Labor in America – What is the future?

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  • #51
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I think a lot of people get 'equality of opportunity' mixed up with 'freedom of opportunity'.
 
  • #52
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Smurf said:
I think a lot of people get 'equality of opportunity' mixed up with 'freedom of opportunity'.
Perhaps...what I mean is that everyone gets to do the best that they can with whatever have available at their disposal. For some people that is not much and for others it is a whole lot. We should not try to level this playing field to make life a fair race for everyone. Moreover, in the end, we do not need to all have more or less the same result either. We can have rich, middle class and poor and that is ok. It has been that way since the very first civilization. It is the driving force behind a material driven world.

Regards,
 
  • #53
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Yeah, what I thought. Equality of Opportunity means a level playing field.
 
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  • #54
solutions in a box
Unions getting back to the future

The Unions and industry boomed after WWII. At that time unions were not an issue.
The decline of the unions began almost 25 years ago when Ronald Reagan fired over 10,000 union air traffic controllers. None of them were allowed to be rehired as non union controllers. It has been a long downhill slide ever since.
Corporations now realize that they can fire the union workers and hire replacements.

At the current time for instance, Union mine workers in Arizona are on strike against Asarco copper corp.
The union miners have worked for the last three years without a contract and without a pay raise. Asarco wants to freeze pay at the current level.
This despite the fact that copper is selling at an all time high.

Asarco (which is owned by Groupo Mexico) is threatening to fire the workers and bring in workers from Groupo mines in Mexico.

Is this fair? Not hardly. This is about what is fair for American workers and the future of the country.
I personally think that if you add one dollar to all of the socioeconomic high talk, you still just end up with a bad cup of coffee at Denny's.
 
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  • #55
SOS2008
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Townsend said:
The side that champions equality of opportunity....protection of the individual from the tyranny of faction....individual liberty.

Who ever supports those the gets my vote......I start the ranking with individual liberty, then equality of opportunity and last protection from the emotional whims of faction.
Using your words of "individual liberty" here are a few sites that come up on the first page:

Individual rights
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"Individual rights" is a legal term referring to what one is allowed to do and what can be done to an individual. Police states are generally considered to be oppressive because they offer their citizens few individual rights. [e.g., Patriot Act].

...For example, it has been argued that the people are less likely to violate the law if they believe that the legal system is likely to punish them if they actually violated the law and not punish them if they did not violate the law. By contrast, if the legal system is arbitrary then an individual has no incentive to actually follow the law. [e.g., illegal immigration]

People who argue that individual rights are more important than social control are called, "individual rights advocates". This school of thought holds that it is better to let a criminal go free; than to execute, imprison, or otherwise punish an innocent person. Advocates tend to argue for increased civil rights. This is traditionally associated with liberalism.
http://cc.msnscache.com/cache.aspx?q=2078594106540&lang=en-US&FORM=CVRE

Civil Liberties - It Was Too Good To Be True

Earlier today I blogged that there were serious rumors that the next nomination to the Supreme Court was to be Edith Brown Clement. It seemed too good to be true - a judge with strong view on personal privacy and a solid professional track record.

Alas, it was but a pipe dream. Instead Bush announced his nomination of John G. Roberts, Jr, a clearly neocon judge with strong anti-abortion views. There is no joy in civil liberties tonight. With the current make up of the Senate, it's likely that Roberts will end up as another nail in the coffin of our freedoms and rights.
http://civilliberty.about.com/

Then using your words of "equality of opportunity":

http://www.nul.org/instituteforopportunityandequality.html

Dedicated to the pursuit of economic self-reliance and equal opportunity for African Americans, the Institute's work concentrates on such key issues as employment and workforce development, education, housing, criminal justice, economic and community development and macroeconomic policy.
http://www.womensedge.org/index.jsp [Broken]

If the world wants to eradicate poverty, we need to start by first investing in the economic empowerment of women, who constitute more than 70% of the world's poorest people.
http://www.equaleducation.org/

Can Separate Be Equal? The Overlooked Flaw at the Center of No Child Left Behind - Part of The Century Foundation's Reality Check series, this report examines how the No Child Left Behind Act fails to address a major cause of failing schools: concentrated poverty...
http://www.equipforequality.org/

Find answers to a variety of disability related concerns, including information on how to seek individual assistance with disability-related rights issues, information on legislation and public policy that impacts the disability community, training to help you advocate for your own disability rights in a variety of circumstances, and information on ensuring that people with disabilities remain safe in the wide variety of settings where they live and work. This site also maintains a wealth of links and documents related to disability rights issues in its Resource Center.
http://www.equipforequality.org/

I'm not sure what you mean by emotional whims of factions, but I'll assume a good example would be the fundamentalist Christians. I guess you're rooting for liberals?
 
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  • #56
loseyourname
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Art said:
IMO if a US company was to set up a car manufacturing plant using the Dell business model he would literally wipe the floor with his competition both at home and internationally all else being equal.
Sell cheap, customizable cars online and ship them directly to the customer for the prices they currently offer to dealers? No more test-drives? I can imagine you'd run into some difficulties as it takes a while longer to build a car than it takes to build a computer, but you could still be on to something. If you really believe in this idea, why not find some investors and put together a pitch? Heck, convince me and I'll go find some investors.
 
  • #57
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You wouldn't have nearly as much flexibility as Dell does with computers. but it has potential. Ha! It could be the next big step in car manufacturing, you never know if you might be responsible for standardizing generic auto parts.
 
  • #58
SOS2008
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People are already buying cars online in increasing numbers.
 
  • #59
FredGarvin
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Smurf said:
You wouldn't have nearly as much flexibility as Dell does with computers. but it has potential. Ha! It could be the next big step in car manufacturing, you never know if you might be responsible for standardizing generic auto parts.
Actually, if you take into account things like color, 2-door vs. 4 door, engine/drivetrain options, interior options, etc... current vehicle lines are vastly more complicated and flexible in terms of options than a computer.

IMO...

From personal experience, I can tell you that the ideology and attitudes between US automakers and foreign automakers could not be more polar opposites. When I was in a plant, the US's version of good manufacturing was getting the required number of vehicles out the door. That's it. If they happened to be right, all the better, but not necessarily required. Quantity is job 1, not quality. Also, the working environment is pathetic. How can a company foster feelings of employee loyalty and desire to produce a good product when EVERY SINGLE encounter with a fellow worker/supervisor is adversarial in nature? It can't. a big part of that adversarial nature is due to the unions. The unions, in their current forms, are archaic and perpetuate the wrong message to the majority of it's constituents: We are working so you can get paid more for working less.

BTW...GMs pention problems are also because of the non-union, "white collar" workers as well.
 
  • #60
Art
loseyourname said:
Sell cheap, customizable cars online and ship them directly to the customer for the prices they currently offer to dealers? No more test-drives? I can imagine you'd run into some difficulties as it takes a while longer to build a car than it takes to build a computer, but you could still be on to something. If you really believe in this idea, why not find some investors and put together a pitch? Heck, convince me and I'll go find some investors.
I don't know the times for the bodyshop but once the shell reaches the assembly line it only takes approx 1 hour before the finished car is driven away and so it probably actually takes less time to assemble a car than it does a computer. (computers require between 8 and 24 hours burn in and test time which cars do not.)
Fred Garvin-
Actually, if you take into account things like color, 2-door vs. 4 door, engine/drivetrain options, interior options, etc... current vehicle lines are vastly more complicated and flexible in terms of options than a computer.
Again there are actually more configuration options for Dell's computers than there are for cars. Apart from the general offerings to the public Dell have a Dell+ service for business customers whereby the customer can have absolutely anything he specifies included in the configuration.
 
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  • #61
solutions in a box
Art said:
Again there are actually more configuration options for Dell's computers than there are for cars. Apart from the general offerings to the public Dell have a Dell+ service for business customers whereby the customer can have absolutely anything he specifies included in the configuration.
Man you can that again. Last year I bought a Honda minivan online with out a problem.

Last month I went to the dell website. I kept running into, "your current configuation has components that are not compatible" ect ect. I ended up buying a preconfigured Dell through Costco on line for $100 less than I would have paid through Dell.
 
  • #62
Art
solutions in a box said:
Man you can that again. Last year I bought a Honda minivan online with out a problem.

Last month I went to the dell website. I kept running into, "your current configuation has components that are not compatible" ect ect. I ended up buying a preconfigured Dell through Costco on line for $100 less than I would have paid through Dell.
Dell has a logic program that tests customers' orders for what they call 'illegals' i.e. systems that cannot be physically built; for example if you try to order a system with more hard drives than the chassis can physically contain it will reject the order. Previous to the installation of this logic test the order would have been accepted and the problem only discovered when the system was actually in production which used to cause huge expense for Dell and unnessary delays for the customer.

The pre-configured machine you bought from Costco was no doubt a system a customer had ordered and then cancelled either before shipment or within the 30 day return period. In both cases Dell wipes the hard disk, rechecks the system and then sells it cheap as a 'Reman' (remanufactured).
 
  • #63
SOS2008
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FredGarvin said:
...From personal experience, I can tell you that the ideology and attitudes between US automakers and foreign automakers could not be more polar opposites. When I was in a plant, the US's version of good manufacturing was getting the required number of vehicles out the door. That's it. If they happened to be right, all the better, but not necessarily required. Quantity is job 1, not quality. Also, the working environment is pathetic. How can a company foster feelings of employee loyalty and desire to produce a good product when EVERY SINGLE encounter with a fellow worker/supervisor is adversarial in nature? It can't. a big part of that adversarial nature is due to the unions. The unions, in their current forms, are archaic and perpetuate the wrong message to the majority of it's constituents: We are working so you can get paid more for working less.

BTW...GMs pention problems are also because of the non-union, "white collar" workers as well.
Good points--and interesting to hear from someone who has actually experienced these things.
 
  • #64
loseyourname
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Art said:
I don't know the times for the bodyshop but once the shell reaches the assembly line it only takes approx 1 hour before the finished car is driven away and so it probably actually takes less time to assemble a car than it does a computer. (computers require between 8 and 24 hours burn in and test time which cars do not.)
The cars are preassembled according to stock packages though, aren't they? I just imagine it would be more difficult to customize every single order. In that case, your operation wouldn't even use much of an assembly line, at least not a mass production one, although I suppose you could just offer a choice between the same stock models people choose between now. Then you shouldn't run into any troubles.

So why aren't you doing this?
 
  • #65
There's actually a rather ummm interesting gentleman that interviews on Coast to Coast occasionally who thinks that one day we will have 3D printers in every home(3D as in it makes three dimensional objects) and that if we need something, small enough for our printer ofcourse, that we will just download the design and run one off. A bit crazy I think but not that far fetched maybe.
--- edit ---
I thought he was a nut bag until I actual found one of these...
http://www.zcorp.com/home.asp
 
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  • #66
SOS2008
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In regard to technology, and back to jobs in America, per capita we are not producing hi-tech (etc.) workers in comparison to other less developed, often smaller countries. In all fairness, the U.S. needs to improve education/trade schools if jobs are to remain in America.
 
  • #67
SOS2008 said:
In regard to technology, and back to jobs in America, per capita we are not producing hi-tech (etc.) workers in comparison to other less developed, often smaller countries. In all fairness, the U.S. needs to improve education/trade schools if jobs are to remain in America.
I work at a trade school. If the one I work at is any indication they're not very good at all. They just got off of probation from WASC and regained their accreditation. Most of the improvement as far as I can see has been superficial. It doesn't seem like being accredited means much.
 

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