Interesting article concerning Etch a Sketch and Chinese manuf.
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  1. #1
    D. Thomas Guest

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    Ohio Arts was under pressure from the large toy distributors to keep the price under $10, and yet, adjusted for inflation it's original price of $3.99, ~43 years~ ago, would now be $23, rather than it's current price of $9.99. I can't help but wonder if, with some promenant "Still Made in USA"
    promotion, wouldn't most folks still buy them at $23 ? Probably not, as the average young mom buyer couldn't care less I suspect...

    Re the deception of worker conditions, interesting also. But I did hear a reporter on Friday talk about going unannounced to a Chinese textile factory that made bras for Victoria Secret and some Disney garments, seeing decent conditions with satisfied workers.
    ==========================


    NY Times
    THE WORLD'S SWEATSHOP: THE ETCH A SKETCH CONNECTION
    Ruse in Toyland: Chinese Workers' Hidden Woe
    By JOSEPH KAHN

    HENZHEN, China — Workers at Kin Ki Industrial, a leading Chinese toy maker, make a decent salary, rarely work nights or weekends and often "hang out along the street, play Ping-Pong and watch TV."

    They all have work contracts, pensions and medical benefits. The factory canteen offers tasty food. The dormitories are comfortable.

    These are the official working conditions at Kin Ki as they are described on paper — crib sheets — handed to workers just before inspections.

    Those occur when big American clients, like the Ohio company that uses Kin Ki to produce the iconic toy Etch A Sketch, visit to make sure that the factory has good labor standards.

    Real-world Kin Ki employees, mostly teenage migrants from internal provinces, say they work many more hours and earn about 40 percent less than the company claims. They sleep head-to-toe in tiny rooms. They staged two strikes recently demanding they get paid closer to the legal minimum wage.

    Most do not have pensions, medical insurance or work contracts. The company's crib sheet recommends if inspectors press to see such documents, workers should "intentionally waste time and then say they can't find them," according to company memos provided to The New York Times by employees.

    After first saying that Kin Ki strictly abides by all Chinese labor laws, Johnson Tao, a senior executive with the privately owned company, acknowledged that Kin Ki's wages and benefits fell short of legal levels and vowed to address the issue soon.

    He said that the memos might have reflected attempts by factory managers to deceive inspectors, but that such behavior "did not have the support of senior management."

    William C. Killgallon, the chief executive of Ohio Art Company, the owner of Etch A Sketch, said that he considered Kin Ki executives honest and that he had no knowledge of labor problems there. But he said he intended to visit China soon to "make sure they understand what we expect."

    Etch A Sketch is the same child's drawing toy today that it was in 1960, when Ohio Art first produced it in Bryan, Ohio. But efforts to keep its selling price below $10 on shelves at Wal-Mart and Toys "R" Us forced the company to move production to China three years ago.

    Today the same toy is made not just for lower wages, but also under significantly harsher working conditions. Kin Ki's workers, in fact, are struggling to obtain rights that their American predecessors at Ohio Art won early in the last century, though the workers are without the aid of independent unions, which remain illegal in China.

    China now makes 80 percent of the toys sold in America, according to United States government figures, and no industry here has come under greater pressure to adhere to global labor codes. Kin Ki and most other big producers open their doors to foreign inspectors to assuage concerns that products used to entertain children in rich countries are not made under oppressive conditions in poor ones.

    But that goal conflicts with price pressures in commodity industries like toys, where manufacturers command no premium for good labor practices. China alone has 8,000 toy makers competing fiercely for contracts by shaving pennies off production costs.

    Kin Ki stays competitive, workers say, by paying them 24 cents an hour in Shenzhen, where the legal minimum wage is 33 cents. When the Etch A Sketch line shut down in Ohio just after the Christmas rush in 2000, wages for the unionized work force there had reached $9 an hour.

    Chinese workers say the company also denies them legally required nonsalary benefits and compels them to work 84 hours a week, far more than the legal maximum, without required overtime pay.

    "I keep this job because my parents and my daughter depend on the money I earn," said one migrant worker, who if named could lose her position for talking about the company. "No one likes to work in these conditions, but I have no choice."

    Etch A Sketch has had rare longevity in the toy world. Baby Boomers used them as children and now buy them for their own families by the millions.

    The toy survived into the electronic age because of nostalgia and clever promotions. But its appeal has continued, in part, because it keeps getting cheaper to own. It sold for $3.99 when it was introduced. If it had kept pace with the consumer price index over its 43 years, it would retail for $23.69 today instead of $9.99.

    Mr. Killgallon and his brother, Larry, who is president of Ohio Art, said in an interview that their efforts to reduce costs ran out of steam by the late 1990's, in part because of soaring health care expenses.

    The logic of overseas production grew irresistible, as wage rates and shipping costs fell and quality improved, they said. An Etch A Sketch made in China and delivered to the company's warehouse in Bryan was found to cost 20 percent to 30 percent less than making it in Bryan. Moving the full line to China meant laying off about 100 people.

    "We tried hard to make this work in Bryan," Larry Killgallon said. "But we looked at the numbers and we realized that we had to move."

    Since early 2001, Etch A Sketches have been made in the village of Da Kang, a dusty enclave on the outskirts of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong. Once a farm region, the area has been overtaken by white-tiled factories and itinerant laborers. Landlords scrawl their phone numbers on the walls of old farm homes, like commercial graffiti, for workers who want to rent rooms. The village planted roses and marigolds to beautify the roadside, but the fallout from factories and construction sites has colored them gray.

    High walls surround Kin Ki's production lines and warehouses. Dormitory windows are covered in chicken wire. Workers must enter and leave through the guarded front gate.

    The factory, workers say, operates with the intensity of a military campaign. Production starts at 7:30 a.m., and, breaking only for lunch and dinner, continues until 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays are treated as normal workdays, so a work week consists of seven 12-hour days.

    That far exceeds Shenzhen's regulations. The authorities have set a 40-hour, five-day work week, like the United States. Local rules allow no more than 32 hours of overtime per month, which must be compensated by paying time and a half on weekdays and double time on weekends.

    Kin Ki set a much lower pay scale, workers said. It pays just 1.3 times pay base for any overtime, weekday or weekend. Workers say their monthly paychecks would more than double, to about $200 from around $85, if the company paid legal wages.

    The work itself can be draining and tedious. Unlike Ohio Art's factory, Kin Ki uses few machines to offset manual labor, and it needs three or four times the number of workers casting plastic molds, painting parts, and attaching the strings and rods that operate the drawing mechanism of the Etch A Sketch. But Kin Ki workers say it is the pay, not the task, that upsets them.

    "Most of us would work long hours willingly if we were paid according to the law," said one employee. "The way things are now, we can shut up or leave."

    Some workers took action against the factory last June and July, refusing to work unless the company raised wages. They also demanded that the daily diet of boiled vegetables, beans and rice be improved and supplemented more often with pork, fish or some other meat, which they say is served just twice a month.

    The company responded by raising wages by a few cents a day, workers said. The canteen allotted each worker an extra dish each day, though no more meat.

    But managers made "fried squid" of two workers they singled out as strike leaders, workers said, using a popular term for dismissals.

    The company acknowledged having significant labor problems. "I know that I need to increase wages and to comply with the law," Mr. Tao said. "I have the intention of doing this and will raise all wages in 2004."

    He also acknowledged that workers had gone on strike. But he denied that Kin Ki had dismissed the two ringleaders. He said they "were well known troublemakers" who left the factory of their own accord.

    Whatever Kin Ki's intentions are now, company documents show that it has been paying below-regulation wages — and seeking to fool foreign clients — for years.

    One memo preparing workers and supervisors for an inspection in September 2001, urged workers to help the factory "cope with clients."

    "Foreign clients made unattainable demands during previous inspections, including on limiting overtime," the memo said. "But when you think about it, you come from all over the country to make money, not to rest."

    A more recent memo, issued to prepare for an inspection that took place on Nov. 26, urged workers to memorize false numbers for wages and working hours to reflect Shenzhen's regulations. The memo promised bonuses to workers who responded as directed when approached by inspectors.

    Workers said the elaborate ruse had one happy result. Because few of the employees have legal work contracts on file, the factory must pretend that its work force is smaller than it is when inspectors visit. On such days most of the factory's 850 workers get a rare treat: a day off.

    On Nov. 26, with an inspection under way inside the plant, workers congregated in their rented homes or food stalls to eat, chat, smoke and gossip.

    "I thank the inspectors for one thing," said a Kin Ki worker from rural Sichuan. She was crouching over a bucket of cold water in the warm afternoon sun, washing her hair. "I needed a rest," she said.



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    Well, i may spend the better part of the day on here off and on, but I don't thin I am going to spend it reading only one post. LOL!

    Just for the record, I only live 12 miles from that factory.


    The Ohio art facility in Bryan, Ohio that is. As far as I know, they still do light stamping there for other customers. Up untill the early to mid 70's a lot of their toys were steel stampings. Their spinning tops that you could pump up to speed was one that I remember the most. They would even whistle b/c they had holes punched in the sides.

    The Etch-a-Scetch is still an icon in that town. The town has tried to uphold some spaghetti doll (?) that I think grows hair out of play-doh or something? I don't think they ever manufactured that one locally tho.

    ----

    As for your $23 toy, our biggest local grief is going to be Walmart bending Sauder furniture over backwards. They employ over 2500 in our area, and they will likely start to go the other way soon. The whole of NW Ohio will feel that pain!

    Is 15% savings enough to sell our souls for?

    Think Snow eh!
    Ox

  3. #3
    D. Thomas Guest

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    Well heck Ox, here's even more on Bryan for you to not read

    Btw, I "thought Snow" yesterday, as I was surrounded by the white mess in the mountains of VA. Pretty cool, eh ?


    ==================================
    December 7, 2003
    An Ohio Town Is Hard Hit as Leading Industry Moves to China
    By JOSEPH KAHN

    BRYAN, Ohio — For 40 years workers in Bryan made Etch A Sketch, a children's drawing toy that has outlasted almost all others, and to a significant extent Etch A Sketch made Bryan.

    This town of about 8,000, tucked into the northwestern corner of Ohio, has a tool and die factory, a tire company and a candy maker. But Etch A Sketch, the signature product of the Ohio Art Company, was Bryan's mascot. It marched in Bryan's parades. It was the mayor's calling card and the town's alter ego.

    "You tell people you're from Bryan and they look at you blankly," said Carolyn Miller, a longtime assembly line worker at Ohio Art. "You tell them it's the home of Etch A Sketch, and they smile."

    That was true, at least, until a winter day three years ago, a week before Christmas, when Ohio Art executives called representatives of the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical & Energy Workers Union into head offices and delivered the news. The Etch A Sketch line was moving to Shenzhen, China. About 100 union employees would lose their jobs.

    The decision did not catch employees unaware. The mostly female work force had been training Chinese counterparts on the job. Cost pressures had been dragging down profits for years. Production of other Ohio Art toys, including Betty Spaghetty dolls, had already moved to China. But coming as the American economy entered a sharp downturn, the layoffs hit workers, and Bryan, hard. Three years later only a few Etch A Sketch assembly line workers have found other jobs. Most of those who did were lifetime employees of Ohio Art who were rehired in other departments, including a few who got jobs unpacking crates full of Etch A Sketches from China.

    "Everyone knows the reason these jobs move to China," said Ms. Miller, 64, who now lives on her Social Security and her husband's income. "But when it happens to you, I can tell you, it hurts."

    In a small town like Bryan, the pain was shared. Bryan's tax base is eroding from the loss of manufacturing and a population drain. The Bryan Times is full of notices of home foreclosures and auctions.

    The town's central square is in repose. The drugstores, real estate offices and bars look more like relics than marketplaces.

    The William County Courthouse, a 110-year old Romanesque Revival structure, hints at the loss. Its turrets and towers give it the aura of a fantasy castle. Toy soldiers guard the doors. But the oversize Etch A Sketch that once decorated the courthouse lawn through the Christmas season is gone.

    Toy making can be overromanticized, of course. Many workers developed muscle stress injuries from repeating the same wrist- and shoulder-twisting motions thousands of times a day on the assembly line.

    Still, workers said the biggest hole in their lives after Etch A Sketch moved was the death of a community that had bonded over many years. They sat shoulder to shoulder and shared two coffee breaks, the lunch hour and gossip.

    "I could look at someone's face in the morning and see that something was wrong," said Nancy Bible, an Etch A Sketch lifer. "Before the day was out, we all knew what it was."

    Nancy Viers, another assembly line worker, followed her grandmother and father to Ohio Art. She said she and many colleagues never expected to have another job. "The company was our family," she said.

    Sentiments like that may explain why William C. Killgallon, the company's chief executive, still looks hangdog when he talks about the decision to transfer the toy line to China. He cites ineluctable laws of economics. But his eyes water.

    "It tore our hearts out," he said in an interview in his office. "We ate with these people. We went to church with them. For some of them, this was the only job they ever had."



    [This message has been edited by D. Thomas (edited 12-07-2003).]

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    >> I can't help but wonder if, with some promenant "Still Made in USA"
    promotion, wouldn't most folks still buy them at $23 ? Probably not, as the average young mom buyer couldn't care less I suspect...

    I think you're right. I was listening to an interview of some striking Kroger's employees last week and one of the questions was where they shopped for their groceries - several answered, "Walmart".

    From the article you posted, it sounds like Ohio Art tried to do the right thing for a long time, but ultimately didn't have any choice but to go offshore.

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    That is exactly why I hate F***ing walmart and won't ever give them one cent of my business.

    Some friends were part of a succesful effort to beat off their drive to put a distribution center near their town. That was near Killingly, CT. All I did was proof read all the material on their website. I was glad I was part of it.

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    Interesting article Don.

    Gee, how long could I get away with paying less than minimum wage?
    Certainly not years like that Chinese factory.

    I wish I got time and a half or double time.
    Let's see......13 hours yesterday and 11 hours today, Sunday....heck, I could retire.

    Les

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    Why does it take a Union Shop to make an Etch A Sketch?

    We know now that It Doesn't.

    The article says Health Care Costs got too High.

    They aren't Now.

    Either Ohio Art or The Union Had to Go.

    Ohio Art had the Tradename and the Product. It wasn't about to dry up and blow away.

    So making Etch A Sketch went from one extreme to another.

    Maybe there was no way to hold the $10.00 price per unit, but there could have been compromises that could have prevented the unit cost from more than Doubling,- Doubling!

    There is an Etch A Sketch (USA) not 4 feet from where I sit. It is a frippary, a Flap Doodle we play with once in a while.

    The thing just Won't sell for $23.00, nobody takes it that seriously. It isn't Wal Mart's fault, the thing will just naturally be priced out of the market at that selling price.

    Ohio Art was fortunate that it's product had the Cache' of a Nostalgia Item. Maybe they should have marketed it in The New Yorker Magazine and The Atlantic Monthly and cut their production accordingly.

    The thing is going to go obsolete when the Baby Boomers stop buying it anyway. There is just too much competition from battery powered whiz bang computer driven graphic toys.

    We might want to look at Wal Mart from a different angle. There are an awful lot of people wo earn less than $10.00 an hour in this country. Even those earning $12.00 an hour are staggering under their expenses.

    If these people couldn't eek by, saving on the cost of everyday goods by buying at Wal Mart, there would likely be social unrest.

    The difference in pay between this country's high paid workers and low paid workers is getting dangerously large. This difference is un characteristic of the US labor force.

    It is precisely this kind of economic polarization that leads to the violence that can tear a country apart. Just look at Europe in the 1930's.

    Much of this difference in pay is the result of Federal government Spending. It was reorted last week that the Bush Administration has in real terms increased government spending by 23 per cent since it came to ofice.

    That spending translates into money for workers in the Government itself and workers in and for Governmant contractors, me included.

    That money doesn' trickle down. Wal Mart employees don't get raises, neither do truck drivers and helpers at furniture stores and lumber yards.

    The money bubbles up. Real Estste prices and Rents in the Washington, D.C. area are Out of This World

    Nordstroms, Neiman Marcus and Saks are doing almost as much volume as Wal Mart in that particular area.

    I'll bet that most readers of This Board have not seen the like of Pentagon City Mall. (my daughter had her first apartment in the neighborhood). To get an Idea, think of four ordinary malls stacked on top of one another! Every store is the Trendiest of the Trendy.

    It is so big and overwhelming that because my eyesight is limited, I actually have to have a Guide just to walk through there.

    THAT is where your Government's Money gets Spent! It is within MY eyesight of the Capitol, The White House and The Washington Monument!

    The problem here is profoundly larger than simply snivelling over Wal Mart and the Chinese. There is Something Big Bad Wrong.

    The center of it is in Washingtn, D.C not Beijing. Ordinary Americans are being forced into economic competition with the forces of their own government's spending of tax money and Borrowed Money.

    The only way to get by in real America is to shop at Wally World.

    Wal Mart has no choice but to sell at low prices if they want to stay in business. Nobody out here has any but the most meagre amount for anything but their necessities. When was the last time YOU bought at Neiman Marcus???


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    "The difference in pay between this country's high paid workers and low paid workers is getting dangerously large. This difference is un characteristic of the US labor force."

    I see this in spades - what do you think the basis is for this? Education? Work Ethic? Social mindset?

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    If you look at it from a longer perspective, what we are seeing with the rising gap in incomes is a return to how the US was from Colonial days through the 1920's. I'm not a strong supporter of today's unions, but without the labor movement of the first half of the 20th century and the Progressive and Populist movements in the late 19th and early 20th century we never would have had a time where the majority of the population could live a relatively good life.

    I believe that the main reason for the growth in income inequality over the past 20 years is indifference and a little bit of greed. We live in an economically stratified and segregated society. While its not yet like South America, we're moving in that direction. Most people never have any meaningful encounters with people outside of their socioeconomic group and really aren't aware of how different life is for others - both the ones who are wealthier and the ones who are poorer. Since they don't know about the others and are fearful of losing what they have they are unlikely to do anything which will result in change.

    Until people get angry or scared, it will continue to be easy for the greedy to continue to take a little bit more every year.

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    So what is a good paying job and what is a low paying job?

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    Donovan:

    The median wage in the USA is about $35,000 a year. That means that half of the wage earners earn less, half earn more.

    So. a good paying job pays $35,000 or more.

    The median is not really a good measure of real wage distribution. It would take more reserch than I care to do to find the real effective wage distribution in the country, but you can bet there are a whole lot of workers who aren't holding down a ood paying job.

    Motion guru:

    The average Intelligence Quotient of our population is 100.

    It doesn't take a degree in pssychology to figure out that an entire country's workng population cannot be employed in professions requiring high intellect.

    The manufacturing sector provided employment for the average Joe and Jane and at a good living wage.

    Manufacutring has always been the university of the comman man.

    Factories provide a wide variety of educational experences, The average or slightly slow worker has a place, the genius also has a place. All learn the company's products and proceedures. As the company prospers, so do the workers, all of them.

    Competition amongst factories allows the more skilled or the more intelligent workers the freedon of upward movement that application of effort and intelligence should be rewarded with.

    Stablilty in the manufacturing sector allows the less able or those of modest ambitions the steady job that makes life affordable.

    Loss of the manufacturing sector is what is stratifying our economy.

    Without active factories any society will slowly degenerate into the medieval model. The Royalty, The Clergy, the Military and the Pesantry.

    We are now watching China evolve from an almost feudal state to that of an advanced society, due to its free market manufacturing activities.

    There is no reason that this process can't operate in reverse.


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    Jimk - in a short are you saying that because the US has achieved a level of economic equilibrium that was sustained by the manufacturing sector - that removing that sector will create instability and wage stratification the likes of which we haven't seen since the dark ages?

    Sounds a bit like the second law of thermodynamics. While the US enjoyed a moderately closed economic system, it achieved a point of relatively homogenous distribution of income.

    Off goes the lid (NAFTA?) and the dramatically lower standard of living among competing manufacturing engines is sucking the manufacturing activities out of the US. Of course, this is good if you are at all concerned with the welfare of the rest of the world.

    If this law is applicable, the manufacturing activities will continue to flow out of the nations with higher standards of living until such time as the standard of living of all other countries catches up to our own . . . or ours sinks to theirs. I doubt that within our generation there will be a US manufacturing engine to compete with that of Asia or Indonesia.

    Are the remaining members of the labor pool relegated to the supply and demand curve that asymptotically approaches zero for those of few skills and infinity for those who possess specialized skills?

    [This message has been edited by motion guru (edited 12-08-2003).]

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    Motion Guru:

    The second law of thermodynamics belongs in Physics.

    It can be used to illustrate an hypothetical human situation bcause of its power as a predictve tool.

    However. Physics or even Economics can go only so far in predicting The Human Condition.

    Pschology has it's limits also. Humans are individuals and they possess Emotions and not all of them are Ratioanlly explained.

    It is the Emotions that can't be ennumerated or quantified, they're the downfall of any attempt at accurate Sociometrics.

    If it were not for the emotional and irrationaly unpredictable nature of the human being, Marksism or some other kind of Socialism would be the perfect economic organizaton for society.

    Societal organizations that have their origin in the Intellect will always starve the Affect. The Head will act to the Detrement of the Heart and the Soul.

    No Nation today is operating under Free Market Capitalism. Economic decisions are made at the upper levels of immense organizatins by Corporate Leaders, Economic Ministers and the heads of Central Banking Establishments.

    Ratoinality is attempted, but Avarice and self preservation permeate the decision making process at every turn.

    The laguage in which these decisions are presented is intellectually cogent, but the decisions, themselves are as flawed as any other decision made by an emotional being.

    In the human struggle for command of the Material World, with it's necssity to Measure, Qualify and Allocate, Hearts and Souls are being rendered.

    We are cnstantly asking questions and attempting rational economic answers.

    But we have forgotten One Improtant Question.

    "What Have we if we Gain the Entire World but have Lost Our Soul?"



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    here are some thoughts from someone who has been both a business owner and employee and seen how big companies work and having been a liqidator seeing what happens when plants are shut down. I don't know how to stop this but I know how it started. 30 years ago I had a summer job in a paper mill paying $9.00 / hr with tons of overtime, the following year I had a different job paying a bit more and with 12 hr a day required, I was a kid and it allowed me to pay my way through school , a full timer could support a family without the wife working and the additional financial and social pressures that causes. It has been down hill since then. It seems that the New Deal [sorry Dad for even mentioning those words] basically said that we were going to pay each other more than we really had to. This may be nostagia, but the worker made a living, the factory made a profit, and taxes got paid. I don't think the CEO of GE or GM or IBM made anything like the ratio of worker to CEO that they do now. And this may sound socialistic [sorry Dad , again] but does anyone have to make that kind of money? when they are not risking there own capital?
    What can we do to allow the guy without an education to make a decent living and the guy with more abilites to be rewarded and the guy with capital to risk to get a fair return to motivate taking that risk? Sound like we need a new balance or maybe the old balance back. I work hard and expect to make enought in return for my family to live well, but I pay people well and do not expect to become rich by wringing pennies out of people who do not have alternatives [ I would mauch rather wring dollars out of someone who won't miss them but they tend to be to smart to that to happen].

    Just some thoughts.


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    Just a couple of corrections:

    JimK said "It was reorted last week that the Bush Administration has in real terms increased government spending by 23 per cent since it came to ofice." The President does not control spending, that is a function of the Congress. Congress has not been able to control spending since LBJ's "New Society".

    JimK also said "The difference in pay between this country's high paid workers and low paid workers is getting dangerously large. This difference is un characteristic of the US labor force." What about Ford, Rockefeller, Dupont, Kaiser, and others? You went on to talk about Europe in the 1930's, what about the US during the same time.

    MotionGuru said "Off goes the lid (NAFTA?) and the dramatically lower standard of living among competing manufacturing engines is sucking the manufacturing activities out of the US." NAFTA has not had 20% of the impact that the trade agreements with China has had. The worst thing about the Chinese trade agreements (signed by Clinton) is that there is not mention of currency stabilization. The Chinese have been keeping their currency artificially low so that the imports are even more attractive. I have heard figures of 40%.

    There are so many other factors that come into play.

    Health care is high because of insurance rates. Why are insurance rates high? Blame it on the Civil court system. Example: I'm sure that some of you heard about the Pharmacist in St. Louis that was watering down cancer drugs. The first civil case was recently settled. His insurance carrier (Pharmacist's Mutual) has been ordered to pay $26mil to one (single) customer. The insurance company will go broke on these claims (I heard that they only have $50mil). The Pharmacies will then have to shop for other insurance. Since their was a large claim in the business, all of the rates will go up. The business that my father used to own has had 300% raise in the last 5 years. Estimates are for 1000% in the next 5 years. What do they do? Pass on the price. And people wonder why prescription prices are high in the US! I get all of this from my father, who is a semi-retired pharmacist. I remember when I was just a lad and worked at the store. Birth control pills were selling (repeat selling) for $1.65. Today, the same prescription will cost somebody about $23.00.

    That higher medical cost gets passed on to the customers via higher health insurance rates. Who is going to pay for all of the health insurance when there are no more manufacturing jobs - Walmart? Fat chance!

    I heard in one of the political adds that we are getting swamped with that the politician wants to provide health insurance for every child. That a very noble though. Who pays for this. I think that the Chinese should! Maybe we should put a child health insurance sales tax on everything at Walmart. Just remember, it was usually the manufacturing jobs that paid for these benefits.

    The only thing that I can say for a fact; It ain't over yet!

    JR



  16. #16
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    JRIowa - I just can't resist, but in case you haven't noticed, Republicans are in control of all three branches of government. The Republican party is the most disciplined political organization the US has seen in a long time, probably since the days of the big city Democratic machines.

    To imply that the President has no control of Congress is like saying the Earth is flat. President Bush has never vetoed a spending bill from Congress. Instead he usually encourages Congress to increase spending. If the president wanted to rein in spending he could at the very minimum veto a spending bill. This would force a discussion of the proposed spending and possibly lead to a reduction in spending.

    In the last three years our fearless Republican leaders have passed tax cuts which have led to reduced government revenues each year while also increasing spending at a rate which hasn't been seen in a generation. What they are doing has been characterized by a majority of economists and the financial press as fiscal lunacy.

    We can blame increases in the cost of health care for causing some of the economic woes and they undoubtedly are, but when we have a Yuppie Republican government that believes its OK to run, outside of WWI and WWII, the largest deficits the country has ever seen we need to recognize that they bear some responsibility also.

    Unfortunately, unless the Democrats grow a backbone and start to fight instead of just bellyaching it will probably just get worse until China and Japan decide they no longer want to fund the US Government (little known fact - a large portion of the trade surplus these countries run with the US is used to buy US Government debt).


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    AndyF it looks like we know where you stand politicaly. I would rather have a Yuppie Republican Govenment than a Democrat any day of the year period. Those are the same people that want to tax me more and more and give my hard earned money to the poor people who don't care to work. Why should I bust my a$$ to pay someone not to do something.

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    Donovan:

    Make me pay taxes while others don't work.

    That's the oldest line in the country by now.

    Get ready, You are gonna get Taxed.

    Maybe not while this administration is in office, but sooner or later that Government Debt has to payed and Guess Who's Gonna do it.

    U.

    We have all let these Yahoos get away with too much too long and we're going to bear the brunt of repairing it.

    Even to paying the price of social unrest.

    We are all in this together, the Quick and the Smart have no right to run away with the economy and leave everybody else behind.



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    So what are you saying JimK that we need to cut spending all together and rise everybodies taxes? How do you run a business without debt? I can't make a door knob with out a machine. How did I get the machine. I had to go into debt to buy the machine so that I can make the door knob so it can sell it. Instead of blaming this group or that group JimK what should we do? Give us some solutions?

  20. #20
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    Donovan - I don't think you know where I stand. I'm perfectly OK with a Republican Administration if they are willing to balance the budget. Unfortunately, the only time the budget has been balanced in the last 30 years or so was with Bill Clinton.

    What we have now is a Republican Administration that has decided that it will spend like there is no tomorrow and stick the next generation and the generation after that and the generation after that ad infinitum with the bill. I don't care about party labels, but this is completely irresponsible. If Congress and the President decide to spend some money on something, the necessary taxes should be levied. If they aren't willing to levy a tax, don't spend the money. Seems pretty simple to me.


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