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Here is the present "Motor City" in pics!

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Al Jassas View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 06:54
Easy, raise taxes on everyone especially the rich to draconian levels for a while (and I really mean draconian, 1950s levels) while at the same time reforming the absurd laws that handicap the government and are at the root cause of some of the deficit. I was shocked that Medicare/Medicaid are not allowed by law to either negotiate prices with drug companies or buy generic ones. More shocking the fact that the Federal government pays subsidies to oil companies rather than receiving royalties for exploration (36 billion in subsidies as opposed to nearly 80 billion in royalties, here is 116 billion of the top of my head). Not to mention the loop wholes and the tax cheats who are considered heroes by some politicians (tax "avoiders", you are a tax cheat if you are poor).
 
By the way the super "conservative" Ron Paul didn't mind voting for those subsidies and he is the good guy.
 
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Edited by Al Jassas - 28 Mar 2011 at 06:55
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2011 at 08:20
In a perverse way, Al Jassas is correct. Placing aside the manipulations against the Social Security Trust Fund (once an off-budget item from which the feds themselves "borrowed") the defense posture of the United States was premised upon rather steep "rates" on personal income above $500,000 [heck in 1917 the I. R. Law of that year set that rate at 77% so such would hardly be a novelty]. Keeping in mind that defense expenditures remain high a cut in current tax rates became an absurdity absent demilitarization. What ever happened to the old premise "the more you have to loose the higher your tax rate"!?!
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 04:05
For three decades the thought that taxes are bad has reshaped American politics.  For the last two decades no one has had the balls to advocate or vote for tax increases at the Federal level except Geo H.W. Bush, and that was the end of his public career in 1992.

Taxation facilitates public expenditure and that drives economic activity, and that results in jobs and income that can be spent on other things and so on.  However, tax is a dirty word and politicians won't say it.  The wealthy interests that have benefited from three decades of tax cuts have managed to gain control of Congress through the use of all the excess wealth they have to manipulate and bankroll enough of 535 people to block anything that is not in their interests.  It has become easy. 

The decline of the Federal government as a driver of the economy has done damage to both the economy and to employment.  The profitability of corporations quarter-on-quarter has not translated into employment.  There are a number of reasons for that, but one big one is that wealth is not being directed as much into economic activity - it is being directed into the accounts of people who are not spending it because they don't have to.

Damage to economic activity and employment doesn't mean much to anyone who has net worth of $100,000,000 or $1,000,000,000 or $5,000,000,000.  What the hell do they care if Detroit goes down? 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 04:53
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

For three decades the thought that taxes are bad has reshaped American politics.  For the last two decades no one has had the balls to advocate or vote for tax increases at the Federal level except Geo H.W. Bush, and that was the end of his public career in 1992.

Taxation facilitates public expenditure and that drives economic activity, and that results in jobs and income that can be spent on other things and so on.  However, tax is a dirty word and politicians won't say it.  The wealthy interests that have benefited from three decades of tax cuts have managed to gain control of Congress through the use of all the excess wealth they have to manipulate and bankroll enough of 535 people to block anything that is not in their interests.  It has become easy. 

The decline of the Federal government as a driver of the economy has done damage to both the economy and to employment.  The profitability of corporations quarter-on-quarter has not translated into employment.  There are a number of reasons for that, but one big one is that wealth is not being directed as much into economic activity - it is being directed into the accounts of people who are not spending it because they don't have to.

Damage to economic activity and employment doesn't mean much to anyone who has net worth of $100,000,000 or $1,000,000,000 or $5,000,000,000.  What the hell do they care if Detroit goes down? 


 
Pike, the problem is far worse than that. People, and here I mean poor people, have been brain washed into thinking that taxation has a negative impact on corporate investment and that because of "high taxes" rich people don't invest and thus no job creation. That is complete BS. No matter how much your income is you can never ever start a small business with it let alone build a 2 billion dollar factory. Loans is the main driver of economies all over the world since time immemorial. One interest point reduction injects more money into the economy as loans than all the tax cuts given since Bush sr. was in power. Yet people don't know that and still believe that taxes cause all the problems:
 
Here in Saudi Arabia we live in a tax free system and yet we have soaring inflation, had a three year stagnation in the early 2000s and probably will have another bout of inflation soon.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 06:39
Al,

Of course credit and insurance are two things that encourage risk taking.  Anyone who ventures out on his own is a risk taker - no matter how small.  Now, having said that, what has happened since the 1980s to risk in the larger picture?

Since the bailout of the always poorly managed savings & loan industry, "too big to fail" has become both etched in granite and used as a weapon by business to blackmail government.  Financial institutions of all sorts and industrial corporations have been bailed out after putting in place bad business models, and for mismanagement and malfeasance.  You screw up; you get bailed out if you are big enough.  Take all the BS risks you want and Joe Six Pack and Tammy Teacher will wind up paying for them.

Risk doesn't mean much if you can pass it off on someone else and that someone else is paying proportionately more in tax than you are.  A lot of corporations don't pay taxes.  A lot of the people running them don't pay taxes either.

Now, for all the tax breaks, might not the Federal government encourage business activity so that there is more employment and economic activity?  That is not the way it works.  Some big business has become used to not taking any risk that can not be passed off on the tax payer in large measure - whether by preferred tax treatment or by the government taking on debt (ultimately funded by the taxpayer) to bail them out when their risky behavior blows up in their faces.

I just read an article on General Electric's tax department - described as the biggest and most sophisticated tax law practice on Earth.  Smile   All kinds of former Treasury officials and ex-IRS tax attorneys employed there. 

GE made somewhere around 3 billion profit last year and paid no Federal taxes; yet still has around 2 billion in unused tax credits.  AFAIK GE isn't expanding employment any more than other corporations that are raking it in, including juicy tax advantages, and not adding much to payroll even though their foreign business is robust.  They like having it both ways.

So, with 30 years of tax cuts what has been done with those?  Bad business practice with risk "insured" by other peoples' money.  A legislative branch (from where appropriations come and tax law is written) dependent for campaign money on the biggest donors - many of whom are industry groups that have had their bad business practices bailed out.

These practices and the money realities are so established and entrenched now that I don't see your solution above having a snowball's chance in Saudi Arabia.  It most certainly is not as easy as expressed.




Edited by pikeshot1600 - 29 Mar 2011 at 06:59
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Omar al Hashim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 11:42

A few excellent posts here especially from Pike. I'd quote to congratulate but they're a bit big.

Originally posted by Pike Pike wrote:


I think the farmland idea will be found to be impractical.  Urban farming is not only inefficient but the costs as Al-Jassas says will cripple it.  What produce of consequence could be farmed on such areas?

The reason the supermarkets are full is not because of small farms.  It is because of corporate agriculture.  The small farmer has become an anachronism.


Small farming plots are more efficient in terms of food per acre, but less efficient in terms of $/acre. As far as I know the area around detroit is good fertile land*, and should be able to produce good yields - that is, enough to support a family with only 20 or so acres of land. Your not going to get rich off it but it should be sufficent for subsistance. Of course, you can also group all reclaimed land into one big company. Land is just land.

Most importantly though Farmland or open space has the advantage of 'looking good', which may not have direct economic gain but certainly has indirect ones. Reduced crime, increased housing value, improved health and living conditions are all improvements that would encourage investment by knocking down falling down buildings.

*Although being under concrete for 60 years reduces fertility quite a bit.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 18:55
20 acres? Are you serious? A good farm in Kansas has an average yield of 50 bushels and this is in a good year. The average wheat price right now is about $5 per bushel which means that a 20 acre farm would have an income of just $5000! And we haven't even factored costs yet.
 
 
And who said small farms are more efficient? We are in the 21st century not the 19th. Mechanisation closed that gap if it ever existed especially in grains which is not labour intensive like other types of farming.
 
My grandfather was a farmer and he planted cash crops and he rarely made any handsome profit despite having extremely cheap labour and government subsidies.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2011 at 22:29
Cash crops? Well only if we are discussing the 18th century and determined to be "top dog" in the world of the latifundio. Wealth from agrarian enterprise has always been a function of dominating vast acreages where specialized crops co-existed with more "mundane" pursuits that essentially insulated the enterprise and provided a degree of autonomy from the vagaries of the larger world. We might say that the myth of the yeoman farmer [a.k.a. the family farm] within the context of American History is as much a sacred cow as the notion that the Boston Tea Party ignited the Revolution, but in terms of economics these icons are false gods. But then such a point is worthy of a thread all of its own and here it would be but a diversion.
 
Now with respect to "urban gardens" as a solution to the malaise of the Motor City the most charitable statement that can be made here is that such represents little more than the fusion of 60s nostalgia with do-goodism social action. Subsistence farming in an urban environment is as much in touch with reality as the notion that a return to "Main Street" will signal the demise of Wal-Mart!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 00:44
The "family farm" is a vestigial remain of a subsistence economy that was not too much different in 1800 than it was centuries before that.  Mr. Jefferson's concept of agrarian republicanism had political appeal but the farmer rarely produced more than could be consumed by his family or sold - if there was a surplus - to his neighbors the store keeper and the parson.

The thought that deserted property in Detroit, Michigan can be utilized as farm land is not to be taken seriously.  Efficient farming now is found where 50,000 acres is being managed by agronomists and MBAs who have access to capital.  (Even if the capital is Federal subsidies paid for by the underemployed Detroit ex-auto worker.  Shocked  Sorry, couldn't resist.)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 00:45
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:


By the way, it is possible that you will not be bothered by any posts by me, over the next 7 or so days! I have to get my 34 year old "spinster" step daughter married! Please note that she is also a Librarian! Can you think of the famous movie where events leave an middle aged woman (who was also a Librarian) unmaried?

Please wish me luck?

Answer;

"It's a Wonderful Life!"

The only thing about her (she is beautiful and smart) is the fact that she is also a natural "empath!"

But, things could be worse!
 
There is actually a nice Swedish film where the librarian gets a man: Grabben i graven bredvid (the Guy in the next grave). Its about a farmer who meets the librarian Desiree on the churchyard when he visits his dead parents. In the next grave lies Desirees dead husband Oerjan. When Desiree forgets her cap Benny follows her but dare not go into the library. This starts a chain of events that brings the two together.
 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 01:08
What strikes me as sadly ironic is the suggestion that the results of industrialisation having past its peak should be dealt with by returning to a model of human society (agriculture dependency) that similarly ran out of steam a hundred years and more ago.
 
People look upon demographic projections in which ever more non-working people are provided for by ever fewer people working less using ever more machines and sophisticated technology, and complain they foreshadow catastrophe - a 'demographic time-bomb' - instead of the natural development of humanity, and the way it has progressed over the millenia.
 
If the state of Detroit currently shows anything it is an opportunity to ease the transition by providing an increasing amount of employment simply for aesthetic reasons. Which of course demands investment even if it means borrowing extensively. Which in its turn is debarred by balanced budget legislation and/or refusal to pay adequate taxes.  So it isn't lkely to happen in the US, though it is a notable feature of life in Luxembourg where the continuing work on simply improving the way the city looks has been an important part of fending off recession.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 06:51
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

What strikes me as sadly ironic is the suggestion that the results of industrialisation having past its peak should be dealt with by returning to a model of human society (agriculture dependency) that similarly ran out of steam a hundred years and more ago.
 
People look upon demographic projections in which ever more non-working people are provided for by ever fewer people working less using ever more machines and sophisticated technology, and complain they foreshadow catastrophe - a 'demographic time-bomb' - instead of the natural development of humanity, and the way it has progressed over the millenia.
 
If the state of Detroit currently shows anything it is an opportunity to ease the transition by providing an increasing amount of employment simply for aesthetic reasons. Which of course demands investment even if it means borrowing extensively. Which in its turn is debarred by balanced budget legislation and/or refusal to pay adequate taxes.  So it isn't lkely to happen in the US, though it is a notable feature of life in Luxembourg where the continuing work on simply improving the way the city looks has been an important part of fending off recession.
 
 
Amen.
 
Of course we see the ugly spectre of self-interest arise in maintaining the myth of full employment, and the separation of the marketplace from societal values. And, I believe there are others outside this greedy core who simply dift along on a paradigm that has already become outdated. This is probably human nature to an extent- it takes a while for new realities to be absorbed on a wide scale.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 09:01
Quote 20 acres? Are you serious? A good farm in Kansas has an average yield of 50 bushels and this is in a good year. The average wheat price right now is about $5 per bushel which means that a 20 acre farm would have an income of just $5000! And we haven't even factored costs yet.

So don't grow wheat. Besides, I never claimed you'd get rich.
Quote The thought that deserted property in Detroit, Michigan can be utilized as farm land is not to be taken seriously.  Efficient farming now is found where 50,000 acres is being managed by agronomists and MBAs who have access to capital.

And where does that 50,000 acres come from? There is no reason why urban land can't be incorporated into a farm that size.
Either you have wasted land in the form of destroyed buildings, or you have idle land that produces indirect benefits, or you utilise that land as well getting the indirect benefits and a few $.
Quote What strikes me as sadly ironic is the suggestion that the results of industrialisation having past its peak should be dealt with by returning to a model of human society (agriculture dependency) that similarly ran out of steam a hundred years and more ago.

I don't think either have run out of steam. They are the basis of our way of life. What else does a country do to earn money?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dolphin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 10:33
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

What strikes me as sadly ironic is the suggestion that the results of industrialisation having past its peak should be dealt with by returning to a model of human society (agriculture dependency) that similarly ran out of steam a hundred years and more ago.
 
People look upon demographic projections in which ever more non-working people are provided for by ever fewer people working less using ever more machines and sophisticated technology, and complain they foreshadow catastrophe - a 'demographic time-bomb' - instead of the natural development of humanity, and the way it has progressed over the millenia.
 
If the state of Detroit currently shows anything it is an opportunity to ease the transition by providing an increasing amount of employment simply for aesthetic reasons. Which of course demands investment even if it means borrowing extensively. Which in its turn is debarred by balanced budget legislation and/or refusal to pay adequate taxes.  So it isn't lkely to happen in the US, though it is a notable feature of life in Luxembourg where the continuing work on simply improving the way the city looks has been an important part of fending off recession.

I really enjoyed that thought provoking post, thank you.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 11:51
I would suggest that most all of you actually missed the real reasons for the decay of the Auto Industry and the decay of a lot of these cities.

I would suggest that you condsider the Political voting records of these cities, the take over of these cities by what was at one time the "minority" group, and the promises made to them by the Democrat governments.


As well we must consider that "Urban Re-newal", literally tore down most of the old districts in a lot of these cities, creating vast waste lands in the central city area, that was later replaced with squalid towers of public housing, that did not last but for 40 years or so.

All of these "great society" programs were but a part of the Democrat Party.

But, as always, I could well be wrong?

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Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 12:07
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

I would suggest that most all of you actually missed the real reasons for the decay of the Auto Industry and the decay of a lot of these cities.

I would suggest that you condsider the Political voting records of these cities, the take over of these cities by what was at one time the "minority" group, and the promises made to them by the Democrat governments.


As well we must consider that "Urban Re-newal", literally tore down most of the old districts in a lot of these cities, creating vast waste lands in the central city area, that was later replaced with squalid towers of public housing, that did not last but for 40 years or so.

All of these "great society" programs were but a part of the Democrat Party.

But, as always, I could well be wrong?

Regards,
Ron
 
Ron- you are skating rather close to the "R" word here. Would you like to clarify ?
 
As for promises from democrats, it seems to me that these have, historically, made closer approaches to reality than those of the uber-right (republicans).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 12:15
Dear Captain Vancouver, are you referring to the word "Robot?" If so, then you are mostly correct.

Certainly you did not mean "rabies", or "revoluting", or "rubber", or "radical", etc..

So just what are you trying not to say?

You are also treading in very deep water.

Yes, I place the blame for the conditions of these previously great cities upon the relationship of the Democrat Party and some if not all minority groups.

After all when the Democrats receive over 90% of the vote in election after election, in places where the standard of living has decreased for the last 50 or so years, and these cities were run by Democrat partisans for the entire period, then there is an old saying "If the shoe fits", etc.

But, my regards, anyway.

Ron

Edited by opuslola - 30 Mar 2011 at 12:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 14:09
Throughout history cities have lived and died as a function of whether its elites accept the responsibilities of community. So let us not hear any nonsense about parties and minorities specially if it concerns taxes!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 17:53
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

I would suggest that most all of you actually missed the real reasons for the decay of the Auto Industry and the decay of a lot of these cities.

I would suggest that you condsider the Political voting records of these cities, the take over of these cities by what was at one time the "minority" group, and the promises made to them by the Democrat governments.


As well we must consider that "Urban Re-newal", literally tore down most of the old districts in a lot of these cities, creating vast waste lands in the central city area, that was later replaced with squalid towers of public housing, that did not last but for 40 years or so.

All of these "great society" programs were but a part of the Democrat Party.

But, as always, I could well be wrong?

Regards,
Ron
 
While politicians do have a role in the rise or demise of cities in the case of Detroit the blame is on the auto industry and satellite industries and not politicians. Politicians are not the guys running those companies and certainly not the guys on the assembly lines.
 
One way you can blame politicians (particularly at the state level) is through their role in the white flight. This flight as well as city policies that ghettoised minorities deprived cities from tax revinue creating a spiral in those cities leading to more and more poverty. This is what happened in Detroit and many other cities.
 
Oh and by the way Democrats are almost the exlusive dominant force in most large cities in the US. Denver, the most successful city in the US have been ruled by democrats since 1983 if not before.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 21:52
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

Quote What strikes me as sadly ironic is the suggestion that the results of industrialisation having past its peak should be dealt with by returning to a model of human society (agriculture dependency) that similarly ran out of steam a hundred years and more ago.

I don't think either have run out of steam. They are the basis of our way of life. What else does a country do to earn money?
 
You can still produce manufactures and food: demand for them isn't going to go away. In fact, since it is going to increase, you can start making the machines that produce the machines and those that control them.
 
The thing is you don't need people to produce them (at least not as many), so you need a different model of employment and wealth distribution, plus a different concept of what is woth doing - rather like the space race or the development of Concord, which were justified simply by the achievement of them.    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2011 at 21:56
The decay of Detroit is part of human progress, not something to be reversed or even be nostalgic over.
Precisely the same is true of the decline of the coal-mining areas in Britain and around this part of the world.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 01:48
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Dear Captain Vancouver, are you referring to the word "Robot?" If so, then you are mostly correct.

Certainly you did not mean "rabies", or "revoluting", or "rubber", or "radical", etc..

So just what are you trying not to say?

You are also treading in very deep water.

Yes, I place the blame for the conditions of these previously great cities upon the relationship of the Democrat Party and some if not all minority groups.

After all when the Democrats receive over 90% of the vote in election after election, in places where the standard of living has decreased for the last 50 or so years, and these cities were run by Democrat partisans for the entire period, then there is an old saying "If the shoe fits", etc.

But, my regards, anyway.

Ron
 
Blacks migrated in large numbers from the south to work in the auto factories and meat packing plants in Detroit and other cities in that region, in the mid-twentieth century. They were once a minority, and then became the majority (in inner city areas anyway). Is this what you mean? And if so, how did black auto workers contribute to the demise of that industry, and hence the economic decline of Detroit? It seems to me that the decline in the auto industry in the US is a product of decisions made by white lads in Washington, which got under way when it was decided it would be cheaper for industry to "globalize", that is, take advantage of cheap labour elsewhere in the world. The effect this sort of thing would have on cities like Detroit didn't seem to be on the list of things to be remediated in response to these policies.
 
As for democratic decisions, you have got  me there. What decisions and promises?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 02:21
Dear Capt. Vancouver,

Democrats, which are highly supported by the large labour unions, helped these workers such as the UAW, achieve the large pay and benefit packages, which are mostly to blame for the failure of the industry.

At least that is my opinion.

If you are trying to infer racism in my post, then I would suggest that you look into the racism practiced by Big Labour, for many years, especially in the UAW. Blacks were systamatically kept out of these unions, via every vile action known to mankind. Integration of these unions was forced down their throats via governmental threats, and legislative actions, etc.

Regards,
Ron

Edited by opuslola - 31 Mar 2011 at 02:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 04:52
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I agree with muh of what has been said. But I do wish people would pay more attention to the real underlying long-term problem here, which is that we don't need so many people to work so much any more.
 
Wishing for a return to assembly-line drudgery (even if you call it 'manufacturing') is both futile and a step backwards.
 
The really villainous hangup here is the Puritan work ethic.


Graham I know you could do better than this. Puritan work ethic? Assembly line drudgery? Granted robots have taken over a few human jobs at the assembly line but its the people that work the tools and still utilize manual labor for most anything else that needs to be done. Cars are assembled in factories. Those factories get their parts from other factories. Every factory places a person on a line, bench or area where they manufacture product. Welders weld, painters paint, electrical fasteners fasten etc. They use machinery to aid them in their assembly line work. Tour a plant and see for yourself. Visit a vendor and notice the gluttony of jobs they have to do from receiving a design, implementing it into a cad system, testing a first generation product, inspecting the product, revising the product, storing the product, packing the product, shipping the product and doing it all over again with another order. This takes people power, along with cranes, welding tools, furnaces, rivets, hammers, drills, scopes, measuring tools, dollies, fork trucks, and skilled tradesman to keep tools in working condition. Throw in a slew of managers, foremans and supervisors that monitor the workers and you have a factory. This has nothing to do with a puritan work ethic. It has everything to do with what we appreciate about jobs - money.

Job loss is due to many variables. The primary motive is to stay in business. With that you need contracts, ability to cover overhead and pay employees, buy machinery, and manage your accounts in a timely fashion. Yet too many vendors had to close shop because they ran out of contracts or just weren't paid. Too many auto plants closed because that was a decision from top brass. Afterall, emerging markets can do the same thing in China, India or Mexico for a lot less than Detroit. Again, this has nothing to do with a phony puritan work ethic - but everything to do with money.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 05:02
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Dear Capt. Vancouver,

Democrats, which are highly supported by the large labour unions, helped these workers such as the UAW, achieve the large pay and benefit packages, which are mostly to blame for the failure of the industry.

At least that is my opinion.

If you are trying to infer racism in my post, then I would suggest that you look into the racism practiced by Big Labour, for many years, especially in the UAW. Blacks were systamatically kept out of these unions, via every vile action known to mankind. Integration of these unions was forced down their throats via governmental threats, and legislative actions, etc.

Regards,
Ron


Maybe, and then again, maybe not - regarding placing blame on Democrats. Whatever the reasons, business has been leaving the country. Don't let the door hit you on the rear.

Isn't this cheap political blame game old by now, especially when whole families could care less when all they want is a decent living?

Politicians are bought. They do not reform themselves. That alone should tell you a bunch. The UAW has been the biggest supporter of worker rights. Surely, that means decent pay. Even they feel the pinch with no small help from all this lambasting going on and jobs leaving town. In today's Detroit Free Press:  UAW VP - 2-tier Pay OK Trade For Jobs. You read that right. Even the dreaded unions are willing to accept 2nd tier wages for their members IF the AUTO giants open idle factories and give work to their members. So get off this blame game and notice the real crime here. Which is...Corporate Tax loopholes...overseas residency. Look into it and then scratch your head, just don't blame Americans for needing a decent job.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 05:56
Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I agree with muh of what has been said. But I do wish people would pay more attention to the real underlying long-term problem here, which is that we don't need so many people to work so much any more.
 
Wishing for a return to assembly-line drudgery (even if you call it 'manufacturing') is both futile and a step backwards.
 
The really villainous hangup here is the Puritan work ethic.


Graham I know you could do better than this. Puritan work ethic? Assembly line drudgery? Granted robots have taken over a few human jobs at the assembly line but its the people that work the tools and still utilize manual labor for most anything else that needs to be done.
That was happening 40 years ago when I edited the H.B.Maynard text book on production engineering, which involived visting virtually all their work sites in Europe. I also remember talking it out with Herzberg on a visit to London in the late 'sixties, when asking him for what to do about jobs that inherently could never provide job satisfaction he said 'automate it out!'.
In a vacation once I helped (insignificantly) to build the big Esso oil refinery on Southampton Water. We dug ditches manually. How often do you see people digging ditches manually now? Not often at least around here.
 
Sure the trend is still going on, andis a long way from completion. Those that take account of it and go with the tide will be a lot better off than those who try to resist it.
Quote
Cars are assembled in factories. Those factories get their parts from other factories. Every factory places a person on a line, bench or area where they manufacture product. Welders weld, painters paint, electrical fasteners fasten etc.
I rather think that kind of thinking underlies the decline of Detroit.
Quote
They use machinery to aid them in their assembly line work. Tour a plant and see for yourself. Visit a vendor and notice the gluttony of jobs they have to do from receiving a design, implementing it into a cad system, testing a first generation product, inspecting the product, revising the product, storing the product, packing the product, shipping the product and doing it all over again with another order. This takes people power, along with cranes, welding tools, furnaces, rivets, hammers, drills, scopes, measuring tools, dollies, fork trucks, and skilled tradesman to keep tools in working condition. Throw in a slew of managers, foremans and supervisors that monitor the workers and you have a factory. This has nothing to do with a puritan work ethic. It has everything to do with what we appreciate about jobs - money.
Then why is anyone worried about unemployment? Of course jobs won't disappear completely (I wouldn'texpect them too, anyway.) But there is going to be  a growing mass of people either not working or working less than before, just as there has been for the last century or more, since agriculture employment virtually vanished, to be quickly followed by domestic service. And since people stopped working 72-hour weeks and more.
Quote
Job loss is due to many variables.
Yes, at any given time. However the permanent one is the lessening need for people to work to satisfy traditional demand.
Quote
 The primary motive is to stay in business. With that you need contracts, ability to cover overhead and pay employees, buy machinery, and manage your accounts in a timely fashion. Yet too many vendors had to close shop because they ran out of contracts or just weren't paid. Too many auto plants closed because that was a decision from top brass. Afterall, emerging markets can do the same thing in China, India or Mexico for a lot less than Detroit. Again, this has nothing to do with a phony puritan work ethic - but everything to do with money.
Can you explain to me how the British motor car industy in the 1970s died at the hands of especially German cars when British labour costs, both per unit and per hour, were lower than in the rest of western Europe (north of the Pyrenees anyway)? The answer's fairly easy and it's not that the German cars were always better.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 06:02
Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:

 Which is...Corporate Tax loopholes...overseas residency. Look into it and then scratch your head, just don't blame Americans for needing a decent job.
Don't disagree with you regarding the unions and the rest, but if product is being imported from overseas and sold in he US instead of being manufactured in the US and sold there, is it the fault of
(a) the manufacturers
(b) the importers
(c) the shops selling it
(d) the people buying it?
 
Actually I could add in the people financing the transaction but I think nowadays they aren't often American sources.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 06:50
Gcle2003, manual labor is not just picking up a shovel. It includes anything to do with an hourly wage where an employee has to exert some form of physical effort. Even modern Ferrari plants do that.

Regarding faults, no need to search much when the answer is not far behind. GM has been selling tooling and die molds and machinery to plants in China for some time now. What happens is when a plant gets shuttered in Michigan those big parts go somewhere, when not mothballed, and that is to its plants of interest. That happens by either opening shop in China or by selling plants outright to Chinese partners in ownership .

Here are a few examples: 

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20090321/FREE/903219992/tooling-and-mold-manufacturers-ask-to-meet-with-gm-chairman-over-outsourcing-rumor#

http://autonews.gasgoo.com/china-news/gm-sells-u-s-based-factory-to-china-101112.shtml

http://www.joplinglobe.com/dailybusiness/x233324766/GM-sells-more-cars-in-China-than-in-US-for-1st-time

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110110/RETAIL03/301109954


General Motors presently purchases 49 percent of its vendor tooling from L.L.C.s, low cost countries like India and China, and if the Chairman had it his way, it would be 100 percent, the group quoted in a statement the GM official as saying.

Beijing-based Pacific Century Motors has successfully purchased a General Motors plant in Saginaw, Michigan.

General Motors Co. sold more vehicles in China than it did in the U.S. last year, marking the first time a foreign market has outpaced the automaker's domestic sales in its 102-year history...
GM took the big risk moving into China with Buick some years ago, but now its global footprint is actually better than even Toyota's, he said. Ford has made some good moves, but they are still trying to catch up in emerging markets....
GM does not accrue the same benefit from a sale in China as it does from a sale in the United States because its business there is split with three joint-venture partners.



Now for some fairly better news:

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110124/OEM01/301249958/1131


Edited by Seko - 31 Mar 2011 at 07:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 08:42
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:

 Which is...Corporate Tax loopholes...overseas residency. Look into it and then scratch your head, just don't blame Americans for needing a decent job.
Don't disagree with you regarding the unions and the rest, but if product is being imported from overseas and sold in he US instead of being manufactured in the US and sold there, is it the fault of
(a) the manufacturers
(b) the importers
(c) the shops selling it
(d) the people buying it?
 
Actually I could add in the people financing the transaction but I think nowadays they aren't often American sources.
 
In most cases its a, the manufacturers with marketing a close second. American products in general suck. They are badly designed, faulty and on top of that expensive. American manufacturers that produce quality products and are well runned are immensly successful like 3M or Caterpiller and continue manufacturing in the US.
 
In fact Caterpiller is a success story that tells you that US manufacturers can rebound if they got the right management. In the 80s it nearly went bankrupt after the market was flooded with Japanese and especially good and cheap Korean heavy machinary (very popular here).
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 09:29
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Dear Capt. Vancouver,

Democrats, which are highly supported by the large labour unions, helped these workers such as the UAW, achieve the large pay and benefit packages, which are mostly to blame for the failure of the industry.

At least that is my opinion.

If you are trying to infer racism in my post, then I would suggest that you look into the racism practiced by Big Labour, for many years, especially in the UAW. Blacks were systamatically kept out of these unions, via every vile action known to mankind. Integration of these unions was forced down their throats via governmental threats, and legislative actions, etc.

Regards,
Ron
 
 
Hmm, so it was the unions that brought Detroit to ruin is it? I'm not up on the cost of living in Michigan, but I can say that $30/hr + benefits is about what those in the skilled construction trades make here in BC. It's pretty good, but not extravagant. And I understand even this is now being rolled back to an extent.
 
More to the point, how would taking less money have keep industry in Detroit, and in the country generally? Globalization means a race to the bottom: if wages are less somewhere in the world, then corporations will head there in order to maximize the bottom line. To compete with labour in China, wages would have to drop to a point that makes the country more resemble the society of Charles Dickens than the modern vision of an egalitarian country. But maybe that's the point.
 
It is in fact a healthly middle class- people  being paid like those autoworkers- that is a cornerstone of a modern developed society. The rise of the middle class after WW2 was instrumental in producing the good economic times enjoyed in the '50s and '60s.
 
The current system benefits the corporate world as it can simply dump what it considers to be unprofitable elements, like workers being paid a good wage, and move somewhere where they are not. Likewise, if safety or environmental regulations don't suit the bottom line, bail out and go somewhere that is lax in these measures. To heck with responsibility to one's community- there's no profit in that.
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