Follow us on...
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Watch us on YouTube
Register
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
    Join Date
    01.29.02
    Age
    49
    Location
    somewhere over the rainbow
    Posts
    22,946
    Last Online

    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
    Likes
    842
    Liked 1,229 Times in 448 Posts

    Default The Death of American Manufacturing

    Globalization and outsourcing are hammering our icons of industry.

    For over a half century, American manufacturing has dominated the globe. It turned the tide in World War ii and hastened the defeat of Nazi Germany; it subsequently helped rebuild Europe and Japan; it enabled the United States to outlast the Soviet empire in the Cold War. At the same time, it met all the material needs of the American people.

    During this period, many American icons were born. Companies like General Motors, Ford, Boeing, Maytag and Levi Strauss became household names. American manufacturing became synonymous with quality and ingenuity.

    On the back of this industrial output rose America’s middle class. High-paying manufacturing jobs, in turn, helped spur a robust and growing economy that depended little on foreign nations for manufactured goods and armaments.

    However, manufacturing as a share of the economy has been plummeting. In 1965, manufacturing accounted for 53 percent of the economy. By 1988 it only accounted for 39 percent, and in 2004, it accounted for just 9 percent.

    Considering the stupendous list of America’s manufacturing achievements and the vulnerabilities associated with foreign dependence when a nation lacks strong domestic manufacturing, it is alarming when economists are warning that the U.S. is facing the “gutting, hollowing out and closing down of American manufacturing forever” (Benson’s Economic & Market Trends, Feb. 27, 2004).

    Job Losses

    The loss of the manufacturing industry manifests itself most clearly in job losses. According to the Economist, “For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, fewer than 10 percent of American workers are now employed in manufacturing” (Oct. 1, 2005). But even this figure is probably double the actual percentage, because many workers in a typical manufacturing firm have service-type jobs. In comparison, during the 1970s, approximately 25 percent of American workers were employed in manufacturing. From 1990 to present, manufacturing jobs have decreased every single year; since 1996, they have plummeted by almost one fifth.

    Most recently, these job losses and the hollowing out of American manufacturing have been evidenced in the auto industry.

    On Nov. 21, 2005, General Motors Corporation (gm) announced plans to cut 30,000 jobs and close nine manufacturing plants across North America. According to its ceo, the decision represented an attempt to “get its costs in line with major global competitors” and “return North American operations to profitability as soon as possible” (Associated Press, Nov. 21, 2005). Following these cuts, gm will have laid off 40 percent of its white-collar staff since 2000.

    In a reflection of the resultant loss of confidence in the company, last May gm’s debt (sold as bonds) was downgraded by s&p from investment grade to the highest level of junk status; in September, it was downgraded even further. Now it is five steps below investment grade. Analysts even recommend selling gm stock, with one Bank of America Securities analyst saying it was “inevitable” that gm would eventually seek bankruptcy protection (cnn/Money, Dec. 16, 2005).

    gm’s layoffs exclude the cuts announced by former gm-owned auto parts maker Delphi, which filed for bankruptcy protection last October. In 1999, Delphi laid off 18,000 workers. Now it is reportedly seeking to cut two thirds of its 34,000 hourly workers and slash hourly wages from as much as $30 per hour to as little as $10.

    Ford, another American icon, has been slashing jobs too. According to Forbes, Ford could cut up to 30,000 jobs and close 10 plants (Dec. 7, 2005).

    Egan-Jones Ratings Co., an independent firm, is predicting that “[t]his is the beginning of the end of the U.S. auto industry as most people have come to know it” (TheStreet.com, May 5, 2005).

    However, the auto industry is just one example of the overall decline in American industrial might over the past couple of decades. Other U.S. manufacturing giants are failing, too; in fact, the U.S. has lost 3 million manufacturing jobs just since 1998. In 2003, industrial giant Bethlehem Steel folded, causing thousands of employees and retirees to lose their pensions. Any Pittsburgh resident would be able to tell you how unprofitable the steel industry has been over the last 20 or so years. Between 1950 and 2000, the U.S. lost more than 491,000 jobs from the primary metals industry alone—most of those after 1980; from 2000 to 2003, an additional 149,000 of these jobs vaporized. In 2004, Levi Strauss closed the last of its more than 60 American factories. “It was like a death in the family,” said Emma Rice, of Morrilton, Arkansas, who worked for Levi Strauss for 32 years (Times, London, Jan. 10, 2004). Unfortunately, the former Levi-employed majority of Morrilton tell the same tale as those from thousands of towns across America that have also experienced the loss of manufacturing jobs.

    But why is this happening?
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk
    Join Date
    01.29.02
    Age
    49
    Location
    somewhere over the rainbow
    Posts
    22,946
    Last Online

    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
    Likes
    842
    Liked 1,229 Times in 448 Posts

    Default

    Outsourcing

    Manufacturing loss is occurring because of globalization and outsourcing. Globalization is the increased mobility of goods, services, labor, technology and capital throughout the world; outsourcing is the performance of a production activity in another country that was previously done by a domestic firm or plant.

    At the dawn of globalization, the elimination of trade barriers opened up access to foreign markets for American manufacturers in return for building factories abroad. In due course, more and more manufacturers set up shop overseas, producing goods to be sold to Americans. Today, the trend is so severe, analysts predict that in some industries, a quarter to a half of all jobs are likely to migrate (Daily Reckoning, Aug. 5, 2005).

    With the birth of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, Mexico became a major recipient of outsourced U.S. manufacturing jobs. Mexico is now a global leader in auto parts manufacturing and one of the world’s largest tv set producers. Now, with the startup of the Central American Free Trade Area (cafta) this January, analysts are anticipating another exodus of U.S. jobs to south of the border. U.S. household names such as Dell, ibm, Sara Lee/Hanes and Maytag have already been moving business into the Central American region.

    Asia has also been a long-time recipient of outsourced American manufacturing. A study by the universities of Cornell and Massachusetts-Amherst found that India alone may be responsible for up to 700,000 outsourced jobs. China has also received hundreds of thousands of outsourced jobs.

    Admirers of globalization contend that freer access to foreign markets and cheap labor increase corporate profits and thereby benefit the U.S. economy. While this argument may superficially sound compelling, it ignores the dangerous long-term effects of manufacturing losses. In reality, outsourcing makes Americans poorer over time, because America’s wealth and technology slowly migrate to other nations.

    In the words of the Daily Reckoning, “Historically, manufacturing, exporting and direct investment produced prosperity through income creation” (April 4, 2003). America’s wealth grew when profits from domestic manufacturing were reinvested into buildings, machinery and technological change. But now outsourcing is diverting that income to foreigners.

    America may gain access to cheaper products through outsourcing, but it also comes with attendant problems, including a downward pressure on wages. Laid-off manufacturing laborers are largely switching into lower-paying jobs in the service industry. Where they once made an average of $51,000 annually, they now make $16,000 in leisure and hospitality, $33,000 in health care, or $39,000 in construction (Seattle Times, op. cit). In 2004, average employee compensation in the U.S. fell for the first time in 14 years.

    If America does not manufacture and sell goods, then money only leaves the country. The U.S. now imports twice as much as it exports. This has resulted in a trade deficit that has ballooned to an unprecedented $800 billion on an annualized basis. Unfortunately, this trend shows no signs of abating. U.S. exports are declining versus imports all across the board. Even agriculture posted a deficit this past year for the first time in living memory.

    Every time an American manufacturer closes and then reopens elsewhere, the foreign country gains American technology. Not having to spend resources developing technology, foreigners can focus on improving or beating it.

    Many developing nations, especially China and India, are notorious for their lack of intellectual and technological property rights. According to David Pritchard, a research associate at State University of New York, American companies are hastening their demise by sharing valuable technology with foreign governments intent on setting up their own industries. This is exactly what is happening with aircraft manufacturer Boeing, which has been outsourcing labor in China, Japan and other countries.

    Globalization admirers contend that because the work forces of developing nations are unskilled, they cannot compete with the U.S.; thus, only low-end, low-skill jobs are lost to outsourcing. However, this is not true. The Asian workforce, in particular, has made huge strides. According to Fortune magazine, in the next year China will produce 3.3 million university graduates, all of whom speak English. India too will turn out 3.1 million English-speaking graduates. Furthermore, in engineering alone “China’s graduates will number over 600,000, India’s 350,000, America’s only about 70,000” (July 25, 2005). These graduates are beginning to fill more than just low-end, low-skill jobs.

    Regarding the effect of this labor shift on manufacturing, economist Richard Benson relates that whether you build a factory here or in China, the factory will be the same and the workers will have similar skills, but the main difference is that “the Chinese will work seven days a week for us$0.50 to us$1 an hour with no benefits for social security, health care, vacations, a pension or worker safety. … In America, the going wage would be 10 to 20 times higher including all benefits” (Benson’s Economic & Market Trends, op. cit.). It’s not hard to see why, in order to reduce costs, manufacturing businesses have been abandoning America in droves and fleeing to Asia.

    Many Americans did not take notice in the beginning, because it was only the low-paid manufacturing workers making toys, shoes and clothing that lost their jobs to cheap foreign competition. But next to go were the higher-paid shipbuilders and steel producers; now it is auto workers and others.

    Continually moving further up the value chain, the Los Angeles Times says that even highly skilled, higher-paid American workers are starting to feel the outsourcing pinch. Jobs such as engineers, computer software scientists, Hollywood animators and aerospace manufacturers are all now under threat.

    Take Boeing, for example. This American giant is the type of company that symbolizes the “high-tech leadership on which the future of the U.S. economy is widely said to depend” (Newsweek, Dec. 2, 2005). Yet, 20 years ago, most of its aircraft parts were manufactured domestically, while today, sadly, up to “70 percent of the airframe of the company’s next-generation 787 Dreamliner will be made overseas, including key parts such as the fuselage and wings.” Even the engine will be produced outside the U.S., while workers inside the U.S. are left with layoffs.

    Some economists have noticed manufacturing losses, but because the negative long-term ramifications have not become fully manifest in the economy, people are willing to turn a blind eye. Over the short term, companies have become richer through outsourcing, and consumers are happy because they have cheaper toys. But this will not last forever. At some point, manufacturing job losses will mean Americans will not be able to afford toys at all.

    The Effect on Americans

    What does the decline in manufacturing mean for the average American?

    First, America as a whole will eventually become poorer, so be prepared to downgrade your standard of living. As progressively more manufacturers move abroad, the flow of money out of the country will exceed the benefits of cheap imports. At some point, America’s trade deficit will overwhelm us. If this trend continues, eventually Americans will not be producing enough to pay for the standard of living that post-World War ii America has become used to.

    Second, if you are not among the rich and you rely on a job, prepare yourself for job security issues. In plain language, if you work in the manufacturing industry, don’t expect raises and don’t be shocked if your job gets “outsourced.”

    Jerry Roy is a 49-year-old family man from Michigan who has worked for gm since 1977. According to the New York Times, when Jerry was first hired, he said it was like “I’d died and went to heaven.” Such was the promise of manufacturing being a secure path to the American dream (Nov. 19, 2005).

    Actually, four generations of Roys have worked for gm. Jerry’s great-grandfather first started at a gm Delco plant during the Great Depression. Then Jerry’s grandfather worked at the same plant during the war years when it was converted over to a machine gun factory. Jerry’s father, mother, an aunt and a great uncle all worked for gm, too. Jerry’s father, Gerald, recalled the stark contrast between the now-closed plants and the “golden” era when production levels were so high shifts worked around the clock, never shutting down. Jerry, too, described in amazement all the empty parking lots that used to be factories (ibid.). Now, Jerry, who is currently working for former gm parts unit Delphi, is facing either a major wage cut or a layoff—as are thousands of others like him.

    “The days when blue-collar work could be passed on down the family line … those days are over,” said one professor of labor relations at Clark University in Massachusetts (ibid.).

    Dave Kassel of the outsourcing firm International Smart Sourcing says soberly, “There’s no point looking in the rear-view mirror.” With alternatives like China, Mexico and now Central America, “expecting U.S. industrial manufacturers to dominate in the decades to come is foolhardy” (Daily News, New York, Aug. 9, 2005). Mr. Kassel also predicts that “in a decade Detroit is going to be a fraction of what it is today.”

    By building factories overseas, manufacturers are sowing the seeds of their own long-term destruction by slowly reducing the wealth of Americans—their primary customers.

    Be warned—and remember the old adage: As gm goes, so goes the nation.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
    Join Date
    01.27.03
    Age
    10
    Location
    Dusseldorf, Germany.
    Posts
    3,946
    Favorite VH Album

    They're all shit
    Last Online

    11.19.17 @ 09:41 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 34 Times in 20 Posts

    Default

    The whole thing is truly very sad. This is the first time since the industrial revolution that the balance is shifting away from those countries that were there first. The second and third world is moving up and we can't compete when costs are so much lower in these places.
    The short term benefits of cheaper products is illusiory since in reality it is the multinationals and not the average consumer that is getting the benefit.
    When all of the old first world has sold off everything it can the world balance of power will shift, no doubt about it. Whether or not it will be a better world is a matter of opinion but we've seen it coming and we have done nothing about it.
    It's funny when you walk around London nowadays, the really rich, the billionaires, are all Russian and Chinese.
    Maybe the world is just due a change. It's happening anyway.
    Thanks for the interesting read though.
    A man could lose himself in a country like this.

    My blog at http://tollins.blogspot.de/

  4. #4
    Sinner's Swing! the_atomic_punks_rule's Avatar
    Join Date
    05.27.04
    Location
    Jersey- Home of the Devils
    Posts
    2,766
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    Today- Bottom's Up!
    Last Online

    12.20.16 @ 03:09 PM
    Likes
    1
    Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    Excellent read...I do believe it's Sammy's fault....that damn Cabo Wabo!

    Maybe its time to start investing more in our own infratructure, i.e education.

  5. #5
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    01.11.02
    Location
    1060 W. Addison, Chicago
    Posts
    6,042
    Favorite VH Album

    ADKOT
    Favorite VH Song

    Soul Kitchen
    Last Online

    12.14.17 @ 09:14 AM
    Likes
    1,759
    Liked 1,083 Times in 725 Posts


    Premium Member

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by voivod

    But why is this happening?
    Well since you started this thread, what are your thoughts in the role/responsibility of unions in all this mess, outsourcing etc.?
    "I'm the opposite of Bill Cosby. Diamond Dave always gets your approval." (DLR)

    "Kids, just say NO to marriage". (Al Bundy)

    Rawhide in "A"

    OAA

  6. #6
    Sinner's Swing! Buckeye's Avatar
    Join Date
    06.09.04
    Age
    47
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    2,875
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning/5150
    Favorite VH Song

    Mean Street/Summer Nights
    Last Online

    10.30.17 @ 01:16 PM
    Likes
    301
    Liked 91 Times in 38 Posts

    Default

    And yet, Honda is building yet another auto manufacturing plant in Indiana and adding on to the exisiting engine plant in Ohio. This will add literally thousands of jobs, including suppliers, in the surrounding areas.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
    Join Date
    12.25.01
    Age
    53
    Location
    Carmel, Ca
    Posts
    7,954
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    You\'re Kidding,right?
    Last Online

    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    There is no one single cause for all of this and no single solution for it either.

    Causes:

    The consumer - Yep, you and I and our commitment to the best deal and cheapest price we can get for everything.

    The worker - Yep, you and I again. We insist on cost-of-living increases and automatic pay raises. Those of us who are better educated EXPECT not only higher wages but a full employment package that includes healthcare, childcare and sometimes even a percentage. Then some of us are part of a union that was once a great idea but in the last decade either strangle their employer into re-locating off shore or making consessions to the employer that make the union worthless.

    Corporate Buy-Outs and Mergers - The golden era of the 1950s and 1960s would never have happened if Teddy Roosevelt hadn't broken up the monoploies at the turn of the century. Great companies are bought by larger companies, not because they like what the smaller does but because it enhances their portfolio so that they can then turn around and sell themselves to an even larger company. Or they buy the smaller company and gut it, selling off production and licenced products for cold cash. Not only are workers layed-off when these mergers happen but their customers are almost always screwed as well. This is because the new board of directors doesn't have a clue about the products or services their company provides or produces (people below them know that stuff), all they answer to is the bottom line. Quality control has been replaced by Damage control, fewer companies take risks today, they tend to put their money into conventional actions that provide a predictable rate of return. That leaves the door open to foriegn companies that think outside the box, who also end up making all the money and that money ends up in foriegn banks.

    The invention of the spread-sheet program. - Excell and other money management programs are great at what they do and have become invaluable to businesses of all sizes. They also allow you to project into the future and this feature is also the root of countless layoffs and mind-numbing cost-cutting concepts because a person can sit at his computer and see what happens to his bottom line if they cut payroll 20%, or switch to a different shipper or even eliminate coffe in the breakroom. It can be a good tool or an evil tool. You can spot a business decission that was made on a spread sheet by it's cruelty. Out-sourcing is a concept that looks great on a spread-sheet.

    The U.S. Government - The people in those first to catagories I listed (you and I) also vote, or don't vote. The people we put into the House and the Senate are the ones who make laws and are supposed to ensure over-sight. The problem is that we elect morons because instead of electing someone who's knowledgeable about finance and business ethics, we instead vote for the candidate who agrees with our position on abortion. So we pretty much have a government that isn't watching the store. On the other hand, we have the government we deserve. ***Notice I said nothing about the President, the President has nothing to do with the economy. Never has and never will. He's just the guy with the pen who signs the bills into law or vetoes them. Sure, the President can appoint important sounding people to key cabinet positions who then go on TV and sound important, but they don't really have any power - save the Fed Chairman.***


    The solution?

    I can't say. Change has to come from the market, meaning that you and I have to decide if "Made In America" is worth the extra money for Levis and whatever else we want? "Buyer Beware" means that consumers can do their own homework to decide whom they do business with. Every company in the world now has a website that you can go to and read about how they do buisness, there are also consumer websites that also tell you how those companies actually do business. In the 21st Century, ignorance is a choice.
    The government could cetainly do a better job of keeping an eye on things instead of waitng for a newspaper article to launch them into action. Finally, we have to get used to the idea that job security is a thing of the past. The only thing that government should do here is solve the healthcare issue, in fact healthcare is the single largest cost to business both large and small and needs to be the main focus of the entire country. Solve healthcare and business can get a handle on payroll costs and maybe jobs will stay in the U.S.....
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


    My Blog:

    http://axxman300tool.blogspot.com/

    http://www.myspace.com/axxman300

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. I'm against the death penalty, but sometimes...
    By JCJanko in forum VH Fans Meeting Place (Non-Music)
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 12.15.11, 05:09 PM
  2. American Film Institute (AFI) - 100 Greatest American Films
    By Rovus in forum VH Fans Meeting Place (Non-Music)
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 01.27.06, 11:56 PM
  3. The Death Psychic
    By Sunya in forum VH Fans Meeting Place (Non-Music)
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 11.15.05, 02:16 PM
  4. Death by baptism!
    By Guitar Shark in forum VH Fans Meeting Place (Non-Music)
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10.31.05, 04:58 PM
  5. DEATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    By THE HULKAMANIAC BROTHER in forum VH Fans Meeting Place (Non-Music)
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05.12.02, 01:41 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •