I found this interesting, from an article by Robert Reich....
America has been losing manufacturing jobs to China, Latin America and the rest
of the developing world. Right? Well, not quite. It turns out that
manufacturing jobs have been disappearing all over the world. Economists at
Alliance Capital Management in New York took a close look at employment trends
in 20 large economies recently, and found that since 1995 more than 22 million
factory jobs have disppeared.
In fact, the United States has not even been the biggest loser. Between 1995
and 2002, we lost about 11 percent of our manufacturing jobs. But over the same
period, the Japanese lost 16 percent of theirs. And get this: Many developing
nations are losing factory jobs. During those same years, Brazil suffered a 20
Here’s the real surprise. China saw a 15 percent drop. China, which is fast
becoming the manufacturing capital of the world, has been losing millions of
see the whole thing at:
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On 11 Nov 2003 14:55:04 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Eric G.) brought
forth from the murky depths:
One word explanation: AUTOMATION.
A friend of mine is automating small companies along the California
I-78 corridor and estimates that the companies he works for are
removing between 4 and 12 people/jobs per line he installs.
* Scattered Showers My Ass! * Insightful Advertising Copy
* --Noah * http://www.diversify.com
Blame the Unions!!
Years ago when there was not much government regulations, companies
could do and treat people anyway they wanted. Unions then helped
Education, regulations, and the workplace has gotten 10x better and
safer. Now companies spend billions either paying extra $$'s because
of unions, or spending the money keeping a union out.
I have worked across the US in manufacturing and have found the
quality of union work to be worse than non-union work. Union workers
are not motivated like non union workers are.
I have worked union and non-union contractors on the same job and the
nonunion contractor does equal or better work and is much more
Why an educated worker needs someone to represent them, I don't know
What I do know is that companies closing their doors and moving their
operations to Mexico or China, are mostly union based companies.
In my own company we have union and non union plants. Those plants
that are non union are consistently more productive, efficient, have
less waste, and are more engaged than the union plants.
Unions are a real waste to our economy.
If you are in a union, ask yourself why it is that you need someone to
represent you and when your company moves operations to the south,
Mexico, or China, how much you got in that last strike helped that
company make that decision.
Obviously this is a person who has never looked beyond the end of his nose
toward politics, human rights, nor the good of workers and communities. I
have a union job. It pays much better than the last nonunion job I had. I
have good health insurance, a retirement plan, and can take a couple of
weeks per year to spend time with my family on a vacation. Many companys
have unions because, in the past, the company DID treat people any way
they wanted and could do anything they wanted. You readily admit that
unions have helped people in the past. Unions are still helping people,
more than ever before.
After getting involved in the union side of this issue I think I should
answer this one also.
Yes, there are many tools still made in the good ole USA.
For hand tools, the first that comes to mind is SnapOn. They are high
priced but top notch for quality and service. For the mechanics that do
not need the SnapOn experience Craftsman brand hand tools are also made in
As for power tools, several companies that come to mind are Delta, Dewalt,
Porter Cable and Powermatic. While they also have manufacturing plants in
other countries (as well they should because they market to other
countries too) their top of the line tools sold in the USA are made in the
USA. I even saw Hobart welders (made in USA) on the shelf at Harbor
Freight the other day.
There are many good tools to choose from. When I need something for a
weekend project any tool that gets the job done is fine. But for my job I
need tools I can depend on. I want something that is good quality, built
here and serviced here by technicians who have parts readily available. I
definitely look for the Made in USA label.
Porter-Cable probably still does some here. Makita has long made small tools,
especially cordless, in, IIRC, a SC plant. (Might have been in Georgia--that
was a second year of tool company tours and some of them got scrambled in my
mind.) Toured it once a number of years ago. Impressive facility. At that time,
DeWalt was running an almost as impressive line in Towson, MD. That went
offshore, along with 1100 or more jobs.
Lots of changes in the industry in the past 5 years, with more and more
companies offering tools, with the tools being more and more alike, especially
at the cheap end of the scale, and almost all low end to middle range, and some
high range, tools now being manufactured elsewhere.
The jump in profit margins must be enormous because in many cases, prices are
maintained while production costs are cut by 50% or more.
"Brevity is the soul of lingerie." Dorothy Parker
In the area of manufactured goods, it is almost impossible to talk
meaningfully about a "American company" or "made in America" products. Many
of the companies that have been traditionally based in the US have become
multi-nationals with global operations, often manufacturing the same or
similar products in a number of countries. For years, it was common for
Asian car companies to import vehicles without back seats so that they would
be taxed at the lower truck rates, then bolt in a back seat and sell it as a
car. Consumer electronics devices might have all the electronic portions
built outside the US then inserted into cases to be sold here.
This whole discussion is quite meaningless. What we should do is be informed
consumers and look for quality and value in whatever we buy, no matter whot
he manufacturer is or whether the company is based in the US or not.
I wholeheartedly agree. Buy the best quality and it's up to the
company, American or other, to earn that reputation. Buying American
striclty 'cause it's American allows the company to get lazy and
depend on blind loyalty rather than having a good product.
However, when a company has established a (good) reputation and then
moves production to an el cheapo place, (and deoesn't even drop
prices), what happens to the quality (and soon thereafter, reputation)
of that compnay?
I mean Delta is a great example. Why on earth would I buy a new DJ20
jointer now - it's made in Taiwan. Is the price lower - no. Is the
quality questionable - in my mind, yes.
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