Originally Posted by tonton
Fellows, I hate to break it to you, but Detroit is in ruins today because there was very little innovation and attention to detail and quality control in the American auto industry. There were also factors fighting agains fuel economics and trying to make cars bigger and heavier when they should have been making them smaller and lighter. The Germans cleaned up by focusing on luxury fit and finish and the Japanese cleaned up everywhere else.
Let me bring you a little closer to home. Why did Gateway computers fail? Were they paying their staff too much compared to, say, Apple?
Oh, and I could easily compare Vermont and Kentucky for your enjoyment.
First please do compare because many of the Southern and especially South Western states are showning population growth (not decline from people fleeing) and economic growth. They might not make the top of the educational lists but that often has a lot to do with having more recent immigrants and the vexing issue of minority achievement.
Also you have to look at why America focused on those vehicles. It was where the biggest profit margins were to pay for those fat contracts. Ford as a company is very competitive in Europe as an example. European brands and Japanese brands make very competitive products with non-unionized American labor. American companies focused first on large cars and later on SUV's because they were the highest profit products and they needed those to pay for the union contracts that drove them into bankruptcy. As Fellows noted, they basically ended up shipping the labor abroad and paying people here huge salaries to do next to nothing. They were pension companies that just happened to sell cars.
Originally Posted by BR
Exactly. The unions didn't prevent management from innovating. The unions didn't decide to make gas guzzling tanks. The unions didn't decide to make management buy into this American Exceptionalism nonsense that leads to nothing but complacency and willful ignorance until the shit hits the fan.
See above, because, yes they did.
Originally Posted by jimmac
Well since conservatives proposed the theory in the first place where's your proof that the trickle down theory has helped the poor or middleclass in any significant way
And which insults are those?
The poor and middle class are much better off today than they were 30-40 years ago. Find me a house that had a hundred channels of television, internet, microwaves, a dishwasher and A/C all affordable at the middle class and often below that.
You can't and you won't. Povery has become relative. Before the poor didn't eat. Now they eat but it has too many processed food and carbs. Now the poor have PS/2's and $5 games from Gamestop and $5 DVD's from Walmart instead of PS/3's and $30 Blue-ray movies. Those poor wretched creatures have to read books made of paper perhaps even borrowed from a library instead of reading them on their iPhones, or iPads.
The standard of living is absolutely higher but that doesn't change some issues which is people believing they can consume their way to prosperity. How can you blame them though when the government has the same philosophy. President Obama himself believes we can borrow or way to rich!
Originally Posted by Fellowship
While I don't disagree with you that management has had many issues over the years which has led to a decline in market share at the same time the world has put up stiff competition I would still argue that the trend in the country is to set up shop elsewhere in the country or indeed out of the country all together.
When I had my 2003 Dodge Ram quad cab truck it was assembled in Mexico and had sub-frame assemblies from Brazil.
I think part of this stems from cost control measures after the lessons learned that "The Company" can't afford all the pay and benefits / retirement pensions that once were just expected by workers say in Detroit in the good old days.
The problem with Detroit is that the greed of the employees was not to be renegotiated by the fat and happy union workers. Hell no...
So "The Big Three" packed up and left. Shut down production where production costs were far too high and unsustainable.
The points you make are good ones and the only part I would add is they didn't fully leave. They still had all those obligations and had to try to meet them essentually with the labor and skill of someone else. I call this the boomer blindspot. We see it in more and more areas of the economy. President Obama will invest in Brazil drilling off their coast while blocking drilling here. China can make stuff and we can just borrow to buy it here. Even within the U.S. there's a hierarchy. Bad fly over places like Texas and Nebraska can generate power and drill for that icky oil and places like California will have $40 billion dollar budget holes but demand no power or drilling occur there.
It is Baby Boomer Utopian nonsense and Obama is the purest version of it. The dollar can never be broken. It can always be borrowed against. The world is as it was just past WWII and nothing will ever need to change.
It will soon, quickly and decisively.