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Old 02-01-2013, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
11,920 posts, read 13,298,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EugeneOnegin View Post
The other side of this is that we get cheaper products made with cheaper labor. We could bring a lot of those jobs back, but you would be paying more for stuff, so I'm not convinced that the net benefit of bringing these jobs back would be an increased standard of living for Americans.

Also, as has been happening, as we buy stuff from China, their wages increase and the profitability of off-shoring decreases (further spurred on by high oil prices). So these companies can either try to continue to chase the lowest labor in places like Cambodia or Laos, or they can bring manufacturing back to the US. A lot of manufacturing has been returning to the US for this reason. A lot of customer service has been brought back because of increasing wages in India and people's dissatisfaction with Indian customer service.

In order to get higher wages we need to reduce unemployment, but maybe high unemployment is the new normal as machination of production increases productivity, decreases the demand for labor, and increases the supply of labor, suppressing wages.

In order to improve their lot in life poor people should stop over-consuming crap and stop spending like they're middle class, and instead buy income-generating assets. Just stand around inside a gas station for 10 minutes and it's easy to see why a lot of poor people stay poor. Lottery tickets, energy drinks, overpriced bags of chips and drinks, cigarettes, etc. Eating at over-priced chain restaurants. Buying convenience food from the grocery store. Running up the credit card bill, spending $100 a month on a cell phone, another $100 a month on the idiot box. These poor spending decisions are a voluntary wealth transfer to the rich who are trampling all over them.
Jobs have been coming back for many reasons besides rising labor costs. Energy prices in America are cheap. The main reason I feel though is so many processes are automated nowadays, greatly reducing the impact of labor costs. Labor intensive work stays in slave wage nations. Work that can be automated comes home when 1 American worker can watch a machine produce what 20+ slave wage earners can produce. More importantly, the American worker can have the widgets/products ready for sale in a considerably shorter period of time, which helps businesses to reduce overproduction, which is always a loss.

Wages are only a portion of the equation, but they're the one everyone whines about. Manufacturing in this country didn't die like everyone believes. We just require a fraction of the workforce to do it, which eliminated millions of jobs in the process. In many ways, it is China that cannot compete with America. They do fine with work that brings in miniscule margins. That's not the kind of work we should concern ourselves with. We certainly shouldn't be mourning it's demise in America unless you want more McWalmart level jobs for the masses.

As for the "why the poor are poor", old argument. They'll never learn. Might be best that we move on because nothing will help their circumstance. If only they had a little discipline... Than again, your average American is just one medical emergency away from bankruptcy...

And I wouldn't be so quick to scold the mindless consumption class. Through their efforts, they allow many companies to remain highly profitable. If you wish to capitalize on the rewards of capitalism, you need that class, and it's best that they have adequate paying jobs to sustain our current model. It would be a more challenging proposition investing money in an environment void of such a consumer class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hnsq View Post
It was hardly a simple matter of supply and demand. The federal reserve (until halfway through the Carter administration) held it as a goal to put as many people to work as possible. The fed worked to put as many people in jobs as quickly as possible, and worked to increase wages as highly as possible. This led to years of extremely profitable times for the average worker, far beyond what a true free market system would allow. This was then corrected by the fed after Volcker took over the fed, jacked up interest rates to normalize inflation, causing a boom in the bond market later in the century, causing pension funds and investment funds to rise dramatically due to a realignment of the economy to correct for poor results of national economics attempting to incentivize household growth while ignoring the idea of companies inflating prices to counteract the increase in cost.

Boomers had an environment where the economy was very artificial, and benefited them greatly as a result.
Sounds like China took their strategy right out of our playbook. But we all know, government can only do so much to fight the free market, and for only so long.

Last edited by andywire; 02-01-2013 at 10:08 PM..
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:24 AM
 
Location: Michigan
2,198 posts, read 2,157,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andywire View Post
Jobs have been coming back for many reasons besides rising labor costs. Energy prices in America are cheap. The main reason I feel though is so many processes are automated nowadays, greatly reducing the impact of labor costs. Labor intensive work stays in slave wage nations. Work that can be automated comes home when 1 American worker can watch a machine produce what 20+ slave wage earners can produce. More importantly, the American worker can have the widgets/products ready for sale in a considerably shorter period of time, which helps businesses to reduce overproduction, which is always a loss.
True, the current natural gas boom is a part of that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andywire View Post
As for the "why the poor are poor", old argument. They'll never learn. Might be best that we move on because nothing will help their circumstance. If only they had a little discipline... Than again, your average American is just one medical emergency away from bankruptcy...

And I wouldn't be so quick to scold the mindless consumption class. Through their efforts, they allow many companies to remain highly profitable. If you wish to capitalize on the rewards of capitalism, you need that class, and it's best that they have adequate paying jobs to sustain our current model. It would be a more challenging proposition investing money in an environment void of such a consumer class.
Most of them will probably never learn, but some will.

People buying stuff is good for the economy. People buying too much stuff and over-consuming is just a temporary sugar high for the economy. At some point their debt levels become too high and changes have to be made. Then these people finally start paying off debt and spending less. The economy slows, demand for goods and services decrease, unemployment increases, wages fall. Which is where we are now, people aren't spending because they're paying off consumer debt.

Furthering the concentration of wealth into a small minority's hands which also has deleterious effects on our economy since the rich spend a smaller percentage of their income on goods and services.

Excessive consumption also fills landfills and depletes resources, making those same resources more scarce and costly. And when so much of the cheap crap they're buying is made in China or India they're sending a lot of American dollars overseas, strengthening their economies and weakening ours.

There is also the allocation of man hours and resources. A lot of people's bad spending circulates money throughout the economy, but it doesn't really provide society any benefit. Paying someone to dribble a basketball would probably be more beneficial to society than paying someone to grow food that ends up getting thrown away, both are equally useless, but at least dribbling a basketball doesn't waste resources or pollute the environment.

I would argue that the macro-economic effects of their conspicuous consumption are far more negative than positive.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:27 AM
 
Location: Middle Earth
491 posts, read 647,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
Being mediocre is a choice. If that is what people are happy with, that is what they will get.

Even people with learning disabilities, slow IQ's, and handicaps can learn what is taught in school if they apply themselves
. People who are interested in getting ahead can do so if they put forth the effort.

The average person might not have the quickness of brain to invent the latest greatest computer or electronics, but even the average person can learn most of the skills that pay a living wage. Nurse or truck driver might not get you a mansion on the Riviera, but it pays enough to keep a roof over your head and food on the table.

I've heard plenty of people say they don't need an education. Surprisingly, none of them are highly paid, but that was their choice to cut school, not learn what was presented, and drop out of high school.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:52 AM
 
7,497 posts, read 9,313,429 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
For globalization to work there must be free trade everywhere.

And while globalization may stagnate or even decline the average wage for the short run in well developed countries like the US and Europe, in the end everybody in the world will be wealthier as every countries GDP per capita will rise.

I recently saw on Yahoo where a man subcontracted his computer job out to china for 1/6 of the wage. What I took from that is that if there are Chinese who are willing and able to do the same quality work for that wage, more power to them. Just because a person is an American does not mean that they are entitled to the best jobs with the best wage.

Globalization is the fairest and most prosperous method of trade.
Americans indeed have a right to expect a job from a company on American soil.

I have a problem with American businesses living and building on American land and then getting tax cuts to ship jobs overseas and still be on American soil. Just because someone started a business marketing the same product or service as every other Tom, Dick and Harry doesn't give them the right to have their cake and eat it too and that's the nicest way I can say that. I would have the same problem if the business was from Somalia or France. Help your own or get the hell out, go run ship in said country's economic conditions and make room for new American businesses!

Also I don't understand how free trade is fair. These people in other countries don't get the long end of the stick. They get exploited for so many cents a day. They work themselves to death in horrible conditions that would make OSHA want to drag these executives away in handcuffs and fine the living beans out of them. They get held by debt bondage. Yet we buy their products every day in our stores for a "fair" price that companies got by wrangling the economic power out of both Americans and everyone else in the world. How thoughtful of them.

Anybody who thinks life would be better in the long run for everybody with free trade is just nuts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
Socialism makes everyone mediocre. That isn't better.
You're right. This seems like a form of socialism though for a few big companies to control the entire world and decide what wage everybody is going to live on for eternity and what conditions they're going to work in and how.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
In the US, people with less than average skill/diligence/IQ could still live a comfortable life and more or less fulfill the "American dream".

However, now they are forced to compete with Chinese who had studied 12 hours a day in school, and Indians who are happy with $200/mo customer service jobs. Do you think mediocre people will be increasingly unemployed and falling in poverty? Maybe socialism is the only solution?
This seems like a form of socialism to me and ironic that people who cry so hard against socialism are okay with this.

Getting back to the subject, socialism would not work in the U.S. It works better in a small country like Norway but I still wouldn't want to live there. I hear the citizens have to wait weeks just to see the doctor. Also, with guns outlawed, how are people protecting themselves against those out to do them harm. Anyone who is going to say that's not a problem, think again. Countless Norwegian women have been raped by Middle Eastern immigrant men. It's a real problem there. What is the government doing? You gotta wonder.

Also, a country can overtax the rich until they're dry. Then what? The rich are where the money comes from. They're the ones that run the businesses, have the power, know the ropes. When their money is gone, the lower classes really will be screwed.

So no, socialism is not the answer. I say force these companies to either bring their jobs home, pay everybody they employ a living wage, or move overseas. I'll bet things would really turn around then.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:06 AM
 
1,736 posts, read 1,540,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osito View Post
Getting back to the subject, socialism would not work in the U.S. It works better in a small country like Norway but I still wouldn't want to live there. I hear the citizens have to wait weeks just to see the doctor. Also, with guns outlawed, how are people protecting themselves against those out to do them harm. Anyone who is going to say that's not a problem, think again. Countless Norwegian women have been raped by Middle Eastern immigrant men. It's a real problem there. What is the government doing? You gotta wonder.
I do wonder -where to start. First off, you should mark wherever you heard that as a poor source, its all very, very wrong. Its like saying that America is a small communist country with no military, consisting of 90% native americans and 10 % cowboys.

Having lived and worked in Norway, waiting times to see a doctor are practically nonexistent. Unless you've chosen to live on a remote island with a long way to the nearest village. Or you've chosen a doctor with a thousand patients on his list. Which means you've misunderstood the market thing.

Norway has a lot more doctors per person than the US, and a larger percentage of GPs among them. On the average, you'll get to see a doctor or specialist much faster than in the US. The speed of treatment is generally proportional to the severity of the problem.
You can pick your own hospital for treatment, and most just pick the one where they'll get treated quick.

Norway is similar to America in one respect. It is a country with a rural/urban divide, and a large fraction of its land being rural or wilderness to a degree you don't see further south in Europe. As with most places with a large rural constuency, gun laws are comparativly lax, and gun ownership is prevalent outside of the cities. Hunting is a very popular pasttime. In a part of the country, it is compulsory to carry a gun when leaving the village.

Rape is a rather rare crime. While the number of rapes commited by middle eastern immigrants is far higher than the numbser attrubuted to natives, it is still a fraction of the numbers comitted by the average American man. Or to put it in a different way, the average American commints many times as many rapes per person as a muslim immigrant in Norway.

Finally Norway is hardly socialist. Its very, very capitalist with market mechanisms build into many goverment services. Like health care.

See, socialist is an economic setting. It refers to how the economy of a country is arranges, specifically a setting where the government owns the businesses. Like North Korea or Cuba. Norway is quite capitalist but uses the money earned that way on big social programs.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:54 AM
 
7,497 posts, read 9,313,429 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grim Reader View Post
I do wonder -where to start. First off, you should mark wherever you heard that as a poor source, its all very, very wrong. .
My grandmother and her entire side of the family is from Norway and I still have relatives there.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:55 AM
 
1,736 posts, read 1,540,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osito View Post
My grandmother and her entire side of the family is from Norway and I still have relatives there.
You should listen to them.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:04 AM
 
7,497 posts, read 9,313,429 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grim Reader View Post
You should listen to them.
Um, I do.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Warwick, RI
2,553 posts, read 3,867,826 times
Reputation: 4043
You know what, I really can't stand reading through posts like this. People, this is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and living here gives you more opportunity to realize and surpass your dreams than anywhere else in the world. I know it's cliche, but it's also true. The reason we have so many of the OP's "mediocre" people these days is because society and government have spent decades encouraging it. Shake off these self imposed shackles and get started getting better. Quit whining and blaming others for your own mistakes and poor choices. Stop looking for hand outs and for someone else to take care of you. Start learning (log off Facebook and Twitter and pick up a book!) and, and I emphasize this part, start WORKING HARD and making RESPONSIBLE DECISIONS, and you will notice an almost immediate improvement in your lot in life. Take it from one who knows and only wishes he had recognized it much earlier in life.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:13 AM
Status: "Trump: tantrums and lies until gone" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Washington, DC
3,831 posts, read 3,774,889 times
Reputation: 6426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie1946 View Post

And I know I will likely get flamed for this opinion but in truth, our country writ large is better off with a strong middle class. There will always be the losers but we need to minimize that as much as possible. And I do mean WE. Our social construct can degenerate so far that it is unrecoverable and daily life then becomes more dangerous for everyone. The more desperate people you have running around, the worse for all.

However, I have no solutions to offer. Many programs and much money has been thrown at the problem with no decent return on investment. I think we are headed to the big brick wall.
Here is where and why this thread is a fail. Mediocre equates with Middle Class. So are we to hold the US middle class in contempt? Happy knowing their mediocrity leaves them with no job or a low-paying job?

Do we really just want to celebrate the Mark Zuckerburgs of the world who get filthy rich writing a bit of code and running a huge company benefitting precious few employees?

My neighbor works very hard on his little contractng services company (roofing, gutters, carpentry, some plumbing). But he and his business are classicly mediocre. Not innovative, not doing anything that hundreds of other local companies aren't also doing. Mediocre loser right?
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