Outsourcing

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Tim Daneliuk responds:

Problem is, they're STILL doing it, so the market hasn't made its demands clear.

Didja ever buy clothing at Walmart's? Two wearings and they're great for shop rags.

What does that MEAN? Basis? Authoring agent?

Not so. That's your opinion, and it is the way things operated until unions started up in the late 19th century. The model you present was in place through the Great Depression, and only changed with the coming of WWII. It was iniquitous.

Not the case with this company. Incompetence didn't last long around John.
I'd guess any company struggles when monetary policy isn't in its favor, though I'm not sure how a domestic chair manufacturer would struggle. As for upward mobility, well, you could be certain you weren't going to be president of the company, but otherwise, you could work your way up pretty decently. I know of a number of people there making a good many dollars more than they had ever anticipated being able to make with just a high school education. Are they adminstrators? Nah. Foremen and forewomen and shift supervisors and whatnot.
But, as one guy said something over a decade ago, "Where else can I go and make 45,000 a year with my education?" Without overtime.
That said, there is always a certain amount of turnover in a manufacturing situation, because the work can grind you down physically, if for no other reason. Expansion helps, and this particular company continued to expand. IIRC, John had 50 employees when he took over in 1959. When he had to sell the company (age catches up with all of us) he had over 350 employees. That was slow, steady growth, and done deliberately that way.

But it's not impossible to run the company so that the ups aren't as extreme and the downs are lessened and lay-offs are simply not a part of the operating procedure.

No one has a right to a job no matter what. Competence is the major feature under discussion here, and one would expect that to be displayed on a daily basis, in a reasonably energetic manner.
Charlie Self "I am confident that the Republican Party will pick a nominee that will beat Bill Clinton." Dan Quayle
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(Charlie Self) wrote:

You've apparently *never* bought clothing at Wal-Mart, then. That's where a *lot* of my clothing comes from, and it lasts for years.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
For a copy of my TrollFilter for NewsProxy/Nfilter, send email to autoresponder at filterinfo-at-milmac-dot-com You must use your REAL email address to get a response.
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Doug Miller writes:

Odd. I've bought several shirts at Walmart. On one, a sleeve fell off in the first washing. On another, the placket came unraveled. On two others, buttons were off during the first wearing. I went back to LLBean after that. Shirts are still made in Malaysia, but at least there's an attempt at quality control.
Slacks? They're better. Material is half as thick as stuff selling through LLBean or Land's End, but hey, what the hell. Buy a dozen pair and they will wear for years.
And yes, the Bean and Land's End products do cost more. It's about like the whole outsourcing argument, though: I get 4-6 years from an LLBean shirt and 5-7 weeks from a WalMart shirt. Price differential? LLBean costs about 2-1/2 to 3 times what the WalMart stuff does. Work it out.
As I said, shop rags.
Charlie Self "I am confident that the Republican Party will pick a nominee that will beat Bill Clinton." Dan Quayle
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(Charlie Self) wrote:

All I can say is, my experience with clothing from Wal-Mart is 180 degrees apart from what you describe. As I type this, I'm wearing a shirt that I bought at W-M so long ago that I've forgotten exactly how long it was, but it's somewhere in the 5-8 year range. It's showing some wear at the cuffs, collar, and pocket (to be expected at that age), but the all seams are still tight, and all the buttons are still attached -- and this is typical of the shirts I get there. I have three or four other shirts that I bought at the same time, and they're all in similar condiiton.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
For a copy of my TrollFilter for NewsProxy/Nfilter, send email to autoresponder at filterinfo-at-milmac-dot-com You must use your REAL email address to get a response.
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(Charlie Self) wrote:

where a

the
buttons
still
the
clothes made 5-8 years ago were better made than that currently available in walmart. it's a race to the bottom.
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Charlie Spitzer notes:

Trouble is, it was probably 7-8 years ago when I last bought a shirt from WalMart. And the placket opened out like a flower the first time it was washed. Before that, the sleeve of one came almost all the way off. Buttons are non-holders, too, IME. I was paying $12 or so for a shirt and getting to make two 24 mile round trips to the store to get it and then to return it.
Far cheaper to mail order and get a shirt that can be picked up by UPS if it has to be returned, though I never have had an LL Bean shirt that needed returning. Cost, then: about $34. Nearly 3 times as much, but no driving, no hassles and at least 2 that I am still wearing.
Charlie Self "I am confident that the Republican Party will pick a nominee that will beat Bill Clinton." Dan Quayle
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a
My experience w/ shirts from there was more akin to Charlie's. Shirt tails way too short, fabric way too thin. In this case, it was *not* a cost effective experience for me.
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Charlie Self wrote:

<snip>
I'm in fundamental agreement with this statement. The choice to leave one employer to go to another is under-exercised.
However, it's important to note that this choice becomes ever more difficult to make as employees approach retirement age. Loss of retirement benefits makes this a non-choice for some.

There's no way (IMO) to make a blanket statement either in favor of or against labor unions. As a mechanism for workers to cooperatively deal with workplace problems when management is unwilling to institute solutions, they're effective. When the union becomes a mechanism for the exercise of greed or sanctioning of laziness, they become one of the worst of possible problems. I've seen both scenarios.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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Morris Dovey states:

Look at what I wrote. Check the dates I used. I said absolutely zip about unions today, or for the last 40 years.
Charlie Self "I am confident that the Republican Party will pick a nominee that will beat Bill Clinton." Dan Quayle
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Charlie Self wrote:

Yup - did. However, evaluation of any solution to a problem isn't complete unless it considers the consequences of that solution. The short-term consequences were more or less as intended. The longer term consequences seem to me to be a mixed bag.
Failure to plan for and account for long-term consequences would appear to be at the very heart of a great many problems - including this thread's outsourcing issues.
(My 2 worth)
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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Morris Dovey responds:

This is a thread on outsouorcing and you want a history of the frigging union movement, with consequences to date...which, by the by, no one that I have ever read knew would occur when unions first cranked up.
Forget it.
Charlie Self "I am confident that the Republican Party will pick a nominee that will beat Bill Clinton." Dan Quayle
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Charlie Self wrote:

No, I don't need that history here. I was responding to your statement inferring that unions brought about a change in the general operating mode in the late 19th century. If you think that those events have not had consequences that reach all the way to the present and bear on the outsourcing issue, then you may need to find a more recent history book.
And I think you're right that probably none of the early labor organizers had any clue about longer term consequences. They seem to have been totally focused on the immediate problems of the time - as either of us probably would have been, too.
Between then and now, however, has been ample time to observe, consider, and learn from the actual consequences; and to extrapolate/project where current trends lead.
I've read (and I believe) that the primary difference between a wise man and a fool is that the fool refuses to consider consequences; while the wise man always does.
This outsourcing is not a random, isolated event. It is part of a chain of events and decisions. I don't think that the story of John's company is really unusual. I'm pleased to be able to say that I've heard a lot of similar stories describing similar-sized enterprises - but relatively few such stories about Fortune 500 size companies. I've also heard relatively few stories about firms the size of John's outsourcing jobs to the Pacific rim or Indian subcontinent - while reports of outsourcing by the larger firms abound.
What factors do you think are at play to cause that effect to be size-selective? Or do you think I'm misinformed and that outsourcing activity is taking place without regard for company size?
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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it is taking place, you just don't hear about it because the news media can get bigger headlines with 20,000 layoffs rather than 50. i would bet that if you asked the local chamber of commerce's of some reasonably sized city, they could cite plenty of examples. i know i saw some figures from my local area that indicate losses of 200-300 jobs at a time are going overseas.

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Charles Spitzer wrote:
<SNIP>

Maybe, but more jobs are MOVING to rural America than ever. From the May 10, 2004 "Forbes" column, "Digital Rules":
One-third of the American jobs created between 2001 and 2004 went to 16 million people. That's a tiny number in a country of nearly 300 million. It's equal to the populations of Florida or greater Los Angeles.
So who are these lucky ones, this 5% of the total population behind 33% of the new jobs? Redheads, perhaps? Hockey fans? (No, that's way too many hockey fans.) Asian immigrants? (Good guess, but wrong.) Correct answer: the residents of 397 rural U.S. counties averaging 40,000 in population.
Read the whole column, it is excellent. (Membership required, but it is free):
http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2004/0510/039.html
This whole outsourcing business is way exaggerated. IIRC, about 250,000 jobs have been outsourced while in the same period of time almost twice that number of jobs have been created. It is much ado about nothing so that guys like Lou Dobbs (who failed to run his own business successfully) can appear to be wise and leaderlike ...
--
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Daneliuk snipped-for-privacy@tundraware.com
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Charles Spitzer wrote:

I just talked to the people in the Iowa Economic Development office and got bounced around until I ended up talking to a helpful gal at the Labor Market Info desk.
Iowa can only track offshoring via unemployment claims; and then only when there are claims from a minimum of 20 people from the same company during a 30-day period. There is a new program (started up in January) that will specifically track offshored jobs.
Exact numbers aren't yet available but are expected to be in about a week and a half; and these will be maid available at http://www.iowaworkforce.org/trends .
I pushed a bit for guesstimates and as best I could understand the (unofficial, off-the-cuff) response, the state total YTD offshored jobs total in the hundreds for firms with over 400 employees, with a very much smaller total for firms with fewer than 400 employees.
Interestingly, it /does/ appear that in this part of the country the outsourcing/offshoring activity is related to business size.
On the other hand, Iowa has a population of only about three million - so we're probably neither typical nor statistically significant...
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme says...

Especially as the quality of the hardware and the quality of the programming seem to be inversly related :-).
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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Larry Blanchard responds:

Nah. TV has always been mostly lousy, though now we call the early days "The Golden Age" because most of it wasn't picked up on kine, so is never shown. I spent too many mornings staring at a little (10"?) screen with snowy gray images of Bill Boyd and Buster Crabbe and a bunch of little know actors in some of the most puerile series ever. Today's stuff is a bit better presented, but is just as stupid.
Captian Video where are you?
Charlie Self "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich." Napoleon Bonaparte
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Now I remember why I set a filter to highlight your posts.
Thanks, Tim!
Kevin
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Read the thread on this between you and Charlie and will confess that I'm in your camp on this one. Think you nailed it, and well.

Also think you'd look to history for analogs - our shift from industrial to information processors.

Yeah - remember when we rallyed around Curtis Mathis? Deplored the death of Zenith?

I think I'm thinking more what you're thinking...
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leave
the
time
we
phone
when
some
It
what
6
LOL....Competition????
I loaded some SONY hotfixes and the system went into meltdown. Cripes. Called Sony and got a Indian gentleman, in Ft. Meyers, Florida!! We spent half our time together, with him repeating everything he told me to do until I could "devine" his English. After about an hour of this, I was kicked up to a very knowledgeable American tech. Spent another hour, trying some very esoteric fixes.
And then HE told me to do a full recovery of XP. (Well, it did solve all the conflict problems. Ofcourse, a full recovery, reformat's the primary drive, so there's not much to conflict.)
Just a hint....if you're into video, some of these high powered video editing programs don't play well, together. And "apparently" Kodak Easyshare really irritates some Sony factory loaded software. Beware. Recovery Points are in there for a reason. Use Them. And you (and I) can screw around with that registry, but if you mess up the InstallShield data, you'll NEVER get it straighten out. Start over.
(Total telephone time was well over two hours. Wonder what my next telephone bill will look like? Bet money, right now, I'm not going to be happy).
Full recovery takes about an hour, but I've spent a week tracking down programs, serial numbers and I guess I'm going to end up buying yet another copy of McAfee. The last time I bought my "copy" of McAfee online and THAT's not going to happen again.
James....
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