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Guy says America still the manufacturing giant

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by wireguy, Feb 7, 2011.

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  1. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    Jeff Jacoby
    Made in the U.S.A.


    IN ECONOMICS AS IN APPAREL, most fashions come and go. But like the navy blazer or the little black dress, bewailing the decline of American manufacturing never seems to go out of style.

    They're closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks
    Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain't coming back.

    So sang Bruce Springsteen in "My Hometown," a hit song from his 1984 album, "Born in the U.S.A.". More than a quarter-century later, that sentiment (if not the song) is as popular as ever.

    "You know, we don't manufacture anything anymore in this country," says Donald Trump in an interview with CNNMoney. "We do health care; we do lots of different services. But . . . everything is made in China, for the most part."

    The Donald has his idiosyncracies, but on this issue, he is squarely in mainstream.

    A recent Heartland Monitor survey finds "clear anxiety about the decades-long employment shift away from manufacturing to service jobs," National Journal's Ron Brownstein reported in December. The "decline of US manufacturing" is giving Americans a "sense of economic precariousness" -- only one in five believe that the United States has the world's strongest economy, versus nearly half who think China is in the lead. "Near the root of the unease for many of those polled is the worry that the United States no longer makes enough stuff." When asked why US manufacturing jobs have declined, fully 58 percent cite offshoring by American companies to take advantage of lower labor costs.

    There's just one problem with all the gloom and doom about American manufacturing. It's wrong.

    Americans make more "stuff" than any other nation on earth, and by a wide margin. According to the UN's comprehensive database of international economic data, America's manufacturing output in 2009 (expressed in constant 2005 dollars) was $2.15 trillion. That surpassed China's output of $1.48 trillion by nearly 46 percent. China's industries may be booming, but the United States still accounted for 20 percent of the world's manufacturing output in 2009 -- only a hair below its 1990 share of 21 percent.

    "The decline, demise, and death of America's manufacturing sector has been greatly exaggerated," says economist Mark J. Perry, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. "America still makes a ton of stuff, and we make more of it now than ever before in history." In fact, Americans manufactured more goods in 2009 than the Japanese, Germans, British, and Italians -- combined.

    The death of America's manufacturing sector? Not by a long shot. (UN data, via Mark J. Perry)

    American manufacturing output hits a new high almost every year. US industries are powerhouses of production: Measured in constant dollars, America's manufacturing output today is more than double what it was in the early 1970s.

    So why do so many Americans fear that the Chinese are eating our lunch?

    Part of the reason is that fewer Americans work in factories. Millions of industrial jobs have vanished in recent decades, and there is no getting around the hardship that has meant for many families. But factory employment has declined because factory productivity has so dramatically skyrocketed: Revolutions in technology enable an American worker today to produce far more than his counterpart did a generation ago. Consequently, even as America's manufacturing sector outproduces every other country on earth, millions of young Americans can aspire to become not factory hands or assembly workers, but doctors and lawyers, architects and engineers.

    Perceptions also feed the gloom and doom. In its story on Americans' economic anxiety, National Journal quotes a Florida teacher who says, "It seems like everything I pick up says 'Made in China' on it." To someone shopping for toys, shoes, or sporting equipment, it often can seem that way. But that's because Chinese factories tend to specialize in low-tech, labor-intensive goods -- items that typically don't require the more advanced and sophisticated manufacturing capabilities of modern American plants.

    A vast amount of "stuff" is still made in the USA, albeit not the inexpensive consumer goods that fill the shelves in Target or Walgreen's. American factories make fighter jets and air conditioners, automobiles and pharmaceuticals, industrial lathes and semiconductors. Not the sort of things on your weekly shopping list? Maybe not. But that doesn't change economic reality. They may have "clos[ed] down the textile mill across the railroad tracks." But America's manufacturing glory is far from a thing of the past.
     
  2. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    I think the truth lies somewhere between we don't manufacture anything and we are the manufacturing powerhouse. Seems like it takes real crisis for this country to buildup its manufacturing capabilities. But the good news is that historically we have been able to do that. We do have alot of resources and we also can produce a lot of food which will probably become our greatest strength.

    Now if we could just stop spending money we don't have .....
     
  3. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    I'm doing my part to help keep Americans who make guns and ammo employed!!!
     
  4. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    This guy must be one of Obama's Homies to try and pull that bunch of BS off on the People of America ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  5. 4andy10

    4andy10 Member

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    guess that's why unemployment in the 9 percent range. Just not enough of us to work for wally world or mc e ds.
     
  6. southjblue

    southjblue Active Member

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    I just went through a remodeling of my house---Nothing came from the USA from the tile to the new TV and most of the workers were Mexicans (LEGAL)---I wanted to put a wood burning stove in and the people to put up the chimeny wanted $250.00 more to work on Saturday---Typical union mentality---The Mex's would work Sunday and through the night if I supplied lights---Don't make me laugh about made in the USA---China is now offering to bid for our new fighter aircraft and tanks---We dont have any more steel mills left.All our steel comes from China---Guess I must be looking in the wrong place---By the way---
    No overtime for the fireplace---They could stay home and watch TV made in China.Sorry--Thats how I find it---JMO---SJB---
     
  7. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Let's not get crazy again. A couple weeks ago some knucklehead was screaming that there aren't any foundries left in the U.S. (in fact, there are hundreds) and now, "We don't have any more steel mills left. All our steel comes from China." Nonsense. We still have steel mills in the U.S. and they employ over 150,000 people. Yes, unions have run many of the jobs out of the country and mills have been forced to get efficient or get lost. That means they make product with less labor. In some ways, that's a good thing. I have personally been inside Chinese factories and, trust me, you wouldn't do what they do for 20 times the pay (and your 20-something year-old kids wouldn't do it for 30X). Those crap jobs are gone and they're never coming back at union wages, so advise the young people you love to develop their minds.

    What Wolfram said is dead-on. The truth lies between the shrill, panicky screams of the dramatically uninformed on either end of the spectrum.

    -Gary
     
  8. southjblue

    southjblue Active Member

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    Well Gary,you seem to be better informed than me but if we still have steel mills I wonder where they are---Pittsburg steel went under last I heard---150,000 people are on thin ice---All our steel junk (or most) is heading overseas---I'll also bet those 150,000 are wishing they were not union any more. Not knocking union but they are on thin ice also---Too many folks willing to work for wages and not tied up to the unions---Sorry---Thats how I see it---JMO---SJB---
     
  9. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    SJB: The biggest concentration of steelworkers is still employed in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio. No need to apologize - I understand how you feel. I have many of the same emotions. But we shouldn't paint things as being worse than they are. Most importantly we need to look FORWARD. Henry Ford killed the buggy business and those who clung to the notion of making buggywhips like their father did were destined for failure. Education is no guarantee but it is still the best bet. Those with both technical skills and people skills will do fine, especially if they have a positive attitude and an old-school work ethic. The US is still strong, still has the largest homogenious market on the planet, and will bounce back just as it has countless times before. But only if we can keep the politicians and their corruption and social engineering from destroying us from within. The ever-growing entitlement mentality in this country is a disease. We need to teach our kids to develop their minds and still work hard, just like we do and our parents did. We also need to hold politicians accountable for their actions.

    -Gary
     
  10. slic lee

    slic lee Active Member

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    They buy our scrap, ship it to China, make steel the equal of ours, ship it back to the US, WE pay less for it than if we made it. Come on, what makes everything here so expensive we cant afford to buy our own products?
    Lets hear the first BIG WORD, the cause, the money that goes to the UNIONS. Did that hurt?
    NEXT- the largest corporate taxes in the WORLD.
    Why bother making anything if the govt and the unions get first dibs on your money. Im not speaking about personal yet, just corp taxes and union.
    The Yellow Race Will Inherit The Earth
     
  11. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    No nation ever "serviced" its way to superpower status.
     
  12. southjblue

    southjblue Active Member

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    Gary---That was well said---I have 9 grandkids 3 will or should be Dr's---I have 3 very high-end Dr's and they are very sick of the new Obama health care.
    Have you been to a hospital lately? Take a good look and note that most are from another country---We have lived through the good yrs in my opi---Hate to sound negitive but it ain't looking good to me---The kids don't know how to work like we did---They will soon or God knows what---There are not too many jobs out there---The parents are going broke trying to provide---It's tough out there---JMO---George
     
  13. maka

    maka Member

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    One reason I feel unemployement stays where it is; is there are many who left high school got good paying factory jobs that left us. These people are told you must go back to school to learn new hi-tech job techniques. After working for the last 15-30 years, how easy is this going to be for the majority. Face with Algerbra, chemistry, English lititure, etc. Many will requre remedial help to make it. Unemployement benifits or even retirement if possible probaly looks very good to many. Just my thoughts. Good luck to all.
     
  14. Leo

    Leo Well-Known Member

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    The guy better check his sources. Sighting the things "we" manufacture, what is the domestic content? Every time the Frnech get mad at us, we cannot build fighter planes because they will not ship us the wiring. When was the last time any refrigeration device had an American made compressor, power contactor, control board? Industrial machine tools? I worked for a company that installed 25 mutli million dollar machining centers a month. Very few were American made. Many were japanese copies of American machines where they stole the designs and made the cheaper. (By the way, the old American equipment that was rebuilt and updated were far better machines than ANYTHING that came out of Germany as for as reliable and ecomonical to maintain). The rightful owners of the designs went out of business while the courts spent years "trying" to determine if a patent right lawsuit could be heard. Semiconductors, give me a break. The last high volume producers of really high tech consumer electronics was Delphi division of General Motors. 8 years ago, Japanese and Chinese firms agressively recruited many of their gifted (and UNION) staff to put foregin owned plants in America, and they are very successful.

    The author of that article did not lie, but the whole truth is not in his words.
     
  15. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    It's the unskilled positions that are going to 3rd world countries. And the kid with a High School diploma that can't do 5th grade math, is the problem. The normalization of teaching and grades have given people diploma's that don't in any way deserve them, and they are useless in the job market. Why pay a lot of money and benefits for a dummy in America when you can pay a lot less to a dummy in a 3rd world country with no benefits?
     
  16. likes-to-shoot

    likes-to-shoot Well-Known Member

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    SJB......I suggest you check your states labor laws on overtime, you might find that the unions aren't always the cause of things that irritate you. Would that be a typical spoiled brat mentality or someone who just likes to point fingers???????? Why even bring up the unions?????????????

    You keep hiring those Mexicans your doing America a favor by taking jobs away from Americans. They take more non-union jobs away than they do union ones. Wait till you get to find out how good their workmanship is!!!

    Your friend, Bill
     
  17. southjblue

    southjblue Active Member

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    Bill my friend---I Mention union cause they were union workers who wanted overtime for Sat work.If $$s aren't important to you than you come do my work.---Don't tell me about MEX workers---When I was in the NAVY we had them on ship that worked their axx off---In my business you can't find Americans to work like the MEX including my grandkids---Don't get me started about the spoiled American worker.Yes I mention union workers---Most are spoiled from the union contracts that sent most of our work overseas---If it were not for the MEX and other ouside workfroce we'd all be in trouble----I had workers today that worked all day in 28* from 7AM til 6PM---Not union workers but those who want to work---
    Thats why I mention union workers---and don't tell me about quality of work---
    They are becoming real trouble against us in the USA---They are good at what they do---Get it?---Your friend---George
     
  18. robervl

    robervl TS Member

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    Between the union's and the environmentalist it is cheaper to produce else where. Cheaper productions=more profit. Same with power plants and oil refineries.
     
  19. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Rick: None of us will ever live to see "the unemployment rate get down to 1 or 2%." At least 5% of the adult population in this country wouldn't take a job if you put a gun to their head. That's true of people counted in the unemployment numbers too. I personally know, or know of, a half dozen 99ers who didn't even start looking for a job until their 99th unemployment check was spent. When the government subsidizes anything, they get more of it. Especially sloth & irresponsibility.

    -Gary
     
  20. loop02

    loop02 Member

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    If you take time to read labor laws, it says that minimum wage is whatever it is nowadays, and anything over 40 hours has to be paid at 1 1/2 times. That is 1 1/2 times minimum wage. That is not 1 1/2 times what you make. If you are making 11 or 12 dollars an hour, that is all they have to pay you, according to federal law.
     
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