Chiiina, and Offshoring in General

McReef

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I was planning to post this reply in the Wuhan/Corona/Covid thread, but I think we can all agree that thread is bloated enough as it is. I figured branching this one off may be helpful. Anyway, here goes...

I hope @teaser452 doesn’t mind me quoting his post out of context here, my apologies in advance.

There has been a lot of back and forth from the start of this whole pandemic mess concerning China and our reliance on them, as well as their potential relation to the US (friend or foe). It seems the vast majority, myself included, recognizes them as the latter.

Even for those who would not classify them as such, I think pretty much everyone at this point can see the problematic situation created by our reliance on another nation for so much of what we require. From raw materials, to finished goods, we as a nation have developed a potentially crippling dependency on the Chinese (and some might argue outside sources in general) for a large amount of what we ‘need’ to operate, if not survive.

Some questions and discussion has taken place on how to change this, and tariffs came up. That brings us pretty much up to speed I think.

Again, remember the lack of direct context...
Raise the tariff. Make it 5000%. 1000000%. Whatever. It’ll work.

Look. In my business, the objective is to make a profit. Produce a product and sell it for as much as I can. I don’t make money when I sell things. I make money when I buy things.

I buy the components of my products from the cheapest supplier, of quality is equal. Price is just one component but it is an important component.

I’m not buying from someplace other than the lowest priced provider out of the goodness of my heart, especially if it costs me profit. Without profit, we just fold up shop.
It needs to be made to hurt the bottom line of everybody to buy anything from anywhere other than home. That’s how this is fixed.

I realize how tall an order that is, but that is the remedy. Moving production from China to Indonesia, Mexico, or East Overshoe does not solve the problem long term, it just kicks the can down the road. Tariffs and incentives are all well and good, but they should be considered tools to get you to a goal, not the goal itself.

Our manufacturing might is what put us where we are, and we have been selling off that which makes us strong for decades. The end goal needs to be to take the power back, or we have already lost.

Wars are won or lost, empires are built or ripped asunder, and it is all decided by resources, industry, and the collective will to use those things. Having spent my adult life in manufacturing and engineering, and being a fan of history, it doesn’t seem like it’s all that hard to figure out where this is headed.
 
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I was planning to post this reply in the Wuhan/Corona/Covid thread, but I think we can all agree that thread is bloated enough as it is. I figured branching this one off may be helpful. Anyway, here goes...

I hope @teaser452 doesn’t mind me quoting his post out of context here, my apologies in advance.

There has been a lot of back and forth from the start of this whole pandemic mess concerning China and our reliance on them, as well as their potential relation to the US (friend or foe). It seems the vast majority, myself included, recognizes them as the latter.

Even for those who would not classify them as such, I think pretty much everyone at this point can see the problematic situation created by our reliance on another nation for so much of what we require. From raw materials, to finished goods, we as a nation have developed a potentially crippling dependency on the Chinese (and some might argue outside sources in general) for a large amount of what we ‘need’ to operate, if not survive.

Some questions and discussion has taken place on how to change this, and tariffs came up. That brings us pretty much up to speed I think.

Again, remember the lack of direct context...

It needs to be made to hurt the bottom line of everybody to buy anything from anywhere other than home. That’s how this is fixed.

I realize how tall an order that is, but that is the remedy. Moving production from China to Indonesia, Mexico, or East Overshoe does not solve the problem long term, it just kicks the can down the road. Tariffs and incentives are all well and good, but they should be considered tools to get you to a goal, not the goal itself.

Our manufacturing might is what put us where we are, and we have been selling off that which makes us strong for decades. The end goal needs to be to take the power back, or we have already lost.

Wars are won or lost, empires are built or ripped asunder, and it is all decided by resources, industry, and the collective will to use those things. Having spent my adult life in manufacturing and engineering, and being a fan of history, it doesn’t seem like it’s all that hard to figure out where this is headed.
Protectionism is coming back. Someone else mentioned autarchy. Autarchy is what is needed.

This globalism has ruined us. This event, this pandemic, was inevitable. Perhaps it’s come soon enough that we’ll change course.

Maybe we will be forced to change course.

But you’re right. Wars have been won and lost based on what you can produce.

The only thing worse than being in a war is losing that war.
 
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I've said something similar many times. When we have manufacturing in our country, we hold it to certain standards including wages, benefits, worker safety, environmental impact, etc. Any nation that we're trading with should be required to meet these standards or there should be offsetting tariffs on the goods that are being imported from those countries. We live in a country where people love to think they've solved a problem, when in reality they've just moved it to a different part of the planet and added dozens of new problems on top of it. We set minimum wages for workers, then allow jobs to be outsourced to countries where workers are paid next to nothing. We make worker health and safety laws and then allow the jobs to be outsourced to countries where safety isn't even a consideration. We create environmental laws, clean air and water laws, etc and then outsource jobs to countries where there are no such laws, effectively increasing the amount of pollution per item produced. All of this outsourcing means fewer jobs for Americans. Tariffs on the imports from these nations that do not meet the standards we've set for ourselves will result in a couple of possibilities: either the other countries increase their standards, causing production costs in that country to increase, introducing parity in prices regardless of where the goods are produced, or more domestic manufacturing, resulting in more jobs and higher wages for Americans, and likely higher quality goods.

It's obviously not a perfect idea, but let's not let perfection be the enemy of better than what we currently have.
 

Asaltweapon

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I just bought a pair of Made In America blue jeans and will buy more once I get the size ironed out. The shut down happened to interrupt this.
Ordered 3 Made In pans last night.
 

McReef

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OP:

Look around, starting with your computer - foreign made. The vast majority of what Americans have, is foreign made.

The Market has spoken. In general,people will not pay more than they have to, in the short/immediate term.
I am fully aware. Because something ‘is’, doesn’t mean something is right.

F the market. They can pay more, or not pay at all because something costs too much. The alternative to change here is inevitable decline and defeat.

If something is not financially viable to produce without feeding our enemies, perhaps it is just not viable to produce at all.

Whole businesses and maybe whole industries have been built around cheap Chinese labor and materials. This is not good business, it is treason. It may not have started that way, but that’s where it has gotten to.

Too many skinflints.

We have this argument every few months here for the past umpteen years. The skinflints always win.

oh, and it's CHY-na.
CHY-na it is!

F the skinflints. Seriously. If you can’t afford to buy it made here, then maybe you shouldn’t buy it. Perhaps it should not even be an option to do so. Ignoring the problem “because cheap” is really not a valid answer.

I know in the end I am dreaming. We won’t change jack. That doesn’t stop me getting mad about it. It also doesn’t protect NES from my rantings either...
 
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Outside of electronics, it is not hard to choose what you buy.

I have learned a few years back that buying quality once is better than buying a product every year because it breaks.

I might only buy cheap stuff that I will use once. For example, my girl needed a watch adjusted to her tiny wrists, so I bought a POS kit for like $5. I will probably never use it again.
 

MisterHappy

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I am fully aware. Because something ‘is’, doesn’t mean something is right.

F the market. They can pay more, or not pay at all because something costs too much. The alternative to change here is inevitable decline and defeat.

If something is not financially viable to produce without feeding our enemies, perhaps it is just not viable to produce at all.

Whole businesses and maybe whole industries have been built around cheap Chinese labor and materials. This is not good business, it is treason. It may not have started that way, but that’s where it has gotten to.


CHY-na it is!

F the skinflints. Seriously. If you can’t afford to buy it made here, then maybe you shouldn’t buy it. Perhaps it should not even be an option to do so. Ignoring the problem “because cheap” is really not a valid answer.

I know in the end I am dreaming. We won’t change jack. That doesn’t stop me getting mad about it. It also doesn’t protect NES from my rantings either...
I see what you're saying, and, theoretically, I agree with you.

However, what you advocate is the .gov forcing citizens to buy what the .gov approves of. That ain't gonna get much traction.

I'm glad that you know that you're dreaming. [wink]
 
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Outside of electronics, it is not hard to choose what you buy.

I have learned a few years back that buying quality once is better than buying a product every year because it breaks.

I might only buy cheap stuff that I will use once. For example, my girl needed a watch adjusted to her tiny wrists, so I bought a POS kit for like $5. I will probably never use it again.
It is true that “they don’t make them like they used to.” Planned obsolescence is by design. Sick.

 

McReef

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I see what you're saying, and, theoretically, I agree with you.

However, what you advocate is the .gov forcing citizens to buy what the .gov approves of. That ain't gonna get much traction.

I'm glad that you know that you're dreaming. [wink]
I am dreaming. Nothing is going to change.

I also see what you are saying there, and can see how it may be interpreted that way, but I don’t see myself as advocating that. At least not any more so than tariffs and taxes already do.

When I say “should not even be an option” I am saying perhaps it should be made to not make financial sense for a company to even offer such a product.

We as a nation have always had a overly strong isolationist mindset. Everybody is always ready to shout America first, and to decry our self declared role as world police, and yet our actual behavior, what we do everyday, continually moves us ever further from the isolation we so vocally seek.

I don’t know how to get us there, clearly, but the alternative is dark. Perhaps it is just karma? The world is being subjugated through imperialism in reverse.
 
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F the skinflints. Seriously. If you can’t afford to buy it made here, then maybe you shouldn’t buy it. Perhaps it should not even be an option to do so. Ignoring the problem “because cheap” is really not a valid answer.
I’d love to know what American made device you typed this response on.

If you’re going to ask people to buy American made you need to raise minimum wage so people can buy the necessities. I don’t see how anyone can afford American made stuff on 7.25 / hr.
 

Jason Flare

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I’d love to know what American made device you typed this response on.

If you’re going to ask people to buy American made you need to raise minimum wage so people can buy the necessities. I don’t see how anyone can afford American made stuff on 7.25 / hr.
Holy shit.

You posted this 16 minutes ago.

Where do you live with the $7.25 minimum wage?

In MA, 16 minutes ago, it was $12.75.
 

McReef

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I’d love to know what American made device you typed this response on.

If you’re going to ask people to buy American made you need to raise minimum wage so people can buy the necessities. I don’t see how anyone can afford American made stuff on 7.25 / hr.
I’m not claiming to be innocent here, none of us are. I will also admit to to owning a lot of “necessities” that aren’t so necessary.

None of what I am talking about would be easy, for anyone, but that doesn’t change the need.

It is pretty much universal within this group (myself included) to be pretty vocal in our opposition of the ‘free shit culture’ that has taken route in this country. People everywhere just looking for that free ride, and our government eating it up in order to create a society of dependence.

Is our own growing dependency upon cheap CHY-nese goods and materials really all that different? It is high time we all reevaluate our own actions and behaviors, recognize and own our hypocrisy, and maybe do something about it.
 

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I am dreaming. Nothing is going to change.

I also see what you are saying there, and can see how it may be interpreted that way, but I don’t see myself as advocating that. At least not any more so than tariffs and taxes already do.

When I say “should not even be an option” I am saying perhaps it should be made to not make financial sense for a company to even offer such a product.

We as a nation have always had a overly strong isolationist mindset. Everybody is always ready to shout America first, and to decry our self declared role as world police, and yet our actual behavior, what we do everyday, continually moves us ever further from the isolation we so vocally seek.

I don’t know how to get us there, clearly, but the alternative is dark. Perhaps it is just karma? The world is being subjugated through imperialism in reverse.
Americans may say, "America First!" but they mean, "aMErica first!" At least mostly.
 

TomMontana

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Let people decide how to spend their money without government interference. Forcing Americans to buy only American made products is for those who love big government. Americans have one of the highest standards of living because half the world works on slave wages to produce goods for us. We print money for their real products. What fools! Most people are accustomed to the consumer lifestyle. They're not going back to saving weeks and months on end to buy something that is currently easily affordable.
 

McReef

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Let people decide how to spend their money without government interference. Forcing Americans to buy only American made products is for those who love big government. Americans have one of the highest standards of living because half the world works on slave wages to produce goods for us. We print money for their real products. What fools! Most people are accustomed to the consumer lifestyle. They're not going back to saving weeks and months on end to buy something that is currently easily affordable.
So what you are saying is everything is fine as it is?
 

edmorseiii

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I'm now making an effort to buy American-made or at the very least not Chinese-made. Enough supporting commies at our own expense.
Me too. From now on, I am going to make more of a conscious effort to not fund the next bio attack from CHY-na. I know it is impossible to do completely, but I am staying away from the obvious products.
 

Mountain

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I thought Trump was going to bring back all the manufacturing?
So the first president in DECADES finally takes some action to rebalance the trade deficit and you throw shade? Trump leaves himself wide open for criticism on many fronts, but support of American manufacturing is most definitely one of his strongest efforts and he's the first president to provide general support of manufacturing perhaps in my lifetime. Others have supported specific interests- oil, defense, etc.; or in Oblabla's case big banks and insurance.
 

Mountain

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Let people decide how to spend their money without government interference. Forcing Americans to buy only American made products is for those who love big government. Americans have one of the highest standards of living because half the world works on slave wages to produce goods for us. We print money for their real products. What fools! Most people are accustomed to the consumer lifestyle. They're not going back to saving weeks and months on end to buy something that is currently easily affordable.
So the rest of the world doesn't have access to the same products produced via slave wages?

I'm not for forcing Americans to buy American, but allowing insanely unfair trade practices vs. the #2 economy was a road to ruin. Too many administrations were fat, dumb, and happy regarding the exploding trade imbalance between us and China.
 
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So the first president in DECADES finally takes some action to rebalance the trade deficit and you throw shade? Trump leaves himself wide open for criticism on many fronts, but support of American manufacturing is most definitely one of his strongest efforts and he's the first president to provide general support of manufacturing perhaps in my lifetime. Others have supported specific interests- oil, defense, etc.; or in Oblabla's case big banks and insurance.
Lighten up Francis.

I voted for trump. And I support his policies. I will vote for him again. But I do think it's fair to be dubious about his results in returning jobs to the US, building the wall or balancing the budget. He has mixed results on these core tenets of his campaign platforms. Is he better than obama? For me, yes. But still fair game for me to comment on some of his accomplishments.
 

number9

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So the first president in DECADES finally takes some action to rebalance the trade deficit and you throw shade? Trump leaves himself wide open for criticism on many fronts, but support of American manufacturing is most definitely one of his strongest efforts and he's the first president to provide general support of manufacturing perhaps in my lifetime. Others have supported specific interests- oil, defense, etc.; or in Oblabla's case big banks and insurance.
Bilateral trade deficits are essentially meaningless. You can have gripes with how China's economy functions, or America's trade patterns, but trade deficits are not the droids you're looking for.
 

Boris

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There has been a lot of back and forth from the start of this whole pandemic mess concerning China and our reliance on them,
I am not relying on China, American corp execs do and they are the ones who really benefit from it. I can compare prices on low end shit, they are not that much lower adjusted for inflation. US market will bear what it will bear, i.e. the price you are paying at the store. The cost is a different factor and price difference does not go into your pocket. So there is no "WE".


American companies already make a lot of shit in China and repackaging it or minimal assembly here. They have been pulling this shit for decades. It's like VT maple syrup that's only 10% made in VT to carry the label, the rest Canadian juice. The real difference is that with better commerce, small time operators can order shit on Ali express and get it delivered pretty damn fast too. The profit margin from Chin goods is narrowing down for bigger companies who used to had exclusive channels all to themselves and made mint on that monopoly.

I expect more crying from Pharama companies that their R&D cost is too big while their shit is all made in India and China, and if you ever worked for a pharma co, you know that most workers are Chinese, you go to break room at lunch time and it's f***ing little China. H1Bs? ... Trump is still importing them. Start there.
 

Mountain

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Lighten up Francis.

I voted for trump. And I support his policies. I will vote for him again. But I do think it's fair to be dubious about his results in returning jobs to the US, building the wall or balancing the budget. He has mixed results on these core tenets of his campaign platforms. Is he better than obama? For me, yes. But still fair game for me to comment on some of his accomplishments.
Gotcha. I'll agree that his results are mixed and personally he's on my shite list for the SALT thing as well as his often impulsive communication. No, not perfect on manufacturing but light years better than what we've had.

Bilateral trade deficits are essentially meaningless. You can have gripes with how China's economy functions, or America's trade patterns, but trade deficits are not the droids you're looking for.
Semantics. The trade deficit is the symptom of the problem(s)- a $420B per year symptom.
 
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