Comments on: The problem with the return of manufacturing http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/11/29/the-problem-with-the-return-of-manufacturing/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: tjthre http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/11/29/the-problem-with-the-return-of-manufacturing/comment-page-1/#comment-46453 Thu, 28 Mar 2013 18:01:25 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19642#comment-46453 The dirty little secret you never see referred to is that in unionized US plants workers are actually working only 5 or 6 hours out of 8 (based on 30 years of consulting and exposure to over a thousand plants here and abroad.

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By: laurelg http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/11/29/the-problem-with-the-return-of-manufacturing/comment-page-1/#comment-44982 Tue, 04 Dec 2012 04:28:48 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19642#comment-44982 Overcast451:
“I know three people WHO would quickly deal with the ‘bad
pay’…”
WHO refers to people; THAT refers to things.

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By: Overcast451 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/11/29/the-problem-with-the-return-of-manufacturing/comment-page-1/#comment-44959 Mon, 03 Dec 2012 14:32:53 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19642#comment-44959 “There’s a huge difference between $13.50 per hour and $21 per hour”

But an even larger one between $0.00 and $13.50 an hour. I know three people that would quickly deal with the ‘bad
pay’ – as it beats… no pay.

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By: willderwent2010 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/11/29/the-problem-with-the-return-of-manufacturing/comment-page-1/#comment-44950 Mon, 03 Dec 2012 03:21:53 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19642#comment-44950 And just to add to the grim future picture: retail trade employment is going through a similar transformation to manufacturing, just a few years behind the curve.

Brace yourself for the birth of a new set of movements like the Luddites.

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By: VisSol http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/11/29/the-problem-with-the-return-of-manufacturing/comment-page-1/#comment-44944 Sun, 02 Dec 2012 16:29:58 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19642#comment-44944 Perhaps the realization should be the US and all countries are in a world market. With World wide competition at competing wage rates, product quality and logistics. To be competitive in the world markets, a manufacturer needs to either be the world wide low (total) cost producer, have a unique product or manufacturing process or have a clear distribution system advantage.

There are few if any “unique” products for more than a few months, manufacturing process are replaced or re invented all the time and a distribution system advantage will have a very short life. So, we are back to “low cost producer”.

That is the market the US is in and it is the world the holds us captive.

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By: smits http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/11/29/the-problem-with-the-return-of-manufacturing/comment-page-1/#comment-44943 Sun, 02 Dec 2012 15:09:47 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19642#comment-44943 “Natural gas costs four times as much in China…”

And IF we would begin to build out the infrastructure to produce and transport domestic gas TO China (and the rest of the world) we would create millions of HIGH VALUE jobs. But the Obama administration is hung up on the issues of fracking and global warming, so they’re throwing roadblock after roadblock in the way.

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By: TFF http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/11/29/the-problem-with-the-return-of-manufacturing/comment-page-1/#comment-44939 Sun, 02 Dec 2012 01:52:14 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19642#comment-44939 Some interesting discussion.

Should a middle-skilled job be expected to support a family of four in style? Our middle class expects more than they did in the 50s. Better health care, more restaurant meals, more clothes, faster cars (and at least one per adult), and a whole bunch of electronics with attached service plans. I don’t see many families looking for 1200 sq ft houses, either.

Should an entry-level job be expected to support an independent household? Other countries, other times, adult children live with their parents until marriage. Sometimes even beyond that. We are marrying later, but moving out earlier.

Last but not least, does the marketplace care what a job “should” pay? In a global economy, we are competing with people who have (and expect) much less. Is the cruel reality.

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By: sidevalve56 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/11/29/the-problem-with-the-return-of-manufacturing/comment-page-1/#comment-44935 Sat, 01 Dec 2012 18:06:37 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19642#comment-44935 I love reading about manufacturing and wages from some desk jockey. Reporters need to publish things they have researched and have facts on, not give their business and financial opinions on what values american manufacturing needs to assign to what positions…are you kidding me? The over generalized crap about a certain wage not being high enough to be considered a career is ridiculous. You should never try to make an entry level job a career…thats why its called entry level…thats what killed our manufacturing…employers can’t produce a product competitively when they are paying entry level job slots the wage of a higher level position…it drives the cost of the product way up. You can’t pay someone who works at mcdonalds flipping burgers the same as the manager…burgers would be $10.00 apiece. I’m sorry but you can’t expect to work lower level jobs your entire life and expect the wage to keep up with a career. You have to make moves in life to get higher pay…not just work the job and expect it to automatically keep going up. When guys who have been employees their whole lives and never have had to make a business work and succeed but write articles and papers on the subject like they have, is disingenuous. Its not fair to the business owners out there to over simplify the situation like that. Sitting back and making judgements and writing articles with limited hands-on knowledge is irresponsible…

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By: DavetheLogician http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/11/29/the-problem-with-the-return-of-manufacturing/comment-page-1/#comment-44933 Sat, 01 Dec 2012 16:11:06 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19642#comment-44933 One of the problems with putting forth comparisons between the mid-twentieth century and today’s world is that we are comparing apples and oranges. If we were to upgrade the 1950s family to the life of that family in today’s world, the 1950s family would probably be on public assistance. In 1958, right after the recession, I started working in manufacturing for a blue-chip corporation for $2.10 an hour (that was their starting pay). I had a high school diploma and great technical training (electronics) while in the US Navy – four years). I lived in a three room apartment (with my wife – who did NOT work), sharing a communal bath/toilet with three other apartments. I would receive my paycheck (minus deductions) on Friday and by Monday (after paying rent, buying groceries and other necessities) I was broke again. I had an eight year old car that I had to baby carefully to keep it operable. I got little to no overtime. I worked my butt off, living from paycheck to paycheck. Our luxuries consisted in a six inch BW TV and a radio. In today’s world, I would probably be eligible for public assistance. I enrolled in evening classes in college, taking a minimum of courses (took me 7 years to graduate). During that seven years, my life was pretty much as described above. I was forced to take two weeks of vacation each year during the annual summer factory shutdown (the first year’s “vacation” was unpaid). However, during those same seven years, I continued to put more than 100% into my job and began to get promotions, little by little, until I graduated from college when I was able to jump into a salaried, white-collar position. Even then, we had few luxuries. My wife and I rarely at out and, even then, it would have been at a fast-food joint. We did not go to movies. We did not exchange Christmas presents. We certainly would have been labeled at the poverty level in today’s world. We did not own our own home nor did we even think about incurring a mortgage (we wouldn’t have qualified, anyway). We were NOT considered unusual, however. I had a great life, though. I retired VERY comfortably nine years ago. I live better, overall, in today’s economy, than I did before I retired. On far less than I was making while working, we live better than the average American. We have more than we need and far more than the average household in the US has today. Because, over the years, I prepared for retirement, I am not dependent on Social Security, though without it we would likely have to make some adjustments in our life style. My van, that I keep primarily to have a vehicle capable of carting my two huge dogs around, is fifteen years old (still in pretty good condition). My wife’s “luxury car” is nine years old and it runs and looks almost new. In the 50s and 60s, I made many of the needed maintenance and repairs on my vehicle. Today I cannot, so the cost for repairs on my cars is unbelievably high. Good maintenance I can do myself and good driving habits, keep my cars in better than average condition. How many people, today, own houses (with huge mortgages) that they really shouldn’t try to afford, and trade cars when the old one is more than acceptable? How many people drown themselves and their kids in luxuries they do not need (and grow tired of too quickly)? In the 50s and 60s, most people did not do that. Our lifestyles in the US are way out of whack, given our instant gratification syndrome, with our incomes. Do not get the idea that I am one of those old fogies who is not “up” on technology, etc. I own three computers which we use daily (and not for social networking and games, as many people think we might) and, though I am not a real “techie,” I am computer savvy. Comparing the 50s and 60s with today’s world, using “statistics,” is a game. My grandmother used to say, “Figures don’t lie, but liars sometimes figure.” We Americans, today, squander what we earn. We live higher on the hog than our incomes justify. The “poverty” level of today makes the same assumption and, in the 1950s world, would have been considered acceptable living. Our debt ratio, today, is also way out of whack. In the 50s most families ate dinner at home, together. Dining out was a rarity. Kids tended to wear their clothes longer and we bought what we could actually afford. There were few multiple car homes. One car garages, or none, was the norm. We did not spend a hundred, two hundred a month on telephones and electronic toys. We did not buy a new TV or other entertainment devices every two or three years, just because it is the fashion or to keep up with the Joneses. It is not so much that the cost of things has risen so dramatically over the years in comparison to income as it is HOW we spend our money. In the 50s we spent based on what we earned. Today, we spend based on what we have yet to earn. Lifestyle is the key, not the income/value statistics. Manufacturers/retailers sell what the public will buy at the prices they know the public will pay. You get what you pay for. If the public will not overspend beyond their means, the products will not be made nor sold. As I said, you get what you pay for. People on public assistance live better than many, if not most, of the people in the 50s did. It is our “perception” that we need to change. I am not trying to say that we do not have problems with our economy. What I am saying is that our lifestyle and our instant gratification syndrome are a huge part of the problem. So, quit trying to make it look like the people of 50s were living high on the hog while we are starving today. That is just not true. You are comparing apples with oranges.

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By: MrRFox http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/11/29/the-problem-with-the-return-of-manufacturing/comment-page-1/#comment-44926 Sat, 01 Dec 2012 05:35:11 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19642#comment-44926 Spot-on, MWW.

It is possible to create circumstances where manufacturing and middle-class jobs return – just get rid of the foreign competition (and immigrant-labor) that has driven wages (and prices) down to third-world levels. Doing something like that violates the theory of “comparative advantage”, so it may theoretically be ‘bad economics’. That doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be a net-positive from a sociological point of view.

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