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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-22-2005, 08:47 PM   #61
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

What I was thinking as well... All we need is more federal poop.
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-23-2005, 01:55 AM   #62
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

I agree that the govt is not the most competent entity. But on the other hand would you trust your complete welfare to Neutron Jack?

It seems what is in business' best interest in a globalized economy diverges from what is in the national interest. Now almost every function of any company is not limited to a physical location. The invisible hand allocates capital. It will allocate it out of the US, if business feels someplace else has a competitive advantage.

All that I am saying is that even though the invisible hand works, there is also room for individual countries to decide how to approach globalization and competition. There are things govts can do to increase the attractiveness and the competitiveness of their counties which business and individuals can't or won't do. If a country's govt doesn't step up to the plate, other countries which do will develop competitive advantages and attract business from countries that don't. For America, it might be a good idea to figure this stuff through.

Or something along those lines
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-23-2005, 03:05 AM   #63
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

I think the best thing the US government could do for our global competitiveness is to get out of the way. Eliminate politically motivated monopolies, then reduce government spending and taxes. Set free from needless regulation and taxes, the US worker could compete. The super high cost of living here makes us uncompetitive in any labor intensive industry.

Central planning by government just doesn't work. Look at the mess government bureaucrats made in the Soviet Union.

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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-23-2005, 09:08 AM   #64
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

Currently I see a problem of short-sightedness that's pervasive thru government, business, and even the citizens of our country. Gov't spends today like there is no tomorrow, even some of our increased tax revenues of late have been due to allowing businesses to bring money back to the US at a lower tax rate--creating an illusion of trickle down alone working well. Business leaders look for immediate profits or savings, running from one crisis to another (see GM doing yet another temporary fix when they should have been focusing on making a competitive car and organization for the long-term, since the 70s). And people pulling money out of their homes like appreciation (and increased wages?) will continue forever?

You can't simplify things too much : and say that getting gov't off the back of business will solve all the problems, and you can't say that gov't can solve all the problems. A big part of the problem is that everyone participates (by voting? by lobbying? by extracting-spending unearned bubble money? by allowing deficit spending?) in these short-term behaviors, pushing for their own immediate self interest to the exclusion of long-term and needed solutions. I participate in this madness far too much--too.

To mix a metaphor, if you keep pulling one pillar out out at a time, pretty soon the sky falls--but until it falls, it sure looks pretty up there. There are lots of real solutions out there.

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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-23-2005, 09:26 AM   #65
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikew
The invisible hand allocates capital. It will allocate it out of the US, if business feels someplace else has a competitive advantage.
It can and it should. *It is called comparative advantage - and it is why global free trade enriches all participants. *

What government can do is:
1) Reduce or eliminate tariffs and subsidies - US competitiveness is enhanced when companies are forced to compete.
2) Minimize regulations that impede business flexibility and increase costs
3) Reduce taxes and fees - capital flows to the areas where it is appreciated and treated kindly
4) Dramatically simplify the tax code - investment decisions should be based on the merits of the specific project, not its tax treatment
5) Remove restrictions that impede labor mobility - this runs the gamut from pension reform to immigration reform
6) Improve education - The government need not do "more" in this area (we already spend more per pupil than almost any other country on the planet) but it needs to figure out why we are getting such a poor return on the massive education dollars we spend. *A big part of this is probably the politicization of schools and their curriculums. *But if other countries are producing better educated students then we are, we should figure out what they are doing and copy their best practices.


Any effort to direct the US economy through some form of "Competitiveness Agenda" will prove to be counter productive and result in reduced standards of living for everyone. *Other countries that have gone down this path have experienced periods of success, at which point everyone thinks its a great idea. *However, these successes are always followed by periods of disaster when the inevitable imbalances of the command economy reach critical mass.

Mark my words. *China will experience a serious financial meltdown at some point. *It is impossible to say when, or what the catalyst will be, but the probability that China will be able to maintain a highly controlled economy, or successfully transition to a more liberal one, without major disruption is exceedingly remote.
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-23-2005, 07:17 PM   #66
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

Michael and Years to go
I agree with most of what you are saying. But I disagree with some of your conclusions.
I think countries (with govt help) can create comparitive advantages. I also think that central planning (a value laden term) isn't an all or nothing proposition.

I basically agree with your list but I also think that the govt can set limited goals and provide limited leadership for the direction of the country. I also think the government aready does this in a implicit sloppy way with every rule, law, tax, or program it makes or elliminates. It is supporting oil, agriculture, areospace (through defense spending), and a host of other industries though taxes, tarriff protection, and budget spending. It isn't suporting alternative fuel development very much. A success story of US central planning is how the American government built up the internet to a point where private industry could take over.

A good recent example of a country creating a comparitive advange through govt direction is Signapore and the university education industry. They suceeded in creating the hub of asian education. In addition to their national universities, the University of Chicago, Insead, and the University of New South Wales all have or will have perment capmuses in Signapore. Plus a host of other institutions have limited presences. They did this by setting a national goal. They provided monetary and resource incentives. Plus there is the way the gov't has helped built up the underlying society and education system. Interestingly, this is an industry the US seems to be running away from.

I agree that China will have a serious financial meltdown. Their banking system is effectively bankrupt and a lot of industries are rife with corruption. But even after they have their meltdown, they will still be in a better position than if they had done nothing. Japan and Korea have both gone through serious meltdowns but look how far they've come.

I guess I don't see comparititive advantage as a natural or static thing. I also think there will be winners and losers in globalization. Consequently, each country needs to fight for their GDP or it will slip away. I see doing it without govt is like doing it with one hand tied behind your back.
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-23-2005, 08:07 PM   #67
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

I think by far the largest issue associated with this larger "Developed vs Developing" economy issues has yet to be mentioned. INCENTIVE / DISINCENTIVE

The West in general has become "soft" - over time probably all successful/dominant economies do so. Developed economy populations see an issue affecting their lives and immediately ask "What is the Government going to do about it? How is somebody else going to create a solution to this problem that doesn't affect me, doesn't affect my standard of living or how many benefits or services I receive from Government. And who else is going to pay the differential cost of providing me with this solution?" We all want more, bigger and better, without as a group, putting more or giving more into the "system".

The developed world doesn't (yet) think this way. Many people generally view their Government as providing little or nothing. Indeed many take much more than give in corruption and cronyism. The Government to many in the developing world is to be avoided at all costs. The questions asked are "How AM I GOING to overcome this situation? If I don't do something nobody else will. The Government will quite happily let me live in a squalor and eat grass. No government funds to pay people to stay at home. No government funds for women to stay home from their jobs for 6 months when giving birth. No corresponding Paternity leave. NO Government retirement benefits (that is what your children are for).

So the average man in the street in Jakarta, or Mumbai, or Dhaka or Shanghai is saying "I will work anywhere and do anything for however long to a) feed and house my family b) pay for the best education I can for my kids c) try to learn some skill or trade to get out of employment and into business for myself. If I don't do something, anything every day then I can and will probably end up living on the streets with my kids sifting through garbage. If he is lucky enough to get into a small trade or business, he can employ workers quickly and easily. He can release workers quickly and easily. There is no infrastructural costs associated with employment, no lingeing liabilities to ex-workers. If he needs a hundred manual workers to pack for a big order, a few words on the grape vine and "LO!" 300 hundred people are waiting at the factory gates asking for a job. The same 100 workers are paid up and laid off the moment the order is fulfilled if no other work is available. No pension, no benefits, 100% mobility for all concerned.

OK, a bit generalised but the fundamental concept holds true. The aspirations of the people are no different to anyone - we all want the basics for survival for our families and then the best we can achieve beyond that. The difference is that the incentive for the general population in the developing world is much greater. No safety net means people strive harder and longer to survive, so a dependency culture is slow to develop.

These are just the positions as I see them. Is it Darwinian? Yes. Does it condem millions to inescapable poverty?Yes, in the short term. Does it make the entire population get up in the morning and get out and be as productive as they can to avoid slipping into poverty? BIG YES.

I am not advocating/supporting one system over the other. Just my reflections on the situations and attitudes I have experienced and lived through in 10 working years in the developed world and 10 working years in the developing world.

I think, to paraphrase Shakespear , "... somewhere betwix the two lies the (solution)."

Cheers

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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-23-2005, 10:44 PM   #68
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

Honkie,
Great post.
My whole take on economics/politics/life changed after spending just a month or two travelling around the developing world.

Maybe a trip to someplace like Indonesia or China or India should be an essential pre-requisite for election to higher public office.

All I know is that half our family's equities are overseas, and a lot of it is in countries where people are working in the conditions you describe. I think capital will find its way to these places where talented motivated people will put it to work.

I agree with your comment that the national knee-jerk reaction to anything unpleasant on the news is 'the government should fix it'. Usually that translates to mean "chinese savers will finance our public sector to engage yet another issue and our kids will pay the bills for generations".

I love the quote I read today by British govt officials that "there are far more medical procedures available than any nation could ever hope to pay for" --they are questoning whether to pay for moderately-effective Alzheimers' pharmaceuticals right now. We need more of that reality-based thinking here, too. The new accounting rule requiring state and local government's to list their unfunded pensionand healthcare liabilities should be a good start.
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-24-2005, 10:28 AM   #69
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

Quote:
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--they are questoning whether to pay for moderately-effective Alzheimers' pharmaceuticals right* now.* We need more of that reality-based thinking here, too.
I'd like to hear the reality-based rhetoric when one of their parents or siblings is diagnosed with Alzheimer's. We'll have to send the others a copy of Thomas DeBaggio's book...
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-24-2005, 12:57 PM   #70
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESRBob

I love the quote I read today by British govt officials that "there are far more medical procedures available than any nation could ever hope to pay for" --they are questoning whether to pay for moderately-effective Alzheimers' pharmaceuticals right now. We need more of that reality-based thinking here, too. The new accounting rule requiring state and local government's to list their unfunded pensionand healthcare liabilities should be a good start.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I'd like to hear the reality-based rhetoric when one of their parents or siblings is diagnosed with Alzheimer's. We'll have to send the others a copy of Thomas DeBaggio's book...
Rationing health care is a tough one and happens one way or another--either through careful consideration of issues or just by doing nothing at all.

My niece's six month old daughter is going on the list for an intestine transplant. She will not live without one. The surgery is risky and expensive. The odds of survival are not great. But the odds are improving every year with transplant centers getting better and better at intestine transplants. To advance medical care we need to push the boundaries somewhat. But it is really hard to know where to draw lines. Already this child is a million dollar baby. But she is my grandniece and my sister's only grandchild.
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-24-2005, 02:33 PM   #71
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Rationing health care is a tough one and happens one way or another--either through careful consideration of issues or just by doing nothing at all.

My niece's six month old daughter is going on the list for an intestine transplant.* She will not live without one.* The surgery is risky and expensive.* The odds of survival are not great.* But the odds are improving every year with transplant centers getting better and better at intestine transplants. To advance medical care we need to push the boundaries somewhat.* But it is really hard to know where to draw lines.* Already this child is a million dollar baby.* But she is my grandniece and my sister's only grandchild.*
I obviously second that emotion. My daughter is pushing seven figures and she's only 14 months old. With her heart defect, pulmonary hypertension, and now asthma (just found out yesterday, yay. :P ) a Machiavellian point of view might be to say she's not worth the money because she has Down Syndrome and won't contribute enough to society to pay that back. I mean, how many kids could be put through head start with that money? But she's my whole life. The math stops working when it's your family.
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-24-2005, 08:28 PM   #72
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
I obviously second that emotion.* My daughter is pushing seven figures and she's only 14 months old.* With her heart defect, pulmonary hypertension, and now asthma (just found out yesterday, yay.* *:P ) a Machiavellian point of view might be to say she's not worth the money because she has Down Syndrome and won't contribute enough to society to pay that back.* I mean, how many kids could be put through head start with that money?* But she's my whole life.* The math stops working when it's* your family.
Laurence, Nords, ESRBob and Martha -

I think you all make very good points. To provide every scrap of health care, social support and medical attention available to every possible recipient is logistically and financially impossible. But when one of our own is in need we obviously want all that is available. That's only natural. It's a very tough issue that societies seem to have difficulty coming to terms with, particularly as far as younger children are concerned.

My one hope is that sufficient resources are made available and sufficient progress is made in the field of genetic research and stem cell technology to make some of current dilemmas either redundant, more effectively treatable or at least more simple to address.

As regards the differential in attitudes between the "softer" developed world and the developing world, I know that satistically, roughly the same number of children are conceived in both areas each year with physical and mental disablilities. The peasant farmer, living a subsistence lifestyle with* children and a wife usually has no dilemma when a child with severe problems comes along. They are either given away (if someone will take them), abondoned or quietly taken into the countryside and drowned. Does this guy love his child and find this the most painful thing in the world to do?? Of course he does. But it's necessary for the survival of the rest of family and the slim hope that one day he might rise out of poverty. With the child, all his family are condemned. No spare cash for school, thus no route out. His choice is simple to make, just difficult to execute.

We suffer the same dilemma, but from a different perspective. Ours is a view of quality of life for the infant, not one of who will actually pay for it all.

My grandfather in law had 3 children and was in his forties when his wife gave birth to twin girls. They lived an okay life and he could just pay for school for the other 3 kids. Taking on two more would mean reduced school and living standard for the rest. Thus a reduced chance of his children climbing the standard of living ladder. His solution was simple. Two childless couples were found and both children were given away. Fortunately they were both physically healthy. One of those children is my M-in-L.

Tough issues and tough choices, both as individuals affected and as a member of society. I don't think the natural debate will progress this issue very far in a decade or several decades even. I think and hope science will address more of the issues that our consciences and emotions can't seem to cope with.

I many ways, I think more Government and World leaders should be exposed to such diliemmas in their personal lives (although I don't WISH it on anyone), so that some of the p*****g around with genetic/stem research and funding can be resolved and treatments found for the greater benefit of mankind.

Honkie.
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-25-2005, 08:51 AM   #73
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I'd like to hear the reality-based rhetoric when one of their parents or siblings is diagnosed with Alzheimer's.* We'll have to send the others a copy of Thomas DeBaggio's book...
My mother has Alzheimers, and it ain't pretty.* Furthermore, the elevator only goes down these days; no improvement.* Meds slow it down but do not cure.* I sure hope they get the stem cell research going and hate all political and religious efforts to stop it.* After all, my turn in the barrel may not be far off.* It seems to me that the company that finds a cure for this will make more money than Microsoft.* With 77 million baby boomers lining up, there's an opportunity there.*
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-25-2005, 09:27 PM   #74
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

It will happen. But it may not happen in the US. Look to Korea, the UK and other countries now that there is an opening. It may take a little longer because they need to gear up but it will happen. The science will not stop.

Similarily in today's NYTimes
American universities are warning that rules proposed by the Defense Department and expected soon from the Commerce Department could hurt research by limiting the ability of foreign-born students and technicians to work with sensitive technology in laboratories.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/26/ed...6research.html

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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-25-2005, 10:47 PM   #75
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43
My mother has Alzheimers, and it ain't pretty. Furthermore, the elevator only goes down these days; no improvement. Meds slow it down but do not cure.
Eagle,
I'm in your boat, too. My Dad has Alzheimers-like symptoms (they think now it could have been the result of a series of small strokes) and they have had him on these 'slow-it-down' meds for a few years, but it isn't making much difference to him. The slight reprieve they give seems, however, to have made a difference for my Mom, who has been given a few extra years to get used to the idea that he is failing etc. and to have that extra time to bring herself around psychologically to the inevitable eventual loss of her husband of 65 years.

Am I remembering correctly the stat that half of Americans over 80 have some level of senile dementia? If I have the exact percentage wrong, it is nonetheless a high number, and one boomers will simply not live with. Technology has vanquished plenty of old bugaboos and this one will, I strongly suspect, also fall or at least take some serious body blows in our lifetimes.
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-25-2005, 11:11 PM   #76
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikew
It will happen. But it may not happen in the US. Look to Korea, the UK and other countries now that there is an opening. It may take a little longer because they need to gear up but it will happen. The science will not stop.

Similarily in today's NYTimes
American universities are warning that rules proposed by the Defense Department and expected soon from the Commerce Department could hurt research by limiting the ability of foreign-born students and technicians to work with sensitive technology in laboratories.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/26/ed...6research.html

Mike
Noted the following quote from the above article -

QUOTE: "The proposed Defense Department rules would require contractors, including universities getting research financing, to create separate security badges for foreign citizens and "segregated work areas"

And with more China paranoia, they continue:

QUOTE: "Noting that American jet engine technology is superior to China's, he said: "I don't see any reason why we should make it easier for China to build supersonic jets they could use to attack Taiwan, Japan or the U.S. They're not an ally."

So in 10 years don't be surprised to hear the reply from China " Well our Alzheimers medication, stem cell technology and alternative energy source technology is way more advanced than the US, but why should we share it with you, you're not an ally."





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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 11-26-2005, 05:07 AM   #77
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESRBob
Eagle,
I'm in your boat, too.* My Dad has Alzheimers-like symptoms (they think now it could have been the result of a series of small strokes) and they have had him on these 'slow-it-down' meds for a few years, but it isn't making much difference to him.* The slight reprieve they give seems,* however, to have made a difference for my Mom, who has been given a few extra years to get used to the idea that he is failing etc. and to have that extra time to bring herself around psychologically to the inevitable eventual loss of her husband of 65 years.*

Am I remembering correctly the stat* that half of Americans over 80 have some level of senile dementia?* If I have the exact percentage wrong, it is nonetheless a high number, and one boomers will simply not live with.* Technology has vanquished plenty of old bugaboos and this one will, I strongly suspect, also fall or at least take some serious body blows in our lifetimes.
My Dad is in early stage. Fortunately Mom is still sharp mentally
although she is still adjusting to Dad not being able to function at
his former level. First signs appeared about a year ago. Today, if you only talked to him for 15-30 minutes and were very non-specific,
you might not notice anything. I have seen this in others similarly afflicted, i.e. they are kind of able to fake it as long as the
conversation stays vague. The good news is that Dad has some sense
that he is slipping. If he had no clue (which may happen eventually)
it would be very tough.

JG
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 12-19-2005, 10:15 AM   #78
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by AltaRed

Protectionist barriers simply prolong the suffering and a drain on the economy. No protectionist barrier has proved to work in modern times. Such tools might be used temporarily to force a smooth transition over a few years rather than a sudden collapse of an industry.
in the mid-1980s you couldn't give away a Harley Davidson. HD lobbied congress and got a tariff put on all foreign-made bikes. They argued that they needed the help until the company got on it's feet.

Today....A Honda or BMW will still kick the bejeesus out of Harleys in both performance and reliability. But Harley managed to use the help to stage one of the most incredible marketing successes ever known. Harley now sells images, only a portion of which actually involves a motorcycle. People will line up to pay a $5000 premium or more over what the motorcycle is worth, then shell out thousands more to buy the costumes etc.

So maybe this is a clue--if you can't beat them with the product and its engineering, snow them with Madison-Ave. BS. Convince them that a noisy machine SOUNDS sexy. Seems to work.

So your statement, while generally true, is not strictly speaking accurate. Barriers HAVE worked, although I suspcet they fail more often than they succeed.
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China
Old 12-19-2005, 09:47 PM   #79
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

bosco,

As I understand it, the Harley success was built on management getting out of the way and listening to the people who put the machines together, thereby improving product quality (they stopped falling apart). Still, it was a marketing miracle.

I studied economics at college and follow the math and the argument that trade barriers make things more expensive. I am not sure that is bad in all cases. However, I have seen protected economies and they don't seem to serve their citizens very well. Products are not just more expensive, they are much lower quality. Again, I am not sure that this is necessarily bad. Inefficient, yes.

Still on the fence on this one.

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Old 12-20-2005, 06:05 AM   #80
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Re: Made in U.S., Shunned in China

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
in the mid-1980s you couldn't give away a Harley Davidson.* HD lobbied congress and got a tariff put on all foreign-made bikes.* They argued that they needed the help until the company got on it's feet.

Today....A Honda or BMW will still kick the bejeesus out of Harleys in both performance and reliability.* But Harley managed to use the help to stage one of the most incredible marketing successes ever known.* Harley now sells images, only a portion of which actually involves a motorcycle.* People will line up to pay a $5000 premium or more over what the motorcycle is worth, then shell out thousands more to buy the costumes etc.

So maybe this is a clue--if you can't beat them with the product and its engineering, snow them with Madison-Ave. BS.* Convince them that a noisy machine SOUNDS sexy.* Seems to work.

So your statement, while generally true, is not strictly speaking accurate.* Barriers HAVE worked, although I suspcet they fail more often than they succeed.
bosco is absolutely right (about Harleys). During my entire biker
career I rode only "rice burners". Practically maintenance free.
Just rode 'em. A good friend is on his second or third Harley.
He is the best mechanic I know and could make a silk purse out
of a sow's ear. Still, he is thinking of giving up riding because
he has no confidence that he will be able to take a long ride
and make it back home. They are selling the noise and the
sizzle. They may not be "falling apart" but most of the bikers I knew
(even Harley people) agreed the Jap. bikes were a better value
for the money.

JG
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