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rmcphearson
09-27-2014, 12:58 PM
http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=351979061&m=351979062

At about minute 3, this former Marine observes most goods found in Iraq prior to the war were manufactured locally and repaired locally. Now it's flooded with Chinese junk not worth fixing, putting craftsmen/repairmen out of work.

This post is not meant to overshadow the infinitely greater losses incurred by the war. Just an observation worth some thought.

-Roland

oil mac
09-27-2014, 04:30 PM
Now we have a nightmare which is spread right over the border into Syria, with evil tentacles to the western world, What the hell were we playing at going into this to begin with. Now the world is far more dangerous than ever with a ruthless & cruel enemy God help the good folk in these countries from extremism & protect our brave soldiers who have to sort out this mess,

mike4
09-27-2014, 10:12 PM
The problem started quite a long time ago , when Britain decided to draw arbitrary borders as it carved up the Ottoman Empire after WW1, and had no regard for the people who had lived in the region for 100's of years and arrogantly ignored them.

The same happened after WW2 and the Gulf wars , the people in insulated ivory towers decided what was "good" and not one bot of thought was given to the people and no one asked them what the wanted .

The authorities "knew" what was best and look at the mess that everyone has to clean up thanks to those who thought that everyone thinks the same as they do ( many of the beauracrats dont know how to think).

Michael

KiddZimaHater
09-27-2014, 11:03 PM
I'm getting my Popcorn ready, putting my feet up, and waiting for the Bush vs. Obama mudslinging to begin.

Mrich0908
09-27-2014, 11:31 PM
Now it's flooded with Chinese junk not worth fixing, putting craftsmen/repairmen out of work.
-Roland

rmcphearson,
This one of the things that really gets to me and excuse me if I sound cocky thats not how im trying to come off .
You know why China makes Junk. Because Us as Americans want to pay the least we can for an item and then excpect it to be shipped half way around the world. 30 years ago there product may have been questionable. Since the west has moved there . DO you not think they have been taking notes and learning?
China as a country makes allot of high quality items. I for one can attest to that . I import items very often.
Most people dont realize that allot of the usa ( and other countries) big name labels have moved there . We all know south bend is and was purchased by grizzly . I see allot of people on various forums and other places saying how much they love there new south bend lathe.
Or Briggs and Stratton. Yup china , sony ,some honda parts. I think you would be quite surprised who has moved to china. Very soon China will be larger than the USA. They will be the new super country.
Ive personally purchased junk and cheap items from every manufacture around the world in all types of ares.
I will say if you decide to shop over seas in China be realistic about what something cost you will get a superior product for allot less. Dont cry because the Mill drill you purchased for 600$ has problems . Be realistic your going to have to have QC problems it was 600$. Spend some real money and see what type of quality machine you will get . Ive always been satisfied.
Look at this link you might be surprised to see who moved over there and Im sure allot swear by these company's.
http://www.jiesworld.com/international_corporations_in_china.htm
My 2 cents
Mark

Doc Nickel
09-27-2014, 11:34 PM
Regardless of the political aspect of the region, the issue is one nearly every country has dealt with- China, too, believe it or not, has begun to "outsource" some production to places like India and Vietnam.

There's a trade off. Here in the US, over the years we lost plenty of things ourselves- steelmaking, for example. But we also gained inexpensive products that allow the Average American to enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.

In Iraq, what "local products" were lost? That's not a flippant question, what products id Iraquis make? There was no Iraqui auto industry (even in Hussein's time) and no local manufacture of computers, cell phones or DVD players. I don't think they had any heavy industry (steelmaking, aluminum smelting) or what might be called a strategic industry (machine tools, bearing manufacture, rare earths, etc.) Near as I know- and I'm open for correction- the only industry they had (at least, a product that got exported) was oil and, I think, dates.

As for not being able to 'fix' something, most of us can't fix our computers, apart from swapping a bad RAM stick or replacing a power supply. Almost none of us can fix an iPhone, and there's getting t be less and less in a modern car we can fix. So to be a bit on the flippant side this time, did the Iraquis trade the donkey cart made of an old truck axle for a new(er) Toyota Hilux? Yeah, the old farmer might have been able to fix the wagon with a bit of baling wire and a handful of grease, but was that better than having an actual pickup truck?

To paraphrase an old homily, can any of you still weave your own buggy whip or shoe your own horse anymore? Do you know the name of your local Pony Express rider? :D

Flippancy aside, the loss of some home-grown manufacture isn't always a bad thing, and often times, that 'cheap import crap' beats having nothing at all. How many of us here buy $10 AXA tool blocks from CDCO, instead of $50 or even $70 blocks from Dorian or Aloris? How many of us have an indexing head or a Spindex or a "Kurt style" mill vise, that came from China or Taiwan, because the "real thing" was far too expensive?

Most Iraquis live on about a buck-fifty a day. If the choice is a $5 radio or a $20 TV from China, or nothing at all...?

Doc.

mike4
09-27-2014, 11:40 PM
There is a possibility of many moving to India or Africa as those two have the prerequesite corrupt officials and cheap labour.

Most if not all corporations only care about returns to shareholders and corporate profits must be perpetually increasing as a result.

People and product quality dont matter as long as the boxes of crap are shipped out and bought by the sheeple.
Michael

QSIMDO
09-28-2014, 12:38 AM
Is it Iraqi Manufacturing decline or a fervent desire to participate in the modern world they see around them without personally possessing the technology?
Without a strong economy and a stable government they'll embrace whom/whatever fills the vacuum.
It's more then obvious they don't want to live on top of one another any longer in the medieval setting Radical Muslims would keep them.
I really didn't understand what that Marine was lamenting.

J. Randall
09-28-2014, 04:22 AM
Regardless of the political aspect of the region, the issue is one nearly every country has dealt with- China, too, believe it or not, has begun to "outsource" some production to places like India and Vietnam.

There's a trade off. Here in the US, over the years we lost plenty of things ourselves- steelmaking, for example. But we also gained inexpensive products that allow the Average American to enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.

In Iraq, what "local products" were lost? That's not a flippant question, what products id Iraquis make? There was no Iraqui auto industry (even in Hussein's time) and no local manufacture of computers, cell phones or DVD players. I don't think they had any heavy industry (steelmaking, aluminum smelting) or what might be called a strategic industry (machine tools, bearing manufacture, rare earths, etc.) Near as I know- and I'm open for correction- the only industry they had (at least, a product that got exported) was oil and, I think, dates.

As for not being able to 'fix' something, most of us can't fix our computers, apart from swapping a bad RAM stick or replacing a power supply. Almost none of us can fix an iPhone, and there's getting t be less and less in a modern car we can fix. So to be a bit on the flippant side this time, did the Iraquis trade the donkey cart made of an old truck axle for a new(er) Toyota Hilux? Yeah, the old farmer might have been able to fix the wagon with a bit of baling wire and a handful of grease, but was that better than having an actual pickup truck?

To paraphrase an old homily, can any of you still weave your own buggy whip or shoe your own horse anymore? Do you know the name of your local Pony Express rider? :D

Flippancy aside, the loss of some home-grown manufacture isn't always a bad thing, and often times, that 'cheap import crap' beats having nothing at all. How many of us here buy $10 AXA tool blocks from CDCO, instead of $50 or even $70 blocks from Dorian or Aloris? How many of us have an indexing head or a Spindex or a "Kurt style" mill vise, that came from China or Taiwan, because the "real thing" was far too expensive?

Most Iraquis live on about a buck-fifty a day. If the choice is a $5 radio or a $20 TV from China, or nothing at all...?

Doc.

I could still braid a whip if desired, I used to be quite good at it, and although I have not done it in 40 yrs., I could still shoe a horse if necessary. You don't forget those kind of skills.
James

burdickjp
09-28-2014, 10:58 AM
Something most people don't realize: while we get Chinese junk here, what they send to places like Iraq makes our junk look amazing. It really is JUNK. Harbor Freight wouldn't sell it.

As far as Iraqi manufacturing, I'm not sure what they're talking about. There were small things like bicycle shops or subsystem manufacturing. Maybe there was weapons manufacturing to support the Iraq-Iran war? I'm not sure.

flylo
09-28-2014, 12:19 PM
It all boils down to pure greed & companies looking at the next quarter instead of 10 & 20 years down the road. The Us would have a hard time if china cut off selling to us or pull their investments out of the USA or call our debts to them. Thru shortsightedness & greed we've put ourselves in a very bad spot.

iMisspell
09-28-2014, 03:55 PM
Something most people don't realize: while we get Chinese junk here, what they send to places like Iraq makes our junk look amazing. It really is JUNK. Harbor Freight wouldn't sell it.Two weeks ago a friend and me where talking and he said the same thing for Kenya (where he is from). If you buy a Chinese product in The States and buy the same product in Kenya there is a noticeable difference in quality. He said this is for everything (Chinese made): TV's to bathroom tile.
They get sold all the 'rejects', as he put it.

winchman
09-28-2014, 05:11 PM
I really didn't understand what that Marine was lamenting.

I think he's lamenting the fact that a large part of the population (especially those in what should be the prime of their lives) have no meaningful employment. That's never a good thing for a country.

TGTool
09-28-2014, 06:21 PM
I was talking with a woman a few years ago who had been to Ghana. She had sought out women's centers, had been invited into native ceremonies and was very much appreciative. But she was bemoaning the rate at which tradition is disappearing. People move from villages to the cities with mixed tribal identities and westernization and are getting homogenized. Why, she wondered? Why do they abandon long traditions?

Well, I grew up in Africa (a couple countries east) and have at least a modest insight. Traditional agricultural village life is HARD. It's work all day for very little security, rudimentary medical care, few creature comforts and at the same time you're confronted with magazines, radio, perhaps some contact with television or other video and it all shows how wonderful life is elsewhere. People have lots to eat, luxurious houses, lots of free time, etc. So it's no wonder people move to cities looking for that life.

But how do people, broadly speaking get to live higher on the scale? They'll never get there living the traditional way, tilling by hand or at most with an ox. Getting their tools from the village blacksmith who will make 25 traditional hoes in a day that a punch press could produce 20,000. It's precisely because of the ability to make cheap manufactured goods that we (and native Africans) can enjoy a higher standard of living than our ancestors. Of course we can bemoan the loss of old skills and traditions and we can chafe at the way accumulation of wealth distorts group decision making - democracy in the best sense. But there's no point in wishing or hoping to go back to a lifestyle of some period in the past where (we believe) the problems and inequities we see now didn't exist. The only reasonable approach is to use technology thoughtfully and try to address the problems it creates when they become clear.

So, the town in Iraq he referenced I'm sure faced the same choices and pressures. If income was decreased as a result of the disruptions of war, the only way to minimize the impact was to move towards goods and services that cost less in economic terms. It was a good news/bad news proposition but we all participate in it too.

boslab
09-28-2014, 06:48 PM
I certainly would not underestimate china having seen some, they have been increasing steel production by about 5 million tons a year, every year this last decade, that's one steel plant a year, hard to comprehend bringing one on each and every year, the Germans have been having a field day sending heavy components over like vacuum degassers and such like, US companies sending rolling mills, like Davy, cranes and gantries from Demag, their shopping list is incredible, we buy off them, but they buy from us, except they are bloody fussy customers, they will not accept crap, I think therein lies the difference
The problem for us is they have now got similar capacity to manufacture precision stuff as the US and Germany so the orders are harder to get, that's why companies are keen to open up there, they are naturally afraid if they don't they will get excluded.
Mark

Ries
09-28-2014, 07:13 PM
Here in the US, over the years we lost plenty of things ourselves- steelmaking, for example. But we also gained inexpensive products that allow the Average American to enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.

Doc.

This is a common belief, but its not true.
The USA today has MORE steel making capacity than we did fifty years ago.
We have the mills, if they all ran at capacity, to supply all our own needs, and export some as well.
Generally, in any given year, we import steel- but we dont have to.
We usually import cheap stuff- rebar, black pipe for plumbing, and small stuff.
We also import expensive stuff, which has a small enough market world wide that there is only one source- we bring in german and japanese die steels, for example, because the US market volume isnt enough to justify running a mill here.

But overall, we are close to self sufficient in steel, and we have gained, not lost, steel making capacity since world war 2.

Before the recession, in 2008, we were making right around 100 million tons a year in the USA. We could make more, if needed.
by 2013, we were back up to about 87 million tons per annum.

Interestingly enough, a good portion of US steel making capacity is foreign owned- the Chinese, the Indians, the Russians, and the Germans have all sunk billions and billions into new, US located steel mills in the last fifteen years or so.
US Steel, the company, invests little in improvements.
Nucor, which is the largest US steel maker by volume, does keep current with technology.

Doc Nickel
09-28-2014, 09:50 PM
It all boils down to pure greed & companies looking at the next quarter instead of 10 & 20 years down the road. The Us would have a hard time if china cut off selling to us or pull their investments out of the USA or call our debts to them.

-Greedy, short-sighted, successful. You may pick any two. :)

One: ALL companies are "greedy". Virtually every single company and corporation ever formed, was formed in order to make money. Kids open lemonade stands to make money, Oprah hosts a TV show to make money, Apple convinces you that you need a $600 toy in order to make a phone call... to make money.

Two: Short sightedness is self-correcting. The company goes out of business? Why is that a problem? Yes, it's a pity when we lose some companies; Kaiser-Fraser, Vise-Grip, South Bend. On the other hand, does anyone lament the loss of, say, WebVan, or Pets.Com? Radio Shack is failing badly at the moment, and if they close completely I shall regret it, but virtually everything they sell is available online.

Businesses fail all the time. It's the nature of business. Sears is circling the drain. Atari and Commodore died decades ago. Studebaker sold a quarter of a million trucks to the US Army during WW2, but were bankrupt and closed less than 20 years later. It happens.

Doc.

J Tiers
09-28-2014, 11:23 PM
if you don't understand what was being "bemoaned", you don't understand what is going on EVERYWHERE. It's just more noticeable in iraq, perhaps.

The whole idea of mass production has advantages, of course. It is efficient, a few people can make what it took thousands to do before. But there is a very significant downside as well. Efficiency is not everything, not by a long shot.

What do the "thousands" who used to work, but no longer have jobs DO? It;s all very well to suggest re-training, and all that guff, but the fact of the matter is that at the current rate, it won't be long before about one in 8 people will be able to have a job and get paid. Maybe 1 in 20..... depends on your assumptions.

The rest of the folks, without jobs, will be getting in trouble, fomenting revolutions, and basically being a problem. They will WANT to do something, but everyone cannot take in each other's washing.

Not only that. but what will they use for money to buy the mass produced products? No need for mass production if there are no customers.

This whole road is a trainwreck a-coming unless some changes are made. To use the current term, it is "unsustainable".

We could do very well with a little less "efficiency" and a bit more employment.

No need for the CEOs to make an average of 350 times the workers pay, either. Yeah, sure, it's "legal", which I suppose means it MUST be done..... But the real reason for corporations moving offshore for production, and "inverting" their headquarters to an offshore location is really not US taxes affecting the corporation itself.... it's the fact that the CEOs can make more salary if the workers are paid hardly anything, as it used to be in china etc.... that and the fact that corporate taxes are eating into money the CEOs would like to have for themselves.

Corporate management would like to avoid paying ANYONE. No workers means lower overhead, and more retained earnings for the CEOs to be paid out of.

US CEOs already make about double what the CEOs do in the next two highest paid countries, in terms of the difference between teh CEO pay and the worker pay.... 300 times in US, around 150 times in the others. meanwhile the population in the US (that's you) believes the number is about 40x.... not quite a 10:1 perception vs reality difference.

So, in practical terms, in Iraq, chinese goods displace what locals made as far as, for instance, household kitchen equipment, or clothing. Now the locals who made that stuff have nothing to do, and often cannot even repair the chinese stuff, since the materials are so different. It goes on like that.

You can have cell phones, and still use traditional local made cooking equipment, and wear traditional clothing, which is most likely the best suited to the local environment, anyhow.

it's also not necessarily the change itself, but the rapidity of it. When foreign-made stuff suddenly and totally displaces huge swaths of existing manufacture, instead of being added to it in a gradual change, there is no chance for anyone to adapt, it happens like a snap of the fingers.

And, of course, the adverse economic effects, plus the fact of it being foreign-made stuff, produces a backlash which plays right into the hands of the radicals, who are all for traditional everything... Their traditions, of course, but they would prefer to have the local tinsmith return to that work. So would the tinsmith...... so they get acceptance, for a while at least. Just long enough in all probability.

Meanwhile, the CEOs say "I'M all right, sure must suck to be YOU", and go about their business figuring they "have theirs" and everyone else can go hang. They do not see the folks with the torches and scythes, RPGs and Kalashnikovs.

This will not have a good ending, unless the goals of "efficiency" and "profit above all" are modified a bit. Not in Iraq, and not anywhere else. Particularly not in the US.

PStechPaul
09-29-2014, 12:25 AM
Another way to look at the situation is that we could theoretically eliminate unemployment by having everyone normally work a four day work week. Assuming all those jobs are actually needed for companies to operate (which is debatable), there would be 20% more job openings. Also, with 3 days a week for leisure, our happiness and perhaps mental health would be increased by 50%. We could also institute the European model of four or more weeks of vacation per year, instead of two, and this would result in 2/50 or 4% less unemployment. The idealistic goal of the industrial revolution was to eliminate most manual labor and dangerous jobs and allow people to have more free time, but capitalism and greed and dangling the carrot of ever-increasing material standards of living has kept people working 10 hours or more a day, 6 or 7 days a week, and spending more time in long stressful commutes. Also, most women are now also taking career jobs, and there are more single parent families which results in their need for "good" jobs.

I have some ideas on ways to deal with these problems, but this is not the place for that. I do agree that China is capable of much better quality than what we usually get at Harbor Freight and other such stores, and it seems like the quality is often decreasing compared to what it was 10 years ago as more stores (and eBay) compete with prices about the same and even less now than then.

Also, in reference to the OP, I have heard that the prevailing culture in Middle East countries is based strongly on their religion, which considers many Western values, including individual freedom and self-actualization, as evil. This was not as prevalent in Iraq as other countries, but now things are becoming dangerously unstable. We perceive things from a much different perspective, and most of the common folk in Iraq would probably rather return to their nomadic lives and be allowed to live in peace.

Sun God
09-29-2014, 12:38 AM
The whole idea of mass production has advantages, of course. It is efficient, a few people can make what it took thousands to do before. But there is a very significant downside as well. Efficiency is not everything, not by a long shot.

What do the "thousands" who used to work, but no longer have jobs DO? It;s all very well to suggest re-training, and all that guff, but the fact of the matter is that at the current rate, it won't be long before about one in 8 people will be able to have a job and get paid. Maybe 1 in 20..... depends on your assumptions.


Exactly. Just recently our local car-making industry finally 'died' after living off the government teat of massive subsidies for decades, all because a few thousand lost jobs is a bad news day for an incumbent government.

All the usual characters - politicians, unionists - came out saying the government needs to do something to ensure that the workers being retrenched are retrained (again, at the government teat no doubt).

My simple response is - retrained to do what?

Our economy consists primarily of agriculture, primary extractive industry, construction, and the services industry. Our economy is a net exporter of little more than one and two bedroom apartments to the Chinese. There simply isn't any jobs for those being pushed out of the manufacturing sector, to retrain into. The usual hollow, callow response is garbage like 'eco-tourism' and 'renewable energy'. But the numbers just aren't there, and the jobs aren't sustainable. You can't have a quarter of the country working in the tourism sector without the other two thirds of the country being on holiday :rolleyes:

As humans we have abstracted ourselves out of need for existence. The only solutions seem to be either massive depopulation (which has the corollary of a reduction of demand, further fueling the cycle), a reduction of living standards (wholly unpalatable in the west, even though they fail to understand that our living standards are dependent on the poverty of the rest of the world), or a return to an artisinal culture in the west (which is a concept and a sector, at least when it comes to food, that is bucking trends).

radkins
09-29-2014, 08:25 AM
http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=351979061&m=351979062

At about minute 3, this former Marine observes most goods found in Iraq prior to the war were manufactured locally and repaired locally. Now it's flooded with Chinese junk not worth fixing, putting craftsmen/repairmen out of work.

This post is not meant to overshadow the infinitely greater losses incurred by the war. Just an observation worth some thought.

-Roland



I have not been to Iraq but this post was very interesting so I called a family member that spent several years there from 2003 until just before the troop pull-out. In his opinion this is just a piece of Bush/War bashing and mostly nonsense, as others have asked just what the dickens did the Iraqi's manufacturer beside camel dung? They did have a lot of concrete plants and concrete products manufacturing but little else, sure they had small shops all over the place that did everything from metal goods to shoes and they manufactured some consumer goods such as some packaged food products but over-all Iraq's manufacturing capability was almost nonexistent when considering the types of products they are now importing from China.

J Tiers
09-29-2014, 08:43 AM
I have not been to Iraq but this post was very interesting so I called a family member that spent several years there from 2003 until just before the troop pull-out. In his opinion this is just a piece of Bush/War bashing and mostly nonsense, as others have asked just what the dickens did the Iraqi's manufacturer beside camel dung? They did have a lot of concrete plants and concrete products manufacturing but little else, sure they had small shops all over the place that did everything from metal goods to shoes and they manufactured some consumer goods such as some packaged food products but over-all Iraq's manufacturing capability was almost nonexistent when considering the types of products they are now importing from China.

But, they had what they NEEDED. And they had folks employed making it.

Don't get hung up on the idea that everyone needs a plant making microprocessors, and a huge steel industry, etc. "Industry" does not have to be like that. That's narrow-minded western thinking.

is a lot of that change consumer driven? Sure. But that occurred largely due to social upheaval and "invasion" of foreign goods once the area was discovered as a market, which occurred as a result of the invasion and war. In a natural situation, the change would have been more gradual, and a chance for adapting would have existed.

Industry wasn't like that here until the last 150 years, and even most of that time was nothing like it is now, where 10 people can make enough goods for 30,000 people in a week..

Think of how laughable it is to consider someone making products in his or her garage with the sort of tools we all have. No way for THAT to make money.... Now "products" come from far away place, like magic, and must be made by "professionals". Most have no idea how a product is made, they never worked in a factory, and know nobody who does or did. "Factories" need investment of huge capital to be "productive".

Yet 50 years ago, even 30 years ago,it was perfectly possible and was done on a daily basis. Companies were started and people made a living.

The real change was in the last maybe 40 years.

radkins
09-29-2014, 09:39 AM
But, they had what they NEEDED. And they had folks employed making it.

Sure they did but what was REPLACED by Chinese goods (or should that be "Bads" :))? It would seem that little was REPLACED by Chinese products but rather Chinese products were introduced where maybe there had been nothing before, to say Iraqi manufacturing capacity has been replaced seems like a stretch when they had little to begin with, things like the concrete plants would not be replaced and prepackaged foods would come from everywhere if indeed that part was replaced. So just what was it that they were manufacturing before that the Chinese have REPLACED? Probably some things but an entire industry that didn't even exist before the war????

J Tiers
09-29-2014, 08:56 PM
The things I mentioned earlier, and others like them. That's what.

TGTool
09-29-2014, 09:31 PM
Actually listening to the recording the OP linked to would sort out a good deal of the excess discussion. He mentions specifically clothing, furniture and Iraqi packaged foodstuffs in the market. Then he references the service people who repaired furniture and clothing. With cheap goods that can't be repaired these service people are also out of work. The houses were mud brick, but recent new construction incorporates brick and cement which also changes the general color cast of the town. There were no steel mills, stamping plants, glassworks or cement factories at this particular oasis near the Iranian border so we just don't know about those.

J Tiers
09-29-2014, 10:52 PM
Actually listening to the recording the OP linked to would sort out a good deal of the excess discussion. He mentions specifically clothing, furniture and Iraqi packaged foodstuffs in the market. Then he references the service people who repaired furniture and clothing. With cheap goods that can't be repaired these service people are also out of work. .....................

Yup................





So, in practical terms, in Iraq, chinese goods displace what locals made as far as, for instance, household kitchen equipment, or clothing. Now the locals who made that stuff have nothing to do, and often cannot even repair the chinese stuff, since the materials are so different. It goes on like that.

You can have cell phones, and still use traditional local made cooking equipment, and wear traditional clothing, which is most likely the best suited to the local environment, anyhow.

i

rmcphearson
09-30-2014, 06:14 PM
Is it Iraqi Manufacturing decline or a fervent desire to participate in the modern world they see around them without personally possessing the technology?
Without a strong economy and a stable government they'll embrace whom/whatever fills the vacuum.
It's more then obvious they don't want to live on top of one another any longer in the medieval setting Radical Muslims would keep them.
I really didn't understand what that Marine was lamenting.

I think he was lamenting that they are becoming more like us. We live in neighborhoods and don't know each other and don't know how to make/fix things. Not long ago I knocked on the door of every house in my neighborhood to warn them of burglars in the area... 90% of them did not open the door. I hired a carpenter for some renovations including a new side entrance door, told him about the very nice solid wood door w/windows I found for 1/3 the price of a pre-hung vinyl POS. He says he installed doors exclusively for several years and it's not a good idea to try to install a door that's not pre-hung... So I did it myself, right in front of his face while he did the other renovations.

Ok, rant over.

But you've made some good points which I can't disagree with.

Doc Nickel
10-01-2014, 04:35 AM
But, they had what they NEEDED. And they had folks employed making it.

Don't get hung up on the idea that everyone needs a plant making microprocessors, and a huge steel industry, etc. "Industry" does not have to be like that. That's narrow-minded western thinking.

-And it's equally narrow-minded thinking to ignore that this exact same thing happens constantly, and in virutally every reasonably industrial society.

There are very few people left alive that can, for example, understand and repair the old mechanical relay systems that formed the basis of the earliest telephone switching systems. There's few left today that can run a linotype-based printing press, or, for that matter, an iron casting foundry.

Advancing technologies virtually always eliminate jobs. That's the inherent nature of the technology- it's almost always some sort of labor-saving device or automation, designed to make some task easier.

One turret lathe took the place of three or four men on individual machines. One CNC took the place of a dozen (or more) specialty machines. Those old photos of literally warehouses full of thousands of mills and lathes all whirring away? Now two or three CNC machines can take the place of all those men. What used to be done by hundreds, is now done by three, maybe four.

We no longer have fleets of trucks and thousands of men with shovels bringing coal to individual homes. We no longer have fleets of trucks and hundreds of men harvesting blocks of ice and bringing them to individual homes.

When the natural gas industry plumbed that neighborhood for heat, did they somehow "owe" a replacement job or living to the coal men? Did Frigidaire have to find alternate jobs for the ice men?

In Iraq, now somebody can buy an off-the-shelf saucepan rather than waiting for some local "artisan" to beat one out of an old truck hood. Women can buy yards of readymade cloth rather than waiting for locals to weave it themselves. yes, some things are "lost" in the transition- they always are- but generally speaking, it's called "progress".

Doc.

Seastar
10-01-2014, 10:46 AM
I subscribe to Docs way of thinking a lot more than JTs.
But then I always do.
Bill

Alistair Hosie
10-01-2014, 04:22 PM
I wholeheartedly agre with ts tech paul.The fact is we have unemployed in high numbers getting state benefits and others paying them these benfits through their own labours. Why not get seriously down with the idea of a four day week for most people. That would instantly cut down a lot of peoples stress and anxiety tiredness etc as well, and therefore, also as a by-product reduce the need people have for self medicating, with drug taking, drink taking, and make for a fairer society for all .Most people could then work four days instead of five days+ and live better happier lives.Working five days a week is really too much imho . Especially with the pace of modern day working.
Being out of work also brings misery, and depression. Especially hard for the young.
Here in the uk young people are expected to work sometimes for free, just for the experience and many do just that so that they can write on their c,v's that they have some limited experience with whatever they have done..Most imho have no bright future to look forward to and we i.e. our older generation had it very lucky in comparison to them .When I left school back in the mid sixties for example we had jobs a plenty and could really plan to buy a house a car furniture etc etc nowadays all thet has gone,with young and old people working for six pounds an hour,This does not stretch to see them through to the end of the week and if they get married and have kids it is not nearly enough to survive on and they have to go back to the government with cap in hand and like oliver twist ask for a little more.The or our politicians would never dream of working themselves for such a pittance.Petrol /gasoline is more per gallon than that, If only the young could afford a car.Tony blair encouraged all the kids to go to university so that they could get into massive debt.But as he said to the yound people when he was in power anyone with a degree will earn so much money they will pay back their student loans very easily often more than thirty thousand pounds sterling plus.The truth turned out to be very different actually most of them work still in jobs crap jobs paying six pounds and hour im macdonalds for example .That is if you are lucky to get those jobs and most are not so lucky.
People (I personally know of cases) turn up and start up there machines work away and someone comes along later and says, sorry we won't need you tonight.They have to pack up and make their own way home and they get not a penny on those days. Something is very sadly wrong with our society.Aprenticeships are virtually non existant for most,the few aprenticeships places are usually kept for those with parental clout,I don't know what it's like in the USA but here it is very hard especially my heart goes out as said to the young as I already have a nice car and a house don't get me wrong Bron and I had to work very hard for those things but we would stand no chance nowadays. sorry for the pitiful almost tearful rant.Alistair

PStechPaul
10-01-2014, 06:20 PM
Along with something like the 4 day work week, there needs to be a way for people to afford to live comfortably on 20% less. My vision for that, locally, is an intentional community where resources and responsibilities can be shared. Some people, especially recent immigrants, already do that by sharing a house with five or six others, and even on minimum wage they are able to save money and even send some home to their less fortunate relatives. There are already many such intentional communities, but they are often impractical idealistic "back to nature" ventures and often fail because of drug abuse and unwillingness to provide a fair share of labor, and other problems. Yet there are some that continue to thrive even 40 years after their formation.

My concept is fundamentally different in that it embraces technology and teaches it as ways to live efficiently and attain sustainable existence with principles such as permaculture and renewable energy projects. I intend to open the community to students who may use it as inexpensive off-campus housing as well as participate in such projects, perhaps as part of their environmental studies program. It may also be an alternative for seniors who may find it more stimulating and healthier than typical retirement communities. And it will also stand as an example of how others, in other locations, may build similar communities with the advantages that I hope will be demonstrated.

It will definitely offer facilities for a machine shop, auto shop, woodshop, and electronics, as well as other opportunities to learn valuable skills, provide for the community's maintenance, and function as a service to the "outside community". My concept is known as New Koinonia (http://www.newkoinonia.com).

J Tiers
10-01-2014, 09:51 PM
-And it's equally narrow-minded thinking to ignore that this exact same thing happens constantly, and in virutally every reasonably industrial society.

There are very few people left alive that can, for example, understand and repair the old mechanical relay systems that formed the basis of the earliest telephone switching systems. There's few left today that can run a linotype-based printing press, or, for that matter, an iron casting foundry.

Advancing technologies virtually always eliminate jobs. That's the inherent nature of the technology- it's almost always some sort of labor-saving device or automation, designed to make some task easier.

Women can buy yards of readymade cloth rather than waiting for locals to weave it themselves. yes, some things are "lost" in the transition- they always are- but generally speaking, it's called "progress".

Doc.

It is hardly tech advances when the main advantage a particular source (china) has is that the labor is entirely "free", as in zero cost to the end user... so far "down in the noise" that it is irrelevant, even if a number could be calculated.

And that is what china had.... Not so much now, but 15 years ago it was still true.

Far from tech advances, the total advantage china had was that they could do labor-intensive production cheap, because labor was free. They used 1930s technology, even 1890s technology, but it was CHEAP for them, labor was free. if it took 10 guys to do the job of one, no problem, the whole lot is still paid nothing you'd notice.

Then also, they could afford to make the international exchange rate one-sided, with them ALWAYS cheaper. Money was worth whatever the leaders said it was worth....

Now, that sort of totally distorted economic situation is unsustainable. But while it lasts, it throws everything out of kilter. As we see now.... Stuff is cheap, but nobody can afford it since they are no longer working for a living, their job went to 10 chinese who as a group were paid 5% of the displaced worker's pay, and he was paid minimum wage.....

As with us, now with Iraq.... fomenting economic instability, and with it social unrest. Just as it has here.....

But of course you think that is tech advances and the triumph of mechanics over buggy whip makers? Wow..... that's a very strange planet you are on!

Alistair Hosie
10-02-2014, 08:04 AM
The two B'S Bush and Blair, and associated politicians ,who were desperate to take out Sadam so desperate in fact the did so on a spurious bunch of lies one after another.When Bush talked of Mushroom clouds(all lies) and blair talked of abilties Iraq had of bombing Britain within forty five minutes ( once again you've guessed it all lies).In fact despite experts telling them they were completely and utterly wrong , they still were so determined, that they went a head at great cost in terms of human life and associated misery . Blair still refuses to admit he was wrong even when he was proven wrong the minute we arrived there.
Hundreds of thousand of human beings were destroyed many of whom were children they still are day by day today and yesterday .I still think we would have been better leaving Saddam in power as bad a dictator as when he was in power, (as bad as we knew he was) they had what WE removed from the iraqi people.I.E. the complete infrastucture Bridges, Schools, Universities for women and men, Clean Water, Food,Hospitals, Medicines, as well as Roads in fact everything we take for granted as normal human beings in our own towns and cities in order to exist/function normally.
It is very important to remind ourselves ( even more importantly) that all of the worlds real experts warned us that if we took ot Sadam we would end up with a nightmare of chaos killings and murders.We (or they )were told then by those experts that all of what actually has now turned out to be what is happening now would come to fruition BIG TIME .
And it has we now have all of the various tribal parties fighting each other ( as we were warned would take place)to take over and we still are making decisions which turn out to have very fatal consequences even today.I repeat we were all warned USA and Britain through mr Bush and herr blair. W e therefore have only ourselves to blaim this was openly reported and not a secret .We went in to a land led by an evil dictator, of which there are very many more we do not take on militarily .I.E. China North Korea.Turkey Russia . etc etc in fact many bad dictators we choose to ignore.And still we do not learn we always get involved with these well known dictators remember Saddam was our friend at one time.Now we arm rebels in Iraq and their own army who we also aid with weapons of mass destruction,and they just run away from their posts, leaving these weapons we supplied to be collected for free and used eventually against us in any way they can.Cleverly worked out or what? we need to stop meddling in the affairs of others ,sorry thats what many people understand and proclaim . Especially when we time after time make very messy blunders such as these remember agent orange the American vets have and are still being screwed and ignored over tha.Another stupid war..As far as air strikes are concerned in Iraq and even Syria , well they seem to be hitting isis ver badly, and they do not like it one bit.
As fas as boots on the ground is concerned I say this we spent billions of dollars on equipping the Iraqi military and also our experts stayed behind for years training their vast army( I have heard they have around a million strong army.Despite our efforts to train them well , then when confronted with small pockets of resistence they run away time after time.Yet those who run away themselves would like our children as now grown soldiers to come back and do it, i e the fighting and dirty work
for them.
It beggers belief! it could be written as a hilarrios monty python sketch it is that rediculous.I and many here now say never again keep out of the affairs of other especially when the contravene the international law .I also say spend the money on our own reducing (in the uk at least ) food banks for millions of deperately poor people. We (OR OUR GOVERMENTS) have made and continue to make a righ royal muck up of the whole sheebang hook line and sinker.It is really very sad when you think of the disposessed and dead and dying left to suffer from our mistakes .Where are Blair and Bush now
( Answer) well out of harms way as they always have been.
Blair who started out taking on a mortgage for a million pound property and was asked how he could then afford it is now worth over a hundred million pounds, and Mr bush is now worth billions .What a sad set of affairs actually when you look back many of our leaders have made a lot of money from wars they exposed us and ours directly too while their own were very well shielded as was the case with most political leaders at that time as has always been the case when you look through other wars in the past did any of them do some good? well actually when you weigh it all up it brought poor people normal ordinary people nothing but misery.
Time after time this has been the result of wars, and yet we still allow them to do it to us, despite here in the uk two million people took to the streets to register their deep protest at this. Alistair

Rustybolt
10-02-2014, 09:48 AM
It all boils down to pure greed & companies looking at the next quarter instead of 10 & 20 years down the road.

As an investor I kinda depend on greed. As an employee, my bosses greed keeps me employed. Most companies endeavor to keep their eye on the long haul. It's why they're in business. Most people don't get into a business just to leave it. Unless you're Solyndra. Greed is the invisible hand that drives ALL market economies.
We have had a global economy since the Dutch discovered the island from which pepper originated. Sometime in the late 1500s.

mike4
10-02-2014, 06:52 PM
Well put Alistair, there are many who want to put our type of society into other countries without thinking of the long term consequences.

As you said quite often removing the controlling party can create a vacuum which can have very undesirable results as we are now experiencing , this also allows our governments to reduce our freedom in the name of security.

Its just a society headed by arrogant out of touch people with the " we must rule " attitude , not much better than those dictators we are all told to despise .

Michael

radkins
10-03-2014, 06:00 AM
Well put indeed! I was one who fell for the BS that Bush&company spewed, all the WMD and the mythical capabilities to produce WMD. I remember saying to my wife on the day of the invasion "This is necessary or at least I think it is" but I was already having doubts after hearing/reading from those who were warning us. In short order it was apparent that there were no WMDs and even if there had of been and they were hidden or removed prior to the invasion, as those who will not admit they were wrong will claim, it is obvious this war was unjustified for those reasons. The fact is we were told the war was to "Disarm" Iraq but after no arms could be found this was quickly morphed into "removing a ruthless dictator" as the main reason for invasion, no WMDs were found but even more importantly and often ignored was the fact that no WMD manufacturing capabilities were uncovered. It was these so-called manufacturing capabilities, chemical, nuclear and biological, that was the main push leading up to the war so even if evidence had of been uncovered that some WMD had been hidden or moved that still does not justify what we were told because those factories were simply not there nor ever were there, at least not after the first war and even before they were not nearly on the scale we were told they were. The bottom line is we very clearly were either lied to or we mistakenly went to war based on faulty information but either way it is simply inexcusable!

Alistair Hosie
10-03-2014, 09:30 AM
Well said you both and thanks for backing my words on the matter,I suspect the new leaders wil not find us so easy to listen to them According to international we all signed up to we are not allowed to inmvade a country for the following reasons
1 that country must invade another country or
2 invade your country or
3 imenently about to invade your country.
And neither of these conditions applied hence we acted out with the international laws we signed up to This is not an anti American post. We here in the uk, or our politicians ,used every dirty trick in the book to go to war with Iraq, inc repetative lying and ignoring the wishes of thevast vast majority people who elected them , as we did not want to get involved with this.Ask anyone from the uk what they think of Mr Blair or indeed Mr bush. Alistair

Alistair Hosie
10-03-2014, 09:31 AM
Well said you both and thanks for backing my words on the matter,I suspect the new leaders wil not find us so easy to listen to them According to international we all signed up to we are not allowed to inmvade a country for the following reasons
1 that country must invade another country or
2 invade your country or
3 imenently about to invade your country.
And neither of these conditions applied hence we acted out with the international laws we signed up to This is not an anti American post. We here in the uk, or our politicians ,used every dirty trick in the book to go to war with Iraq, inc repetative lying and ignoring the wishes of thevast vast majority people who elected them , as we did not want to get involved with this.Ask anyone from the uk what they think of Mr Blair or indeed Mr bush. Alistair

rmcphearson
10-03-2014, 04:48 PM
Resisting the urge to comment due to the "no politics" rule... Ok I can't take it any longer.

If you havn't read Hubris, I urge you to do so. If you're angry about the deceit, wait till you examine the colossal incompetence. By the way, the real reason for the invasion (no, it's not oil) is plainly spelled out on pages 115-117.

I have nothing but respect and sadness for those who sacrificed for our countries.

Alistair Hosie
10-04-2014, 04:04 AM
well said my friend it should always be so.


I have nothing but respect and sadness for those who sacrificed for our countries.

Last edited by rmcphearson; Yesterday at 09:55 PM.