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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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35652 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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2012-11-05 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"?
 
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