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Old 06-17-2020, 01:24 PM
 
4,831 posts, read 4,056,932 times
Reputation: 11806

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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaminB12 View Post
This isn't a capitalism "sucks" post, but a we can do "better" post as capitalism clearly has its pros and cons. Of course 1955 isn't coming back and the US won't be the world's factory but that doesn't mean we don't have our own strengths, we can't enhance them, or create new ones through better policy.
Certainly we can do better. Nucor and the other cold rolled steel mini-mills in the 1980s, and Harold Hamm and the frackers of the 2000s, proved that the United States could still grab the top spot in heavy mining and manufacturing, given enough determination and ingenuity.

When it comes to precision manufacturing, however, it seems we have fallen permanently behind.

I was just watching a video on building a solar powered battery storage generator. Literally every single part, except maybe the plastic housing box, came from China. Inverters, cabling, 16850 batteries, LCD display, fans... none of this stuff even has a U.S. equivalent. No one in the U.S. makes a spot welder used to link up the LiIon batteries using nickel strips... and I believe the nickel strips also come from China.

Why? What is so hard about this that Americans had to totally give up. I don't think there are even American brand names attached to any of these components. They all have names like Youkkun, Everlife, etc. -- all Chinese companies.

I don't fault the Chinese for any of this. On the contrary; I admire them for stepping up and doing the hard work of designing and developing these kinds of boring products that the average consumer doesn't even know the name of, yet are vital to a functioning modern economy.
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Old 06-17-2020, 02:03 PM
 
Location: ATX-HOU
184 posts, read 42,694 times
Reputation: 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by blisterpeanuts View Post
Certainly we can do better. Nucor and the other cold rolled steel mini-mills in the 1980s, and Harold Hamm and the frackers of the 2000s, proved that the United States could still grab the top spot in heavy mining and manufacturing, given enough determination and ingenuity.

When it comes to precision manufacturing, however, it seems we have fallen permanently behind.

I was just watching a video on building a solar powered battery storage generator. Literally every single part, except maybe the plastic housing box, came from China. Inverters, cabling, 16850 batteries, LCD display, fans... none of this stuff even has a U.S. equivalent. No one in the U.S. makes a spot welder used to link up the LiIon batteries using nickel strips... and I believe the nickel strips also come from China.

Why? What is so hard about this that Americans had to totally give up. I don't think there are even American brand names attached to any of these components. They all have names like Youkkun, Everlife, etc. -- all Chinese companies.
I think permanently is too strong. It would certainly take a concerted, cohesive policy by the Feds or a state with some heft that could invest in the training and subsidies.

China is trying to move up the value chain and they don't want to be spot welding forever and have been investing in robotics. The US doesn't make all the parts but we do put together some very sophisticated manufactured goods, from the pumps needed to frack to the vast diagnostic industry (MRIs).

Quote:
I don't fault the Chinese for any of this. On the contrary; I admire them for stepping up and doing the hard work of designing and developing these kinds of boring products that the average consumer doesn't even know the name of, yet are vital to a functioning modern economy.
It's just one step in the country's modernization/ascent to superpowerdom. If the US was smart, it would try to get some of those supply chain to North American with Mexico fulfilling the China/Vietnam role to an extent.
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Old 06-17-2020, 02:16 PM
 
2,815 posts, read 782,041 times
Reputation: 4561
Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaminB12 View Post
This isn't a capitalism "sucks" post, but a we can do "better" post as capitalism clearly has its pros and cons. Of course 1955 isn't coming back and the US won't be the world's factory but that doesn't mean we don't have our own strengths, we can't enhance them, or create new ones through better policy.
Okay. IMVHO, it simply has nothing to do with 'capitalism' except that's the overarching economic model in place. Fostering rabid consumerism has much more to do with it all, which might have happened under any economic model (except maybe pure Marxist communism) and didn't have to happen under Demon Cap.

And yes to the rest... but we have to start with what seems to be an impossible proposition to many, that 1955 is gone and not coming back. With few exceptions, all the "create jobs" and "bring back/rebuild American manufacturing" look back with longing at that situation and put all their effort into trying to recreate it.

There is a way forward, but not if we won't let go of the past. And, basically, we won't. Every discussion like this has a huge faction that can only see a future that looks like 1955 but with flying cars or something.
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:35 PM
 
4,831 posts, read 4,056,932 times
Reputation: 11806
Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
Okay. IMVHO, it simply has nothing to do with 'capitalism' except that's the overarching economic model in place. Fostering rabid consumerism has much more to do with it all, which might have happened under any economic model (except maybe pure Marxist communism) and didn't have to happen under Demon Cap.

And yes to the rest... but we have to start with what seems to be an impossible proposition to many, that 1955 is gone and not coming back. With few exceptions, all the "create jobs" and "bring back/rebuild American manufacturing" look back with longing at that situation and put all their effort into trying to recreate it.

There is a way forward, but not if we won't let go of the past. And, basically, we won't. Every discussion like this has a huge faction that can only see a future that looks like 1955 but with flying cars or something.
What about a future that looks like 2020 (in China)?

They're doing it right now. Why can't we compete head to head?
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Old 06-18-2020, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Western NY
694 posts, read 743,374 times
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Well we have discussed many things on this thread. Just throw a few more things out, some discussed, some not.

Discussed already: The cost of real estate making it hard for manufacturing to setup in an area and hire in US. There are some places still cheaper in the US, but many companies for unknown reasons always try to setup in CA. It certainly won't work for all companies to go to CA and setup.

Discussed already: Then the fact that in the US there is EPA, OSHA, and so on, so dumping chemicals in the river behind the plant is not allowed. Work here provides some safety rules too. There may be laws in other countries but no way to enforce any of it, essentially zero most places. So there should 100% be a specific tax on imports for not having these abilities to monitor environments, to insure safety of workers and so on. If the US pays for it, and we do, other countries must do the same. But not a general import tax, but some import tax for not having enforcement of environment and workers. Perhaps some companies that prove they are up to the US in making products don't have this tax on products sold, but that is few right now.

Then there is excessive management in the US. When engineering was really working in the US and we made electronics, there just wasn't that much management. There was some but not tons. In other countries there isn't much management and it is working there right now. For whatever reasons the US over values management. Not that some management isn't needed and good. Some bring in contracts for new work, so we do need some management. But there is lots and lots of management in the US now. There is also lots of paperwork to excessive levels as well. So a devaluing of paperwork and management is needed for electronics to be made in US again or at least US to lead again. Then excessive executive compensation plays into this as well.

Then the US totally devalued degrees like electrical engineering especially at highest levels mostly in last ten years. Now many companies if they want something they advertise for these silly certifications. All that certification stuff needs to go back where it came from or the garbage bin, and go back to valuing higher education like advanced degrees in engineering and science.

Then another big one, the US companies that made electronics in say late '90s had hundreds of thousands of employees, plus huge plants that cost fortunes and it all worked. They were valued by the stock market for having those assets of employees and facilities. But then with the advent of social media companies we suddenly see companies that had only a few people and hardly any facilities were valued more than companies that own capability in electronics. This mis-valuation of companies would have to change somehow. I have been in huge plants in the US, they cost a ton. They are worth something more than social media companies assets which aren't really anything other than the platform itself. Somehow a truer valuation would have to exist for electronics manufacturing to come back.

Last edited by TestEngr; 06-18-2020 at 08:43 AM..
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:44 AM
 
2,815 posts, read 782,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blisterpeanuts View Post
What about a future that looks like 2020 (in China)?

They're doing it right now. Why can't we compete head to head?
Because we're not China in about fifty different and significant ways. Nor, I think, do we want to be.

Just to make it clear, I don't think we need to "bring manufacturing back to the US" in any large scale way. Some critical industries, yes. Things we have proven to be good at in the long run, yes. But anything like "all manufacturing"? No. We are a global economy; we should work to structure that so it works best for everyone involved. We would gain nothing by, say, bringing most plastics manufacturing back here.
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Prepperland
14,896 posts, read 10,776,135 times
Reputation: 11491
[Injection of 'common sense' flag ON]

If you TAX something, you raise its price. And subsidize its untaxed competition.

If you levy a TAX upon American labor and industry, you INFLATE the cost, while subsidizing FOREIGN imports (which do not have tax inflation).

[Flag OFF]

The simple remedy is to eliminate all taxes on American labor and industry.
That will do far more to restore America's manufacturing than any other government meddling.
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:56 AM
 
2,815 posts, read 782,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetgraphics View Post
The simple remedy is to eliminate all taxes on American labor and industry.
The abyssal depth of your ignorance is showing.
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Old 06-18-2020, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Prepperland
14,896 posts, read 10,776,135 times
Reputation: 11491
Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
The abyssal depth of your ignorance is showing.
Thank you for the kind words of support. Insults from an opponent are high praise (I blush).

It also shows that you have capitulated, lacking any facts to offer in rebuttal.


Of course, finding any evidence that TAXATION makes prices fall is quite difficult.
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Old 06-18-2020, 12:39 PM
 
2,815 posts, read 782,041 times
Reputation: 4561
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetgraphics View Post
Thank you for the kind words of support. Insults from an opponent are high praise (I blush).

It also shows that you have capitulated, lacking any facts to offer in rebuttal.

Of course, finding any evidence that TAXATION makes prices fall is quite difficult.
Anyone hailing from "Prepperland" has established their anti-gummint, anti-tax stance, neither of which lead to any sense or sensibility in discussing anything but establishing a postapocalyptic paradise.

Sorry, I guess I'm just one of the sheep who won't survive to see it. Have a nice time storming de kessel, and all.

The only thing "eliminating taxes on American labor and industry" would do is make owners, C-level and stockholders that much wealthier. None would reach the workforce. Little would reach production infrastructure except to speed along automation and workforce reduction. And in the end, despite the ignorant ranting of those who long ago decided tax was a four letter word, US corporate taxes are little or no brake on company operations or profit. Nor were environmental controls. The entire "problem" for US industry was and workforce costs.

And they're well on the way to solving that problem on a large scale. You want something meaningful to rant about, quit assuming Das Gummint is the evil foe here and focus on those so gluttonous that they weep over every dollar lost to a human workforce. And reflect a while on how eliminating even the modest level of taxation they pay for nearly unlimited rights to extract profit might not be a real good idea — or even one that produces the slightest imaginary return for any but the already-elite.
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