Fewer American-made tools - yet another downside to illegal immigration and workers in the USA?

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I am starting a DYI home-improvement project and I notice that few power or hand tools are made in the USA. Even most of the Craftsman brand tools are made in the USA. Some are made in Taiwan (a democracy I have no problem doing business with) and Red China (perhaps I should call them Fascist China, a country where the factories are owned by the state and staffed with slave labor).
Almost everything in Harbor Freight (except for the reconditioned DeWalt tools) is from China. The stuff is garbage and usually dies after a short period of time. Grinders and drills come with extra electric motor brushes which almost always get lost by the time you need them - and you will. HF always tries to sell you an extended warranty program, and most people I know don't buy them - even though for all intents and purposes, if you buy the EW, you can bring back the tool and swap it for a new one anytime the older one doesn't work. So other than the time you lose always gong to HF to exchange tools, that does seem like a good deal. How can American companies compete with that?
But I was talking to two buddies of mine and then mentioned something about the construction trades which made me wonder if any more tools are going to be made in the USA?
One guy works as a stone mason and he is finding it harder and harder to find American made tools of his trade in the stores. The Chinese-made crap (his words) are cheaply made, don't hold up to continued professional work, rivets pop, everything rusts unless you soak it in oil (which is not good for the mortar or cement, mason's hoes break after one use, etc.
The other guy runs a catering truck that runs around to construction sites. He says that, except for the licensed trades (electricians and who are mostly younger white guys), the plumber (who are mostly older white guys) and the bricklayers (who are mostly African American) - everybody else is Mexican and they almost only speak Spanish and need a bi-lingual supervisor on the job. This supervisor - who is not dressed out for work - usually stands around talking on his cell phone, looking at his steel and gold Rolex watch - is a white guy.
Well - the real question is - are any of the largely illegal immigrant construction workers buying quality American-made tools, or are they spending as little money as possible on tools as they might either get them stolen from a job site, or because they might get deported at any time and don't want to have any more money invested in tools than absolutely necessary?
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On Wed, 12 Jan 2005 18:50:02 +0000, USENET READER wrote:

And I'm sure your people just sprung up out of the ground? Are you American Indian? It's nice that your trying to pin the quality/manufacturing of these tools an illegal immigrants. All these "mexicans" are doing is buying what they can afford. You and your friends should be pissed at the contractors who are *Hiring* these laborers. They hire these people because they are cheaper, non-union and they are disposable.
The real problems are the corporations that are dismantling the American economy factory by factory and selling the machinery and technology to "Red China". Wal-Mart is the largest of the leaders in this new movement: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/
So I suggest that you stop trolling and watch the above line and learn something........
--
Yard Works Gardening Co.
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Black & Decker actually makes drills and some other handtools at a factory in Fayetteville....but some product lines are moving to Mexico this year.
and Kennametal in Asheboro makes metal cutting bits.
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No - my family immigrated to this country legally - half through Ellis Island and the other half through other legal ports.
And actually - I know a shitload more about politics in general and this issue in particular than you probably do. So you can take your advice to watch and learn and stick it!
Of course I blame the contractors who hire the illegals. I also blame all the other managers and owners of other business who hire illegals for less money than they pay citizens and legal immigrants. And I blame the politicans who get bribed to look the other way when they take money from these businesses and also from right-wing foundations to study market-based solutions to public policy issues.
Timothy wrote:

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On Thu, 13 Jan 2005 22:08:20 GMT, USENET READER

Do you also blame the customer who looks for the lowest price?
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Tom Disque wrote:

It depends on circumstances - who they are and what they are buying? Lower prices do not always save someone money in the long run. Al things are not equal. If you buy a lower price good that is a piece of crap that falls apart and you have to go back and buy another, then you haven't saved money have you? Had you purchased the higher-priced quality good, you would still be using it now. You wouldn't have had to make two trips to the store, burned the gas, etc - to buy the item twice.
When you buy crap at Wal Mart, you end up putting more money into the pockets of a large corporation that gets tax breaks that aren't given to smaller businesses that probably take better care of their employees. Even the Wal Mart distribution center in Henderson gets tax breaks that were never given to Roses and Roses was home based in Henderson. The lower prices you pay at Wal Mart and other big box stores comes at the price of you having to pay higher and higher taxes to make up for what Wal Mart doesn't pay in taxes as well as the lack of benefits that causes Wal Mart employees to go to hospital emergency rooms that you end up having to pay for.
Then there is the issue of your spending the money on the cheaper made item - even if the quality is the same as a more expensive good. Your purchases of those goods will eventually lead to more Americans losing their jobs, and you having to pay higher taxes to make up for what they don't pay because they aren't working, or are underemployed.
Sometimes paying more for a product from a Mom and Pop store is cheaper in the long run than paying a lower price with respect to what you have to make up for in higher taxes.
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On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 02:06:01 GMT, USENET READER

[snip]

[snip]
Those brave union workers who put their lives and jobs on the line are not the same people as the fat lazy and corrupt union workers who strangle productivity because of stupid labor rules.
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Tom Disque wrote:

What stupid labor rules are you referring to? Those rules are simply a contract to deliver labor to management in a specific way. Instead of management telling you what to do and how to do it and you having no say other than to quit if you don't like it, labor and management negotiates the rules by which the work gets done.
It's like delivering any other service - you just don't like the fact that these workers have rights that you don't have. Are you envious or jealous? why not admit it instead of calling these workers names because you can't handle it?
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On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 08:08:57 GMT, USENET READER

I simply cut 'n' pasted what you and Oscar said and pasted them together, to emphasize that you aren't talking about the same people. Did you not notice the exact same wording, or do you not read what you write?
I DO think it is ridiculous to require a union electrician to plug in equipment, though.
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Tom Disque wrote:

Depends on where you are plugging stuff into and what else is plugged into that circuit?
I work in photography and when I go up to NYC to photograph a dancer in a Broadway show (as I did last summer), I can't just plug into any old wall outlet. I don't know what the outlet is rated for, what else is plugged in there, etc. So I get a union guy to do it. He or she is responsible for knowing the condition of the electrical capacity in the building or theater. He comes and checks out my equipment, makes sure it isn't gonna blow up their electrical outlets or in any way keep them from putting on a show. He knows if the outlet is live and if not, how to turn it on. He knowns if it is switched off for a reason - it needs to be repaired or perhaps other things are plugged into it and need to be switched on and off for the show.
There are all sorts of pratical reasons why you need a union electrician to do that work - would you want to plug in some cheap-assed made in China electrical device and blow out an entire electrical panel and keep a Broadway show from starting on time?
I know also that when my grandmother was n a nursing home, you couldn't plug in any electrical devices into the wall without first having them checked out by the custodial staff. You wouldn't want someone plugging in some crappy old non-grounded lamp and tripping the breakers and grandma's O2 generator goes out - would you?
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On Sat, 22 Jan 2005 20:14:32 GMT, USENET READER

You make some good points that I had not considered.
I've really got no dog in this fight. I think both of you are partly correct. I know full well that I would not enjoy the benefits that I have if it were not for the union organizers of yesteryear. I also know that the demands of some unions became excessive in the 60s and 70s, and that some unions at certain points in time were infested by the mob.
Mostly, I wanted to point out to the two of you that you were comparing apples and oranges. The people who started the unions are not the same people (or even the same quality of people) who run the unions today.
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Like what? It's a false dichotomy. You don't need a *union* guy to do that -- you need a *qualified* guy to do that. The "union" guy may be *more* likely to have BS certification for all you know. You know, get passed along by the bureaucracy like in a public school?
It's a similar thing for doctors and lawyers. I'm not against their certification, I'm against the monopoly in deciding who gets to practice medicine or law at all.
--Ted
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Interesting. How could the monopoly be eliminated and allow unbiased certification.

--
Wes Dukes (wdukes.pobox@com) Swap the . and the @ to email me please.

snipped-for-privacy@www.spam.com is a garbage address.
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Reputation. A medical standards group that racks up a lot of bozos with malpractice suits is dead in the water. Right now, the system is not only biased, there's not much feedback.
There's no shortage of certification systems in the private market. A bachelors degree in engineering from an *accredited* university is also a form accredation. Microsoft does a lot too, as does the Red Cross for lifeguards.
Hey, I used to be a lifeguard!
And you don't always need a formal education. Dweezil did not need a *union* electrician, he just needed an electrician. How he fobbed that off is beyond me, especially with most localities requiring electricians to be licensed to boot. Disingenuous...
--Ted
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Edward M. Kennedy wrote:

You raise an interesting point. The problem is that those certifications and degrees cost money out front before you even get a job that might not be there when you graduate.
One of the things that a union has done in the past is to have a system for new workers to come into a system as a helper or apprentice and work and learn at the same time, until they passed some sort of certification. And they didn't have to take out loans or pay someone to teach them - they learned on the job while they were getting paid. And while they were learning, they had job protection. What could possibly be wrong with that?

One way to earn that certification or license is to work with a qualified person for a certain period of time and then pass a test. What problem could you possibly have with that? I mean - a person who has a license and is certified and properly trained will probably wire your house better than a guy who never took a class, never worked alongside a certified electrician, never apprenticed, etc.
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If you can't hold a job and earn certifications from Microsoft at the same time, you aren't very employable to begin with.
"Would you like to supersize that?" And don't leave the nest until you can fly.

Nothing. The false dichotomy (again) is that you need a union to have apprenticeships. Many, many professions have some form of this.
--Ted
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Edward M. Kennedy wrote:

Sorry - many people who work today have to work long and hard hours and their lives aren't their own. Most people have to not only get this certification apart from work, but they also have to pay for it on their own too! Someone who is told that they have to work tonight (when they should be going to their certification class) or they don't have to come in the next day has a tough choice to make. Getting your certification on the job is so much better.
And it's tougher to pay for that very expensive certification if you don't have a job - that is some expensive shit! You can't even get the State to pay for it in a reasonable period of time - let's say taking classes at the McKimmon Center - because the classes are so much more expensive than at Wake Tech - where it will take a lot longer to complete the course work.

Since few employees have the bargaining strength these days (relative to their employers) to negotiate for paid on the job training, unions do help with that. Name me a profession that isn't unionized that have apprenticeships? And don't say medicine, because that is apples and oranges.
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USENET READER wrote:

Two - though their apprenticeships aren't formal training. - electronic technicians - machinery mechanics. (They instead depend upon years of exposure to different types of malfunctioning "gear", including poorly-written software.)
No training classes can prepare these individuals for what they may encounter. In fact, both are similar in a lot of ways to your "medicine" example, where diagnostic skills can come only from lengthy exposure/experience.
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Crime me an anecdotal river.

For *you*.

Firmly grasping the obvious...

...until now. Software certification is free/cheap.

GOOD!
Plenty of employers *do* offer it if it is related to work. Care to back up your implied (sneaky, aren't we?) claim that few employees have access to on the job training?

If you say so. Ironically, computers were the classic type of learn-as-you-go work, though not as much now. Just about every type of construction effectively works that way. You don't take carpentry classes. You start as a helper. Same for aliminum siding, roofing, sheetrock, etc. Electricians do the formal version even where their aren't unions.
Lawyers, engineers, brokers, etc. start in junior positions. Management in general is trains & grooms as you go. It's a very common model, whether it is a formal apprenticeship or not.
--Ted
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Edward M. Kennedy wrote:

The difference between unionized apprenticeship programs and just company apprenticeship programs is standardization. Of course the ojt occurs a bit differently depending on the respective industry, but the classroom training is pretty much standardized in unionized apprenticeship programs.
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