Had Enough ?

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    Exclamation Had Enough ?

    We're making the news now. Wait till next week.
    If you care about the sad state of manufacturing in this country and live within reasonable driving distance of central Connecticut, take a few hours off next Friday
    morning (Aug 1) get your a$$ over to Central Conn. State University for a chance to be seen and heard. This is a serious, organized effort to pressure political leaders into action. This is NOT a one time show of support. Plan to be in this for the long haul and keep making extremely annoying waves untill something gets done.
    Our shop alone is filling 2 busses. And I'll be on one of them.
    I know there is at least a couple CT people here. You Mass. and New Yorkers are not too far away either.
    Show up and help to make a difference.

    "If you are not part of the solution...You are part of the problem"

    **********************
    Below is an article from Tuesdays Hartford Courant by Dan Harr

    **********************

    Manufacturers Fighting A Tidal Wave
    Alliance Members Rallying To Stem Job Losses
    (by Dan Haar)

    July 22, 2003

    <startquote>

    It's laudable that Connecticut's manufacturers will band together in
    an effort to change the world, literally, and make America once again
    safe for factory jobs.

    Like angry union workers, the state's spring-makers, stampers,
    platers, molders, precision machine shops, eyelet people and many
    assorted other firms are rising up against the tide of work rushing
    out of this country.

    They cannot stop the flood that has swept 2.6 million manufacturing
    jobs - 32,000 in Connecticut - into oblivion since the middle of 2000.
    They may be unable to slow it down one whit. But they won't watch the
    downfall of the once-mighty sector of small and midsize factories, the
    real and mythical backbone of American commerce, without a fight.

    In a break with their conservative, tradition-bound culture, the
    state's manufacturers are suddenly deploying noisy tactics. They're
    upset about what they say is unfair competition from China, and
    official U.S. appeasement. They're upset about large U.S.-based
    companies, retailers such as Wal-Mart as well as auto and aerospace
    manufacturers, reneging on contracts in favor of cheaper Asian firms.

    They're upset about a religious belief in America: that ever-cheaper
    consumer goods are always better for the nation, regardless of what
    havoc they cause.

    "This is by far the worst situation that we've ever seen, and it's
    getting worse," said Fred Tedesco, whose 57-year-old family business,
    Pa-Ted Spring Co. Inc. in Bristol, has been forced to shrink from 120
    to 80 jobs in three years.

    Sometime last year, Tedesco came up with the idea to unite
    manufacturers with an effort beyond the usual, dry lobbying on tax and
    subsidy issues. The public push, led by the Manufacturing Alliance of
    Connecticut, starts with a rally next week to roll out an eight-point
    plan to save mercantile manufacturing.

    "I just couldn't stand watching the destruction of small and
    medium-sized manufacturing and watching the destruction of our
    businesses," Tedesco said Monday.


    But this movement is bypassing state issues. All eight of the points
    require federal action and some call for a reversal of decades-long
    trade policy. All eight are unendingly complex.

    For example, the coalition wants U.S. policymakers to force China to
    let its currency float in value. As it stands now, the Chinese
    renminbi, pegged to the dollar, is widely believed to be too low by 50
    percent or more.

    "This provides them a kind of subsidy, a kind of protection," said
    University of Connecticut economist Fred Carstensen, an economic
    historian.

    But if Chinese consumers don't rise up in opposition because they
    can't afford to buy goods and services - hard to do without a
    democracy in place - there's only so much prodding the rest of the
    world can do.

    "I don't think we have ever attempted to deal with the issue of other
    countries piggybacking on the American currency system."

    Recalling a `90s buzzword, there is no low-hanging fruit here in this
    eight-point plan. Worse still, even if the foreign trade establishment
    were to embrace everything the alliance wants - a quixotic hope, since
    much of it pits small machine shops against global corporations -
    there is no turning back the tidal wash of manufacturing jobs off our
    shores.

    But the organizers' point isn't to repeal the laws of economics or
    defeat the forces of globalism outright. Rather, they think the United
    States could slow the flood with a few sensibly placed sandbags.

    The reason is not just jobs, they argue, but national security in the
    form of maintaining a manufacturing base.

    Beyond the value of Chinese money, they want enforcement of existing
    copyright and patent laws. Everyone in manufacturing, it seems, can
    tell a story about a company whose product was knocked off - copied
    illegally - by a foreign factory.

    They want the military to spend most or all of its money on weapons
    and systems made in the United States.

    They want more consumer-friendly rules on product labeling, including
    a way to show exactly what percentage of a product is made in the
    United States. That would be an administrative nightmare, and would
    lead to more fiction than Jayson Blair foisted on the readers of the
    New York Times.

    Some of these measures are protectionist, although that label isn't
    one the manufacturers want to use.

    In the big picture, consumers will continue to demand and get
    ever-lower prices at the checkout counters. That, and not corporate
    greed or foreign evil, is the main reason we're losing all these jobs.

    In fact, Carstensen said, manufacturing, at least in Connecticut,
    continues to represent just as much of the total output of goods and
    services now as it did a few years ago - about one-sixth. That's down
    from 30 percent a generation ago, but it appears to be holding steady.
    Much of the job loss has happened because of added efficiency.

    "It's still the most important sector in the economy, more important
    than financial services," said Carstensen, who agreed that federal
    industrial policy is in disarray.

    Manufacturers in former factory strongholds such as Connecticut will
    continue to occupy niches, hiding places that their Chinese
    competition can't raid.

    The rally organizers hope to spread the movement to other states, and
    to Washington, D.C. They have a catchy slogan, "Mad in the USA,"
    designed to appeal to the public.

    "If we don't engage them in conversation, and if we don't impress upon
    them the magnitude of the problem, we're nowhere," said Frank Johnson,
    president of the manufacturing alliance. "I don't think the volume has
    been loud enough."

    The organizers have a manifesto, or, rather, a set of talking points,
    that is flawed. But so is the state of fair trade in 2003.

    "The source of expertise is not in the memorization of the minute details of a subject but in the thorough understanding of the fundamental concepts on which it is based." --author unknown


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    Sounds interesting. If I take my bike, I might make it by Aug 1 if I leave the day before..

    'Rekd teh 47 speeding tickets in 12 states in 32 hours..

    Matt
    San Diego, Ca

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    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    I'm a little confused here; you say: "keep making extremely annoying waves untill something gets done." What is the "something" you want done?

    When I go to my dentist, I run a trade deficit with him; I buy his services but he buys nothing from me. He doesn't want or need microstep or servo drives which is what I design and manufacture.

    He does buy dental equipment from other manufacturers that may buy my drives to build the equipment my dentist uses.

    These manufacturers have a "trade deficit" with me like I do with my dentist; I don't buy their products because I don't plan on going into dentistry.

    Yet somehow I get paid, my dentist's suppliers get paid and my dentist certainly gets paid.

    P.S.

    Our drives are designed and manufactured right here in Southern California by Americans, all of whom make very good money for their efforts.

    We sell our drives by the thousands to China among other places. They buy them because they are a very good value for the money even there. If they were to copy them, then a dozen would have been enough.

    Our drives for export proudly say "Made in USA" not "Mad in USA".

    Mariss



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    Turbine,

    I wish you the best of luck. I wish I could be there!.
    Middle class in America is shrinking in direct proportion to the shrinkage of its manufacturing base. What our policy makers don't realize is that, once the buying power of the american people desappears, who is going to buy the goods made in other countries?. Everybody wants to sell in America because we have the buying power (still) very few in the world have (The Big Seven come to mind). What our policy makers don't realize, or don't care; is that, once the buying power is gone ... what will happen to America?.
    Good luck and keep us posted.

    GOMEZ107



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    Thanks Gomez107

    Mariss'
    What you are doing is good. But .....

    Scenerio 1
    Company x does very well and grows and grows.Then it realizes that they can buy most parts from another country a lot cheeper than it takes to make them here.So
    now they buy 60% of the parts from xxxxx, assemble the foreign parts here, sent the 70% of thier workers that made the parts to the unemployment line (who cares...we don't need them anymore..after all we gotta do what's best for the company.) AND we'll leave the "Made in the USA"sticker on (that's also printed in xxxxx) Great idea huh?...atta boy Turb. (I should be in management) And get this...
    We'll also leave the price the same instead of passing the savings on to our customers. Shure......we'll be rich.

    Scenerio 2
    Let's move the entire operation to xxxxx, send ALL of our employees to the unemployment line (Who cares?? ...we don't need them anymore..after all we gotta do what's best for the company) and only sell our product to the USA at the higher price..(after all they have the buying power right??) AND we'll sell to the xxxxx's at a
    huge discount so we make out in volume. We take off the "Made inthe USA" sticker. Think of the money we'll save on stickers. (I should be in management)
    Brilliant.


    And I could keep going............but I'm getting ugly.

    "The source of expertise is not in the memorization of the minute details of a subject but in the thorough understanding of the fundamental concepts on which it is based." --author unknown


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    Turbine,

    I have to agree with your thoughtful comments, though up to a point. The way I read the situation as it exists today is our country seems to be biased against manufacturing and natural resource self-sufficiency.

    When looking at the component parts that comprise our product, I can say only the printed circuit boards, the aluminum covers and mounting plate are certainly made in the USA. There are perhaps a half-dozen others that probably are made here but I'm not certain. The vast balance are not and cannot be purchased from domestic suppliers simply because there aren't any.

    An undeniable fact is labor is expensive. I'm not just talking about salary, it's also the paperwork due to government regulations, workman's compensation, minimum wage restrictions, liability insurance; the list goes on and on.

    I cannot hire a highschool kid interested electronics to apprentice for the summer. He is not worth $25 (actual costs after everything is factored in) an hour because he has no experience to be useful even though he could learn since he is interested and eager.

    He is worth $5 an hour and he would be happy with that. I can't pay him what he is worth so he sits at home watching MTV. In an other age he would been launched on a useful, lifetime career. Now he is an expert on idleness and contemporary "culture".

    I have a choice to automate my production or hire people. I automate because machines don't have to be paid minimum wages, I don't have to pay their workman's compensation, they don't need medical insurance, W2 forms, and don't sue me for racial and sexual discrimenation. In an other age I would have done differently.

    As Pogo said a long time ago, "We have met the enemy and it is us." We are a society where our priest-class is lawyers.

    They write all our laws and regulations, they are intermediaries that insure all disagreements between people are contentious, they make themselves indispensible through fear and suspicion of consequences if their services are not used. They eat, they s**t but they produce nothing in return. Individually they may seem nice enough but there is just to damn many of them and they all can bite.

    Like true parasites, they are not content to live off of the host, instead they insist on damaging it with the detirus and toxin of their "work". They excrete the corrossive acid and sand into the gears of working America that is grinding this fine machinery to a halt.

    Don't blame companies that export their labor overseas. The lawyers write the laws that make the rules we all play by. Like any game, you play the cards how they are dealt and you follow the rules of the game. Instead look at who makes the rules, not the ones that play by them. Like the Wizard of Oz, they are adept at diverting your attention from "the man behind the curtain".

    Mariss



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    Thumbs up

    As Pogo said a long time ago, "We have met the enemy and it is us." We are a society where our priest-class is lawyers.

    They write all our laws and regulations, they are intermediaries that insure all disagreements between people are contentious, they make themselves indispensible through fear and suspicion of consequences if their services are
    not used. They eat, they s**t but they produce nothing in return. Individually they may seem
    nice enough but there is just to damn many of
    them and they all can bite.

    Like true parasites, they are not content to live off of the host, instead they insist on damaging it with the detirus and toxin of their "work". They excrete the corrossive acid and sand into
    the gears of working America that is grinding
    this fine machinery to a halt.

    Mariss,
    I think you hit the nail right on the head with that. I don't think very highly of lawyers either!

    Please Note: No trees were destroyed in the sending of this
    contaminant free message.
    We do concede, a signicant number of electrons may have been
    severely inconvenienced!


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    "The source of expertise is not in the memorization of the minute details of a subject but in the thorough understanding of the fundamental concepts on which it is based." --author unknown


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    Well, they are not my favorite quadrupeds just right now. We had "XXX" Inc. as a distributor for our drives about 2 years ago. They went bankrupt and stiffed us for about $10K.

    The lawyers handling the bankrupcy hired a company that sold off "XXX"'s remaining assets at fire-sale prices. Among the assets were 100 of our drives we never were paid for. To add insult to injury, the were advertised for sale at $79, in direct competition with what we peddle at $114. These were drives we built but were never paid for.

    The final chapter was about 3 weeks ago. We got a letter from these lawyers that named us as defendents in the bankrupcy settlement. It seems that ASI paid us $10K for drives after they had filed. ASI courteously didn't inform us they had filed; rather they ordered more and paid for the previous while insolvent.

    The result is they are demanding that $10K plus court costs (?)from us.

    I called our tame-monkey lawyer and told him to find out how big of a check they want. He of course wanted to countert-sue but we told him to forget that. I know how that game is played and who benifits from the ensuing brawl.

    Overall, the experience is not unlike being raped and then having to pay for the privelege. It's actually funny if you have a wry sense of humor.

    That is also why we will not ever use distributors in the future. We just can't afford their business.

    Mariss



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