Manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Seattle, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    There seems to be some focus on trying to solve current economic problems by going back to an earlier point in time. That's not going to happen. Open world wide trade is here to stay.

    When Home Depot came into towns many small and medium sized hardware stores went under. When the internet came about shopping online for smaller items wasn't very common due to large shipping charges.

    The internet companies adapted and prospered. Medium sized hardware stores couldn't compete with Home Depot but many small hardware stores adapted and found a way to stay viable (by distinguishing themselves from Home Depot).

    Auto makers in Detroit haven't adapted very well but Toyota is able to sell well made cars at very competitive prices and to do so with cars made both in Japan and here in the U.S.

    Do you think that immigrants, trade laws, Mexico are all just excuses for companies that haven't done there part to adapt to changing conditions?
     
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  3. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    I sort of agree but I think more countries will try to retain or get back their manufacturing

    I also think companies will adapt to producing very personalised items of their products

    It does happen now but the process will become cheaper and customers will pick mix and match parts for almost any item to make just what the customer ordered
     
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  5. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

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    I think the biggest killer of jobs is automation. I work in manufacturing. In the plant the production line I am working on has about 8 operators per shift or about 24 people. 20 years ago a line making this volume of product would have had about 75 operators. The team that I am working with has a STATED objective of improving the process to eliminate 12 jobs. That is the stated goal. Nobody bats an eye over this - not even the operators.
    The stated goal of the corporation is to have a dark plant here. That simply means there are no operators so there is no need for lighting - cute, huh? These manufacturing jobs are disappearing and the never coming back.

    This is a real issue. There are now self check outs at most grociery stores. How long until there are no cash register operators? There is talk of having robots or some form of automation at fast food restaurants. How long before there are essentially no jobs for people with a nontechnical college degree?
     
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Every job won't require a technical degree. There will always be teachers, politicians

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    and others...
     
  8. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know about that, it's a strange new world we are facing. We will need to make some big decisions about what it means to be human in the not too distant future. While we may be technically ready, I have reservations about our emotional and intellectual abilities in that regard.
     
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  9. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    And there will be a large want for the smart arse who knows where to kick the machine to make it start when pushing the start button doesn't work
     
  10. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Sort of, but the changing condition isn't just globalism. It's the end of the age of cheap energy.
     
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Energy prices (in terms of useful energy per person) have been going down steadily. Some examples:
    Gasoline prices have stayed roughly the same in adjusted dollars since 1931 - but average MPG is climbing steadily. So you get more miles for the same money.

    Electrical prices have dropped slightly since the 1970's - and efficiency has increased dramatically. Modern CFL and LED lamps give you four times the light for the same electrical energy input, which means way more light for the same money. Same thing with motor drives (i.e. washing machines, compressors, industrial machinery.)

    I expect this trend to continue.
     
  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I agree that spidergoat is not correct regarding the end of "cheap energy" however electrical rates don't tend to go down with more efficient technology as the utilities just increase the rates.
     
  13. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Prices don't reflect the true story. Demand destruction explains price fluctuation. Why are wages stagnant? Because growth is virtually impossible. Which is why governments like the US borrow like crazy to maintain the standard of living voters demand. It's not sustainable. The housing crisis was another example of a desperate attempt to make up for lost wages, one that ended in disaster.
     
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    That may be true. However, looking at power prices over the last 40 years, prices have been coming down.
    You're talking about economic policy now. I agree, we are borrowing too much. However, energy prices (for useful energy) are coming down.
     
  15. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Of course they are, it's irrelevant to my previous statement.
     
  16. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    The underlying problem has to do with government regulations for the environment, the work place, and employees. The price of compliance is so high it makes more sense to get rid of the workers, to cut costs and reduce the potential for violations. For example, to accommodate women in the work place, there are behavior restrictions on males. Because boy will be boys, and there is a price to pay, which means you need to hire lawyers, instead of assemble line workers. You may also have to hire quotas, instead of the best people, or you may need to pay union wages instead of free market competition. There are also environmental and energy regulations, with the left wanting to add even more regulations, like carbon taxes.

    The prospects for business is an ever increasing overhead as new and improved regulations take affect. It is no longer profitable to function in the US. For some companies there is the need to automate, before the left decides to regulate and define machine rights. I can see a time when the left will endows machines with a soul, so all the poor machines will need rights, such as oil breaks instead of coffee breaks.

    Trump is going to reduce regulations and excessive taxes, lowering business overhead. In turn, the difference will be mean more workers rehired and/or maintain longer. The cost of regulation for business in 2008 was about $1.75 trillion, which is about 25 million jobs at $50,000/year.
     
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  17. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    How does that make sense? And please be specific. Why is growth "virtually" impossible, and what do you mean by growth...growth of what?

    The housing crisis was an example of deregulation and greed: the same kind of deregulation and greed which caused the Great Depression and many depressions before. There is nothing desperate about that; it's normal human behavior.
     
  18. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    And your credible evidence to support your assertions is where? It doesn't exist. There have been a few papers sponsored by the Kochs to make your argument but they all fail to pass muster.

    When looking at regulations folks like you assume there is no value in regulation: only costs, and that simply isn't true. There is great value in establishing a regulatory platform. Producers don't have to reinvent the wheel every time the develop and bring something new to market. It also protects them from law suits.

    So yeah, there are costs associated with regulation. But there also costs of failing to regulate, and the costs of failure to adequately regulate for the most part vastly exceed the cost of regulation, e.g. the housing financial crisis.

    Again, what was the value of regulation in 2008? How much value did regulation create? It's kind of myopic to only look at the costs and not look at the value created, don't you think?

    I think there is some value in not eating foods contaminated with heavy metals and drinking water and breathing air not contaminated with poisons. I think there is some value in a stable banking system whereby I don't have to worry about losing my money to a bank default. There is a great value in not having to recreate the wheel every time a manufacture brings a new product to market. But you and your ilk never look at that do you?

    Well, we will see what Trump does or doesn't do. Trump is first and foremost a showman. He isn't a man of substance. And just what taxes do you think are excessive? You do understand we are presently running a deficit?

    Reduced regulation will mean less people hired, not more. That's one of the reason the banking industry is so excited about less regulation: less labor cost and more profit. Unfortunately for you and your ilks, facts and reason do matter.

    Demand for labor is determined by the demand for product and the technology used. It has nothing to do with regulation. If anything regulation increases demand for labor. It doesn't impede it. That demand for labor is what businesses complain about. You don't think through what you believe, and therefore you don't understand the contradictions in those beliefs.
     

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