Originally Posted by wizard69
It isn't the "Japanese" it is rather specific companies with in that country. Likewise in the US ou have companies striving to be the best. The government can't dictate that a company will be the best or should be the best.
Much of the success of such hardware these days lies in software and not in difficulty to manufacture.
National priority as nothing to do with it. You only eed business people with a desire to e successful manufacturing something and people willing to pay for it. What killed manufacturing in the US is that people where never willing to pay for it. The preference has been for the cheapest een if that means imported. Unfortunately people failed to realize that eing cheap puts their neighbors out of work.
I said national "priority" not national "policy". The Germans and Japanese, across the board, take pride in being manufacturing juggernauts. Government policy just follows naturally from there. So it is "all of the Japanese" not just specific companies in that country who want to be the best in manufacturing whatever it is they are manufacturing.
And I agree with you, part of the reason is the US consumer likes buying cheap, shoddily made crap. It's short-sightedness. "I'd rather buy the $2 Chinese screw driver that I replace every year instead of the $12 US-made one that I keep for life." And the government encourages this by making it so cheap to throw away junk that ends in a landfill somewhere. No one is paying nearly enough for the environmental degradation that results from the garbage they generate.
Most of the manufacturing that has gone to China is trivial. You really just need people with strong acts willing to work in dangerous occupations. Finding people to do that in the USA is currently a stretch, we have become a nation of manufacturing wimps.
Maybe today manufacturing in China is trivial. Thirty years ago, manufacturing in Korea was 'trivial'. Sixty years ago, manufacturing in Japan was 'trivial'. Remember when 'Made in Japan', then 'Made in Korea' was a mark of shoddy products? I'll tell you one country where manufacturing is headed in the direction of becoming trivial. We're both standing on it.
However calling Obamas mistake with GM and Chysler a success is a horrible mistake. It would have een far better for both of those companies to have failed. It might actually have put a little focus on what is wrong with business in the US. Further it would ave removed the entire GM management team from the food chain.
How do you know that? That's all supposition based on your own ideological bias. All we know is instead of the whole company going into bankruptcy and who knows what happens after that, GM (and Chrysler) has been streamlined, is building cars again, and making money. Even conservative pundits have had to concede that yes the rescue was a success, something that their bedrock beliefs told them could never, ever happen.
In truth what GM needed most to survive was to escape the debilitating burden of its excessive employee and retiree health care obligations. Something that automakers in Germany and Japan don't face because of their excellent national health care programs. I am far from a labor basher. In fact my politics is left of center, but not loony left. Those excessive health care obligations were killing GM and they just needed to go if GM was to survive and at least provide some jobs rather than zero jobs. But more importantly, the auto manufacturing know-how that GM has amassed, and which would be so costly for anyone to reacquire, doesn't get dissipated into thin air.
And by the way, GM's top management did get kicked out. And no, you don't want to remove the entire management team top-to-bottom because, believe it or not, there are some good people in there who you want to keep because they are familiar with the existing systems. See, your view of manufacturing is no different from the conservative economists theoretical ideal where manufacturing knowledge and skill is easily recovered if you happen to lose it. Most right-wing economists have no appreciation at all of the nature of the technology and know how that manufacturing requires, that's why they think "financial services? manufacturing? what's the difference? As long as they make profits and produce surpluses for the economy they're all interchangeable." Well, they aren't. The Germans, Japanese, Koreans and Chinese know this. The U.K. and the U.S. don't seem to.
There is also this other matter where you can't go through a lengthy and uncertain bankruptcy process for GM (and Chrysler) because if you do that you kill Ford as well and thus the entire US-based auto industry. Why? Because the network of suppliers and subcontractors that Ford relies on in the US cannot survive for long with just Ford as its customer. Ford was very adamant about this with Obama: You let GM & Chrysler be idle a long time, you kill the supplier industry and you kill us as well.
Of course for people who think that it's okay if the US-based auto industry just disappears, all my arguments are wrong because they are premised on saving the industry rather than "letting the market decide".
You make a huge mistake here, Princeton is a school for the wealthy! It is not a school for the brightest.
No, you're the one who's making a huge mistake. I had just gone through the whole college app process with my kid. The ivy league really gets the brightest kids and they do hire the smartest faculty. If you're among the brightest, even if you're poor, Princeton, Harvard, MIT and the rest of them have enough money to put you through college for free. For the brightest, non-wealthy students in the land, going to an ivy league caliber private college is actually cheaper than going to a state university. So they do get the brightest students regardless of income level. This refrain that Princeton is a school for the wealthy but not the brightest may have been true during George W. Bush's generation (he went to Yale) but not anymore. People who keep repeating it are either ignorant or just indulging in some sour grapes because they didn't get accepted.
The colleges that are for the wealthy but not the brightest are mostly the second tier private colleges in the northeast. I won't needlessly inflame innocent bystanders by naming them.