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12-07-2011, 10:45 AM #1
Unintended Consequences of Offshoring
This is not about weather or climate - it has to do with the strategic consequences of offshoring our manufacturing.
There are some very interesting points made in this presentation. The flood of regulation in the Clean Air Act and similar produced a "self-alignment" of industry that has produced new sources of pollution and this very important idea: These industrializing regions have the very newest technologies, cheap labor, and cheap energy. And an apparent lack of concern for clean air.
Thoughts on why energy use and CO2 emissions are rising as fast as GDP | Our Finite World
How do we match their pace of industrialization and keep the air clean? Even if we ignore the air, how do we compete with our old technologies, burdened energy, and unskilled workforce?
12-07-2011, 11:46 AM #2
Its very simple... VERY VERY SIMPLE!!!
You set up a list of rules and regulations that US manufacturing companies have to follow.
Not every single rule, but the most important and basic. We have these lists already.
Now each company you hire to make things for you "no matter what country they're in"
must meet those regulations. Very simple.
Now since we can not directly control those overseas manufacturing companies with fines and closures we can take a different route.
If a company in the US wants to use a company in a country that does not meet our standards for the workplace, we simply fine the US company what we would normaly fine a parent company in the US for breaking whichever laws they did.
This is not complicated...
If inspectors went to a ford plant in the US and found unsafe working conditions + sub minimum wage compensation + no overtime/holiday pay + forcing employees to work 12 hours a day instead of 8 + no workmans comp insurance for anyone + gross toxic waste dumping into the environment. We would 1st fine the crap out of that company, then eventually (if they did not comply with standards) shut them down completely...
So if a company in the US uses a factory in ANY country that does not meet with our standards they must incur these penalties.
Why / How can an imaginary border between countries stop this ? The answere is it cant.
Borders mean nothing in this case.
Why does it matter if lets say "FORD" uses a company in china to make a part? It does not matter AT ALL... But if that company in china does not meet US standards we just fine "FORD" not the chinease company.
Why is it ok for chinease people to be exploited but not Americans? Why is it ok to be a gross poluter in china, but not America ? It makes no difference where you do these things.
Borders are meaningless...
Bottom line, You fine any American company using any other company in any other country that does not meet US standards because "They are supporting an UN-American standard of living"...
This is very simple stuff... And everyone knows it... Its only GREED that drives people to look the other way...
The solution has always been simple, not to mention right in front of our faces.
We just choose to not "FIX" it.
12-07-2011, 11:53 AM #3
So if you actually get this into place, and the company chooses to pay the fine and drive on, because it's still cheaper than producing in the US, who benefits(besides the bureaucrats and politicians) and who gets hurt?
12-07-2011, 11:59 AM #4
Well 1st the fines would not be a one time thing.
They would be "Lets say" Monthly.
You break a law you get fined. In a month if you have not fixed the problem you get a second fine at a higher dollar amount. And so on and so on untill the problem is fixed, or the company goes under. Sort of like DUIs the fines go up each time you get another one.
Its very simple stuff. Since Americans think that Terriffs are the devils work, this would be an alternative to Terriffs, but with the name "FINE" attached instead.
This way we are not running a "PROTECTIONIST" government. But we still penalise companies for outsourcing to slave labor countries/economies.
Are you really having a hard time grasping this? or are you just having fun messing with my head?
12-07-2011, 12:03 PM #5
12-07-2011, 12:33 PM #6
You are serious ?
I thought it was obvious.
When you say who gets hurt, i get a little confused. The only people getting hurt will be the people actively involved in supporting slave labor on this planet.
That is not clear in my post ? If it isnt im sorry, i didnt realise i was being so vague.
12-07-2011, 04:33 PM #7
Solar here's a question just to play devil's advocate. Who is going to be your inspector in this plan? Let's imagine it is you and you are sent to inspect a steel mill whose investors have spent $2-3Billion to build a mill where 60% of its revenue $500million is in business yearly with the USA. Let's imagine that a mill in the town next door just lost their biggest customer and had to shut down as a result of your inspection, 5000 people are now out of work in that town. Now the owner of the mill you are sent to inspect knows the other factory actually was far more environmentally friendly and the working conditions at his plant and the way he treats his employees make the company you just closed look like it was run by the HR staff at Google!
How kindly do you really expect to be received on this inspection?
My guess is you will be made an offer that you can not refuse. The language used could vary but it will probably roughly translate to take this enormous bribe and your life, give me a passing grade and get the hell off my property! If you don't except you will be part of our next melt!
The next issue is how far down in the assembly will you take this effort? Let's use electronics as a good example. Some of those mfg processes use real nasty chemicals. A company can save a lot of money and make them cheaper if they dispose of them in the river in China as opposed to the hoops that they would need to jump through in the USA.
Say my car needs a radio. The radio has a circuit board inside of it that needs a special readily available capacitor to work on one of its many boards. That capacitor today is only made in one of 5 high pollution factories that are all in China.
I am building the radio for the car company and I want to build the boards here in the USA. I need to buy the same capacitor as my competitor in China will build the board with. Well now some Govt' official says no you can't use that capacitor as it comes from a polluting factory. I can't build that radio! So the entire build of the radio now goes to China. Maybe the factory gets a passing grade allowing it to go into a Car in the USA but do you really expect anyone to accurately audit that factory's supply chain? Are you going to tell Ford that they can't build cars in the USA with radios over this one capacitor? Perhaps the paperwork your plan creates will be so bad it is just far more economical to build all their cars in Canada and Mexico have the US Gov't audit one factory and that is it.
Sorry it may work on paper but there is no way it will work in the real world!
12-07-2011, 06:27 PM #8
The most complicated jobs begin with the words: "All you gotta do is...". Also beware of "This is simple".
12-07-2011, 06:48 PM #9
Fire the IRS and the folks feeling up old ladies in the airports,and you would free up plenty of money and manpower to do this.
China wants our business No process using humans can be completely free of stupidity and corruption, but I think it could work.
Whether you call it a fine or a tariff, pro-rate it on the basis of % non-compliant content.
Solar71 liked this post
12-07-2011, 08:11 PM #10
What happens if China retaliates by insisting on inspecting our Chicken feet processing facilities, and find them staffed with undocumented Mexicans?
(Please ignore the running-dog capitalist commercial that precedes the editorial copy)
NY Times Advertisement
You think the "inspector" is going to return home to China, and "Fine" the People's Liberation Army entity who more then likely owns the Chicken parts import company?
The Chinese Military-Commercial Complex
He would shortly be scheduled for "re education", if he's lucky enough not to have his head on a pike.
Oh wait!! The Chinese don't give a flying fuck WHO chops those chicken feet off, as long as the get 'em.
Just like all these OWS techies ( or the God-like 1%er, Steve Jobs) don't give a flying fuck where their Iphones & Ipads come from, which is HERE:
Revealed: Inside the Chinese suicide sweatshop where workers toil in 34-hour shifts to make your iPod | Mail Online
Hell, they make you sign a pledge NOT TO COMMIT SUICIDE just to sign up!!
Workers in Chinese Apple factories forced to sign pledges not to commit suicide | Mail Online
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12-07-2011, 10:17 PM #11
1st let me clearify.
I was not speaking of factories in the US. We already police these factories heavily.
I was speaking more about factories that US companies use that are NOT located in the US.
Hence the "Ford plant in China Example i gave"
We already know factories in the US must comply with a minimum wage, and 8 hour days, and workmans comp insurance. The problem lies with countries that do NOT require these things.
If a person needs a part made by only 5 factories. All 5 of those factories are in gross poluting countries then they can not get there part... But think about what that does... It does NOT mean that the item being made does not get made... What it means is an American company can start up to fill that gap.
Right now there are lots of things that are only made in gross poluting countries because we TURN A BLIND EYE to these harmfull practices... If we acctually punished companies for using slave labor and gross poluters, guess what would happen??? An american company would spring to life and fill that void.
Right now there are NO VOIDS to fill, But thats only because we do NOT punish the guilty parties...
Its so simple..
Cmon you guys. There are 1000 reasons to not do or try something new. But by not trying at all look where thats got us... In a big pile of SH*T... You wanna keep going down this road???
Just like a parent with a really really bad kid... Never wants to punish there own child ever...
The kid just gets worse and worse... Untill one day you either man up and punish your kid to teach him or her a lesson.... or your kid grows up and you can just go visit him on weekends at the prison he's housed in... You choose, pain now or LOTS of pain later..
12-07-2011, 10:53 PM #12
1. Eagles were defined as a protected specie. If you had a nesting family on your rural property you were prevented from mowing, plowing, grazing, in a 1/4 mile diameter of the nest.
a. People found a way. Eagles mysteriously stopped nesting in those rural areas. This also illustrates the rule of unintended consequences.
2. In Washington state a drought was claimed and draconian steps were taken to regulate water consumption.
a. People found a way. Buried hoses were run to lakes and streams to take in water off the meter. Unlicensed wells were dug. Rain water was collected (not legal in Washington) in swimming pools and other containers. This also illustrates the rule of unintended consequences - mosquito populations increased.
3. Electricity rates were increased to discourage power usage to save energy and fight global warming.
a. People found a way. They converted to gas/propane, solar, and wind, and increased the amount of CO2 generated and the power companies had reduced revenues.
People find a way. On Wall street, Main Street, and in the corner shop. If you do a little searching you can verify what I've just written and find your own examples of how people get around social engineering experiments like you are suggesting.
12-08-2011, 12:19 AM #13
Forgive me if I come across as terse, I am trying not to, but I think you are being rather naive. For us living here in the USA, food,shelter and surviving have quite a different meaning than for those living in developing countries. I am not condoning slave labor but for many of those that are in a third world country, the slave labor jobs are their only means to survive. It sounds very noble to say to we just make some rules to change our present situation but it is a very different thing to implement rules that effect how other people in other countries will have to be effected or live. How would you feel if China were to demand that we had to implement certain policies such as size of family or living quarters square footage? I suspect that you would not get much compliance from any of us.
I really believe that our greatest problem in this situation is us. Do you personally purchase products from companies that produced particular products using the detestable practices that we are discussing here? i.e. an Ipod or Iphone Do you shop at Walmart? Do you drive an American manufactured automobile that actually has the majority of it's parts manufactured outside the USA? Do you work for a company that does any of these detestable practices or does business with ones that do? More than likely all of us would have to answer yes to at least one or more of these.
Apple has become one of the richest companies in the USA, the darling of Wallstreet and a favorite manufacturer for the OWS crowd. I don't see very much stock holder activity trying to change how Apple is accumulating it's fortunes. I don't see the OWS crowd have a protest and throw their Ipods in the trash as a mass protest. Why is that? I'll tell you why, we like their products and really don't care how my personal purchase effects the situation at large.
Now I'll pick on organized labor. When I was younger, I worked in the building trades unions. I was working with a bunch of young pipefitters who happened to all be building houses at the same time. Now all of these guys were journeymen that had permanent jobs with a particular contractor, drove the contractors trucks to the jobs and were getting above scale wages. (Chicago local) Everyone of these guys used non-union contractors to build their houses. I asked them one day over lunch, why didn't they use union contractors? Their reply was that it cost too much. I chuckled to my self because this same group would be up in arms if a non-union contractor were to outbid a commercial job and cry foul, not fair. I see the same hypocrisy in the UAW members I work with currently. I had an apprentice sum it up very well one day. We all want to see our neighbor get ahead, just not ahead of us.
Very few large corporations in the USA are privately owned. That means that the majority are publicly owned and that the stock holders have the right and ability to change some of these issues. Do you know how your 401K is invested or your IRA? Do the companies in your portfolio meet your suggested requirements? More than likely not. Most people are only looking for the best rate of return just like the corporations that we are railing against here.
If we really want to change the course that we are on, we need to stop buying products that are manufactured using the very practices that we are complaining about. Perhaps we should start making purchases based on quality, longevity, and overall economic health for the USA. We need to walk the path that we want everybody else too and stop being hypocrites.
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12-08-2011, 12:20 AM #14
Well DP I trust that what you said in your last post is true. But I'm not sure doing nothing is the answere. I feel that we need to try something.
Maybe we could try a more blanket approach.
Maybe we should just apply a tariff to any individual parts coming in from overseas.
Maybe we should copy whatever level of tariffs are applied to US products to the products coming from those countries. What % is added to imported products from the US to let's say Germany or France?
If a country adds for example 15% to all US products. Maybe we should add 15% to all of there products. And so on.
If I were in charge. I would match all teriffs from 1st world countries like the ones in western
Europe and Canada. But all the slave labor / gross polluter countries should suffer double teriffs. Example. If china teriffs US products 15% we teriff Chinese products at 30%.
This would be to compensate for there lack of fair wages and medical coverage and proper waste disposal and so forth.
I think this would help create insentive to start making things in the US again.
Since I'm not well versed in politics I'm not sure about how I would actually implement this.
But we need to try something don't you agree?
12-08-2011, 12:30 AM #15
I hear what your saying. But I personally can't be responsible for how Chinese people live.
I can only focus on my own home.
There are many people on this planet that don't care about slave labor and so will use it.
That's there problem. Not mine.
If my kid starts getting way out of line and misbehaving its my problem. I need to discipline him. But if some other family in the same restaurant has a stupid kid that's throwing his pease and carrots on the floor while he screems at the top of his lungs. I can't worry about that.
That other kid has his own parents. It's there job to decide what to do or not to do.
So I'm sorry but I can't worry about Chinese farmers that dream of working in a factory for 60 hours a week so they can make enough money to live in a home made of aluminum siding.
With no running water or electricity. Like a homeless person in the US. China has to fix its own problems. But not at the expense of American livelihoods.
12-08-2011, 12:43 AM #16
Vote like your future depended on it. It does.
When you suggest a tariff think very hard about who will finally pay that tariff. It is probably not who you think it is. Border tariffs prop up local high prices else they would not be needed. The consumer takes it in the shorts. The consumer will take this just so long.
12-08-2011, 03:41 PM #17
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12-08-2011, 04:42 PM #18
12-09-2011, 10:38 AM #19
Its interesting to see how offshoring is attributed to clean air regulations. The textiles, clothing, and shoe industries have been about as totally offshored as any industry I can think of, and I have a real hard time identifying the air pollution regs that caused it.
Oh yeah, now I remember what caused it. Manufacturers were on the verge of bankruptcy from having to pay $1.50 labor to make a $50 shirt, or $3 to make a $100 pair of tennis shoes, so they went to Bangladesh for the dollar a day labor for the sole purpose of survival of the company.
Hot air and bullshit used to justify pure greed are the biggest and most dangerous pollution problems we have in this country today, and we seem to have an endless supply of drooling moron citizens who buy right into it because they're too ignorant or too narrow minded to recognize they're the ones being screwed by the very things they blindly support.