Technology or Trade

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by ronv, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. ronv

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 12, 2008
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    People in the lower portion of the wage scale have not seen an increase in real wages for a long time even though unemployment is fairly low now. You hear a lot about bad trade deals, yet corporate profits keep going up along with the stock market. So what causes this?
     
  2. BR-549

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    Sep 22, 2013
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    Only the unemployment number has went down. This is because of the definition.

    This country is really hurting for working Americans. The real unemployment rate is the highest in history.

    Do you know what grubering is?
     
  3. ronv

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    No, but I looked it up. :D Good word, I'll try to remember it.
    I think I understand why you feel that way. Is it because many people are under employed or dropped out of the work force? I ask because I think the measurement is the same as it's always been.
    But my question is still valid. Why? Do you think it is just a hangover from the big recession? I ask because I think it's been flat for a long time.
    Edit:
    You mean this chart?
    upload_2016-6-29_20-19-50.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  4. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    The products we buy have a cost component that represents the labor to manufacture it. Corporations have tried to minimize that cost, along with the other costs as well. We enjoy cheaper products and by and large we vote with our dollars. A few will pay a premium for Made in America and buy on value, but most buy on cost. Corporations supply what we demand.

    But chasing the lowest labor cost and buying the cheapest goods is not necessarily optimal for us in the long run. It's nice in the short run but eventually our manufacturing cities crumble and our kids can't find jobs.

    Is protectionism the answer? It's usually a bad thing and plenty of experts agree on that. When you look at the long view, though, say over 2 generations or more, I'm less sure. Yes, as a consumer I can have a better lifestyle from cheaper goods. But then I have to pay more taxes to provide a generous safety net for all those people whose labor isn't needed anymore. I suspect there is room for a more strategic approach.

    That all aside, a rising tide floats all boats. We wouldn't be moaning about losing manufacturing jobs and considering protectionism if our economy was booming and people were back working again. Our labor force participation is stunningly low.
     
  5. shteii01

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    France, South Korea, Japan?, probably some other places practice protectionism...
     
  6. ronv

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    Right you are. I found the chart above and added it. Then I found this one:
    [​IMG]
    What happened? 12% more output with 30% fewer employees???
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  7. ronv

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    Yes! Funny you bring that up.
    Years ago I worked for a Japanese company on an optical disk drive. The optics and mechanics were made in Japan and we did most of the electronics.
    Several times they had a spec problem - pushing to hard - with the small part of electronics they did. We would suggest a better plug replaceable part and they would decline because it wasn't made in Japan.
    Drove me nuts.
     
  8. Papabravo

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    Feb 24, 2006
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    Automation and productivity. Next question is how will society deal with the situation where only 10% of the population actually needs to work? What will we do with all that leisure time? My actual wages as a graduate engineer were flat to down from 1970 through 2014. Saving and investment is the only reason that I was able to retire. It will likely be much worse for current graduates especially with any debt load. It may take them a lifetime to pay back their student loans.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
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  9. ronv

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    Yes, I think your right. I was just looking at what we import from China.
    Toys, Cell phones, home appliances, furniture, shoes, car parts, telecommunications, textiles, computer accessories, and computers were the biggest.
    So most of it is low skill jobs, which I think makes it worse.
    Not that I want to put the teachers out of work, but it seems like on-line college might be a winner. You could hire the absolute best and save all the facilities costs. We need something new and big.
    Edit: added textiles to list
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
  10. JoeJester

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    How many people disrespected Phoenix University when it first went online? I've seen discussions where people thought it wasn't a "real" college education.

    I know when a community college in Michigan started their online courses, the student workload was about four times the classroom student workload. I don't know if it was because of the delivery method or what. I've talked to another student this past month and she said about the same thing ... excessive workload for the online class compared to the classroom class. I certainly hope it's not the teachers trying to maintain their jobs.

    It would be an interesting startup business.
     
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  11. ronv

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    Thinking of jobs that have gone away. When I was a kid I worked at a filling station after school. I allowed the owner to start drinking earlier than he otherwise could have. :rolleyes:Pumped gas, checked tires, fan belts,battery and cleaned windshields. He did most of the stuff like oil changes, but he had a young mechanic come in for bigger stuff. Good job for a kid. Another was in a TV repair shop. I would do the shop so the owner could do house calls. Remember those?:D
     
  12. ronv

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    On trade again.
    Are we better off buying Chinese shoes for $35 or American at $350 or whatever?
     
  13. JoeJester

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    Open your wallet right now and count the Jackson's and Benjamin's. That's your discretionary income at the moment, unless of course you prefer cards.
     
  14. ronv

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    I did that, but it didn't help. :D I do like the cards, but pay them off each month and use the cash back. I guess that makes me prefer the cheap shoes??
    I only own 5 pairs of shoes - black, brown, tennis, golf and slippers. But my wife on the other hand.........
    Yep, better stick with my cheap ones.:rolleyes:
     
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  15. JoeJester

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    @ronv

    I understand that completely. I pay the cards off monthly and use the rewards for Christmas time or amazon. Why would you spend the price of 10 pairs for one pair? It definitely depends on your income bracket and personal taste. When I see "high" prices on items that I know can be had lower, I just remind myself that the vendor is mighty proud of his products.
     
  16. Papabravo

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    Feb 24, 2006
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    @ronv and @JoeJester , At the credit card companies we all are known as deadbeats because they don't make a nickel on interest and fees from us. It is all the other poor (stupid) slobs who run up big bills and pay 18% for 30 years that support us. Raising my glass to all the people who don't pay off the card every month; you're the reason I can afford to retire -- suckers!
     
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  17. shteii01

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    I am proud to be credit card deadbeat.
     
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  18. ronv

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    We may be the only ones.
    upload_2016-6-30_15-32-10.png
     
  19. shortbus

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    Only one card and do the same.
     
  20. killivolt

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    Jan 10, 2010
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    Working for a University here in Utah, online is not the way to go. Word from big business is coming back saying "Tech" or Electrical Engineering they want Real college or University Degrees, they think online doesn't work well because the kids can avoid people and have zero social skills. Working for a large company means group projects and they will add what other experience or additional Certifications specifically pertaining to their products.

    kv
     
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