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The new normal?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by wilbur_the_goose, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

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    It's simple if you want to own a company that deals with hazardous materials it costs you to meet all of the EPA and government regulations. Then you have storage, disposal, and evenvironmental regulations regarding the FDA. Now add in the workers that you have to pay a minimum of $7.25 an hour. The cost of one weeks labor for every employee would cover the shipping cost and wages in a foreign company.

    Now the real truth of your prunes is that they were probably grown from a seed/plant that was bred in california but shipped to another country to be grown year round.
     
  2. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    Somehow I have a feeling that the Chinese "California" Prunes are simply imports, perhaps from plums grown from seeds developed in California but I wouldn't even be sure of that.

    According to the California Dried Plum Board web site:
    As near as I can tell, there are a small percentage of prunes imported to the U.S. from China and a couple of other countries.

    But it is possible that they are shipped to China and packaged there. The process they describe is as follows:
    Note the long term bulk storage, from which "most dried plums are packed to order, whereupon they’re rehydrated, sterilized, put through a final inspection and packaged for shipping."

    So who knows? To me shipping in the bulk stage, then storage, involves some risk of spoilage. But as of January 1, 2008, the minimum wage in California is $8.00 per hour. That's $16,640 a year, plus payroll taxes and benefits. A wholesaler could get a lot of work done in China for that, still ship the prunes back and forth, pay less for storage costs, absorb some additional spoilage, and probably make a larger profit.

    As I noted before, the "new normal" really isn't new. But there are always new wrinkles even for prunes. :D
     
  3. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Baby steps. To get things back to where they should be, little things should happen first. Banning outsourcing would send a financial ripple throughout the world, I think. Of course we've managed to allow ourselves to become dependent on the rest of the world for many things, but over time, that can be changed.

    Rich
     
  4. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Banning outsourcing? So, the government should have the power to basically tell you who to hire? No thanks. A business should be able to hire anyone they want, whether it's here or another country. This idea isn't much different from affirmative action ideas in that I'm sure you wouldn't want the government requiring companies to hire X number of minorities and women. Companies should be able to employ whomever they feel can do the job for the least amount of money.

    I don't blame companies one bit for outsourcing or hiring cheap labor...they want to make money. It sucks for our countries job market, but that's the breaks of a capitalistic society. The 1%ers want more money.
     
  5. dennisj00

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

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    Much of the IT outsourcing is a false savings. While it looks good that you can hire 6 or 8 software developers for the price of one professional in the US, you don't get 6 - 8 times the production.

    We were a long term developer for a large multi-national project and the new owners wanted to move some of the development to India. Within six months, we had more people on staff to manage / repair their code than we did doing the development entirely.

    I contend Dell is getting taken to the cleaners with their offshore call centers. On multiple calls, almost an hour or more is spent getting transferred to the proper agent - and having to repeat all your data about the machine and it's problem. I'd bet the calls are bouncing around the same cubbys in the same aisle just to build minutes for billing.

    In some areas the tide is slowly turning. Here in NC, a long-term family in furniture has re-opened a local plant because labor, shipping and production times are becoming less desirable in China. They're rehiring 200-250 of their employees that were laid off 10 years ago.

    Several have made comments in this thread about only 'buying American'. While it looks good on paper, you can't do it. You'd starve and go naked.
     
  6. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    The President has no legal power to ban "outsourcing." That's a job for Congress-Man.

    "Outsourcing" in itself is a curious word. We used to call it "contracting" or "subcontracting." In fact there was a time when the unions in the Northeast would go berserk when companies would subcontract work to companies in "The South" and then ultimately build plants in "The South" to avoid paying higher wages and benefits.

    Then there's the whole "H-1B" non-immigrant visa mentioned by wilbur_the_goose which allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. The government is responsible for ensuring that foreign workers do not displace or adversely affect wages or working conditions of U.S. workers. We know Congress was careful to ensure this because an employer is not even required to advertise a position before hiring an "H-1B" which tells me Congress, which dutifully sets a yearly cap, caved to lobbyists.

    But Americans can go pick lettuce or pears because Congress made the folks that do that work "illegals."

    We think we know what the President has or has not done. What we should know, but don't because it's not on Fox or MSNBC News, is how each of our Representatives and Senators voted on these bills that make a difference in our lives.
     
  7. PCampbell

    PCampbell Icon

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    I try to buy American but it is now almost impossible, I drive a Ford but the body is a stretched Mazda and the transmission is from Japan, car assembly in Mexico.
     
  8. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    Maybe not ban, but they can take the financial incentive out of it through duties and fees.

    When Federal contracts are used locally is construction or renovation, there is a 'prevailing wage' clause. It means that the workers are to be paid at basically Union Scale, even if they're not union. At a U.S. Courthouse where I used to work, people working for a private company that were normally paid $8 or $9/hr were paid over $15/hr for any hours worked at the Courthouse.

    Do the same thing for outsourcing. eBay would have to pay the call-takers in India the same wage they would have to pay a worker based in California or Utah. There would be no savings to them for using outsourced workers.
     
  9. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    The bottom has to fall out eventually... Because outsourcing overseas to save money also means more unemployed Americans... So enough outsourcing results in you having no local customers to sell to!

    Add to that a country like China on the verge of becoming a manufacturing power that no longer needs US customers... They can take over Europe and Asia customers... And very quickly you have American companies with virtually no customers left no matter how low the price.
     
  10. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

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    People said the same thing in the 80's when the automotive world was changed by outsourcing.


    Also when you have a company like Apple who has 81 billion and change just sitting around but yet just now started to buy something that is made in America it sets the example of how to make the money. I don't care what people think or don't think about Apple products but the bottom line is they have a blue print for how to profit off of America without investing in it.
     
  11. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Again, I'd have to point out that "local" means "Earth." And what exactly is an "American" company?

    Here's how "normal" is these days:
    Keep in mind that retail sales in China are expanding exponentially among a population that make less than a third of the American income levels, people who far outnumber us, making it a huge growth market for the Walmarts of the world. Take a look at the web page that has as its title visible in the tab of your browser "Welcome to Walmart China!"

    If you want to know what the future American middle-class standard of living may look like, take a trip around Mexico's medium-sized cities - talk to accountants, attorneys, engineers, bookkeepers, secretaries and lab techs at their work and in their homes. Compare their [strike]crap to your crap[/strike] possessions to your possessions, their houses to McMansions, etc.

    Take a hard look, because IMHO over the next 40 years the world's economy is going to balance out creating an international middle-class with a broad range of incomes but remaining very unstable. In terms of standard-of-living there will still be the top 10% and bottom 25%. I just want my grandkids to be able to always stay out of the bottom 25%. That will be difficult because of the instability.

    Just my opinion and, of course, I won't be here to worry about it. As I note in my signature "In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
     
  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    So, we should just let this play out and see what happens? Without doing anything? Affirmative action did exist and it was mandated by the government. It did a lot to level the playing field. It also got a lot of people hired who couldn't fulfill their job requirements. Seemed to be well accepted in my neck of the woods, tho.

    Our federal government isn't supposed to take us to war without a mandate from Congress, but that never seems to stop them.

    My accountant, my lawyer and my doctor all speak American English and yet when I speak to most CSRs in most companies (Kudos to D* for not being one of them) I can't understand them. I'm not xenophobic, but when I have a problem, I want to be able to understand the people I'm talking to.

    One of the biggest problems we seem to have in this country is letting companies run wild doing whatever they want to do, without government oversight. And then trying to straighten things out after they happen. Nobody knew about the banks giving out mortgages to anyone who could walk in the door? The feds finally got off their butts and told them to stop. Should they have allowed that practice to continue?

    Is banning outsourcing really that big a deal?

    Rich
     
  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Nice post, glad to see things are turning around to the extent that you can actually see it.

    About "buying American". I think most people realize that it's not possible to buy, say, a car that's completely built in the States. When I use that term, I mean the profits made by the company stay in the States. My in-laws that worked for VW were insistent that since the plant was in PA and the majority of the employees were American citizens, that it was good for the economy. And it was, in that section of PA. The wages they paid were outstanding for that part of PA. Then the plant closed up. Brand new plant, the Germans just shut it down. The financial impact in the area was terrible to see.

    Rich
     
  14. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Call your Congressional Representative's Office and see what kind of answer you get. Maybe it isn't. What do I know?;)
     
  15. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

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    I sent a letter to my rep and senators complaining about H1B visas. All 3 letters I got back praised the H1B program.

    Guess that tells me something about who pays my Congressmen
     
  16. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Obviously American companies can make money by outsourcing and selling internationally... But if they continue the practice of cutting American workers there will be no fallback position if a country like China decides to try and take over international distribution and undercut those American companies by selling cheaper and stopping manufacturing for those American companies.

    When that happens... There will be no US customer base large enough to sustain those companies, and lots of undertrained US workers who have been without those jobs... And then what will those companies do?

    I fear that at 41 I am young enough to live to see bottom fall out of the US economy the way this thing seems to have been slowly heading the last 30+ years.
     
  17. dennisj00

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

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    I fear that at 61 I am young enough to see the bottom fall out of the US economy!

    I'm really torn between keeping my investments in the market or pulling out with almost 0 return in any other way. It's our retirement, that hopefully we won't need for another 10 years or so.
     
  18. Draconis

    Draconis New Member

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    I'm also 41, and I have no doubt I will live to see that.
     
  19. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Ah, yes. Call the people that let this happen. After spending most of my life in NJ, I have a bit of a bias against politicians.

    Rich
     
  20. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Ah, yes. Call the people that let this happen. After spending most of my life in NJ, I have a bit of a bias against politicians.

    Rich
     

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