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Thread: Interesting Commentary

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    Huntsville Ala
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    Post Interesting Commentary

    My old computor died and I had to get a new one yesterday. This new one (Compaq) had Yahoo set up as a default homepage, so I went ahead and registered. On the registration form one entry was my occupation, which listed about 12-15 choices. The interesting thing is that none of the choices included 'Manufacturing'. Except for agriculture and aerospace and military all the rest were 'services'. I'm not sure this bodes well for our long term future economic welfare.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    400

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    Lynn,

    I have probably told this tale before. About 25 years ago while shopping in a tool supply firm I spotted some micrometers of unfamiliar appearance in the showcase. I asked the clerk about them and was told that they were of Chinese origin and very inexpensive. A Chinese man standing next to me turned and said, I worked in the factory where they were made. We conversed a bit and he told me that his salary in China was the equivalent of $20 per week. Afterwards I remember pondering this question, "How will we ever compete with them?"

    Last week I received two more notices of local shops being auctioned in the SF bay area. This makes 38 shops that have been auctioned off this year. Last year I believe approximately 50 or 60 shops were lost in this area. I guess that is the answer to my question.

    I introduced my son to the machinist trade-----now I know how the old buggywhip maker must have felt when he saw the first automobile.

    You are correct---"it does not bode well"

    Oscar
    O

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    180

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    People on this continent have never been the cheapest, but they have survived by supplying things that were needed, at a price people would pay. We have done a fair job concieving & building the best products in the world, when we can agree on what that is. Today most investment goes to Red China because they can offer a better return on investmment(short term). 50 years ago we supplied techological aid to the Imperial Japanese Empire, along with oil, scrap metal & investment capitol. They just sort of had this fetish about dominating Asia. When things got out hand it got expensive, but we paid the price in the end. Today Red Chinese goods represent an incredible short term bargan. Of course the organizations that make them are sort of quasi-military & also make similar goods for the Peoples Liberation Army (an interesting play on words). They are governed by a small minority of party members & a politbureau. They feel a breakaway province (Taiwan) is a mortal threat because it has an elected government. They also have sort of a heavy handed way of dealing with unpleasant people (Tianamen Square, our EP-3 intelligence plane, etc.) As long as we keep investing in the cheapest products, instead of the best that we can make, North America can't compete. We certainly can't if we sell the best technolgy & build factories in Red China instead of at home. Nafta doesn't seem so bad now that the alternative seems to be building up Norinco. Couple that with a Red Chinese military that openly publishs about waging total unconventional war against us, covertly tries to buy presidential elections, and expands their capabilities by 10's of percent per year and we have a mortal problem. We managed to compete in the past with a minimum of Govt. red tape, and a lot of vision to invent & produce best of things. If other people made them cheaper later, we were already on another generation ahead of them. We still have a fair chance if we do that.

  4. #4
    jfsmith Guest

    Thumbs up

    My father gave me his pre WW II Sears Craftsman 1/2 driver set, there are a lot of sockets in this set. We all know that Sears has a free replacement policy, but none of the pieces of this set has never broken, deformed or been damaged. Some of the things that I added in the last few years have worn out, or broken and Sears has replaced them. The price you pay Sears seems to include the cost of replacement for a percentage of the product sold.

    About 13 years ago, I worked on a research project that we needed a fitting extractor made,looked in the yellow pages for machinist, most wanted to make more than one or wanted us to give them a standing order for several over the year. I found this really nice older gentleman near the university and his shop had equipment from a by gone era. He said he didn't know what it would cost, but he would try to keep the price reasonable.
    This extrator is a backwards and reverse threaded tool. He made his designs and jigs and call me up and said the price would $125 for the first one and about $35 for each one after that. So I ordered 6 of them. The next time needed a few of these, I brought over a 20 pound bag of cat food for the shop cats. How long would it take a Chinese shop to make these and get them delivered?

    A good machinist is worth his weight in gold, even single malt Scotch, when you need one.


    Jerry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    I live in Tunnel Hill Georgia, close to Dalton georgia. They send thier Company truckdrivers to Mexico to put handbills on telephone poles describing the fantastic jobs and living conditions in Dalton Georgia, America.

    Now that is the old addage, if you can't bring muhammed to the mountain, bring the mountain to muhammed?

    These imported people get away working illegal via the temporary services. Then they do get arrested, the temp service people go to jail, the service opens right back up with new people. The mill owners continue to get rich.

    Ohh and by the way, they pay mexicans more on the hour for unskilled labor. They work harder then white people. I am starting to see them set up as supervisors and electricians in the mills. To get advancement you have to speak both languages.

    Who else wants these labor type jobs? well I don't.

    Anybody that wants to work and support thier family has my respect.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    52N 122W Western Kanuckistan
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    CrossThreaded,

    You shoudn't have mentioned NAFTA. The USA is SCREWING Canada on the matter of lumber exports mainly because the US mills can't figure out how to automate their systems. We have the most efficient logging and milling operations in the world and the US can't compete because they haven't modernised. We have WI-FI systems on the faller-bunchers that send data to the mill as the tree falls down that tells them exactly what the log inventory is this minute. The guys that work in the mill (my son-in-law) pull a joy stick all day instead of putting themselves in harms way. Our mills have been updated on a regular basis to the latest and best tech. The USA still has guys pulling boards off the green chain without hard hats or boots.

    We in Canada are really, really pissed that the USA solution to this "problem" in the USA is to **** over Canada with a bought and paid for political solution instead of pulling up your pants and trying to compete on a level field. My livelyhood and the economy of the town I live in has been severely damaged over the last two years by the USA's unjustified trade action which is completely attributable to the action of the corrupt US government as influenced by the big business interests that own it. Rant NOT over.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Origin now settable to bottom left! All values positive. Click Here

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    On the Oil Coast,USA
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    Evan,I do work for mills in which the wood never sees a human hand until somebody at Homedepot buys it,we are not screwing Canada on timber we are only taking back our share of our market that was lost when the Clinton regiem waged war on our timber industry,I haven't seen anybody pull a green chain or tail a carriage in at least ten years since my dad quit.Most automated mills use an optimizing system based on computers especially on framing lumber,this explains the sh--y lumber you get these days.We down here in the south are also getting screwed because our #1clear and #2 syp get shipped all over the world and we get stuck with the crap.
    I just need one more tool,just one!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    I would also point out that automation is the new enemy,a certain level of ineffeciency means everybody has a job,which means everybody has money,builds houses,buys cars,etc,etc.What we are heading to is a world where we will have a few high tech jobs that would pay well except for having to support the unemployed masses and the slack generated by the service industry.So get ready practice daily so you get it right-"sir do you want frys with that"?Unfortunately thats what most of our grads have to look foward to,I personally dropped out of high school,got tired of being brain washed about education is everything,you must have a college education to suceed-B.S.I had twenty seven fellow students in my senior class,I dropped out along with two others,today all 24 of the remainder are college educated and working either at fast food or Walmart.Myself I am starting my own shop,my buddy that dropped out with me has a get this-commercial lawn care business that nets him$120,000 a year,the other one became a river pilot and ain't doing bad either.It seems more and more everyday that we were the smart ones in class and the dummys went to college,which would you rather be a minimum wage hamburger flipper or a minimum wage computer science type?I don't know about you but the burger guy has to put up with less crap.Oddly enough when I dropped out my dad supported me,he pushed main frames for 42 years and got s--- on by the company,he also saw the way things were going with labor,the company was constantly looking for more ways to make people jump through hoops,things like being politically correct.I think the Terminator movies have it almost right,the machines will take over,but they won't need an atomic bomb to do it,they will instead have all the jobs and starve us to death
    I just need one more tool,just one!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Well I don't know much about the lumber industry these days, but I went to Home Depot and bought a 4' long 1x6 and it was proudly labeled "Made in Sweden", Yes, Sweden. I can't believe that we can import lumber from Europe cheaper than we can produce it someplace here on the continent.

    Bernard

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    52N 122W Western Kanuckistan
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    Weird,

    All I can say on the lumber problem is to watch how the decisions go in the next few days. The NAFTA panel was supposed to rule on last Thursday about the "dumping duty" but that was put off due to lobbying by the US forest interests. Reason? They will lose, again. The longer they put it off the more money they can suck out of Canada. If they lose, and they will, they are supposed to pay it back. I'm not holding my breath.

    When the USA imposed tarrifs two years ago it was very carfully structured so as to impose maximum hardship on Canadian owned mills. The tarrif, totalling on average 33% is collected at the border and, get this, is not paid to the US government. It is paid to the US forest companies. That means that the mills here in Canada that are US owned are not harmed since they are paying the duties to themselves. This is a blatant attempt by US big business to take over our forest industry. The US forest companies are not even trying to hide this as they don't care less who knows. One week after the duties were imposed West Fraser Timber, a wholly US owned company, offered to buy Slocan Forest Products, a wholly Canadian company, at half market evaluation.

    The USA has imposed duties on wood products that have no reasonable equivalent grown in the US such as Western Red Cedar, which only grows on the west coast of British Columbia. The GATT and NAFTA do NOT make provision for or allow duties to be imposed to encourage consumers to switch to a different product. We have currently approx 70% unemployment in the forest industry here. People are hurting badly.

    The US will again be found to be unjustified in this latest action against the working people of Canada as they have, without exception, for the last 70 years. In the meantime, since the process takes years, people here are losing all they have, just to line the pockets of a few already wealthy fat cats and thier corrupt sock puppet politicians. Am I bitter? YES!
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Origin now settable to bottom left! All values positive. Click Here

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