Friday, January 6, 2017

Can Manufacturing Rebound?

From MP 5 Things, Jon continues the Liberal claim that the Blue Collar voters are idiots who will rue the day they voted for GOP politicians.  I of course disagree with this.  And he seems to think that paying for unnecessary Public employees is good because then they are employed, that automation is an immediate issue, that Manufacturing jobs can not be brought back here, etc.  I of course had some different views.
"The people who will be hurt by GOP legislation (if passed) will hurt the lower middle class and poor the most. There is no provision in their legislation that says otherwise. Because of this, a majority of those who voted for Trump and the GOP will find out the hard way what Machiavellian politics is. 'Tell them what they want to hear, then when in office do what you want to regardless of what they want.'" Jon
"I agree that the folks who are choosing to not work will find the next 4 years very concerning. And maybe those Public employees who have enjoyed excessive job security while collecting a good check and great benefits.

However for most of us working stiffs I am assuming that fewer illegal workers, more jobs, higher wages, fewer regulatory hurdles, fewer taxes, lower healthcare costs, etc could be very popular.

Of course the higher cost of foreign goods may be a bit of a shock to those who like to buy those products and services." G2A
"You do like to twist things someone else says. I hear you saying that most people are employed and there isn't a jobs crisis that Trump has heralded? Or those people who are complaining about not being able to find work just don't want to work? I've wondered about that myself. It's a red herring by the GOP maybe? You also want to eliminate government jobs adding to those unemployment figures and upping the competition for those who claim they now can't find work. It's so complicated isn't it John?

I think you still are partially living in the late 1950's and early '60's in how you see the world, especially the US. The population was just under 200 million back then. Today it's a whole lot more. 325 million and growing. Jobs are being shipped overseas.  
Automation is beginning to appear in many areas of the working country and will continue to do so, even in Cargill, or so they say (I believe them). Soon over the road drivers, delivery truck drivers, taxi cab drivers, Uber, etc. will be eliminated.  
CEO's now make 300% to 400% and more today compared to what a CEO made back then (40% in the late 50's early 60's) when comparing their wages to the average working person's wage. Wages for 'working stiffs' vary wildly. A person today getting $500 (3%) back in taxes compared to even $60,000 (15%) back in taxes still doesn't seem fair to minimum wage workers." Jon

"I agree that CEO and Board collusion is a problem. However until the Investors complain that is their problem. (ie their money) They are supporting big rewards for big returns. (and some unfortunate golden parachutes)

As for fewer illegal workers, more jobs, higher wages, fewer regulatory hurdles, fewer taxes, lower healthcare costs, lower public employee cost, lower welfare costs, etc should be very popular with most Americans working tax payers. Do you disagree?

Remember that the goal is to push companies to pay lower end workers more... Correct? Therefore we want to decrease the number of these workers who are available and increase the number of jobs available for them. And as long as the majority of tags say "Made in China, Taiwan, Japan, etc" we have jobs that could be brought back through automation and a willingness to pay higher Prices for "Made in America?

And since many on the Left support Union jobs, Higher wages for American workers, etc I am sure they will be happy paying more for their products and services as foreign goods increase in price and American workers are paid more.

Yes automation is coming, but let's figure out how to solve today's problems first. And pulling the jobs back here may help solve that problem also.

Your last sentence left me confused." G2A


Anonymous said...

Jon continues the Liberal claim that the Blue Collar voters are idiots who will rue the day they voted for GOP politicians. I

they have had plenty of opportunity to rue such days in the past, and many have not done so. It seems doubtful to me that anything about that will change.

Lots of voters are idiots. Most voters don't understand the basics of American government. And that isn't limited to the un-elite. It's quite clear that the president we have chosen is less informed about government and politics than a typical diligent ninth grader.


Laurie said...

As We Enter Age of Trumponomics, Five Charts That Highlight Persistent Worker Woes

John said...

First issue:
"Companies’ profit margins have soared while leaving worker pay in the dust, so where has all the money gone? The answer is exorbitant compensation for chief executives and other C-Suite bigwigs."

This seems incorrect since profit is calculated after all employee costs, including the big wigs. Actually the profits go to the Investors in the form of dividends, company growth and share price increases. This includes growing the company and/or buying other companies. Which means employing more employees. Unfortunately for domestic workers, not necessarily only in the USA, since these are global companies.

Ford is a good example... It started with a few employees, and now has 199,000 employees on 6 continents. Not to mention all their suppliers and employees.

John said...

Second Issue
"The rate of unionization for private-sector workers has fallen precipitously over the past few decades—from 34 percent of men and 16 percent of women in 1979 to 10 percent of men and 6 percent of women."

If you drive a car, live in a house, etc that was not built by American Union employees you helped contribute to this decline. Congratulations !!! If consumers are not willing to pay for Union process wastes/ bureaucracy and higher compensation. those companies go bankrupt or have to change locations.

Please note that most of the problems they are pointing to started in ~1980. About the same time American workers told the UAW to screw itself and started buying foreign / non-Union. Not to mention when they earlier told the garment workers Unions to screw themselves... They wanted high quality and LOW COST...

If the GOP does create tariffs on foreign products and services, all prices will go up, customers will pay more, there will be incentive to build plants here, more employees will be needed and maybe higher priced American workers will have some clout again. Of course, the irony is that everything will cost them more and some products may not get here.

A simple example is the Prius. If importing from Japan costs 35% more the price will go up by ~35%. Therefore the Chevy Volt will look more comparable. And Toyota will maybe find it advantageous to build here. Which means more plants and employees.

Of course the down side is that Japan may raise tariffs on American goods so some jobs here may be lost. Now you know why I am nervous since 2/3 rds of our product is exported. Well I made it here ~ 4 years...

By the way, Public Union employees cost us way too much also... Unfortunately government is somewhat like a monopoly, so they just charge us tax payers more to pay for the waste. (ie govt harder to bankrupt, citizens only have one provider choice, etc)

John said...

Third Issue:
If you want more compensation... (time and a half)
- Support getting rid of illegal workers
- Support American companies
- Learn something new
- Get a different job
- Move to a new city if necessary

Laurie said...

Trump to cede millions of high-wage jobs to China

John said...

Did you for some reason think Americans are willing to pay more for their American solar cells if they won't pay more for their American cars?

Laurie said...

Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels

as an engineer, John, you should be able to look to the future of advancing technology in the energy sector

John said...

If clean energy is this profitable, I can guarantee that American and European companies will own the technology with or without government mandates... But they will likely have the systems built where it is cost effective.

My company actually builds equipment to test wind turbine components. Here are some of the companies we interact with.
GE Wind Power
Vestas Wind Power

We also sell components that can be used to test the durability of batteries, electronics, etc.

John said...

Some sources:
Biggest Names in Wind Power

Top Solar Panels

And don't forget this tax payer loss - Solyndra

jerrye92002 said...

"f you drive a car, live in a house, etc that was not built by American Union employees you helped contribute to this decline. Congratulations !!! "

Now that is just backwards. American Unions CREATED the decline in their businesses. Detroit did not lose out to Japan because of non-union Japanese labor, since all labor in Japan is unionized. They lost out because American unions are adversaries of, not partners in, the companies that employ them, demanding wages and benefits (and fighting automation), which makes the business non-competitive. American vs. Japanese steel is another example. At one time, the oldest Japanese steel plant was newer than the newest US plant, because USW kept "eating" the capital money needed to improve our plants.

jerrye92002 said...

Take the subsidies, mandates and EPA exemptions away from wind power and you have some very expensive lawn decorations, not a competitive source of electricity. Although for a small ranch in Patagonia it makes eminent good sense.

John said...

I believe greedy prideful management and unions equally contributed to the high costs, questionable products and low quality. Remember that Demming approached the Big Three before going to Japan, and they just laughed at him... That is until Japan embraced Demming's beliefs and ate their lunch...

Do you have a source to go with your opinion regarding the viability of solar and wind power?

jerrye92002 said...

Try these:



First, the Google engineers explain why they scrubbed their ideas for replacing coal with renewables and it was not, as I thought, purely because it was not an economically viable proposition (i.e. no profit to doing it), but rather because even if successful, it wouldn't solve the global warming problem. Well, duh. I don't need an MS from MIT to tell you that.

The second paper says that solar is not that technology, either, being too costly and unreliable. There are similar papers on wind. Remember Warren Buffet giving up on a huge wind farm because it wasn't a good investment?

John said...

Interesting articles.

The Google guys said we have to set even more aggressive goals to save the planet, not that we should stop trying. And that:

"The company has now procured enough renewable energy and efficiency to offset its carbon emissions. Meanwhile, the levelized cost of renewables has come down to rival the cost of building new coal plants."

And yes the sun does not shine all the time. Good point. But on the upside it is often shining when the air conditioners need to run.

Finally, the last link was an opinion piece from someone who was previously the director of the Washington office of Koch Industries... May be worth some back checking.

John said...

By the way, thanks for the sources. Here are a few more:
The Fate of Renewable Tax Credits

Heritage: Let All the Credits Lapse Apparently all of our energy sources get credits...

jerrye92002 said...

The Google guys are still deceived, believing that reducing atmospheric CO2 use will "save the planet." The objective is wrong. Had they set out to, and succeeded, in finding a new energy source that was cheaper and equally reliable as what we have today, there would be no need for mandates or subsidies. We would all jump on it and Google would have gotten filthy rich selling it to us. If by some chance it reduced CO2, nobody would much care.

The opinion piece does need some leavening, offered by the Google guys, and that is that Solar PV technology is highly likely to keep reducing cost and improving efficiency over time. No doubt of that, but the question becomes, is it enough? I attempted the math to find how much land area would be required for solar cells to produce ALL US energy, and came up with 2%. I don't believe it. But some people are telling me solar is also likely to be lower cost than coal or nuclear soon, and I don't believe that, either. A few years ago a few cities were bragging about going solar, and then it turns out that the "payback period" for those installations is somewhere between 125 and 400 years!

The best way of finding that "magic" new energy technology is to end all the subsidies and mandates and let them all compete. Something we haven't thought to subsidize will come along and succeed. It might be direct biomass-to-electricity (I almost bought stock in it), lithium fusion or thorium breeder reactors, but it will be something. If we keep worrying about CO2 we're not going to find it.

John said...

If we don't reduce our output of energy and gases from those stored energy fossil fuels... Many people may not be here when we finally find that cheap clean energy source to enjoy it... :-)

jerrye92002 said...

And if we DO reduce the amount of CO2 we put into the air, we will never notice the difference. The only difference will be that we will all be poorer.

John said...

Actually some of will be poorer, some the same and some wealthier... And if the USA owns the technology, all Americans may win...

I am not smart enough to know what the cost / value summary for R&D, Manufacturing, New Technologies, Higher Costs, etc is for technologies like this. But I am sure it is a much better payout than many things the government does / requires. (ie Sarbanes Oxley, etc)

Besides a lot more comes out of processing and burning fossil fuels than just CO2. And if by some rare chance you are actually incorrect about CAGW, the effort may save millions of lives... Probably better safe than sorry.

jerrye92002 said...

It is not I saying that man-made CO2 emissions do NOT create CAGW, it is the IPCC and the EPA. I agree with them, having done the math myself. Now, who are you going to believe? As for "better safe than sorry," and assuming that everybody does turn out to be wrong – it could happen, just as those who predict catastrophic climate change are and will most certainly be proven wrong – suppose I told you that the total cost of controlling CO2 was some $70 trillion? That is the real estimate, but of course it includes a substantial amount of "opportunity cost." For example, it is estimated we could eliminate world poverty with 1/10 of that spending. If we put it into CO2 reduction we do not have it for poverty elimination.

Now, if we are just willing to ignore CO2 and pursue alternative energies based on their being cheaper and at least as reliable, then all of those likely benefits will accrue to those who develop those energy sources, and to the world as a whole, INCLUDING helping poor people to raise their standard of living. Doing things to reduce CO2 will not do a darn thing for the climate, and whatever it costs is money wasted, that could have been spent actually helping real human beings.

John said...

Source please... "It is not I saying that man-made CO2 emissions do NOT create CAGW, it is the IPCC and the EPA"

Here is my source that says you are incorrect.

"Recent climate changes, however, cannot be explained by natural causes alone. Research indicates that natural causes do not explain most observed warming, especially warming since the mid-20th century. Rather, it is extremely likely that human activities have been the dominant cause of that warming." EPA

Now let's remember that the best way to raise people out of poverty is to give them jobs. And the good news is the R&D, production, installation and maintenance of power systems are a lot of jobs... The $70 Trillion is just another jobs program to me... And it may save the lives of a billion people as an additional benefit.

jerrye92002 said...

As I suspected, your "source" says that manmade CO2 is heating up the Earth because, basically, that's what they think should happen. And the moon is made of green cheese because somebody told me that, once. Go find the EPA's prediction for the results of their Clean Power Plan- actual numbers based on their computer models. Go find the IPCC's prediction for the effects of the Kyoto Treaty or the Rio agreement or even the Paris accords. What you find is reasonable agreement on something like 0.02-0.2 degrees LESS temperature rise than simply doing nothing, and this of course assumes ALL of the errors built into those models-- wildly exaggerating the effects of fossil fuels-- are correct.

It just amazes me how these "scientists" can continue to look at their own numbers and then INSIST that their proposed solutions will "save the planet."

As for jobs, fine. If you have a new energy supply that takes the world by storm and you get filthy rich employing millions of people to roll it out and that lets people have better standards of living, great! And if it accidentally reduces CO2 emissions, nobody will care. Here's an example: I recently read an article from Ohio University, I believe. Researchers there had made a breakthrough in coal burning and were very enthusiastic about it because it reduced the amount of CO2 produced from burning coal to produce a given amount of electricity. Barely getting a mention is that they got TWICE the electricity from the same amount of coal! I say let's convert every coal plant in the country right away and start saving the money! And if CO2 comes down, eh, who cares. It's a side effect.