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American manufacturing decline-how about an English perspective?

To say that other protectionist countries won't buy from us is in a word :icon_bs:.
I can appreciate that other countries want to protect their citizens from dumping of commodities and scurrilous criminals making sub standard merchandise :nono: foisted upon the uninformed consumer, just because they want something at a reasonable cost.

I have no bones to pick with Australia or New Zealand, not even with Iceland and I'm more in favor of their Icelandic Sheep with the fine quality meat and coat. I have even given thought to keeping a few Icelandic Sheep to help with the grasses in the Orchard. Having been a shepherd and belonging to the Northern New York Shepard's Association in the early eighties I do have an understanding of the animals. In fact the number of sheep operations has risen by 4% in the last year so I do keep up with what is happening in Ag. I live in the country where, when you pull out of your driveway you are just as likely to meet a tractor or combine as you are another car.:D

What I am saying is let's level the playing field. I really don't care if the Saudis park 1.5 million Amana refrigerators out in the desert:crazy:, they need to trade with us. They are not the only exporter of oil. Maybe if their ships sat in port for a month they might get the message:willy_nilly:. We can spread the wealth. If New Zealand exports lamb to us then they can import beef, but quite frankly I don't care about the US Beef Counsel or the Cattleman's Association. They have a huge US market and besides they have started to reduce the numbers in the herds. So their market may get tight. If Japan wants to sell me a Matsurra machining center, I have some corn I can send them, or we can convert it to beef - tit for tat.

Regardless of what the perceived notion is about the Politicians thinking that they control the markets they don't. :bawling: Large companies do and have found that out. So Politicians don't scare many folks, just ask the Black farmers in the US. Farmers have gotten the shaft from the USDA for so long that they no longer care. The Internet has made commodities Global and stuff gets shipped through the front door and back door - just like the crap from China.:skep:
So on the overall, sheep farming is larger here than you think. Within two miles I have four or more Sheep / Goat operations. Do you know for sure that New Zealand and Australia don't have tariffs on US goods ( I know the answer as I have clients in both countries that must pay a tax or tariff on our goods).

We are taking the story to the consumer on Quality. It took the US Automakers some time to adjust but they are now competing on a larger scale. Once again the Japanese put a huge tax on US cars in Japan just as they do Autos from Germany or any other country. I say lets put an equal tax on every one of their imported cars or trucks or any that have their Brand label on it.:fight:

As I said before lets also reform foreign ownership of American companies. Not making any of this personal mind you, but if you are going to come my way with provoking thoughts - think them through so we can get to the good stuff. I am well read and educated and have a wealth of experience including travel abroad. Just because I live in Tennessee (where Vanderbilt University is) doesn't mean I'm a hillbilly, I only portray that impression so I don't have to stress the brain.:scratchchin:

Let me close with this thought - Globalization of markets would not have been possible without the Internet revolution and computers. I can recall marketing Personal Computers to farmers back in the 80's and they said "I'll never need that". Well times have changed. I can buy and sell Hay and Corn and most commodities as easily as buying metal for the shop. We marketed to the World on our products 6 years ago. Our web site can be translated in any language. We accept any currency and ship to any country as long as we have a weapons agreement with them as our product is restricted. We are also required to check against a list of known individuals before shipping. We are doing a larger amount of European shipments because of the weak dollar. It is all good with us. We also have a very high standard of Quality Control.

Frank S. in Tennessee:codger:
jim rozen -

They were quite savvy on marketing and design as well. They knew their niche and filled it quite well. As long as the car market was booming, there was room for the high-quality japanese car that was small, and they left the big SUV market to the US manufacturers.

It is called being smart and staying with what you know best.

I wouldn't want to be a Hummer salesman right now.

Why? Just the other day I passed three Hummers, two H2 and one H3 on the way to town 5 miles away. More farmers in my area are getting them.

Well I would like to stay and write more but the day is nice and I need to check the moisture level in the field so I can plant some corn and peppers. I'll have to catch up on machining tonight.

Frank S. in Tennessee

"Doing my part to help feed 137 other families just seems natural and part of being a good Christian"
What a terrific Question !

AND the answer is something we ALL should be concerned with.
Being a student of history, and Industrial Development , I would suggest the following.

Britain was the cradle of Industrial Creation and Developement.
It started with the steam engine in 1750. To "Protect " themselves, they did things we should ponder now in retrospect,
and see why this question is so wonderful. Britain did not want the world to use their technology, so they made
it illegal for their workers to leave Britain. Thats right, a machinist could not get permission to go abroad.

Patents were contensious instuments and politics played greatly in whether your patent was breached or not.
Witness that James Watt got a second term granted to him for his patent on parrallel motion,
a device "ALL" steam engines needed at that time to work. This effectively shutoff all secondary inventions for 40 years.
You now know what it means to say "It would take an act of Parliment"...he did it

Then because of the expanse and Ambition of Great Britain, taxes became insane for workers.
Witness the "Boston Tea Party"...or "Taxation without Representation" and you get the drift.
Two things happened to get Steam Engine technology out of Britain, first they let travelers come into the Country
( and these guys left with the secrets ) and workers revolted against travel restrictions by changing trades....and then leaving ( no computer work history !)

Why did the USA become the offspring of Britain? What did we offer ?

Cheap labor with ambition
Decent education
Low Taxes
Cheap Power ( we had rivers ie water wheels all over)
Good Patent laws

That gentlemen is why we made it...and can loose it
Those are the issues that can make you great, or just so-so.
We have members of our country who are desperately trying to make those issues FAIL.
They are trying to make Companies out as Bad Guys
They are trying to Tax everything. Not only income taxes, but corporate taxes .
Think of this...name one Corporate tax that is not passed down to YOU ?
The lack of intelligence on this matter is scary !
We are loosing our cheap power to Greenies who have a absolute desire to destroy our culture
under the guise of humanitarism and good "feelings"
We can't build power plants regardless. We can't dam rivers, and we can't mine
Our Education system makes failure a reward . When Horice Mann (Go west young man) created the public school
system in 1835, we had a 97 % literacy rate.
Today it takes years to get a patent. the average patent today is in some cases over 900 pages long.
Can you imagine an invention that takes that much space to explain how it works?
That and we have 6 times more Lawyers /citizens then any other country in the world

Witness China.. building a new power plant every other day
and the answer is clear.

Enough said
"We are loosing our cheap power to Greenies who have a absolute desire to destroy our culture under the guise of humanitarism and good "feelings"

Well we know when the "feel" generation began (I feel your pain, how does that make you feel, how do you feel about that - its enough to make ya puke - ya wanna feel that?). It doesn't take no damn village, that is too much delegation without a responsible party. That's called blame shifting which we have too much of.:willy_nilly:

I'm all for being green - responsibly, in other words not wasting. But not building power plants because the polka dot three legged frog wants to squat on lily pads in the swamp - give me a break.:angry: We're in the crapper because we haven't built or remodeled our petrochemical plants in quite a while. Our infrastructure is crumbling and we have to over think everything and have committees to do anything and another committee to have oversight and one more committee to be a watchdog for corruption and false thought starts (:))

Wanna be a do gooder and save the planet, get out of my space and quit sucking up my air and get a real job that contributes to the economy instead of thinking of ways to waste money on some lame brain idea like putting fertilizer on Chinese cooking oil to see if it propagates - it doesn't.:ack2:

And while they are at it the do gooders can kick off the Miss Dorthy ruby red slippers cause they aren't in Kansas and they should get the nads clipped so they don't multiply.:wall:

We do that and maybe we can start to get the world back on track because it sure looks like a train wreck.

News story tonight - Eight year old black boy takes his grandma's SUV and drives off and hits a bunch of cars, people and finally comes to a stop when he hit a curb. Very contrite "I'm sorry, its just that it was the bad in me coming out, sometimes you gots ta do what you gots to do to let the bad out and it feels good" I was gob smacked - what the hell did I just witness? It was the kid taking after his parents who are a bunch of malcontents. Can you say juvenile detention, or military school. Who gonna pay for all the destruction? What happened to being responsible for your actions. Then he beat the hell out of his Grandmother when she wouldn't buy him chicken wings in a Walmart, and we are talking beat her good. There is a good reason for Lockups.

Off the Soapbox and back to the Man Cave. A rather sad night has fallen over the world here as we get word that my Father in Law is near death and they were doing CPR on him a short time ago.:(

I think back to the times when I got a pass from the Master Chief of Kennedy Space Center Security and took my Father in Law as I knew that even then he was on borrowed time. We found out that the passes were special when the Armed Guard at the gate, snapped to attention and saluted us, and waved us on then cut our car out to go down a special access road. We ended up two miles away from the launch of the Shuttle, it took ten seconds for the sound to wash over us and the noise was deafening. You could feel the pressure waves on your chest. In the car going back home my Father in law (Bernie) said that if he died the next day that he would die happy as he had just experienced an event that he never thought he would experience. Every time they came down for a visit we would try and do something special. God Bless you Bernie.:cheers:

Frank S. in Tennessee :codger:
Yes I found that out when researching James Watts life, and Matthew Murray, who was
the greatest threat to his company. Old Matthew was a genius...self taught
I'll try to find the references for you..
Boulton & Watt didn't try to restrict steam engine production. Quite the opposite. They were initially engine designers, erectors, and consultants, not engine makers. They wanted people to take out licences to make engines to their design. The only stipulation was that they ordered the cylinders from Wilkinson's, who were the only firm that could produce them sufficiently accurately: B&W wanted to protect their reputation.

They relied on their patents for their income. They were in a sea of sharks, and it turned out that Wilkinson was one of them. He was producing and selling complete engines without paying a penny to Boulton & Watt.

B&W took action and stopped Wilkinson and others, and reluctantly went into business of building engines themselves.

A good source of information about these interesting times is 'Iron & Steel in the Industrial Revolution' by T S Ashton, but it's long out of print.
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Whew, I just waded through acres of complaining and politics, and yet the earth is the same place as it's always been with the same rule for survival: Look out for number one.
i'm awfully sorry, I dont really think that from an engineering point of view that the UK exports much besides some steel to Europe, were farly good at steelmaking in the sense that it [the steel is homogonous, consistent and very clean] this was an accident, enconomies of scale made the uk steel industry go for big blast furnaces, big BOS plant convertors [350 t] and big ladles, also 350 ton, this allows all the crap from secondary steelmaking to float out, its mainly AL2O3 from the process of making AK steel [aluminium killed ],but i digress, this was the last bit of uk manufacturing that really had much to do with export, it is now owned by Mr Tata.
there are no coal mines any more tower colliery closed recently, worked out they say, i see the result of its closure when i look out of my kitchen window across the bristol channel at Aberthaw power station, a long yellow plume that was not evident before, Polish coal is being used because its cheap even if its dirty high sulph high ash volitile
but its better to close your own mines and buy overseas, bean counters are responsible as is the greed the bean counters rely on to give them the power they crave, when an industry is run by bean counters it WILL die, its just a matter of when, when the british steel ind was run by engineers they chose to go big it worked and resulted in cheap clean steel, gradually the bean counters took power as the share price became more important than the product beware the stock exchange its like Rome!
American industry seems to be suffering the same fate where Wall street decides the fate of companies not on the quality of the product, or how much it is respected around the world but on how well it trades, small companies get eaten as larger try to expand to introduce economy of scale, the result is an ugly industrial wasteland, i know i live in one called wales, i can not look in any direction without seeing the scars of industry, industry thats dead and gone.
we are all going to end up in the call centres, shops and banks and burocracy as there is no manufacturing left.
if you dont make anything then poverty will move in, poverty dosent not need a passport
semi rant mode over anyway rules
NEVER allow accountants to run your buisness
NEVER allow Poloticiens to run your buisness
in japan engineers run companies not the bean counters
all the best from Rural Wales
Its not all Bad

Its not all bad news in the UK.

We manufacturer a range of UV water disinfection equipment, we had moved some of the machined components to China, but there recent quotes have been higher than the UK and some business is coming back to our UK Suppliers.:)

No one in the China has got near our UV Chamber suppliers prices at the right quality. :cheers:

The biggest problem is the types in the city who think you cant be doing it right unless you offshore it. The best thing would be for all the city types and bean counters to jump off there ivory towers.

Steve Larner
Its not all bad news in the UK.

We manufacturer a range of UV water disinfection equipment, we had moved some of the machined components to China, but there recent quotes have been higher than the UK and some business is coming back to our UK Suppliers.:)

No one in the China has got near our UV Chamber suppliers prices at the right quality. :cheers:

The biggest problem is the types in the city who think you cant be doing it right unless you offshore it. The best thing would be for all the city types and bean counters to jump off there ivory towers.

Steve Larner

We had the bad news that a minor customer is moving his manufacturing off to china because its cheaper.

Currently we're running a book on when he'll call back going 'could you just machine these 10 urgent cparts I need and I have'nt got time and they too expensive to get from China"*

But alas for him, I've got 2 VMC's that need setting, another one is running a non-operator job, and another is due to go down Monday afternoon for resetting.......... plus I found out the job that came back from China last month has just doubled in size with a big list of 'panic' parts :willy_nilly:

Oh well wont be long before the government says ' Hey you... CNC machinist... you can no longer go abroad" :nono:


* I've got $5 on 10 weeks 3 days ;)
Hey Frank,

I'm in Australia and often buy parts from a few companies in the US. I don't have to pay any import duty as long as there is proof the item is made in USA. I also sell product back to them, and as far as I am aware, they don't have to pay tax on the parts I have made here in Australia.

Hi all, interesting thread.

I'm a printer, have been since school (28years). I've worked in in-plant and commercial shops, been pushing a desk now for 6 years. One of the card stocks that we use was made in the uk and everything was fine, the manufacturer was Indian based and thought they would save money and moved all the machinery to India. Four months later and still no card is flowing, apparently they are having teething troubles! We asked the rep if and when? Reply was "Dont know, they wont say"! As they produce in batches, once the UK stock is used up, it will not be replaced until they make and ship more. This i have been told could be up to 3 months! WTF?

Now paper is a resource that is not used on a regular basis, one month you might need 100k sheets, the next only 20k so they have NO idea of what stock to make there and hold over here. When it was made here, they usually maintained stocks ok but not anymore.

Obviously this is not your regular white paper, its a specialist stock that no-one else makes. We just cant figure the logic.

As for the UK in general, I think it is on the verge of a serious crash followed by a bad recession. Three years ago, i could name 15 print shops locally, now there are only three, and they are all quiet. We are in talks at present to decide about going on a four day week or shorter days to save money, we have 58 staff, three years ago we had 103!

Nobody is spending any money at present. The govt. has screwed this country into the ground and were going down quick.

There are far too many pencil pushers and clip-board holders and too few real jobs. There are even rumblings of immigrants leaving because it is not what they thought it would be! Over zealous immigration is another problem, it's brought down our NHS and transport infrastructure due to over population. Every where you look they are building new homes but then going bankrupt 'cos no-ones buying them. We just dont have the space.

Fuel and food costs are strangling us all, fuel related crime is increasing, i know two friends that have had their home oil tanks sucked, thats over £1500 of oil gone each.

I get very depressed when i think of the technological milestones that made us great and how they have been pi**ed over in the name of profit. They dont teach practical subjects or history at school anymore, kids are leaving with no idea of what to do or how to do it. They dont even want to be 'computer programmers' anymore! They just go straight on the dole, a lot of them already have massive debts from student loans and crap when they leave, its a great way to start life.

So to summarise, it pretty much sucks and blows here in the UK at present.
For a very brief period during and after the war Canada was an industial giant setting all sorts of productivity size records for military derived materiel and niche products. As a result of this in the post war years the country was awash with treasure and the population was extrordinarily prosperous.
It was clear to the government that the demand for these goods would not continue and that the population levels at the time could not sustain the capital costs of re-tooling the industrial base for peacetime production.
The senior permanent civil service, as oposed to the politicaly elected government, considered the problem at length and recomemded to their masters that it was in the country's interest to de-industrialize as far as possible and capitalize the resource extraction businesses with the lowest labour requirements and to maximize goverment beaurocracies and service industrys as the principal employers of the population. Agriculture was to be encouraged but not as a source of general employment.
The future of the population was to be found in servicing one anothers cars and housing, selling one another a variety of goods, providing a huge catalogue of government services and building and maintaining the massive infrastucture needed for a country of this size.
This efectively meant that they were able to finance and manage over several decades what Britain and now the US are having forced upon them by the Global economy today.
Any one of the readers who are familliar with my general position on government incompetence and sloth will perhaps find my having made this point a little strange but nevertheless what I say is true and is a classic example of the benefits acruing from a really competent and independent civil service able to resist the political intererence of the politicians