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Debates Forum

  1. 03 Dec '09 04:52
    in two parts.

    First is the notion of "American Made" . Do other countries have a sense of pride

    regionally produced goods? Pride might not be the optimal word to encompass

    quality, and other factors people appreciate in said products but I hope the point
    comes through.
    Secondly it is my understanding is that cost is the reason many manufacturers outsource their production to overseas facilities. Yet there is a definite market for locally produced goods. At what point do companies do the trade off and start doing the imported products and neglect the true demands of consumers?
    I'll use the example of guitars. US made guitars are for the most part held in high regard by musicians. Yet most guitars sold in the US are made Asia. Companies I'm thinking about are Fender and Gibson. They both have a "high end line" which are built in the states and expensive and both have low end models built overseas that make up the bulk of their sales. Could they feasibly make a low end guitar in the states for an inexpensive price?
    How about other products, are there products this could work with? I made a purchase on amazon the other day and was repulsed by the lack of quality this company put their name on. What showed up at the house looked like they took the lowest bids for everything they could and set the price for something of higher quality. I consider myself to have descent taste and have certain expectations about the things I purchase so I returned it. Do I have unrealistic expectations? Does "Made in China" have to be associated with junk? Made in Japan used to have that stigma, but they seem to have overcome it, and many things that were being made in Japan have been outsourced again to Korea or Indonesia.
    What I want to know is if the market forces are there for US made products, why isn't there a better selection of US made products?
  2. 03 Dec '09 05:00
    May beef isn't that it has to be "American Made". Quality is what I'm looking for. I feel there is a general lack of quality in the products being offered. I like BMW they make great cars and motorcycles. Honda makes the greatest small engines in the world and I don't use anything but.
  3. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    03 Dec '09 05:14 / 1 edit
    It's about specialization. I have enormous respect for Toyotas. They have been the workhorse of my family all my life and when I could finally afford a new car of my choice I knew exactly what it was that I wanted and what company I trusted to give me a superior product.

    Yeah, I feel bad for the US auto industry. However the fact is they have consistently failed to meet the needs of myself and my family. We're city folk, and ginormous macho vehicles don't belong in the city despite the recent trend toward huge SUVs that plague the streets. My Dad is a general contractor who drove American for years but when he had the chance to get a new vehicle of his choice the last time as part of a business relationship he picked a Toyota pickup.

    So, the US auto industry suffers by all this.

    But the US weapons industry doesn't. Indiginous arms industries all over the world are competitively crushed by American and Russian equipment. Our arms industry gets a disproportionate amount of business.

    So do our universities. There are any number of American industries that dominate their global market. I mean...I can't imagine that US companies aren't in charge of the Indian telemarketing industry.

    It's Adam Smith's Invisible Hand adjusting the economy in the direction of efficiency. I feel bad for the US auto industry, but not for the US theoretical physics community. It more than evens out I think. That's what makes the free market so powerful.
  4. 03 Dec '09 05:59
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    It's about specialization. I have enormous respect for Toyotas. They have been the workhorse of my family all my life and when I could finally afford a new car of my choice I knew exactly what it was that I wanted and what company I trusted to give me a superior product.
    http://news.google.com/news/search?aq=f&pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=toyota+acceleration
  5. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    03 Dec '09 09:09
    Originally posted by cheshirecatstevens
    in two parts.

    First is the notion of "American Made" . Do other countries have a sense of pride

    regionally produced goods? Pride might not be the optimal word to encompass

    quality, and other factors people appreciate in said products but I hope the point
    comes through.
    Secondly it is my understanding is that cost is the reason many ...[text shortened]... are there for US made products, why isn't there a better selection of US made products?
    Good question!! I guess a good answer is that while many countries do outsource a percentage of there manufacturing jobs, there are often safegards in place mandating compensation to employees who've lost there jobs do to outsourcing, as well as rules in place protecting a percentage of there manufacturing base. America however, does not generally believe in these policies. Once a displaced employees unemployment benifits run out, they simply have no income left.
  6. 03 Dec '09 11:29
    Originally posted by cheshirecatstevens
    Do other countries have a sense of pride regionally produced goods?
    Its mostly not about pride, its about self interest. Yes, other countries too also encourage buying locally and their people deliberately buy locally.

    Yet there is a definite market for locally produced goods. At what point do companies do the trade off and start doing the imported products and neglect the true demands of consumers?
    ...
    What I want to know is if the market forces are there for US made products, why isn't there a better selection of US made products?

    You basically answer your own questions yet remain confused.
    The solution some companies make is to cater for both markets as you already stated.

    There aren't the market forces for more US made products, or the products would be produced - thats how capitalism works.
    In general, those willing to pay for for locally produced goods get the goods from the US, those willing to pay for quality, get the expensive goods either from the US or China, and those not willing to pay for quality, don't care where it comes from, so it comes from China because they can produce it at the cheapest price.
    As a result, China as got a bit of a reputation for cheap (poor quality) goods, but the truth is that the vast majority of stuff is actually made there. I am willing to bet that most parts inside the computer you are using were made in China.
  7. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    03 Dec '09 11:35
    Originally posted by cheshirecatstevens
    in two parts.

    First is the notion of "American Made" . Do other countries have a sense of pride

    regionally produced goods?
    I think the French do.
  8. 03 Dec '09 11:59
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Its mostly not about pride, its about self interest. Yes, other countries too also encourage buying locally and their people deliberately buy locally.

    [b]Yet there is a definite market for locally produced goods. At what point do companies do the trade off and start doing the imported products and neglect the true demands of consumers?
    ...
    What I wa ...[text shortened]... re. I am willing to bet that most parts inside the computer you are using were made in China.
    Perhaps that is why we get so many problems?
  9. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    03 Dec '09 12:41
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    http://news.google.com/news/search?aq=f&pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=toyota+acceleration
    I have a Corolla. I'm all right.

    But thanks for the info.
  10. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    03 Dec '09 12:51
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    It's Adam Smith's Invisible Hand adjusting the economy in the direction of efficiency. I feel bad for the US auto industry, but not for the US theoretical physics community. It more than evens out I think. That's what makes the free market so powerful.
    I would have to totally disagree with you because there is no invisible hand driving the weapons industry towards efficiency. The US state funds the weapons industry and a bit like Formula 1 motor racing, the object of the exercise is to be the best regardless of cost. For obvious security and strategic issues, weapons R&D and manufacture is not something you outsource. And even when you do as is the case with the joint strike fighter, you withhold general release of the Raptor.

    So while Government is criticized for not being able to run a health care system, it somehow manages to fund a state of the art trillion dollar weapons industry that regularly spins off technologies that become standard practice in broader industry, much like technical innovation in Formula 1 eventually trickles down to your humble urban transport.

    So to argue about the power of the free market while using the US weapons industry as an example seems a tad inappropriate.
  11. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    03 Dec '09 14:26
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung

    It's Adam Smith's Invisible Hand adjusting the economy in the direction of efficiency.
    His left hand or his right?
  12. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    03 Dec '09 15:14
    There is a view around that the US likes to export and enforce its free market ideology, imposing it on less developed countries to their detriment, while failing to observe these principles at home. It seems possible that countries require a period of protection before they can confront open markets. However the US seems to protect industries like agriculture while being purist about other industries where it hopes to dominate.

    Hollowing out of industry (exporting the production work to low wage economies) has not only affected the US but Japan, Britain and other developed countries. To compensate, the US has kindly exported also its MacDonalds franchise, giving stupidly low paid slave labour to the citizens of the de-industrialising World.

    Some of the responses to globalisation can be creative. In Britain, car making appears to have died yet component manufacture thrives (un recognised). In cars, computers and other industries, the money is made through components (think of Intel or Microsoft, or electrical components of cars, or gear boxes) and making the basic end product is reduced to assembly work without much profit (think how IBM collapsed in manufacture of PCs). So there are far fewer companies dominating components than there are companies making the end product. For example, lots of rival car makers use Lucas electrical systems.

    However the major questions about deindustrialisation and the future of work are going to have to be asked globally and will not be solved by protectionism.
  13. 04 Dec '09 03:08
    Originally posted by finnegan
    There is a view around that the US likes to export and enforce its free market ideology, imposing it on less developed countries to their detriment, while failing to observe these principles at home. It seems possible that countries require a period of protection before they can confront open markets. However the US seems to protect industries like agricult ...[text shortened]... e future of work are going to have to be asked globally and will not be solved by protectionism.
    Is the US exporting the McD's culture or is there a bigger draw asking for it. I don't see agents at McD's with a gun to anyone's head.
  14. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    04 Dec '09 05:01 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by finnegan
    There is a view around that the US likes to export and enforce its free market ideology, imposing it on less developed countries to their detriment, while failing to observe these principles at home. It seems possible that countries require a period of protection before they can confront open markets. However the US seems to protect industries like agriculture while being purist about other industries where it hopes to dominate.
    I think the truth of it more and more is that we need to look outside of the traditional labels to find a newer reality emerging that has nothing to do with nationalism, nothing to do with flag waving patriotism. You only have to look at Airbus for proof of the process you have outlined so that now you see many countries around the globe all involved in the manufacture of the A380.

    The example of the auto industry you gave is also quite an eye opener where you see product sharing amongst competitors to the extent that the new Jag XF and XJ for a while a division of Ford but sold off to the Indian car maker Tata and are all still underpinned by Ford engineering courtesy of their Mondeo program.

    The truth is that for many who control the flow of industry, national identity is to a large extent somewhat of a liability and just a little passe. Do the Uber elite really care what national anthem you sing? I would think not.

    In a sense then the UNITED STATES that we think of as the United States, this somehow mystical personification of power/force, a self ordering principle that acts with prescience to forge its own destiny, is nothing more than an empty shell that echoes all that we would invest into it, yet in truth is nothing more than a hollow chimera.

    You are right, in that the lack of a level playing field and the lack of tariff walls for countries who allowed themselves or who were pushed kicking and screaming into feeding at the world bank trough, gave little in the way of protecting the way in which
    jobs flowed from developed to developing nations and how globalization through an
    anarchy of myriad opportunities presented by untapped markets willing to offer even
    cheaper labor costs which all helped accelerate this process of global involvement into becoming a 'nation' in its own right, which on a global scale has little in the way of control or competition and it will continue to writhe and wreak havoc on the small and
    powerless, while we in the most developed of nations think it appropriate for the threshing machine to be let loose uncontrolled amongst the field hands.