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Old 12-10-2012, 09:16 AM   #21
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I'll just share one thought in the form of a question...and let's use China as an example. Why would China buy a finished product from us and pay all of our built-in cost we have added through the last few decades; union wages, insurance, government regulation, etc., when they can manufacture the product themselves at a fraction of the cost?
They won't and they don't.

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union wages, insurance, government regulation
That's it in a nutshell and until our government realizes that, things will continue to go down hill. And as long as our citizens expect the government to support them, things won't change.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:35 AM   #22
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That's it in a nutshell and until our government realizes that, things will continue to go down hill. And as long as our citizens expect the government to support them, things won't change.

Until our blue collar workers are willing to live like Chinese serfs things won't change.

People in our nation have struggled for over 200 years to get out of the low skill, manual labor economy. We succeeded. But we neglected to prepare for the next phase, a knowledge and information economy. I don't think we should be blaming our problems on our success. - Success as defined as living wages, safe working conditions, health care, quality of life, etc. That's what we have been working to achieve. We got there. - Our mistake was thinking our success would last forever and we haven't prepared for the changing current and future economies.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:55 AM   #23
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Mr. Lurker. You raise an interesting point. I think part of the "problem" is low skill/manual labor jobs are frowned upon in the US and felt to be beneath most if not all of those people willing to work. The drive to "get an education" and the ensuing sense of entitlement has created a workforce that will NOT harvest crops, sweep streets or dig ditches. A knowledge and information based economy is all well and good but SOMEONE has to do the inappropriately labeled and vilified "menial" work.
Not everyone can be an IT executive or CEO but it seems in the US everyone wants to and wallow in the bling.

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Old 12-10-2012, 12:28 PM   #24
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Until our blue collar workers are willing to live like Chinese serfs things won't change.

People in our nation have struggled for over 200 years to get out of the low skill, manual labor economy. We succeeded. But we neglected to prepare for the next phase, a knowledge and information economy. I don't think we should be blaming our problems on our success. - Success as defined as living wages, safe working conditions, health care, quality of life, etc. That's what we have been working to achieve.
Spoken like a union organizer!

Don't get me wrong, there was a time when labor unions were relevant. Unions got laws passed against child labor, limiting employer's ability to take advantage of workers, requiring paid overtime, etc., but at some point, they started killing our economy by making products more costly than they were worth. That when China and Mexico came into the picture with cheaper products.

The "living wages" comment is a phrase well worn by labor unions and one political party. The bottom line is, you can't be paid more than your labor is worth and have your employer remain in business. There is a reason people who make pizzas aren't paid as much as doctors. A doctor's time and education is worth more than the ability to spread sauce and cheese on a piece of dough and put it in the oven.

The US government has decided to provide food, shelter, and health care to those who choose not to put forth the effort to educate themselves so they can be productive citizens or who won't put forth the effort to work in jobs equal to their skills. These people vote to continue this system.

The Native Americans and the settlers who settled this country had no welfare system, you worked or you starved. It was a pretty good system.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:31 PM   #25
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............ The drive to "get an education" and the ensuing sense of entitlement has created a workforce that will NOT harvest crops, sweep streets or dig ditches. ...........
Stop having the government provide food and shelter for these people and they would harvest crops, sweep streets, or starve to death.

Give them the choice, see what happens.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:24 PM   #26
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That's 'kinda my point. Chinese serf wages and working conditions are what that sort of skill (or lack of skill) set gets these days. If our citizens didn't have a social safety net they'd either starve or work under those conditions and be not a whole lot better off than starving.

We have for the most part worked our way out of that tedious, mindless, manual labor business. It took a long while to get there, but when the change happened, it happened fast. Along the way we forgot, or never understood, the consequences of where we were headed. We're a victim of our own success, we worked ourselves out of a job ... or however you want to phrase it. But I think it does not advance our cause to look backwards, point fingers at and vilify the citizens who got left behind for one reason or another. I think we'd all be better off if we could agree on a path forward. Obviously, no one has discovered that path yet. But demonizing 47% of the population as lazy, no-good slackers isn't going to help.

I didn't spend a lifetime in the service like a lot of folks on this Forum. But I did learn one thing. If your people fail it's often leadership's fault. You didn't prepare your people properly or you put them in a position they weren't prepared to handle. I'm not suggesting that 100% of the population will ever be achievers. You have to discard the true scum. But I think those types of people represent considerably less of our population than the Right Wingers claim.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:16 PM   #27
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That's 'kinda my point. Chinese serf wages and working conditions are what that sort of skill (or lack of skill) set gets these days. If our citizens didn't have a social safety net they'd either starve or work under those conditions and be not a whole lot better off than starving..
And that's the incentive my parents used many years ago to convince me to get a decent education in a field where I could earn a decent living.

Those who choose to not pay attention in school, those who choose to drop out or run from job to job because work is too hard or it interferes with their partying should be the ones picking crops and digging ditches.

A friend of mine came from a very poor family. He put himself through college and law school by playing music at nigh and is now a sucessfull attorney. That was back in the days before all the government handouts. That's back in the days when if the government paid for your school lunch, everyone knew it and you were ashamed and didn't want to put this burden on your own children.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:27 PM   #28
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Greetings,
Mr. rwidman. I see your point perfectly but MY point is the US benchmark is to get a college education and if you don't, you're second class and a failure. People who work at the blue collar level are IMHO looked down upon. Why were the kids who got gov't lunches ashamed? Because their peers made them feel so. Through no fault of their own they were failures.
"Go to college" is hammered into young peoples minds as the be all and end all. A college graduate will NOT work in a factory or on a construction job or as a trash collecter because it is beneath his educational level. Not everyone should go to college. The trades are begging for workers. Do you think a college grad would ever consider being a plumber or an electrician? I think not. So if a young person, for whatever reason either drops out of school or doesn't pursue post secondary education he's a failure. How much of an incentive or encouragement does he have to better himself? Not much. So he/she becomes a burden on society soon to be firmly ensconced in the govt' handout racket.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:28 PM   #29
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And that's the incentive my parents used many years ago to convince me to get a decent education in a field where I could earn a decent living.
Sounds like we came from similar beginnings. I've been working non-stop since I was 14, sometimes 2 jobs at a time. Payed my own way through college and went to grad school at night on the company ticket. Even with all that, until I was in my late 40's I was still underwater. Then I got a couple lucky breaks and started to get ahead of the game, finally. But without that element of luck I'd still be sucking wind.

I know; luck is where preparation meets opportunity. And I sure as heck prepared.

Man, what a mess we're in. At least a generation to fix, if we get smart and start now. I need a drink! Signing off for the day.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:57 PM   #30
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Greetings,
Mr. rwidman. I see your point perfectly but MY point is the US benchmark is to get a college education and if you don't, you're second class and a failure. People who work at the blue collar level are IMHO looked down upon. Why were the kids who got gov't lunches ashamed? Because their peers made them feel so. Through no fault of their own they were failures.
"Go to college" is hammered into young peoples minds as the be all and end all. A college graduate will NOT work in a factory or on a construction job or as a trash collecter because it is beneath his educational level. Not everyone should go to college. The trades are begging for workers. Do you think a college grad would ever consider being a plumber or an electrician? I think not. So if a young person, for whatever reason either drops out of school or doesn't pursue post secondary education he's a failure. How much of an incentive or encouragement does he have to better himself? Not much. So he/she becomes a burden on society soon to be firmly ensconced in the govt' handout racket.
I understand your point because I worked in a large public school system. The educators would rate their various schools by the percentage of graduates who went on to college.

Still, that college graduate would work in a factory or as a plumber if the choice was work there or starve to death. In the 1930s, men worked building dams, cabins, roads, whatever, for a dollar or two a day to feed their families because that was the only way to keep from starving.

Today, in the USA, those same men are standing on the street corners or playing video games while their "baby mommas" are fed, clothed, and supplied free healthcare by the government. In a very real sense, I am supporting their families.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:07 PM   #31
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Today, in the USA, those same men are standing on the street corners or playing video games while their "baby mommas" are fed, clothed, and supplied free healthcare by the government. In a very real sense, I am supporting their families.
And when they get sick, have that baby or whatever without health insurance who is it you think pays for it? Or do you think like a friend of mine? He said that the hospital he works for has a $10 million budget set aside for such expenses. Of course he couldn't explain where the money that goes into that part of the budget comes from. His answer was they have a budget and the $10 million is just in it. I'm going to try that at hone this year, I'm going for a $500k boat budget. Don't know where I'm getting that money but I'm stopping by the hospital to see the CEO and ask hoe he does it. I'll let everyone know as soon as I find out.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:18 PM   #32
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I'll just share one thought in the form of a question...and let's use China as an example.
Ray Muldrew
Why would China buy a finished product from us and pay all of our built-in cost we have added through the last few decades; union wages, insurance, government regulation, etc., when they can manufacture the product themselves at a fraction of the cost?

you should have said: Why would China buy a finished product from us and pay all of our built-in cost we have added through the last few decades like; fair wages, insurance, engineering, design, developement and testing, government regulation< china has more goverment regulation than any other country in the world>, etc., when they steal the technology and manufacture the product themselves at a fraction of the cost by using slave labor controlled by a goverment that rules with an iron fist?

There is nothing good one can say about china except that it has somewhat controlled its human population!
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:30 AM   #33
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"The Native Americans and the settlers who settled this country had no welfare system, you worked or you starved. It was a pretty good system."

Except the indians screwed it up by feeding the Mass.Bay Colony during their failed socialist experiment.

Now look at Plymouth , worse than Moscow or Havana in terms of free lunchers..
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:30 PM   #34
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"The Native Americans and the settlers who settled this country had no welfare system, you worked or you starved. It was a pretty good system."

Except the indians screwed it up by feeding the Mass.Bay Colony during their failed socialist experiment.

Now look at Plymouth , worse than Moscow or Havana in terms of free lunchers..
and neither did we in the USA. The poor house system worked for a long time very well. It provided resources for those down oin their luck but also provided incentive to get out and work cause no one wanted to be in the poor house. Don't think any of you remember those times? Hummm...back then politicians did not vote their own raises the voters did and they paid for their own medical
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:44 PM   #35
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Greetings,
Mr. 4445. You have to get out more. China has a 7000+ year old culture. It was practicing advanced forms of metallurgy, astronomy, medicine, architecture and agriculture, to name a few disciplines while OUR, yes, yours and mine, ancestors were living in sod huts and shitting in our animal skins.
List of Chinese inventions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
To suggest modern China does nothing but steal technology is small minded at the very least to put it most politely. Industrial espionage DOES go on in China as it does everywhere else in the world.
"government that rules with an iron fist"? Possibly, from a western perspective but I don't think their government is controlled by banks, pharmaceutical companies, oil giants or special interest lobbies.
China also supports their ethnic minorities with economic incentives and guarantees the preservation of each of their unique languages and cultures. Try THAT with the Hopi or Navaho!
I could go on but I hope you get my point. China isn't the tyrant portrayed by that segment of the US population too eager to listen to and believe the ravings of certain right wingers. It's NOT the US either and shouldn't be judged by western standards.
Would I want to live there? Nope but with the current state of "western" civilization, I will say they appear to have their shit together for the time being.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:26 PM   #36
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Greetings,
Mr. 4445. You have to get out more. China has a 7000+ year old culture. It was practicing advanced forms of metallurgy, astronomy, medicine, architecture and agriculture, to name a few disciplines while OUR, yes, yours and mine, ancestors were living in sod huts and shitting in our animal skins.
List of Chinese inventions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
To suggest modern China does nothing but steal technology is small minded at the very least to put it most politely. Industrial espionage DOES go on in China as it does everywhere else in the world.
"government that rules with an iron fist"? Possibly, from a western perspective but I don't think their government is controlled by banks, pharmaceutical companies, oil giants or special interest lobbies.
China also supports their ethnic minorities with economic incentives and guarantees the preservation of each of their unique languages and cultures. Try THAT with the Hopi or Navaho!
I could go on but I hope you get my point. China isn't the tyrant portrayed by that segment of the US population too eager to listen to and believe the ravings of certain right wingers. It's NOT the US either and shouldn't be judged by western standards.
Would I want to live there? Nope but with the current state of "western" civilization, I will say they appear to have their shit together for the time being.
while your correct about chinese history u r wrong about technology. The chinese goverment refused to allow offshore companies to open shop in china unless they took a chinese company under there wing and taught them the technolgy to manufacture the products for the chinese market. This was one of the fruits of good old Nixon's visit to china which opened the doors to the future. At this point in the game I'm not sure if that is a requirement any more.
Why do so many ................look, every time i answer one of these questions i get in trouble with the mods so pm me if you wish further discussion on this topic
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:01 PM   #37
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Greetings,
Mr. 45. As a final comment on your views regarding China, let me just say don't discount this emerging economy and their ability to innovate. As I have mentioned in previous threads, the Chinese seem to have a work ethic that appears to be disappearing in the US but that's just my impression.
Don't believe everything you read. Columbus didn't "discover" America, Edison didn't invent the light bulb, the Wright brothers were not the first to fly a heavier than air craft and China may not have as bad a human rights record as reported in the MSM. After all, sensationalism sells.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:10 AM   #38
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Greetings,
Mr. 45. As a final comment on your views regarding China, let me just say don't discount this emerging economy and their ability to innovate. As I have mentioned in previous threads, the Chinese seem to have a work ethic that appears to be disappearing in the US but that's just my impression.
RT--- As someone who has been going to and working in many parts of China a lot the past few years---from the big cities like Shanghai and Beijing to biofuel feedstock plantations in remote mountain agricultural communities--- I can assure you that everything you have said in your previous couple of posts is right on the money. China is one of those places you have to experience yourself as that's the only way to see through the stereotypes, assumptions, and flat out incorrect ideas held by most Americans.

It ain't a utopia, that's for sure. But neither is the US. In fact the US seems to be moving farther and farther away from being any sort of utopia every day.

If the US as a whole had half the work ethic the Chinese have--- and I mean the work ethic in their inherent character, not the go-in-early, work-all-day, go-home-late life that is imposed on many of them today (in other words, just like the life that was imposed on US workers in the late 1800s/early 1900s)--- if the US population as a whole had half that work ethic today this country would be a very different place. But we don't, so we aren't.

Like you, RT, I would not want to live there. In my case if for no other reason that I don't like the geography. I don't want to live anywhere but the Pacific Northwest/BC Coast/SE Alaska. But experiencing China today is much like I expect it was like to experience the US after WWII. We (my and my crew) love going over there for work. It's exciting, the people as a whole are excited about where they believe China is going, and there is a sense of moving forward that you can't escape, be it in the city or in the country.

They've got staggering hurdles to clear--- what nation on the planet doesn't these days. Whether they can clear them remains to be seen. But there is a positive atmosphere there. As opposed to the US, where the atmosphere is one of bickering, disappointment, victimization, crippling polarization, and whining that everything is someone else's fault.

So even though you may not have been there, RT, your basic interpretation of what they are about these days is pretty darn accurate from everything I've seen and experienced so far.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:08 AM   #39
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Greetings,
Mr. 45. As a final comment on your views regarding China, let me just say don't discount this emerging economy and their ability to innovate. As I have mentioned in previous threads, the Chinese seem to have a work ethic that appears to be disappearing in the US but that's just my impression.
Don't believe everything you read. Columbus didn't "discover" America, Edison didn't invent the light bulb, the Wright brothers were not the first to fly a heavier than air craft and China may not have as bad a human rights record as reported in the MSM. After all, sensationalism sells.
The work ethic you say is missing is called slavery and that supposedly went out here in 1863. $200-300 a month for 6 14 hour days of labor cannot be called anything other than slavery. My information is from my colleges, at least they were untill i retired a year ago, all PhD's, all recently arrived from over there. Those numbers do not generally include the areas open to foreign visitors or lobbies of fancy western style hotels.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:36 AM   #40
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The work ethic you say is missing is called slavery and that supposedly went out here in 1863. $200-300 a month for 6 14 hour days of labor cannot be called anything other than slavery. My information is from my colleges, at least they were untill i retired a year ago, all PhD's, all recently arrived from over there. Those numbers do not generally include the areas open to foreign visitors or lobbies of fancy western style hotels.
A 4-5 Star Western Style Hotel as you sight cost $85 a night US in Beijing. So at the $300 a month you quote that is 28% of ones wage. Outrageous to be sure. But here in the US such a hotel will be above $350 a night and at minimum wage of $8 that is 27%. And the difference is??? So for the people that work at jobs for $8 an hour in this country are considered slaves. Really?

My information is from just being there. Staying in that hotel. I'm not saying I would live there either but to the major part of the country things are getting better than they had it just a few years ago. I'm not sure who told you there are areas that Westerners are not allowed in but I didn't see any. The Bullet train went right through some very rural parts of the country and it stopped four times while I was on it. Some place were remote. But no one would have stopped me from getting off of the train if I wanted.

As far as the PhDs from there sure they want out. $1,200 a month there vs $10k here. They are use to living on the $14k a year and they will live here on $25k a year and save the $45k remaining.
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