Strange how a large number of these companies seem to post a loss and
then reward the management by giving them million dollar bonuses (firing
a few workers to pay for it of course). Apparently, some managers don't
have to go to high school.
Whatever the market will bear. Do I think many workers should be
satisfied with $15 an hour, the answer is absolutely. That's around
30k per year which is within the median standard of living in many
areas. Of course, you adjust that for local conditions.
The problem is when you have union dock workers making $120k a year
complaining that they're not making enough.
There are many additional costs to doing business overseas beyond what
you pay the workers so it all balances out in the end. The US-based
company can probably afford to pay their workers $15/hr for the same
cost as they could at $15/day in China. Sure, you can make a car
cheaply in China, but you're not going to find an American buyer for a
car that's in China, you have to ship it. That raises the costs
If the American worker is satisfied with $15/hr, the chances of the
company going offshore are much less than if they start demanding $20
or more per hour and the workers need to understand that.
While I tend to agree with you on most of your comments, I think
you're wrong on the car thing. Personally, I never buy strictly on
price (though do look for value, best bang for the buck, etc.), and
don't think the American manufacturers have achieved the quality of
some of the foreign makes. Probably because they don't feel the need
to for reasons such as folks will buy American just because it's
American, they'll get bailed out by the government if things get too
bad, etc. Seems the American manufacturers ahven't really tried to
produce the BEST product but ride on the coattails such as I mentioned
I'm never touching another American vehicle, barring a change in their
philosophy. Had my experience with Ford who treats their customers
like $hit. No thank you.
Same experience, same conclusion. I remain persuadable, but I'll never
buy another American automobile until there's ample evidence that they
aren't generally built like crap.
It's not the moral duty of the consumer to pay extra for an article to
keep American workers afloat. Rather, it's the moral duty of the worker
(who has a family to support, etc. -- just like the consumer) to find
himself a as secure and remunerative a job as he can. That means being
prepared to retrain, relocate, and adapt to stay abreast of the job
market. Nobody has a "right" to a living cranking out widgets when
because of cost or quality those widgets are no longer in demand.
The problem isn't just one of cost, but one of quality. If you buy a
Ford that breaks down every other week or a Toyota that is reliable,
which are you going to buy? My wife's American-built car is just over
2 years old. It's been recalled by Ford twice, has had the
transmission completely fail, the A/C compressor has failed, it's had
nothing but trouble. Her family owned a 1987 Toyota that ran for over
250k miles, never once had a problem and is probably still running out
If American manufacturers produce crap at inflated prices, they don't
deserve the business. My money goes where the quality and best value
for the dollar is and more often than not, that's not to an American
company. Even going off-shore for manufacturing won't solve basic
design and planned obsolescence issues.
Does anyone know when we will start seeing the "new" Ridgid tools at HD?
I apologize if I posted this to the wrong group. Maybe it would have been
more suited to rec.woodworking.politics......
But that "someone" is only willing to pay that amount because they receive
multiple millions in subsidies from the state and local governments. In
Pittsburgh we recently blew up Three Rivers Stadium which was only 30 years old
(and for which the outstanding bonds we taxpayers are on the hook for still
exceed the original cost to build the thing). We then built 2 stadiums and gave
one to the Pirates and one to the Steelers. Not only did we pay to build them,
we let the teams sell the naming rights and pocket the millions from it. We
don't even get any money when the stadiums are used for concerts and truck
pulls - the team owners get all the revenues. That my friend is indeed
Socialism. More appropriately it is good old Roman "bread and Circuses"
(emphasis on the Circuses). Hell, we even held a referendum and voted against
it and the politicians pushed them through another way. So now we are paying
for several hundred millions in new bonds (about $400 million if I remember
correctly) and still on the hook for $35 million or so in bonds outstanding for
Three Rivers Stadium. Clearly, without all of that largess, the Steelers and
especially the Pirates could not pay their players like they do to play
Not just sports, though...what I do like about all this is the emphasis by the
pols on keeping costs "within reason." Must relate to hundred buck upper tier
Businesses of all kinds get the same kinds of deals on the premise, and often
on their promise, that it will bring jobs to the area. They guarantee to do
such and thus, and the city/county/state combine to provide acreage, an immense
high tech building, specific water delivery and sewage removal, abatement of
taxes for a decade and much else. The company comes, opens, brings half as many
jobs as promised and moves elsewhere as soon as the tax abatements run out.
It is not socialism, though. It's basically theft, and it's also business as
"Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things."
Dan Quayle, 11/30/88
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