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(The New York Times)   For a true picture of the United States economy, ride the train from New York to Washington and take a good, hard look out the window   (nytimes.com) divider line 209
    More: Interesting, New York, United States, Stern School of Business, Sunoco, Sallie Mae, organizing principle, U.S. economy, corporate law  
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35657 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Nov 2012 at 12:10 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-04 09:51:44 PM
All manufacturing, even the stuff we outsourced, will be done by robots in a few years and small items will be printed at home using 3-D printers.
 
2012-11-04 10:36:47 PM
For the past 30-plus years, through Republican and Democratic administrations, there has been much lip service paid to the idea that the era of big government is over. Long live free enterprise. And yet in the case of those areas surrounding the capital, wealth has gravitated to the exact spot where government regulation is created.

That's a nice Apples to Potato comparison.
 
2012-11-04 11:01:22 PM
de-motivational-posters.com
 
2012-11-04 11:11:10 PM
Yes, because the future is near the railroad tracks. F*cking idiotic.
 
2012-11-05 12:12:54 AM
I do, and often, and it's graffitti'd up and busted industrial crap, much of which is abandoned. Or you can see the lovely slums of NJ and Philly, none of which have changed since the 70's.

If this shows me the state of the US economy, then we have been in a depression for my entire life.
 
2012-11-05 12:16:05 AM

PC LOAD LETTER: I do, and often, and it's graffitti'd up and busted industrial crap, much of which is abandoned. Or you can see the lovely slums of NJ and Philly, none of which have changed since the 70's.

If this shows me the state of the US economy, then we have been in a depression for my entire life.


This
 
2012-11-05 12:16:10 AM
I blame Busch.
 
2012-11-05 12:17:21 AM
What's a train?



/mom?
 
2012-11-05 12:18:32 AM

NewportBarGuy: Yes, because the future is near the railroad tracks. F*cking idiotic.


Yeah, because clearly, manufacturing wouldn't require any direct access to rail transport. You can just deliver scrap iron and finished industrial products by dogsled and bicycle courier.
 
2012-11-05 12:20:00 AM

PC LOAD LETTER: I do, and often, and it's graffitti'd up and busted industrial crap, much of which is abandoned. Or you can see the lovely slums of NJ and Philly, none of which have changed since the 70's.

If this shows me the state of the US economy, then we have been in a depression for my entire life.


It's more an example of how infrastructure is preferably built on cheap land.

And that the land is cheap for a reason.
 
2012-11-05 12:20:37 AM
It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.

It's arrogant to think we can just perpetually let the third world handle all the dirty work while we sit back and skim off the cream and expect the world to sit in awe of our imagined monopoly on handling all the less physical creative stuff.
 
2012-11-05 12:22:06 AM
I've done the Northeast Corridor route more than a few times.

It's like looking down the ass crack of America.
 
2012-11-05 12:22:15 AM

moulderx1: What's a train?


It's what they use to haul Chinese goods from the port to your Wal-Mart distribution hub.
 
2012-11-05 12:28:02 AM
a similar view is available on the commuter train tween waukegon and chigago
 
2012-11-05 12:28:32 AM

JesseL: It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.

It's arrogant to think we can just perpetually let the third world handle all the dirty work while we sit back and skim off the cream and expect the world to sit in awe of our imagined monopoly on handling all the less physical creative stuff.


Manufacturing in the US still exists, it's just increasingly automated. The only reason why any manufacturing is outsourced to Asia or other cheap areas is because of just that -- it's cheaper. The impending technological innovations in robotics and 3D printing are going to wreak absolute havoc on the economies of those countries which rely on outsourced labor from the developed countries.

Although we will see more manufacturing done within our own borders, don't expect there to be many humans involved in the process.
 
2012-11-05 12:28:52 AM
The U.S. economy is more than 230 miles of train easement.
 
2012-11-05 12:29:01 AM
My prepackaged outrage is late on arrival.
 
2012-11-05 12:29:23 AM
News Flash: It's like this near every train track. For some reason, land values around train tracks plummet...
 
2012-11-05 12:30:23 AM
I did that riding on the Greyhound... man, New Jersey is ugly as shiat.
 
2012-11-05 12:30:51 AM

Rindred: NewportBarGuy: Yes, because the future is near the railroad tracks. F*cking idiotic.

Yeah, because clearly, manufacturing wouldn't require any direct access to rail transport. You can just deliver scrap iron and finished industrial products by dogsled and bicycle courier.


How about the move to trucks? Railroad sidings can not accommodate big rigs, so it's off to a larger site by the freeway. That's what happened to Berkeley's 4th Street,only that town was able to rehab it into a shopping area.
 
Skr
2012-11-05 12:32:52 AM
They should really mention D.C. first thing in the article. Instead "Amtrak between New York and Washington " mentally conjured a much longer trip.
 
2012-11-05 12:32:58 AM
Er, I've lived in the northeast for about seven years now, and with a few exceptions, it looks like that everywhere east of Chicago until you hit New York. They call it the Rust Belt for a reason. It's certainly not a microcosm of America, though.
 
2012-11-05 12:33:08 AM

NewportBarGuy: Yes, because the future is near the railroad tracks. F*cking idiotic.


People love mass transit. Cities are growing faster than suburbs.

/thank you, smart growth
 
2012-11-05 12:34:55 AM
I took an Amtrak train to Ventura, CA last year from Tacoma, WA. It was interesting to watch the places it went.

I had some very cool discussions with folks in the dining car about how you could use the view out the window to give a distinct picture of the changes the American economy has gone through in the 20th and 21st centuries. You can see mile after mile of dliapidated warehouses, sidings no longer used and massive industrial and storage buildings going to rot, or places that are being repurposed and gentrified- hipster lofts in the old mill, that sort of thing.

But it's not about how the economy is tanking. There's a bunch of factors at play.

First, America's economy has transitioned from a nearly total industrial/agricultural base to far less industry and more service-based. As that transition occurred, the rail system became less critical to moving stuff around.

Second, most major industrial centers served by rail predate the implementation of the Interstate Highway System, which made it possible to move large amounts of goods without having to be constrained to where the trains went.

Third, the industries we do have no longer use the same type of logistics that were in play when many of these rail lines went in. You don't need to cart in and warehouse six month's worth of steel billets to make you widgets; we use totally different means of production.

Since industrial businesses didn't have to be right next to a rail yard to work any longer, and there were fewer of them overall, the fact that being next to a rail yard isn't exactly the most pleasant spot in the world to own property meant that the spaces around the rail lines began to decay.

Trying to picture the US economy by the view from a train window would be like trying to appreciate classical music by listening to just the first violin part of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
 
rka
2012-11-05 12:35:44 AM

JesseL: It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.

It's arrogant to think we can just perpetually let the third world handle all the dirty work while we sit back and skim off the cream and expect the world to sit in awe of our imagined monopoly on handling all the less physical creative stuff.


US is still the world's leading manufacturer and on an absolute basis ($1.8 Trillion in 2010) continues to grow. And yes, that's manufacturing here. So there is no problem creating wealth. Despite online economic experts like you find on Fark the US still maintains a huge manufacturing base.

Did you mean jobs instead of wealth?
 
2012-11-05 12:36:01 AM

Nudge: News Flash: It's like this near every train track. For some reason, land values around train tracks plummet...


They also don't build train tracks in areas with high land values for since it'd annoy rich people and it'd cost a lot to buy the land for said railroad both in pocket money and opportunity costs.
 
2012-11-05 12:36:46 AM
For a true picture of the United States economy...travel more of the country than ~200 miles you myopic, east urbocentric bastard.
 
2012-11-05 12:37:14 AM

Arthur Jumbles: All manufacturing, even the stuff we outsourced, will be done by robots in a few years and small items will be printed at home using 3-D printers.


Agree with the robots, disagree with the printers.

I expect that the printers will come with exorbitant prices + a hefty tax and price on the "ink".
 
2012-11-05 12:37:49 AM

karl2025: Nudge: News Flash: It's like this near every train track. For some reason, land values around train tracks plummet...

They also don't build train tracks in areas with high land values for since it'd annoy rich people and it'd cost a lot to buy the land for said railroad both in pocket money and opportunity costs.


So much this!
 
2012-11-05 12:38:39 AM
In a global economy labor is far cheaper elsewhere. Unless those who work in the manufacturing sector are willing to take jobs at the same rate of pay as the Chinese, Mexicans, or Indians or US shoppers are willing to accept large price increases in the cost of goods already manufactured overseas, the future of the economy won't be in manufacturing. This isn't a US-only problem. Japanese companies are moving production abroad as fast as they can - the cost of living in Japan and high yen make it impossible to produce much of anything for export domestically.

There will always be some domestic manufacturing, especially for advanced technology projects (Intel has a number of fabs in the US), products that are either too expensive to ship or can benefit from patriotism from being produced locally (automobiles, firearms), and items with security or IP related concerns that can't be trusted to foreign production, but overall when it comes to easily manufactured goods, especially textiles, plastics, and lower cost electronics the trend is clearly towards third world production.

That doesn't mean the economy can't grow, we just need to shift to engineering, designing, and marketing the products to create jobs, not actually building them. Yes, that means that just a high school diploma won't be competitive in the job market anymore, but that's been evident for decades.

Right next to that Amtrak line in my old home town of Newark, DE there is a shuttered Chrysler plant that is now being converted into a science, technology, and advanced research campus at the University of Delaware. The US leads the world when it comes to innovators and well rounded, talented, and capable engineers. Keeping our place as the driving force behind the world's economy and the nation with the most wealth and highest standards of living will depend on educating and preparing the young of today for the tasks that can best be done here, and that means an education that's heavily grounded in STEM, writing, and communication skills.
 
2012-11-05 12:41:06 AM
Dumb Farking Article

Which is how the NYT has self-exterminated itself. Their Northeast-centric view of the world is so narrow, constipated and self-involved it's painful to even see their masthead.

Get a grip newstards. Get out and see the world a little. You ... are the reason for the aphorism Glass Half Empty or Glass Half Full.
 
2012-11-05 12:43:14 AM

JesseL: It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.

It's arrogant to think we can just perpetually let the third world handle all the dirty work while we sit back and skim off the cream and expect the world to sit in awe of our imagined monopoly on handling all the less physical creative stuff.


What the hell is an insightful post doing in this thread?

Something less obvious: It is not so much about physical things anymore but about processing information. Google has this figured out.
 
2012-11-05 12:43:31 AM

Arthur Jumbles: All manufacturing, even the stuff we outsourced, will be done by robots in a few years and small items will be printed at home using 3-D printers.


And then drones will be used to cull the population.
 
2012-11-05 12:43:42 AM

Zombie DJ: karl2025: Nudge: News Flash: It's like this near every train track. For some reason, land values around train tracks plummet...

They also don't build train tracks in areas with high land values for since it'd annoy rich people and it'd cost a lot to buy the land for said railroad both in pocket money and opportunity costs.

So much this!


Ever heard of the Main Line? Perhaps you'd like to rethink.
 
2012-11-05 12:43:50 AM
Will the next greenlight be a perspective of America's failing industries while traveling via steamboat?
 
2012-11-05 12:45:34 AM
Last December I took the Amtrak train from DC to NYC. It was sad seeing how poor everyone was along the route. Baltimore in particular was ghastly, and parts of that looked like slums on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria.

I was amazed at the volume of graffiti, and the pointlessness of so much of it. Who's the intended audience, if it's mostly only people in the trains who can see it? Are there that many gangbangers riding the rails looking for messages in graffiti?
 
2012-11-05 12:46:04 AM

HotWingAgenda: Will the next greenlight be a perspective of America's failing industries while traveling via steamboat?


Next you'll be talking about bayonets. Rail is incredibly important to the US economy.
 
2012-11-05 12:46:23 AM

Red Shirt Blues: PC LOAD LETTER: I do, and often, and it's graffitti'd up and busted industrial crap, much of which is abandoned. Or you can see the lovely slums of NJ and Philly, none of which have changed since the 70's.

If this shows me the state of the US economy, then we have been in a depression for my entire life.

This


This.
 
2012-11-05 12:48:15 AM

Nudge: News Flash: It's like this near every train track. For some reason, land values around train tracks plummet...


And then developers buy the land, and build condos, and yuppies move in, and complain that the train makes noise. Never mind that the railroad was there 100 years before them.
 
2012-11-05 12:48:48 AM

wildcardjack: moulderx1: What's a train?


It's what they use to haul Chinese goods from the port to your Wal-Mart distribution hub.


Sorry, try again. No Tracks go near Dist centers for Walmart, Sam's, Target, Macy's etc. This Nation rides on Trucks. Most Trains haul Raw Materials. Drivers like me do the rest.
You are welcome. And when You share the roads with us, Just Drive. Don't try to multi-task, JUST DRIVE.
Oh, and I'm not a perfect driver either, so watch out for me.

Back to topic, when we make it our business to support local business with laws that make it easier to stay here, then we will see growth. As long as our laws make it more difficult for local business's to compete in our home markets, and until we learn to compete globally for manufacturing jobs, They will continue to elude us.
 
2012-11-05 12:50:24 AM
The trains would work better if the feds would get out of Dagny's way
 
2012-11-05 12:50:41 AM
Trains!
It's all coming true, just like in Atlas Shrugged.
 
2012-11-05 12:51:57 AM

bhcompy: I did that riding on the Greyhound... man, New Jersey is ugly as shiat.


I've been living in NJ for three years, now. Most of it is lovely. Small towns with actual mom and pop shops, real community Americana feel. There are parts described in the article that are depressed, ex-manufacturing areas. They're horrendously ugly. But that's actually a pretty small portion of the state. You rode through on a bus. I'm guessing you saw the Turnpike, which is all trees for most of the trip, and then the industrial wasteland above exit 14 or so.
 
2012-11-05 12:54:22 AM

meat0918: Arthur Jumbles: All manufacturing, even the stuff we outsourced, will be done by robots in a few years and small items will be printed at home using 3-D printers.

Agree with the robots, disagree with the printers.

I expect that the printers will come with exorbitant prices + a hefty tax and price on the "ink".


I could have a Makerbot 2 in my house for less than most middle-class families spend on their washer and dryer... and it's basically that-- an appliance. Filament ("ink") is priced reasonably considering the tech is still in it's infancy (about $45/kilo).

Things tend to get cheaper as time goes on. The "I expect" part of your statement basically means "I have no idea what I'm taking about, but here's an opinion anyway."
 
2012-11-05 12:55:29 AM
Or it could be that urban land next to railway lines isn't very desirable or valuable and tends to be the last thing to get reused for attractive and positive looking things?
 
2012-11-05 12:56:10 AM

JesseL: It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.


Switzerland might like to have a word with you.
 
2012-11-05 12:56:41 AM

Rindred: NewportBarGuy: Yes, because the future is near the railroad tracks. F*cking idiotic.

Yeah, because clearly, manufacturing wouldn't require any direct access to rail transport. You can just deliver scrap iron and finished industrial products by dogsled and bicycle courier.


Send it via email.
 
2012-11-05 12:57:38 AM

Monongahela Misfit: wildcardjack: moulderx1: What's a train?


It's what they use to haul Chinese goods from the port to your Wal-Mart distribution hub.

Sorry, try again. No Tracks go near Dist centers for Walmart, Sam's, Target, Macy's etc. This Nation rides on Trucks. Most Trains haul Raw Materials. Drivers like me do the rest.
You are welcome. And when You share the roads with us, Just Drive. Don't try to multi-task, JUST DRIVE.
Oh, and I'm not a perfect driver either, so watch out for me.

Back to topic, when we make it our business to support local business with laws that make it easier to stay here, then we will see growth. As long as our laws make it more difficult for local business's to compete in our home markets, and until we learn to compete globally for manufacturing jobs, They will continue to elude us.


Global realities make it difficult for some manufacturing businesses to compete. You're not talking about lowering the bar for local companies but raising the bar for foreign companies.
 
2012-11-05 12:59:53 AM
For a true picture of the United States economy, ride the train from New York to Washington and take a good, hard look out the window take a look at your two election candidates....


ftfy
 
2012-11-05 12:59:59 AM

PC LOAD LETTER: I do, and often, and it's graffitti'd up and busted industrial crap, much of which is abandoned. Or you can see the lovely slums of NJ and Philly, none of which have changed since the 70's.

If this shows me the state of the US economy, then we have been in a depression for my entire life.



Pretty much this.



As it turns out people don't like trains in their back yard so that area deteriorates. Same thing goes with interstates/highways, power lines, airports, harbors/seaports (actual harbors), power plants, mines, etc...It is called NIMBY.


If you are going to choose a limited portion of the country to qualify economy then someone walking through the Hamptons will claim our economy is booming. It is kind of like walking through downtown New York and claiming the rest of the country is exactly like that and overflowing with people, or walking into a back country wilderness area and assuming the rest of the country is as devoid of people.
 
2012-11-05 01:04:50 AM

Monongahela Misfit: wildcardjack:

Back to topic, when we make it our business to support local business with laws that make it easier to stay here, then we will see growth. As long as our laws make it more difficult for local business's to compete in our home markets, and until we learn to compete globally for manufacturing jobs, They will continue to elude us.


It's a tough problem. The only way to 'compete' for manufacturing jobs with China is to cut wages and benefits to the point where you can no longer make a living doing it. Not only is the labor cheaper, but so are many of the raw materials, and there is less less environmental and safety regulation. We shouldn't move backwards in either of those areas.

My idea would be to tie corporate taxes to employment levels domestically and abroad. Corporations who employ more US workers would get tax breaks, those that outsource overseas would be levied with additional penalties. If the 'break even' point was moved through taxation such that it made more financial sense to keep the jobs here, more companies would do it. 

Also, get rid of the H1B visa program. Require US companies to hire skilled workers from the pool of talent here.
 
2012-11-05 01:05:14 AM

russkie247: The only reason why any manufacturing is outsourced to Asia or other cheap areas is because of just that -- it's cheaper.


But how many people understand what the word "cheaper" means in this context? it means that those nations are willing to let their citizens starve, or work the sex trade, or lose gingers, toes, hands and feet. it also means those nations are willing to poison their citizens with industrial chemicals that a democratic and scientific society would ban (because poison is bad and alternatives can be created). I think the sickest part of all of this is the way people would rather deregulate than they would want to create safe industries that nurture healthy citizens. The use of the word "cheaper" as some kind of euphemism is chilling.
 
2012-11-05 01:07:37 AM

bindlestiff2600: a similar view is available on the commuter train tween waukegon and chigago


Yeah, but who goes to Chicago?
 
2012-11-05 01:08:08 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: Monongahela Misfit: wildcardjack: moulderx1:

Global realities make it difficult for some manufacturing businesses to compete. You're not talking about lowering the bar for local companies but raising the bar for foreign companies.


the "free trade" racket makes it impossible for anyone to compete with slave labour.

there is no bar to raise or lower.
it's as simple as " someone else will work for minus 2 dollars a week if you don't" so that fat americans can buy disposable crap from a country that has no environmental or human rights standards.

it was made more impossible by the idiotic dismantling of the railway systems in north america so that big trucking would buy more gas.

it's a shell game: deplete one place, move to another as the economy you left collapses..kill everyone and everything that stands in your way. if you don't kill them, rig their elections and prop up a dictator.

just like a game of starcraft..you win, but you are left by yourself on a heap of slag.

VICTORY!
 
2012-11-05 01:10:08 AM

Lets talk frankly about internal cleanliness: I could have a Makerbot 2 in my house for less than most middle-class families spend on their washer and dryer... and it's basically that-- an appliance. Filament ("ink") is priced reasonably considering the tech is still in it's infancy (about $45/kilo).


Googled makerbot. holy cats, $2500... I make automotive stuff and that would be nice for prototyping.
 
2012-11-05 01:10:23 AM

TuteTibiImperes: Monongahela Misfit: wildcardjack:
Also, get rid of the H1B visa program. Require US companies to hire skilled workers from the pool of talent here.


As someone who can't find qualified workers for his group, partially because of this restriction on extremely talented, foreign engineers, you can go and eat a bowl of fiery dicks.
 
2012-11-05 01:10:47 AM

JesseL: It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.

It's arrogant to think we can just perpetually let the third world handle all the dirty work while we sit back and skim off the cream and expect the world to sit in awe of our imagined monopoly on handling all the less physical creative stuff.


Um, I hate to break it to you, but American economics are about creating shareholder value in a global market, not 'wealth.'
 
2012-11-05 01:12:21 AM

Bennie Crabtree: russkie247: The only reason why any manufacturing is outsourced to Asia or other cheap areas is because of just that -- it's cheaper.

But how many people understand what the word "cheaper" means in this context? it means that those nations are willing to let their citizens starve, or work the sex trade, or lose gingers, toes, hands and feet. it also means those nations are willing to poison their citizens with industrial chemicals that a democratic and scientific society would ban (because poison is bad and alternatives can be created). I think the sickest part of all of this is the way people would rather deregulate than they would want to create safe industries that nurture healthy citizens. The use of the word "cheaper" as some kind of euphemism is chilling.


Well they don't have souls, so it doesn't matter does it?

But in all seriousness, it is cheaper. The lax regulations over there DO give you a lower price point at the register. The idea is that you don't have to pay for all the externalities :)
 
2012-11-05 01:12:59 AM

Zombie DJ: karl2025: Nudge: News Flash: It's like this near every train track. For some reason, land values around train tracks plummet...

They also don't build train tracks in areas with high land values for since it'd annoy rich people and it'd cost a lot to buy the land for said railroad both in pocket money and opportunity costs.

So much this!


So much not this.

When the location of the right of way was picked out and the rail road was built, the vast majority of the 'urban decay' you see today was cow pasture. The rail roads built America. Even the parts we've used up, worn out and cast aside.
 
2012-11-05 01:14:03 AM
GOPers love this shiat.
 
2012-11-05 01:14:10 AM
It isn't just the trains. As a driver I've seen every state in the lower 48 in the last 3 years. It has a reek of desperation about it. Farms and manufacturing plants are falling into a dilapidated state. The yards of the occupied houses I pass by don't seem as well-kept. There are a ton of abandoned properties in every state. In all seriousness, the entire country has the smell of desperation to it.

I don't think this is about the last 4 years; the giant "recession". There was the transition to two parent working families, shifting technology, outsourcing labor to other countries, expensive changes in EPA regulations for dirty industry, the conquering of big box retail, rampant unqualified lending, and much more.

It seems like some folks and businesses have just given up. Very sad.
 
2012-11-05 01:15:03 AM

Lligeret: As it turns out people don't like trains in their back yard so that area deteriorates. Same thing goes with interstates/highways, power lines, airports, harbors/seaports (actual harbors), power plants, mines, etc...It is called NIMBY


are you a moron?

the economic production sector in the US has been slowly dismantled for three reasons and the dismantling of the railway system was in furtherance of that..not because of that.

1- take economic power away from the people so they are dependent and disenfranchised. offer them credit.
2- cripple the greedy mafia infested unions. (replace one form of organized crime with another..BIG BUSINESS)
3- avoid taxes by manufacturing overseas with slave labour.

if NIMBY was an issue at all, you wouldn't have a four lane highway anywhere in America...and you would be sitting in the dark banging this idiocy out on a stone tablet..

and i don't know anyone who has a harbour in their back yard...

you post is idiotic...
 
2012-11-05 01:15:39 AM
"your" post is idiotic rather....
 
2012-11-05 01:15:50 AM

Lets talk frankly about internal cleanliness: meat0918: Arthur Jumbles: All manufacturing, even the stuff we outsourced, will be done by robots in a few years and small items will be printed at home using 3-D printers.

Agree with the robots, disagree with the printers.

I expect that the printers will come with exorbitant prices + a hefty tax and price on the "ink".

I could have a Makerbot 2 in my house for less than most middle-class families spend on their washer and dryer... and it's basically that-- an appliance. Filament ("ink") is priced reasonably considering the tech is still in it's infancy (about $45/kilo).

Things tend to get cheaper as time goes on. The "I expect" part of your statement basically means "I have no idea what I'm taking about, but here's an opinion anyway."


Exactly. My opinion is that the government will tax it quite well if they can. Home distilling is still illegal in part due to the danger of kabooms plus the excise tax they get on distilled liquor.

So, my opinion is that they will tax it somehow.
 
2012-11-05 01:16:52 AM

russkie247: TuteTibiImperes: Monongahela Misfit: wildcardjack:
Also, get rid of the H1B visa program. Require US companies to hire skilled workers from the pool of talent here.

As someone who can't find qualified workers for his group, partially because of this restriction on extremely talented, foreign engineers, you can go and eat a bowl of fiery dicks.


Can't find anyone in the US that can do the job, or can't find anyone in the US who will do the job for the same pay as a transplant from India or China? In the unlikely event that there is no available US citizens with the requisite skill set then why not hire someone with the closest related background and provide on the job training?
 
2012-11-05 01:17:36 AM

KarmaSpork: It isn't just the trains. As a driver I've seen every state in the lower 48 in the last 3 years. It has a reek of desperation about it. Farms and manufacturing plants are falling into a dilapidated state. The yards of the occupied houses I pass by don't seem as well-kept. There are a ton of abandoned properties in every state. In all seriousness, the entire country has the smell of desperation to it.

I don't think this is about the last 4 years; the giant "recession". There was the transition to two parent working families, shifting technology, outsourcing labor to other countries, expensive changes in EPA regulations for dirty industry, the conquering of big box retail, rampant unqualified lending, and much more.

It seems like some folks and businesses have just given up. Very sad.


amen brother (or sister depending)
 
2012-11-05 01:21:06 AM

Haliburton Cummings:
amen brother (or sister depending)


Sister :)
 
2012-11-05 01:22:15 AM

KarmaSpork: It isn't just the trains. As a driver I've seen every state in the lower 48 in the last 3 years. It has a reek of desperation about it. Farms and manufacturing plants are falling into a dilapidated state. The yards of the occupied houses I pass by don't seem as well-kept. There are a ton of abandoned properties in every state. In all seriousness, the entire country has the smell of desperation to it.

I don't think this is about the last 4 years; the giant "recession". There was the transition to two parent working families, shifting technology, outsourcing labor to other countries, expensive changes in EPA regulations for dirty industry, the conquering of big box retail, rampant unqualified lending, and much more.

It seems like some folks and businesses have just given up. Very sad.


A lot of it has to do with the fact that we're still coming down from the massive post-WWII economic boom. The US was able to step into a global manufacturing void because we were largely unravaged by all the bombing, but now all the former industrial powerhouses have recovered. And several countries that used to be 3rd world shiatholes have benefited from globalization, so that they are stealing our industrial share as well.

The US used a temporary spike in profits to weigh itself down with a permanently elevated population and infrastructure, which we now have no hope of supporting.
 
2012-11-05 01:26:20 AM

Haliburton Cummings: and i don't know anyone who has a harbour in their back yard...


I know several people who have a harbor in their backyard, but nobody with a harbour.
 
2012-11-05 01:26:48 AM

HotWingAgenda:
A lot of it has to do with the fact that we're still coming down from the massive post-WWII economic boom. The US was able to step into a global manufacturing void because we were largely unravaged by all the bombing, but now all the former industrial powerhouses have recovered. And several countries that used to be 3rd world shiatholes have benefited from globalization, so that they are stealing our industrial share as well.

The US used a temporary spike in profits to weigh itself down with a permanently elevated population and infrastructure, which we now have no hope of supporting.


/agree
Of course, if we would have stayed the course after the Apollo program, we could have been an 'idea nation' and let the manufacturing of those ideas slide to the recovered infrastructure in other countries supporting our growth. Alas, that didn't happen, and things like NAFTA and the MFN status for China are killing us.
 
2012-11-05 01:27:05 AM
Thomas Sowell -- Dismantling America

"..right up to the moment of collapse.."
 
2012-11-05 01:28:55 AM
This is true along many of the rail lines in this country, so not seeing what the big deal is about this one particular line.
 
2012-11-05 01:30:41 AM

NewportBarGuy: Yes, because the future is near the railroad tracks. F*cking idiotic.

 
2012-11-05 01:34:35 AM

JerkyMeat: GOPers love this shiat.


Why would they? All the ghetto dwellers vote Dem.
 
2012-11-05 01:36:44 AM
For an alternate look at the United States economy, take a limo from Wall Street to K Street, and look hard out the window and reflect on the enmity.
 
2012-11-05 01:37:36 AM
Hate to tell them but I could do that BEFORE the economic collapse. In fact, I recognize a lot of those areas and they were like that before the collapse.
 
2012-11-05 01:37:43 AM
Crisis? What Crisis?
 
2012-11-05 01:38:44 AM
Take the train between Hong Kong and Canton, China to see the opposite.
(But also not very pretty in places)
 
2012-11-05 01:40:34 AM

HotWingAgenda: I know several people who have a harbor in their backyard, but nobody with a harbour.


I have a harbour in my back yard.
Click on my profile.
Now you know me.
!!!
 
2012-11-05 01:42:11 AM

KarmaSpork: HotWingAgenda:
A lot of it has to do with the fact that we're still coming down from the massive post-WWII economic boom. The US was able to step into a global manufacturing void because we were largely unravaged by all the bombing, but now all the former industrial powerhouses have recovered. And several countries that used to be 3rd world shiatholes have benefited from globalization, so that they are stealing our industrial share as well.

The US used a temporary spike in profits to weigh itself down with a permanently elevated population and infrastructure, which we now have no hope of supporting.

/agree
Of course, if we would have stayed the course after the Apollo program, we could have been an 'idea nation' and let the manufacturing of those ideas slide to the recovered infrastructure in other countries supporting our growth. Alas, that didn't happen, and things like NAFTA and the MFN status for China are killing us.


they aren't "stealing" anything....it's being handed to them.

Nixon was the architect of China via Kissinger or vice versa, take your pick...
They have been gambling on the Robert Malthus equation being applied to consumers in a generic sense. its not food, it's coffee tables and cars too.

The problem is, the populations aren't getting smaller via disease, wars etc...
They thought they could roll in, strip mine everything, profit from this and then these countries would recede into poverty again...and that ain't happening so....

go sift through your local used bookstore and look for anything from the " Foreign Policy Association" ..

i have two books in front of me from 1968 that basically outlined all of this...the collapse, GMO food, free trade etc... even the internet.

and if you think SOPA/PIPA etc is a "new" thing, the germs of this started in 68 with the Darpa/Arpa crowd.

this crap has been simmering in the pot for awhile...

ranty rant...
 
2012-11-05 01:44:00 AM

0Icky0: HotWingAgenda: I know several people who have a harbor in their backyard, but nobody with a harbour.

I have a harbour in my back yard.
Click on my profile.
Now you know me.
!!!


OH YOUZE
 
2012-11-05 01:45:49 AM

FizixJunkee: JesseL: It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.


Switzerland might like to have a word with you.


Switzerland's basic industry is pretty famous for cheese, chocolate, chronometers, and those cute folding knives, fwiw.
 
2012-11-05 01:46:15 AM
"A harbor or harbour (see spelling differences), or haven, is a place where ships, boats, and barges can seek shelter through stormy weather, or else are stored for future use. "

:)
 
2012-11-05 01:51:27 AM

0Icky0: HotWingAgenda: I know several people who have a harbor in their backyard, but nobody with a harbour.

I have a harbour in my back yard.
Click on my profile.
Now you know me.
!!!


Sweet! I've always wanted a Chinese biker buddy.
 
2012-11-05 01:51:50 AM

deadcrickets: Hate to tell them but I could do that BEFORE the economic collapse. In fact, I recognize a lot of those areas and they were like that before the collapse.


America has been destroying itself for a long time.
Problem is, it's trying to take everything else with it.

(insert crying panda here)
 
2012-11-05 01:53:10 AM
I Voted for the monorail.
 
2012-11-05 01:54:25 AM
img24.imageshack.us
 
2012-11-05 01:55:05 AM
For a true picture of the US economy all one has to do is hike along a creek in a state or national park. You wont find a single functioning waterwheel. It's depressing the state of disrepair the grist & saw mills have fallen into - literally fallen into the water, even the rust is gone.
 
2012-11-05 01:57:21 AM
so vote for the guy that wants to raise taxes on everyone outside of the train and lower taxes on everyone inside
 
2012-11-05 02:02:41 AM
I love taking the train around here. You get to see the back of everything in the towns, and lots of farms and natural land. At least, you do around here.
 
2012-11-05 02:03:12 AM

russkie247: JesseL: It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.

It's arrogant to think we can just perpetually let the third world handle all the dirty work while we sit back and skim off the cream and expect the world to sit in awe of our imagined monopoly on handling all the less physical creative stuff.

Manufacturing in the US still exists, it's just increasingly automated. The only reason why any manufacturing is outsourced to Asia or other cheap areas is because of just that -- it's cheaper. The impending technological innovations in robotics and 3D printing are going to wreak absolute havoc on the economies of those countries which rely on outsourced labor from the developed countries.

Although we will see more manufacturing done within our own borders, don't expect there to be many humans involved in the process.


Oh, it's worse than that. As I've said before, and been roundly ignored before, we've lost way a lot more jobs than anyone cares to realize (on both sides of the aisle), variously in the name of efficiency, computerization, self-service and downsizing, even without offshore outsourcing and the shift to a service economy.

For instance: Big box stores kill jobs. Not because of any evil Walmartization, but simply because they need less people per square foot than the same number of stores would, if they were individual shops. A Target or Walmart needs fewer clerks to handle, say, their electronics section than a music store, electronics store, TV shop and video/DVD store would. Plus, each store would need it's own shipping and warehouse, delivery and so on. All those jobs are now gone. Or consider a bank. Used to be, 40 years ago, everyone sat down and paid their bills by check or money order. You wrote the checks, dropped them in envelopes, mailed them in (which had to be handled by mailmen), they got opened by someone at the credit card company or utility company, processed, sent to the bank, processed THERE, and mailed back to you. Now its all done online by one or two people. All those jobs are gone.

Gas stations used to all be full service, which meant three or four guys hanging around the gas station to fill your tank, check your oil, take the money or your credit card slip (see paying bills above) and give you change and directions. Not only are those jobs gone, they were valuable entry-level positions for high-school kids. Now: Gone. Accounting used to be a couple of floors of people sitting at desks with adding machines; now it's two or three people with computers and Excel spreadsheets. Everyone else is unemployed. Online ordering killed a lot of jobs, since you don't need brick&mortar stores anymore--you order something from a warehouse centrally located and it gets shipped to you via FedEx or UPS. Why have a store anymore, or people in that store?

The jobs are gone. They aren't coming back, barring a massive switch away from efficiency and centralization. Even if outsourcing was stopped, that doesn't mean jobs would come back to America, except low-paying manufacturing--and the only reason those are done overseas is because they're cheaper AND easier to do manually than to do mechanically. If they had to be done here, they'd be automated at a slightly higher cost within ten years. The jobs that are missing are not jobs that have been outsourced, they're jobs that got computerized or centralized, and they just can't be regained. Sorry, folks. Those outsourced jobs are not jobs you want to do. That's why they got outsourced. And the other lost jobs aren't jobs we can get back.
 
2012-11-05 02:10:35 AM

TuteTibiImperes: In a global economy labor is far cheaper elsewhere. Unless those who work in the manufacturing sector are willing to take jobs at the same rate of pay as the Chinese, Mexicans, or Indians or US shoppers are willing to accept large price increases in the cost of goods already manufactured overseas, the future of the economy won't be in manufacturing. This isn't a US-only problem. Japanese companies are moving production abroad as fast as they can - the cost of living in Japan and high yen make it impossible to produce much of anything for export domestically.

There will always be some domestic manufacturing, especially for advanced technology projects (Intel has a number of fabs in the US), products that are either too expensive to ship or can benefit from patriotism from being produced locally (automobiles, firearms), and items with security or IP related concerns that can't be trusted to foreign production, but overall when it comes to easily manufactured goods, especially textiles, plastics, and lower cost electronics the trend is clearly towards third world production.

That doesn't mean the economy can't grow, we just need to shift to engineering, designing, and marketing the products to create jobs, not actually building them. Yes, that means that just a high school diploma won't be competitive in the job market anymore, but that's been evident for decades.

Right next to that Amtrak line in my old home town of Newark, DE there is a shuttered Chrysler plant that is now being converted into a science, technology, and advanced research campus at the University of Delaware. The US leads the world when it comes to innovators and well rounded, talented, and capable engineers. Keeping our place as the driving force behind the world's economy and the nation with the most wealth and highest standards of living will depend on educating and preparing the young of today for the tasks that can best be done here, and that means an education that's heavily grounded in ...


Trust me, all my father's friends in DE are super excited that the factory they thought they would retire from is being converted by UD. They're glad that all their hopes and dreams in the American manufacturing industry were dashed by the lower costs in other countries.
 
2012-11-05 02:10:50 AM

Gyrfalcon: Sorry, folks. Those outsourced jobs are not jobs you want to do. That's why they got outsourced. And the other lost jobs aren't jobs we can get back.


At least we can still destroy countries, then engage in nation building. At least that keeps our military employed, and we can avoid socialism or something.
 
2012-11-05 02:14:01 AM

HotWingAgenda: Sweet! I've always wanted a Chinese biker buddy.


Right on.
Although the only thing Chinese about me is my location, my food, and my mistress.
 
2012-11-05 02:14:40 AM

de_Selby: Ever heard of the Main Line? Perhaps you'd like to rethink.


A four-bedroom house in Swarthmore located two blocks from the SEPTA station will command a princely sum. But take a look at the houses that are butt-up against the tracks equidistant between stops. They're multi-family dumps and crumbling 60s apartment blocks. They get no special benefit from the station that's three miles away--all they get is the noise.

Ditto the Green Line or commuter rail in Boston, the LIRR trains that go out near the Hamptons, the MARTA system in the Baltimore-Washington corridor, etc. etc. Train-convenient very very good; train-adjacent very very bad.
 
2012-11-05 02:15:06 AM
graphics8.nytimes.com

W...T...F!!! I'm staying the heck out of Baltimore.
 
2012-11-05 02:20:35 AM

skantea: [graphics8.nytimes.com image 650x403]

W...T...F!!! I'm staying the heck out of Baltimore.


graphics8.nytimes.com

man, i knew Wesley Snipes had some problems but...wow
 
2012-11-05 02:27:19 AM
Gyrfalcon:
agreed...

the thing that blows my mind is that China, America wherever could be leading nations in retraining and reintegrating people for new jobs that make sense..cleaning up and recycling could be huuge..
thats one example...

( Canada had a shot at that but they have a Skull and Bones appointed NeoCon in there now so...Adolf Harper..)

what is sad is that until the collapse, nothing will get done...then it will have to get done if it isn't too late.

what irks me the most is the greedy calling the poor lazy...most of those folks would work their ass off if they were treated fairly and could GET a job...

astounding really.
 
2012-11-05 02:30:35 AM
I took Amtrak (the "Empire Builder") from Minneapolis to Chicago a few years ago. Some beautiful scenery along the way, with many bald eagles, wild turkeys, herons and other wildlife, and lovely lakes and prairies. And many, MANY tiny little towns, almost all of which appear to be rotting away. Broken-down houses, graffiti'd walls, and a general aura of defeat and despair. The Empire Builder rolls through Milwaukee, and features a couple of hours of passage through scenery that's about as close to Third World as it gets in this country. Once you get into the city, it's fine, but the outskirts -- crumbling brick buildings with broken windows, graffiti, grime and broken glass all over the place, derelict factories, nasty little stained clapboard houses with curling shingle roofs -- are about as depressed and depressing as anything I can remember seeing in the USA, and I've traveled a fair amount in this country.
 
2012-11-05 02:36:38 AM

GAT_00: For the past 30-plus years, through Republican and Democratic administrations, there has been much lip service paid to the idea that the era of big government is over. Long live free enterprise. And yet in the case of those areas surrounding the capital, wealth has gravitated to the exact spot where government regulation is created.

That's a nice Apples to Potato comparison.


What about that paragraph isn't absolutely crystal clear to you?
 
2012-11-05 02:37:13 AM

one of Ripley's Bad Guys: Lets talk frankly about internal cleanliness: I could have a Makerbot 2 in my house for less than most middle-class families spend on their washer and dryer... and it's basically that-- an appliance. Filament ("ink") is priced reasonably considering the tech is still in it's infancy (about $45/kilo).

Googled makerbot. holy cats, $2500... I make automotive stuff and that would be nice for prototyping.


Great for prototyping, not production.
When it comes time to knock out a few thousand...

Lots of fun. I played with one after an AutoCAD class last spring. I made a small widget with undercuts and voids.
 
2012-11-05 02:38:08 AM

Rindred: NewportBarGuy: Yes, because the future is near the railroad tracks. F*cking idiotic.

Yeah, because clearly, manufacturing wouldn't require any direct access to rail transport. You can just deliver scrap iron and finished industrial products by dogsled and bicycle courier.


You are trying to explain the real world? Really? In this thread? On Fark?
 
2012-11-05 02:41:45 AM

Cyclometh: I took an Amtrak train to Ventura, CA last year from Tacoma, WA. It was interesting to watch the places it went.

I had some very cool discussions with folks in the dining car about how you could use the view out the window to give a distinct picture of the changes the American economy has gone through in the 20th and 21st centuries. You can see mile after mile of dliapidated warehouses, sidings no longer used and massive industrial and storage buildings going to rot, or places that are being repurposed and gentrified- hipster lofts in the old mill, that sort of thing.

But it's not about how the economy is tanking. There's a bunch of factors at play.

First, America's economy has transitioned from a nearly total industrial/agricultural base to far less industry and more service-based. As that transition occurred, the rail system became less critical to moving stuff around.

Second, most major industrial centers served by rail predate the implementation of the Interstate Highway System, which made it possible to move large amounts of goods without having to be constrained to where the trains went.

Third, the industries we do have no longer use the same type of logistics that were in play when many of these rail lines went in. You don't need to cart in and warehouse six month's worth of steel billets to make you widgets; we use totally different means of production.

Since industrial businesses didn't have to be right next to a rail yard to work any longer, and there were fewer of them overall, the fact that being next to a rail yard isn't exactly the most pleasant spot in the world to own property meant that the spaces around the rail lines began to decay.

Trying to picture the US economy by the view from a train window would be like trying to appreciate classical music by listening to just the first violin part of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.


Good points.
 
2012-11-05 02:45:50 AM

Betep: one of Ripley's Bad Guys: Lets talk frankly about internal cleanliness: I could have a Makerbot 2 in my house for less than most middle-class families spend on their washer and dryer... and it's basically that-- an appliance. Filament ("ink") is priced reasonably considering the tech is still in it's infancy (about $45/kilo).

Googled makerbot. holy cats, $2500... I make automotive stuff and that would be nice for prototyping.

Great for prototyping, not production.
When it comes time to knock out a few thousand...

Lots of fun. I played with one after an AutoCAD class last spring. I made a small widget with undercuts and voids.


So how does it compare to this (which is half the price)?
 
2012-11-05 02:47:57 AM

russkie247: JesseL: It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.

It's arrogant to think we can just perpetually let the third world handle all the dirty work while we sit back and skim off the cream and expect the world to sit in awe of our imagined monopoly on handling all the less physical creative stuff.

Manufacturing in the US still exists, it's just increasingly automated. The only reason why any manufacturing is outsourced to Asia or other cheap areas is because of just that -- it's cheaper. The impending technological innovations in robotics and 3D printing are going to wreak absolute havoc on the economies of those countries which rely on outsourced labor from the developed countries.

Although we will see more manufacturing done within our own borders, don't expect there to be many humans involved in the process.


The above comment brought to you by the same people who said that the printing press and the automated loom would destroy the economy.
 
2012-11-05 02:48:56 AM

Skr: They should really mention D.C. first thing in the article. Instead "Amtrak between New York and Washington " mentally conjured a much longer trip.


New York Times surprisingly has a New York-centric point of view.
 
2012-11-05 02:49:23 AM

JesseL: It's arrogant unamerican to think we can can't just perpetually let the third world handle all the dirty work while we sit back and skim off the cream and expect the world to sit in awe of our imagined monopoly on handling all the less physical creative stuff.


Half the country cheers wildly at Romney playing the "we're number one, I won't bow to enemy leaders, russia will do my bidding, god bless america" bullshiat.

I'm not even sure arrogance can fully describe the lunacy of wanting a 300,000,000 member nation out of a 6,000,000,000 person planet to maintain that much control.
 
2012-11-05 02:57:10 AM

Smackledorfer: JesseL: It's arrogant unamerican to think we can can't just perpetually let the third world handle all the dirty work while we sit back and skim off the cream and expect the world to sit in awe of our imagined monopoly on handling all the less physical creative stuff.

Half the country cheers wildly at Romney playing the "we're number one, I won't bow to enemy leaders, russia will do my bidding, god bless america" bullshiat.

I'm not even sure arrogance can fully describe the lunacy of wanting a 300,000,000 member nation out of a 6,000,000,000 person planet to maintain that much control.


If you want global control to be based solely on where the greatest percentage of the overall population lives, we should be taking orders from China and India.
 
2012-11-05 03:04:12 AM

Gyrfalcon: russkie247: JesseL: It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.

It's arrogant to think we can just perpetually let the third world handle all the dirty work while we sit back and skim off the cream and expect the world to sit in awe of our imagined monopoly on handling all the less physical creative stuff.

Manufacturing in the US still exists, it's just increasingly automated. The only reason why any manufacturing is outsourced to Asia or other cheap areas is because of just that -- it's cheaper. The impending technological innovations in robotics and 3D printing are going to wreak absolute havoc on the economies of those countries which rely on outsourced labor from the developed countries.

Although we will see more manufacturing done within our own borders, don't expect there to be many humans involved in the process.

Oh, it's worse than that. As I've said before, and been roundly ignored before, we've lost way a lot more jobs than anyone cares to realize (on both sides of the aisle), variously in the name of efficiency, computerization, self-service and downsizing, even without offshore outsourcing and the shift to a service economy.

For instance: Big box stores kill jobs. Not because of any evil Walmartization, but simply because they need less people per square foot than the same number of stores would, if they were individual shops. A Target or Walmart needs fewer clerks to handle, say, their electronics section than a music store, electronics store, TV shop and video/DVD store would. Plus, each store would need it's own shipping and warehouse, delivery and so on. All those jobs are now gone. Or consider a bank. Used to be, 40 years ago, everyone sat down and paid their bills by check or money order. You wrote the checks, dropped them in envelopes, mailed them in (which had to be handled by mailmen), they got opened by someone at the credit card company or utility company, processed, sent to the bank, processed THERE, and mailed back to you. Now its all done online by one or two people. All those jobs are gone.

Gas stations used to all be full service, which meant three or four guys hanging around the gas station to fill your tank, check your oil, take the money or your credit card slip (see paying bills above) and give you change and directions. Not only are those jobs gone, they were valuable entry-level positions for high-school kids. Now: Gone. Accounting used to be a couple of floors of people sitting at desks with adding machines; now it's two or three people with computers and Excel spreadsheets. Everyone else is unemployed. Online ordering killed a lot of jobs, since you don't need brick&mortar stores anymore--you order something from a warehouse centrally located and it gets shipped to you via FedEx or UPS. Why have a store anymore, or people in that store?

The jobs are gone. They aren't coming back, barring a massive switch away from efficiency and centralization. Even if outsourcing was stopped, that doesn't mean jobs would come back to America, except low-paying manufacturing--and the only reason those are done overseas is because they're cheaper AND easier to do manually than to do mechanically. If they had to be done here, they'd be automated at a slightly higher cost within ten years. The jobs that are missing are not jobs that have been outsourced, they're jobs that got computerized or centralized, and they just can't be regained. Sorry, folks. Those outsourced jobs are not jobs you want to do. That's why they got outsourced. And the other lost jobs aren't jobs we can get back.


Great post!

What's the solution?
 
2012-11-05 03:06:31 AM

TuteTibiImperes: russkie247: TuteTibiImperes: Monongahela Misfit: wildcardjack:
Also, get rid of the H1B visa program. Require US companies to hire skilled workers from the pool of talent here.

As someone who can't find qualified workers for his group, partially because of this restriction on extremely talented, foreign engineers, you can go and eat a bowl of fiery dicks.

Can't find anyone in the US that can do the job, or can't find anyone in the US who will do the job for the same pay as a transplant from India or China? In the unlikely event that there is no available US citizens with the requisite skill set then why not hire someone with the closest related background and provide on the job training?


That's what I'm thinking. "Extremely talented, foreign engineers" probably means Mexicans at $15/hr
 
2012-11-05 03:14:01 AM
More about the current population's interest in blight abatement. The dead rot so recycle and reuse. Detroit looks worse than it did in the `70's. Some areas of St. Louis and NYC look so much better than they did in the `70's.

Only National Policies (industry/energy/infrastructure) last just as long as the political breeze, fanned by the dollars of those entities that stand to profit the most in the next quarter, blows.
`What is good for GM is good for the United States' should read the other way around: what is good for the Republic is good for GM (don't like the U.S., Goldman Sachs? Move to farking London).

Here we sit, in the catbird seat (Mr. Monroe's hemisphere, surrounded by missile subs - pretty low risk place to do business - pay a premium for that, I'd think). Nearly all our foreign entanglements of note are owing to our not moving at, how would Stalin put it? `shock speed' to commit to complete Hydrocarbon independence/replacement after the first oil embargo in `73. Had that been a completed project we'd not have to give a damn whether all the major players in the middle east nuked one another into stone age (fark jerusalem/tehran/mecca, et al).

Want the blade sharpened, and the dross to fall away? Start voting for pragmatic nationalists.
Want to get ahead in the world, son? Hey...

i30.photobucket.com
 
2012-11-05 03:20:48 AM

dofus: TuteTibiImperes: russkie247: TuteTibiImperes: Monongahela Misfit: wildcardjack:
Also, get rid of the H1B visa program. Require US companies to hire skilled workers from the pool of talent here.

As someone who can't find qualified workers for his group, partially because of this restriction on extremely talented, foreign engineers, you can go and eat a bowl of fiery dicks.

Can't find anyone in the US that can do the job, or can't find anyone in the US who will do the job for the same pay as a transplant from India or China? In the unlikely event that there is no available US citizens with the requisite skill set then why not hire someone with the closest related background and provide on the job training?

That's what I'm thinking. "Extremely talented, foreign engineers" probably means Mexicans at $15/hr


You know how I know you're full of it? Money's not an issue -- we'll pay whatever is needed. In my neck of the woods (the Bay Area) that's a lot of money, too. The issue is you're competing against many other companies for a very small talent pool.

At a certain point, even the money isn't an issue -- it's just lack of talented people there.

And believe me, training is provided. The stifling factor is some people don't want to learn or are utterly incapable of answering even the most basic questions at an interview.
 
2012-11-05 03:23:09 AM

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Gyrfalcon: russkie247: JesseL: It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.

It's arrogant to think we can just perpetually let the third world handle all the dirty work while we sit back and skim off the cream and expect the world to sit in awe of our imagined monopoly on handling all the less physical creative stuff.

Manufacturing in the US still exists, it's just increasingly automated. The only reason why any manufacturing is outsourced to Asia or other cheap areas is because of just that -- it's cheaper. The impending technological innovations in robotics and 3D printing are going to wreak absolute havoc on the economies of those countries which rely on outsourced labor from the developed countries.

Although we will see more manufacturing done within our own borders, don't expect there to be many humans involved in the process.

Oh, it's worse than that. As I've said before, and been roundly ignored before, we've lost way a lot more jobs than anyone cares to realize (on both sides of the aisle), variously in the name of efficiency, computerization, self-service and downsizing, even without offshore outsourcing and the shift to a service economy.

For instance: Big box stores kill jobs. Not because of any evil Walmartization, but simply because they need less people per square foot than the same number of stores would, if they were individual shops. A Target or Walmart needs fewer clerks to handle, say, their electronics section than a music store, electronics store, TV shop and video/DVD store would. Plus, each store would need it's own shipping and warehouse, delivery and so on. All those jobs are now gone. Or consider a bank. Used to be, 40 years ago, everyone sat down and paid their bills by check or money order. You wrote the checks, dropped them in envelopes, mailed them in (which had to be handled by mailmen), they got opened by s ...


DrPainMD: russkie247: JesseL: It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.

It's arrogant to think we can just perpetually let the third world handle all the dirty work while we sit back and skim off the cream and expect the world to sit in awe of our imagined monopoly on handling all the less physical creative stuff.

Manufacturing in the US still exists, it's just increasingly automated. The only reason why any manufacturing is outsourced to Asia or other cheap areas is because of just that -- it's cheaper. The impending technological innovations in robotics and 3D printing are going to wreak absolute havoc on the economies of those countries which rely on outsourced labor from the developed countries.

Although we will see more manufacturing done within our own borders, don't expect there to be many humans involved in the process.

The above comment brought to you by the same people who said that the printing press and the automated loom would destroy the economy.


It only wrecks the economy when your talent pool consists of provincial shiatbags with thumbs up their asses who think that they need to work in a factory, all the while the economy at large has moved on.

The lump labor theory is a load of crap, but the fact is that it's not the responsibility of businesses to provide jobs to people for the sake of providing jobs. They'll find their way, somehow.
 
2012-11-05 03:26:08 AM

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Betep: one of Ripley's Bad Guys: Lets talk frankly about internal cleanliness: I could have a Makerbot 2 in my house for less than most middle-class families spend on their washer and dryer... and it's basically that-- an appliance. Filament ("ink") is priced reasonably considering the tech is still in it's infancy (about $45/kilo).

Googled makerbot. holy cats, $2500... I make automotive stuff and that would be nice for prototyping.

Great for prototyping, not production.
When it comes time to knock out a few thousand...

Lots of fun. I played with one after an AutoCAD class last spring. I made a small widget with undercuts and voids.

So how does it compare to this (which is half the price)?


The unit I used was a bit more 'industrial' in nature.
There is a broad range of machines out there with more to come. I remember the laser-sintering of 20 years ago and the new materials are far cleaner to use with a better resolution.

Plenty of resources on-line to study. I'd hate to de-rail the office dwellers conversation here.
 
2012-11-05 03:26:12 AM

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: What's the solution?


To stop buying into the lump of labor fallacy. Economies are complex machines -- new careers will crop up to take the place of the old ones, provided those who are made obsolete are willing and able to learn something new. A good starting point would be to make community college free (but with entrance exams to weed out those who aren't very serious). This way, everyone has the opportunity to take their fate into their own hands. Or starve to death. Either way.
 
2012-11-05 03:32:28 AM
Huggermugger

Last December I took the Amtrak train from DC to NYC. It was sad seeing how poor everyone was along the route. Baltimore in particular was ghastly, and parts of that looked like slums on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria.

You think The Wire is fiction?

It's a documentary. Yes, Baltimore is THAT shiatty!
 
2012-11-05 03:40:30 AM

russkie247: You know how I know you're full of it? Money's not an issue -- we'll pay whatever is needed. In my neck of the woods (the Bay Area) that's a lot of money, too. The issue is you're competing against many other companies for a very small talent pool.


Ah ha. That explains it. I get calls about once a week to come work in the Bay Area at very impressive rates. I tell 'em thanks but no thanks. They seem upset somehow.

You know why the labor pool is so small? Because the Bay Area isn't fit to live in any more and money isn't everything. The last time I worked there, I was making something like $90/hr for 50-60 hr weeks. No doubt it's improved in the fifteen years since then.

Bay Area IT/software/engineering/etc managers are kinda like New Yorkers. "If it's not happening here, it's not happening anywhere." Or maybe "Our point of view is the only point of view." Whatever, it's annoying.
 
2012-11-05 03:47:57 AM

dofus: russkie247: You know how I know you're full of it? Money's not an issue -- we'll pay whatever is needed. In my neck of the woods (the Bay Area) that's a lot of money, too. The issue is you're competing against many other companies for a very small talent pool.

Ah ha. That explains it. I get calls about once a week to come work in the Bay Area at very impressive rates. I tell 'em thanks but no thanks. They seem upset somehow.

You know why the labor pool is so small? Because the Bay Area isn't fit to live in any more and money isn't everything. The last time I worked there, I was making something like $90/hr for 50-60 hr weeks. No doubt it's improved in the fifteen years since then.

Bay Area IT/software/engineering/etc managers are kinda like New Yorkers. "If it's not happening here, it's not happening anywhere." Or maybe "Our point of view is the only point of view." Whatever, it's annoying.


Better the Bay Area than some festering cesspool in the Midwest (where I grew up) or South. I've seen the alternative and I wouldn't trade it in for a lame-ass life in flyover country.
 
2012-11-05 04:04:20 AM

russkie247: dofus: russkie247: You know how I know you're full of it? Money's not an issue -- we'll pay whatever is needed. In my neck of the woods (the Bay Area) that's a lot of money, too. The issue is you're competing against many other companies for a very small talent pool.

Ah ha. That explains it. I get calls about once a week to come work in the Bay Area at very impressive rates. I tell 'em thanks but no thanks. They seem upset somehow.

You know why the labor pool is so small? Because the Bay Area isn't fit to live in any more and money isn't everything. The last time I worked there, I was making something like $90/hr for 50-60 hr weeks. No doubt it's improved in the fifteen years since then.

Bay Area IT/software/engineering/etc managers are kinda like New Yorkers. "If it's not happening here, it's not happening anywhere." Or maybe "Our point of view is the only point of view." Whatever, it's annoying.

Better the Bay Area than some festering cesspool in the Midwest (where I grew up) or South. I've seen the alternative and I wouldn't trade it in for a lame-ass life in flyover country.


Yes, everyone should flock to the coasts. Absolutely nobody should live between Sacramento and Philadelphia.
 
2012-11-05 04:47:52 AM

russkie247: dofus: russkie247: You know how I know you're full of it? Money's not an issue -- we'll pay whatever is needed. In my neck of the woods (the Bay Area) that's a lot of money, too. The issue is you're competing against many other companies for a very small talent pool.

Ah ha. That explains it. I get calls about once a week to come work in the Bay Area at very impressive rates. I tell 'em thanks but no thanks. They seem upset somehow.

You know why the labor pool is so small? Because the Bay Area isn't fit to live in any more and money isn't everything. The last time I worked there, I was making something like $90/hr for 50-60 hr weeks. No doubt it's improved in the fifteen years since then.

Bay Area IT/software/engineering/etc managers are kinda like New Yorkers. "If it's not happening here, it's not happening anywhere." Or maybe "Our point of view is the only point of view." Whatever, it's annoying.

Better the Bay Area than some festering cesspool in the Midwest (where I grew up) or South. I've seen the alternative and I wouldn't trade it in for a lame-ass life in flyover country.


Even as a native californian who agrees with you, there are a lot of nice little islands in fly over states where one could live quite nicely. Don't lump the whole flyover together, it gives the flyover dwellers ammunition as to why they believe our state is filled with ignorant elitist douches.

Chicago, Austin, Madison, Flagstaff, most of Colorado (just stay the f away from Colorado Springs...stepford wife xtian inferno), even Columbus OH... depending on what your interests are there are nice lives to be had in those states, and there are good jobs. Theyre not quite at the CA rates, sure, but your money goes so much further in the flyovers and you get so much more house for your money I would think you could live on 80k in the Midwest like you do on 140k in the Bay Area, and you don't have to deal with Oakland, the homeless of the Haight, the stench of the Mission...

The trick to the Midwest is to live in a university town. Then you know the values will be correctly centric if not left and not overly retardedly Red, there will be food diversity and independent book stores, and nice bars with microbrew on tap which are filled with easy Midwestern girls. And midwestern girls are easy.

The only thing that I really thought was "different" about the midwest, which admittedly is just my CSB/anecdotal experience: people get married, have kids, get divorced... all by 25. I picked up a hot 25year old at a bar in Dayton, she was getting divorced for the 2nd time and had kids by 2 different men already. That's something I didn't encounter in CA, people tend to marry / have kids later.
 
2012-11-05 04:56:06 AM
This may not be as much a reflection on the economy as it is a reflection on where people want to live. Every year there are many articles outlining the quality of life in some cities people don't really think about as a place to call home, some of them even ranking the cities and highlighting the best and worst ones in which to live.

Back when Philadelphia was considered the AIDS capital of the US, people may have opted to move somewhere they considered less blighted. The same probably goes for areas with too much organized crime or gang activity.

Then you also have to take into account the technological industrial advances made in recent decades. Typically, there's more money to be made in certain areas as discoveries are made, supply needs to increase with demand and there's going to be a time when other one industry is booming because most people want to make their mark and excel in something new and exciting, get in on the ground floor.

I'd like to think you could find a direct correlation with the decline of some of these areas as other up-and-coming ones seem to grow overnight, but that's not to say that the economy isn't in shambles. One could have looked at western ghost towns in the 1930's and made the argument that they are a direct reflection of the country's economy, but those were towns effected by something decades earlier. Many of the industries in these towns may not have dried up due to the economy or new advances in technology at all, or as a result of the declining morality of the area around them. The super-rich who are outsourcing jobs and pathologically hoarding money may shoulder just as much of the blame.

Personally, I don't care if they do increase taxes, I'd gladly pay more now if it meant getting the country back on track for the future. Good thing the affluent industry leaders are able to prevent tax increases on what is an abundance of their questionably "earned" holdings. Good thing that the people in this country are nowhere near as willing to band together as they were 230+ years ago during the revolution, because hey, my neighbor is a democrat, the other one is a republican and I identify myself more as an independent, so anything they want can't possibly be what I want, and besides all that we voted these people into power so when whatever this country seems to do doesn't work we can shift the blame onto someone else rather than be willing to accept it ourselves and have to get our hands dirty enough to dig our way out of it.

No matter what your stance or how you feel about the economy, it's clear that a political change as insignificant as the president isn't going to change nearly as much as you want it to. Start holding your other elected officials just as responsible for their shortcomings and elect those who are going to make a difference. Stop voting republican or democrat, find the outliers who are going to make a difference and hold the people in power accountable. Elect leaders who, in the past, have worked with those across party lines to find a solution that's best for all of us. Petition your congressmen and senators to end the lobbying plague on our country. You can't fix the economy when your elected officials are the ones keeping it in the toilet.
 
2012-11-05 05:26:19 AM

russkie247: TuteTibiImperes: Monongahela Misfit: wildcardjack:
Also, get rid of the H1B visa program. Require US companies to hire skilled workers from the pool of talent here.

As someone who can't find qualified workers for his group, partially because of this restriction on extremely talented, foreign engineers, you can go and eat a bowl of fiery dicks.


Would you tell us what your "group" does that's so difficult that you can't find a single qualified American citizen who can handle it?
 
2012-11-05 05:38:15 AM
So one cub blogger finally gets a payday that gets him off the Chinatown bus and now we're supposed to pretend he discovered something?
 
2012-11-05 05:40:27 AM

highwayrun: russkie247: TuteTibiImperes: Monongahela Misfit: wildcardjack:
Also, get rid of the H1B visa program. Require US companies to hire skilled workers from the pool of talent here.

As someone who can't find qualified workers for his group, partially because of this restriction on extremely talented, foreign engineers, you can go and eat a bowl of fiery dicks.

Would you tell us what your "group" does that's so difficult that you can't find a single qualified American citizen who can handle it?


Something which requires expertise in both hardware and software, as well as solid electronics or physics fundamentals. Short answer is next-gen human interface.

Point is, companies don't just look for any reason to replace an American citizen with a foreigner. shiatty hires have costs that go beyond wasted salary. If you're seeing yourself get passed over or outsourced for non-Americans, either you're in a terrible company or you just suck at your job
 
2012-11-05 05:50:26 AM
As I understand, the cocnclusion of that wad of weasel words is that we need to end all regulation of business and stop taxing job creators.
A unique and novel theory.
 
2012-11-05 06:02:30 AM

russkie247: Just Another OC Homeless Guy: What's the solution?

To stop buying into the lump of labor fallacy. Economies are complex machines -- new careers will crop up to take the place of the old ones, provided those who are made obsolete are willing and able to learn something new. A good starting point would be to make community college free (but with entrance exams to weed out those who aren't very serious). This way, everyone has the opportunity to take their fate into their own hands. Or starve to death. Either way.


We still need to spur growth in those new career fields and find ways to get the working class and middle class folks who lost jobs to outsourcing and/or automation into those new fields. It's all well and good to say those new jobs will eventually replace the old ones, but what do those people do in the interim? The free community college was a good example of something that would help.
 
2012-11-05 06:12:04 AM
I think the article was aimed at people who believe the country is made up of $750k homes and that middle class starts at $250k.
 
2012-11-05 06:49:14 AM
So it's not enough that there's fly-over country to ignore, now there's "track-over" country?

Damn NYC, maybe try driving a car to places once in a while.
 
2012-11-05 06:50:56 AM

Nudge: News Flash: It's like this near every train track. For some reason, land values around train tracks plummet...


Try looking up the area south of Santa Barbara called Carpinteria and north of Vandenburg Air Force base by the ocean on zillow and see how many multimillion dollar estates that Amtrak goes by. The east coast is just a giant shiat hole.
 
2012-11-05 07:16:23 AM

TuteTibiImperes: Monongahela Misfit: wildcardjack:

Back to topic, when we make it our business to support local business with laws that make it easier to stay here, then we will see growth. As long as our laws make it more difficult for local business's to compete in our home markets, and until we learn to compete globally for manufacturing jobs, They will continue to elude us.

It's a tough problem. The only way to 'compete' for manufacturing jobs with China is to cut wages and benefits to the point where you can no longer make a living doing it. Not only is the labor cheaper, but so are many of the raw materials, and there is less less environmental and safety regulation. We shouldn't move backwards in either of those areas.

My idea would be to tie corporate taxes to employment levels domestically and abroad. Corporations who employ more US workers would get tax breaks, those that outsource overseas would be levied with additional penalties. If the 'break even' point was moved through taxation such that it made more financial sense to keep the jobs here, more companies would do it. 

Also, get rid of the H1B visa program. Require US companies to hire skilled workers from the pool of talent here.


Except that you'd now have to prove that the two companies, one in the US and one in China, that are intertwined to the level that they only sell to each other, are one and the same. Lawsuits all over the place.
 
2012-11-05 07:23:56 AM
bindlestiff2600: a similar view is available on the commuter train tween waukegon and chigago

Coming around the Southern tip of Lake Erie is a hair raising experience also.
 
2012-11-05 07:28:57 AM

Dear Jerk: I think the article was aimed at people who believe the country is made up of $750k homes and that middle class starts at $250k.


Me?
-Mitt Romney
 
2012-11-05 07:31:17 AM

Arthur Jumbles: All manufacturing, even the stuff we outsourced, will be done by robots in a few years and small items will be printed at home using 3-D printers.


But who will assemble the tiny violins?
 
2012-11-05 07:38:49 AM
Don't worry, libs. On Wednesday you can start admitting the economy sucks, instead of twisting yourselves into ever-more pathetic pretzels trying to defend it.
 
2012-11-05 07:41:10 AM

TuteTibiImperes: Can't find anyone in the US that can do the job, or can't find anyone in the US who will do the job for the same pay as a transplant from India or China? In the unlikely event that there is no available US citizens with the requisite skill set then why not hire someone with the closest related background and provide on the job training?


A very big Fortune 500 company that I used to work for did just that decades ago. Now, labor is supplied by temp agencies and H1B foreigners...
 
2012-11-05 07:41:30 AM
More like "This is what happens when unions and welfare mix".

You want to see the economy? Visit Texas.
 
2012-11-05 07:42:16 AM
I am so glad Clinton did this to us. It was worth it with all the Chinese money he received, I hope. That and their Walmart stock options.
 
2012-11-05 07:46:37 AM

dstrick44: bindlestiff2600: a similar view is available on the commuter train tween waukegon and chigago

Coming around the Southern tip of Lake Erie is a hair raising experience also.


you mean the area around detroit up towards cleveland?

cmon im sure that a beacon of prosperity.
 
2012-11-05 07:48:13 AM

Dear Jerk: I think the article was aimed at people who believe the country is made up of $750k homes and that middle class starts at $250k.


So, Manhattanites?
 
2012-11-05 07:50:07 AM
PC LOAD LETTER I do, and often, and it's graffitti'd up and busted industrial crap, much of which is abandoned. Or you can see the lovely slums of NJ and Philly, none of which have changed since the 70's. If this shows me the state of the US economy, then we have been in a depression for my entire life.

If you're under 50 we have. We're approaching the fifth consecutive decade of stagnant wages, shrinking middle class and growing lower class and economic inequality.
 
2012-11-05 07:50:09 AM
Judging from the amount of graffiti on this route i'd say the future actually is along the railroad. Every square inch of surface that spray paint will stick to is covered in it. I'm surprised that the trees are somehow spared their spray paint makeover.

I do have to give props to the guy who did Chief Wiggam on the wall just south of Philadelphia... that was pretty good.
 
2012-11-05 07:50:46 AM

HotWingAgenda: Haliburton Cummings: and i don't know anyone who has a harbour in their back yard...

I know several people who have a harbor in their backyard, but nobody with a harbour.


I used to live across the street from a tugboat drydock.

/CSB
 
2012-11-05 07:53:14 AM
Ever notice that areas closest to rail lines are so decrepit? The closer it is to the tracks, the more ugly and run-down it is.

Is it possible that rails cause economic blight? Kind of ironic since railroads used to bring commerce to places across the country. Now it seems to have the opposite effect.
 
2012-11-05 07:53:48 AM
"Calling for a return to the days when everybody who was willing to put in a hard day's work could make a good living at the factory is a fantasy, maybe a lie and certainly an implicit acknowledgment that nobody has any idea what to do[...]"


The old industrial economy is never coming back. If you want to do a job that can be done just as easily as an uneducated factory worker in India or China, you should expect the same compensation.

People wax nostalgic over tales of 3 generations of a family all working in the same factory. If that is your aspiration you shouldn't be surprised when a foreign economy catches up to you and levels the playing field. We had a 100 year head start and generations of american citizens and politicians have willingly squandered in away.
 
2012-11-05 07:54:59 AM
The article makes some valid points, but there's still no reason we have to give up as much of our manufacturing base as we have.

American workers shouldn't have to compete with workers in countries that are not democracies, where labor unions are illegal, and which have safety and environmental standards that would be completely unacceptable in any country in which the economy exists to provide people what they need, rather than the other way around.
 
2012-11-05 08:14:35 AM
Not a fair article - most of those abandoned or dilapidated areas would have looked substantially the same 10, 20, even 30+ years ago.
 
2012-11-05 08:17:21 AM

Haliburton Cummings: AverageAmericanGuy: Monongahela Misfit: wildcardjack: moulderx1:

Global realities make it difficult for some manufacturing businesses to compete. You're not talking about lowering the bar for local companies but raising the bar for foreign companies.

the "free trade" racket makes it impossible for anyone to compete with slave labour.

there is no bar to raise or lower.


Actually, it turns out that slave labor isn't nearly as profitable as it sounds: even if you keep them in bare-minimum conditions, the overhead of overseeing the labor, preventing escapes, and putting down riots outweighs what you'd be paying them.

However, it does bring basic equations of value into play. Someone doesn't have to be more productive, if they're willing (or required) to take disproportionately less pay. Some say that the average outsourced worker is about one-fourth as productive as the average American worker, but if they're willing to take one tenth of the pay then you can hire eight, have as much productivity as two American workers, and still come out ahead.

It's a basic value equation, and in order to change it, you've got to change the numbers: lower foreign productivity, raise foreign costs, raise American productivity, or lower American costs. The productivity-based approaches are impractical -nothing short of war will lower foreign productivity, and that's clearly unacceptable, while raising American productivity will take a generation and we don't have that long- so that leaves the cost-based approaches. Raising foreign costs is problematic when the governments of those countries (who know full well that they're undercutting American labor) refuse to cooperate. What does that leave?
 
2012-11-05 08:19:09 AM

russkie247: TuteTibiImperes: Monongahela Misfit: wildcardjack:
Also, get rid of the H1B visa program. Require US companies to hire skilled workers from the pool of talent here.

As someone who can't find qualified workers for his group, partially because of this restriction on extremely talented, foreign engineers, you can go and eat a bowl of fiery dicks.


Yeah. "Let's put up barriers to keep the best and brightest people out of our country". Smart.

Don't understand TFA - based on *my* experience on the Appalachian trail, the entire US is covered in trees and deer shiat.
 
2012-11-05 08:40:24 AM
So....does nobody at the NY Times visit the south? Our manufacturing (especially car manufacturing) is booming down here. People are flooding into Texas and other states in the south because the economy in this part of the country (relative to the rest of the nation) is booming.

A big reason is because these states has made it easier for businesses to set up shop here, either local or industrial or whatever. Another issue is that the cost-of-living down here relative to the rest of the nation is also much lower, so even if workers at say, a car factory, are making less than what people would be making up in a northern car factory, the low cost of living means that they still have more money to spend.

The big issue is that we are living in the the tail end of the Industrial Age, and what we are witnessing is the steep decline while also witnessing the rise of whatever this new Age will be called (perhaps the Computer or Internet Age?). Back when the Industrial Age began we saw the old Agrarian Age decline while the Industrial Age rise. What did the Agrarian Age revolve around then? Slavery. The Industrial Age eliminated the need for that, and since this was all happening up North you wound up with the New vs. Old conflict, witch culminated with the Civil War and the destruction of the Agrarian Age that didn't completely end until after WW2 when the South was finally able to catch up to the rest of the country economically.

Ironically it literally has become "The South will rise again." but only because they have put themselves into a prime position to ride out this new wave of growth while the old Industrial Era power centers decline (which Detroit and New York inhabit). To the NY Times I'm sure it looks like the sky is falling, but down here in the South, depending on where you go, things aren't as bad or don't seem so bad at all. That's not to say they don't suck, but from where we are sitting, politicians are trying to prop up a termite-infested house (the Industrial Era) when they need to be building a new one entirely. Pay attention to where people are moving to. A lot of people are coming to the South to flee the collapse of the old Industrial Age states. I just had someone from New York move next door last year. A lot of retirees come to live where I live in TN because the cost of living lets them get more out of their money. The people who are able and/or willing are fleeing to where the work and economic growth is.

And today that would be the South.
 
2012-11-05 08:41:54 AM
How is taking a train from one godforsaken shiat-hole to another godforsaken shiat-hole, a "true picture of the United States economy"?
 
2012-11-05 08:52:53 AM
Wrong side of the tracks.
 
2012-11-05 09:03:49 AM

UncleFriendly: bhcompy: I did that riding on the Greyhound... man, New Jersey is ugly as shiat.

I've been living in NJ for three years, now. Most of it is lovely. Small towns with actual mom and pop shops, real community Americana feel. There are parts described in the article that are depressed, ex-manufacturing areas. They're horrendously ugly. But that's actually a pretty small portion of the state. You rode through on a bus. I'm guessing you saw the Turnpike, which is all trees for most of the trip, and then the industrial wasteland above exit 14 or so.


Whatever it is, it's awful. It is a literal industrial wasteland. They need to put up some soundwalls or something, because it makes me never want to visit the state
 
2012-11-05 09:18:18 AM

bhcompy: UncleFriendly: bhcompy: I did that riding on the Greyhound... man, New Jersey is ugly as shiat.

I've been living in NJ for three years, now. Most of it is lovely. Small towns with actual mom and pop shops, real community Americana feel. There are parts described in the article that are depressed, ex-manufacturing areas. They're horrendously ugly. But that's actually a pretty small portion of the state. You rode through on a bus. I'm guessing you saw the Turnpike, which is all trees for most of the trip, and then the industrial wasteland above exit 14 or so.

Whatever it is, it's awful. It is a literal industrial wasteland. They need to put up some soundwalls or something, because it makes me never want to visit the state


Newark is a toilet. Northern Jersey which used to be clusters of stand alone towns which have now become bedroom communitities for manhattan (like where the sopranos took place) are equally as bad. Same as the parts over the river from Philly.

the rest of the state is rather nice actually. surprisingly so.
 
2012-11-05 09:23:56 AM

Dialectic: Huggermugger

Last December I took the Amtrak train from DC to NYC. It was sad seeing how poor everyone was along the route. Baltimore in particular was ghastly, and parts of that looked like slums on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria.

You think The Wire is fiction?

It's a documentary. Yes, Baltimore is THAT shiatty!


The Wire looked much better than what I saw from the train. And I've lived in the DC Metro area for 40 years, and visited BMore a lot in the 1970s and 1980s, before the urban renewal, so it's not like I haven't seen some really decomposed neighborhoods. But nothing like the homes near the trains, which looked almost like Dresden after a WWII bombing run.
 
2012-11-05 09:34:22 AM

BobBoxBody: So....does nobody at the NY Times visit the south?


Not when they're doing an article on North East manufacturing between NY and DC.
 
2012-11-05 09:39:49 AM

russkie247: JesseL: It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.

It's arrogant to think we can just perpetually let the third world handle all the dirty work while we sit back and skim off the cream and expect the world to sit in awe of our imagined monopoly on handling all the less physical creative stuff.

Manufacturing in the US still exists, it's just increasingly automated. The only reason why any manufacturing is outsourced to Asia or other cheap areas is because of just that -- it's cheaper. The impending technological innovations in robotics and 3D printing are going to wreak absolute havoc on the economies of those countries which rely on outsourced labor from the developed countries.

Although we will see more manufacturing done within our own borders, don't expect there to be many humans involved in the process.


Yep, here's a nice example of Western manufacturing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCrm8WbJKqg
(the show works almost exclusively in US, Canada and UK factories). Notice that in the manufacturing process 5 people touch components and two of them only load rod into machines (the CAM does all the skilled work).  There are still a bunch of luxury goods made using more labor intensive methods, but the jobs at that factory are mostly just to keep the machines running, and there are probably some design, marketing, and accounting jobs in the firm. That's why charts like this look the way they do:
anticap.files.wordpress.com 
That trend will likely follow the same trends that happened in farming a century ago. Unfortunately, unlike farming to factory labor, we're finding it to be difficult to find places where people who's aptitude was enough to run a sythe or belt sander and convert them into productive designers or accountants.
 
2012-11-05 09:40:07 AM

bhcompy: I did that riding on the Greyhound... man, New Jersey is ugly as shiat.


you are such a cliche of ignorance, my limousine riding friend. first your type ignore that The Garden State is one of the original 13. that skilled immigrant labor worked the shops and factories and mills that helped build the rest of America. and that industry comes at a high price while the nature suffers.

focus on the worst neighborhoods of Newark, Paterson or Camden and the heavy industry lining the NJ Turnpike - that's what your type does while ignoring what else the tiny but mighty state of NJ has to offer.

if you weren't such a miserable sack you could take the time to visit my area of NJ. there are farms, horse breeders, lovely rural back roads, nice places where folks go skiing or enjoy a water recreation park in summer. there is vineyards, a winery and a organic produce grower too.

you could visit Ringwood Manor in Ringwood, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful places on the East Coast. matter of fact there is a huge amount of well preserved treasures of all sorts throughout NJ you probably missed from your 1st class ticket on the bus. on the bus.

if you've ever watched a few movies you're probably aware of how incredibly wonderful The Jersey Shore Area is, and how it has created magical memories of a lifetime for millions of people. oh? what's that? you didn't go visit the Boardwalk from the Greyhound? go figure!

you my friend, and all those like you, are ignorant fools that others laugh at. stay stupid, my friend. it suits you. moran.
 
2012-11-05 09:48:26 AM

Forbidden Doughnut: TuteTibiImperes: Can't find anyone in the US that can do the job, or can't find anyone in the US who will do the job for the same pay as a transplant from India or China? In the unlikely event that there is no available US citizens with the requisite skill set then why not hire someone with the closest related background and provide on the job training?

A very big Fortune 500 company that I used to work for did just that decades ago. Now, labor is supplied by temp agencies and H1B foreigners...


And the earnings / growth have proven it's a successful model. Behold the future of work in the U.S.
 
2012-11-05 09:49:55 AM
Elitist NY Times columnist travels on amtrak back and forth between NY and DC. doesn't have an idea for their next column. looks out the window.
 
2012-11-05 10:17:12 AM

KrispyKritter: bhcompy: I did that riding on the Greyhound... man, New Jersey is ugly as shiat.

you are such a cliche of ignorance, my limousine riding friend. first your type ignore that The Garden State is one of the original 13. that skilled immigrant labor worked the shops and factories and mills that helped build the rest of America. and that industry comes at a high price while the nature suffers.

focus on the worst neighborhoods of Newark, Paterson or Camden and the heavy industry lining the NJ Turnpike - that's what your type does while ignoring what else the tiny but mighty state of NJ has to offer.

if you weren't such a miserable sack you could take the time to visit my area of NJ. there are farms, horse breeders, lovely rural back roads, nice places where folks go skiing or enjoy a water recreation park in summer. there is vineyards, a winery and a organic produce grower too.

you could visit Ringwood Manor in Ringwood, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful places on the East Coast. matter of fact there is a huge amount of well preserved treasures of all sorts throughout NJ you probably missed from your 1st class ticket on the bus. on the bus.

if you've ever watched a few movies you're probably aware of how incredibly wonderful The Jersey Shore Area is, and how it has created magical memories of a lifetime for millions of people. oh? what's that? you didn't go visit the Boardwalk from the Greyhound? go figure!

you my friend, and all those like you, are ignorant fools that others laugh at. stay stupid, my friend. it suits you. moran.


You know, plants get harshed by your negative waves, Mr. Garden State. :P
 
2012-11-05 10:50:43 AM
Did Boston to Chicago. As soon as we hit flyover country, the landscape changed to unending Kennyville.

The Toledo AmTrak station looked like Dresden after the bombing.

Views along the Great Lakes were pretty, except when there was a mostly-defunct factory in the way.
 
2012-11-05 10:58:58 AM

Blowmonkey: My prepackaged outrage is late on arrival.


Mine arrived with water damage and reeked of the acrimony of partisan politics and intolerant beliefs; it was just what the country had ordered.
 
2012-11-05 11:01:59 AM

russkie247: A good starting point would be to make community college free


zOMG SOOOOOOOOOCIALISM!
 
2012-11-05 11:28:07 AM

de_Selby: Zombie DJ: karl2025: Nudge: News Flash: It's like this near every train track. For some reason, land values around train tracks plummet...

They also don't build train tracks in areas with high land values for since it'd annoy rich people and it'd cost a lot to buy the land for said railroad both in pocket money and opportunity costs.

So much this!

Ever heard of the Main Line? Perhaps you'd like to rethink.


You won't see the Main Line on an Amtrak route between NYC and DC, though. It's on the Pennsylvania Keystone route. It's also not a freight line.

(SEPTA's Media-Elwyn used to be, and very occasionally still is. You can see some old sidings that still exist, but are unused.)
 
2012-11-05 11:48:58 AM
Good morning America how are ya? I say don't you know me, i'm your native son.....
 
2012-11-05 11:56:44 AM

Arthur Jumbles: All manufacturing, even the stuff we outsourced, will be done by robots in a few years and small items will be printed at home using 3-D printers.


Something like that. If the right wing wins this election, what will they do with us?
 
2012-11-05 12:02:35 PM
Last May I took a 5200 mile road trip on my motorcycle through 13 States.

It was quite an educational experience, small towns everywhere are dying out.
 
2012-11-05 12:08:20 PM

Zombie DJ: karl2025: Nudge: News Flash: It's like this near every train track. For some reason, land values around train tracks plummet...

They also don't build train tracks in areas with high land values for since it'd annoy rich people and it'd cost a lot to buy the land for said railroad both in pocket money and opportunity costs.

So much this!


They do in Dallas.
 
2012-11-05 12:12:46 PM

Gyrfalcon: russkie247: JesseL: It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.

It's arrogant to think we can just perpetually let the third world handle all the dirty work while we sit back and skim off the cream and expect the world to sit in awe of our imagined monopoly on handling all the less physical creative stuff.

Manufacturing in the US still exists, it's just increasingly automated. The only reason why any manufacturing is outsourced to Asia or other cheap areas is because of just that -- it's cheaper. The impending technological innovations in robotics and 3D printing are going to wreak absolute havoc on the economies of those countries which rely on outsourced labor from the developed countries.

Although we will see more manufacturing done within our own borders, don't expect there to be many humans involved in the process.

Oh, it's worse than that. As I've said before, and been roundly ignored before, we've lost way a lot more jobs than anyone cares to realize (on both sides of the aisle), variously in the name of efficiency, computerization, self-service and downsizing, even without offshore outsourcing and the shift to a service economy.

For instance: Big box stores kill jobs. Not because of any evil Walmartization, but simply because they need less people per square foot than the same number of stores would, if they were individual shops. A Target or Walmart needs fewer clerks to handle, say, their electronics section than a music store, electronics store, TV shop and video/DVD store would. Plus, each store would need it's own shipping and warehouse, delivery and so on. All those jobs are now gone. Or consider a bank. Used to be, 40 years ago, everyone sat down and paid their bills by check or money order. You wrote the checks, dropped them in envelopes, mailed them in (which had to be handled by mailmen), they got opened by someone at the credit card company or utility company, processed, sent to the bank, processed THERE, and mailed back to you. Now its all done online by one or two people. All those jobs are gone.

Gas stations used to all be full service, which meant three or four guys hanging around the gas station to fill your tank, check your oil, take the money or your credit card slip (see paying bills above) and give you change and directions. Not only are those jobs gone, they were valuable entry-level positions for high-school kids. Now: Gone. Accounting used to be a couple of floors of people sitting at desks with adding machines; now it's two or three people with computers and Excel spreadsheets. Everyone else is unemployed. Online ordering killed a lot of jobs, since you don't need brick&mortar stores anymore--you order something from a warehouse centrally located and it gets shipped to you via FedEx or UPS. Why have a store anymore, or people in that store?

The jobs are gone. They aren't coming back, barring a massive switch away from efficiency and centralization. Even if outsourcing was stopped, that doesn't mean jobs would come back to America, except low-paying manufacturing--and the only reason those are done overseas is because they're cheaper AND easier to do manually than to do mechanically. If they had to be done here, they'd be automated at a slightly higher cost within ten years. The jobs that are missing are not jobs that have been outsourced, they're jobs that got computerized or centralized, and they just can't be regained. Sorry, folks. Those outsourced jobs are not jobs you want to do. That's why they got outsourced. And the other lost jobs aren't jobs we can get back.


It's against the law to pump your own gas in New Jersey.
 
2012-11-05 12:24:03 PM

0Icky0: Take the train between Hong Kong and Canton, China to see the opposite.
(But also not very pretty in places)


At least they have one. Same goes for DC.

Way too many highways and not enough passenger rail here IMNSHO.
 
2012-11-05 12:38:15 PM

mcreadyblue: It's against the law to pump your own gas in New Jersey..


This threw me for a major loop the first time I went there, same with Oregon. It was really... awkward
 
2012-11-05 12:54:05 PM

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Betep: one of Ripley's Bad Guys: Lets talk frankly about internal cleanliness: I could have a Makerbot 2 in my house for less than most middle-class families spend on their washer and dryer... and it's basically that-- an appliance. Filament ("ink") is priced reasonably considering the tech is still in it's infancy (about $45/kilo).

Googled makerbot. holy cats, $2500... I make automotive stuff and that would be nice for prototyping.

Great for prototyping, not production.
When it comes time to knock out a few thousand...

Lots of fun. I played with one after an AutoCAD class last spring. I made a small widget with undercuts and voids.

So how does it compare to this (which is half the price)?


Let's get something straight: unless you step up to a "pro" model, 3D printing is still less than straightforward, and more than a bit limited. Pro being defined as costing several thousand dollars, using proprietary (and expensive) consumables, and paying for an annual service contract.

Consumer/hobbyist type printing is still in the stage where it's a marvel that the dog can sing, but it's a dog singing off-key. You can get terrific prints, but you're going to have to futz and tweak and adjust. Quality is going to vary depending upon the temperature in the room, the relative humidity, or even just between reels of filament (even from the same supplier).

The new Makerbot printer is supposed to be more kwik 'n' easy, but it I can say from experience that there are things that it just can't handle that other, cheaper printers can. It also cannot handle ABS, which means that you're stuck with using somewhat fragile PLA plastic. But what it can do, it can do more easily than other printers - at least in relative sense.

The Cubify does do ABS, but it has a small build envelope, and the filament is proprietary and substantially more expensive than more open printers. The Cubify folks do have a great $50 app for modeling, which is a somewhat cut-down version of Alibre. Best thing I've seen in the consumer space.

I use a Makergear Mosaic M2, which is a great printer. But only if you've already owned a 3D printer of some kind. It can produce great output, but between horrendously poor documentation and a steep learning curve, many newb owners will never see it.

Oh, and the last point? It'll take you, say, 2-3 hours to print something of any size and/or quality. At least. It's not uncommon for a print to run all night.

This is all a temporary state of affairs. I expect that things will get more plug 'n' play over the next 12-18 months. Patents are expiring, and 3D printers will be going to light/laser based units that solidify liquid epoxy. It'll be faster, much more accurate, and just all around better.
 
2012-11-05 01:06:15 PM

Betep: one of Ripley's Bad Guys: Lets talk frankly about internal cleanliness: I could have a Makerbot 2 in my house for less than most middle-class families spend on their washer and dryer... and it's basically that-- an appliance. Filament ("ink") is priced reasonably considering the tech is still in it's infancy (about $45/kilo).

Googled makerbot. holy cats, $2500... I make automotive stuff and that would be nice for prototyping.

Great for prototyping, not production.
When it comes time to knock out a few thousand...

Lots of fun. I played with one after an AutoCAD class last spring. I made a small widget with undercuts and voids.


Very good for prototyping and not much else, unless you want to hand finish the items. Even with the best print materials the items dont come out smooth, they tend to have a finish much like sandpaper, the grain depends on the print material used, as well as the quality of the printer. If the printed item required a smooth, or even a super smooth finish (like a bearing race for example) it would require final smoothing by hand.

3D printing is very popular in the tabletop gaming & modeling industry for prototyping. They CAD design the model or pieces of models, hand finish the printed parts, then use them to make molds for resin or metal casting.

If anyone wants to see some of the cool stuff that can be made go visit Shapeways.com
 
2012-11-05 01:08:41 PM

bindlestiff2600: a similar view is available on the commuter train tween waukegon and chigago


Never heard of those places.

/Chicago, Waukegan
//Waukegan, North Chicago, and Zion all look pretty bombed out in spots
///but OK in other spots
////not to mention everything on the rail line south of North Chicago (Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Deerfield, Highland Park, Glencoe, Winnetka, Skokie, Wilmette, Evanston) comprises one of the wealthiest stretches of settlement in the nation
 
2012-11-05 01:14:40 PM
Wouldn't it be easier to use Google Maps than ride Amtrak?
 
2012-11-05 01:59:56 PM

Sultan Of Herf: Betep: one of Ripley's Bad Guys: Lets talk frankly about internal cleanliness: I could have a Makerbot 2 in my house for less than most middle-class families spend on their washer and dryer... and it's basically that-- an appliance. Filament ("ink") is priced reasonably considering the tech is still in it's infancy (about $45/kilo).

Googled makerbot. holy cats, $2500... I make automotive stuff and that would be nice for prototyping.

Great for prototyping, not production.
When it comes time to knock out a few thousand...

Lots of fun. I played with one after an AutoCAD class last spring. I made a small widget with undercuts and voids.

Very good for prototyping and not much else, unless you want to hand finish the items. Even with the best print materials the items dont come out smooth, they tend to have a finish much like sandpaper, the grain depends on the print material used, as well as the quality of the printer. If the printed item required a smooth, or even a super smooth finish (like a bearing race for example) it would require final smoothing by hand.

3D printing is very popular in the tabletop gaming & modeling industry for prototyping. They CAD design the model or pieces of models, hand finish the printed parts, then use them to make molds for resin or metal casting.

If anyone wants to see some of the cool stuff that can be made go visit Shapeways.com


dilbert.com
 
2012-11-05 02:00:42 PM

PC LOAD LETTER: I do, and often, and it's graffitti'd up and busted industrial crap, much of which is abandoned. Or you can see the lovely slums of NJ and Philly, none of which have changed since the 70's.

If this shows me the state of the US economy, then we have been in a depression for my entire life.


That is when middle class wages began to stagnate.
 
2012-11-05 02:09:32 PM
Arlo or Willie?

All along the southbound odyssey
The train pulls out at Kankakee
Rolls along past houses, farms and fields.
...

And all the towns and people seem
To fade into a bad dream
And the steel rails still ain't heard the news.


I get the feeling that's what this song has been predicting.
 
2012-11-05 02:18:02 PM
Hey for you guys who know 3d printing. Are they any really strong materials? I want to make rifle cartrdiges with them. Just a few at a time for weird calibres. Is that possible?
 
2012-11-05 02:43:35 PM

freewill: Er, I've lived in the northeast for about seven years now, and with a few exceptions, it looks like that everywhere east of Chicago until you hit New York. They call it the Rust Belt for a reason. It's certainly not a microcosm of America, though.


Um, everything between Chicago and NYC is a huge chunk of the country. It's not a microcosm of America, it IS America.

I do the NE Corridor train from DC to NYC every six weeks. The ride is depressing, that's for sure.
 
2012-11-05 02:46:52 PM

KarmaSpork: It isn't just the trains. As a driver I've seen every state in the lower 48 in the last 3 years. It has a reek of desperation about it. Farms and manufacturing plants are falling into a dilapidated state. The yards of the occupied houses I pass by don't seem as well-kept. There are a ton of abandoned properties in every state. In all seriousness, the entire country has the smell of desperation to it.

I don't think this is about the last 4 years; the giant "recession". There was the transition to two parent working families, shifting technology, outsourcing labor to other countries, expensive changes in EPA regulations for dirty industry, the conquering of big box retail, rampant unqualified lending, and much more.

It seems like some folks and businesses have just given up. Very sad.


This is probably the most intelligent post I have ever read on Fark.
 
2012-11-05 03:04:48 PM

Haliburton Cummings: Lligeret: As it turns out people don't like trains in their back yard so that area deteriorates. Same thing goes with interstates/highways, power lines, airports, harbors/seaports (actual harbors), power plants, mines, etc...It is called NIMBY

are you a moron?

the economic production sector in the US has been slowly dismantled for three reasons and the dismantling of the railway system was in furtherance of that..not because of that.

1- take economic power away from the people so they are dependent and disenfranchised. offer them credit.
2- cripple the greedy mafia infested unions. (replace one form of organized crime with another..BIG BUSINESS)
3- avoid taxes by manufacturing overseas with slave labour.

if NIMBY was an issue at all, you wouldn't have a four lane highway anywhere in America...and you would be sitting in the dark banging this idiocy out on a stone tablet..

and i don't know anyone who has a harbour in their back yard...

you post is idiotic...




Wow reading comprehension fail much. Think before you type. I mean shiat you even support what I said with the harbor in the back yard comment.


Areas surrounding infrastructure deteriorate. Period. It is that simple no one WANTS to live next to train tracks, no one WANTS to live next to the interstate, no one WANTS to live next to an airport. No one WANTS their businesses right next to train tracks (near a station sure along the line nope).

The area deteriorate because no one WANTS to be there, and the people that are there lack the resources to do much about the deterioration. That is a plain and simple fact.



NIMBY works the exact same way. Only it occurs before the infrastructure is put in place. You do not see people saying "YES RUN THESE HIGH VOLTAGE POWER LINES THROUGH MY NEIGHBORHOOD." The fact is those high voltage powerlines will be run through someones back yard. Just because people do not want them there does not mean that that will stop anything. The reality is as a result infrastructure such as high voltage power lines end up running through less affluent neighborhoods. Once again a fact. New infrastructure is more likely to be built in low income areas compared to high income areas. The same thing goes with heavy industry.

As far as harbors go. A lot of people live in close proximity to harbors. Is it technically right in someones backyard? No, is it within a block or two? Yes.

So until you actually learn how to comprehend what you read you should probably just shut up or maybe you should look at the world around you.



The point you were trying to bring up, is that we lost our economic power in large part because we let our infrastructure deteriorate for a wide variety of reasons, is accurate. However is an unrelated topic. The point I was bring was if you take a very small portion of the country and try to use it to quantify the rest of the country it will be extremely inaccurate.
 
2012-11-05 03:11:41 PM
I took Amtrak from Modesto to Bakersfield one time. It was like visualizing Jeff Foxworthy jokes for 3 hours. Unless you are going through the Rockies or some other wilderness area, all you are going to see is the backwater areas of the country.
 
2012-11-05 03:13:39 PM

TuteTibiImperes: russkie247: TuteTibiImperes: Monongahela Misfit: wildcardjack:
Also, get rid of the H1B visa program. Require US companies to hire skilled workers from the pool of talent here.

As someone who can't find qualified workers for his group, partially because of this restriction on extremely talented, foreign engineers, you can go and eat a bowl of fiery dicks.

Can't find anyone in the US that can do the job, or can't find anyone in the US who will do the job for the same pay as a transplant from India or China? In the unlikely event that there is no available US citizens with the requisite skill set then why not hire someone with the closest related background and provide on the job training?


Team up with the local colleges/universities to design training for this growing jorb category.
 
2012-11-05 03:20:01 PM

FizixJunkee: JesseL: It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.


Switzerland might like to have a word with you.


Switzerland is small and neutral. We're more like Germany: ambitious and misunderstood.
 
2012-11-05 03:52:25 PM

olddinosaur: It was quite an educational experience, small towns everywhere are dying out.


A lot of those towns only had a handful of major employers. When they disappeared nothing came to take it's place. Now the only decent paying jobs are government jobs, causes a lot of resentment.
 
2012-11-05 03:58:01 PM

ski9600: TuteTibiImperes: russkie247: TuteTibiImperes: Monongahela Misfit: wildcardjack:
Also, get rid of the H1B visa program. Require US companies to hire skilled workers from the pool of talent here.

As someone who can't find qualified workers for his group, partially because of this restriction on extremely talented, foreign engineers, you can go and eat a bowl of fiery dicks.

Can't find anyone in the US that can do the job, or can't find anyone in the US who will do the job for the same pay as a transplant from India or China? In the unlikely event that there is no available US citizens with the requisite skill set then why not hire someone with the closest related background and provide on the job training?

Team up with the local colleges/universities to design training for this growing jorb category.


Way ahead of ya. Turns out lots of STEM majors are foreigners. Who knew?
 
2012-11-05 04:05:24 PM
If you want to know the state of our economy look at the prices of some of these train tickets compared to flying. That would be your problem right there
 
2012-11-05 04:14:42 PM

Monongahela Misfit: Sorry, try again. No Tracks go near Dist centers for Walmart, Sam's, Target, Macy's etc. This Nation rides on Trucks. Most Trains haul Raw Materials. Drivers like me do the rest.


I don't want to scare you, but one day very soon a Saudi official is going to step up to a microphone and say these mortal words: "We cannot increase production."

When that happens, your beloved trucking system will grind to a halt and America will go into a panic to re-invigorate its woefully pathetic rail system. Global economy be damned. When oil hits $1000/bbl (and it will, very quickly), it won't matter how cheap Chinese labor is. We will have to go back to manufacturing our own stuff, polluting our own air and transporting freight on rail. Who knows? Camden may become a hotspot of employment, production and a vigorous tax base.
 
2012-11-05 04:50:37 PM

mrlewish: If you want to know the state of our economy look at the prices of some of these train tickets compared to flying. That would be your problem right there


That's true almost anywhere -- Europe, Japan, etc. Since it takes more time to take a train, the tickets cost more. Nothing surprising there.
 
2012-11-05 04:56:07 PM

CitizenTed: Monongahela Misfit: Sorry, try again. No Tracks go near Dist centers for Walmart, Sam's, Target, Macy's etc. This Nation rides on Trucks. Most Trains haul Raw Materials. Drivers like me do the rest.

I don't want to scare you, but one day very soon a Saudi official is going to step up to a microphone and say these mortal words: "We cannot increase production."

When that happens, your beloved trucking system will grind to a halt and America will go into a panic to re-invigorate its woefully pathetic rail system. Global economy be damned. When oil hits $1000/bbl (and it will, very quickly), it won't matter how cheap Chinese labor is. We will have to go back to manufacturing our own stuff, polluting our own air and transporting freight on rail. Who knows? Camden may become a hotspot of employment, production and a vigorous tax base.


Ted, please do some reading on the industry. Trains *are* coming back - for non-timely freight only. Monongahela is right, we take finished goods to market. Even with trains to take the goods across the country, there isn't a single store I know that has a rail yard out back. Trucks are, and will continue to be the number one way for hauling consumer goods in this country. Take a good look around your house; everything came by truck, from the materials to build your house to the clothes on your back to the food in your fridge and the chair that you sit on.

Is diesel an issue? Sure. Which is why we are switching to natural gas. Freightliner and International, two of the largest manufacturers in the American market are working with Cummings to change the fuels we use. New natural gas pumps are going up at a truck stop near you. They are already all over the south east.  Oh, and btw, they burn completely clean.

Currently our fuel mileage is being crippled by the EPA. PDF in browser This results in unreliable truck performance and fuel mileage resulting from the moronic DEF fluid and DPF filter systems required in current class 8 and class 9 heavy trucks.

In short, there are many people who make a living in logistics, and I guarantee we've thought about these things years ago. This is how we put food on the table.  Without a combination of logistics solutions, the American economy will crumble. Trucking companies - including mine- aren't about to let that happen.
 
rka
2012-11-05 05:47:08 PM

CitizenTed: its woefully pathetic rail system.


Woefully pathetic in terms of passenger rail sure...but in what way is the US rail system woefully pathetic for freight, which is what I think you're implying would crash when trucking/oil becomes too expensive.
 
2012-11-05 06:00:32 PM

olddinosaur: Last May I took a 5200 mile road trip on my motorcycle through 13 States.

It was quite an educational experience, small towns everywhere are dying out.


Now THAT is a story I'd be interested in reading.
 
rka
2012-11-05 06:11:51 PM

NewportBarGuy: olddinosaur: Last May I took a 5200 mile road trip on my motorcycle through 13 States.

It was quite an educational experience, small towns everywhere are dying out.

Now THAT is a story I'd be interested in reading.


Here's how it's happening where I grew up in rural North Dakota.

Farms consolidating. Less people needed to farm *and* a general trend of less kids per family. Small towns lose school enrollment. School closes. Remaining kids bus to larger towns.

Without a need to go to the small town for the kids' school, farm families simply drive to larger town for shopping, entertainment. As a result, small town loses business on top of losing school.

No school, no business, no one new moves into town. Only thing left is post office and old people. Post office closes....old people die.

Town dead.
 
2012-11-05 07:01:20 PM
good lord, if this were any dumber, I'd swear Thomas Friedman was taking some sort of idiot steroids.
 
2012-11-05 08:10:26 PM

KarmaSpork: Currently our fuel mileage is being crippled by the EPA. PDF in browser This results in unreliable truck performance and fuel mileage resulting from the moronic DEF fluid and DPF filter systems required in current class 8 and class 9 heavy trucks.


What's moronic about those systems? Sure there's a cost (up-front and in fuel efficiency), but I happen to like breathing transparent air that doesn't give me cancer.
 
2012-11-05 08:40:05 PM
When the bootleggers and baptists get married, usually bad things happen (see Blue laws).
 
2012-11-05 08:53:36 PM

KarmaSpork:

Ted, please do some reading on the industry. Trains *are* coming back - for non-timely freight only. Monongahela is right, we take finished goods to market. Even with trains to take the goods across the country, there isn't a single store I know that has a rail yard out back. Trucks are, and will continue to be the number one way for hauling consumer goods in this country. Take a good look around your house; everything came by truck, from the materials to build your house to the clothes on your back to the food in your fridge and the chair that you sit on.


Not quite - UPS, Schneider Trucking and J.B. Hunt are three of BNSF's biggest customers, for just one example. That's not exactly "non-timely freight."

The Intermodal Revolution has been very friendly to the railroads. 

It isn't untrue, however, that railroads tend to be better suited to less-time-sensitive, bulk-freight commodities, but that's the way it's been for decades. The shift to more time-sensitive intermodal traffic is something that only really started to get going in the early 90s. FWIW, North America's rail system is generally regarded as #1 in the world when it comes to freight-hauling capability.
 
2012-11-05 08:57:51 PM
the author cites a rail line as being a correct view of the destabilation of the country. what a load! have you ever driven the highways across the country to get from place to place? do they ever enter a metroppolitan area in the nicer parts of the town? wonder why. of course,you cany discount geographical features as dictating factors on where rail lines and roadways will be built,but the economies of aquiring these propertys surely come into play as well. and another factor is that people who once lived near where these rights of way were determined eventually gained the wherewithall to move away from the raol lines and highways and folks who didnt have the same resources moved to these areas,not being able to keep them up in the same manor as those who lived there in the past. theres a lot of areas in st louis that were once really nice that declined as the old money moved away and less moneyed people aquired these propertys. a drive into st louis on 44 will illustrate this. big, once beautiful brick homes decaying along the interstate,simply because living along the highway wasnt too attractive to those who once lived there.
 
2012-11-05 10:22:55 PM
I think the author would have walked away with a different opinion if he had just switched trains. Instead of the NYC to Philly (and beyond to DC) train, go to the NYC to Bay Head, NJ train. Once you get below Newark, things start looking up and below Red Bank, most things are just peachy (by comparison). Although it's been a couple decades since I did this run, I can't imagine that it's turned into the third world hell-hole that TFA is talking about.

TL;DR some areas go to shiat while others do not. YMMV
 
2012-11-05 10:27:27 PM

KarmaSpork: CitizenTed: Monongahela Misfit: Sorry, try again. No Tracks go near Dist centers for Walmart, Sam's, Target, Macy's etc. This Nation rides on Trucks. Most Trains haul Raw Materials. Drivers like me do the rest.

I don't want to scare you, but one day very soon a Saudi official is going to step up to a microphone and say these mortal words: "We cannot increase production."

When that happens, your beloved trucking system will grind to a halt and America will go into a panic to re-invigorate its woefully pathetic rail system. Global economy be damned. When oil hits $1000/bbl (and it will, very quickly), it won't matter how cheap Chinese labor is. We will have to go back to manufacturing our own stuff, polluting our own air and transporting freight on rail. Who knows? Camden may become a hotspot of employment, production and a vigorous tax base.

Ted, please do some reading on the industry. Trains *are* coming back - for non-timely freight only. Monongahela is right, we take finished goods to market. Even with trains to take the goods across the country, there isn't a single store I know that has a rail yard out back. Trucks are, and will continue to be the number one way for hauling consumer goods in this country. Take a good look around your house; everything came by truck, from the materials to build your house to the clothes on your back to the food in your fridge and the chair that you sit on.

Is diesel an issue? Sure. Which is why we are switching to natural gas. Freightliner and International, two of the largest manufacturers in the American market are working with Cummings to change the fuels we use. New natural gas pumps are going up at a truck stop near you. They are already all over the south east.  Oh, and btw, they burn completely clean.

Currently our fuel mileage is being crippled by the EPA. PDF in browser This results in unreliable truck performance and fuel mileage resulting from the moronic DEF fluid and DPF filter systems required in current class ...


Not sure if it's different for heavy trucks, but the switchover to DEF systems over pure DPF with burn off cycles has done a lot to improve fuel economy for diesel light trucks.

Sure, DEF is an added expense, but in most cases it ends up saving money because the truck doesn't have to go into the regen cycle nearly as often, and you save a ton on fuel.

This is just based on my experience with Ford's new diesel that uses DEF vs the older one that didn't, so I suppose it could be different for big rigs, but I'd think the same principles would apply.
 
2012-11-05 11:14:12 PM

Ivo Shandor: KarmaSpork: Currently our fuel mileage is being crippled by the EPA. PDF in browser This results in unreliable truck performance and fuel mileage resulting from the moronic DEF fluid and DPF filter systems required in current class 8 and class 9 heavy trucks.

What's moronic about those systems? Sure there's a cost (up-front and in fuel efficiency), but I happen to like breathing transparent air that doesn't give me cancer.


They are killing the breatheability of the engine, with the sensors that are in place, it frequently de-rates the engine causing the fuel mileage to drop below 4.5 mpg on standard freight (let alone heavy haul). They should have waited for natural gas engines (LNG) which are in testing now, and scheduled for retail sale in the beginning of FY 2013.

We all like clean air, and for exhaust nothing beats LNG.
 
2012-11-05 11:17:48 PM

Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goon: KarmaSpork:

Ted, please do some reading on the industry. Trains *are* coming back - for non-timely freight only. Monongahela is right, we take finished goods to market. Even with trains to take the goods across the country, there isn't a single store I know that has a rail yard out back. Trucks are, and will continue to be the number one way for hauling consumer goods in this country. Take a good look around your house; everything came by truck, from the materials to build your house to the clothes on your back to the food in your fridge and the chair that you sit on.

Not quite - UPS, Schneider Trucking and J.B. Hunt are three of BNSF's biggest customers, for just one example. That's not exactly "non-timely freight."

The Intermodal Revolution has been very friendly to the railroads. 

It isn't untrue, however, that railroads tend to be better suited to less-time-sensitive, bulk-freight commodities, but that's the way it's been for decades. The shift to more time-sensitive intermodal traffic is something that only really started to get going in the early 90s. FWIW, North America's rail system is generally regarded as #1 in the world when it comes to freight-hauling capability.


It can take 2 weeks or more for a product to get hauled from a cargo ship, brought by truck to the rail yard, get loaded, go through 10+ stops across the country, then on to the final destination. For things like coal, timber, steel, etc (and other heavy non-time sensitive commodities) rail is *the* way to go.

Yes, those companies partner with BNSF and other rail systems, especially now that the JIT systems and software can account for large time lags needed to use multi-node intermodal transport.
 
2012-11-05 11:32:58 PM

TuteTibiImperes: KarmaSpork: CitizenTed: Monongahela Misfit: Sorry, try again. No Tracks go near Dist centers for Walmart, Sam's, Target, Macy's etc. This Nation rides on Trucks. Most Trains haul Raw Materials. Drivers like me do the rest.

I don't want to scare you, but one day very soon a Saudi official is going to step up to a microphone and say these mortal words: "We cannot increase production."

When that happens, your beloved trucking system will grind to a halt and America will go into a panic to re-invigorate its woefully pathetic rail system. Global economy be damned. When oil hits $1000/bbl (and it will, very quickly), it won't matter how cheap Chinese labor is. We will have to go back to manufacturing our own stuff, polluting our own air and transporting freight on rail. Who knows? Camden may become a hotspot of employment, production and a vigorous tax base.

Ted, please do some reading on the industry. Trains *are* coming back - for non-timely freight only. Monongahela is right, we take finished goods to market. Even with trains to take the goods across the country, there isn't a single store I know that has a rail yard out back. Trucks are, and will continue to be the number one way for hauling consumer goods in this country. Take a good look around your house; everything came by truck, from the materials to build your house to the clothes on your back to the food in your fridge and the chair that you sit on.

Is diesel an issue? Sure. Which is why we are switching to natural gas. Freightliner and International, two of the largest manufacturers in the American market are working with Cummings to change the fuels we use. New natural gas pumps are going up at a truck stop near you. They are already all over the south east.  Oh, and btw, they burn completely clean.

Currently our fuel mileage is being crippled by the EPA. PDF in browser This results in unreliable truck performance and fuel mileage resulting from the moronic DEF fluid and DPF filter systems required in cu ...


I run DEF in my Kenworth. Have been for two years and 500k miles. DEF is better than a DPF alone, and the cost can be absorbed by my bottom line, but the entire recirculated exhaust gas system is bad for the engine. Big intakes and pipes on larger diesels enable the engine to breathe better, meaning fuller burn of the fuel, and therefore better fuel mileage in a comparable engine without EGR. The light truck engines don't de-rate if there is a problem, you just get a little light on the dash as a friendly reminder to go see your dealer. In a big truck derating the engine can halve the fuel mileage. When you run 6,000 miles a week at 8.5 mpg hauling freight, like I do, that's too big of a hit to absorb easily. At 4 - 4.5 MPG I'm almost paying my customers to haul the freight.

My father has a Ford pickup with the DPF system in it, and he has had no where near the troubles my trucks or any of the fellow truckers I know have had. I hope it continues to be that way.

And while you didn't say it, it seems to be implied by most people that truckers don't care about the environment. (If you aren't one of them, beg pardon) We absolutely do. Fuller burn of fuel is not only less out of our pocket, but also easier on the environment. Seems like a win all around to us. If the EPA would have waited one more year, we had a prototype LNG engine with *zero* emissions. While the trucking industry told them it was coming, they put this EGR regulation into effect. Net gain? All the manufacturers that were tooling up to make LNG engines, had to retool to make a less reliable, hellishly expensive truck to maintain and run. IMHO it was an epic government facepalm that set the industry back years from zero emissions. And unlike consumer vehicles, you can bet LNG engines will be mandated for heavy trucks, and we'll all be proud to be zero emissions and still get the job done.
 
Ehh
2012-11-06 12:08:48 AM
Live across from a train yard, getting a kick...
 
2012-11-06 01:21:09 AM

russkie247: TuteTibiImperes: Monongahela Misfit: wildcardjack:
Also, get rid of the H1B visa program. Require US companies to hire skilled workers from the pool of talent here.

As someone who can't find qualified workers for his group, partially because of this restriction on extremely talented, foreign engineers, you can go and eat a bowl of fiery dicks.


Over 300 million people, with 44,287,087 of them in California, Oregon, and Nevada combined, and the job you "can't find qualified workers for" is SOOOO SPECIAL and difficult that even "with training" you feel the need to look on the other side of the planet for "qualified people" who don't even speak english well enough to pass your "difficult" interview?

Just like other employers (if the place you're working is actually hiring), this is just another bullsh*t excuse in a long line of bullsh*tting bullsh*ttery that cheapassed bullsh*tters use when they would rather pay third world rates for the people they hire, along with the control over those employees they wield (you don't work 12 hours I send you back to Delhi!).

With all the people out of work, California's unemployment rate still at 10.2% officially (obviously higher in the real world), and loads of college educated and intelligent people pounding the virtual pavement looking for work, there is no farking way that you can tell anyone with two brain cells to rub together such a bald faced load of bullsh*ttery and expect them to believe it.

There's only three reasons you "can't" find anyone - either 1) the job doesn't pay enough relative to the cost of living in the area, 2) the hours are such that the employee might as well move a sofabed into their cubicle and save on rent, or 3) you (or whomever is doing the interviews) is asking such farked up nonsensical questions that no one other than a mental patient has any chance in hell of answering them satisfactorily enough to pass.

In other words, bullsh*t. No job is that special.
 
2012-11-06 01:56:27 AM

russkie247: You know how I know you're full of it? Money's not an issue -- we'll pay whatever is needed. In my neck of the woods (the Bay Area) that's a lot of money, too. The issue is you're competing against many other companies for a very small talent pool.

At a certain point, even the money isn't an issue -- it's just lack of talented people there.


As someone who's also trying to hire people (software devs, in my case) in the Bay Area, I will back up what russkie247 is saying. There is simply a huge lack of talent looking for work. Not a lack of people--a lack of talent. Everyone good is already working for a few top companies.

True, the Bay Area does not pay as much as other places, relative to the cost of living, but on the other hand, you have little risk of unemployment. Just walk across the street and find another employer begging for talent. Where I used to work in flyover land, the cost of living was very low, but the only other employer in town was a paper mill or something.
 
2012-11-06 03:15:00 PM
This just in: people don't build mansions near the railroad tracks.
 
2012-11-07 10:41:33 PM

JesseL: It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.

It's arrogant to think we can just perpetually let the third world handle all the dirty work while we sit back and skim off the cream and expect the world to sit in awe of our imagined monopoly on handling all the less physical creative stuff.


Did you read the article at all? It said that the US produces more manufactured goods than it has ever done. According to the article, its 1.9 trillion dollars worth, or about the same as China. The issue brought up is that due to automation, we only need a fraction of the workers to produce that amount as we did in the past. Instead of trying to compete with the third world for low skill, low wage manufacturing jobs, we should be trying to educate and adapt our workforce to the 21st century. There is plenty of value to be created (the basis of creating wealth) that does not require sewing tennis shoes or making cars.
 
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