Great read. I disagree with the sentiment that manufacturing really isn't dying in America. My father was a blue collar worker and got a job working for a major company in the midwest. He made a great living. Now that company has sent almost all of their production to places like Mexico. Last I heard the few jobs that they have left for newcomers pay about $14 an hour. This is skilled labor, not just unskilled manual labor. Another relative of mine worked at a Maytag plant for about 30 years and retired when the company decided to shut down the plant and send production overseas. This completely devastated the town and the entire local economy. Lucky for him he had his house paid off and had been saving all his life. He's actually a millionaire which isn't saying much these days but he got it all by working in a factory and saving.
Then another relative of mine also worked for a competing company which basically did the same thing and sent production overseas. Of course he was union so he got compensated and had a pension but my point is all of these jobs are LONG GONE. Where I grew up (midwest) most of the males of the earlier generations worked in skilled labor doing these jobs. It was a huge chunk of the economy. It's almost fully gone now replaced mostly with low paid service jobs and administrative jobs which require some sort of four year degree. These later degreed jobs tend to pay about $35,000. Although my mother worked in the administration department of one of the major companies in the area and she informed me that right before she retired the new people they were bringing in were getting about $14 an hour with little or no benefits - and these jobs required degrees. That's not that great all things considered.
IMO it's a ticking bomb. As the boomers die off with their cushy retirements and pensions you will see median incomes drop substantially and reliance on welfare programs for food, money, and health care will sky rocket.
I think the point he was trying to make was that there's still alot of manufacturing needs that are cost prohibitive to transport. Anything which can be shipped cheaply and easily is more prone to being built overseas where the labor is cheaper and companies aren't usually under such a hostile legal environment as they are here. Alot of the auto manufacturers around here though buy even very large, very heavy automation equipment from Europe and pay a small fortune to have it shipped because they simply can't find American companies which are competent enough to build the damn things properly. It's kind of pathetic when there's millions and millions of people clamoring for work and there's simultaneously a shortage of people capable running milling machines and drill presses. That sort of work does require some specialized knowledge, but it's the sort of thing that most people are capable of learning if they at least make an effort.
If the cost of transport increases due to rising fuel prices, that all might change very rapidly; or the manufacturing might just end up flowing to Mexico since it can be shipped cheaply by rail back to the US.
This is part of the problem i can buy say for example a fake iPhone from China. It cost almost nothing ship things from China. So the item travels overseas and into the US where it ends up being delivered by the USPS for less then the cost of a stamp. If i shipped the same item to someone living just a block away using the same method it will cost me $8+ easily. They also ship a replacement for free if your package gets stuck at customs and advise US buyers not to pay duty on anything.
And people wonder why the USPS is is broke because they have to subsidize imports from China. Sadly even if we change the system they will just tax us shipping fees so we are damned if we do and damned if we don't.
Just about anything you can buy under store brands can be bought on Ebay for 1/2 the cost or less minus the branding. I bought a wind proof lighter for $2 that would have cost $8 in most any gas station. Then a flashlight for $3 that my local Advance Auto Parts store sells for $15 or $12 on sale. I paid retail while these companies are paying much less for large quantity just to show how bad retail fucks us with cheap products. I could buy 100 of those same flashlights for about $1.50 each probably and sell them for $5 making a fair return.
I used to buy $80-120 Tommy Hillwigger jeans years ago because they had a lifetime replacement guarentee. When they faded or got to worn i simply walked in the store and swapped them for a brand new pair. Still buy some of his shirts because they are are made from good material but i can't justify the price of his jeans anymore. And his clothing used to be made in the USA but has been outsourced like everything else so it's even cheaper to replace jeans made in China.
It's just all fucking greed!
their competitors probably would have hired when they started producing cars to replace the demand. unless everyone who was going to buy a GM or Chrysler product was going to revert to horse & buggy or something.
Whirlpool to close Maytag plants, cut 4,500 jobs - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |
City Feels Early Effects Of Plant Closing in 2004 - New York Times
Maytag's Tennessee dishwasher plant to close today - Newton IndependentWhat has sharpened the pain is that Maytag plans to replace the Galesburg factory, where wages average $15.14 an hour, with a new refrigerator plant in Reynosa, Mexico, with wages around $2 an hour. The company was stung by the fierce anger of workers, Galesburg officials and Illinois lawmakers, who thought concessions they had made since 1994 would be enough to keep the plant here. Maytag explained that its rivals were moving operations to countries with lower wages and that it had to do likewise if it was to continue selling refrigerators at a competitive price.
Galesburg, Illinois—Many Americans dream of getting rich. Aaron Kemp had more modest ambitions. “I wanted to work at a decent job and earn a decent wage, with decent benefits, so I can raise my kids, give them a decent education and maybe take them out to Pizza Hut on a Friday night. I don’t need a Mercedes, just a ho-hum existence, and now,” he says, with sadness and anger in his voice, “it seems hard to even do that.”
Eight years ago, Kemp began working at the factory of Maytag Corporation, the largest employer in Galesburg, a western Illinois town of 34,000 and the birthplace of poet Carl Sandburg. In September, Maytag finally closed the plant, after sending a large part of the work that 1,600 people had recently been performing to a new Maytag factory in Reynosa, Mexico; another large part to Daewoo, a Korean multinational subcontractor that is expected to build a plant in Mexico; and a few dozen jobs to a plant in Iowa. Now Kemp, a 31-year-old union safety and education official with a muscular build and a small goatee, has a temporary job as a counselor to laid-off workers at two-thirds his old pay.
Last edited by allniche; October 5th, 2011 at 01:37 PM.
The only thing those brands are good at is making fancy ads to sell cheap appliances with plastic parts inside. All the appliances that came with my house were Maytag crap and all but the stove just quit working. I was lucky everything broke down during the clunker rebates and my man Obama helped to pay for replacements.
I don't use the oven much so i still have that piece of crap but the oven does not even have a bottom burner. Every time i made bread it always cooked uneven and it took me a while to figure out the problem was due to my oven being so crap. I just hope Obama gets another term so he can buy me a new stove pretty soon.
interesting to see the taxes of people around here making $10/hour at the few factory jobs which are left making sure that Obama's union buddies at GM etc keep their much higher paying jobs.
political contributions pay off. friends of the Kremlin used to get similar perks.
A relative of mine told me some of the stories at one of the Maytag plants where he worked as a supervisor. Unfortunately some people just didn't care and take their jobs seriously. I heard all sorts of things - you know much like the common knowledge of it being a bad idea to purchase a car made on a Friday.
Still there is no way Americans could compete with $2 an hour even if every worker were excellent. Those jobs were gone no matter what. $15 an hour (plus benefits too) versus $2 an hour. Union or no union.
Last edited by allniche; October 5th, 2011 at 03:35 PM.
My appliances were purchased by the previous owner and maybe 2-3 years old at the time. The fridge was not Maytag and went out about a month after moving in. Then about 6 months later the dish washer had a thermonuclear meltdown. Previous owner of the house bought it as an investment so the appliances were not even used that much. The dishwasher was all plastic inside with a cheap plastic coating on the dish rack that was starting to come apart. It cleaned the dishes good which was about the only positive thing i can say about it. Not sure when Whirlpool went to hell but the drive systems in damn near everything these days uses plastic or Nylon gears.
I replaced the fridge with Sanyo since my mother has one and they seem to be well made. Then replaced the dish washer with a Frigidaire which had the best features and build quality for the price. I wanted the matching Sanyo unit but it did not have all stainless guts like the Frigidaire and the drain system was plastic. I was told that plastic units are basically throw away and you can tell the true overall quality of a dish washer by the the rack coating.
My washer and dryer are a stacked Frigidaire unit i got about four years ago while living in an apartment with limited space and so far the only problem was a switch that went bad. My mother has an expensive Bosch washer and dryer set but she got the washer on scratch and dent. The washer started to leak after a few months and they never even tried to repair it. The company just shipped her a brand new replacement and that right there says all that needs to be said about getting what you pay for.