all industrialized countries have followed similar routes. First no controls, lots of pollution, but success and affluence cause people in those countries to start demanding a better life which includes an improved environment.
    I immedeatly thought of Pittsburgh and the steel indeustry when I read this. It holds true, I remember reading that at one time the smog was choking in Pittsburgh, now it is a much cleaner city. Granted, it can be argued that Pittsburgh also lost it's steel industry and hence solved it's polution problem, but in the light of this thread I think that it would be fair to say that it lost it's industry to both competition else where as well as a desire for an improved enviroment.

    Just a thought.

    --dES
    "You can observe a lot by watching." - Yogi Bera
    http://www.areturningadultstudent.com

  3. You only have to back 150 years to the heart of the Industrial Revolution in England to see the very same situation that China is in now.

    More recently in the 1950s, London suffered from exceptionally dense smog, in part due to the large use of coal for both industrial and domestic heating. People died which eventually prompt the introduction of the Clean Air Act.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/education/secondary/students/smog.html

    4000+ deaths in a 15-day period in December 1952. The article describes the weather conditions that led to this historical and tragic event.

  4. Member oldandinthe way's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by trhouse
    In spite of this, the plant was moved to Malaysia. When I inquired why, the answer came back from the accounting department.

    1) the rent for the building in Malaysia was about 20% of the cost in the US.
    2) the company had to pay a state "inventory" tax on product made and warehoused here
    3) half the sales of the product was overseas making Malaysia a less costly distribution point
    The accounting department was probably incompetant. As well as the items they listed there were many other reasons for leaving.

    Including

    Federal and state corporate income taxes - 30% or more. The highest in the world.
    High waste disposal costs
    Greater liability insurance costs due lack of tort reform

    My posts on this subject were meant to make clear that cheap labor is not the only reasons that businesses move manufacturing offshore. Unless the USA makes a decision it wants to be a manufacturing country, and makes appropriate reforms it will not happen.

  5. Member oldandinthe way's Avatar
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    DES

    Within the last few years I took a trip to Bethlehem Pennsylvania, a city which used to be a major steel producer. I was totally depressed by the idle mills, which were empty and decaying.

    I would gladly have tolerated greater pollution to see those mills active and the laid off workers gainfully employed.

    I live in New England and have seen many mills which no longer perform their manufacturing function, and all too often the replacement uses (when there are some) create neither jobs nor wealth for the workers, their neighbors and this nation.

  6. Originally Posted by oldandinthe way
    Originally Posted by trhouse
    In spite of this, the plant was moved to Malaysia. When I inquired why, the answer came back from the accounting department.

    1) the rent for the building in Malaysia was about 20% of the cost in the US.
    2) the company had to pay a state "inventory" tax on product made and warehoused here
    3) half the sales of the product was overseas making Malaysia a less costly distribution point
    The accounting department was probably incompetant. As well as the items they listed there were many other reasons for leaving.
    I don't think that incompetence was at play. The reasons given are perfectly valid and they probably weren't under any obligation to give an exhaustive list of reasons to other employees. Indeed, the strategic reasons for relocating were likely confidential.

  7. Member thecoalman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by trhouse
    [
    There was a good PBS program that addressed this very subject. The conclusion was that all industrialized countries have followed similar routes. First no controls, lots of pollution, but success and affluence cause people in those countries to start demanding a better life which includes an improved environment.
    The difference with China is they are doing it with modern technology with more than a billion people.

  8. Originally Posted by oldandinthe way
    DES

    Within the last few years I took a trip to Bethlehem Pennsylvania, a city which used to be a major steel producer. I was totally depressed by the idle mills, which were empty and decaying.

    I would gladly have tolerated greater pollution to see those mills active and the laid off workers gainfully employed.

    I live in New England and have seen many mills which no longer perform their manufacturing function, and all too often the replacement uses (when there are some) create neither jobs nor wealth for the workers, their neighbors and this nation.
    I live in NJ, have been to Bethlehem a few times in recent years, grew up in a town that was a major finishing hub for the textile industry and current live near Newark. I know exactly the feeling of depression you are talking about. I can't help but think of what once was and is now replacement by crime, urban blight, corruption (OK that's always been there) and high taxes with little reward.

    This thread has done a lot to bring to light the varied and connected reasons for manufacturing decline in the USA and I am wondering if there are any realistic suggestions for solutions? Or, we do we go from here? Some positive direction I hope. It's the loss of jobs and revenue that's, of course, most disturbing.

    BTW, Old and in the Way, about a year ago Weird NJ had a great photo essay on the current state of the US Steel mills in Bethlehem, I may still have it around.

    --dES
    "You can observe a lot by watching." - Yogi Bera
    http://www.areturningadultstudent.com

  9. Member edDV's Avatar
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    At least Toyota, Honda, BMW, Mercedes et. al are building plants here (mostly in the southeast) as the US automakers go the way of Bethlehem steel.

  10. I know some products that the good ol' USA still makes... Health goods like Deodorant sticks, toothpaste, dental floss, paper towels, toilet paper. Be warned that some toothpaste made in China. Also MAGLITE flashlights, Hanes underwear, and boxed cereal. That's all I can think of at the moment.

    Oh and whoever says it's because of cheap labor, sometimes this does not apply. A lot of Tech workers in the I.T. field are being transfered over to the USA permanently. Guess what...they get paid the same amount as an American worker would have, as long as they are there. A lot of these workers stay and never go back to their own country. And they also wire transfer a lot of their money back home to their families. That's where all the money is going.

    At least Toyota, Honda, BMW, Mercedes et. al are building plants here (mostly in the southeast) as the US automakers go the way of Bethlehem steel.
    I bought my first and last Honda that was made in the Ohio plant. It had more problems brand new, then any other car I have had. Paint peeling problems, dash rattle noises, air compressor clamp recall, etc... Was in the shop at least 14 times in the first 6 months of ownership. My next Honda will be Made in Japan, as long as they are still importing them.

  11. Originally Posted by Wile_E
    I bought my first and last Honda that was made in the Ohio plant. It had more problems brand new, then any other car I have had. Paint peeling problems, dash rattle noises, air compressor clamp recall, etc... Was in the shop at least 14 times in the first 6 months of ownership. My next Honda will be Made in Japan, as long as they are still importing them.
    My Subaru is made in Indiana, no problems (due to manufacturing) in 4 years so far. Bittersweet treat since I am a Studabaker fan (I want a 1963 Avanti!) which was made in South Bend, Indiana.
    It's nice to see that major manufacturers from other parts of the world are setting up factories here, and I'm sure the reasons are both economic and political, but at the end of the day the profit goes back to their home countries just like with the IT workers.

    The USA is also a very capable farming country and we do grow a large amount of our own food here however, and I'm sure it's for many of the same reasons as to why our manufacturing is going to different countries, I am seeing more and more produce from S. America. Granted a lot is due to seasonal produce or simply things that don't grow here, but not all of it.

    --dES
    "You can observe a lot by watching." - Yogi Bera
    http://www.areturningadultstudent.com

  12. Member thecoalman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Wile_E
    I know some products that the good ol' USA still makes... Health goods like Deodorant sticks, toothpaste, dental floss, paper towels, toilet paper. Be warned that some toothpaste made in China. Also MAGLITE flashlights, Hanes underwear, and boxed cereal. That's all I can think of at the moment.
    Ohh there's a few other things besides that, Boeing, Caterpillar, the multitude of trucking manufacturers just to mention a few big ticket items. Let's not forget the Space Shuttle and the industries it has spawned to get your average joe into space... Then there's the military industries that have produced such products as the Abrams tank and the F-22 Raptor. It's not all doom and gloom....

    There's a channel on our cable sytem that's local to PA, one thing they do is shows on PA manufacturers. Take you through a guided tour of the plant. You'd be pleasently suprised at the amount of them and the diversity.

  13. Originally Posted by thecoalman
    Ohh there's a few other things besides that, Boeing, Caterpillar, the multitude of trucking manufacturers just to mention a few big ticket items. Let's not forget the Space Shuttle and the industries it has spawned to get your average joe into space... Then there's the military industries that have produced such products as the Abrams tank and the F-22 Raptor. It's not all doom and gloom....
    Most important, and from PA, Harley Davidson Motorcycles

    There really is quite a lot of things that we still produce in this country, I think that maybe the media should focus more on what is still made here and not what has left, it's hard though considering the impact that factory closures have upon jobs.

    --dES
    "You can observe a lot by watching." - Yogi Bera
    http://www.areturningadultstudent.com

  14. Member
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    Originally Posted by Wile_E
    I know some products that the good ol' USA still makes... Health goods like Deodorant sticks, toothpaste, dental floss, paper towels, toilet paper. Be warned that some toothpaste made in China. Also MAGLITE flashlights, Hanes underwear, and boxed cereal. That's all I can think of at the moment.
    We also mass produce the best lawyers for local consumption and export, too.

  15. Originally Posted by thecoalman
    Then there's the military industries that have produced such products as the Abrams tank and the F-22 Raptor. It's not all doom and gloom.....
    In those cases, it is doom and gloom!

  16. Member
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    Originally Posted by JohnnyMalaria
    Originally Posted by thecoalman
    Then there's the military industries that have produced such products as the Abrams tank and the F-22 Raptor. It's not all doom and gloom.....
    In those cases, it is doom and gloom!
    You have you "doom and gloom" perspective backwards. It's doom and gloom when some nasties are out to ruin the way you live and we don't have these things!

  17. Member oldandinthe way's Avatar
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    During the Clinton years Boeing was given permission to transfer aircraft manufacturing technology to China. In fact China's purchases of Boeing planes are partially built in China.

    Military technology has more restrictions on transfer. The acquisition of 3Com by the private equity jackals with Chinese investment is being challanged because 3com builds equipment for the military. So the Abrams tank and the F-22 are cases which are different because of government action.

    Things we import you might not think of are candy and cookies, primarily from Canada. Why? Because sugar in the US trades for several times the world market price, and moving the manufacture to Canada lowers the ingredient costs substantially. Why does it trade so high, because during the Carter years, the US govt created a sugar cartel to protect the inefficent and overpriced sugar beet growers.

  18. Member thecoalman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JohnnyMalaria
    In those cases, it is doom and gloom!
    Well you need military, sad but true. I don't mind seeing my tax dollars pumped back into the econmomy for that purpose. Just to add a lot of research and developement done by the military finds it's way into the mainstream. The internet for example.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARPANET

  19. Member oldandinthe way's Avatar
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    Of course there is doom and gloom in the world, and we spend money on it, sometimes effectively and sometimes ineffectively.

    We do have military technology successes, but have also had failures of technology.

    We also have had some successes in our "nobler" gestures of aid to the developing world, but have had notable failures like in aiding agriculture in third world countries. Our money is used to attempt to create an industry and our farm subsidies make it impossible for these poor nations to compete. We support aids awareness and treatment programs in Africa, which fail because the culture will not accept keeping one's organ in one's pants.

  20. All I meant was that a tank and a military jet are designed explicity to cause doom and gloom (even if part of a larger beneficial goal).

  21. Or prevent doom and gloom, depends upon which side you are on, offensive or defensive.

    --dES
    "You can observe a lot by watching." - Yogi Bera
    http://www.areturningadultstudent.com

  22. Member
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    Originally Posted by edong
    We also mass produce the best lawyers for local consumption and export, too.
    A guy I know had a study posted on his office door a few years ago. It showed that, for every engineer a country produced, the GDP went up by some several thousand dollars. And for every lawyer a country produced, the GDP went down by several thousand dollars.

    Now if we could start opening law schools in China ...

    But that probably would be in violation of the Geneva Convention.

    Steve

  23. The root of all evil träskmannen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Des
    BTW, Old and in the Way, about a year ago Weird NJ had a great photo essay on the current state of the US Steel mills in Bethlehem, I may still have it around.
    This is most likely not the photo essay you were thinking about but it is nevertheless worth the effort to check it out.

    http://oboylephoto.com/steel/index.htm
    In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

  24. Member oldandinthe way's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tr�skmannen
    Originally Posted by Des
    BTW, Old and in the Way, about a year ago Weird NJ had a great photo essay on the current state of the US Steel mills in Bethlehem, I may still have it around.
    This is most likely not the photo essay you were thinking about but it is nevertheless worth the effort to check it out.

    http://oboylephoto.com/steel/index.htm
    This truly evokes the mood that looking at the site creates.

    Thanks for posting the link.

  25. The root of all evil träskmannen's Avatar
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    If you like the style you might enjoy surfing around a bit on this site:

    http://www.abandoned-places.com/thumbnails.htm

    It is a bit weird but I like it - in small doses.
    In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

  26. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AlanHK
    How long would it take to build a DVD factory? A year or two at least.
    Not even. There is plenty of move-in-ready real estate to be had. Six months at most to set up shop. The business side would be the slow aspect (legal, investment, employees, etc), not the building and equipment.
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  27. Member oldandinthe way's Avatar
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    We've had a whole lot of interesting posts, but no good reasons to actually produce DVD media in the US.

    Anyone want to take a crack at a good justification for entering a commodity business, with low profit margins, in a high tax country with environmental restrictions, too many lawyers, a NIMBY populace, and dramatically falling prices.

    The only thing missing is a high labor content so we could suffer high labor costs and benefits,

  28. There are such products and services. The best reasons given for their existence are typically,

    1) National interest such as defense. In the event of war or other catastrophe that might cut off the supply of the product causing great harm to the economy or the ability to defend one's interests.

    2) National identity. Typically products or services with which a nation is identified such as Swiss watches, French wine, or a symbol of national prestige such as airlines.

    Occasionally, strong lobbying efforts can also get a product afforded such treatment.

  29. Originally Posted by oldandinthe way
    I would gladly have tolerated greater pollution to see those mills active and the laid off workers gainfully employed.
    It's not an either/or situation -- you could create cleaner mills and still employ people, but that costs money.

    And that's what it comes down to -- profit. As you and others have noted, it's not worth it, on a bottom-line scale. You personally would have "tolerated greater pollution" but that's a personal value judgement that others may not agree with. I certainly don't agree with that; there's no need to tolerate any more pollution in this world than we already "tolerate," and it's not necessary to tolerate pollution just because people don't like spending money.

    But that point is moot -- in a country such as the US, the fact that we can design all this incredible technology but can't figure out how to help transition mill workers into other jobs that afford a good life for them and are environmentally sustainable shows how far we still value your average human being less than a good DVD player.

  30. it's all about money...period.
    they go where they can get more for the same thing. and anybody would do it.




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