Comments on: How Zippos, dredges and vitamins can save the American middle class Fri, 31 Jul 2015 03:37:49 +0000 hourly 1 By: AdamSmith Tue, 29 May 2012 17:47:22 +0000 @AlkalineState – Very well said.

And I agree. America needs to enact tariffs again, as we had from our nation’s inception, and all during our long rise to economic preeminence.

By: usagadfly Tue, 29 May 2012 02:59:33 +0000 At least part of the problem is that no one knows what “American” is any more. Is it anything more than paying taxes to the IRS?? Anyone can write a check. Does that make them an American? Does the US Government want to have anything to do with people who are not rich?

This place is just too big, too diverse, too fragmented and with no identity. And we are no longer a people.

By: Tejicano Mon, 28 May 2012 06:23:36 +0000 I don’t think American producers put enough energy into really figuring out foreign markets.

Costco has been doing incredible business in Japan bringing a lot of US made products. Granted, it isn’t all American made but a significant volume is. They don’t rely on the lying Japanese media or academia to understand out what will or won’t sell in Japan. They figure it out on their own.

There is a lot of potential in overseas markets but I don’t see many American producers really making an effort to find it. I find too many American companies relying on local companies or partners. If those partner companies knew how to bring those products in they would have jumped on the opportunity already. Too often it isn’t a matter of opportunity as much as the partner’s incompetence.

By: mrmouth Sat, 26 May 2012 13:56:42 +0000 Talking with an older CEO recently, he gave me the impression that ‘country’ used to be prioritized over profit. When you start to look at some of the insane profit margins these days, it just makes no sense. Something like the iPad is making Apple roughly $300 per unit. If they even could bring that production to the US (they really cannot because it is so insanely streamlined in China) they would be making roughly $220 per unit.

So the issue is that even if the could bring it home, they would simply raise prices instead of taking a loss. A loss that would still make them insane amounts of money. And that is why I strive to get an idea of cost before I buy anything. I’m not interested in being part of the problem.

This greed has no better example than the housing crash. At the very tip of the spear, if you will, were real estate brokers/agents. They often lived in the very neighborhoods where they sold homes to people that could obviously not afford them, or were not on a solid monetary footing.

That is the epitome of stupidity and greed. They quite literally pooped where they ate. And that is all corporate America is doing at this point.

By: Gordon2352 Sat, 26 May 2012 01:23:20 +0000 This article is pathetic.

Small business will not save the US economy, unlike what you suggest.

Perhaps you should have focused on the real issue, which you glossed over in one sentence, “Last week, 41 American companies received awards at a little noticed White House ceremony.”

The White House is the problem, yet you reward them for holding this pathetic ceremony.

The US economy has for more than 30 years been increasingly losing high-paying manufacturing jobs overseas due to free trade and favorable trade legislation that rewards large companies for moving overseas.

Yet the White House has on its jobs council members of some of the largest corporations in the world, and obviously takes their advice regularly.

So, instead of doing what they should be doing — safeguarding the US economy by protecting American workers’ jobs — they hand out pathetic propaganda awards to small businesses who have managed to survive.

I’d say tell them to get their priorities straight.

Why didn’t you?

By: running Fri, 25 May 2012 23:33:41 +0000 the Zippo lighter is an American military fighting mans’ icon, no matter where its made, same as riding the Harley Davidson (made in Japan) in a military funeral on Memorial Day

By: AlkalineState Fri, 25 May 2012 21:25:07 +0000 Increasing our import tariffs would be a good start. They are at the lowest level since America was formed over 200 years ago. (Historically around 25%. Currently at 1.3% and dropping). We have the Walmart / Target / Nike lobby pushing for even lower tariffs. China’s average tariff against the U.S. is 20%. Our average tariff against China is 1%.

Don’t forget also that tariffs, as laid out in the Constitution, were intended to be the primary source of revenue for our Country. And historically they have been. What we don’t collect in tariffs, we have to make for in income tax. So with low tariffs, we have fewer domestic jobs and those jobs are taxed harder. No wonder we’re in the mess we’re in.

Raise the tariffs. The trade war is centuries old. We can either surrender (like we’ve been doing) or we can fight back. The United States is an enormous market and we are in a strong position to charge foreign companies for access to that market.

By: jambrytay Fri, 25 May 2012 17:53:38 +0000 something i forgot, a significant chunk of our trade deficit is energy which doesn’t have anything to do with manufacturing.

By: jambrytay Fri, 25 May 2012 17:47:35 +0000 A few points to consider:

The reports of the death of US manufacturing has been greatly exaggerated. Depending on whose data you believe, the US is the world’s #1 or #2 manufacturer in terms of total output, and way ahead of the Chinese in terms of manufacturing productivity.

The model we’ve followed for years is developing new products and industries, wringing fat profits during the introduction, growth, and early maturity phases of the product life cycle and then ceding those products and industries to someone else. The IBM Lenovo pc business is a good example. Making laptops is cool and all, but would you rather be in that marketplace on the front end or the back end? We’ve been successfully doing the Joe Schumpeter Creative Destruction thing for many years.

People like to invoke the tariff card. It sounds good on paper, but I am unable to cite an instance where tariffs have helped a mature economy in the long term.

By: Pete_Murphy Fri, 25 May 2012 10:50:33 +0000 For each one of the above export success stories, I can give you ten more examples of companies that have either failed or sent manufacturing jobs across the border. The real facts are that, since president Obama set a goal of doubling exports within 5 years, the trade deficit has worsened by nearly 40%. Total exports have lagged the president’s goal for six consecutive months. The manufactured goods component has lagged the president’s goal for 10 consecutive months.

The U.S. has no control over exports. The U.S. cannot make itself into a Germany as the president would like because Germany has one thing the U.S. can’t have – a patsy trade partner in the U.S. that is willing to suffer a huge trade deficit. There is no other “United States” out there willing to do the same for us.

The only way to rein in the trade deficit and bring back manufacturing jobs is by shifting focus to the trade variable over which we have total control – imports. The U.S. must return to the sensible application of tariffs to assure a balance of trade. Anything less will yield the same results we’ve experienced for 36 consecutive years – a cumulative trade deficit that now totals over $11 trillion.

Pete Murphy
Author, “Five Short Blasts”