4th Dec 2010, 19:18
I think we'd all like to go back to the good old days when we manufactured our own goods and were a prosperous country for it!
5th Dec 2010, 23:38
That day may yet return. More and more people are waking up to the need to support our own industry. For years we were sold on the idea that we lived in a "global economy", when in reality we have really been allowing our own economy to fail by buying all our goods from foreign companies who dupe the American public into believing that all Americans are incompetent, and that anything made by an American worker is "inferior". People are now becoming more aware that that type of thinking is cutting off your nose to spite your face. I find the dramatic increase in U.S. car sales very encouraging. We may yet be a proud country once again.
6th Dec 2010, 12:15
"Chrysler is opening a new plant in Michigan (part of the U.S. the last time I looked)."
And sending 50% of their profits back to Italy.
6th Dec 2010, 12:49
By waking up you must mean that people are accepting that their American fronted companies are pushing Chinese goods, right? That is what is going on, and there is no arguing against it. No one has duped the American public into thinking anything American is inferior. There is nothing left that is made here anymore! And we do live in a global economy. Even our domestic car companies have product all over the world, and some of the supposed American cars are imports like the Chevy Aveo.
Don't get too excited about the increase of American car sales. They have been inflated by heavy discounts and rebates, and the overblown Toyota recall fiasco, which will soon be a distant memory, just like every other recall in every other car line has been. Besides, the more and more they outsource their labor, the less and less "American" they become. It is good that you like to support Canadians and Mexicans and their families and communities, but buying American cars doesn't do as much for American workers and communities as people think it does. There are many places that have been left to rot, like Detroit, and the auto companies all but left them for dead to look for cheap labor.
Americans will surely support American companies when they are actually American again. This means bringing back manufacturing and returning to the way things were 30 or more years ago. It may happen sooner than you think, as China is now getting smarter and charging us more for the labor we are getting from them. Big changes ahead for sure... whether it is a good thing or a bad thing is still out for debate!
7th Dec 2010, 03:38
What is wrong with domestic automakers producing cars in Canada?
I live in Canada, and I love owning domestics made in my own country, specifically GM's from the Oshawa, Ontario factory.
I couldn't be happier that they make cars in Canada. I'm very proud to drive a car that is made in my country, not to mention the build quality is flawless, even on a base level sedan designed for the average Canadian like myself.
If you are living in the US and buy an Canadian car, keep in mind you are helping your neighbors who have helped you before. Needless to say, we have purchased many, many US made cars and trucks here.
Some areas of Canada are less patriotic, and they tend to buy more imported cars there, as with urban areas.
For the most part, Canadians buy more domestics, they outsell imports by a large margin in some provinces.
The top selling full size trucks are GM and Ford.
Probably the same in the US.
Top selling minivan in Canada has always been a Chrysler.
Top selling midsize sedan is always the Impala.
Top selling compact car - Honda Civic, was Pontiac Sunfire for many years.
Top selling small truck - Toyota Tacoma, was Chevy S-10 for many years.
Top selling Crossover - Dodge Journey.
Top selling full size SUV - Ford Explorer.
Canadians tend to be pretty intelligent when it comes to buying cars, and stick to what they know works well.
We all know GM and Ford makes great trucks, Honda and Toyota make a good economy car (in the 1990's anyways), and Chrysler makes a good minivan for the money.
7th Dec 2010, 09:33
The great depression was caused by a number of things.
1: There was a severe asset bubble created by many of the same things that created the latest bubble - the housing bubble: cheap and easy credit, overvaluation of stocks and companies that were basing stock futures on unsold product inventory. The market crashed because these values were overinflated and unsupported.
2: The Federal Reserve failed to enact policies that would have prevented numerous banks from failing, which in turn created panic as people pulled their money out of the banks, thus exacerbating things even further.
3: The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of June 1930 caused international trade to almost cease between the US and other countries, due to the tariffs placed on imported goods, thus leading to a trade war.
4: An overall inflation of the money supply during the 20's, which in turn led to the boom of the 20's that subsequently crashed.
My Grandparents lived through the depression too. The reasons above are exactly those they would mention - as would just about all noted economists both past and present.
7th Dec 2010, 09:51
First of all, I'm already proud of our country. No need for me to feel that we should have to suddenly start making bathroom scales, vacuum cleaners and toilet scrub brushes in order for me to feel otherwise.
Secondly, this whole conversation seems overly simplistic. Sure - the US at one time was basically the equivalent of China: We were the world's factory. The reason that we were in that position was because we had an almost inexhaustible supply of cheap immigrant labor flooding in from Europe and other countries. The country was also about 75% rural, thus there was also a vast supply of cheap labor coming in from those areas as well. As of today 80% of the US population reside in metro areas, and of these, the vast bulk of the major metros are costly places to live and do business. So in other words, the environment for competitive global manufacturing is not nearly as ideal as it is in other lower cost areas around the world. The only reason the US is still able to compete in some areas of manufacturing is due to our still-competent expertise in areas such as aeronautics, commercial equipment, and high tech. That and perhaps more than anything else a high reliance on heavy automation. Take a look at most any factory in the US, and lo and behold, the number of actual humans working in those plants is sometimes very minimal.
As far as the US ever returning to an era where we made absolutely everything, well I'd say that is highly unlikely, simply because as stated - we cannot compete economically with cheaper labor overseas. The US will need to transition from manufacturing cheap goods to more upper end goods, as happens in Germany where they tend to focus on more upscale products like BMWs, fancy cutlery, manufacturing machines, medical equipment, and shipbuilding.
In the past, many US manufacturing companies focused on the bottom line. I'm only in my mid-30's, and it wasn't that long ago when if you went into most any big box stores the cheapest shoddiest things there tended to be cheaply stamped together American made products. In an effort to stay competitive, a lot of US companies made their products cheaper and cheaper, only to be outdone by China, which made those cheap products even more cheaply. Had those same US companies gone the other way, and instead insisted on competing with higher quality versus lower quality and lower cost, perhaps more US companies would still be around today, giving consumers more options. As it is, now you really have to spend some serious time trying to find anything that's actually made here anymore.
But in any regard, we have transitioned out of a manufacturing based economy to a consumer/service sector economy. It is what it is. Not a single person I know actually works in a factory or makes things. They all do as most Americans do - they work at an office or some other building doing service work of some sort. We all make money, pay for mortgages, pay taxes, and basically keep the US economy humming. Just because I don't sit at an assembly line screwing screws into the same holes all day long, doesn't mean that my job isn't just as important.
7th Dec 2010, 12:03
"We all make money, pay for mortgages, pay taxes, and basically keep the US economy humming."
The economy is anything but humming these days! The proof is there that you can't sustain an economy with serviced based industries. The U.S. is failing because of the now non-existent manufacturing sector.
7th Dec 2010, 15:32
We're in a recession. Recessions happen about every 10 years or thereabouts. We've been a serviced-based economy for the better part of 25 years. Nothing's new.
7th Dec 2010, 17:59
Being in industrial sales, I see plenty of domestic companies making products. Assembly plants, machine builders, petrochemical refineries, power plants, pharmaceutical to foundries, just to name a few. It's not all shuffling papers in an office. The past year has been very challenging with layoffs and some companies consolidated or gone. My job is secure, yet I worry about young tenants renting from me keeping theirs. That's an issue that I never had worries about before.
8th Dec 2010, 16:17
Hate to tell you, but as far as our history goes, 25 years is still considered new. We are on a really bad track here, and it has been proven that an economy cannot sustain itself purely on service based industry with no manufacturing base. This is all new for us still, and things are not going to get better. Once the car companies complete their transition to 100% foreign labor, we'll see just how fast things fold in our country.
I know it is a hard thing to believe, but there are very tough changes on the horizon here for us.