AAFTA and China Tariffs

#46
Much of the grief with our manufacturing sector can be traced to the growth of the CEO culture in this country. These high rollers have learned how to cultivate the maximum profit from their position and are more interested in gaining another spot in the Fortune 400 than developing cutting edge manufacturing processes. The average CEO pay is said to be from 261 to 360 X what the average wage is for an American worker. These are the same guys that will fight wage increases, health care and benefit packages for their workers while raking in multi million dollar salaries and bonus's. By letting another country supply the labor, do the design and make the capitol investment in infrastructure these CEO's have little to do but rake in the profits. They no longer have to think or manage to any degree and as we have seen so often they fail frequently as a result of their own incompetence and egos. It matters little though as most receive a golden parachute for their performance no matter how bad. Failure is anticipated in their contracts and they will get paid no matter what.

We are rewarding the wrong guys and handicapping the strength of our work force while stifling innovation. The USA used to be a feared technological megalith with our products desired around the world. Today we have become just "me too" as other countries surge ahead investing in new technology while we continue to invest in CEO's. A poor investment by any measure.
I agree - see the quote under my signature line.
 

ribka

Active Member
#47
Sadly, this is very true.

Case in point. My FIL was a nationally leading salesman for a major automotive part manufacturer and watched helplessly as the corporation was driven into the ground by "entitled" senior management (on a side note, he says there's actually a lot of truth about the business in the movie Tommy Boy). Anyway, one particularly greedy, and incompetent, CEO walked away with a ridiculous severance package (millions per year) as a "punishment".

This gets back to what I see as the key word to fixing pretty much everything in this country. That word is "incentive". Incentive for productivity, innovation, team work, and just plain hard work, have largely been destroyed by entitlements at both ends of the socio-economic spectrum.

The other incentive killer being opportunity, or lack thereof. I feel for many young people starting out in today's economy. Between the cost of housing and healthcare, I can understand why some just say "screw-it" and turn to drugs or other self-destructive life choices. Not that I condone those choices, just that I can understand giving up when "success" in the usual sense seems completely out of reach.

And just for the record. I'm not in the left or the right camps. Both have valid points to make, but both are also failing to listen to valid criticisms from the opposing sides. Politics has devolved into something more like sports. To the point it seems values are being based on doing the polar opposite of what the rival "team" is espousing.

So, it boils down to this: We can't have effective social programs without a strong economy to support them, but we also can't have a strong economy (or at least one worth having) in the absence of a functioning, healthy society.

The key to restoring balance between those two, besides compromise (gasp), isn't the redistribution of wealth, it's the redistribution of incentive.

Regarding the overnpaid corrupt CEO story. That culture exists in every country . Corruption is much worse in the majority of countries in the world.

The old ways of using appeasement diplomacy in dealing with China is obviously not working and America was and is getting screwed.



Blaming drug abuse on a lack of work ethic now and poor life planning skills and not knowing how to budget your money. The everyone’s a victim mentality.And we have the highest standard of living now in human history. Millions of immigrants pouring into our country, many risking their lives, for a chance at better life. How many people risk their lives every year to get into China?

I know many young people that have worked hard, received majors in useful areas of studies, ( not women’s studies, art history, journalism, political science etc) did internships in the summer instead of sleeping in to 1 o’clock in the afternoon in their parents house during summer break who became very successful with minimum student debt. I have friends with kids graduating from votech schools with marketable skills starting at 75k a year with zero student loans.more with OT.

One thing is sure in life and that is change so you better learn to adapt. If you’re pissed at the CEO making millions more that his/her workers invest in that company’s stock starting at a young age instead of eating out every day and spending 5 bucks every day on your machiatto pissing money away .

Life has never been fair deal with it.



China will be experiencing major problems with their 100’s of millions in the growing middle class there if they can’t export their goods. Most of their major manufacturing is located in rural areas.
China would never be able to deal with massive unemployment in these new industrialized remote rural areas unless they went back to the mass executions , arrests, round ups of citizens policies under Mao. I think they know this when negotiating new tariffs.

Or their new social credit system and as mentioned the Asian concept of saving face and social engineering.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ws...s-chilling-social-credit-blacklist-1513036054

https://medium.com/@davgilg/1984-in-2020-social-engineering-in-china-499bbf162ebb
 
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FinLuver

Active Member
#49
I'm going to assume that isn't an argument against re-establishing US manufacturing capability... but that would be a true statement in a very literal sense.

I can't speak to other industries, but yes, we've got some seriously nasty shit in the semiconductor biz. Fortunately the quantities involved are tiny, comparatively speaking, in the sense of traditional industry (i.e. rivers catching on fire etc...). And, at least for now in this country, we have environmental laws that impose limits on discharges and emissions. For which we have effective containment and treatment systems. Not sure the same can be said about overseas facilities. The chips going into your next cell phone, computer, or car, have to be made somewhere, and that pollution will be going into the same ocean and atmosphere.

Besides, most of these nasties are extremely expensive substances. So there's a very strong incentive (there's that word again) to minimize consumption. Photoresists for example (essentially equivalent to UV resins) are upwards of several thousand dollars per gallon. We (the engineering dept I work in) have made huge strides reducing that usage to a fraction (per wafer) of that when the fab first opened.


Yup. Not to mention all the supporting businesses and contractors that will be feeding off said thriving hypothetical manufacturing operation.

At some point, ALL economies are fundamentally based on productive endeavors. You can shuffle paperwork, do all kinds of financial wizardry, sell insurance, open strip malls, etc... etc.. but at some point, somebody has to be growing stuff, mining stuff, catching stuff, or making stuff. Everything else collapses otherwise. If we push all those productive capacities to other countries, we become dependent on them. I fail to see why some think that's such an awesome idea.
I may have misread your original post or another's; but, just to be clear...I'm for bringing manufacturing back to this country. However, there is a "price" to be paid - monetarily, humanitarily (sp?), and environmentally - all these great "new technologies" have a "price" to be paid...in all of the areas mentioned previously. 3D printing is a really nasty new one (chemically), that all businesses, including aeronautics and military seem to be gravitating towards. If it doesn't harm the environment initially producing it, it may well in the disposal end; it will certainly do some damage to the worker over the long run. But hey, like bees...we will create replacements for future needs.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
#50
Blaming drug abuse on a lack of work ethic now and poor life planning skills and not knowing how to budget your money. The everyone’s a victim mentality.And we have the highest standard of living now in human history. Millions of immigrants pouring into our country, many risking their lives, for a chance at better life. How many people risk their lives every year to get into China?

I know many young people that have worked hard, received majors in useful areas of studies, ( not women’s studies, art history, journalism, political science etc) did internships in the summer instead of sleeping in to 1 o’clock in the afternoon in their parents house during summer break who became very successful with minimum student debt. I have friends with kids graduating from votech schools with marketable skills starting at 75k a year with zero student loans.more with OT.

One thing is sure in life and that is change so you better learn to adapt. If you’re pissed at the CEO making millions more that his/her workers invest in that company’s stock starting at a young age instead of eating out every day and spending 5 bucks every day on your machiatto pissing money away .

Life has never been fair deal with it.
I didn't say I approved of embracing failure as an option, just that I can understand why some say eff it and go that route. Sure, it's still very possible to start a successful career, relatively debt-free, right out of school. Or, with a lot of hard work and disciplined finances. That works for some, and yes, particularly for immigrants who have a totally different perspective on the "fairness" of life. Unfortunately, competition for the kind of jobs that support the traditional american middle-class life-style, is becoming increasingly intense. There are only so many of those jobs to go around, and bringing back some manufacturing from overseas would go a long way to alleviating that competitive pressure.

As @Shad pointed out:
As has been said, not everyone can be a doctor, a lawyer, or a software engineer, and that doesn't make them any less useful (I'd argue necessary) in a functioning society. Well-paying manufacturing jobs were the backbone of the middle class.
I'm not completely against a global economy, or saying the the US has to regain "dominance" in manufacturing. Just that it makes sense to regain, and maintain a level of manufacturing capacity that keeps us (US) on the same competitive plane. Otherwise we are well on the road to becoming a "backwater" nation. Take a look at the exploding homeless problem here in comparison to refugee camps in Africa and tell me otherwise.

Actually, according to an article in last months Nat'l Geographic, the largest refugee camp in Africa, Bidibidi in Uganda, is evolving into a community with services, schools, and health care that put our homeless situation to shame. This is what can happen when people who have a self-sufficient mind-set, and capabilities, have everything stripped away.
 

ribka

Active Member
#51
I’m aware that the US is near the top of the CEO pay scale. We have the strongest economic system in the world the past decade or so and the US leads the world in tech, medical innovations and tens of thousands of students from all over the world come to US yearly and pay top dollar to study at our universities ,which in my view are way over priced ,
but that’s another discussion. Foreign Investors seem to prefer investing their monies in the US over other stagnant countries due to the stability of system. I could go on and on...

For all the doom and gloom we’ve been bombarded with the past two years and the idiots who had tantrums and said they would leave to evil US and live in Canada or Europe ( none followed through on their promises) well the US must do something right.




[


QUOTE="mtskibum16, post: 1495667, member: 10094"]The US is on another level though as far as the pay gap between CEOs and the workers when compared to much of the world. Chart pulled from statista.

View attachment 202840 [/QUOTE]
 

ribka

Active Member
#52
I didn't say I approved of embracing failure as an option, just that I can understand why some say eff it and go that route. Sure, it's still very possible to start a successful career, relatively debt-free, right out of school. Or, with a lot of hard work and disciplined finances. That works for some, and yes, particularly for immigrants who have a totally different perspective on the "fairness" of life. Unfortunately, competition for the kind of jobs that support the traditional american middle-class life-style, is becoming increasingly intense. There are only so many of those jobs to go around, and bringing back some manufacturing from overseas would go a long way to alleviating that competitive pressure.

As @Shad pointed out:


I'm not completely against a global economy, or saying the the US has to regain "dominance" in manufacturing. Just that it makes sense to regain, and maintain a level of manufacturing capacity that keeps us (US) on the same competitive plane. Otherwise we are well on the road to becoming a "backwater" nation. Take a look at the exploding homeless problem here in comparison to refugee camps in Africa and tell me otherwise.

Actually, according to an article in last months Nat'l Geographic, the largest refugee camp in Africa, Bidibidi in Uganda, is evolving into a community with services, schools, and health care that put our homeless situation to shame. This is what can happen when people who have a self-sufficient mind-set, and capabilities, have everything stripped away.

How mant MRI’s, CAT scan machines, Orthopedic surgeons, oncologists, physical therapists, cardiologists etc they have in those refugee camps? When I worked in refugee camps in Africa and Europe there were none. Getting dependable electricity and potable water, and stopping rapes and murders in the camps was a challenge

A homeless person in Seattle can go to any hospital in the area and access all those specialists for free.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
#53
How mant MRI’s, CAT scan machines, Orthopedic surgeons, oncologists, physical therapists, cardiologists etc they have in those refugee camps? When I worked in refugee camps in Africa and Europe there were none. Getting dependable electricity and potable water, and stopping rapes and murders in the camps was a challenge

A homeless person in Seattle can go to any hospital in the area and access all those specialists for free.
Touchè. Just trying to point out that the former stark contrast between the US as a 1st world nation and the "3rd world" is blurring.

And kudos to you for your work in those camps.
 
#54
What's cool about Ribka is that I can disagree with him and know we have some pretty different worldviews, but he knows his positions and backs things up well. Wish more people understood how to partake in civil discourse.

That said, I'm still not going to get involved in this debate here.
 

1morecast

Active Member
#55
Yes, with one exception that the traditional concept of manufacturing jobs being "low brow" occupations is itself obsolete. Which was the point I was trying to make in my first post. As products become more sophisticated, it's only natural that the technology required to create them must advance in complexity as well.

Often, this relationship is non-linear. In the case of shrinking transistor sizes we're pretty much at the wall with regard to optical printing technology. The link on EUV (Extreme Ultra Violet) Lithography illustrates just how far this technology is being pushed. In a nutshell, to image smaller features (transistors) we need to use shorter wavelengths of light. Get this, to generate the 13.5 nm EUV light source, a CO2 laser fires 20 kilowatt pulses at droplets of molten tin, converting them to a plasma that fluoresces at the EUV wavelength. And that's just to turn on the "light bulb" inside the 180 ton, $120M "projector", that has a support crew of 50 engineers and technicians. This "manufacturing" stuff is up there with, and arguably beyond anything NASA is doing:

https://www.euvlitho.com/2017/S1.pdf

But I digress. Manufacturing jobs ain't what they used to be. Even in my case, working in a 20 year old "Fab" (semiconductor plant). In another time and industry, my equivalent title would be a "mill wright". Essentially a glorified mechanic with limited engineering functions. And while there are similarities in that I perform preventative maintenance (i.e. cleaning, lubing), trouble-shooting, replacing failed components, etc... I also have to perform metrology setups, understand SPC (Statistical Process Control), of which there are literally thousands of charts that can flag, and interpret what a parameter in alarm means in terms of what's really happening inside a machine. Many times that leads to process engineering coming to us (equipment engineering) for help.

So even though I'm just a lowly technician by title, I routinely have discussions with a process engineer who has a Master's in chemical engineering and a PhD in physics. Topics can range from issues associated with viscosity in photoresist, to optical changes in exposure systems due to changes in barometric pressure. I've also managed to pull off 3 utility patents. Not exactly the kind of blue collar stuff typically associated with a "factory" job.

The point being, from my perspective the idea that manufacturing is somehow devoid of opportunities for critical thinking, cutting-edge innovation, and need for higher education, is utterly and completely absurd. Sure, packing a bazillion transistors into a cell phone (so small they would look like jelly beans next to a bacterium scaled to the size of a cantaloupe) is pretty much the same as shoveling coke into a blast furnace.

Sarcasm aside, in reality, if that job function still existed in the US (?), it would be automated and tightly controlled through instrumentation and SPC. So yes, fewer jobs than a traditional steel mill but better paying jobs that are more technical in nature.
Exactly!! The days of 10 people on a assembly line are gone. Companies want that same line to be automated with 4 people who have the knowledge to keep the robots happy!
Remembe,r Companies are in business for a select few to get rich.
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
#56
Exactly!! The days of 10 people on a assembly line are gone. Companies want that same line to be automated with 4 people who have the knowledge to keep the robots happy!
Remembe,r Companies are in business for a select few to get rich.
I’m one of those four,they call it progress
 
#57
Many good points in these pages. Keep in mind that the primary reason companies have moved overseas, or purchased from overseas sources, is labor costs. Sure, there some savings realized by dealing with companies that don't have to watch pollution, but that's about it.

The production line mentioned above that only needs four people where 10 were needed before? Count that as a win for the USA; it suggests that company wants to find a way to manufacture here instead of overseas. It might not seem like a win to lose 6 employees, but the company is finding a way to keep manufacturing here by cutting the single biggest expense.

So the trick is to find ways to get companies to invest in better manufacturing techniques that reduce labor, thus keeping at least some of those jobs in the USA. Tough sell, as it's just easier to outsource overseas than to innovate locally. Lazy people, lazy companies, take the easier way out.

The question to ask, then, is, to move us back on topic, how to reduce the labor costs involved with fly rod making, and enable us to move the low- to middle-end rod making (and reel making, and line making, etc)? By investing in innovative manufacturing techniques that make it cheaper to manufacture here than over there. In my opinion, precious few companies of any sort, fly fishing-related or other, do that. It requires long-term thinking, not a strong point of your average corporate CEO, who has to keep the stockholders from marching on his castle with torches and pitchforks so he can keep his 335X average salary bonus. But all fun aside, I don't know if a smaller corporation actually has the funds for the R&D needed to do this. And so the result is a trade war...
 
#59
"For all the doom and gloom we’ve been bombarded with the past two years and the idiots who had tantrums and said they would leave to evil US and live in Canada or Europe ( none followed through on their promises) well the US must do something right."

Right after Ted Nugent finally follows through on his threats to leave the country in past elections. That is the biggest bag of hot wind ever...

By the way, "What has Ted been up to lately?"-said Nobody : )
 
#60
For all the doom and gloom we’ve been bombarded with the past two years and the idiots who had tantrums and said they would leave to evil US and live in Canada or Europe ( none followed through on their promises) well the US must do something right.
And you know none of them have followed through how? And does this have anything to do with losing manufacturing jobs in the USA or trade wars?