Charlie Self wrote:
> Radios? Damned near everyone I knew in the '60s had, and listened to,
> a radio of some sort. The driving force in the sale of radios to
> everyone seems to me to have been the discovery that FM was cleaner
> than AM and could be used over long distances, given the right
> technology. As far as color TV goes, until the '70s, there wasn't a
> whole helluva lot of use for it because many stations still broadcast
> in black & white. Yes, the prices came down. Yes, there was a lot of
My point was really about color TVs and good "hi-fi" equipment. Prior to
these products being comoditized by offshore manufacturing, the prices
were out of the range of the masses. Offshoring drove the costs down and
almost everyone could (and did) buy this stuff. The meta-point here is
just that this is one of many examples of how offshoring produces
>> This was decidedly NOT the case in, say the 1960s.
> Everyone I knew in the '60s who wanted a TV set had one. Not color,
> but, generally, color idjit boxes were hard to find as well as afford,
> about like HDTV today...you don't want to know my opinion of people
> who will spend $5000 and up for a television set.
And I probably share that view. There is precious little broadcast or
even delivered by cable/sat that remotely justifies a $500 TV imho,
let alone one for $5000.
>> The only "trouble" we are in as a nation is that the vast majority of
>> the Sheeple want to legistlate success, don't understand economics,
>> and think that a job is a "right".
> I don't know anyone who wants to legislate success. I do know a lot of
> people who think that competence should be a basis for transferring
> work to other countries, if it has to be transferred.
But that _is_
the basis for it - the market ensures that this will
happen. Maybe not intially, but sooner or later, it catches up. Your
Dell experience confirms this. The fact that Dell was wrong in their
original assessment in the matter means that they tried something that
did not work. It is not in any sense a general indictement of
>> This is cynically exploited by the Congress Critters, "News"
>> Commentators, and other lower life forms to create the impression of
>> impending doom - for which, of course, they have the answer if you'll
>> just vote for them, watch their show, and so forth. No money-grubbing
>> televangelist could every compete with this level of sliminess ...
> Never watched many televangelists, have you? I remember my first
> visual encounter with Oral Roberts, when I was just about 16.
> Magnificent slime. Since then, the sheen has gotten worse, the slime
> deeper, and the numbers incredible. TV really does draw in the idiots,
> both in performances and watchers.
Perhaps. But tote up all the money that Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swaggart,
Benny Hinn, and the rest of that bunch have soaked their constiuencies
out of. It likely would not come even close to what a single bad
goverment policy decision costs (like the stupid steel tariffs that
thankfully were recently repealed). The big difference here is that
televangelists get the _willing_
contribution of their followers.
Government extracts money by (the implicit threat of) force - the
taxman's gun, so to speak. Government policies are not voluntary -
we are forced to abide by them, at least until we can replace the
current idiots in government with new ones.
> There is always going to be an outcry when work moves. The cotton
> mills (read textiles) moved south many years ago. Now, they're moving
> from the south to places most of us never heard of a decade ago. Most
> companies are also getting garments manufactured overseas, a
> phenomenon that seemed to kick off in the '60s and early '70s with
> designer jeans makers realizing they could get their 100 buck a pair
> retail items for $4. Now, even the 25 buck a pair jeans are made
And more people can afford even cheaper jeans at, say, Walmart.
> The displacement this time, though, is across more industries and
> deeper than I ever recall reading about it being before.
Perhaps, but this is more a reflection of how interdependent economies
have become. 50 years ago, economies tracked the nation-state. Now they
track global behavior no matter what individual governments want to do
about it. Even totalitarian states like China have come to recognize
this and have increasingly chosen to adapt to market economies.
> As for a job being a "right," well, why not? I recall a factory owner
> I knew
Because for something to be a "right" it has to have some basis or some
authoring agent. Something is not a "right" because I say so. Most all
of us affirm that some basic rights are, well, "inalienable" - innate to
being human. These include the right to be free from fraud, force, or
But a job is a commerical transaction between employer and worker,
entered into voluntarily. So long as both parties abide by their
agreement with each other, and neither engages in fraud/force/threat,
then either should be free to terminate the agreement at-will. Many of
the people who are opposed to outsourcing would vehemently oppose an
arrangement that requires the employee to stay with a particular
employer (the inverse situation). If a job is a "right", then why does
the employer not have a corresponding "right" to a stable workforce that
gets paid whatever the employer feels is proper? Rights granted to one
side of the arrangement but not to the other make for an iniquitous
arrangement that is fundamentally unfair.
> who felt that when he expanded, which he did with great care and
> conservatism, all the people he hired had as much "right" to have
> their jobs continue as did those who were already there. And he felt
> that any businessman who didn't maintain the jobs he provided was a
> poor businessman. John did that for a great many years, but he was
> fortunate to be the owner of the business, without a board or a bunch
> of stockholders to answer to. He could plan and work for the long
> term. Today, that seldom happens.
> Oh, yes. The jobs that John provided: he ran that place for over 40
> years, without a layoff.
I once worked for a place like that. On the surface, it was a very nice
arrangement. But it also had terrible downsides. There was very little
upward mobility in the company because turnover was very low.
Incompentence was never flushed out of the system. The company struggled
whenever international economic and monetary conditions were not in its
favor. I left after 2 (happy) years and did far better in companies
where layoffs were the possible.
No employer enjoys laying off people, but it is fundamentally unfair to
the shareholders of a company to diminish their return on investment to
maintain full local employment at all costs. The employee has a right to
be treated honestly, but not to a job no matter what. By contrast, the
stockholder has a right to also be treated honestly, and that means
maximizing shareholder value. There is a fair debate to be had about
whether or not outsourcing maximizes that value, and this will likely
vary from situation to situation.
Tim Daneliuk firstname.lastname@example.org
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