Seeing a related thread reminds me of a question:
I've read so many announcements about GMC farming out engineering to
India, and now manufacturing to China, that I just wouldn't buy a GM
car... But how does one choose a vehicle with the maximum possible
domestic content? It seems Ford is the leader there right now, which
is why we have two Fords.. but I base this mostly on negative
information (no outsourcing announcements in the engineering journals
You have a rude awakening coming your way if you believe Ford is any
different. Why do you thing you need both standard and metric tools to
effectively work on today's Ford??? On working on 90 -2001 Taurus, I have
found part made in Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Germany, England, Italy, China,
Taiwan, and Canada.. just to name a few.. ( Let me make it clear though,
not all countries were found in one car..)
Well, yes - of course, there are parts from all over in a Ford, just
like everyone else. What I meant to ask is (I guess) when I choose my
next new car, who do I choose given that I want the largest possible
fraction of my dollars to go to American auto workers? For instance,
the Focus hatchback is made in Mexico, so the sedan is probably a
"better buy" given the above criterion.
Right. Those plants take a lot of peope to keep running and then
there's the workers on top of that. That's the largest single
cash outlay for them, so your best bet to support the U.S. economy
(and it is a REAL way to support those thousands of families, which
in turn spend money and so on) is to buy something made at a U.S. plant.
Mexico is a joke. Half of those workers don't have electricity
24 hours a day and their local government doesn't really care anymore
than our corporations do. Go down there sometime. Really. It's so
apalling how their workers live(as if it is a "fair wage" - my ass it is)
that you'll never buy a Mexican-plant made car.
We could pay them $10 or $20 an hour and still save money - give them
enough money to live properly - but no - $3 an hour because we can.
If Mexico can build a car cheaper than the US, why no go to Mexico? Where do
you think most of the components in your computer are made? If you think the
US, think again. Try Asia. Even white collar jobs are moving overseas. And I
say, good. If I can do a job cheaper than the people in China, I should get
the job. And it should go both ways.
The fallacy of that argument is, if all we do is go for the cheapest source,
at some point in time, soon or later, nothing will be made in the USA. At
that point where will the ex-workers get money to buy those cheap goods
manufactured oversea..? And if for some "bizarre" reason those countries
decide not send the goods, what do we, thousands away, do about..?
On the second point about computers, with so much being made overseas, even
for the military and their weapons systems, where is the great security that
our politicians talk about daily. Once you give away the family secret, you
have nothing left..!
For a good laugh on our Trade Pact with other Nations: go to
select Nov. 11, 2003 - Steel Tariffs.
see also Nov. 7, 2000 Walmart Jobs.. There are many more..take your pick..
By that time, the USA will have no infrastructure, and nobody trained
to create one. We'll have books that tell us what to do, but nobody
with practical experience to actually do it.
How long do you think it would take to outfit a desert island with an
industrial revolution? You have to make the tools to make the tools to
make the tools that make the tools you need to get started.
There's a limit to this, though. Our capital is only useful as long as
other people value it.
Imagine this scenario: The USA has no local infrastructure for hitech
left; we only have primary industry (farming and mineral extraction),
with *all* processing taking place overseas. [Australia is somewhat in
this situation]. Further imagine that we do something unpopular. For
instance, imagine that we invade some random country against the
express wishes of the UN. The UN votes to put Iraq-style sanctions on
the USA. All our money overseas is forfeited to foreign governments.
All our money in the USA is unspendable beyond our borders.
It becomes illegal for anyone overseas to work on US programming
What happens then? Do we petulantly nuke every second city in Europe
to force them to sell stuff to us? Invade China or India and take over
some real engineers and workers? Very 1984.
That's the worst-case end result of an uncontrolled globalized economy
WHEN COUPLED with a lack of worldwide mandated quality-of-life minima.
If you want to globalize, you need to level the playing field - which
means you have to ban ten-year-old coal miners EVERYWHERE, not just
here in the USA.
Intel is outsourcing more and more of its engineering every year.
Microsoft, too. It's in the foreseeable future that all of our
software and other IP companies will consist of *nothing* but
marketing personnel and investors. Already, semiconductor
manufacturers really don't have a credible support infrastructure in
the US. They are geared up to handle projects that are *financed* by
US companies, but *carried out* in China.
There are many fine products of all kinds produced in this
country, as good or better than any imports. If you want good
paying jobs you must to buy the products of those workers. Just
ten years ago US Steel was the number one employer in
Pennsylvania, Bethlehem Steel was number two. Today Bethlehem
Steel is no more and WalMart is the states largest employer.
If you want you wages to drop to those of foreign workers or
worse have the company you work for move its manufacturing off
shore to other countries go out of business, then you need to
support your own country first. If the Foreign manufactures,
assembling their products in the US of low cost imported parts,
put domestic companies out of business, do you really think they
will still assemble their products in the US when they can so at
for one tenth the cost in China? There is a simply way to help
protect the jobs in the US for you children and grandchildren.
When you are buying a produce look for those made in in the US.
If the person selling does not have a product made in in the US
that you want, inform them you only buy products made in the US
and leave their establishment.. Naturally one can not always
find products made in the US in some stores, but if you take the
time you will soon find those stores that carry American made
products. I do that all the items. We Americans should be as
smart as the Japanese, they buy products produced in their own
country when ever possible. If we did that with just half of the
things we buy our economy would grow by leaps and bounds. As
long as American are willing to buy 40 BILLION dollars, in
imports as we are doing, eventually the only job skills your kids
will need it how to say 'Do you want fries with that?' or
'Welcome to WalMart.'
Because my children are going to grow up in America, and I want them to have
other career choices than foodservice and marketing.
Yes, I know, since I'm a white-collar worker in the USA, probably about to
be laid off, and I'm going to be competing with Indian and Chinese workers
who are paid $10,000/year. Why is this a good thing? Fortunately, I have a
few rare skills, and a secondary career as an author (which I'm obviously
trying to grow!).
The problem with that philosophy is that it is based on either ignorance, or
the following assumptions (among others):
1. People are interchangeable factors of production, like blocks of steel or
pounds of coal. Their quality of life - or their ability to live - is not
2. Trade agreements will always exist, on terms at least as favorable to us
as they are now.
3. There will always be new fields to make profits.
The reason overseas labor is cheaper is ultimately because there are fewer
social services overseas. Police, fire, safety services, the requirement for
children to attend school, the right to breathe reasonably clean air and
drink reasonably clean water, the right not to have random nuclear and
chemical waste dumped in your back yard, etc etc - all of these quality of
life issues ultimately make labor more expensive due to direct
administrative costs and indirect taxation costs.
Notice that jobs are not leaving the USA and going to affluent places like
Denmark, Switzerland, etc. They are going to places with an extremely low
average standard of living, and practically nonexistent (or unenforced)
occupational health and safety regulations.
In short, the "buy it where it's cheap" system is really only fully
sustainable if you are committed to eventually reducing the entire human
race - except for a few exceedingly wealthy plutocrats - to a uniformly
miserable quality of existence.
Billions of pages have been written on this topic, perhaps you would find it
enlightening to study some of them.
-- Lewin A.R.W. Edwards (http://www.zws.com /)
Learn how to develop high-end embedded systems on a tight budget!
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
DOn't forget about education, science, engineering and medical care. There
will be a lot of old people here.
Try $3,000 to $4,000.
Because the company that hires them pays less for whatever you do. Good for
Who has a better quality of life? A dishwasher in India with a college
degree and the same ability to program computers as a someone in Washington
or the same person working for Microsoft for about $250/month (and the cost
of living in India is a lot less than in the US, so this is really a lot of
And that $250/month that the India computer programmer gets ends up in the
community. She pays taxes, buys clothes, housing, etc.
And as those areas get more affluent, the occupational health and safety
regulations tend to get better enforced.
Or, alternatively, bringing up the entire human race to a higher standard.
If you will look at the content label on the window, you will
find that there is no Ford that has a '1' as the first number of
the VIN, that has less than 75% American made parts. Most are
80% to 98% American parts. Even those with a '2' made in Canada,
have 80% American parts. Those with a '3' made in Mexico have
70% American parts. Those vehicles assemble in the US by foreign
manufactures that have a '4' have at least 70% American parts.
Most have a '5' which means they are assembled in the US of less
than 45% American parts.
"V.B. Mercon" wrote:
That's fine for individuals to do.. and I WISH there were SOME way to keep
more jobs in the USA.. BUT efforts to block export of most jobs really ARE
Some of it, you can regard as foreign aid.
The real key is for the US to keep developing technology that reduces the
need for labor.. this is ALSO expoted and increases the global standard of
living.. thus it SOMEWHAT cycles back.
There is NO easy answer to this.
In the case of IT, local support for systems integration and training cannot
be farmed out.
With our stagnating economy and rising unemployment rates,
what about *domestic* aid? It's a lot harder and costlier to
pick people out of the gutter like we did after the Great Depression
than to keep them afloat until the hard times are over.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.