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  1. #41
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    The argument here is that you have to apply yourself or that there is some magical path to money without work. The point that several are making is that if you do choose to put in the effort and time, there are better options.
    When I was in Dallas one of the local shop owners pointed out that he hired people at something like $12/hour if they were half competent, but would have them at $18 within a year if they were on time and motivated. Let's consider these cases and a couple others:

    Dallas, machinist, moderate cost of living.
    Starting wage, $12/hr. Top end, $24/hr. Likelihood of owning that shop some day, 0%. You also have to spend $$$ buying your own metrology gear the first year.

    Dallas, rideshare driver (people I knew), moderate cost of living.
    Starting and top end, somewhere around $15/hr after vehicle expenses. No other tools to buy, overtime when you want it, time off when you want it, no advancement.

    Indiana, manufacturing labor then entry to skilled trade, low cost of living.
    Starting rate $14/hr. Top end, $40/hr. Mandatory overtime depending on where you work.

    Of these jobs the machinist is going to have the highest expectation of incoming skills, and is not getting paid as well as the guy working in the factory, who has the benefit of a lower cost of living area.

    You want to go to school for 4 years? A not very good engineer will make more $. A good engineer will make $ comparable to the programmers (more in some parts of the country). A lot of the guys I've known who did well in shops did in fact have engineering degrees.

    Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life, but the issue here is volume. Those who love machining will still get in to it, but those who don't know what they love yet are going to be steered elsewhere due to the odds of income in field A vs. income in field B.

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  3. #42
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    Within engineering there's a similar shortage of good drafters/designers. You used to be able to go drafter>detailer>checker>designer, much as you could go floor sweeper>drill press and deburr guy>easy machines>setup>tool and die maker. That's still possible, but now a large portion of the jobs for someone unskilled trying to enter look a lot like cad guy>cad guy>cad guy and button pusher>button pusher>button pusher. This reality makes less people choose drafting as a career, and those who would be great at it are doing something else that pays better.

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    in other countries like China I have seen large stores where there were many many hundreds of new and used machines like lathes mills grinders , injection molding and punch press machines for sale.
    .
    literally go in with flat bed truck and overhead crane brings machine out so you can walk around and look at it then you buy or lease it. then theirs usually in every city 1000's of concrete buildings people live on upper floors and street level garage door shops are available to rent.
    .
    so anybody can setup a 1 or 2 man shop relatively easy and fast but competition among shops intense (often hundreds of shops close by in a neighborhood)
    .
    central government planning of neighbor hoods and design of buildings with planning of living spaces, work spaces, transportation and store locations..... just saying it does have a effect on things. not sure in USA is anybody really does city planning like they do in other countries
    .
    i have never seen stores like that in USA where it was so easy to buy machinery and so easy to setup a shop (rent or leasing stuff). its not just businesses that compete its also government planning among countries that compete. in China they can tear down whole neighbor hoods and rebuild them. only in USA inner city old poor areas have i seen that done and usually they just rebuild housing, no rebuilding of businesses and manufacturing areas. that and building subways and bus lines. literally in other countries there is a map at bus stop showing where the bus goes. in USA often no map sign at bus stop. also when bus ride is cheap like $.25 it does have an effect and if many stores close by in walking distance many dont buy cars as not needed. thus they can live cheaper or save their money
    .
    literally city planning effects jobs and wages or standard of living. (ability to live on lower wages and still have modern conveniences and send child to college, etc), by the way go to book store and often get college books for $10. that would cost over $100. in the USA (it effects things if college books and tuition is 1/10 the price)i guess you call that government education planning.
    .
    there are community colleges in the USA and its suppose to be cheaper to get a education but its still often 10x or more the cost to get a education that you can get from other countries. other governments more strict on cost of education planning
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails nanjinglargemetalstore1_2002jan02.jpg   ningbomachineshopstore1.jpg   ningbomachineshopstore1_b.jpg   ningbomachineshopstore1_presses.jpg  

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    The price you can charge for goods and services in any economy is defined by the suppliers of those goods and services balanced agains the demand for those same goods and services. At present, the manufacturing world is a global marketplace and as long as there are suppliers like those in China who are happy to have a mat to sleep on in the room above their machines . . . until their standard of living rises to that of the western world, downward pressure on what you can charge for machined parts will prevent higher wages in this industry for stuff that can be machined anywhere.

    We haven’t even discussed the massive vocational training centers in China that more or less imprison people with a low “social score” and make them work 16 hours a day 7 days a week with no pay . . . all while keepIng track of their health and blood type in case a well to do foreigner needs a kidney or heart transplant. Chinese dissidents are being executed for their organs

    All that is to say that you can demand higher wages for the machinist all you want, but if the marketplace is willing to keep an open door to bottom feeding suppliers in China, no shop owner can afford to be competitive in that market while paying higher wages. So you either specialize and differentiate yourself with the ability to automate and provide higher end services (greater efficiency = fewer man hours per part made) or you pack it up and your business folds. This is what the stats on fewer companies / consolidations tells us.

    As a previous post states, if you do what you love, you won’t work a day in your life. You should be a machinist because you love machining and have a natural aptitude for it . . . and if you are teamed with a few folks with similar skills in business, marketing, engineering, and HR, you can kick butt in any market. . . but you have to start by investing in yourself such that you create value for your employer and even then, most employees we hire rarely have a net positive impact on our company for 2-3 years . . . and the ones that do contribute positively early on invariably do because they are gifted and hustle, and they climb the compensation ladder much faster than those expecting a hand out.

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    Back when I worked for a company that manufactured consumer products in China I was told that one of the obstacles to quality was the Chines practice of moving people from rural areas into cities, where they worked in manufacturing, especially assembly of products. A worker who may have been a farmer just a week or two earlier is generally not well suited to the work and many parts were either assembled incorrectly or even left out completely. Maintaining quality was a struggle throughout a product's lifetime and only constant feedback from QC inspection of customer returns insured corrective action.

    One of the dirty little secrets of communist China's "flirtation with capitalism" is that much of the capital financing Chinese growth comes from western nations, especially the USA. The link below shows just some of the Chinese companies receiving funding from the enormous U.S. capital market. There are also something like 500 Chinese companies getting funding through the OTC markets.

    The Complete List of Chinese ADRs | TopForeignStocks.com

    One of the big ones getting capital through the OTC market is China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CWYCY). This is the company that competes all over the world, including the Belt and Road Initiative.

    CHINA RAILWAY CONSTRUCTION CORP (CWYCY) Stock Price, Quote, History & News - Yahoo Finance

    China Railway Rolling Stock Corp. (CRRC) also competes with U.S. and European nmanufacturers of rolling stock and until very recently it's U.S. subsidiary had gained several lucrative taxpayer funded light rail/metro projects by underselling the competition through subsidies from the Chinese government.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/1766:HK



    Chinese-owned rail company faces push back from state, feds

    Congress moving toward Chinese railcar ban: Eno - Railway Age

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    in other countries like China I have seen large stores where there were many many hundreds of new and used machines like lathes mills grinders , injection molding and punch press machines for sale.
    .
    literally go in with flat bed truck and overhead crane brings machine out so you can walk around and look at it then you buy or lease it. then theirs usually in every city 1000's of concrete buildings people live on upper floors and street level garage door shops are available to rent.
    .
    so anybody can setup a 1 or 2 man shop relatively easy and fast but competition among shops intense (often hundreds of shops close by in a neighborhood)
    .
    central government planning of neighbor hoods and design of buildings with planning of living spaces, work spaces, transportation and store locations..... just saying it does have a effect on things. not sure in USA is anybody really does city planning like they do in other countries
    .
    i have never seen stores like that in USA where it was so easy to buy machinery and so easy to setup a shop (rent or leasing stuff). its not just businesses that compete its also government planning among countries that compete. in China they can tear down whole neighbor hoods and rebuild them. only in USA inner city old poor areas have i seen that done and usually they just rebuild housing, no rebuilding of businesses and manufacturing areas. that and building subways and bus lines. literally in other countries there is a map at bus stop showing where the bus goes. in USA often no map sign at bus stop. also when bus ride is cheap like $.25 it does have an effect and if many stores close by in walking distance many dont buy cars as not needed. thus they can live cheaper or save their money
    .
    literally city planning effects jobs and wages or standard of living. (ability to live on lower wages and still have modern conveniences and send child to college, etc), by the way go to book store and often get college books for $10. that would cost over $100. in the USA (it effects things if college books and tuition is 1/10 the price)i guess you call that government education planning.
    .
    there are community colleges in the USA and its suppose to be cheaper to get a education but its still often 10x or more the cost to get a education that you can get from other countries. other governments more strict on cost of education planning
    If it's so great over there.....Oh, I see you brought that mentality home with you...explains how New York State is doing.
    YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    If it's so great over there.....
    Ees okay, senor .... I read these lurid descriptions and laugh, but anyway.

    It does seem that manufacturing can be a money-making activity tho, unlike what the US finance community keeps telling us. Or kept telling us into they ran it off and replaced 'making things' with 'manipulating numbers on a spreadsheet'.

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    The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
    Almost always :-)

    sewagellgoon.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    Almost always :-)
    The technical term for that thing is a "supernatant remover." I made some herringbone gears for one a them oncet. Talk about overkill .... or maybe they really didn't want to ever wade out in the pond to fix them

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post


    The exact same statistics could be explained by more automation (thus fewer workers) and consolidation (thus fewer companies).
    I've seen this trotted out a couple times lately. This is some serious revisionist history. Everyone seems to forget that to corporations, labor is the enemy of profits. If big companies were so eager to invest in automation back in the 90's and 00's, they could have done it here. This is just false. Those jobs left for cheap labor. I've seen it first hand many times. My home town had a big factory that left for Mexico in the 90's. In the 00's I saw a state of the art fully automated manufacturing line shut down to sent the product to China to be built by hand.

    Economists are funny. Their models are faulty. Their predictions are wrong, but everyone still listens to them. I consider them more like court jesters telling the people at the top what they want to hear and to help rationalize doing what they want. Crush labor, send the jobs overseas, it'll be fine because of x y z. Now that the middle class is on it's way out, we should listen to the same people, right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CosmosK View Post
    I've seen this trotted out a couple times lately. This is some serious revisionist history. Everyone seems to forget that to corporations, labor is the enemy of profits. If big companies were so eager to invest in automation back in the 90's and 00's, they could have done it here. This is just false. Those jobs left for cheap labor. I've seen it first hand many times. My home town had a big factory that left for Mexico in the 90's. In the 00's I saw a state of the art fully automated manufacturing line shut down to sent the product to China to be built by hand.

    Economists are funny. Their models are faulty. Their predictions are wrong, but everyone still listens to them. I consider them more like court jesters telling the people at the top what they want to hear and to help rationalize doing what they want. Crush labor, send the jobs overseas, it'll be fine because of x y z. Now that the middle class is on it's way out, we should listen to the same people, right.
    Quoted in full so it'd be up there two times for the googlebots.

    This is the best, most succinct, honest description of the situation I have ever read. If the "like" thing worked here at the bottom of the memory hole I'd give it about thirty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CosmosK View Post
    I've seen this trotted out a couple times lately. This is some serious revisionist history. Everyone seems to forget that to corporations, labor is the enemy of profits. If big companies were so eager to invest in automation back in the 90's and 00's, they could have done it here. This is just false. Those jobs left for cheap labor. I've seen it first hand many times. My home town had a big factory that left for Mexico in the 90's. In the 00's I saw a state of the art fully automated manufacturing line shut down to sent the product to China to be built by hand.

    Economists are funny. Their models are faulty. Their predictions are wrong, but everyone still listens to them. I consider them more like court jesters telling the people at the top what they want to hear and to help rationalize doing what they want. Crush labor, send the jobs overseas, it'll be fine because of x y z. Now that the middle class is on it's way out, we should listen to the same people, right.
    There's a whole new wave of economics coming out that tries to refute mainstream economic theory. Really if you think about it, there's been various "schools" of economics over time (Chicago school, etc). The guy that comes to mind when I think about that wave of new economics is most like Ha-Joon Chang - he has a lot of stuff about trade policy/manufacturing directly. After Trump was elected in 2016, I stumbled on his book "Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism" (it was even banned by the south korean military supposedly) that goes over the history of economic general thought vs how governments enacted true policy regarding free markets. Basically, he argues that policymakers tended to ignore vast amounts of economic thought and went directly against them to achieve much greater results, which led to the development of Britain, the USA, Japan, Korea, etc. It caused quite a stir pissing a bunch of people off, and I'd say that is the most mind-bending book I've read. It was written before Trump was elected. Since then, Richard Koo (another prominent economist) has come out also saying that trade deficits actually do matter, and he was swiftly labeled a "Trump lover" even though he is not at all.


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