Buying USA?

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Eugene Nine wrote:

This isn't the whole picture though.
Consider something like the Mazda3/Ford Focus C-Max/Volvo S40/V50.
This is a joint venture where the cars were designed jointly and share 40% of the parts, the Focus will be built in Germany, the Volvos in Belgium and the Mazda 3 in Japan.
Ford contributed metallurgy techniques and suspension tuning, Mazda contributed engineering prowess and "zoom-zoom", and Volvo contributed towards the safety aspects.
Do any of these vehicles count as "American"?
Chris
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Chris Friesen wrote:

number compared to the rest,
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In the nineties Clinton's trade negotiator, Mickey Kantor bashed the Japanese for cheap Japanese imports. The Japanese and South Korea start building plants in the USA and today, the Big two are selling fewer cars and even the ailing Chrysler recovers under Mercedes Benz. We bashed the Chinese today and wondered what installs for us in the near future.
.
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wrote:

Stick a shot up. I shoot old cars for part of my living, and find them fascinating, though recently I've been working a little further back (most recent a '58 Impala, oldest a '34 SS1 Jag).
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Charles Self wrote:

Cool I grew up around, lets see my dad had XK120 and a XK140 the replica that won le mans, I think it was a 55 not sure. All I knew was it was all aluminum body and it had a sticker on the walnut dash that said so. He also had a couple of XKE's 1966 4.2 coupe and my mom had the roaster all in British Racing Green. I kinda went the other way with the muscle cars, probably a rebellion thing. But I did love driving them in the back country roads of NJ. When he got older and more successful he ended up with XJ6 for luxury and a Ferrari 350gt for raising hell.
--
"you can lead them to LINUX
but you can't make them THINK"
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Another point in case.... I bought and remodeled a 1965 Airstream this summer. What a joy to see EVERYTHING on it was made in the USA, in fact most everything (including the manufacturer) was made right here in Ohio. I know the mechanicals were well built, as everything was original and still worked. Heck, the air conditioner still blew cold air after 40 years! I did decide to replace most things simply to save weight, space and to hopefully prevent anything from breaking down while miles from home, but sadly very little new OEM stuff around, so most everyhting is stamped "Made in China". However, all the the cabinets I rebuilt still are *real* American walnut...I take comfort in that at least. On another note, I really enjoy reading older (70's and 80's) issues of Fine Woodworking. It's kinda alarming when you really see how much was made in the USA as little as 20-30 years ago. Imports were cheaper, knock-offs and were boldly listed as "Imported". Back then "Made in the USA" was common place. Today, "made in China" is common place, and the few things made here have a big bold sticker you can't miss to tell you so. --dave
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Teamcasa wrote:

Doesn't Ford make a lot of trucks in Windsor, ON?
I had a 1985 E350 hi-cube that was Canadian made. It had a pretty maple leaf decal proclaiming the place of manufacture on the windshield.
Barry
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hello,

1978 MG Midget and 1980 Porsche 911, Why? but I am european :-)
cyrille
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Lee Valley marks some of their items if they are made in USA or Canada. Nice touch.

It will get worse. Pick up the current issue of Reader's Digest and read the article about engineering students. China is cranking out 6X the US, Japan 2X. You can be sure they will be a serious world power in a few years.
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On 06/12/2005 11:01 AM, evodawg wrote:

Um, Lee Valley is a Canadian company.
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While I appreciate your right to your opinion, I'm wondering what your solution is. Would you rather raise the price of products to the point you can no longer afford them, or would you rather lower your wage so you can make things at a competitive price? Personally, I don't see many people in the US (or Canada, for that matter) clamouring for the $0.50/hour jobs manufacturing goods like you're describing. Up here in this part of Canada, it's hard to find someone to work in a fast-food store for $10/hour...
Anyway, none of that is probably relevent. But what the heck... Now that I think about it, I'm really curious about how much of say, a $500 mitre saw, goes to labour vs. material vs. profit (for all the different levels) etc.
As far as your question regarding supporting the Chinese military, I'd say that it would be obvious that any money that goes overseas is supporting foreign military (as well as social) programs in the destination countries, and probably any trade partners of those countries. At least, for any country that taxes business and people. And if you look at the trade partners of that country as well, it doesn't take too many degrees of separation before you're supporting things you'd rather not support, like terrorism.
Of course, unless you can guarantee that any money you spend stays entirely within your country, you end up supporting all these nasty things anyway. For example, lets say someone starts up a manufacturing shop in your town that churns out hand planes. They employ entirely local labour, so you feel happy buying from them. Of course, the people they pay can only afford to shop at WalMart (since they're competing, wage wise, with sweatshops in more undesireable countries). So these people end up shelling out their paychecks to these other countries anyway. All you've done is introduce one more level of middleman between you and the undesireables.
Well, that's my lunchtime logic ramble for today! :)
--
Clint
"evodawg" <rent_my snipped-for-privacy@nospam.verizon.net> wrote in message
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I surely don't know hte answer and we may not for another 20, 30, or 40 years. I don't see how our economy can survive with little more than casino gambling and nursing homes.
We used to be able to sell technology, but other countries are catching up or exceeding us in some areas. Medical care used to be a lock on the local market, but now expensive elective surgery is being done in India.
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You are looking at too small a slice of the pie. International trade is here to stay, and a huge amount of the US economy benefits. If we walled off out economy, and only allowed selling and buying of items with 100% domestic content, the following crash would dwarf the great depression. So get over it.
No doubt you will want to research this so you can move on from opinionated to informed. A good starting point is: http://www.bea.doc.gov/bea/di1.htm . I used to assign my students, when they had to miss a lab and there was not an opportunity for a make-up, to take a product they use, like shampoo, and look at the list of ingredients and look them up to see what the real chemical compound is, and what function it performs in the product. I don't think anyone ever deliberately missed lab so they could do the product lookup, but they enjoyed the task and almost always did a good job. You can do the equivalent. Pick a product you use, preferably something complex, like your audio system. Research what it is made of and how it is distributed, sold and serviced. What would you have left if we withdrew from international trade?
Have fun. Grading will be pass/fail.
Steve

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It even gets better when you consider that we've been trading with our rivals in the Soviet Union during the cold war when both our countries needed what the other had.
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Umm you do realize that the majority of the money spent on Chinese products stays in the country that sells to the end user. There are a lot of American middlemen and stores that make money off the sale. We as consumers are not buying direct from China. And if you think trading with China is scary, how about the Oil that we buy. We are actually at war with that region right now. Thank the politicians that sell us out every day. Until most Americans are willing to pay too much for a product it is likely that more manufacturing will go to other countries. The consumer is not to blame as he is applying what he has learned, getting the most for his money. The American laborer needs to learn now how to compete and realize that most anyone can do his quality of work with out government intervention.
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hello,

Let me disagree with that, the consumer is to blame, because he knows that by going for the short term profit, he is jeopardizing his long term future, but he does not care. BTW, this is a symptom of psychopath!
the problem is not as much that the American laborer needs to learn how to compete, but that the American citizen need to quadruple at least what he pays for stuff (relative to income), and therefore greatly reducing his lifestyle, and this is hard to do...
BTW, I was reading last week that if everyone on earth was consuming like the average American, it would take 5.8 earth to support mankind.
regards, cyrille
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Well I have to disagree back. ;~) The consumer cares nothing about profit. Profit is a monitary term that business cares about. If the consumer was getting such a raw deal the trend of his purchases would turn back to another source. Just because an expensive item lasts longer does not mean that this is a good purchase for the consumer. The consumer is more concerned with how a product may benefit him which may in some cases lead to more profit down the road if the product is bought for business purposes.

The laboror learning how to compete and earn a reasonable wage for what he does is by far more doable than trying to convence the customer to pay 4 times the price for the same or less quality.

I totally agree, and yet the American businesses are loosing their share of the production market. They need to learn to compete. There is plenty of business out there to be had.
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evodawg wrote:

As I general rule I try to avoid buying from mainland China. Generally the quality is as low or as high as the price when it comes to Chinese imports. On the high end of price the quality of Chinese imports is comparable with similarily priced items made in the West. The big difference is at the low end, their low end price goes a lot lower than anyone else and there tends to be lower level floor to just how piss-poor the quality can get that even the cheapest Chinese imports can't fall below. Like the $20 vise I just bought: the jaws don't close parralell(sp) and the pop up dog is a joke but the jaws line up when it's closed and serves my immediate needs and I'll retire within a year I'm sure.
Anyway though quality issues aside I don't like sending money over there because of more political reasons. I don't like the human rights record of the chinese government, I don't like their illegal occupation of Tibet, their attitude towards Taiwan and <insert long list of why the PRC is run by crooks> I also view them as a future threat as great or greater than the USSR was at the height of the Cold War. than So I specifically avoid Chinese imports whenever possible.
For imports in general I have no issues buying non-US goods. I admit to a slight bias towards US and Canadian goods, followed by European and then any Western-style democracy after that, for my imports. So if there's an Indian made product that meets my needs (functional and financial) I'll buy it without loosing sleep.
<snip>

Lee Valley is a Canadian company. They flag US and Canadian items online and in their print catalog and they do mention the source in their write-ups for a lot of other items. They have a lot of NA and Old World imports as well as Japanese and S. Korean and a few Chinese, which aren't listed as such but it's a safe bet that anything just labeled "imported" is Chinese.

I think of it as more of a security issue than anything else. Despite increased economic freedoms over there the state still has a dirty little finger in most business ventures, including (or especially) those involving western companies setting up plants over there. So there are issues of tech transfer to Chinese government and of directly financing a potentially hostile regime by buying widgets from them. While I'm not directly boycotting Chinese goods I'm willing to put extra time and money into buying goods from elsewhere.
Cheers,
Josh
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hello,

the goods only care about pricing and not quality. and they do that because the customer care more about price than quality... it's customer driven, and it is that way because, we, as customer WANT MORE!!!

noticeably in government bonds and real estate), which is in fact a buy out of Americas future. China holds your social security check :-) what this means is that by buying so much Chinese good, you sell to china the land you reside in, it's wealth, and your children's.
regards, cyrille
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evodawg wrote:
[snip]

And take a look at who owns parts of our $8 trillion deficit (increasing at $.5 trillion per year). Lots of Asian countries (including the PRC at something like $800 billion, plus Japan, Singapore, others) and mid-eastern countries (try Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc.) All that is necessary to tank our economy is for one of these guys to start unloading a bit of that debt at bargain prices. Possible? Absolutely. Probable? I don't know but it's enough to make my sphincter clench up.     gloom,     jo4hn
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