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Sir, your AR is showing. <snort> You may not be alone in your rebellion, you uppity savage. http://goo.gl/VEplr

Please feel free to fixate on Wally World, but please keep your beer and pretzel gas emanations to yourself, eh?

Economics will prevail until what the public wants can no longer be had, then they settle on next best, ad infinitum. Try to buy a US made TV set today.

Since manufacturing has, mostly, taken a hike from our shores, all we have left are services and intellectual properties. They can't offshore auto mechanics, dry cleaning, maid services, gas station jockeys (though that's automated in most states now, mine excluded), etc. Metal and wood-workers (and others) can go into production on a fairly limited scale, though, like my NoteSHADEs and ToolyRoos. But we few don't put much of a bump in the GDP.

Ouch! I'll get back to you on a title once I've finished _Freakonomics_, and maybe rereading Cialdini's _Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion_.
-- The whole life of man is but a point of time; let us enjoy it. -- Plutarch
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Sorry about that. I guess I like to kick up a little dust every once in a while. Maybe just left over angst from trying to mark half of 6 23.4/64" off of my Starrett rule... I think there's still some sweat left on the garage floor.

Economics prevailed in observing that TV sets are less costly to make outside the US, no? Economics is objective, not subjective like fiscal policy.

I largely agree with, and worry about, the observations you made above. Somebody must be tabulating all of this somewhere..
I took a good look the NoteSHADES? You would suggest that I, *moi?*, worry too much? ; ) j/k--I can see that NoteSHADES has it's place!

Hmm. Freakonomics appears to be an interesting collections of truths that would sadden me but not surprise me. Thanks for mentioning it.
Gosh the other book looks good too. I put in on my favorites list in case I can collect it sometime.

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Bill wrote:
(...)

_Freakonomics_, _SuperFreakonomics_ and _Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion_ are all very good.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freakonomics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SuperFreakonomics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cialdini#Six_.22Weapons_of_Influence.22 After I read Cialdini's _Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion_ I found it glaringly obvious when someone was attempting to use one of the Six "Weapons of Influence" on me. Very useful, that was.
I also really like _Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds_ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_Popular_Delusions_and_the_Madness_of_Crowds
--Winston
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wrote:

Yes, it is handy knowledge. Have you ever asked them, right then, "How is old Bob Cialdini, anyway?" Oh, the looks that'll get you!

Sad!
I picked up _Predictably Irrational_ after hearing about it here (or on the Wreck?) last year but still haven't read it. I keep putting other books on top of it in my stack. (My stack is now off the floor, taking up all 5 shelves on a 3'x7' bookshelf.)
-- The whole life of man is but a point of time; let us enjoy it. -- Plutarch
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Larry Jaques wrote:
(...)

I would be surprised if any of these sales guys would understand the reference. I suspect they are directed from a sales script. :)
--Winston
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wrote:

Yeah, prolly, but hope springs eternal.
-- The whole life of man is but a point of time; let us enjoy it. -- Plutarch
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Is that so? <cringe>

6 = half dozen.

Yeah, the gov't, the unions, and the corporations. Who helped shove mfg offshore by taxation? Who overpriced labor until our public wouldn't buy local products? And who took all that into consideration and said "Fuck it. We'll produce it overseas where neither of those major stumbling blocks exists."

They were of much more value on the old b/w and early color screens. What's the reference to worry, though? You lost me.

Yeah, interesting book. I'm about 1/3 of the way thorugh it now, after finishing _Who Moved My Cheese?_. Next up is Martin's _Tabletop Machining_.

It's an amazing book. One tip from it might save your life. If you're ever in a major disaster/car wreck, whatever, and you can't move, don't look up and see a crowd and yell "Somebody help me." They probably won't do it. But if you look one person straight in the eyes and say "You, in the blue jacket! Please help me!", chances are good that they'll not only help you, they'll get others to come to your rescue, too. Chapter: Social Proof.
-- The whole life of man is but a point of time; let us enjoy it. -- Plutarch
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Well, I thought that their main purpose was to keep someone else's eyes off of your laptop screen. I guess it just depends what you wish to use them for.
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They're still perfect for airplane travel privacy.
-- The whole life of man is but a point of time; let us enjoy it. -- Plutarch
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I forgot to say that I developed them for an attorney client of mine who wanted to use her laptop in the park in the sun while watching her little girl play on the swings and monkey bars. They did the job very well for that so I made and started selling them.
-- The whole life of man is but a point of time; let us enjoy it. -- Plutarch
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wrote: <snip>

<snip> ==============All economists wish this were the case, and many believe it. However, IMNSHO, much of economics is based on unproven, indeed unprovable, assumptions and asseverations, and as such is on a par with theology and numerology.
If you take the time to try to read economic papers, you will find such gems as "assuming perfect knowledge,"assuming costless transfers/transactions," and "assuming a rational buyer." The last assumption is particularly egregious as even the economists making/stating this assumption know that even their buying and other decisions are not made fully on economic grounds but include many other factors such as social status or ethnic bias.
Economics is *HIGHLY* subjective, and much of the work is slanted depending on who is paying for it, i.e. the customer is always right, or the ideology of the economist. Compare and contrast the findings of Marxist economists, Keynesian economists, and libertarian/Austrian/Chicago School economists when they consider the current economic situation.
--
Unka' George

"Gold is the money of kings,
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F. George McDuffee wrote:

ceteris paribus.
The last assumption is particularly egregious as

I think you are getting your economics mixed up with your fiscal policy. Economics has absolutely nothing to do with "who is paying for it". I may not have read as many economic papers as you, but it's possible as I majored in econ as an undergraduate. I still have a non-professional interest. It appears you may be one of the majority who were forced to take a course in it, or you are letting politics cloud your vision.
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wrote: <snip>

<snip> ==============You and others that are following this subthread should find the following of interest:
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/fed-official-biggest-banks-put-future-capitalism-risk-161922790.html ;_ylt=At_yumW3pGhrRAkiVC_TTSSyBhIF;_ylu=X3oDMTNwczF1OTR1BGNjb2RlA3dlaWdodGVkY3QEcGtnA2QzNDhlZWQ1LWRlNmItM2FmMS1iMzg1LWRlNjVhYTFiN2ZhOARwb3MDMwRzZWMDbW9zdF9wb3B1bGFyBHZlcgMyYzBjZTMwMC1hMWE2LTExZTAtYmU3Zi0zZTI4ZWY2YjQ4MjE-;_ylg=X3oDMTFtcHBmZ2VxBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANidXNpbmVzcwRwdANzZWN0aW9ucw--;_ylv=3 <snip> Are Wall Street mega-banks so powerful and sprawling that they threaten our entire capitalist system? That's the claim being made by one top Federal Reserve official.
In a speech at New York University Monday (pdf), Thomas Hoenig, the president of the Kansas City Fed, argued that the biggest and most complex banks are "fundamentally inconsistent with capitalism." His remarks came just two days after global banking regulators agreed to require big banks to hold onto extra capital in order to reduce the risk of bank failures like those that occurred during the financial crisis of 2008.
"So long as the concept of a [systemically important financial institution, or SIFI] exists, and there are institutions so powerful and considered so important that they require special support and different rules," declared Hoenig, who is known as a hawk on monetary policy, "the future of capitalism is at risk and our market economy is in peril."
That's because, he argued, the existence of banks that are understood to be "too big to fail" distorts the functioning of the free market. "For capitalism to work, businesses, including financial firms, must be allowed, or compelled, to compete freely and openly and must be held accountable for their failures," Hoenig said. "Only under these conditions do markets objectively allocate credit to those businesses that provide the highest value." <snip>
The speech: http://www.kansascityfed.org/publicat/speeches/Hoenig-NYUPewConference-06-27-11.pdf
--
Unka' George

"Gold is the money of kings,
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F. George McDuffee wrote:

Why?
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/fed-official-biggest-banks-put-future-capitalism-risk-161922790.html ;_ylt=At_yumW3pGhrRAkiVC_TTSSyBhIF;_ylu=X3oDMTNwczF1OTR1BGNjb2RlA3dlaWdodGVkY3QEcGtnA2QzNDhlZWQ1LWRlNmItM2FmMS1iMzg1LWRlNjVhYTFiN2ZhOARwb3MDMwRzZWMDbW9zdF9wb3B1bGFyBHZlcgMyYzBjZTMwMC1hMWE2LTExZTAtYmU3Zi0zZTI4ZWY2YjQ4MjE-;_ylg=X3oDMTFtcHBmZ2VxBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANidXNpbmVzcwRwdANzZWN0aW9ucw--;_ylv=3
http://www.kansascityfed.org/publicat/speeches/Hoenig-NYUPewConference-06-27-11.pdf
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If you say that enough, you start to believe it.
"Americans make more stuff than any other nation on earth, and by a wide margin. According to the United Nations comprehensive database of international economic data, Americas manufacturing output in 2009 (expressed in constant 2005 dollars) was $2.15 trillion. That surpassed Chinas output of $1.48 trillion by nearly 46 percent. Chinas industries may be booming, but the United States still accounted for 20 percent of the worlds manufacturing output in 2009 only a hair below its 1990 share of 21 percent."
http://www.themoneyillusion.com/?p=8755
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typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    And some came back. Shipping and handling, customs, quality control issues. More is likely to come back as the Chinese workers start not only demanding more pay, but getting it.

    ... averaging 5.4 major corporate "disinvestment events" a week so far this year. Which are estimated to be about 20% of the actual "disinvestment events" actually occurring.
--
pyotr filipivich
We will drink no whiskey before its nine.
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On Wed, 29 Jun 2011 20:19:35 -0700, Gunner Asch
<snip>

<snip> =============A basic and indeed critical problem is that outsourcing an industrial activity such as machining, mining, textiles, shoes, consumer electronics, etc. is almost always a one-way street.
(1) The physical plant/buildings are generally no longer available because of conversion to other uses or demolition. Even when the buildings are still standing but unoccupied, these are generally derelict, in a poor state of repair, and have been stripped of anything of value.
(2) The necessary machines and equipment are no longer available having been scrapped or exported. Indeed, much of the required machinery may no longer be available except as imports at very high prices with long/excessive leadtimes for both the machines and repair parts as domestic manufactures no longer exist.
(3) The local support infrastructure of sub-contractors, machine repair, and suppliers no longer generally exists, and where is does there may be extreme reluctance to again become involved with an operation that can disappear at any time.
(4) Any "good will" the returning operation may have had with the local government and establishment will have been dissipated.
(5) Perhaps the most critical factor is the dissipation of the local trained and educated workforce. An exacerbating factor is the general reluctance of any returning skilled workers to believe anything management says. An even more critical area is the "poisoning of the [workforce] well" in that the new employees entering the workforce talk to their parents, relatives, etc., who will generally discourage any involvement with the returning manufacturing operations based on their personal experience. Indeed, too many of the potential new employees have first hand observation of the repossession/loss of homes and cars from their older relatives who may have been long term skilled employees at the returning operation. One example of this is the shortage of rough necks/floormen in the recent oil/gas mini drilling boom. Older experience oil patch employees have generally refused to return to the drilling industry as they have found other more stable jobs, and the usual source of new recruits, the sons/nephews of existing oil field workers, is very limited as these individuals has seen first hand the treatment of their fathers/uncles. Many community colleges in the oil patch have implemented oil field training programs, but the problem is that most of the instruction must now be in Spanish...
--
Unka' George

"Gold is the money of kings,
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typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    Not likely, but ... how many folks will decide that they have done all they can, but the banks haven't. Or the state? How many people will decide "I'm out of here..." and walk away and let the bank and the state eat it? Not many, I'm sure, but ... "but friends, what if fifty, I say if fifty people a day ... they might think it was a movement."
tschus pyotr
--
pyotr filipivich
We will drink no whiskey before its nine.
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typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    Interesting was reading the comments on a post about this. Some of the people were astonished that companies were moving to Arizona, which some of the commentators apparently thought was a bad place to do business. All I can think is what I said of some of the "less than optimal" places I've been "If this is the improved version, can you imagine the dump it used to be?"

--
pyotr filipivich.
Just about the time you finally see light at the end of the tunnel,
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Note that this is coming from the main voice of the Radical Center -- the New America Foundation. I find that interesting, because this is not a new idea.
Those old enough to remember will recognize this set of suggestions from the period 1975 - 1985. Japan was cleaning our clock and there were calls from labor, academia, and labor-oriented Democrats for a national industrial policy. Conservatives, led by Milton Friedman and the Reagan Administration, were opposed, for some reasons that sounded good and that proved to have some merit, after Japan got itself into some very expensive jams as a result of their own industrial policy (the jams were mostly a matter of being late, or overcommitted, to various semiconductor and computer technologies).
However, we're still in the same fix, while Germany is running a positive balance of trade, and while the cure that the conservatives had predicted didn't come to pass. That is (and this came from the Chicago School -- Friedman and his cohorts), the prediction was that a negative balance of trade would automatically restore itself to something close to a zero balance because the deficit country (the US) would see its currency devalued on world currency markets and prices of imports would correspondingly go up, while our exports would get cheaper. Everyone is happy; harmony is restored; world without end, amen.
Only it didn't happen, for various reasons, of which China's intentional devaluation is only a small part.
Anyway, looking for ways to fix it, Hindery has hit on something that's rarely talked about in the consumer press, but which is another example of the US bending over for the rest of the world, in the name of ideological purity. We don't do countertrade.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counter_trade "According to an official US statement, 'The U.S. Government generally views countertrade, including barter, as contrary to an open, free trading system and, in the long run, not in the interest of the U.S. business community. However, as a matter of policy the U.S. Government will not oppose U.S. companies' participation in countertrade arrangements unless such action could have a negative impact on national security.'" (Office of Management and Budget; "Impact of Offsets in Defense-related Exports," December, 1985).
I wrote a lengthy article on trade in military goods back around 2003 or so, and I nearly fell off my chair when I found out how much of it goes on, particularly in the form of offsets. Boeing can't sell a freaking 737 to another country, military or not, without agreeing to nearly 100% or MORE -- up to 125% -- in offsets. That means that for $1,000,000 worth of airplane sold to, say, Italy, an aircraft company has to buy $1,250,000 worth of goods from Italy. In general, although I can't speak specifically for Boeing, much of that is stuff that the US manufacturing company will purchase through trading companies and never take possession of. The trading company will turn around and sell it -- car parts, men's suits, whatever -- on the US consumer market. Often, this takes the form of requiring huge amounts of "domestic" content for the product being sold. Boeing has to make a lot of parts for a 767 in China, or China will buy from Airbus, who will be perfectly happy to make parts in China.
We don't do much in the way of tariffs, which probably is a very good thing. We don't do much with quotas anymore, which is a less-good thing. And we don't do countertrade, which is a very stupid thing.
The Japanese couldn't figure out why we don't "protect ourselves," as they put it. Neither can I. It isn't just developing countries that do it. France does it. Germany does it. That's a significant part of how they keep their trade from going into deficit.
Back to the question of industrial policy: It runs up against the pure form of neoclassical (conservative) economics, which says not to put any restrictions on trade. But are conservatives ready to spring for such a policy now? I haven't kept up with the conservative catechism, so maybe someone else knows.
--

Ed Huntress



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