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Author Topic: Made in America  (Read 13558 times)
kathyp
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« Reply #60 on: December 14, 2011, 02:28:15 PM »

ever read The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire?  it's a bit of a slog...  like 6 big books long, but it's instructive.  the other thing that we left of our cause and effect was the breakdown of society.  we don't have the same work ethic, standards, or moral compass we used to have.  the rise of the welfare state runs parallel to the decline of the society. 

there is always a segment of society that will cease producing (other than children) when they are allowed to.  the larger that segment gets, the more drain on the producers and the country as a whole.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #61 on: December 14, 2011, 02:49:42 PM »

We lost all hope 'IMO' when money (wealth) became the first ('only') priority many years ago. Over, above and way more important than investing in 'your own country" that's for certain, with the knife (its just a metaphor) entering deeper when money was recently given First Amendment Rights by the Supremes. 

IMO; Embracing the 'greed is good' mantra has not done 'the most' much long term good over the last 30 years, but as we all know, the 'few' have done very well.  "Greed is good" (?) Its just made us meaner and greedier 'IMO.'

T Beek and Scads agree;  We will most certainly end up like Rome, and for exactly the reasons mentioned.  Yawn Wink

thomas
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« Reply #62 on: December 14, 2011, 03:49:46 PM »

Does anyone on this forum actually make anything in America?
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Sirach
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« Reply #63 on: December 14, 2011, 03:51:00 PM »

We agree on that only because I see OWS and the like as a symptom of the continuing problem of personal greed ("I want what I want(my useless degree, my healthcare, my feelgood ___ etc) and somebody has got to pay for it") which is demonstrated by the OWS demonstrations.  Yes, I see the OWS movement as greedy.

It won't get better, and as they (OWS and the socialists) succeed, and as our society moves in that direction, the decline will be more precipitous.

The proposed solution (socialism) proved to last only around 80 years, whereas our capitalistic democracy has fared much better.

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Rick
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« Reply #64 on: December 14, 2011, 03:52:15 PM »

Does anyone on this forum actually make anything in America?


My company makes injection molded parts, and does it better than the competition from outside of the country.  And cheaper.
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Rick
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« Reply #65 on: December 14, 2011, 04:23:17 PM »

 I used to, NAFTA and escalating health care costs, moved it to Mexico.
 My last good paying job was; gutting factories and scrapping large machinery. You have never lived, until you turn a million dollar machine into $0.09 a pound scrap metal.

 There are unions and then there are UNIONS. Some good, some bad, some are just huge bureaucracies, some have lost sight of the ideals that spawned them, some are the best thing that ever happened to there workers! Look to Europe, remember Poland, SOLIDARITY!
Right to work - just make sure that a union cannot afford to operate in that state. Remember the GREED Factor - " I won't pay for anything I can get for free"

UNTIL we get 100% of our citizens voting, We will have the extreme right and the extreme left demonizing! each other. It's the only way to get people to show up on election day. FEAR or HATE is the recipe to get elected.     
« Last Edit: December 14, 2011, 04:43:17 PM by ray » Logged

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kathyp
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« Reply #66 on: December 14, 2011, 05:47:21 PM »

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UNTIL we get 100% of our citizens voting, We will have the extreme right and the extreme left demonizing! each other. It's the only way to get people to show up on election day. FEAR or HATE is the recipe to get elected. 


yes, i want more people showing up to vote for "hope and change".  sounds like a good plan!

  i am not sure it's accurate to say that the political process is about demonizing each other.  there are legitimate and demonstrable differences between the left and the right.  you don't even have to go to the far left or right to see what those differences are.  how could those running, not point them out?  it would be foolish to pretend they don't exist.

our elections now are tame compared to those of our forefathers.  they got down right nasty in their fights.  politics is a blood sport.  i don't think that's a bad thing.  in the end, those who care, vote.  those who don't...get what they get.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #67 on: December 14, 2011, 06:37:06 PM »

>i am not sure it's accurate to say that the political process is about demonizing each other.
kathyp - I respectively disagree, have you ever seen a 30 second commercial, where someone respectfully disagrees with there opponent? The candidates don't have to do it themselves ( demonizing)! There are a bushel of special interest groups, ready, willing and able to do it for them.

There is BIG money to be made: A) find a politically polarizing topic, pick a plank on one of the political party platforms.  B) form a non-profit organization, with you as CEO (with a monstrous salary) C) send out junk-mail demonizing the opposite opinion and asking for donations. D) Donate (big) to the political party (see A) go national (see C, only a lot bigger), TV sound bites (see C, only bigger yet)
E) DON"T LET THE FEAR OR HATE SUBSIDE!!
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kathyp
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« Reply #68 on: December 14, 2011, 07:02:11 PM »

the reason that works is because we have an uninformed population.  having more uninformed people voting is not a solution. having more informed people, is.  solve that problem and then worry about the rest.
unfortunately, there are to many people who have no reason to care.  they get their stuff and as long as their stuff keeps coming, why bother with anything else?
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #69 on: December 14, 2011, 08:13:19 PM »

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My company makes injection molded parts, and does it better than the competition from outside of the country.  And cheaper.

Scads, it sounds like you work for a fine company and are an up standing guy.  Unfortunately history teaches us that doesn’t prevent the Chinese (or other better “capitalists”) from driving you out of business in a heartbeat.  Ever read the story about the Rubbermaid Corporation?  They also made plastic injected parts.  Formerly of Ohio?
 
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« Reply #70 on: December 14, 2011, 08:23:59 PM »

Ray made some great points about manufacturing in America and what forces are acting against it.

Let’s also not forget we didn’t have a lot of (maybe none) manufacturing competition after WW2 because all our competitors factories had been obliterated by bombs.   It’s easy for America to win when we have no external competition.  In an era of no competition (50s and 60s) America boomed.  When Europe and Asia finally rebuilt after the war and started dumping their stuff on our “free market”, manufacturing began its long trek toward extinction.

A large part of the problem as I see it is so called “free trade” is never fair trade.  We get dumped on by everybody else who can play capitalism better than we can.  Ironically communist China seems to be the best of anybody when it comes to capitalism.  Why is that?  

For you “free traders” out there, why are there restrictions on Chinese honey imports into America?  If China can make (fake) honey at a much cheaper price than American bee keepers, wouldn’t it be “best for the consumer” to let them dump as much Chinese honey into American as they want?  You know, the way we let Japan and Korea dump cars on Detroit.  Why aren’t we being capitalists when it comes to honey?
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kathyp
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« Reply #71 on: December 14, 2011, 09:33:19 PM »

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Why aren’t we being capitalists when it comes to honey?

your logic is kind of strange....


Quote
When Europe and Asia finally rebuilt after the war and started dumping their stuff on our “free market”, manufacturing began its long trek toward extinction.


some truth to this.  thing is, we did it to ourselves.  we failed to compete.  right now, europe has the same problem we do.  they are being out-bid by companies that can produce things at a better price.
my BIL runs the tech part of a large company in England.  because of the labor laws in England, and because their economy is in the dumper also, he is intentionally outsourcing tech to India.  it's a matter of survival for the company.  Even if he could find the workers in England, they are prohibitively expensive to hire and train, with no guarantee of getting work out of them.  that's without even having to pay health care for the workers. 

on capitalism:  it is not a guarantee that you will stay in business.  business is about competition.  you compete or you go under.  like it or not, we have a global market now.  this has more to do with tech, and the ability to deliver goods around the world at a reasonable cost, than it has to do with trade agreements.  what the American worker failed to understand, is that in a global market, you are competing with a global work force. 
as you point out, it was all happy times when we had no competition.  now we do, but we did not adjust.

we are not engaged in capitalism anymore anyway.  we are engaged in crony capitalism.  we are not so far from what Nazi Germany was doing right before the depression and then war, with their markets. the government is picking who wins and who loses.  they support what they want and favor those who favor them. they manipulate the currency so that they can keep pumping money into their projects.  there is no way for that to end well for any of us.     
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #72 on: December 14, 2011, 10:07:42 PM »

OK, so if we ship our blue collar manufacturing jobs to China because they are “cheaper” and we ship our white collar IT and tech jobs to India because they are “cheaper”, then what do you propose Americans do for jobs and money?  Is there enough CEO and banking jobs for us all?  What are the jobs of the future going to be in your fantasy world?

Is Scads ready to move to India  Smiley
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kathyp
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« Reply #73 on: December 14, 2011, 10:21:48 PM »

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, then what do you propose Americans do for jobs and money?

i suggest that Americans adapt to the new reality and change their expectations.  for instance, it is not reasonable to go to college for 4 to 6 years, take sociology and ball room dancing, and expect to walk into a 100k a year job after graduation.  there are companies out there who need skilled workers and are willing to train people, but no one wants to do blue collar work anymore. google 'lack of skilled workers 2011' and read.  part of the reason we don't have people with some of these skills it the insistence that everyone needs to go to university. 

i have neighbors who have 5 kids.  3 went to college and two did not.  one went into an electrician training program and made very little money while he trained, but now makes as much as his sibs who got degrees.  the other is currently in a tech training program, don't remember which.  of the 3 with degrees, two did get good jobs, but one is not doing so well and has moved back home for lack of money.  his degree?  horticulture.  his specialty?  golf course design and maintenance.  i'm sure it sounded like a spiffy job when he was going to school, but there's not a big market for it right now.

think about how much this country has changed in the last 100 or so years.  what did anyone do when things changed?  what happens to the buggy wheel manufacturing company when the car came along?  what happened to the telephone switchboard operator when the switchboards shut down?

we are responsible for our own future.  we can't and shouldn't expect that something magic will happen and all will be well.  adapt or die.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #74 on: December 14, 2011, 10:54:01 PM »

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My company makes injection molded parts, and does it better than the competition from outside of the country.  And cheaper.

Scads, it sounds like you work for a fine company and are an up standing guy.  Unfortunately history teaches us that doesn’t prevent the Chinese (or other better “capitalists”) from driving you out of business in a heartbeat.  Ever read the story about the Rubbermaid Corporation?  They also made plastic injected parts.  Formerly of Ohio?
Keep making it better and cheaper.  Part of cheap is transportation costs.  The other part is lead times, inventory, and warehouse space.  Some of our customers want our product sometimes 2 hours after they order it.  Can't do that with china.

Almost anything where leadtime doesn't matter will eventually head to where the labor is cheaper.  Like Rubbermaid.  First our furniture manufacturers left michigan for the south where it was cheaper (and no unions).  From there they went to Mexico where it was cheaper.  Now Mexico and China are starting to catch up in wages...but they're still cheaper.

Costs - we've done a lot of innovation so that our cost is at the right point with quality.  Without a lot of hard work and new ideas, this wouldn't have been possible.

And relationships...we're well known as a quality supplier of parts, and work closely with customers.  They've been coming to us with work.  Which is why we're shipping a bunch of parts to Taiwan where the customer's product is assembled.

I've worked with plenty of Indians in the IT business.  They were here.  We even discussed in our own department of trying to outsources some extra work overseas.  It hasn't panned out yet.  We haven't run out of innovation yet....still adapting.
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Rick
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« Reply #75 on: December 15, 2011, 06:04:08 AM »

Cheap labor = Higher profits. Simple as that.  Why do we always try to make it more complicated?

Are there any 'American' Corporations anymore?  That is the question demanding an answer.

Corporations of any residence or Country of origin have profit as their primary goal, above ALL else, including life itself for some of the big ones, bringing the ultimate goal as is related to American workers, a return to slavery in America.  (this time  w/out having to supply food or housing). 

Just wait until $1.50 becomes the 'new minimum wage'  for Americas.  After all 'Someone (s)' has to pay for the 7. 2 trillion dollar gift 'secretly' provided to the worlds largest banks on December 8, 2008 (see latest BLOOMBERG MAG for details).  All w/out Congressional knowledge or approval.....Riiiight.

Most Snow plows are still made in America, too heavy, too expensive (?) to ship from the other side of the world, so far.

AGREED; Part of cheap  (labor) is the transportation costs.  Its why I actively advocate for an end to fossil fuel subsidies, so the world knows exactly what the cost is.  If we want more jobs in America, not the service types that have replaced the 'good' ones we all sought in our youth and thought we were entitled to, this is as good a place as any to start IMO.

thomas
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« Reply #76 on: December 15, 2011, 06:57:36 AM »

the reason that works is because we have an uninformed population.  having more uninformed people voting is not a solution. having more informed people, is.  solve that problem and then worry about the rest.
unfortunately, there are to many people who have no reason to care.  they get their stuff and as long as their stuff keeps coming, why bother with anything else?

Very true words from kathyp.  Especially true in America.  IMO (just mine, not trying to convince anyone here Wink);

After spending so much time overseas (roughly 15 years all combined, from 1971-2007), surrounded by 'real' poverty, America (and Americans) sometimes reminds me of that 'little brat' throwing a fit in the 'toy' aisle at Wallyworld.  We've all witnessed 'both' forms of behavior so you all should know what I mean.

kathyp said; "there are to many people with no reason to care"  Right On!  Ain't it the truth!  Fact is we're not 'uncomfortable' enough to care yet.

The dumbing down of America was no accident, informed voters is the last thing desired by the slave masters.  They want us 'overly entertained and underly informed.'

thomas
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« Reply #77 on: December 15, 2011, 08:14:28 AM »

Cheap labor = Higher profits. Simple as that.  Why do we always try to make it more complicated?

Because it has accomplished higher profits for everybody.  Some want to point a finger at corporations and complain about their profits and that they are the problem.  But the reality of it is is that is has allowed ALL of us to have more "profits" and disposable income.

Without that cheap labor, we wouldn't have our computers, TVs, ipods, phones, toys, ....and all the rest of the entertainment cluttering our lives. 

The "little people" can't live without it either and clamber for more.
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« Reply #78 on: December 15, 2011, 08:44:29 AM »

Are there any 'American' Corporations anymore?  That is the question demanding an answer.

Yes...I work for one.  But we're pretty small.

Big corporations? No, probably not, and why should they be?  They sell all over the world, so by nature CAN'T be just "American".  And why should us arrogant americans deny the people of the world who buy our stuff a job?

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Rick
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« Reply #79 on: December 15, 2011, 08:51:52 AM »

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The dumbing down of America was no accident, informed voters is the last thing desired by the slave masters.  They want us 'overly entertained and underly informed.'
We agree there.  The question is who those slave masters are and what they want to do.  Do we try to back away from the brink, or continue on and plunge over by handing more power to them (more government, consolidated government, world government, more socialism)?

Quote
  After all 'Someone (s)' has to pay for the 7. 2 trillion dollar gift 'secretly' provided to the worlds largest banks on December 8, 2008 (see latest BLOOMBERG MAG for details).  All w/out Congressional knowledge or approval.....Riiiight.
Good point - they've already got the big banks and car companies by the balls.  When the time comes and the government wants to take the banks, they won't be able to fight back...because remember all that money we gave you???
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