OT - "The US needs more manufacturing jobs"

OT - "The US needs more manufacturing jobs"

Oblama
Oblama

October 5th, 2011, 2:10 pm #1

It's something I hear constantly in the media and echoed at work or any public gathering. From an economic stand point it doesn't make ANY sense to me. Could someone explain how that's a good thing for the highest tier of society. Do these same people also think we should increase the number of agricultural jobs? It feels like they are just romanticizing about an era that never existed.

How about going the other way and instead of competing for these low paying jobs we aim a little higher and increase the demand for high paying jobs that other countries are in dire need of?

Before anyone says that manufacturing jobs pay so little because of unfair outside competition..
Let me ask this. If we try to raise the pay of these low paying jobs, products will be more expensive, right?
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Ripper
Ripper

October 5th, 2011, 2:50 pm #2

I guess your idea of a low paying job and my idea of a low paying job is different. I can make 30-40 dollars an hour with my skills in this low paying sector.
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Oblama
Oblama

October 5th, 2011, 3:18 pm #3

Common? n/t
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Freefall
Freefall

October 5th, 2011, 3:36 pm #4

It's something I hear constantly in the media and echoed at work or any public gathering. From an economic stand point it doesn't make ANY sense to me. Could someone explain how that's a good thing for the highest tier of society. Do these same people also think we should increase the number of agricultural jobs? It feels like they are just romanticizing about an era that never existed.

How about going the other way and instead of competing for these low paying jobs we aim a little higher and increase the demand for high paying jobs that other countries are in dire need of?

Before anyone says that manufacturing jobs pay so little because of unfair outside competition..
Let me ask this. If we try to raise the pay of these low paying jobs, products will be more expensive, right?
We don't necessarily need more manufacturing jobs. What we need are more jobs which result in an exportable product. Whether that exportable product is a tangible 'thing' or a non-tangible 'service' matters not. If it's something that generates income from a source outside of the US border, it increases national revenue.

Also, 'manufacturing' doesn't have to equate to 'low-paid unskilled labor'. It could just as well refer to highly skilled machine operation (low-quantity specialty parts) or to the engineering involved in designing parts to be mass-produced by automated machinery and/or assembled on a line.

More agricultural jobs wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing either, provided they were actually productive and profitable, as opposed to taxpayer-subsidized. I would love to see the price of meat go up if feed-corn subsidies are ended. At least I can choose whether or not I buy meat.

Of course, with the cost of living being so tightly tied to the price of labor, we've been placed at a competitive disadvantage in the world market. We need to develop jobs which support production of an exportable product that's not cheaply available elsewhere. Unfortunately, this is where I'd have to start talking about that which I don't know, so I'll step down off my soapbox.
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Renegade_Azzy
Renegade_Azzy

October 5th, 2011, 3:48 pm #5

Is worlwide stability. If we base most of our economy on services to a country or group of countries, then what happens when there is a new war or "spring"?

Same for our imports, what happens when we need to make something here?

Most of our problems come from the same mouth talking about how they want to lift unskilled labor up into the rich house, and at the same time keeping costs low by moving that same job overseas, and paying said unskilled labor for a vote, and not for work.
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ripper
ripper

October 5th, 2011, 4:15 pm #6

In union shops yes. n/t
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Oblama
Oblama

October 5th, 2011, 4:27 pm #7

..tell our government and all wage statistic collection agencies. Their data indicates that type of pay is double the national average for manufacturing jobs. In fact it exceeds the top 10% mean.

ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/suppl/empsit.ceseeb2.txt

What type of manufacturing job do you perform?
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pbjosh
pbjosh

October 5th, 2011, 5:16 pm #8

It's something I hear constantly in the media and echoed at work or any public gathering. From an economic stand point it doesn't make ANY sense to me. Could someone explain how that's a good thing for the highest tier of society. Do these same people also think we should increase the number of agricultural jobs? It feels like they are just romanticizing about an era that never existed.

How about going the other way and instead of competing for these low paying jobs we aim a little higher and increase the demand for high paying jobs that other countries are in dire need of?

Before anyone says that manufacturing jobs pay so little because of unfair outside competition..
Let me ask this. If we try to raise the pay of these low paying jobs, products will be more expensive, right?
An interesting bit is we are starting to see a re-surgence of in-the US manufacturing, partially because the value of the dollar is dropping and the price of the yuan going up.

The yuan has been repressed artifically to help spur the exact type of growth in China that we will see here - a weak currency will increase the amount of business driven to that nation.

As the dollar falls, more companies (Hyundia, BMW, Lockheed Martin) can afford to do business here.

While manufacturing itself is not a defacto high paying job, the entire supply stream for it is. Engineers, designers, suppliers, truckers and a wealth of other supporting companies will benefit.

Look at 'Boom towns' as an extreme example. Right here with the Bakken Oilfields small, sleepy and previously non-existant towns are doubling in size, the pay of even waitstaff increasing far above national average in towns the previously survived on minimum wage. A small room in a bunk house can go for as much as $1000 a month - simply because there is business in the area. And increase in business for any sector begats more business.

So, while the jobs themselves for the guy pushing the button on the machine are not all that great paying, the guy getting the product, the company making the machine, the shop, everything in the area, benefits from the influx of capital. Down to the waitstaff.

A friend of mine called me and we had a serious talk. He told me we need to open up a machine shop in South Dakota where he is going back to school (Navy previous.) He said there are entire towns that are surviving with almost nothing, hungry for any business, where even 1.5x minimum wage would be a huge improvement. There are areas middle of the US, hungry for business, in a very tax friendly and low energy cost region. It was brilliant - and would be a good move. The total plan added up really well. Months later I see articles on the same idea. We are starting to do this, just not in the preious tax unfriendly areas we had manufacturing previously. Look at Alabama.

Alabama has had so many big manufacturing companies invest there simply by having a far more business friendly environment. Boeing, BMW, and other auto manufacturers all have moved operations there.

As for insourcing, as the dollar drops and the general wealth of India and China increase, there will be more insourcing here, as can be seen at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-alder ... 65942.html

In addition, the countries that insource pay well:

"U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies employ 5.1 million Americans, with a total annual payroll of $336 billion, at an average compensation of $66,000, according to the OFII's Insourcing Statistics."

Out of about 150M people working, 5M are working for an insourced job. Or, 1 in 30. Including myself.

As the dollar falls, that will increase. And with that, we will win back the manufacturing work that normally was allot cheaper in Asia.

For myself, for quotes on parts made in the US vs Asia, the difference is not that much any more.

So, yes, I see this happening as we write here, and also as the US dollar falls and the yuan becomes more realistic, we will see the shift back to more US manufacturing. But it is all based on currency exchange, and who has the power in that. Right now, our weak dollar is helping us.

Josh
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Doc Nickel
Doc Nickel

October 5th, 2011, 6:27 pm #9

It's something I hear constantly in the media and echoed at work or any public gathering. From an economic stand point it doesn't make ANY sense to me. Could someone explain how that's a good thing for the highest tier of society. Do these same people also think we should increase the number of agricultural jobs? It feels like they are just romanticizing about an era that never existed.

How about going the other way and instead of competing for these low paying jobs we aim a little higher and increase the demand for high paying jobs that other countries are in dire need of?

Before anyone says that manufacturing jobs pay so little because of unfair outside competition..
Let me ask this. If we try to raise the pay of these low paying jobs, products will be more expensive, right?
I'm not sure what, precisely, your question is, but looking at it from one way, it's really quite simple: Manufacturing is, generally speaking, where the value is added, and thus, where wealth is created.

When bauxite is refined into aluminum sheet, it turns an ore that's worth perhaps $50 a ton into a useful material worth about $2,300 a ton. Wealth- and eventually, our GDP- was created out of thin air.

When that sheet and other materials worth, say, $10 million, are made into a passenger jet worth $50 million, again, wealth is created.

Yes, "service industry" jobs, to a degree, create wealth, but they create no tangible product. You pay him to mow your lawn, he uses that money to pay the plumber, the plumber uses the money to have his pool cleaned. Yes money- wealth- changes hands, but after it has passed, there is no product left behind.

When an object is manufactured, once the money has passed out of the hands of the foundry or the aircraft manufacturer, there's still a tangible product out there, that continues to generate wealth.

Value was added when the aluminum was refined, more value was added when it was made into an airplane, still more value is created as the airplane flies it's passengers, and even years later when it's reached the end of it's service life, it still holds value in parts and raw materials.

Service industries, for the most part, add little real value- essentially shuffling the same wad of money from one person to the next. Manufacturing adds to that wad of money, and this raises the GDP- the wealth- of the country.

That's highly generalized, of course, but essentially how it works. We manufacture here, we make the US wealthier. The more manufacturing jons, the wealthier we get. The wealthier we get, the more money people have for- and from- those service jobs.

Doc.
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Tag Scott
Tag Scott

October 5th, 2011, 7:32 pm #10

So these other countries create the wealth through manufacturing it increases their wealth. We provide services to them, does that not transfer that wealth to us, thus creating (for us)a net gain?
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