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Old 06-23-2009, 12:17 PM
 
656 posts, read 760,249 times
Reputation: 367
The fact of the matter is that economies are dynamic. Change may be happening faster today than in the past, but economies have always changed. In general, as an economy/country develops, it moves further and further up the value chain as its cost structure can no longer support low-end products, and its overall skill set increases.

Take South Korea for example. Starting after WWII and the Korean War, it rapidly moved from producing low-cost, low-quality items to producing components for more advanced items to designing and producing high end, complex products today. Samsung, LG, etc are prime examples of this - and in many cases, companies that started from very humble beginnings. The same is true of the automobile industry in Japan...back in the 70s, Honda, Toyota etc were low cost providers. These companies developed and innovated their way into becoming premier global brands. You can scream "Buy American" all you want, but people voted with their wallets.

American companies that have not been able to adapt to the changing world around them are either in trouble or no longer in business. Outsourcing production or buying from overseas is a way to remain competitive - not the only way, but one way. It doesn't always work out - if you outsource the work for 1/2 the cost, but it takes 4 times as many hours, you obviously don't come out ahead.
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Union County, NC
2,110 posts, read 4,445,028 times
Reputation: 1074
Not the first time I've seen this topic discussed here. But, can't recall it being mentioned previously and I'm curious -

Any of you ever see WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price?
WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price

And I mean the entire movie, not just a You Tube clip.
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
34,524 posts, read 40,076,180 times
Reputation: 17996
Quote:
Originally Posted by saralee View Post
Not the first time I've seen this topic discussed here. But, can't recall it being mentioned previously and I'm curious -

Any of you ever see WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price?
WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price

And I mean the entire movie, not just a You Tube clip.
I have. It really hit home to me what it has meant for companies to compete just to keep a W-M contract. They have often had to change specs on their products in order to stay in business, b/c either you have that contract - or you are screwed.

I can't remember if this documentary explained what happened to Rubbermaid - or perhaps it was another documentary - but a case study of that company alone is enuff to drive it home that W-M has cost us not only jobs - but whole INDUSTRIES.
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Some got six month some got one solid. But me and my buddies all got lifetime here
4,550 posts, read 6,378,230 times
Reputation: 2047
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
I have. It really hit home to me what it has meant for companies to compete just to keep a W-M contract. They have often had to change specs on their products in order to stay in business, b/c either you have that contract - or you are screwed.

I can't remember if this documentary explained what happened to Rubbermaid - or perhaps it was another documentary - but a case study of that company alone is enuff to drive it home that W-M has cost us not only jobs - but whole INDUSTRIES.

I read that story.


The PBS Attack on Wal-Mart -- Economic Terrorism



Quote:
Smith then showed his view of the problems with trying to provide low prices for customers. He spoke with two CEOs of Rubbermaid and explained how the container company had worked hard to make Wal-Mart a client and “Sales and profits soared.” Then, when Rubbermaid wanted to raise prices because a key raw material had gone up in price, Wal-Mart refused.

According to Smith: “Other mass retailers agreed to a price hike, and Rubbermaid’s CEO flew to Arkansas to ask Bill Fields, head of Wal-Mart stores, to reconsider.” Carol Troyer, a former Rubbermaid executive, said “I thought it was a vindictive kind of meeting that said, ‘yes, you may be Rubbermaid, and you’re a big Rubbermaid, and you got the great name and all that, but you’re not going to tell us what to do. And we’re not going to take your price increase, and we really don’t care what it does to you.’”

From that, Smith focused on Rubbermaid’s original plant closing down and “countries like China were picking up the pieces.” To Smith, it was more than a loss of 1,000 jobs: “It seemed to me that it wasn’t just a plant dying; a set of corporate values was passing away. Ten years ago, Rubbermaid, with its reputation for quality, was named ‘most admired.’ Last year, Wal-Mart, known for its cost-cutting, was most admired. If you look at the shift from Rubbermaid as the most-admired company in 1994, and Wal-Mart as the most-admired company today, in terms of the larger American economy, what does that mean? What does that say about the touchstones of success?”
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
1,007 posts, read 1,430,826 times
Reputation: 558
For those who think there is nothing wrong with products made in China, Congress has now decided that condoms made in China, South Korea and Malaysia are to be used by the US Agency of International Development in place of those made in America. That means a savings of 3 cents and the possible closing of a plant that employs 300 Americans. Yep, 3 whole pennies and 300 jobs. It costs 5 cents to produce a condom in America and 2 cents to produce a condom in Asia. I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend the extra money for American condoms. At least that way I know that when the box says there's a 95% protection rate, it's really 95% and not 70% or lower. Then I'd hate to think a chemical was used that would cause me discomfort or worse, sickness or death. As a woman I already have enough problems to deal with -- I don't need the added headache!

Newsvine - Outsourced condom production could shut US factory
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Some got six month some got one solid. But me and my buddies all got lifetime here
4,550 posts, read 6,378,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by senalj View Post
For those who think there is nothing wrong with products made in China, Congress has now decided that condoms made in China, South Korea and Malaysia are to be used in place of those made in America.
I just hope you don't need to tear that little gold, oval "Made in China" sticker off of each one.
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
1,007 posts, read 1,430,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianH1970 View Post
I just hope you don't need to tear that little gold, oval "Made in China" sticker off of each one.
That would so kill the mood for me!
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Some got six month some got one solid. But me and my buddies all got lifetime here
4,550 posts, read 6,378,230 times
Reputation: 2047
Quote:
Originally Posted by senalj View Post
That would so kill the mood for me!

Especially since those suckers are so hard to tear off in the first place. Seems like the only quality product that comes out of China is the glue that keeps those stickers in place.
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:49 PM
 
Location: El Charlotte
182 posts, read 243,707 times
Reputation: 139
You want to buy America made, here's a start the next time you buy shoes!!!

New Balance: Made in The USA

I know we can argue about made in china, our wallets, lack of jobs and corporate greed, however, I think anifani821 is right on target (Her opinion I read with great respect). Stlterp, your comments are so full of holes, it creates a laundry list responses that you should start wearing a bridle. Buying local and American will make the ultimate difference and bring jobs back. Flame away, I can handle it.
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:24 PM
 
656 posts, read 760,249 times
Reputation: 367
You all can keep putting your heads in the sand...but the smart American companies will figure out a way to compete and get ahead in the global economy. Face it - things are not going back to the way they used to be. That's just the way history and economic development works.

Just as the nation evolved from one that was primarily agricultural and rural, to one of small-scale industry, to larger-scale manufacturing...we are continuing to evolve. It's all aboutcomparative advantage, and currently the US' advantage is no longer in low-cost manufacturing. There are certainly specialized manufacturing segments where we can and do very well - but the key is to continue to find those niches and exploit new ones, not constantly harping on the past.

My family buys local where we can - farmer's markets, independent restaurants, local stores, etc. However, as a nation, consumers want more for less...whether it's a coast-to-coast airfare for $199 or a new plasma TV for $1000 or a pair of jeans for $19.99. People talk a good game, but in the end for most consumers, it's about price.
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