Woodcraft clamp deal

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On Wed, 29 Nov 2006 04:10:34 -0500, Bill in Detroit wrote:

That is a much more sensible argument than "it wastes a lot of energy to ship something from Asia" but do they really make cars and appliances and televisions and tools locally where you live?
Personally, national origin means a lot less to me than performance and cost. I notice that it's always "Asia" that gets the complaints, I never see anybody griping about those Swiss jigsaws. In the short run protectionism helps the local economy, in the long run it hurts everybody--want the Chinese to quit being a cheap labor market? Fine, encourage them and pretty soon their labor rates will be right up there with the US, Japan, and Germany. Took Japan about 40 years to get from bombed out ruin to the second largest national economy in the world. One wonders how long it will take China to get to that level.
The thing is, once Asia is all up to a high standard then it will be Africa and once they're up there there isn't really much of anywhere else left with a large population that will take starvation wages--this century is probably going to be the one in which poverty in Africa is finally solved not by the UN but by those hated multinational corporations. In the meantime they're difficult to compete with.

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J. Clarke wrote:

International economics is a very difficult beast to predict with any certainty.
I rather suspect that the multinationals will, with the assistance of complicit governments, 'solve' poverty by spreading less wealth more evenly and pocketing the rest.
Bill
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On Wed, 29 Nov 2006 14:27:15 -0500, Bill in Detroit wrote:

Oh, they won't _want_ to pay good wages, but they'll end up paying them anyway.

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J. Clarke wrote:

That's a nice theory, and it might work out that way.. I think it will partially work that way for offshored jobs which require a highly skilled and/or educated person and if the supply/demand factor drives up the salaries in China. We've seen this happen to some extent with the IT workers in India. They aren't making 4-5k/year anymore. They still make less than US workers, but the gap is closing.
I'm not sure it will ever happen though for the textile workers and other low skill jobs. The coorporations are not going to let them unionize. The government isn't going to protect them. I think China is going to be a good source of almost slave labor for coorporations for a long time (unfortunately).
They've already started farming stuff out to parts of Africa, by the way.
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On Thu, 30 Nov 2006 09:58:20 -0800, bf wrote:

One could have said that about Japan once. The trouble with "almost slave labor" for some occupations and high pay for others is that eventually all your workers move to the others, then you have to offer high pay to get them to come back to the mill.
China has a very large population and relatively little industry, so it's going to take a while to get there, but outside efforts to stifle their economy will just prolong the process.

Good. The sooner they're brought up to a reasonable standard of living the sooner they'll stop killing each other for hardscrabble farmland.
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On Mon, 27 Nov 2006 05:17:16 -0800, RayV wrote:

A lot less than trucks or trains to move the same tonnage.
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J. Clarke wrote:

So if I follow the logic less fuel is burned and less pollution is produced: making a product in Asia driving it to the dock driving a cargo ship to CA or NJ Driving it to my house
Than: making a product in Ohio driving it to my house
Do I have that right?
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On Mon, 27 Nov 2006 11:50:03 -0800, RayV wrote:

Actually, if the factory is near the dock and your house is near the dock then yes, that might very well be right.
To take an example, a typical 18 wheeler uses 100 or so horsepower to haul 40 tons of freight, while a Liberty ship (a small WWII-vintage cargo ship) uses 2500 horsepower to move 7,000 tons of freight.
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J. Clarke wrote:

I suspect that, on a ton / mile basis, trains use less fuel. They aren't pushing water out of the way. They aren't fighting currents and cross winds. They haven't nearly the frictional resistance.
Bulk stuff leaving Asia for Europe will often chug across the Pacific, roll across the US, then chug across the Atlantic. Saves both time AND money.
Bill
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Bill in Detroit wrote:

Wierd. Seems shorter to chug through Indian ocean, up the Red Sea and through the suez canal into the Med. Maybe more fiddly though.
Chris
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Bill in Detroit wrote:

Cargo ships don't have to have a fleet of vehicles doing repairs and maintenance on tracks, nor do they cause other vehicle traffic to stop, idle for 10 minutes and then accelerate back up to speed when they roll by.
Pete C.
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On Mon, 27 Nov 2006 14:55:42 -0500, Bill in Detroit wrote:

You're not a sailor are you? Anyone who is has had the experience at least once in his life of standing with one leg on the dock and one on the boat and finding that his weight exerts enough force to move a hundred tons of boat far enough from the dock to drop him in the drink.
You don't move 100 tons of train with one person's muscle power.
Cargo ships don't "fight currents", they use them--ocean currents are well charted. As for "fighting cross winds" trains "fight" them too--has to be a Hell of a lot of wind before one does anything resembling "fighting" it though.

I would be _very_ surprised if unloading it on the west coast and loading it on the east coast was cheaper than just leaving it on the boat and running it through the Canal.
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J. Clarke wrote:

Life is full of little surprises.
I worked for Conrail as a Conductor for 11 years and saw an awful lot of such freight. Going straight across the US is cheaper than detouring a thousand miles south, waiting to use the canal, PAYING passage through the Panama Canal, passing through the canal and then recouping the lost thousand miles (all the while paying wages to the sailors and handling maintenance on a very big machine). I probably have the mileage wrong, but I think I've got a handle on the principle.
Then, too, there's the issue of getting a load to return home with.
Bill
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Bill in Detroit wrote:
> I worked for Conrail as a Conductor for 11 years and saw an awful lot of > such freight. Going straight across the US is cheaper than detouring a > thousand miles south, .....
<snip>
All you have to do is drive from Los Angeles to Needles across the California desert to truly appreciate how truly massive the unit trains are as they head across the country.
Maybe 200 railroad cars with four (4), 53 ft box trailers on each car would not be atypical.
Expect to see one of those trains at least every 4-6 hours.
Lots of retailers use those trains as their "warehouse", thus actual inventories are kept to a minimum.
Lew
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Bill in Detroit wrote:

That, and the fact that some of the newest ships can't fit through the canal at all. They're working up a project to widen the canal to accommodate the new ships.
Pete C.
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RayV wrote:

well, unless you mine your own ore, use locally produced power to smelt it and manufacture with it, all at the same or better efficiencies as large scale industry does, the difference of pollution from shipping the finished goods disappears pretty fast.
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RayV wrote:

Not to mention that they make stuff cheaper and "better" by polluting. Some of these companies finish parts of the manufacturing process on the ships and dump the waste in the ocean on the way to the USA.. Our great grandchildren are going to pay the price for those cheap tools we are enjoying.
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Just retired after 30 years in the U.S. Navy with 18.5 of those years riding warships at sea and I've never seen a ship that performs manufacturing at sea, it is just too expensive to waste cargo space on people and shops. Everything is in conex boxes or bulk for liquid/gas. Manufacturers load into conex boxes at the plant and hundreds of boxes are loaded by crane onto the ship to minimize time alongside the pier. The shipper makes money in transit, not at pierside. I'd be interested in seeing anything that is actually processed at sea, besides seafood. Jack
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EWCM wrote:

I have a relative in the steel business. Apparently his company buys some kind of parts that require some kind of coating on them. On the ship to America, the parts get coated and then the waste from the coating process is just dumped in the ocean. In the USA, the coating would be considered hazardous waste and expensive to dispose of properly. The damn Chineese don't care and just dump the shit in the ocean to get rid of the "problem" of how to dispose of it.
I'm not sure how new this practice is, but it happens.
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So do SUVs, doesn't stop all the yuppie idiots from buying them.
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