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Author Topic:   The state of america and business in this country
67357C
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Posts: 233
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posted 12-10-2003 12:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Akin to the christmas party discussion, this brings up an interested thought. The state of curren business in America today sucks. Most people hate their jobs, I did, when I had one. Now I'm attending these job workshops; last one I attended they told us, "don't ask what the job pays on your first interview"... I'm thinking WTF! With how cheap these companies are being these days and the ones who do post the wage information are usually less than half of what I was making... why not ask? I mean, because if I come back for a second interview and after that we discuss wages and find out that we aren't on the same page, then everyone has just wasted ALOT OF TIME!
These companies are getting cheap, real cheap! they want the best labor, but don't want to pay for it. They continually scream about not being able to compete with their competition due to costs, and use this for justification to destroy the careers of loayal employees, yet they rack up stellar profits every quarter when they report out. They are sending tens of thousands of jobs oversees to both to rogue formerly soviet union countries, and to India. They justify their actions by telling us American workers we demand too much, and the Indians require little in return.... what they don't take into consideration is they don't even have a decent infrastructure in those countries to support decent living conditions, they drink water contaminated with disease because they **** in the rivers... and these are the advanced people whom our great "American" businesses are turning to? We have people in this country right now with advanced degrees in information technology, but are they being employed? they have paid their dues, they have attended school, learned their trade, and been betrayed in return. Why? because we have turned into a society of, cheaper is better AT ALL COSTS. 'Who cares about your neighbor or fellow american... THIS IS BUSINESS MAN..' and this is why when I see flags waving these days, I won't hoot or holler "USA", I don't fly flags on my car or my house, not because I dislike my country, but because I believe we have become a country of hypocrites, our businesses treat us like crap, and our fellow americans treat us like crap, yet when some great tragedy happens like 911, suddenly everyone is your brother or sister, willing to offer their shoulder of support, but next month look out... that same shoulder will be pointing a gun at you driving down the freeway.

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Fastymz
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From: Reno Nv USA MEM#1240
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posted 12-10-2003 01:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fastymz   Click Here to Email Fastymz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can agree with some of what you said. But I most say there are some good people out there. Sure they are hard to find. But look around this site. I've found lots of great people. All willing to give what ever they can.To help each other. I agree with the fact that people are quick to go from a shoulder to cry on to a cold shoulder. I agree that business is looking for least expensive people for the job, but thats nothing new. Every one wants to make as much as they can. Including big business, but they could share alittle.

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stang106
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From: God's Country!... Port Alberni B.C. Canada
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posted 12-10-2003 04:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stang106   Click Here to Email stang106     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hear you 67357C;
That is the price we pay for choosing CAPITALISM. Every freaking part in my Ford truck is made in Mexico at the expence of closed factories in Canada/USA. Are the 'new' Ford employees getting a fair wage and benefits? Not likely. Did I get the truck cheaper because the production costs are low? Not! The shareholders who push for greater profits get more dividends, at the expence of the middle class workers and consumers. This creates a small percentage of wealth and and a large percentage low income wage earners throughout society. Locally the IWA (Industrial Woodworkers and Allied Trades Union) is on strike. This is the union who raised the standard of living for west coast Canadians through shreud negotiating. The major employer is Wherehouser who is desperately attempting to break the union and... so the shareholders will reap greater dividends and the workers are chopped down a few financial notches. The forest industry in British Columbia is the major wage earner; we also have about one death per week in the B.C. forest industry. I honestly don't know what the answer is except that this is the price we are paying for choosing a capitalist system.
Dave

[This message has been edited by stang106 (edited 12-10-2003).]

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indyphil
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From: Lafayette, IN, USA
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posted 12-10-2003 08:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for indyphil   Click Here to Email indyphil     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think Dave hit the nail on the head.
The big businesses run this country. Its their advertising money that decides what we see on TV and listen to on the radio. Its Wall Streets latests fads that decides the strategy of large companies. All the while the board members are getting Fat of huge paychecks and bonuses.
I guess all I can say is that if it keeps getting worse something will have to give at some point. After Enron and Tyco some rules did change but more will need to follow.

You made one point though. And im not picking on you. But if people in other countries live in a poor infrastructure then really dont they deserve a break? Why should the USA be the only "rich" country?

My In-laws live in a small town where the paper mill got closed down, both lost their jobs. They complain about being "poor" the truth is they live in very fine conditions, they have heating and air conditioning, a computer hooked up to the internet and cable TV. They still have cell phones and a nice car and truck out front. they are only poor by their own standards because they had gotten used to an easy life. They are both "blue collar" no college education yet but they were pulling in a lot of money when times were good. In most countries having no college education would prevent you from even owning a car let alone the kind of conditions people EXPECT here. Something about their situation seems to me like they just got used to the good life and now cant stand to see it go.

I dont know your situation but what im trying to say is that living standards are excellent in this country and that itself is something to be thankful for, dont take it for granted. You are right that some people in some countries have disease in their water, so that means you still have a lot to be thankful for, its just hard to see because you had it all along.

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67357C
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posted 12-10-2003 12:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excellent banter here.
I don't agree with the capitalism analysis, we are not living in a true capitalistic model. what we are living in, is a "free market society" <--even this is an incorrect assessment, which I will explain later.
Our country resembles something more like a captilistic/socialistic hybrid... think about it. A huge portion of our tax dollars are allocated for services we never see in return. For instance: I pay a large portion of my tax dollars for education, not mine, but for other people's kids, I don't have kids so why should I pay for other people's?

Social security: why should I pay into something I will never see returned? here is a perfect example of what I'm talking about... I have worked steady for the past 16 years, now through no fault of my own, I am unemployed. The state has made and continues to make numerous assaults on my benefits, they are looking for any loophole to kick me off unemployment. Yet, my future mother-in-law, who has never worked a day in her life, drew off welfare most her adult life, now draws social security, totalling $500 a month, because she is disabled. She also receives section 8 housing which equals $800 per month, has a state paid housekeeper come in once a week, and also receives free health care... Does the state or federal government look to kick her off? NO! but little ole me, who has drawn off unemployment for 6 months while I'm attending school, I'm the bad guy!!!

Now for the free market society assessment: is it really a free market society or another term used often global free trade? Our government has placed so many restrictions on business here in the states (some good, some bad, yet all expensive), and this is one reason (of many) that corporations go to third world countries for their manufacturing. What our government needs to do is level the playing field, because we "the american worker" cannot compete with the "river sh**ters" as I like to call them. The other problem is the tariffs imposed on american business to ship oversees, is far greater than the import tariffs we place on other countries shipping to us. There is a HUGE trade imbalance going on!

The American worker is losing out and fast. Wages are decreasing in this country, class separation is widening, and at some point in the very near future our great system is going to break. We are playing a VERY dangerous game in this country by shipping out our manufacturing jobs, why? because we are telling the children of this country that it doesn't pay to be a machinist, if the product you produce, can be made in another country for pennies on the dollar, then shipped into the U.S.; why is this dangerous? because we depend on COMPETENT manufacturing here in the states to build our "war machine", now suppose for a minute that France and Germany were both major suppliers for our military, and another Iraq situation comes into play and they don't agree with it, one way to leverage their position would be to say "we are not going to ship anymore parts to the U.S. because we are in disagreement with their foreign policy".... WAMMO! we are hosed! do you think we can teach people and setup manufacturing here in a year or two? HA!

I got into a disagreement with my father over the labor unions, he blames them for increasing the wages so much that at some point (the point we are at) business must find cheaper labor. Funny part is, he was union for 15 of his 32 year career, his wage in the latter half was attributable from his membership in the union for 15 years!, so I say to him "what you're saying is, it's kinda like a pyramid game, and at some point the game has got to collapse?" he answers "yes", so where is the justification in fact that you collected the benefits your whole career, and now its time for MY PAYOFF, and suddenly the game has got to end?

Thoughts on any of my drivel?

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65darkhorse
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From: Je suis a Paris
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posted 12-10-2003 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 65darkhorse   Click Here to Email 65darkhorse     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wouldn't call it drivel, you bring up some interesting, although perhaps inflamatory, points.

About 8-9 years ago, my company closed down a 100 something year old plant in the US, because the products we were making, from a labor point of view, were too expensive. The kicker is that production wasn't shifted to Asia, but to our other plants in France, Spain, Switzerland and Germany. Those countries (esp. the last two) aren't exactly where you find the cheapest labor. It all occured because of the union. Their members were already being paid the highest wages in their industry, the union just wanted more and more, and it got the point where the plant was closed.

From a personal point of view, I am not a big fan of unions. I was in one for 3 years, paid my dues, and when I was let go, the union rolled over and played dead.

Although I agree that corporations today have to answer to stockholders, thats not the only reason. Even if all manufacturing jobs remained in the US, American companies would still suffer from cheaper foreign competition. We would still have $29 dvd players, cheaper clothes, better built (and cheaper) cars, etc. Except even more American companies would be going out of business left and right. Like Indyphil said, we have a great standard of living, but that comes at a price. Going back to the industrial revolution, how many Superfund sites do we have today ?

Asia is having their revoltion. You should see some of our Indian competition, they pour their industrial waste out on the ground, have no safety measures what so ever, and pay peanuts. Plus they have extremely high import duties (50%+)
It all boils down to the trade balance, and the various duties set by each country, isn't that political ??

Speaking of Enron and Tyco, funny how we haven't heard ANYTHING in months (or has it been a year already??).

[This message has been edited by 65darkhorse (edited 12-10-2003).]

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indyphil
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From: Lafayette, IN, USA
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posted 12-10-2003 02:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indyphil   Click Here to Email indyphil     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You made an interesting point about the ability to "make your own war" and not be relaint on others. I guess I agree but im sure there is more too it. Most military hardware is still made in this country. Case in point:
An engine that I was working was slated to go into the next generation of self propelled guns in the US army. It would have been called the "crusader" If you like military hardware then you should google it because it was one [email protected] machine.

anyway our design was by far the best and would have resulted in huge net saving in fuel cost over the pratt and whitney gas turbine used in the current machines. They chose to go with gas turbine though, costing the US taxpayer millions and compromising the performance of the vehicle. They did this rather than put a british engine in their US made vehicle. I beleive exactly for the reasons you described, so foreign countries couldnt hold you hostage. I dont think much has changed on that front.

I think you may be right maybe we are heading down a dangerous path, maybe sometime soon it will become aparent that reducing costs will cause long term problems. who knows

And you are right that we are not a truly free market. but dont think that we could manage without a little socialism. A happy solid society relies on some reciprocation, some taxation, we wouldnt have been able to build cities and put a man on the moon without it. The trick is optimiziation of the available resources. We could police the system more carefully and not have anyone sponge off the money, but then the cost of controlling and monitoring the system would be greater than the losses.

Its a democracy, and while some people will pay for sidewalks they "dont ever use" or pay for education but dont have children, the majority still benefit and its the majority that make the economy run. Im not a far left winger, nor right winger. I believe that true social harmony is a balance of the two systems, a hybrid that takes the best of both worlds and tries its best to eliminate the worst of both. Also dont forget America is a young country with a written constitution that has relativley few ammendments made to it since 1776. What i mean by that is even if problems are recognized there is a lot of momentum and time taken to solve them. it may take many generations to turn things around.

if you are really deep in thought about this stuff I recommend a book called "Bowling alone" Its a book about social changes in America over the last centuary. It goes some way to explaining why we arrived where we are. It helps to explain why people in the 60's were different to people in he 90's and what might be causing the changes. Its a great read, and I dont think its too left wing for most folk. Its actually politically unbiased, and talks more about the effects of television and technology on society.

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Fastymz
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From: Reno Nv USA MEM#1240
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posted 12-10-2003 03:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fastymz   Click Here to Email Fastymz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This maybe off the topic alittle. But I'm one of those who needs people to have great paying jobs in order to buy our products. In order for my to have what I need, and maybe sometimes what I want too. There a lot of UPPER income people that use the Reno area as a second home. And those people keep this city going. As for welfare what else should we dow ith all those people NOW ?
And my dad draws social security disablity without it he'd have no imcome at all. Yea he worked, but when my mom left him he lost every thing late in his life. So now thats all he has. I don't hate those high paid big business people. I'm sure if most of us were in one those jobs we'd take the pay too. I don't blame companys for looking for cheaper labor. When the comsumer is always buying the cheaper import product all the can do is the same. I try to always buy stuff made in this country, or least from local owned business. I wonder if we really need a $29 DVD or if we could pay alittle for American made products, but then again they'd have to built better too.

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fordfan
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From: Walla Walla, Wa, USA
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posted 12-10-2003 03:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fordfan   Click Here to Email fordfan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Crusader is one bad machine Indeed.

Though I wouldn't put all the Blame for the Increasing use of Overseas labor on the Government. Labor Unions have been shooting themselves in the foot for years now.

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mustangs68
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From: Hampton,Virginia,USA MCA#39406 M&M #12
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posted 12-10-2003 04:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mustangs68   Click Here to Email mustangs68     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now let me take it another direction.

At our Plant we paid the assembly worker min. wage and just above,no big hourly wage. Min. Benefits which we paid 50% of the cost or more(Health Ins,401K,Vacation which is earn by Hours worked thur last year)

We have move to Asia (Red China) and open another Production Plant and we send 80% of the work there.

Yes they do it cheaper not better from the production I have seen,we send 3 or 4 people over there each Month for 30 days,they are not the ones who have the skill to build the part..make the mixtures or assembly the part.These are "suits" who ran the Company into the ground to begin with and are now trying to save their asses.

We lost 200 production workers,Fine Americans each one,they didn't make a lot of money,but most helped husbands/families with a second income.

We are quickly becoming a Service Industry Nation .


I think the current American CEO's,CFO ect,are the worse crop of managers to come from any Mothers Womb.

Bottom line is if I don't make a livable wage I can't buy your products and how will your Company survive in the long term.

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67357C
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posted 12-10-2003 06:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excellent! I love a good discussion such as this one! I have read every single one too.

I will check out that book entitled "bowling alone"

Everyone should read Barlett and Steele's books, first one for the macro perspective "America, what went wrong"
then AFTER that one sparks your interest a more micro perspective in "America, who pays the taxes"

These books are both a tad bit left wing, and some facts are distorted (but that is true with most author's political subjectivity) but they are an excellent analysis of how corporate america is destroying this country in the justified name of global trade.

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pmhvps
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Posts: 84
From: Lowville,Ontario,Canada
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 12-10-2003 06:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pmhvps   Click Here to Email pmhvps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a 18 year member of the largest private sector union in Canada I can truly say that if it were not for unions 80% or more of the population here would be living and working in third world conditions. Unions ( which by the way are the workers ) have made workplaces safer, raised the standard of living in the country and made big business accountable for polluting the environment. I shutter to think what this country would be like if not for the union movement. ( maybe we would be sh*tting in the lakes and rivers also. Alot of people seem to think we don't need unions or are hindering growth by demanding more...more....more. Hmmmmm just like the stockholders. Everybody wants their piece of the pie. Without unions the balance would be skewed and we all know what way. Unions rose up because of that imbalance poor working conditions, long hours, 7 day work weeks, low wages, no job security. As for unions shooting themselves in the foot.....just think ....really think, if it were not for unions what would this country really be like. The reason why big business takes jobs away is plain and simple...GREED! I cannot even imagine what it would be like raising a family on minimum wage. Corporations are the modern day explorer's.

Did you know explorers are really exploiters.

[This message has been edited by pmhvps (edited 12-10-2003).]

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67357C
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posted 12-10-2003 09:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by pmhvps:
As a 18 year member of the largest private sector union in Canada I can truly say that if it were not for unions 80% or more of the population here would be living and working in third world conditions. Unions ( which by the way are the workers ) have made workplaces safer, raised the standard of living in the country and made big business accountable for polluting the environment. I shutter to think what this country would be like if not for the union movement. ( maybe we would be sh*tting in the lakes and rivers also. Alot of people seem to think we don't need unions or are hindering growth by demanding more...more....more. Hmmmmm just like the stockholders. Everybody wants their piece of the pie. Without unions the balance would be skewed and we all know what way. Unions rose up because of that imbalance poor working conditions, long hours, 7 day work weeks, low wages, no job security. As for unions shooting themselves in the foot.....just think ....really think, if it were not for unions what would this country really be like. The reason why big business takes jobs away is plain and simple...GREED! I cannot even imagine what it would be like raising a family on minimum wage. Corporations are the modern day explorer's.

Did you know explorers are really exploiters.

[This message has been edited by pmhvps (edited 12-10-2003).]



There is alot of truth in what you are saying. The managers of union people constantly berate the union, only thing they don't think about is, the wages they are making are directly tied to what ever the union people are making, personally if I were a manager of union members, I would be hoping they got a huge raise because that means I'll make more too!

If you really think hard about it, do we really need unions though? if business played fair, and gave the workers what they were entitled to, I suspect unions would be a thing of the past.

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SUBMARINER MUSTANGER
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Posts: 633
From: Grandview, Missouri
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posted 12-10-2003 09:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SUBMARINER MUSTANGER   Click Here to Email SUBMARINER MUSTANGER     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Geez, don't mean to sound shallow or "low brow", but you all lost me after the first post!

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Sub Stanger/1990 LX 5.0 convertible (AOD to T5 conversion....completed)& the meat in the famous "SUB SAMMICH"!

Past Mustangs: '84 GT 5-speed; '91 GT auto; '70 M-code Mach 1, grabber yellow; 2 '95 GT 5 speeds, totalled first one; '94 6-banger, wifes; '89 LX 5.0 vert, '90 LX 5.0 hatch, '69 M-code Mach 1, 4 speed.

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fordfan
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posted 12-10-2003 09:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fordfan   Click Here to Email fordfan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not saying that Union are bad, not at all. I also belive they are needed... to face facts Businesses are still doing the same thing that brought about the need for Unions, the only difference is that they are doing it in other countries.

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UnbridledFury
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posted 12-10-2003 10:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for UnbridledFury   Click Here to Email UnbridledFury     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great topic.

I, for one, have to agree with the notion that corporations are getting greedy. I find it hard to swallow the idea that 9/11 killed off all this work. I also find it hard to allow US workers to be sent packing while moving operations to some other country. Government falls into this catagory as well. Budget cuts and decreased sales are a real factor. But in light of that, reality needs to be faced. When times are tough, they tell us to tighten our belts. Reality is that executives do not take pay cuts. Reality is that government officials don't take a pay cut. Our former Tacoma City Manager was making a 6 figure salary a year. Meanwhile, all around Tacoma, services were being cut back or eliminated. He messed up and was put on paid administrative leave for months until being forced to leave.

So while it seems like a good idea to allow these folks to keep their big paychecks and year end bonuses, it does not help our economy. Corporations should have come clean and told the stockholders that while profits may not meet expectations, the company will not lay anyone off. Instead, the company continues to project profits and then turn around and lay people off - and executives still get the big bucks. In Washington State alone, there are at least three major employers are still laying people off to this day. And the trickle down effect is that smaller businesses have no choice but to scale back or cease operations.

So in times of an economic downturn, it is not fair to have rich getting richer. Where I used to work, the company decided not to have a Christmas party after 9/11/2001. We did not get a year end bonus that year. The money from the Chistmas party was supposed to go to the New York victims fund. The bonus that we were supposed to get was not available due to "down profits". Reality is that the executives pooled together over 300,000 dollars and gave themselves anywhere from $20,000 to $35,000 a year pay raise. Really fair in my book. The CFO didn't give me a pay raise because "the funds are not there". I was looking for a $5,000 a year pay raise for all the added effort and time I was spending there. I guess the funds were not there since he gave himself a $35,000 pay raise. Greed and politics has no place in business.

Loyalty is the key.

From the employee - there should be loyalty to the company.

From the managers and executives - there should be loyalty to the company as well as the employees.

Now you might be wondering why employess should not automatically give loyalty to the managers or executives. People come and go. The company should be the thing that stays around for a long time. And I have seen managers take advantage of an employees loyalty. A manager needs to earn employee loyalty. And by having the managers and executives be loyal to the employees, things like the Enron, Tyco, and the rest of the scandals would be eliminated. With everyone loyal to a company, the company succeeds and the workforce is secure.

It may sound a little simplistic, but the guy that owns Amazon.com was declared a billionare and his company had never made a profit. How does that happen? It happened because the greed allowed a concept to be judged and given an inflated value. So the so-called dot com bust was never a bubble to begin with. Vaporware is more like it.

It is time to wake up and smell the toast burning before we are all reduced to fighting for cardboard box space in some back alley somewhere. Managers and executives need to be held accountable. There is a large software company (I can't remember the name right now) in North Carolina - privately held (not on the Stock Exchange) - that has made a profit every year. The turnover rate in the last 10 years is less than 10%. The executives understood that their employees was their greatest commodity and provided for their needs. There is an on-campus doctor, dentist, day care, and cafeteria. There are sculptures and paintings that most of us would never see in a house or even in your office. Employees are treated well. That is loyalty from the executives to the employees. Does your company do that for you? I have never seen that where I worked.

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[This message has been edited by UnbridledFury (edited 12-10-2003).]

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67357C
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posted 12-10-2003 11:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
George (unbridled fury), we live in the most tax regressive state in the country. The Washington state tax system is nearing collapse... watch and see, California ain't got nothing on us.
"I, for one, have to agree with the notion that corporations are getting greedy. I find it hard to swallow the idea that 9/11 killed off all this work."
911 did some damage, but what is worse than those terrorists flying the planes into the buildings??? it was corporate america taking advantage of the situation!!! layoffs are one thing... offloading work overseas with the intention of never bringing that work back is quite another. Corporate america did take advantage of 911; I have firsthand knowledge of this, when those plane attacks happened, instantly Boeing issued a statement declaring 30,000 jobs would be cut as a result of this... BULLSH*T I say! Boeing knew well in advance that layoffs were in order because of the downturn in the aviation sector, they estimate these things a year or two in advance, most employees called them on the carpet and they retracted their statement and modified it to say "because of the downturn in the aviation industy AND the 911 attacks..." But what kills me is, even though the terror attacks did cripple us, by what justification does corporate america find in moving jobs overseas???

It's all a huge F***job! I can cite numerous companies in the U.S. that were profitable businesses, then they got bought up by some large corporation, the corp. incurred huge amounts of debt in an effort to lower their tax burden to next to nothing, all the while cyphoning off the profits in the form of huge payouts to the executives. then when the debt finally overwhelms them, they file for bankruptcy.

You speak of loyalty? there is no loyalty left!
It does not matter if you were the guy who single handedly brought the company back from near extiction 10 years ago, because the attitude now is... what have you done for me lately? not enough? your fired.
I brought up this same argument in school a while back, and some lady had the audacity to say "well ten years is a long time, and the company should look him over" I say to these people, IT DOES MATTER WHAT YOU'VE DONE IN THE PAST, AND WHAT YOU DID FOR THE COMPANY!
If the past doesn't matter, like most companies would like you to think, then why do they ask for references on your resume for the prior 10 years? why do people care that the next door neighbor was arrested 10 years ago for child molestation? Or the drunk driver who just killed your spouse had 10 priors? Or the babysitter you're about to hire was a convicted burglar 10 years ago? etc., etc., etc. Answer is: THE PAST DOES MATTER! but not just the bad events, the good ones as well.

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jsracingbbf
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From: Batesville,MS. , U.S.A.
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posted 12-11-2003 12:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jsracingbbf   Click Here to Email jsracingbbf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anyone remember What Ross perot said on his 30 minute infomercial when he was running? He made out like he could hear something and he said "Hear that? hear that sound? That's the sound of a vacuum, the vaccum created by AMERICAN jobs being sucked overseas when BOTH parties sign into law NAFTA" I thought he was a weird guy back then, turns out he KNEW exactly what he was talking about. Exactly. Hey why should I comeplain after all we got 8 wonderful fun filled years of the Bill & Hillary show!
JS

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67357C
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posted 12-11-2003 12:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jsracingbbf:
Anyone remember What Ross perot said on his 30 minute infomercial when he was running? He made out like he could hear something and he said "Hear that? hear that sound? That's the sound of a vacuum, the vaccum created by AMERICAN jobs being sucked overseas when BOTH parties sign into law NAFTA" I thought he was a weird guy back then, turns out he KNEW exactly what he was talking about. Exactly. Hey why should I comeplain after all we got 8 wonderful fun filled years of the Bill & Hillary show!
JS

Yea, the mexicans were all for the nafta agreement. Now you see what is happening down there? They themselves are feeling the effects of globalization. Chinese products have infiltrated their marketplace, and many mexicans are being put out of business, they have even instituted a ban on chinese made products...
how's the medicine taste?

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Fastback68
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posted 12-11-2003 06:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fastback68   Click Here to Email Fastback68     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just grist for the mill. CNN does a survey each year comparing the salaries of top executives to those of their workers. From rough memory, last year's went something like this (for the countries I remember):
Japan: The typical CEO gets 10 times the average worker's salary.
UK: The figure jumped to something like 20 times.
USA: It was about 200 times - down from 250 times the year before.

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71RESTO
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posted 12-11-2003 12:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 71RESTO   Click Here to Email 71RESTO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have enjoyed reading this thread and feel compelled to also jump in. I concur with what most of the rest have said and have some first hand insight into what is destroying the corporate structure. IT IS PURELY CORPORATE GREED (and to a degree shareholders, but mainly Wall Street investment houses). When corporations downsize due to "lower profit margin", they are cowtowing to shareholders. But the bottom line is they STILL have profits, perhaps not as much profit, but profit none the less. But that doesn't sit well with Wall Street, so they make the investors happy by cutting staff to increase "the bottom line". However this is a very short sighted mindset, because at some point you need the production capacity to stabilize the bottom line and that takes workers.
As one person stated earlier, we are heading into a time as a "service industry nation". I had this talk with an English gentleman almost 15 years ago, and he warned me then that this country was heading the same way as his was at---nothing but a service industry for the rest of the world. He pointed out that England had lost most of it's industrial base by the early seventies due to outsourcing and sending manufacturing to third world nations for higher profit. Now they don't have the capability of doing anything but service work. It seems he was quite correct, because this country has started dwon that slippery slope for the sake of profit.
As for my first hand insight---I happily worked at a pulp & paper/lumber company that we'll call "Little W" for 12 years. Now this company wasn't huge, but made a nice, conservative profit for it's investors. But more importantly, were good corporate citizens in the communities we had mills (doing community improvement projects and much charity work) and kept a very, very stable work force with decent paying & livable wage jobs. Well 2 years ago that all fell apart when a company we'll call "Big W" (**cough** Weyerhauser **cough**) decided to invoke a hostile takeover. This was something being promoted by all the Wall Street investment houses and we ("Little W") were being derided for fighting the takeover. Well "Big W" won the fight, but incurred $7 billion in debt to accomplish it. And how have they paid down the debt??? By closing multiple mills, both paper & lumber, (some of which were still very profitable) and laying off close to 7000 employees throughout the company. Now mind you some of these mills were in locales where they were the major employer for 100 miles and have pretty much wiped out the local economy of those small towns & counties they were operating in (bad corporate citizenship in my book). "Little W's" corporate headquarters (where I work) had almost 500 employees in accounting, I/T and corporate engineering (my department) when this takeover succeeded. Now we are down to around 100 with all accounting totally gone, 95% of I/T and 75% engineering displaced. We used to do $500 million dollar projects every 2-3 years, and hiring hundreds of local craftsman for the construction of said projects, which in turn boosted the local economies at the mill sights. Since the takeover occured, we have NO MONEY for capital projects and a few thousand for maintenance projects at each mill. In the corporate mechanical engineering staff (of which I work as a designer)we went from 35 engineers/designers 18 months ago to 8 of us left (I guess I can be considered lucky). However, like I said, due to the takeover debt there are no funds available for project work, so I get the pleasure of working 3-4 day weeks for the past 2 months (and paid appropriately as well) and get to spend the final two weeks of the year at home--WITHOUT PAY!!! And what has happened to the CEO and top managers?? They voted themselves raises and more stock options, while thousands of the loyal employees have been sent home. Plus, in most of the communities the mills are located, "Big W" has shut down the charitable contributions and stopped all community development enterprises run through the local mill. Nice community citizens, huh?
Sorry for the long rant, but Global Corporations are ruining this country (as well as many industrialized nations around the world) and I have little sympathy for the crooks at the top who get busted. In my view (which may be twisted due to my circumstances) corporations NEED to be good community citizens and take less profit in order to keep local economies functioning. Before long (as someone else pointed out) there won't be anyone who can afford to buy their products because we were laid off from their very own corporations and can't afford the purchases.
Just my biased $.02, but I am just a tad bit bitter. And for any who think "well just move on". Oregon/Washington have a 7.6% unemployment rate and there is absolutely zero engineering work going on in the Northwest currently. Almost 90% of the engieneers and designers we laid off in the past 18 months still are unemployed to this date, so the prospect for new employment is nill.

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Duane
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73 Mach 1 (hers) (351CJ 4 speed)
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67357C
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posted 12-11-2003 01:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great post Duane!
I would also like to learn about how our mills like the "Big W" are selling whole trees to asia. It's kinda funny isn't it that the japanese want our timber, but they don't want the finished product, why? because the finished product is where are the value is built in! and that one reason alot of our mills are closing, and the price of lumber is skyrocketing.
I say F*'em, buy our finished lumber, or you don't get any at all!

I would love to hear from the expert on this issue, maybe I'm off base, please correct me if so.

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71RESTO
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posted 12-11-2003 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 71RESTO   Click Here to Email 71RESTO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You are partially right, but there some extenuating circumstances (so to speak).
The logs that are being exported are from privately held forest land (supposedly), like "Big W", GP and others. Logs from Federal and State lands are supposed to be milled in this country, but sometimes it's just a "paper shuffling" exercise to get around that.
The reason for some countries (Japan falls into this) importing raw logs only are two fold. First, they have milling tolerances much, much tighter than in this country and for the most part use only perfect looking lumber in their construction. To them, the beauty and art is in the wood and typically most of the framing, etc. is exposed and therefore the wood needs to be knot and splinter free. Secondly, they also have a very protectionist lumber industry. Not sure if it still holds true, but as of a few short years ago companies were only allowed to import raw material into Japan (like raw logs) and it was illegal to import finished lumber into the country. It was their way of protecting their own lumber industry from foreign competition.
There are problems with exporting logs from state/federal lands all the same. "Big W" is in the midst of a major fight with the State of Oregon right now over the harvesting of alder. Per state law, you cannot harvest on state lands if you export logs, period. "Big W" has held a monopoly on alder harvest for several years (like 75% of the cuts) on state lands (wiping out many small competitors in the process), but recently a law suit precluded them from continuing due to the fact that they are an exporter of raw logs. Well, they got the State Forester to overrule that decision because, in his view, they weren't exporting alder but douglas fir instead and therefore weren't hurting the states economy regarding log harvest. Like I said, there are ways around it using "paper shuffling".
Hope this answered your question or thoughts.

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Duane
71 Fastback (his) under resto (351C-4V C6 auto)
73 Mach 1 (hers) (351CJ 4 speed)
66 289/2V coupe (daughter Ashley's)
89 LX 2.3 convertible (daughter Amanda's)
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pmhvps
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posted 12-11-2003 05:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pmhvps   Click Here to Email pmhvps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's why people have to know that the manufacturing base is critical in North America. Example: In auto alone for one job in the Big Three there are 7-9 spin off jobs created. Much the same for ALL manufacturing. Manufacturing creates wealth....Service Industry moves money around. We had a national campaign up here called "Fight Back". But it seems like most are just taking their whacks and playing dead. If this shift in manufacturing jobs continues I pity the future generation's.

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67357C
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posted 12-12-2003 04:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You like to add this that I found out today, for a nice compliment to my assertion.
Last contract that our membership voted for had the clause in there that the company wanted to subcontract some jobs out, I was completely against this, as was many of our membership, but unfortunately, we needed a super-majority vote in order to reject a contract.
The clause stated: nobody will lose their job as a direct result of the subcontracting, and if subcontracting occurs within a job family, those employees affected will be offered another job.

People actually believed this B.S.! they said "well we'll have to trust the company on this one" HAAAAAAAAA!

Sure enough, this is what I heard today: they are designating the areas they wish to offload. Then they lay the employees off months before the offload occurs... Voila' they didn't lay anyone off as a result of subcontracting!

Isn't it a beautiful world we live in? I can't wait for the aftershocks of doing business like this... do you think americans will be bitter and hold a grudge going into their next employer? I'll betcha so!

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Tea'sGrabber
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posted 12-12-2003 10:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tea'sGrabber   Click Here to Email Tea'sGrabber     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
67357C....The contract you mention wasn't voted in by our membership... It was voted in by individuals that didn't care about anything but lining their pockets with the ratification bonus before the went out the door!!! NAFTA has killed our unions and the chance of our kids ever following in our footsteps.......

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Todd 71 Mav Grabber All orig 306 cu.in. Cast Iron heads. Carillo Rods.Best et. 10.71 @ 124 thru the mufflers.
http://mustangsandmore.50megs.com/MembersPics/TeasGrabber.html

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67357C
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posted 12-12-2003 10:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tea'sGrabber:
67357C....The contract you mention wasn't voted in by our membership... It was voted in by individuals that didn't care about anything but lining their pockets with the ratification bonus before the went out the door!!! NAFTA has killed our unions and the chance of our kids ever following in our footsteps.......


I don't agree that Nafta is responsible for Boeing treating the employees like crap. It is a vehicle by which they can OR CANNOT do so. Responsibility lies with those who take advance of the situation.

well over 50% rejected the contract, however they did not gain the needed votes to ratify a strike reaffirmation, therefore contract in place... in essence, the super MINORITY won out.
What is B.S. is: union brother and sisters sold each other down the river. It was a pure and simple divide and conquer technique. People claimed they could not be out of work for 6 months, so in essence they bought themselves a year or two, now they are without jobs for good.

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Tea'sGrabber
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posted 12-12-2003 11:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tea'sGrabber   Click Here to Email Tea'sGrabber     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Exactly what I meant.... They lined their pockets on the way out the door!!!!!!!!!! Just wait and see who builds the 7E7... It's on the wall.... subcontractors will be right next to our brothers... They knew this when they put that language in our contract!!

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Todd 71 Mav Grabber All orig 306 cu.in. Cast Iron heads. Carillo Rods.Best et. 10.71 @ 124 thru the mufflers.
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67357C
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posted 12-12-2003 11:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have never been, and never will, be in support of the 7e7. Why? because we are talking about 1,000 jobs at the MOST. all of the work will be accomplished overseas. And just like the stupid washington politicians, they caved into giving Boeing back millions of dollars in taxes so Boeing would build it here. Why? for a measley thousand jobs?
Tax rule #1: if someone doesn't pay their taxes, someone else must make up for it.

Guess who that someone is?

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67357C
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posted 12-13-2003 01:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tea'sGrabber:
67357C....The contract you mention wasn't voted in by our membership... It was voted in by individuals that didn't care about anything but lining their pockets with the ratification bonus before the went out the door!!! NAFTA has killed our unions and the chance of our kids ever following in our footsteps.......



Here is some nafta facts, if you care to read. P.S. it's ugly, hide the women and children's eyes!

http://www.epinet.org/content.cfm/briefingpapers_bp147

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stang106
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From: God's Country!... Port Alberni B.C. Canada
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posted 12-13-2003 04:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stang106   Click Here to Email stang106     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good artical, So every state lost many jobs with NAFTA, as did every Canadian Province, and the government thinks this is a good thing? Again, a few major shareholders reap the profits to many others demise.
Dave

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67357C
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posted 12-13-2003 09:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by stang106:
Good artical, So every state lost many jobs with NAFTA, as did every Canadian Province, and the government thinks this is a good thing? Again, a few major shareholders reap the profits to many others demise.
Dave

Here is the huge number of that article

"These job losses have been primarily concentrated in the manufacturing sector, which has experienced a total decline of 2.4 million jobs since March 2001."

People will say... yea, yea, yea. Don't worry, these things always happen in a 'down economy', once it rebounds, the jobs will be back.

WRONG! these jobs are never coming back, and we are not talking about under $10 an hour unskilled jobs either!

It's sickening

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67357C
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posted 12-13-2003 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And something else to add to that Mexico figure that is not taken into account by imports vs. exports... how much medical are we paying for them?

does this make sense? let me explain... California's health care system is nearing collapse, why? one of the factors involves illegal immigrants without any insurance entering the hospitals down there. Heck, they even ship them across the boarder in ambulences! the boarder guards do not stop them and turn them around because it's an emergency!

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67357C
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posted 12-13-2003 10:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wanna see more?
Direct from the horse's mouth (government)look at tables 6 versus 7 in regard to Mexico. Also worth note: look at the trade imbalance with China... it's beyond ugly!

http://www.ita.doc.gov/td/industry/otea/usfth/tabcon.html

Of course, the imbalance with Mexico also is due to the value of the peso, in '93 the exchange rate was somewhere in the 3's now it's nearly 10. (per U.S. dollar)

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jsracingbbf
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From: Batesville,MS. , U.S.A.
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posted 12-13-2003 12:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jsracingbbf   Click Here to Email jsracingbbf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 67357C:
[B] I don't agree that Nafta is responsible for Boeing treating the employees like crap. It is a vehicle by which they can OR CANNOT do so. Responsibility lies with those who take advance of the situation.
B]

In a way your right, good corporate citizenship is a responsibility of a corporation. BUT in this day and age the stock holders don't want corporate citizenship they want profits. So in another way your wrong, NAFTA did heavily contribute to our manufacturing jobs disapearing.

Here is why, let's say your a CEO for an underware manufaturer that employs 3000 workers in 4 states, 4 factories. Now NAFTA becomes law and your competition moves 3 of it's 4 factories to Bolivia BECAUSE instead of paying 10.50 and hour for 900 employees in a small rural town, they can NOW pay 2.50 an hour with no benifits for 1200 employees and export the cotton and import the product for half the cost of the original cost to make the same set of undergarments.

However, they can still CHARGE the same price for same said undergarment. Instantly his margin of profit jumps up. NOW you are a GOOD corporate citizen and you KNOW that if you do the same thing, quality will suffer, american jobs will be lost and the long term economy will get lower, in short the standard of living in the U.S. will go down.

However, this knowledge will not help you other than it only means your smart enough to recognize what is taking place, because at the board meeting the chairman has issued an offical statement from the major stock holders ( finacial institution ) that they will demand a 14% return on investment. EVEN though previously 11% was pushing it.

NOW what do you do? You either close the factorys down and send them south or turn in your resignation. You really don't want to do either but there you have it. It's that simple.
The solution, well that's a tough one. I would say remove the NAFTA laws. Maybe get rid of Greed and get back to higher Moral values. I wouldn't think either one is going to happen anytime soon.

I sure hope I'm wrong and things change, it would be nice to have decent wages, a happy group of American workers, and an expanding economy with a large manufacturing base.

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JS
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67357C
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posted 12-13-2003 02:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
JS> I agree with that analysis. The only part where it gets dicey is: when you are talking about skilled manufacturing jobs versus textile making jobs, there is a huge difference, even though, I know, they are jobs nonetheless.
What I'm getting at is, we (americans) are more effecient than, let's just take the mexicans for example. we have the best technology, best machinery, best training; therefore our productivity is higher. It takes the lesser skilled longer to produce said items at their lower labor rate. The problem with all this is, our american companies are taking the capital, technology, and moving out of country, then paying to educate those workers in the other country. In essence, they are betting on the future generations... not ours, but the other country's

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mellowyellow
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posted 12-14-2003 03:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mellowyellow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In essence, the CEO's and immediate underlings are betting on what THEIR payoffs will be while they are there, gearing up for heavy stock options, bonuses, tax breaks. Mexico is just another stepping stone to this end.

Off topic a bit but........ The funny thing is, we are prohibited from legally buying Cuban cigars because we are ostensibly anti-communist. Yet everthing else comes from China! And that is what a group of people wielding a large voting bloc in Fl. can do with the current in group.

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65darkhorse
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posted 12-15-2003 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 65darkhorse   Click Here to Email 65darkhorse     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
wow, IBM to move 5,000 positions 'offshore' to India and China

And so it continues ...

IBM offshore

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'65 GT 302 5 spd
"Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason." R.W. Emerson
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
my stang!

[This message has been edited by 65darkhorse (edited 12-15-2003).]

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67357C
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posted 12-15-2003 04:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 65darkhorse:
wow, IBM to move 5,000 positions 'offshore' to India and China

And so it continues ...

IBM offshore



Yea, I just read that also. Everyday more movement overseas, this is exactly what I've been saying all along. Not to offend anyone here in the age group I'm about to speak of, but it seems to me the only way to get back at "the system" and the punchinello's who are creating this madness, is to either go into health care or financial planning. The baby boomer generation have screwed over the genX&Y's, now that baby boomers are moving into retirement at alarming rates, they need both quality health care and management of their investments... now, do you think we are gonna do that for $10 per hour??? no way! time to caugh up the change or cough your way to the grave.

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SteveLaRiviere
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posted 12-15-2003 04:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 67357C:

Yea, I just read that also. Everyday more movement overseas, this is exactly what I've been saying all along. Not to offend anyone here in the age group I'm about to speak of, but it seems to me the only way to get back at "the system" and the punchinello's who are creating this madness, is to either go into health care or financial planning. The baby boomer generation have screwed over the genX&Y's, now that baby boomers are moving into retirement at alarming rates, they need both quality health care and management of their investments... now, do you think we are gonna do that for $10 per hour??? no way! time to caugh up the change or cough your way to the grave.

The law of supply and demand always wins over. If all the well paying manufacturing and skilled jobs go overseas, the generation x&y folks will be lucky to find health care and other service jobs for minimum wage.

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'70 Mustang Mach 1 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 Open
'70 Mustang Convertible 250 I6/3 speed/2.79 Open
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67357C
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posted 12-23-2003 06:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And the blood hemorrahaging continues...

http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/031223/tech_techjobs_2.html

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SteveLaRiviere
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posted 12-23-2003 07:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Myopic bastards.

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'70 Mustang Convertible 250 I6/3 speed/2.79 Open
'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
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jsracingbbf
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From: Batesville,MS. , U.S.A.
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posted 12-23-2003 07:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jsracingbbf   Click Here to Email jsracingbbf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
this place is going to be reduced to one giant service company. I sure hope everyone up North will still need natural gas when this thing finally hits bottom. Damn they are ruining our country and the sad thing is both the Republicans and the Democrats were for NAFTA. Hell we don't even have a group to single out and blame. It's greed that's it plan and simple. I'm gonna get mine screw you and all of the country as long as I get mine attitude. My wife says there is a specail place in hell for these folks.

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JS
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SteveLaRiviere
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posted 12-23-2003 07:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jsracingbbf:
Hell we don't even have a group to single out and blame.

Ourselves.

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'70 Mustang Mach 1 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 Open
'70 Mustang Convertible 250 I6/3 speed/2.79 Open
'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
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67357C
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posted 12-23-2003 08:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 67357C   Click Here to Email 67357C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SteveLaRiviere:
Ourselves.


Yea, no kidding. Try eating that $29 DVD player when you are hungry.

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SteveLaRiviere
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Posts: 35449
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 12-23-2003 08:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We're even losing some of our service industry. That $29 DVD won't be repaired when it dies, it will be replaced by another one.

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'70 Mustang Mach 1 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 Open
'70 Mustang Convertible 250 I6/3 speed/2.79 Open
'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

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