Thursday, October 29, 2009

MADE IN AMERICA: NOT LIKELY

Richard Trumka, the President of the AFL-CIO, couldn't help but pre-empt his own Washington DC speech with a press release. He states: To our nation’s peril, the free trade orthodoxy continues to ignore a fundamental economic fact: It matters where things are made. Over the past decade, the U.S. industrial base has suffered an unprecedented decline. The loss of more than 5 million manufacturing jobs and the closure of over 50,000 manufacturing facilities have undermined our nation’s technical capacity to innovate and to make things, while at the same time decimating our middle class.

I would have to agree whole heartedly on this one. The way the rules of trade are laid out currently, large corporate short-term profits drive good jobs offshore while stock traders reward corporate leadership for their efforts with inflated worth and stock options. It's spelled GREED.

Richard points out that: Outside of the US, governments see manufacturing as key to long-term growth, and they target investment in industries and technology. In contrast, the U.S. government abandoned strategy to market forces and left workers and communities hanging without a safety net.

Have any of you bothered to check where the products you buy are made or assembled? I'll give you three guesses...Tick - times up! Just venture uptown Kingston... Pick any novelty gift shop and start your research. You'll see plenty of Chinese and Indonesian made goods right on Wall St.

The owners of these shops plea for the locals to buy locally, yet they don't practice their own rhetoric. Isn't that a drag? If Trumka had his way, everything uptown would be made in America but with a 20% mark up. I would look for and pay the extra for just that reason.

A few years ago, I went on a scouting mission. I checked out some of the big box stores. One of which was Bed Bath & Beyond in Ulster. Checked the selection and found the only product made in USA was the Kitchen Aid mixer. Come to find out, their biggest assembly site is a mile across and strattles the Texas/Mexico border. Guess where the majority of the assembly is done?

So Trumka has a point. Until we address where we make stuff, alter our free trade structure, and make the effort to buy American made products, we are never going to get out of the economic hole we are in. He states: Governments must restructure and regulate financial systems so that long-term investment is rewarded and gambling is not subsidized. We must use our financial resources to develop and deploy domestically-produced technology and, if there is better technology overseas, use our financial leverage to get those production systems located here.

So, you all have a homework assignment; Go out there, hit the stores and find the American made products that remain. Consider the slightly higher cost and then think about the dwindling workforce here in our country. I for one, still think where something is made matters.

14 comments:

Jeremiah said...

Good luck. I used to buy strictly American, but then I realized when I could find an american product that the quality was not the same. Now I try to to buy American when the quality is comparable and it is getting harder and harder.

My last minivan I thought was American made, being that it was my 5th Chrysler car and all the rest were made in America I didn't even check the tag. Thought they were all built in Missouri. Nope this one was built in Canada. I was very pissed at myself.

Until our government is willing to put a priority on made in America it will be tough for us the little people to do it.

Anonymous said...

It is not just manufacturing jobs being sent overseas. How about technical support for most electronics? When was the last time you got help "stateside" and not India, Phillipines or etc. for a technical question. By that same token; the credit card companies use overseas customer service for credit card issues. And please don't insult my intelligence by given foreign workers "american names" to make it seem like we are talking to a fellow american. Obviously, these companies must realize that they are not truly contributing to american economy if they have to " americanize" the work staff. I know of one case where a family member had to train new employees who happened to reside in India.He was sent to India and after a couple of weeks they let him go after the new workers were orientated. So now we wondered why the American economy is suffering? When the jobs go overseas, what is left?

one who knows said...

sorry, but the Unions are 90% of the problem.

WIth their outrageous demands, failure to compromise, their bullying tactics, & lack of the American work ethic, the Unions have driven most companies overseas.

Tell the Unions to give some back & jobs will reappear.

I know this is an unpopular POV on a democrat's page, but Truth is Truth !

Look at the City of Kingston where the csea unions & firefighting unions' demands are killing our services.

Anonymous said...

11:18, I hardly think that the CSEA "demands" as you put it are killing anybody. They are the lowest paid employees in the city, always have been, always will be. Now, I do agree with you that the Fire dept. is hurting us taxpayers. They have UNLIMITED sicktime, where the CSEA have very limited sick time or in the case of compensation , one year to get well or they are let go. That is reasonable. The firemen can be out UNLIMITED, sometimes YEARS and still remain on payroll at FULLPAY!! The FIRE dept. has 7 million dollar budget for 65 people!!!, and that my friend is out of control.

Anonymous said...

Sottile is killing our services equally with his baloney per labor. The net effect is awful and needs to be stopped soon by a Council with some cajones to do it. The only question is will we ever see a Council with such cajones? The bullshit in safety, quality and job actions in the DPW is not acceptable. Period.

Wanna cut services? There's 7 million bucks in the fire dept. budget but Sottile won't consider that because they all support him so well politically. What a bunch of baloney. No consideration on labor locally except to behave like an Archbishop.

Now--obviously your story is totally correct on manufacturing. It results in cheap products at Walmart that once they break down tend to be repairable in Sri Lanka or somewhere. Look at printers for example. Once one breaks down only someone in Pakistan or India or from there has any clue what might be wrong. It's cheap enough that we just buy a new one. That's because these companies farm out manufacturing jobs overseas to get the cheapest labor possible. HP, Dell, IBM, etc. all do this.

Let's look at GM too. There we see the parts business decimated, while the feds agreed to subsidize auto warranties. This has nothing to do with the lowly worker, as per usual. Disgraceful. America has no manufacturing policy--none whatsoever--which is why America suffers greatly from so much bullshit in the "foundational economy." Yet God still manufactures food but it takes commercial agribusiness to turn it into something the human body barely recognizes--which makes me wonder--what IS the point of anything else then, after all?

That's a result of no no real agriculture policy either, while traditionally the greatest agriculture workers in the world, ie, Mexicans, remain mere political footballs. Illegal or not, doesn't matter. Come on. Unless something is done, this will also turn into an "Obamanation."

Returning locally, what I find disheartening is that now during crazy season--ie, election time--we have the most vicious attacks in a judge's race probably in the whole history of judge's races against Judge Schneer, particularly by that "Just as useless as Sottile; Dick Junior Irish Hooligan". Williams is not as advertised, or find his fingerprints, but his advertisers won't ever advertise this fact either. People are going to be disappointed with that choice I feel, but go ahead you right-wingers and fellow church attendees and all that, "Bash the 'Godless lesbo' here," which is really what this is all about--as is every political choice locally from Nina goodie-two shoes family values on down--- or so it seems.

Anonymous said...

9:58,

I agree with you up till the Schneer part. People are not going to vote for her because she is not qualified. Do you know how many people I have talked to that are extremely upset that they have to vote for Williams because they have zero faith in the ability of Schneer. He has a lot of people mad about the deal he got to get him his retirement. It was nothing more than stupid politics.

Riccardi, probably Katz, or a number of other people would have had a good chance at Williams if the Democrats had put them up. It will be nobodys fault other than the UC Democratic Party when Schneer doesn't get elected. And I honestly do feel bad for her in this whole thing, but I am still not voting for her.

Anonymous said...

Sad commentary- yet we must find ways to BUY American, then buy local- what I find incredible is that our Government has been able to purchase rental space for its IRS office in Illinois- guess the street name: Mitsubishi Blvd. Yup this is the name of the corporation that "housed" and **"fed" American POW's and forced them into slave labor in Japanese and Manchurain cities. It was also corporation that manufactured the Japanese Bombers and Fighter Planes that attacked the USA at Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941. Guess time erases much. Also while on this topic, I have just received a shirt to be worn at the Hero Of Hope awards next week In Syracuse NY. The shirt is manufactured in Viet Nam and unless I have a short memory appears to be the same black uniform shirts of the uniforms of the Viet Cong back during the 60's and 70's that faced our American troops. Oh well- time is a major healer- or not
hey just my three centavo's- oops meant cents,
take care,
Shelly Z

and oh yeah Public Access is back and better..........

*** fed... some of these Heros weighed under 100 lbs when liberated.



***

Anonymous said...

Lets bash the unions for putting us in this mess.

How many union jobs are in the banking industry?

10 million dollar bonuses to CEO's is what's to blame. Not the poor CSEA member making 35k a year.

Anonymous said...

Shelly,

I was in the Army Reserve when we first switched to and began wearing the black berets. The first batches what we received were made in China. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Just so youre up to speed, the Ford Fusion, you know; the one that is getting credit for pulling FORD out of their sales slump?

The Fusion is built at Ford's Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly Plant in Mexico.

Still no jobs for US citizens.

Anonymous said...

I went to buy an American flag and saw that it was made in China??? I put it back on the shelf. There is a manufacturer in the USA that makes American flags so why are we having them made in a foreign country? It might seem like a petty observation but it makes the point; do we need to have someone else make one of our nation's symbols when we are more than capable of producing it America?

Bullhorner said...

one who knows says its the "unions fault". Probably the same guy who will point out that 85% of the country is not in a union to make the point that unions are in the minority.

So explain, oh one who knows - how %15 is to blame in a 100% world.

Looks like you don't know so much.

Anonymous said...

Right on Bullhorner. These union bashing people no nothing but how to kiss butt to get to the top. When somebody does it a little better and they no longer have a job its the unions fault.

Anonymous said...

Wow Bullhorner I nevr thought of it that way. Maybe if we had more union members the country would not be in the shape that it is.