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Thread: Made in China = CRAP

  1. #61
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    "Not insane, just put it down to market forces."

    Hold on now! Dr. Gupta can afford to work for $50k because Dr. Gupta paid a fraction of the cost for his medical school tuition in India - and even more importantly, because to a second or third worlder, $50k annually is huge money. That's certainly understandable on his end - and equally, that an American hospital would prefer to hire him over the American-trained doctor, since it enhances the hospital's profits.

    But the issue, again, is whether it's desirable to reduce our wages/standards of living to the level of second and third world people in order to be "competitive."

    I obviously don't think it is. Ask some American software engineers if they think it is.

    Who benefits, ultimately, from this labor arbitrage? Not the workers- and that increasingly includes educated/professional people. They work harder for less money with far less job security; their standard of living goes down. All so that a big corporation can leverage its costs in order to maximize its profits and pay some scheisskopf CEO tens of millions annually.

    This is a good thing?
    Last edited by Eric; 04-10-2009 at 11:32 AM.

  2. #62
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Hold on now! Dr. Gupta can afford to work for $50k because Dr. Gupta paid a fraction of the cost for his medical school tuition in India - and even more importantly, because to a second or third worlder, $50k annually is huge money. That's certainly understandable on his end - and equally, that an American hospital would prefer to hire him over the American-trained doctor, since it enhances the hospital's profits.
    But if Dr Gupta can afford to work for $50K in the USA, why does Dr Jones want $150K? or is he just being greedy and trying to recoup his education costs as quickly as possible? If qualifications are equal why the salary variation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    But the issue, again, is whether it's desirable to reduce our wages/standards of living to the level of second and third world people in order to be "competitive."
    Try reverse thinking and ask 'Why our our labor and living costs so high?' - what was it that pushed them up to an unsustainable level in the first place. That, I think starts to beg the all important questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Who benefits, ultimately, from this labor arbitrage? Not the workers- and that increasingly includes educated/professional people. They work harder for less money with far less job security; their standard of living goes down. All so that a big corporation can leverage its costs in order to maximize its profits and pay some scheisskopf CEO tens of millions annually.
    In my opinion no one, in the consumer field, benefits to any significant extent. Big corporations pay big salaries and big bonuses because that is how the market works. The driving force is, as always, greed, on behalf of the corporations, on behalf of the shareholders and on behalf of the consumers who always want more for less. Big companies want big investments, investors are only attracted by big profits and big dividends, oh dear, we are back to greed again - or market forces which ever you prefer.

    Ken.
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    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    I still believe if you can't pay cash then, in the majority of cases, you can't afford it. .
    I think you, me, and Eric are all on the same page with this philosophy.

    If you want to see something really ugly, come to my town; Minneapolis, and visit the Mall of America. I call it the 'temple of consumption'. Here the unwashed masses go to spend their money on sh*t.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Where borrowing was inevitable, in the case of a mortgage, I bought prudently and worked my way up to bigger and better properties over some 50 years. I also made sure my mortgage was clearable by the time I retired by overpaying every month thus leaving only a small balance to clear from my retirement package..
    Being true to yourself has its own rewards.

    With the current recession our government has decided to reward all the f*ck ups. How it works: If you made bad decisions, the government gives you money and allows you to renegotiate contracts. While us prudent people get to pay for it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    What the hell happened to saving for what you want? Virtually all our current problems arise from individual and corporate greed.
    This is what really scares me. They say 2/3's of the US economy is consumer purchases.

    I don't think an economy should be based on cell phones, flat screen TV's, fast food, coffee shops, ipods, ringtones, insurance, and teen clothing.

    I'm a self employed software developer. In 1985 I had one extra phone line - $25. In 2009, in order to have a 'small business' and an 'average' household I need 3 cell phones (one for each of us), and two land lines. Plus I need DSL, plus I need an ISP, plus I need Direct TV (unless we live in a informational vaccuum). About $250 a month, for sh*t.

    I'm beginning to think that we (collectively) can't afford all this crap that we have invented. But if you don't have the crap, well then you can't be in the game. I'm hoping this recession might change that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    I have a feeling we will never agree in these arguments as we appear to come from opposite sides of the fence.
    I agree with many of your points. I would call myself a libertarian, a capitialist, for a smaller government, less taxes. I never have belonged to a union.

    While it is illogical to pay more for a product than necessary, at the same time why does a nation exist? For the lowest price? If so, why do anything, just wait for India, China, Africa to pick up the slack.

  4. #64
    DonTom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    I posted earlier that I realize the Chinese have the capability of making - and do make - some good quality stuff. That's neither here nor there, as I explained. And as far as "BS" - again, c'mon now.

    I can call Bush a Chimp (or Obama a nigger, for christ's sake) in public, in writing - and it is perfectly legal. I can own firearms. I can (for the moment) travel to any part of the country I wish, without approval or giving notice to any government official.

    IMO, the firearm thing in the USA is far different from any other country because we have so many guns that it is not possible to regulate pass the fact that every criminal will have guns no matter what we do. Perhaps criminals would have more guns than ever, if we made them illegal. One thing we do right in this country (almost, IMO, there are still too many stupid gun laws, especially here in CA).

    Even in China you may move. But if you don't follow their procedure, and get permission, you will lose all your benefits (health bennifits and other such stuff) if you're not in the area they expect you to be in. Believe me, during China's good times, almost everybody was NOT in their expected area, because they went where they could make money, especially into Shenzhen, where most of our computer stuff is made. In 1981 Shenzhen's population was about 200 people. When Tom and I were there a year and a half ago, Shenzhen's population was something like ten million people. Many of those must have left and went back to their farm land where they belong, now that China is laying off people everywhere.


    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    "These are not small things - let alone BS. They are just a few examples of the very big differences between a one-party police state where the individual has no rights as such worth mentioning like China - and a still semi-free country such as the United States."

    Yeah, just don't get in the habit of it because what you can say legally on the street can easily get you fired from your job (unlike China, with issues such as race jokes, etc!). Nobody has total freedom.


    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    The fact that we are becoming more like China doesn't mean China's worth emulating!

    Some things are better done in China and some things are worse. As I said, I would love to spend a few years in China and I would have no problem dealing with their so-called lack of freedoms. I canNOT say the same for the Muslim countries, where few even mention their lack of freedoms.

    "We are not free, it was not intended we should be. A book of rules is placed in our cradle, and we never get rid of it until we reach our graves. Then we are free, and only then."
    --Ed Howe


    -Don Quoteman- SSF, CA

  5. #65
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    "But if Dr Gupta can afford to work for $50K in the USA, why does Dr Jones want $150K?"

    For one, he has the cost of his education in the US - which is much higher. For two, why should Western professionals (and workers) be forced by "free trade" labor arbitrage practices to "compete" by having to reduce their salaries/earning power to that of second and third worlders? In China, you're really moving up if you can come home to a stack-a-prole 800 sq. foot home after 12 hours of work at the sweatshop. Is that what we want to re-create here? A reduction in earning power/standards of living? For the sake of global corporations' profit margins?

    Not me!

  6. #66
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    "I think you, me, and Eric are all on the same page with this philosophy.

    If you want to see something really ugly, come to my town; Minneapolis, and visit the Mall of America. I call it the 'temple of consumption'. Here the unwashed masses go to spend their money on sh*t. "

    Amen to all the above!


    "With the current recession our government has decided to reward all the f*ck ups. How it works: If you made bad decisions, the government gives you money and allows you to renegotiate contracts. While us prudent people get to pay for it!"

    I'd modify this to read: socialism (bail-outs/safety nets) for the rich and connected; the freeeeeeeeeeeeee market for everyone else!

    "This is what really scares me. They say 2/3's of the US economy is consumer purchases. I don't think an economy should be based on cell phones, flat screen TV's, fast food, coffee shops, ipods, ringtones, insurance, and teen clothing. "

    Amen. Absolutely.

    "I'm a self employed software developer. In 1985 I had one extra phone line - $25. In 2009, in order to have a 'small business' and an 'average' household I need 3 cell phones (one for each of us), and two land lines. Plus I need DSL, plus I need an ISP, plus I need Direct TV (unless we live in a informational vaccuum). About $250 a month, for sh*t.

    I'm beginning to think that we (collectively) can't afford all this crap that we have invented. But if you don't have the crap, well then you can't be in the game. I'm hoping this recession might change that."

    No cell for me; we ditched cable TV. SCrew the flat screen. I drive an 11 year old (paid-for) truck.

    "While it is illogical to pay more for a product than necessary, at the same time why does a nation exist? For the lowest price? If so, why do anything, just wait for India, China, Africa to pick up the slack."

    Excellent point. Among other things, a government exists to serve the interests of its people - not the people of China, not the maaaaaaaaaaarket. Certainly not the interests of corporations.

  7. #67
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    "But if Dr Gupta can afford to work for $50K in the USA, why does Dr Jones want $150K?"

    For one, he has the cost of his education in the US - which is much higher. For two, why should Western professionals (and workers) be forced by "free trade" labor arbitrage practices to "compete" by having to reduce their salaries/earning power to that of second and third worlders? In China, you're really moving up if you can come home to a stack-a-prole 800 sq. foot home after 12 hours of work at the sweatshop. Is that what we want to re-create here? A reduction in earning power/standards of living? For the sake of global corporations' profit margins?

    Not me!
    But the education is in the past, Dr Jones paid for his education and Dr Gupta paid for his education. Both are working in the US, both are doing the same job, why the salary disparity. The performance of a given function has a given value - why should that value differ because of the origin of the qualifications? I still maintain that, if people had not been so greedy wanting everything now and not being prepared to wait and save then wages would have remained low, living costs would have remained low, product costs would have remained low and the 'First World, Third World' differential would have been nowhere near as significant as it is now and we would have retained our share of the global manufacturing industries. We are the manufacturers of our own downfall.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  8. #68
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    "But the education is in the past, Dr Jones paid for his education and Dr Gupta paid for his education."

    Except Dr. Jones' education cost much more, probably required a a huge loan which will take a decade or more of hard work to pay off. Most doctors in the US don't begin to make money until they are in their 30s, because of the high cost of medical school, which amounts (typically) to six figures-plus of debt.

    "Both are working in the US, both are doing the same job, why the salary disparity."

    Same reason the flood of illegal aliens from Mexico and elsewhere has depressed the price of labor for American workers. Flood the country with software engineers, doctors, etc. from places like India and China and you depress the income of American software engineers, doctors and so on.

    "The performance of a given function has a given value - why should that value differ because of the origin of the qualifications?"

    It's not that; it's simply that by introducing large numbers of workers (of whatever caste) from second and third world areas, who are used to much lower pay/standards of life, you thereby reduce pay scales/standards of living to that level. Just ask an American software engineer.

    "I still maintain that, if people had not been so greedy wanting everything now and not being prepared to wait and save then wages would have remained low, living costs would have remained low, product costs would have remained low and the 'First World, Third World' differential would have been nowhere near as significant as it is now and we would have retained our share of the global manufacturing industries. We are the manufacturers of our own downfall."

    That may be - but I would argue that's still no reason to reduce virtually everyone in the world who isn't among the uber-rich elite to the status of a Chinese (or Indian) coolie.

    As Doug mentioned, what is the point of having a government at all if the government does not put the interests of the country and its people first?

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    For two, why should Western professionals (and workers) be forced by "free trade" labor arbitrage practices to "compete" by having to reduce their salaries/earning power to that of second and third worlders? In China, you're really moving up if you can come home to a stack-a-prole 800 sq. foot home after 12 hours of work at the sweatshop. Is that what we want to re-create here? A reduction in earning power/standards of living? For the sake of global corporations' profit margins?

    Not me!
    I think the answer lies in a partial differential equation.

    It goes something like this: How long (at what rate) can MegaCorps sell into ('short circuit' our system ) a first world country, while removing jobs, and thus diminishing the buying power of the very country they are trying to sell into?

    With more and more outsourcing, there will be fewer and fewer jobs in the "first world", and thus there will be less and less customers that can afford the goods and services.

    Unless the government will just print money and pay for it all.

    Either way you slice it, it's finite.

  10. #70
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    I think the answer lies in a partial differential equation.

    It goes something like this: How long (at what rate) can MegaCorps sell into ('short circuit' our system ) a first world country, while removing jobs, and thus diminishing the buying power of the very country they are trying to sell into?

    With more and more outsourcing, there will be fewer and fewer jobs in the "first world", and thus there will be less and less customers that can afford the goods and services.

    Unless the government will just print money and pay for it all.

    Either way you slice it, it's finite.
    Yes. Exactly. Critics of "free trade" have been saying this would happen for some time. Now the crash has happened.

    Remember Ross Perot's "giant sucking sound"? In less than 20 years, the elites have managed to flush this country down the toilet for the short-term profit orgy enjoyed by those same elites - who now are about to fuck us once again via "bailouts" and inflation.

    I am ready for revolution ... or secession.

  11. #71
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    More support of the theory that Made in China == Crap:

    At the height of the U.S. housing boom, when building materials were in short supply, American construction companies used millions of pounds of Chinese-made drywall because it was abundant and cheap.
    Now that decision is haunting hundreds of homeowners and apartment dwellers who are concerned that the wallboard gives off fumes that can corrode copper pipes, blacken jewelry and silverware, and possibly sicken people.
    http://www.newsobserver.com/nation_w...y/1482413.html

    It was imported between 2004 and 2008, so at least I am not affected. But those people in New Orleans just can't catch a break.

    Chip H.

  12. #72
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    More wonderful Chinese products:

    The Food and Drug Administration is alerting Asian and ethnic markets across the USA that infant formula made in China may be contaminated.

    The FDA is working with state health agencies across the country to make members of Chinese-American communities aware of the danger.


    LATEST: More than 1,200 babies sickened

    Chinese newspapers report that some infant formula has been linked to kidney problems and kidney stones in babies in China because the formula contains melamine the same industrial contaminant from China that poisoned and killed thousands of U.S. dogs and cats last year

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/...-formula_N.htm

  13. #73
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    More wonderful Chinese products:

    The Food and Drug Administration is alerting Asian and ethnic markets across the USA that infant formula made in China may be contaminated.

    The FDA is working with state health agencies across the country to make members of Chinese-American communities aware of the danger.


    LATEST: More than 1,200 babies sickened

    Chinese newspapers report that some infant formula has been linked to kidney problems and kidney stones in babies in China because the formula contains melamine the same industrial contaminant from China that poisoned and killed thousands of U.S. dogs and cats last year

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/...-formula_N.htm

    Yep, even aside from the jobs issue, in China, there is virtually no regulatory oversight to inhibit the giant corporations from allowing (indeed, deliberately using) dangerous ingredients/practices, etc. If their profit can be increased, they do it. The environment? Public safety? Who cares! Pour that effluvia into the rivers and oceans; spew toxic waste into the air. Mercury-laden seafood is deeeeeelicious. Chemical leaching drywall? Let the dumb Americans get cancer. Feed their children heavy metals and PCBs.

    It's the (say it like Rush Limbaugh now) freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee market!

  14. #74
    DonTom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Yep, even aside from the jobs issue, in China, there is virtually no regulatory oversight to inhibit the giant corporations from allowing (indeed, deliberately using) dangerous ingredients/practices, etc. If their profit can be increased, they do it. The environment? Public safety? Who cares! Pour that effluvia into the rivers and oceans; spew toxic waste into the air. Mercury-laden seafood is deeeeeelicious. Chemical leaching drywall? Let the dumb Americans get cancer. Feed their children heavy metals and PCBs.

    It's the (say it like Rush Limbaugh now) freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee market!
    A good example of what I said. The problem in mainland China is they do not have enough laws. Unlike the USA, which has too many laws.

    In many ways, China has too much freedom. We don't have enough.

    -Don-

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiph View Post
    More support of the theory that Made in China == Crap: Chip H.
    I have the appreciation of the == (double equal).... for the rest of you guy's it means "exactly equal"

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