LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Hockeynut! on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:28 pm

TheHammer24 wrote:Additionally, the $1,160 of the $1,200 that starts and stays here is spent on those things as well. No matter how you shake it, the availability of cheap labor benefits us immensely. So we innovate. We create new value. And most of that value stays here and is spent on other things, most of which benefits Americans who sell to those that made the money.


I never said cheap labor is a bad thing. If we suddenly stopped importing cheaply made foreign goods, it would be disastrous for the economy. I'm well aware of that. Cheap labor is never going away and, in fact, that was the point of my first post.

What I'm saying is that the US is filled with low skilled workers. Those workers used to be able to get jobs in factories that paid a "family sustaining" wage. Those people are no longer going to be able to find jobs in the manufacturing sector. Some of them can move into the service industry or other areas where workers without any specific skills can get employment, but those jobs rarely pay as well as factory work. Some of them can "go back to school", but with thousands of college grads unemployed/underemployed, will that really solve anything? I'm not advocating we revert back to digging holes with spoons so please lay off the pointless sarcasm.

What I've been saying is that we're going to be in trouble economically until we can find a way to employ those millions of workers again. It's not going to be in manufacturing though, so we better "innovate" a way to quickly find jobs for unskilled laborers. I don't know where those jobs are coming from and don't pretend to have an answer. I'm just stating what I feel is one of the biggest issues looming in our future.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby TheHammer24 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:43 pm

That's a fair point. I read it differently. And the shovels comment was directed as the subsequent post.

But to your point. The answer is almost always to maximize the size of the pie and redistribute it if you need to instead of making the pie smaller.

This segues to another point: Americans redistribute, but they redistribute horribly. The overwhelming majority goes to the elderly in the form of SS and Medicare. Stop it. Just stop it. We could make great strides with your problem if we means tested these things and then helped the very poor.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Hockeynut! on Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:09 pm

TheHammer24 wrote:That's a fair point. I read it differently. And the shovels comment was directed as the subsequent post.

But to your point. The answer is almost always to maximize the size of the pie and redistribute it if you need to instead of making the pie smaller.

This segues to another point: Americans redistribute, but they redistribute horribly. The overwhelming majority goes to the elderly in the form of SS and Medicare. Stop it. Just stop it. We could make great strides with your problem if we means tested these things and then helped the very poor.


I think Tif's point was the same as mine. With the advances in technology and the cost effectiveness of foreign labor, we simply don't need millions upon millions of working age adults with no discernible skills. I just don't see a "place" for them in the future.

As for means testing, I'm completely in favor of it.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Geezer on Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:45 pm

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12 ... einstated/
This is why companies don't want unions.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Gaucho on Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:46 pm

Right.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Geezer on Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:00 pm

Gaucho wrote:Right.

There are other valid reasons but I've witnessed this kind of stuff numerous times while working in strong union environments for over 40 years in the private sector. Of course high costs and restrictive work rules are other logical reasons. Public unions are far worse in most cases.

It's doesn't help a declining country's vanishing industries when you can't fire workers that are drunk and high on the job.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby columbia on Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:17 pm

The US Finally Admits To Sending Heavy Weapons From Libya To Syrian Rebels
http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-ad ... z2EbU1eZNN
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Digitalgypsy66 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:16 am

Geezer wrote:http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/08/chrysler-workers-canned-for-drinking-on-job-reinstated/
This is why companies don't want unions.

They live in Detroit. Wouldn't you drink on the job if you lived there? :lol:
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Digitalgypsy66 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:21 am

Interesting article from the Atlantic on the "Insourcing boom"

For much of the past decade, General Electric’s storied Appliance Park, in Louisville, Kentucky, appeared less like a monument to American manufacturing prowess than a memorial to it.

The very scale of the place seemed to underscore its irrelevance. Six factory buildings, each one the size of a large suburban shopping mall, line up neatly in a row. The parking lot in front of them measures a mile long and has its own traffic lights, built to control the chaos that once accompanied shift change. But in 2011, Appliance Park employed not even a tenth of the people it did in its heyday. The vast majority of the lot’s spaces were empty; the traffic lights looked forlorn.

In 1951, when General Electric designed the industrial park, the company’s ambition was as big as the place itself; GE didn’t build an appliance factory so much as an appliance city. Five of the six factory buildings were part of the original plan, and early on Appliance Park had a dedicated power plant, its own fire department, and the first computer ever used in a factory. The facility was so large that it got its own ZIP code (40225). It was the headquarters for GE’s appliance division, as well as the place where just about all of the appliances were made.

By 1955, Appliance Park employed 16,000 workers. By the 1960s, the sixth building had been built, the union workforce was turning out 60,000 appliances a week, and the complex was powering the explosion of the U.S. consumer economy.

The arc that followed is familiar. Employment kept rising through the ’60s, but it peaked at 23,000 in 1973, 20 years after the facility first opened. By 1984, Appliance Park had fewer employees than it did in 1955. In the midst of labor battles in the early ’90s, GE’s iconic CEO, Jack Welch, suggested that it would be shuttered by 2003. GE’s current CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, tried to sell the entire appliance business, including Appliance Park, in 2008, but as the economy nosed over, no one would take it. In 2011, the number of time-card employees—the people who make the appliances—bottomed out at 1,863. By then, Appliance Park had been in decline for twice as long as it had been rising.

Yet this year, something curious and hopeful has begun to happen, something that cannot be explained merely by the ebbing of the Great Recession, and with it the cyclical return of recently laid-off workers. On February 10, Appliance Park opened an all-new assembly line in Building 2—largely dormant for 14 years—to make cutting-edge, low-energy water heaters. It was the first new assembly line at Appliance Park in 55 years—and the water heaters it began making had previously been made for GE in a Chinese contract factory.

On March 20, just 39 days later, Appliance Park opened a second new assembly line, this one in Building 5, to make new high-tech French-door refrigerators. The top-end model can sense the size of the container you place beneath its purified-water spigot, and shuts the spigot off automatically when the container is full. These refrigerators are the latest versions of a style that for years has been made in Mexico.


Coupled with the news that Apple is starting to manufacture Macs in the U.S. again, I think this is good news...however there is some skepticism (take a look at the comments).

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arc ... _page=true
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Shyster on Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:07 pm

Geezer wrote:http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/08/chrysler-workers-canned-for-drinking-on-job-reinstated/
This is why companies don't want unions.


It’s dated, but a great book on the parasitic effects unions can have is A Savage Factory: An Eyewitness Account of the Auto Industry's Self-Destruction. Author Robert Dewar worked from the late ’70s to the early ’80s as a shift supervisor in a Ford plant. He oversaw the line that made torque converters for Ford C-4 automatic transmissions. He had workers that were drunk, high, violent, you name it. The book isn't kind to Ford, either. Ford only cared about making parts that were good enough to last for the length of their standard warranty, which was only one year at the time. If your entire transmission blew up 13 months after your purchase, well, tough luck for you. The transmissions routinely included defective parts. In fact, NHTSA eventually made Ford recall every single transmission that was produced by that plant over something like a six-year window.

The best example I can remember from the book of union stupidity related to a start button, specifically the button to restart the production line. The line that Mr. Dewar oversaw was one of the most important not only in the factory, but across many Ford factories. Ford couldn’t build cars without transmissions, and it couldn’t build transmissions without torque converters. If that line stopped for too long, it would eventually cause production to come to a halt in multiple factories. One day, they had to stop the line to clear up a problem. But when it came to restart the line, the unionized worker whose job description included pressing the “start” button was nowhere to be found. So everyone was standing around with their thumbs up their butts because no one would push that button. Eventually, Dewar hit the button himself and restarted the line. The union promptly filed a grievance against him because he (being management) did something only a union worker could do! The union was perfectly willing to bring company-wide production to a halt over the issue of who had the right to push a button.

The Kindle version of A Savage Factory is only $3.03. I really recommend picking up this book.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Pavel Bure on Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:17 pm

Lets not act like some exceptions make the rules. Unions are there to protect the workers and for the most part do.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby TheHammer24 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:31 pm

Pavel Bure wrote:Lets not act like some exceptions make the rules. Unions are there to protect the workers and for the most part do.

They always, always injure those not in the Union. I think that gets lost on people. Union proponents portray unions as a societal good that helps the workforce. It helps union members only, and often times hurts those within the union that lose their job when the plant shuts down.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby IamtheWaris on Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:35 pm

Pavel Bure wrote:Lets not act like some exceptions make the rules. Unions are there to protect the workers and for the most part do.


If someone feels like they need "protected", why don't they just get another job?
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Gaucho on Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:46 pm

lol
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby DelPen on Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:50 pm

Digitalgypsy66 wrote:Coupled with the news that Apple is starting to manufacture Macs in the U.S. again, I think this is good news...


Word is they will be making all MacPro's in the US. But people will pay whatever Apple charges and the premium on "Made in the USA" will be paid. But when you are looking at spending $4000 instead of $3500 on a computer that's one thing, If day-to-day products doubled or quadrupled in price form say $1 to $3 that will add up and people who aren't buying $3000+ laptops and desktops will be hit hard and need junk from China to get by.

Regulations, some good and some bad, will prevent insourcing of all but top of the line products on a mass level.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Troy Loney on Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:55 pm

If only the US Economy were more like the third world economies we could get all those manufacturing jobs back.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby DelPen on Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:56 pm

Troy Loney wrote:If only the US Economy were more like the third world economies we could get all those manufacturing jobs back.


Give it another 10 months :cry:
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby ExPatriatePen on Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:57 pm

IamtheWaris wrote:
Pavel Bure wrote:Lets not act like some exceptions make the rules. Unions are there to protect the workers and for the most part do.


If someone feels like they need "protected", why don't they just get another job?


I agree with this for the most part, but there are certain factors which make this more complicated than a simple "get a new job" kind of choice.

Safety issues for one. I've been told (in a prior life), after working two straight 18 hour days, at 2am, that I needed to get in the car and drive 4 hours back to the home office and be at my desk at 8:30am. I told my boss, "fine, but send me that in writting so that if I have an accident, or fall asleep at the wheel, that my family has it in writting so they can use it in the inevitable lawsuit" - He dropped the requirement.

That would NEVER happen in a union shop.

Also, I've been part of more than a few IT outsourcing arrangements. In many cases, people who worked for the company for over 20 years and were in their 50's (not an easy time of your life to find work), were told they were outsourced and that they were either unemployed or started freash with the outsourcing company (no credit for the years of service from a benefits or vacation standpoint). These weren't companies who were financially hurting (One was Consolidated Natural Gas), they just wanted to reduce costs on the backs of employees.

Again, this would never have happened if the workforce were unionized.

I get the good and bad of unions, but I've seen so many corporate abuses in my time that I can't be totally anti-union.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Gaucho on Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:58 pm

Troy Loney wrote:If only the US Economy were more like the third world economies we could get all those manufacturing jobs back.


If you don't like it, why don't you get another citizenship?
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby GaryRissling on Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:06 pm

One of my absolute most favorite sites on the internet is freelancer.com. I can find IT-related professionals all over the world willing to work -almost full time- project by project for about 1/4 of the price of a US freelancer, who would work 10 hours a week; and probably about 1/10 the price of an actual US firm.

This can be seen as bad for the US economy and workers; but I personally think it's awesome as never before in history have so many incredible resources been available to so many. If you have an idea, it is easier than ever to turn it into a reality.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby ExPatriatePen on Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:10 pm

GaryRissling wrote:One of my absolute most favorite sites on the internet is freelancer.com. I can find IT-related professionals all over the world willing to work -almost full time- project by project for about 1/4 of the price of a US freelancer, who would work 10 hours a week; and probably about 1/10 the price of an actual US firm.

This can be seen as bad for the US economy and workers; but I personally think it's awesome as never before in history have so many incredible resources been available to so many. If you have an idea, it is easier than ever to turn it into a reality.


I've worked with many of these folks... their ability to understand the requirements (english language) and the quality of their work product are often not worth the 90% discount.

Sure, every now and then you'll find one who is capable, but it's a rare occurance.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby TheHammer24 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:16 pm

ExPatriatePen wrote:
IamtheWaris wrote:
Pavel Bure wrote:Lets not act like some exceptions make the rules. Unions are there to protect the workers and for the most part do.


If someone feels like they need "protected", why don't they just get another job?


I agree with this for the most part, but there are certain factors which make this more complicated than a simple "get a new job" kind of choice.

Safety issues for one. I've been told (in a prior life), after working two straight 18 hour days, at 2am, that I needed to get in the car and drive 4 hours back to the home office and be at my desk at 8:30am. I told my boss, "fine, but send me that in writting so that if I have an accident, or fall asleep at the wheel, that my family has it in writting so they can use it in the inevitable lawsuit" - He dropped the requirement.

That would NEVER happen in a union shop.

Also, I've been part of more than a few IT outsourcing arrangements. In many cases, people who worked for the company for over 20 years and were in their 50's (not an easy time of your life to find work), were told they were outsourced and that they were either unemployed or started freash with the outsourcing company (no credit for the years of service from a benefits or vacation standpoint). These weren't companies who were financially hurting (One was Consolidated Natural Gas), they just wanted to reduce costs on the backs of employees.

Again, this would never have happened if the workforce were unionized.

I get the good and bad of unions, but I've seen so many corporate abuses in my time that I can't be totally anti-union.

There's no doubt that non-union employers are problematic at time, as well.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby tifosi77 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:12 pm

ExPatriatePen wrote:I get the good and bad of unions, but I've seen so many corporate abuses in my time that I can't be totally anti-union.

This is pretty much how I feel, and why I believe that (in addition to government employees) people who work in jobs with potential life-and-death ramifications should not be allowed to unionize.

My mom worked at a hospital when I was a kid as an administrative secretary managing patient charts, admission/discharge documents, etc. Her union voted to strike one year (she voted no, as I recall) and for 3-4 days the hospital was effectively shut down. They couldn't admit any new non-critical patients, nurses worked double shifts handling the admin work on the wards, one of the days the janitors refused to cross the line....... it really opened my eyes. Because all of these lives were effected, and people were put in medical harm over what was really little more than an incremental improvement in pay and benefits measured in pennies. I get the feeling that many unions have a can't-see-the-forest-for-all-the-trees outlook on their activities.

There's no doubt that unions have been massively beneficial in the U.S. labor market...... but there's a limit.

Gaucho wrote:
Troy Loney wrote:If only the US Economy were more like the third world economies we could get all those manufacturing jobs back.


If you don't like it, why don't you get another citizenship?

:lol:
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby DelPen on Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:02 pm

How many of you have done the calculation on how much more you would be paying if tax rates go up next month? I'm on the hook for roughly $140 a month and for a family of 4 barely getting by as it is now that's going to be a significant blow. Looks like I'm going to get fancy with my W4 as much as possible.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby King Sid the Great 87 on Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:10 pm

I wouldn't be concerned with it. Those pesky Bush-era tax cuts were only put in place to benefit the wealthy anyway. Middle class receives no benefit.

For proof, look at Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid speaking about the tax cuts and the Republicans intentions with them:
""Bush tax cuts for the super-rich"
"taking food out of the mouths of children to give tax cuts to America's wealthiest"
"tax dollars paid by middle-class Americans" to pay for tax breaks for "millionaires."
"drew up their program to benefit the very, very, very few and eliminate the majority from any benefit of these tax cuts"
"built on a foundation for eight years that basically just value[s] tax cuts for the very wealthiest"

But today:
Today Mrs. Pelosi tells us the "clock is ticking" on the fate of the Bush tax cuts for the middle class. Today Sen. Reid tells us "it's really important that this holiday season the middle class is not going to be burdened with the thought that they may get a $2,200 a year tax increase."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... _opinion_0
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