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China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/15/2008 6:29 PM

You hear alot of negative press these days about the transitioning that has taken place from an isolationist society to global production. I myself would have to agee..there have certainly been reductions in the availability of jobs in the plastics industry.

Yet I still support the move..why? Because what we are experience is merely backlash..the transition has left a void that is merely closing back in upon itself..the same as if you took a portion of sand from the center of a sandbox. I feel that this move has the capability of making the country stronger as a whole..

I still feel strongly that in the end, this move will be a positive move towards the success of our country...but there is one important point to make...

When the move was made, the common sense behind it was that the production facilities we lost would be replaced with higher technical positions. For these types of positions to be created, people would need to have the knowledge and skillsets needed to fulfill the duties of the positions.Higher positions does equal higher wages.. but this requires education... and I've seen no real education reform as was a lobbying point when Clinton was pushing NAFTA. Don't get me wrong...I am not slamming democrats. I am making a point that government has failed to provide us with the tools we need to deal with these changes, and the opportunities that were promised.

So many of us left standing..hands in pockets...

..as a primal scream flows from our chest, saying,

"WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE!"

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#1

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/15/2008 7:24 PM

There are a couple of points that I see as pertinent.

There probably will never be as many high-tech jobs as there were low-tech ones. Consider agriculture as an example.

Nobody really knows what high-tech jobs will be available or exactly what education is required. The preparation that is needed is in "learning how to continually learn". A few universities do this. Grade and high schools are pretty hopeless; in part due to "no child left behind", they're all learning how to take tests.

No grade school, high school (OK, I'll cut Bronx Science a break), and few colleges teach any applied technology.

Our social system is geared toward workers finding an employer who provides health insurance and a pension, and then staying there forever. This is not the way high-tech jobs work. If we're gonna compete, we've got to get over this "socialist medicine" phobia and move to portable, universal health care and pensions.

Our financial systems are stuck in a three month earnings cycle which hampers long-term investment and planning. We need to put some real brakes on Wall Street.

Our infrastructure sucks. Quick, raise your hands if you have fiber-optic cable to your house (Stay outta this, West Virginia!). How about mass transit within a ten minute walk? How about zoning laws that permit you to work from your home without having to kiss the mayor's behind under the town hall clock at high noon?

Our arrogance is killing us. We're still pretty hot stuff, but so are the Chinese, Indians, Germans, French, Brazilians, etc, etc. The third world is no longer a third world - it's not even a second world. It's a real wake-up to ask an American student how much homework he does each night and then ask a Korean student the same thing.

In short, I think the old world is gone with the wind, swept away by rising demand for a place at the table from the rest of the world. The only question is whether we are willing to transform ourselves into a hard-working, well-educated, semi-socialist pardner to the rest of the world.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/15/2008 10:29 PM

Several of the points you've made lie within the context of what I'm trying to get across..We're definitely on the same page.

-We have failed to instill major change into the education system..especially at lower levels that prep for college. Instead we as a society have begun to allow ourselves way too much slack time...and are far lacking in the motivations required to take "the step up" we implied when we began to put the globallization of ecomomy into place. Funny how somewhere along the line, society has begun to wait for it to be handed to us. Generations before us created the "industrial revolution through hard work and determination..do we have it in is to repeat history?

-People have preached the "one job per life" sermon to me my whole life...but happy to say I never fell into that mold. Life is about quality, not conformity... I was never one to accept the premise,"ok...you make enough now,so be happy"..when it became an issue, I moved on. If not for these changes, I would likely have been left at half of my current income...and funny to say..the company I am using in comparison closed its doors last year. Loyalty is honorable...humility is shameful.

Back to arrogance...you hit the nail on the head here. Perhaps humility will get us to step up and meet the challenges before us. Only time will tell...

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/16/2008 4:11 PM

Meaning no disrespect, but individuals go to school for training, not governments. There are plenty of classes and schools available where I live. They are certainly not being filled by adults trying to stay up on their skills.

We can Blame the govt, Democrats, or the free traders, but in the end, each of us has to look at what we did with the time we were given, and if it involved watching sports on television instead of learning accounts payable, or metallurgy or plc logic, well, , it isn't really the govts arrogance that was responsible for that decision.

Personally I'd like to blame the unions for creating disincentives to improve ones skills, but that would be declasse...

milo

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/16/2008 10:42 PM

Agreed. We have met the enemy and he is us. --Pogo

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/16/2008 8:20 AM

The error the western countries did is to consider that intelligence is "west". In fact every body sees to day that "intelligence" is every where only knowledge is not every where available and when knowledge is gained results are as good as in our countries after a time needed to get a special way of thinking (quality orientation, aso).

What was said is correct less arrogance and more humility will be good and bring success.

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#14
In reply to #1

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/18/2008 8:11 AM

My daughter gets by on 6 hours of sleep each nught due to excessive homework assignments. Her backpack weighs around 80 lbs each day when she brings it in with the books etc. One thing we do not need is more self styled "experts" telling us that more homework is the answer. What is the answer? Hell, if I knew that I would be president.

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/18/2008 9:11 AM

Your daughter is lucky if she attends a school where that much homework is required. That, however, is not the norm.

http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2001/0826education_loveless.aspx?rssid=lovelesst

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#6

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/17/2008 1:54 AM

Are we winning? One of the manufacturers near my home town will be moving a large part of its assembly work to Mexico, and the same company outsources bracket and mounting hardware design work to China. I think this covers both areas of the education spectrum being discussed. It does however keep their stateside engineers up to date and puts them through Grad school when needed.

But this is one of few companies that offers this from what I have heard.

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#18
In reply to #6

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/19/2008 7:11 PM

I am a process and robotics engineer.. and I can honestly say that the japanese have paid for several of the classes I needed.. to go from being an ordinary joe with minimal experience to someone who teaches plastic injection and robotics to the technical support people around me.

I can also say that in respect to on-the job training...Many of the techniques I use are Japanese-borne with a touch of American ingenuity. But not all...decoupled molding was an American brainstorm that literally changed plastic injection from an "artform" to the science it is today.

I read an article last night that touched on the fact that China owns a good portion of our national debt (which the article pointed out that they like to "remind us" from time to time).

Of course, I can only speak for the plastics industry... but much of my income over the last 8 years was paid to me by a foreign entity....not American. There was a time when the Japanese were ridiculed for their poor quality...their product literally sucked. Now their quality and techniques are some of the best in the world. And trust me...I'm making that call from experience. I've been in automotive production for nearly 20 years now...I've worked both sides of the coin. Do I think that they are better at engineering than we are? No, not in the least... I just think they are currently more committed to methodology (scientific molding, Kaizen, 5s, etc.) than we've been.

The big 3 (automotive) just approached the federal government asking for a bail out..all 3 are suffering because of huge losses in production volumes. Remember the old slogan, "Buy American"? Are they suffering because we allowed foreign import of automobiles? I'm sure that there are many who would use this as a bargaining chip. Or with union demands, and constant annoyance of recalls...were foreign investors able to produce a better product at lower cost? I guess my biggest point here is WHY companies are choosing to move to China and Mexico... quite specifically..to reduce production costs and remain globally competitive. Unfortunately, I think that quality levels have stayed the same..not because we don't particularly care, but because we forgot what we stood for...continuous improvement.

We have to take a brutally honest look in the mirror and ask the question..are they increasing their marketshare based on quality and output? Or is there just a global hatred for Americans so much that in a global economy they'd buy an inferior product? One..the other..maybe both. I only know that our nation needs to adapt and excel...or be prepared to be surpassed.

...but before all the naysayers jump up, and start throwing stones, rocks and tomatoes while screaming the lyrics to "America the Beautiful"...I'm not here to degrade our way of life as we had known it. It has brought us alot of success for many years. I'm just a realist...who knows that we are paddling against a tide in danger of drowning.. as our boat sinks from wear and overuse. A boat that always made us feel comfortable..but now is the biggest reason we are threatened. Either we get a bigger and better boat, or we "swim with the fishies". Our methods worked for over a generation... but we cannot compete globally using the same old protocols. We need to stand up...brush off the dust.. and react with the force of will.. the same determination we have had in the past whenever we were confronted with a challenge. It is time for us to climb outside of the box again...so we can think fresh and new.

I still say we aren't down and out...we've proven we have the determination and skillsets to outperform the competition. We are survivalists. I'm not lobbying for..or against..a global market. I only know that if we expect to keep ourselves from seeing a shift in economic power...we'd better roll up our sleeves and get crackin'. Times are a'changing, and we'd better keep up...

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/19/2008 7:44 PM

Another well reasoned answer.

"I guess my biggest point here is WHY companies are choosing to move to China and Mexico... quite specifically..to reduce production costs and remain globally competitive. "

And also to be where the growth in market is / will be.

milo

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#7

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/17/2008 8:11 AM

Who is winning? I'll tell you who is winning in one word GREED. I could go in with a lot of reasons why but I'll let the readers decide.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/17/2008 11:52 AM

For another look at GREED, consider Walter Williams, George Mason professor of economics.

Quote:

What about complaints about CEOs earning so much more than the average worker? Before looking at CEOs, let's look at another area of huge pay differences. According to Forbes' Celebrity 100 list, Oprah Winfrey earned $260 million. Even if her makeup person or cameraman earned $100,000, she earns thousands of times what they earn.

Among the celebrities earning hundreds or thousands of times more than the people who work with them are: Steven Spielberg ($110 million), Tiger Woods ($100 million), Jay Leno ($32 million) and Dr. Phil ($30 million). According to Forbes, the top 10 celebrities and athletes earned an average of $116 million in 2004 compared to an average of $59 million earned by the top 10 corporate CEOs.

Something to consider.

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/17/2008 1:54 PM

"Oprah Winfrey earned $260 million. Even if her makeup person or cameraman earned $100,000, she earns thousands of times what they earn."

If they are getting $100,000, then they are likely making considerably more then a peer not working for Oprah.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/17/2008 2:10 PM

You're right. And I'll bet Oprah pays competitive market salaries for services. And why not? Rich people don't stay rich if they're foolish with their money.

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#11
In reply to #7

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/17/2008 2:42 PM

In response to GREED... here is what I consider interesting revelations to that aspect: do a keyword search for Bildeburg Group, Big Tom Tucker or Alex Jones talk show host... pretty unnerving stuff!

Great responses on this topic... :

http://www.4plastics411.com

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/17/2008 3:25 PM

Read the Wikipedia entry first before delving into the shadowy world of conspiracy theories.

IMHO, if they televised the proceedings of this Bildeburg group on C-Span, probably no one would watch it because they would be asleep.

Something about secrecy/exclusivity that makes people uber-paranoid. The world is more "Get Smart" than it is "Bourne Identity".

Did anyone think that these folks might like to get together to talk without having obnoxious media types in their faces like so many paparazzi?

Not to say that heavy things don't happen, it's just some folks get all spun up if they don't have a seat at the table and wonder what the adults are saying about them in the other room.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/18/2008 7:42 AM

quote: some folks get all spun up if they don't have a seat at the table

I think you you hit the nail on the head. Too many people are worried about what others are doing rather than taking care of their own business, and making a success out of what they have.

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#23
In reply to #12

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

01/03/2009 12:03 PM

I like the "kiddie table" analogy...very well put...

4plastics411com

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#15

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/18/2008 9:01 AM

The title is a very short view field, narrow sight.

Why say who win? My answer is all win.

do you know On Game? the best strategy is all win.

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

11/18/2008 9:27 AM

"Why say who win?"

...because the majority (IMO) of the US has an obsession over being #1 and many are worried they are losing thier place on the top of the heap.

The US has no hope of winning a race with China. China has far too many resources and likely owns too much of the US debt. The country is in trouble economicaly and it isn't just going to go away with some economic bailouts and happy propoganda telling the world thier economy is ok. They can not continue to spend billions spreading thier military reach, securing thier oil supplies and "pursuing terrorism" when thier own house falls aorund thier ears. Well they can... but what happens when thier taxpayers lose houses and jobs; where will they get thier billions for the war machine then?

IMO they need to let these companies that got themselves into trouble, get themselves out of trouble or fold. Bailing them out will not help the average Joe much as the majority of the economic assistance will be gobbled up by corporate executives and shareholders. The average Joe will see very little or no benefit IMO.

China has been sitting quietly at the back of the bus for many years and I think they have finally had enough and are moving up. Move over US the sleeping dragon is on the rise.

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#24
In reply to #17

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

01/03/2009 12:27 PM

I think a valid point to make here is the size of China's population. Everyone gets all google-eyed over the current state of the economy...but what they fail to realize is the market potential of China, once "the sleeping dragon" wakes...

I personally don't care whether we are #1 or not... what I care about is whether at the end of the day, my wage is better or worse. We've developed a trade relationship with China, and that is where it stands...

GM was one of the largest financial entities in the world... is financing them in a crisis going to pull them back from the brink? I think not...we pulled Chrysler back, and they recovered...under the new management of Lee Iacocca... when Iacocca left...boom, right back to failure. When a management team fails... you can't throw them money...bc they've already proven there ability to fail...and they will fail again.

Perfect example... all the lottery ticket winners that end up broke again, and in bankruptcy...why? Because they are not taught how to use the money and to keep it working for them.

GM's status changed when their quality standards slipped, and foreign entities such as Honda and Toyota began producing a better product. If we ever hope to gain our standing and financial status back...then we need to rethink our quality systems and develop methods of producing better product at lower cost. You can't tell me it can't be done... because the Japanese have already done this.

Regardless of what position any one of us hold here on this topic...greed, #1 obsession, arrogance, the wealthy get wealthier, whatever... we are all on the same side of the coin. Our economy is suffering, and we need to develop new approaches to our production methods. You are not going to change the fact that our products are being produced in China or Mexico... we are already vested in these practices and there is no out. The only thing that any of us can change is how we utilize these markets and leverage them. Somehow, we have to step "outside the box", and develop solid approaches to our product design and production methods...

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#20

it is the wealthy who are winning

11/25/2008 10:43 AM

hello 4plastics411com

here is the view from the political far left.

1. clinton pushed NAFTA to steal the GOP position points.

2. that globalization was intended to increase the wealth redistribution from the middle towards the top. it has succeeded. you can either check the numbers, or ask your friends. either way, the answer is the same.

3. that globalization has been an utter disaster for the united states and third world agriculture.

4. that deregulation, ie. Reagonomics has been an utter disaster. why, because it has destroyed more business and put more people out of work than even globalization.

5. that moving manufacturing off shore has been a disaster. how can your laid off employees afford to buy anything. i have seen reports of "one company" towns, where the company moved off shore. up to 1,000 people just dumped. nothing to replace it. could any town in america survive if it's primary job source left town and the country, just because it could increase profits?

now, you may think this is GOP bashing, it isn't. the far left sees no difference between the Democratic Party and the GOP party. they are both only interested in filling their own pockets and the pockets of the companies who are donating money to their re-election campaigns.

the only party"s that the far left has any respect for are the marginalized parties. green, independent, etc. the far left feels that both the Dem and GOP are worse than nothing.

now, the GOP has proven itself greedier, more pro business, anti people. after all, people are just consumers.

the Dems at least have a tradition of being pro people party. well, they need to step up to the plate and prove it. more of the same, is not going to prevent our slide into a 3rd world, marginalized country.

so, go ahead and start your rants. my purpose here, was and is to present the feelings of a portion of the us population that does not agree with the majority.

so, my answer and the answer of the far left is that none of the countries mentioned are winning. only the entrenched wealthiest people in the world are winning. everyone else is sucking hind tit. it is all about power, control and wealth. just follow the money. then you will see who is winning. greed is winning.

joe

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#21

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

01/03/2009 11:56 AM

Companies that are seeking to reap the benefits of establishing a production facility in Mexico, while retaining 100% control of their core competencies are invited to visit The Offshore Group's website:

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#22

Re: China, Mexico or the U.S? Who's winning?

01/03/2009 11:59 AM

www.offshoregroup.com

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