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JOBS: Outsourcing is killing manufacturing base

Letter by Ernest J. LaChapelle, Fircrest on June 1, 2010 at 10:45 am with 32 Comments »
June 1, 2010 10:46 am

I was reading the morning (5-31) paper, when a strange thing occured to me, In the business section, an article appeared touting the arrival and shipment of windmill blades in Olympia. While this may seem trite, the irony is the blades were made in Brazil and destined for a facility in Vantage. The power generated is to be sent out of state.

It is just a poor indicator of the downfall of this country’s manufacturing capability. While I am all for globalization, I think it should be allowed only if all countries involved are able to compete equally. With the present economy and the call for jobs in this country, why are we allowing things like this?

We have evolved into a consumer culture with no real manufacturing remaining. Even the big employers in the Puget Sound region are outsourcing, to use the fancy name. It still is taking jobs away. The little things like this are what should be concerning the leaders, not boycotts.

Leave a comment Comments → 32
  1. Agreed, Ernest. We need to protect what manufacturing we have left and work to regain what we’ve lost. Tariffs worked well for many many years. Lets go back to what works best. Open markets (WTO) will only continue to drag our great country’s economy further and further down.

  2. huffington says:

    The first post attacking unions will come in……….3…….2…….1……….

  3. …. 3……2…..1….. ?

  4. Volks253 says:

    30 years of conservative rule and tax breaks to go off shore, redistributing the wealth to the upper 2%, systematic attacks on the middle class, attacks on unions and the good paying jobs they maintained, decades of the “greed is good” mentality from the right along with the the “I’ve got mine screw you” teabagger attitude that we have today, what did we expect?

  5. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Ernest – your not understanding that there is no way to compete equally causes your discussion to lose considerable merit. Go study economics for awhile and the labor cost differeences and then come back for a discussion on “equally”!

  6. … 3….2…..1…..

  7. -0-

    Dang unions. Darn ‘em anyway!

  8. Yep

    …3…2…1…

  9. …2…1…

  10. ….1….1…..1…errrr….1…..

  11. …2…2…3….rrre…two

  12. johnearl says:

    If you are convinced that outsourcing is a bad thing, then take special care to only buy things made in the U.S.

    If you decry globalization in one breath, and then purchase cheap international goods in another, then you’re not really against globalization, you’re just against other people achieving the same benefit from it that you achieve.

  13. The most recent tariffs by this country were imposed by GW Bush in 2002. The first tariff GWB imposed was meant to protect the American steel industry, and the second tariff was imposed to protect the American lumber industry. Several countries began retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. in response. GWB then discontinued those tariffs as an appeasement to those countries. Tariffs will only start a trade war.

    We need to give American businesses tax incentives to stay in this country, as opposed to the tax breaks they receive, and the loopholes they take advantage of, for moving overseas. Other than that, unless there were massive deflation in this country, competing in the world market is a whopping problem that, sad to say, doesn’t bode well for the our future.

  14. donjames says:

    Great points, cirrus.

    As for unions and protectionism, why have they not taken their money and political clout overseas to the sources of their angst? China and India would do for starters. Rather than beating garbage can lids from behind their Davis Bacon walls, screaming for trade war producing tariffs, and organizing primarily non-productive government workers, why not put their money where their collective mouths are and take their organizing efforts to outsourcing destinations?

    I wonder.

  15. beerBoy says:

    donjames – I have read more than a few articles asking the same thing. With the reality of neo-liberal global markets the only way unions will become truly significant players will be if they become international in their approach.

    Not exactly what Marx meant but “Workers of the World Unite” has renewed resonance.

  16. Volks253 says:

    imjim is having a very hard time getting out of grade school.

  17. It seems funny that we go overboard protecting ourselves from terrorism, either real or perceived, yet when our economic strength is under attack through globalization, protection becomes an ism.

    We have a responsibility to ourselves to protect our borders from attack, either physical or economic. Those who loathe the influx of foreigners illegally entering our country and draining our economy, have no problem with the dumping of foreign made products and the economic harm it does.

    We’re loosing whatever economic strength we had, back when we produced what we consumed and exported more than we imported.

    We can only come out ahead in a trade war.

  18. Ease up on the B&O tax. Ease up on government oversight. Start giving tax breaks and incentives for manufacturing companies. Start doing the same thing for companies that buy stuff in the states.

  19. johnearl says:

    “We can only come out ahead in a trade war.”

    This is such a dangerously wrong statement it is hard to know where to start the rebuttal. Suffice it to say that war, of any kind, is an ugly business and it is often (even normal) that all combatants in a war lose more than they gain.

    If you really want a trade war, put your own money where you mouth is. Start (as most wars start) with a trade embargo and refuse to buy any foreign manufactured goods. Because if you are advocating trade war while you are wearing inexpensive clothes from Thailand, cheap shoes from China, and typing on a discounted computer manufactured in Taiwan, then your position against international trade is hypocritical.

  20. For many many years I did exactly what you’re saying, johnearl. I refused to buy imported products. Now imported products are my only option, in many cases.

    There’s nothing hypocritical about tariffs. Tariffs would limit the import of products that can and should be produced here with American labor.

    As more and more manufactures went overseas for cheaper labor, those that didn’t, lost out to the unfair competition.

    The WTO was the nail in the coffin and the effects are painfully obvious.

    If we continue down this destructive path, it will only be a matter of time before the inevitable collapse of our economy.

    To suggest that standing up and fighting for our economic existence is dangerously wrong, shows just how wimpy consumers have become.

  21. Roncella says:

    Polago, You should be worried about the spending that Obama and the dems in Congress have done in only 1 1/2 years, with 2 1/2 years to go.

    ” If we continue down this destructive path, it will only be a matter of time before the inevitable collapse of our economy………Well said Polago…….

  22. Roncella, it was Ronald Reagan and Dick Cheney who stated that “deficits don’t matter”, and both their administrations grew the deficits to record highs.

    What did you expect would happen when you allow a snowball to start rolling downhill? Why did you let the snowball get 3/4th of the way down the hill before you started complaining about its destructive path?

  23. Snowball ??? Obama is growing the military industrial complex??? Kooky.

  24. Also Roncella, it was the Republicans, who in 2002, jettisoned the “Pay as you go” policies that kept the budgets balanced under Clinton. That’s where the snowball began its downhill roll.

  25. Does anybody remember where the major parts for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge II were manufactured?

    If you guessed Korea, you’re correct.

    How does that make Americans feel? Many of us are unemployed, yet our work, and our tax money, are outsourced. How stupid is that?

  26. the3rdpigshouse says:

    FYI – The average manufacturing wage in China is 3% of the average in the U.S. – anyone here want to compete on who gets the work on those non-living wages??! Global competiveness is a swindle sold to our naive dullards in Congress!

  27. Roncella says:

    Cirrus, I would take the economy of President Ronald Reagan & Vice President Cheney, any day over what we have now with President Obama and the Spend and Tax Democrats controlling the Congress, and bankrupting the Country.

  28. I guess if you say it often enough, Roncella,……………………

  29. Anybody remember who authorized the no-bid contract for the new narrows bridge that authorized the company to purchase the steel from Korea???

    If you guessed the democrat controlled Washington state senate, congress, and signed by the democrat governor, you’re correct…

  30. ron – the Reagan economy included a two year recession (up till then the worst since the Great Depression) and set the stage (which every subsequent administration with the possible exception of Bush I expanded upon) for the massive collapse that now grips the world.

  31. “Reagan economy included a two year recession “… and the wall came down. Not exactly a footnote…

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