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Old 06-12-2020, 01:59 PM
 
Location: ATX-HOU
177 posts, read 42,113 times
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Americans didn't adapt to a changing world and voted for policies that hollowed out regions.
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Old 06-12-2020, 04:14 PM
 
2,781 posts, read 770,698 times
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Originally Posted by VitaminB12 View Post
Americans didn't adapt to a changing world and voted for policies that hollowed out regions.
...with their wallets.
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Old 06-13-2020, 01:56 AM
 
9,533 posts, read 9,086,587 times
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If people here had to pay the price to make everything in the USA, their standard of living would drop by huge numbers. They simply would be priced out of the market.
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Old 06-13-2020, 09:59 AM
 
9,239 posts, read 7,857,628 times
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Have not followed thread, and not sure what direction it has headed

But I just want to say a little more about the Blue Rays.

Does anyone even watch Blue Rays anymore? They only had shelf life of like a year or two. Everything is now streaming. Blue Ray essentially a short lived bubble.

So a handful of people in the US got rich off the Blue Ray bubble, and sent all this money overseas, and out of the hands of Americans.

Now I want to bring up gaming consoles. For the past two decades gaming consoles are also DVD/Blue Ray players. They are much more expensive than the consoles of the 90s and prior. Yet, I believe they have out sold all the consoles prior, while also being way more expensive. More adults are into gaming now. So if they can doll out the cash for these gaming consoles . . . . . Perhaps they can afford domestically made Blue Ray players too.
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Old 06-13-2020, 10:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by oldtrader View Post
If people here had to pay the price to make everything in the USA, their standard of living would drop by huge numbers.
"Standard of living" as defined how?

Half the amount of tech junk? Doubled usage lifetimes of major appliances and cars? Houses that actually fit a family of three instead of being big enough for the Granthams?
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Old 06-13-2020, 10:47 AM
 
4,805 posts, read 4,049,278 times
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Originally Posted by oldtrader View Post
If people here had to pay the price to make everything in the USA, their standard of living would drop by huge numbers. They simply would be priced out of the market.
It's a huge economy and hard to generalize. As has been discussed here, the problems are not so much cost as skills and work ethic, NIMBY opposition, politics.

If the U.S. came together on this, it could absolutely manufacture a lot or most of its stuff, and probably make some pretty competitive products. The tech is there; the software is there.

What's lacking is the will to unite. The President is adamant on this, but the opposition party representing some 50% of the country is adamantly opposed. Not to get into politics, but that's the reality. The Chinese know they can wait a few months, or 4 years, and get a change in government that will put things back the way they like it -- a passive, defeatist attitude here, while they achieve ascendancy in pretty much every field.

The other thing lacking is a willing work force. If we had the kind of people the Asians do -- obedient to authority, detail oriented, willing to subsume human rights and individuality for the greater purpose -- then we'd be quite competitive with them. Of course, we'd also lose our soul.

We really need to reform our educational system and start graduating people with better literacy and numeracy skills, more understanding of capitalism and business, respect for democracy etc. It's fine to have opposition and debate and human rights must be paramount -- that's actually our great strength -- but debilitating disunity and internecine squabbling are depriving us of the energy to defeat external competitors who are eating our lunch.
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Old 06-13-2020, 11:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by blisterpeanuts View Post
The tech is there; the software is there.
So, as is too often the case, you're assuming all "US manufacturing" would be smartphones and video consoles? Or just Teslas?

One of my small and oddly prized tools is a 4-foot construction level. Bought it at Home Depot years ago. Nice piece of work. You'd probably guess half the countries on earth before you got to... Israel.

Given that we have a few more resources, if we're going to ramp up manufacturing here, it should not be (just) for the world's toys and most elite thingies.
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Old 06-13-2020, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
5,280 posts, read 2,337,473 times
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Honestly, I think we need better management. China's figured out how to manufacture profitably here in the US. There's a few Flextronics plants near here.



https://biztimes.com/foxconns-wiscon...nstead-of-tvs/


I could be wrong, but for a period of time all of management was a stupid one trick pony. Gain an understanding and then move production overseas to a contract manufacturer. Even in the earliest episodes of Shark Tank you can see this culminate with everyone who wanted to manufacture in the US basically needing to agree they needed and overseas CM. The show got enough pushback that they dropped the focus and reversed themselves.



This likely came as a result of companies dropping their on-boarding programs. If you talk to an old retired manager, they may still relate a story about coming into a company, possibly working several roles prior to being a manager, or needing to learn about the product(s) that were being made. Going out on sales calls to meet with customers and vendors. Despite massively smaller HR departments (if any beyond payroll) the people that were to run the companies needed to learn the industry and the trade, and the only way to do it was time in the roles. However, HR relegated itself away from onboarding as it itself had no idea and pursued objectives in justifying executive compensation, spying on the company, showing diversity and tons of feel good community service initiatives. Industry experience was no longer valued. Besides, specialization was all the rage. If you have someone whose job requires them to know too much, that person is hard to replace. That becomes the job you break apart first. As a result, you get a bunch of people that don't know the company, but do their specific A to C. Except during turnover, and B is tough and nobody knows why it's needed there and some genius gets rid of B (or the workers just stop doing it) and then things break and it's a mystery as to why.



Almost all of my consulting jobs are nothing more than figuring out which moron(s) stopped doing their job and screwed things up....and then fixing the mess. Even then, HR tends to loath actually doing anything if someone is a protected employee....and in this area, everyone's a protected employee. But I'm digressing.


When your managers stop seeing the big picture, the workers definitely stop seeing the big picture. When HR says 3% average raises across the board for the department and then awards 2000% of pay in options to select levels, people stop feeling like they're on a team. Things break down. However, for nebulous positions like myself, as an accountant, I can work for any company. My last project was semiconductor, before that was a SaaS, before that was a drone manufacturer (that was fighting through its manufacturing birthing pains when along came a Chinese CM that would have no problem making all 6000 parts for very cheap and assemble them). Point is, if one fails, it's no skin off my back. I move to the next thing....and when you don't require expertise, this is now your management staff. Expert managers who know how to play the game. Draw up initiatives and great sounding proposals. Who cares if they work, I'll be gone or in another department by then. It's the actual specialized workers that get killed. The flexo press operator or the PC Board maker or the lathing programmer....these people are the ones who have trouble jumping to the next job. These are the types of careers that people start avoiding because everyone knows there's no stability in them. Would you advise your kid to be a coal miner now?


So with each challenge of....oh, we can't find an X....and nobody left that could train and develop a few x roles...the decision to outsource may have started as a legitimate cost down one, but it grew into becoming the easy answer for a management team that didn't know sh*t. It was the perfect answer, understood by all. It could solve unions, holes in workforces, a tough process to show compliance with, new EPA regulations....and the manager gets to work another day even if it's to simply sack their staff.



America, with tech, can manufacture again. But to restart, you have to realize that now all of your material inputs are coming from overseas. I don't buy the American affordability issue nearly as much as it is used. And apparently, neither do the Asian CMs now moving production into the US. We've simply been a population that's been trained to do a job rather than learn a trade, and the last tradespeople that were blue collar are put on ignore.



The good news is that it is possible to get things back. However, we are now an underdog in industries we haven't been in awhile. The real win would be for the tech items to stay manufactured in the US for a bit....even if it does turn down ROA a bit.
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Old 06-13-2020, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
5,280 posts, read 2,337,473 times
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Last point is that, this continues. We have the country with massive unemployment on no talk of creating industries to help....just when will bars and restaurants reopen so people can go back to work. We have an impending trade war and people are focused on how much their toys will go up for Christmas if they have to pay a tariff. And now we have the business community not advertising their latest creations, but jumping into race relations. We as individuals are pulled by headlines.



It is all fine and good to not be in the same religion as myself. Frankly, the local churches here have gotten so political I can barely stand them anymore. However, when a country does have a "God" of some sort that inspires achievement beyond what mortals can normally do, it keeps us as a group focused on achievement. When we make our political leaders these "Gods" stability suffers. It becomes easier to jump to what is easy to see and show a fix rather than making any necessary or real progress. While the US eroded its leadership, it was swept under the rug with progress in other non-economic areas. The usual suspects were assigned as the bad guys and it was concluded that nothing could be done as the same suspects funded the politicians. A shared faith of some kind, would give people a reason to fight through the transactional and tribal arrangements we have. I wish you all the best of luck in finding a faith that you can support and contribute to. It will make this world better.
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Old 06-13-2020, 12:27 PM
 
2,781 posts, read 770,698 times
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Originally Posted by artillery77 View Post
We have the country with massive unemployment on no talk of creating industries to help...
As spelled out in every thread about "creating jobs" and "bringing back industry" and my fave, "fabulous new industries of the future no one's even thought of yet look at computers and networks and stuff"...

...do you really think these are going to be huge employment sectors, or will they be highly automated right from the HP/Microsoft/Apple model garage? It's a bit hard to fine down, but it looks as if Tesla alone is using less than one-third the workers a lightly automated assembly line would require. I simply don't see any spectacular new industry arising from thin air and starting, much less staying with tens of thousands of workers.

No, not even robotic/automation/AI itself. Every job in those fields eliminates others at a very large factor that continues for the life of the technology.
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