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nakman
05-21-2009, 04:50 PM
I have two questions here. One, how is it even cost-effective to ship a $5 sheet of drywall from China to Florida? I'm sure it is, but this still just baffles me...

And two, why is it your responsibility as a tax payer to pay for this? :mad:


Thursday, May 21, 2009, 2:23pm MDT


Senators express outrage over Chinese drywall


New Mexico Business Weekly

Senators expressed outrage over problems associated with Chinese drywall during a Senate subcommittee hearing Thursday.

“We’ve got a problem here and we’ve gotta get to the bottom of it,” said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, who has been at the forefront of the investigation into problems said to be associated with the material.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., expressed outrage over a federal toxicologist’s comment that government investigators have felt sick after a few minutes of being inside a home with Chinese drywall.

“I fear that we may just be at the tip of the iceberg on what could be a natural and national disaster,” he said.

The Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance conducted Thursday’s hearing to determine what health and product safety issues might be associated with the high-sulfur imported drywall.

A growing product liability crisis over the drywall may include up to 35,000 homes in several states, with Florida being among the hardest hit. Several senators said federal money will be needed to deal with the problem.
“We’ve got to figure out what in the world these people are gonna do,” Nelson said. “They can’t afford rent and paying the mortgage if they are still living in the house.”

Sulfur fumes associated with the defective drywall cause a rotten egg odor, metal corrosion in air conditioners and electrical wiring, and feelings of nausea and other sickness.

Lori Saltzman, a toxicologist with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/gen/U.S._Consumer_Product_Safety_Commission_DB0908055F654093979356F7D50C8B8B.html), described her agency’s investigation of homes. She testified that investigators felt some of the symptoms associated with complaints about the drywall’s off-gassing within short periods inside homes.
Saltzman said the commission also has had several conversations with Chinese government officials. A Chinese delegation is expected to visit as part of the investigation.

“We’re hoping to get answers to those questions when they are here in June,” Saltzman said, who added that they also planned to visit China.
The commission is working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials to determine just how much Chinese drywall entered the U.S. in recent years, but tracking the drywall is complicated because similar import product codes are used for drywall and other materials, such as ceiling tiles, said a commission attorney.

The agency sent 44 letters to importers to determine who received the imports. “Anyone that has ‘Made in China’ stamped on their drywall, their house is worthless, said Randy Noel, president of Louisiana-based homebuilder Reve Inc.

Noel said his company estimates gutting a house of Chinese drywall costs $100,000 per house. But, the economy has hampered homebuilders’ ability to respond to the crisis, he said.
“The only place we can figure out where that might come from immediately is the federal government,” Noel said.

corsair23
05-21-2009, 05:05 PM
Don't know enough about drywall making but I wonder if environmental issues in the states are making it more cost effective to import drywall?

As for your other question that is easy...because "we", the taxpayers are apparently the only ones that can supposedly afford the cost and politicians seem to LOVE to spend OUR money :( - don't worry though, I'm sure this will only affect the rich :rolleyes:

IMO, the Chinese should pay for the cost!! Pay or we stop importing drywall and all the lead paint toys they sell us!!

sleeoffroad
05-21-2009, 05:19 PM
22000 containers at a time.

http://gcaptain.com/maritime/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/emma-maersk.jpg

http://gcaptain.com/maritime/blog/tag/container-ship/

jettaglxdriver
05-21-2009, 05:26 PM
I was going to say the shipping of the drywall isn't the cost I'd be worried about but the fact that our employees are not in near slave conditions and were not willing to sacrifice our environment for a few dollars like China is. They are currently doing damage to their country in then name of development that will never be reversed as long as any of us live and they have destroyed so much of their history already getting where they are at now. It's sad really.

corsair23
05-21-2009, 05:29 PM
It looks like it has an apartment building on the top deck :eek:

Mendocino
05-21-2009, 06:22 PM
I was going to say the shipping of the drywall isn't the cost I'd be worried about but the fact that our employees are not in near slave conditions and were not willing to sacrifice our environment for a few dollars like China is. They are currently doing damage to their country in then name of development that will never be reversed as long as any of us live and they have destroyed so much of their history already getting where they are at now. It's sad really.

It needs to be pointed out that American consumers are driving these conditions in China with their buying habits. "The sword cuts both ways."

I too think the Chinese drywall manufacturers should pay for this but it will never happen since China has underwritten so much US debt. They own a huge note in all our lives. Remember Hillary Clinton pleading (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/4782755/Hillary-Clinton-pleads-with-China-to-buy-US-Treasuries-as-Japan-looks-on.html) with the Chinese to keep buying US debt?

Your grandchildren will all speak Mandarin as a second language.

jettaglxdriver
05-21-2009, 08:31 PM
Please don't take this as being racist because that is not where I am going with this.

Between the influx of Hispanics and Muslims in the US and the demographic facts on minority (African American and Hispanic) household size vs Whites the US will be nothing like it is today in 30 years. I wonder if Affermative Action will still be in place when Whites are like the 3rd largest population in the US.

zornff
05-22-2009, 08:17 AM
Chinese drywall is causing some serious issues. One of my engineer buddies faxed over an article about this. I checked our local suppliers and most of ours is from Colorado. Quality control is obviously non existent over there.
I wonder if goods people buy in China have a tag that says made in USA ? LOL.

DaveInDenver
05-22-2009, 08:29 AM
I wonder if goods people buy in China have a tag that says made in USA ? LOL.
You might be surprised, we did export about $72 billion in goods to China in 2008 (we imported about $338 billion). And Jeff is right, when you are buying solely by the almighty dollar amount and driving it to it's lowest possible number regardless of buying something based on its value, you get exactly what you pay for. Sometimes the cheapest option right now is not the least expensive in the long run.

subzali
05-22-2009, 08:50 AM
a lot of what we export is trash...as in old computers, electronics, etc. There are huge landfills over there. I don't know if you would call that "goods" but they do pay us for that, for whatever reason.

jettaglxdriver
05-22-2009, 09:14 AM
Are you then saying it might cost you in the long run to put in a Chinese U joint for the trail instead of a good one? But the Chinese one cost less. I don't understand.. LOL

DaveInDenver
05-22-2009, 09:26 AM
a lot of what we export is trash...as in old computers, electronics, etc. There are huge landfills over there. I don't know if you would call that "goods" but they do pay us for that, for whatever reason.
Not true, the USA exports a lot more than landfill and waste electronics to China (which as it happens a lot of the stuff that started there ends its life there, full circle and all that). Industrial controllers, power generation gear, aerospace products, machining and tooling. The reason labor is cheaper there than here is because it's less skilled, which is also why they need to import products that require experienced and skilled design and labor.

Groucho
05-22-2009, 10:03 AM
Chinese drywall is causing some serious issues. One of my engineer buddies faxed over an article about this. I checked our local suppliers and most of ours is from Colorado. Quality control is obviously non existent over there.
I wonder if goods people buy in China have a tag that says made in USA ? LOL.

We manufacture parts in our facility in Longmont that are then shipped to our customer who is in China. The end-line user of the product built in our facility in Longmont is a company in Ft Collins. We put stickers of an American flag with the words "Made In USA" on all boxes headed out of the country.

You might be surprised, we did export about $72 billion in goods to China in 2008 (we imported about $338 billion). And Jeff is right, when you are buying solely by the almighty dollar amount and driving it to it's lowest possible number regardless of buying something based on its value, you get exactly what you pay for. Sometimes the cheapest option right now is not the least expensive in the long run.

a lot of what we export is trash...as in old computers, electronics, etc. There are huge landfills over there. I don't know if you would call that "goods" but they do pay us for that, for whatever reason.

Technically, the products we produce (we only fabricate, we don't design or sell retail) are part of that export number. Believe me, they are good American made parts from often (not all, because even some folks in the US are cheap bastids and insist on Mexican or Chinese steel) times certified US made materials and RoHS compliant. We build them, a facility in China receives them, inspects them to standards above that of the US parent company's standards, if they pass the inspection they are shipped to Ft Collins to be assembled and sold. Somehow, someone sees some sort of healthy bottom line (maybe a false bottom line) by going 4000 miles by air to China and back. I can't believe that our $20 delivery charge to Ft Collins is more expensive. But, as time goes on, mine as well as all of my employees counterparts are being grown in China where they perform their work duties as backward as f*$k. We loose more and more work, because now China is able to do our jobs for us, for much less money and with significantly less QC. We have often re-worked Chinese parts that we used to build here years ago. They are awful. Many things that the Chinese gig us for are evident as being worse with the parts fabricated in China.

Someone has compared China to what the US was at the turn of the 20th century. Booming and booming, not playing by the rules in force everywhere else, until they will become the next superpower. I hate to see it, but Jeff's comment might be correct in part if not in whole. We might be speaking other languages, but it won't be limited to Mandarin Chinese. Spanish will be the other one.

jettaglxdriver
05-22-2009, 10:21 AM
I hear ya Groucho I lost one job (Philips magnavox) to Mexico and another (Panasonic) to China. Both were TV factory jobs in Ohio. That is when I moved out here and got into the service maintenance industry instead of staying in the industrial maintenance industry which I still miss to this day. We did it better with less defects but we have basic human rights and a pretty safe work environment.

corsair23
05-22-2009, 12:04 PM
We manufacture parts in our facility in Longmont that are then shipped to our customer who is in China...

We build them, a facility in China receives them, inspects them to standards above that of the US parent company's standards, if they pass the inspection they are shipped to Ft Collins to be assembled and sold. Somehow, someone sees some sort of healthy bottom line (maybe a false bottom line) by going 4000 miles by air to China and back. I can't believe that our $20 delivery charge to Ft Collins is more expensive. But, as time goes on, mine as well as all of my employees counterparts are being grown in China where they perform their work duties as backward as f*$k. We loose more and more work, because now China is able to do our jobs for us, for much less money and with significantly less QC. We have often re-worked Chinese parts that we used to build here years ago.

Reverse engineering? I have read/heard on numerous occasions that China is known for taking a patented item, reverse engineering it, and then manufacturing said item for cheaper than can be done here and importing the item to the US. I wonder how many companies have decided that rather than lose everything to a Chinese manufacturer, that they will just let the Chinese make the stuff for them and import the stuff that at least they get some of the $$?

Think Canada and the prescription drug issue...We wonder why Canadians can get US produced drugs for less than we can...Well, the Canadian government has basically told the US pharmaceutical companies that they either sell the drugs to them for $X (well below the US rate) or Canada will invoke some law they have that basically authorizes them to infringe on patents and start producing the drugs themselves. So the pharmaceutical companies figure it is better to get some $$ rather than no $$. The trick is there are limits (established by the pharmaceutical companies) on the amount of drugs that they will export to Canada and therefore the populist "Why don't we just import the cheap drugs from Canada" thought is a false option.

Just because US companies have to abide by our copyright and patent laws doesn't mean the rest of the world does :(

sleeoffroad
05-22-2009, 12:26 PM
Have a look at this site. Want to buy some cheap ARB lockers, bumper etc etc. Many of the larger US companies buy from here and sell directly in competition with the products that they knocked off. Buy some cheap staun deflators from 4wheelparts, well those are from here. Distributed by Competition Specialities or Transamerica. Want a Chinese Hi-Lift, you can get that there as well.

http://www.china4x4offroad.com/

It is truly buyer beware and we can not just blame the Chinese. The US consumer is as much to blame for creating the market and the incentive for businesses to do this. Walk the Sema floor and see how may of these items are being brought into the country.

Mendocino
05-22-2009, 01:12 PM
...snip...But, as time goes on, mine as well as all of my employees counterparts are being grown in China where they perform their work duties as backward as f*$k. We loose more and more work, because now China is able to do our jobs for us, for much less money and with significantly less QC. We have often re-worked Chinese parts that we used to build here years ago. They are awful. Many things that the Chinese gig us for are evident as being worse with the parts fabricated in China.

Someone has compared China to what the US was at the turn of the 20th century. Booming and booming, not playing by the rules in force everywhere else, until they will become the next superpower. I hate to see it, but Jeff's comment might be correct in part if not in whole. We might be speaking other languages, but it won't be limited to Mandarin Chinese. Spanish will be the other one.

Read the Innovator's Dilemna (http://www.amazon.com/Innovators-Dilemma-Revolutionary-Business-Essentials/dp/0060521996). The Chinese are simply moving up market--very effectively. They also have zero respect for intellectual property and a government that assists them in their efforts.

At the same time many US companies compete extremely effectively in China, mine included. We are much more advanced in our business practices, marketing, engineering and distribution knowledge than they are. That stated I have no illusion of them not wanting to "eat our lunch."

In the end we have to stay ahead of them strategically and be superior at execution. Sometimes business makes strange bed fellows (http://www.trimble.com/news/release.aspx?id=051109a).

Red_Chili
05-22-2009, 03:14 PM
Youch, Christo... right down to copying the model numbers.
I am not a China-basher for legit products... but those are a long way from legit.

DaveInDenver
05-22-2009, 03:28 PM
Youch, Christo... right down to copying the model numbers.
I am not a China-basher for legit products... but those are a long way from legit.
It's really sad, they take the Warn or Superwinch web graphic and slap a very poorly Photochopped label over it. How do you fight it? Educated and discerning consumers is the way it's supposed to work, but cheaper and cheaper prices are hard to resist fer sure. People aren't willing to go without or at least save until they have the money to buy the good junk. More than once I've seen a Chinese-made winch and thought to myself why am I waiting until I can afford a Warn?

sleeoffroad
05-22-2009, 03:43 PM
The sad part is that it exist because there is a market for it. Might not be mostly US, but I am sure in the rest of the world they do sell. How do you fight it, not sure. I don't think you can. I think some consumers will stay clear, some will try and have a bad experience, and some will never learn. That is the nature of the beast.

AxleIke
05-22-2009, 03:53 PM
................................

DaveInDenver
05-22-2009, 03:56 PM
Gotta love a free market.

This is exactly the kind of thing I refer people to when they get to whining about gov't regulation over here.
Please explain. Would the market be better served if something was gov'ment imposed such that there was no competition? I don't care at all for Chinese knock-offs, but protectionism isn't the solution. Anyway, we do have lots of intervention, patents, tariffs and yet the practice continues. Companies have to accept that there's always someone who wants to take advantage of your hard work and stay one step ahead on quality, innovation, service or whatever it takes to stay in business.

nakman
05-22-2009, 04:03 PM
Here in my world some of our best customers are in defense, and their projects all fall under ITAR. That means we can't outsource to anyone else (who isn't also ITAR compliant), definitely can't send anything over seas, can't even email prints, it all has to be done via SFTP. Another market for us is medical, particularly items that are FDA regulated- again, these products can't be done outside the US if the US has its fingers in them in some other way, particularly once a product becomes FDA regulated, you can't just change how you produce it... so in some way, government intervention has helped keep things domestic.

Of course the counter to both is defense spending is way too high and the health care industry is even worse, but I'll contend outsourcing some of the production over seas isn't going to solve that.. would more likely just further line the pockets of the "well lined."

DaveInDenver
05-22-2009, 04:10 PM
so in some way, government intervention has helped keep things domestic
Everything I do falls under ITAR. The way things are done here compared to the commercial world have deep differences and if there weren't national security implications that change the value of some things, I'm fairly sure no one would want to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a video card for your computer that is half as fast as the one you get for $50 at Microcenter, despite the fact that it would keep working if you put your PC in a running microwave that's placed inside your deep freeze. Fer goodness sakes, even brand new vehicles make a 10 year old Pentium II PC look pretty cutting edge.

AxleIke
05-22-2009, 04:17 PM
........................

leiniesred
05-27-2009, 01:19 PM
Lin and I have decided that China is trying to kill us with their products.

Theory: China is selling us dangerous and defective products on purpose. Lead poison the kids to drop IQ's a little more over here in USA. Sell us Harbor freight tools that slip on bolts and skin my knuckles. Sell us cheap bolts that snap off and break my truck/tank/bridge/crane. Poison us with the drywall too. Why not? USA keeps buying.


Anyway, We are always on the lookout for made in USA products. We will often put down the made in China product, and go without while we mail order the made in USA version.

nakman
06-02-2009, 03:39 PM
Hummers could soon be made in China...

AP: Chinese Manufacturer To Buy Hummer
By Bree Fowler, AP Auto Writer
Manufacturing.Net - June 02, 2009





DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors Corp. took a key step toward its downsizing on Tuesday, striking a tentative deal to sell its Hummer brand to a Chinese manufacturer, while also revealing that it has potential buyers for its Saturn and Saab brands.

GM has an agreement to sell its Hummer brand to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. of China, said a person briefed on the deal.

The Detroit automaker announced Tuesday morning that it had a memorandum of understanding to sell the brand of rugged SUVs, but it didn't identify the buyer. A formal announcement of the buyer was to be made Tuesday afternoon, said the person briefed on the deal. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the details have not been made public.

Sichuan Tengzhong deals in road construction, plastics, resins and other industrial products, but Hummer would be its first step into the automotive business.

GM said the sale will likely save more than 3,000 U.S. jobs in manufacturing, engineering and at various Hummer dealerships.

As part of the proposed transaction, Hummer will continue to contract vehicle manufacturing and business services from GM during a transitional period. For example, GM's Shreveport, La., assembly plant would continue to contract to assemble the H3 and H3T through at least 2010, GM said.

The automaker also said Tuesday that it has 16 buyers interested in purchasing its Saturn brand, while three parties are interested in the Swedish Saab brand.

Chief Financial Officer Ray Young told reporters and industry analysts on a conference call that GM is continuing to pursue manufacturing agreements with a new Saturn buyer.

GM would like to sell the money-losing Saturn brand's dealership network, contracting with the new buyer to make some of its cars while the buyer gets other vehicles from different manufacturers.

At the same time, bridge loan discussions with the Swedish government are progressing, Young said.

GM, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York on Monday, is racing to remake itself as a smaller, leaner automaker. In addition to its plan to sell the Hummer, Saab and Saturn brands, GM will also phase out its Pontiac brand, concentrating on its Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC nameplates.

The company hopes to follow the lead of fellow U.S. automaker Chrysler LLC by transforming its most profitable assets into a new company in just 30 days and emerging from bankruptcy protection soon after.

But GM is much larger and complex than its Auburn Hills-based rival and isn't up against Chrysler's tight June 15 deadline to close its deal with Fiat Group SpA.

Sharon Lindstrom, managing director at business consulting firm Protiviti, said the companies pose different challenges. But as with Chrysler, she notes that the Treasury Department made sure many of GM's moving parts were in order ahead of time so a quick bankruptcy reorganization might be possible.

"They had a lot of their ducks in a row because the terms of the government financing forced them to get all the parties to the table in a very, very short period of time," Lindstrom said.

Separately, the German government said Tuesday it paid out the first €300 million ($425 million) in bridge loans to GM's Adam Opel GmbH division. The loans are part of a deal to shrink GM's stake in Opel and shield it from GM's bankruptcy protection filing in the U.S.

Canadian auto supplier Magna International Inc. and Russian-owned Sberbank will acquire 55 percent of Opel.

A sale of the Hummer brand had been expected. Chief Executive Fritz Henderson had said in April that the automaker was expecting final bids from three potential buyers within the month.

Critics had seized on the rugged but fuel-inefficient Hummer as a symbol of excess as GM's financial troubles grew and gas prices rose. Sales at Hummer, which is known for models with military-vehicle roots, have been in a steep slide since gasoline prices rose to record heights last summer. For the first four months of this year, Hummer sales are down 67 percent.

GM nailed down deals with its union and a majority of its bondholders and arranged the Opel deal in order to appear in court Monday with a near-complete plan to quickly emerge with a chance to become profitable.

The government has said it expects GM to come out of bankruptcy protection within 60 to 90 days. By comparison, the judge overseeing Chrysler's case approved the sale of its assets to a group led by Italy's Fiat in just over a month. Some industry observers think Chrysler could emerge as early as this week.

During Monday's hearing, GM attorney Harvey Miller stressed the magnitude of the case and the importance of moving GM through court oversight as fast as possible. He noted that the automaker only has about $2 billion in cash left.

"If there's going to be a recovery of value, it's absolutely crucial that a sale take place as soon as possible," Miller said in his opening statement.

The automaker wants to sell the bulk of its assets to a new company in which the U.S. government will take a 60 percent ownership stake. The Canadian government would take 12.5 percent of the "New GM," with the United Auto Workers union getting 17.5 percent and unsecured bondholders receiving 10 percent. Existing shareholders are expected to be wiped out.

U.S. Judge Robert Gerber moved swiftly through more than 25 mostly procedural motions during the automaker's first-day Chapter 11 hearing.

Gerber set GM's sale hearing for June 30, putting it on a path similar to that of Chrysler. Objections are due on June 19, with any competing bids required to be submitted by June 22.

Gerber also gave GM immediate access to $15 billion in government financing to get it through the next few weeks, and interim approval for use of a total $33.3 billion in financing, with final approval slated to be ruled on June 25. The funds are contingent on GM's sale being approved by July 10. Gerber also approved motions allowing the company to pay certain prebankruptcy wages, along with supplier and shipping costs.

The sheer size of GM makes it a more complicated case than Chrysler.

GM made twice as many vehicles as Chrysler's 1.5 million last year and employs 235,000 people compared with Chrysler's 54,000. GM also has plants and operations in many more countries, meaning it will likely have to strike separate deals to navigate the bankruptcy laws of those places.

Henderson said GM has learned a few things by watching Chrysler's case.

"Certainly the court showed that it can address 363 (sale) transactions in an expeditious fashion," Henderson said at a news conference Monday. "Particularly in our case with what will be a very large 363 transaction."

GM's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is the largest ever for an industrial company. GM, which said it has $172.81 billion in debt and $82.29 billion in assets, had received about $20 billion in low-interest loans before entering bankruptcy protection.

Fowler reported from New York. AP Auto Writer Dan Strumpf in New York and Associated Press Writer Joe McDonald in Beijing contributed to this report.

Hulk
06-02-2009, 05:11 PM
Went from a Humvee, made for the US military, to a consumer vehicle made for the public, to a Chinese-owned company? How the mighty have fallen. :(

subzali
06-03-2009, 01:16 PM
In my opinion it doesn't require government intervention to make sure our products are safe. It requires the due diligence of the American people to THINK before they buy. Problem, to me, is the lack of education.

I'm trying to remember the specific example - I think it has to do with the logging industry. There is a worldwide organization that monitors and certifies lumber from certain forests to make sure that quality control is maintained and that sustainable forestry practices are used in the production of that lumber. But IIRC it wasn't sponsored, driven, and isn't associated with our government or any other government. It's a combination of individuals, consumers, companies, and shareholders that have come together and forged a "third-party" oversight agency. I'll try to find the details - Jared Diamond talks about it in "Collapse".

I'm just taking Isaac's statement and extending it to mean that we are going to rely on our government to do our thinking for us. That idea scares me if taken too far. Here's a hypothetical situation: our government decides to do something about products Americans buy to take care of the American public's health and safety. Someone comes up with a definition of "healthier" or "safer" to mean "less fattening" because of a concern about general American obesity. So the government starts to limit the import of "fattening" items from other countries because they are "concerned" about the American public's weight problems. So my favorite Grecian cheese goes from $2/lb. to $8/lb. because there's less of it available because it's on the list of "fattening" items. Now the government is preventing me from making a conscious decision to buy this "fattening" item because they are "concerned" about my "health" and "safety". I know this is a silly example, but if you trust too much to the government I just have a concern that just such silly examples might actually be true some day.

Now I understand completely this is not even related to lead poisoning in kids' toys or harmful products in household drywall, I'm just sayin'...

I just think it would be better if drywall or toys were regulated not by the government but by a third-party organization compiled of those like the timber industry above. I don't know.

DaveInDenver
06-03-2009, 01:29 PM
No Matt, you DO know.

BTW, something that has not been touched on is the nature of imports and exports. Particularly in our current system. With everything we buy from other countries helps perpetuate our government spending. You know how you hear our Treasury bonds are bought by investors? Those are sold in U.S. dollars and guess how they get those dollars? By selling us stuff, to which we send them money. They take that money, which is useless paper, and buy our exported stuff. That might be machine tools or Cadillacs or services that we are good at. But a lot of the time it's just Treasury bonds. So ever wonder why despite all the rhetoric about safe toys and stuff that the government does not really seem to be very keen on actually doing anything about it? They are almost always reacting to a public outrage or to some watchdog group's warnings.

If they did anything substantial to limit Chinese and European imports then the money to constantly roll over debt dries up and with it a major way they support all those multiple trillion dollar deficits full of pork. Imagine if China did not have hundreds of billions of dollars coming in and the government actually relied on all of our taxes to finance itself. As it is taxes consume around 20% of the wealth created in the country and up coming budgets are going to increase that by unreal amounts. Now what if half of the money to finance the government went away?

treerootCO
06-03-2009, 02:00 PM
Paper money? Like these? :eek:

DaveInDenver
06-03-2009, 02:34 PM
LOL!

That's Charles Hamblin (I think they spelled it wrong as Hambin, but hard to see in the photo). Charles Hamblin was a Federal Reserve board member in the middle 1910s.

I've seen some of the others. The $100 has John D. Rockefeller, the $50 Paul Warburg, the $2 J.P. Morgan, the $10 McAdoo (who incidentally was Sec. of Treasury when Hamblin was on the FED board). I would have thought the Amero would have Montezuma, President Polk (who was in office during Mexican-American War), Santa Anna, Bob and Doug. You know, important people in North American history, rather than obscure FED people.

DaveInDenver
06-03-2009, 02:40 PM
BTW, that picture on the back is from a painting that shows Wilson signing the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

corsair23
06-03-2009, 02:41 PM
Now the government is preventing me from making a conscious decision to buy this "fattening" item because they are "concerned" about my "health" and "safety". I know this is a silly example, but if you trust too much to the government I just have a concern that just such silly examples might actually be true some day.

Actually it is not a silly example...Situations similar to your "silly" example are already occurring now in states like CA and NY. It is starting with schools to keep the kids "healthy" and branching out. If Obama is successful in his push for Nationalized Healthcare it will get worse...I don't think it takes too much of a stretch of the imagination to see the government banning unhealthy foods because "they" are paying for your healthcare now :rolleyes:

It amazes me how many people seem to really think the government has its own money, and that they will be getting something for free. Well, I guess some technically will be...

Groucho
06-03-2009, 03:32 PM
OMG! Here we go again!
13089

Not only will they say what we can and can't eat (due to taxing stuff so high that middle/lower and poverty class Americans can't afford it), but our slave wages will be paying for homes for the slaves (us).

I am not surprised that many folks on the board see these types of things, whether for the first time (possibly Radar), or for a long time (Opie). What I am surprised at is the countless people all over the place who, as Dave said, have no clue about how it all works. Just another reason not to send your kids to public schools, and throw out the TV. We are (intentionally by "them" or unintentionally but working out in "their" favor) being lulled into a state of mind where we do not recognize that we are not our own keeper anymore. Loss of liberty.

Not for me!

AxleIke
06-03-2009, 03:45 PM
...............................

AxleIke
06-03-2009, 04:10 PM
My apologies. I've removed my posts. These arguments often end with me pissing a bunch of people off, and I really don't want to offend people and lose friends in this club just for the sake of a pointless opinion.

Better that I keep focused on what we all mutually love: the wheeling!!

Cheers guys!:thumb:

subzali
06-03-2009, 04:11 PM
Isaac, I wasn't attacking you and I didn't miss your point. I guess I was just searching for an alternative besides the government, probably because it seems like lately everyone has been turning to the government for help when (at least the way I see it) there are other options. But you're probably right, a third party isn't all too much different in the long run so I guess you end up with no good solution. Add to that the fact that, as you said, there are a lot of morons out there and you're really not left with much.

I would just like to believe that rather than having knee-jerk reactions to poor decisions like buying millions of square feet of drywall only to find it's defective, we could start getting ahead of the curve and realize that there is a lot of crap coming into our society and somehow it has to stop. In my industry we (and other engineering companies) plain DON'T buy Chinese steel and pipe for certain projects. I also hear on the radio ads educating people about Boar's Head turkey (for example) rather than eating some cobbled together mixture of who knows what passed off as turkey. The bad stuff is coming in from all fronts it seems, and there are small efforts here and there to get ahead of it (like I mentioned above). I guess I don't like resorting to a pessimistic view of life (maybe that's naivite) and saying that there's no way out of it. I'm still searching for a way out and a way to get ahead.

I agree with you about the bailouts. I know I don't know really anything about economics, but it seems to me that even if a huge company fails there are always other companies out there who are standing ready to clean up the mess. Again, they made money on people's willingness to gamble with (or be plain ignorant of) interest rates. I think it was a lack of education as a whole. I don't know how you fix stupid.

DaveInDenver
06-03-2009, 04:44 PM
My apologies. I've removed my posts. These arguments often end with me pissing a bunch of people off, and I really don't want to offend people and lose friends in this club just for the sake of a pointless opinion.

Better that I keep focused on what we all mutually love: the wheeling!!

Cheers guys!:thumb:
I know I piss people off with the socioeconopolitical posts. Oh well, what good is it to have an opinion that no one ever hears? For example, I'm certain that Hulk and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of politics and funny thing is it never seems to make a lick of difference over beers or talking about Toyotas and radios and music. It would get awfully dang boring if all we ever did was argue about how bad IFS is anyway. Just my $0.02, I don't get offended when you or anyone offers something off topic that is personally genuine, unique or thoughtful. I think friendships around here are much stronger because we talk about those other things in life.

Groucho
06-03-2009, 04:54 PM
In my industry we (and other engineering companies) plain DON'T buy Chinese steel and pipe for certain projects.

I don't know how you fix stupid.

Matt,
I wonder if you speak of engineering companies who are REGULATED not to by material from outside the U.S.? For example the airline industry. We fabricate parts for the airline industry that has nothing to do with the operation of the planes/helicopters in any way, but we have to certify that the material is completely U.S. made.
Or are you speaking of high end projects that demand expensive certified material. Don't misinterpret what I am saying, I can have the Chinese steel I use certified for just about any purpose, the Chinese aren't that selective. They want all of the pie. BUT there are things that will sell at higher prices because MADE WITH US STEEL was in the description.

Only the companies who are regulated or possibly ISO certified require those material in our industry. The engineers might draw it up that way, but when it comes to the bottom line the buyers and the officers might decide Chinese steel isn't bad, which is what we deal with every day.

Can't fix stupid. You can just help it along so that you don't become infected. :lmao:

DaveInDenver
06-03-2009, 05:08 PM
So Matt, why do you think it's your or anyone else's responsibility and authority to tell someone not to do something? What are your motivations for not buying Chinese steel? Is it a statement, truly quality related, plain and simply patriotic? Why do you own 3 Japanese trucks and how do you justify them? So for some things you can be comfortable not supporting the American product and while on others you can not?

Trust me, I do not have all the answers in my head. I avoid Chinese stuff as much as possible (good luck finding 100% US-made electronic assemblies) but I'm trying to figure out the reasoning. I used to get upset with Wal-Mart and Chinese junk but have been thinking through it more and it really doesn't upset me beyond that it's wasteful buying several non-repairable or limited life widgets when you could save a little longer and buy fewer quality widgets over the utility lifespan. I think if everyone just slowed down their consumption, decided to either wait or do without a new iPod every year that things would naturally come around. There would be a lot less demand for ultra cheap junk if people decided they didn't really need to keep up with the Jones.

I mean, take shoes for example. There are still good quality domestic shoe producers like Chaco and Redwing, but instead of $95 for Colorado-made Chacos people would rather buy $10 Wal-Mart sandals (with the I think generally acknowledged possibility of chemical issues). So who is the bad person here? The person who spends way more than they had to for sandals or the person just trying to make it against inflation and have some comfortable shoes? And who has in the end spent more? The person who buys a pair of Chacos that last 10 years with a re-sole or the person who bought a new pair of Chinese sandals every year? Then who has created the bigger environmental issue? Then what do you do about it? Impose regulation that everyone MUST buy 'sustainable' shoes that can be re-soled. Who pays for that?

Mendocino
06-03-2009, 05:19 PM
My apologies. I've removed my posts. These arguments often end with me pissing a bunch of people off, and I really don't want to offend people and lose friends in this club just for the sake of a pointless opinion.

Better that I keep focused on what we all mutually love: the wheeling!!

Cheers guys!:thumb:

Issac,

I appreciate you challenging my opinions as well as others. We may not agree on everything but you have never pissed me off.:)

DaveInDenver
06-03-2009, 05:21 PM
Actually it is not a silly example...Situations similar to your "silly" example are already occurring now in states like CA and NY. It is starting with schools to keep the kids "healthy" and branching out. If Obama is successful in his push for Nationalized Healthcare it will get worse...I don't think it takes too much of a stretch of the imagination to see the government banning unhealthy foods because "they" are paying for your healthcare now
Soda Tax Proposal to Help Fund Health Care Reform Stirs Opposition (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/03/soda-tax-proposal-help-fund-health-care-reform-stirs-opposition/)

"A push for new taxes on soda, beer and wine to help pay for Americans' health care is stirring up more than just the beverage industry.

Advertisers, corn refiners -- even addiction treatment centers -- have mobilized their lobbyists, reflecting how a tax increase for a handful of popular products can reverberate broadly across Washington's interest groups.

The Senate Finance Committee is considering raising taxes on alcohol and imposing a new levy on soda and other naturally sweetened drinks to help pay for overhauling health care. The committee calls them "lifestyle tax proposals," saying the levies would slow sales of unhealthy products that contribute to rising medical costs.

Besides alcohol, drinks with sugar, high fructose corn syrup and similar sweeteners would be targeted, though diet drinks with artificial sweeteners would not. Other industries also are on alert, worried that the idea of "lifestyle taxes" could spread to other products deemed unhealthy.

"Are they going to hit couch manufacturers? School districts that have canceled physical education?" joked Neil Trautwein, health care lobbyist for the National Retail Federation, which opposes the plan and whose members include fast-food restaurants.

Sugar producers and manufacturers of sweetened foods are opposed, as are dairy farmers and milk processors, since chocolate milk would be hit. Alcohol retailers want to go the opposite way, pushing for a cut in the existing tax on their products. That tax ranges from 21 cents per bottle of wine to 33 cents per six-pack of beer to $2.14 per fifth of hard liquor."

subzali
06-03-2009, 05:40 PM
Matt,
I wonder if you speak of engineering companies who are REGULATED not to by material from outside the U.S.? For example the airline industry. We fabricate parts for the airline industry that has nothing to do with the operation of the planes/helicopters in any way, but we have to certify that the material is completely U.S. made.
Or are you speaking of high end projects that demand expensive certified material. Don't misinterpret what I am saying, I can have the Chinese steel I use certified for just about any purpose, the Chinese aren't that selective. They want all of the pie. BUT there are things that will sell at higher prices because MADE WITH US STEEL was in the description.

Only the companies who are regulated or possibly ISO certified require those material in our industry. The engineers might draw it up that way, but when it comes to the bottom line the buyers and the officers might decide Chinese steel isn't bad, which is what we deal with every day.

Can't fix stupid. You can just help it along so that you don't become infected. :lmao:

I know what you're saying. We have built pressure vessels for clients using Chinese steel that has been ASME certified. They passed the MTR analysis, the hydrotesting, and everything, which is pretty rigorous, and they are fine in service. But there are some clients (not regulated, and not government) that go a step beyond ASME and say they want domestic products, or products from only certain countries that have little to no quality assurance problems (Japanese steel for example is very high quality as a whole). It's small (compared to government entities) companies regulating themselves and buying from suppliers they choose based on a clean track record. Are they paying more? Maybe. You may argue that they're wasting their money because the alternate materials pass ASME reporting every day. But I think their argument would be that there have been enough instances where a box of bolts that were stamped as A325 were not actually A325 bolts, and rather than find out that they were the 1% exclusion to the rule of generally good ASME materials from China when one of their skids comes crashing down on one of their operators, they choose to not buy ANY materials from China. If enough people did that it would send the message that no CRAP is allowed. But it takes a large group, either a large group of individual companies and instances or government regulation.

So Matt, why do you think it's your or anyone else's responsibility and authority to tell someone not to do something? What are your motivations for not buying Chinese steel? Is it a statement, truly quality related, plain and simply patriotic? Why do you own 3 Japanese trucks and how do you justify them? So for some things you can be comfortable not supporting the American product and while on others you can not?

Trust me, I do not have all the answers in my head. I avoid Chinese stuff as much as possible (good luck finding 100% US-made electronic assemblies) but I'm trying to figure out the reasoning. I used to get upset with Wal-Mart and Chinese junk but have been thinking through it more and it really doesn't upset me beyond that it's wasteful buying several non-repairable or limited life widgets when you could save a little longer and buy fewer quality widgets over the utility lifespan. I think if everyone just slowed down their consumption, decided to either wait or do without a new iPod every year that things would naturally come around. There would be a lot less demand for ultra cheap junk if people decided they didn't really need to keep up with the Jones.

I mean, take shoes for example. There are still good quality domestic shoe producers like Chaco and Redwing, but instead of $95 for Colorado-made Chacos people would rather buy $10 Wal-Mart sandals (with the I think generally acknowledged possibility of chemical issues). So who is the bad person here? The person who spends way more than they had to for sandals or the person just trying to make it against inflation and have some comfortable shoes? And who has in the end spent more? The person who buys a pair of Chacos that last 10 years with a re-sole or the person who bought a new pair of Chinese sandals every year? Then who has created the bigger environmental issue? Then what do you do about it? Impose regulation that everyone MUST buy 'sustainable' shoes that can be re-soled. Who pays for that?

The only people I'm telling not to do something is to tell those who are making crap to stop making it. Especially those who make crap and brand it as something that's good. You hear about it with golf clubs passed off as Callaways that are really not, ASTM stamped piping and plating that does not pass physical and chemical analysis, and I'm sure you've heard of others that I have not. I'm not being hard on the Chinese except to say that every single time I've heard of these issues it's come from a Chinese factory. If it came from somewhere else I'd be wary about it there too.

In a similar way I am sending that message to the American automotive manufacturers. Though they aren't building anything inherently "unsafe" or branded as something it's not (that's what my real beef is), I think the Japanese have been further along on the cutting edge of technology and quality assurance than have the big 3, at least to my perception and experience. So that's why I have three of them and have no big 3 products in my driveway. But Japan hasn't come out with a big diesel truck yet, so if that's what I needed then of course I'd have a big 3 item, and I would acknowledge that there *might* be a difference in fit, finish, and quality of vehicle. But there might not, it might be the best vehicle I've ever owned. I think that this thinking is in the spirit of free market capitalism, and as far as American patriotism goes I think that American companies also have to realize that there is a free world market now as well and they have to keep up.

I don't have a problem with cheap products if they're marketed that way. If all you can afford is cheap $2 sandals from China or the US or wherever, then go for it. You'll know that you're paying for what you're getting. I don't want to take that choice away from people. I just think there should be an effort to reduce the amount of misbranded and clearly unsafe (not really adhering to ASME code, for example - which is technically misbranded) products coming into or originating from our country.

I hope I'm not contradicting myself, because if I am I don't see it and somebody's going to have to point it out. Nicely please :)

subzali
06-03-2009, 05:52 PM
It goes to what people value too. Like me, I will pay the extra money for Chaco, Red Wing, Woodley's Furniture, etc. to know that I have a quality product and also to go the extra mile and know it was made in the U.S.

But I've been known to go to Harbor Freight to pick up a 1/4" torque wrench (probably from China) because I didn't want to spend $220 on a Snap-On one.

And I'm sure other people don't give a rip that their shoes may just plain fall apart some day, they're more interested that their cookware is U.S.-made or something. I guess it depends on what you really choose to care about, and I can't say that I choose U.S. made every time and I can't say that I avoid Chinese products every time, and I can't say I spend top dollar every time and I can't say I am a cheapskate every time. It depends on what I care to spend time thinking about, and I'm sure that goes the same with everybody.

It just pisses me off that some of these things are pretty major and slip by us and there's really nothing to be done about it.

nakman
07-21-2009, 03:28 PM
enter the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, your salvation is near..

from http://www.manufacturing.net/article.aspx?id=208476


Tenenbaum addressed several other issues, saying:

--The agency has contracted with two private laboratories to perform tests on drywall imported from China. For months now, people in Florida, Louisiana and other states have complained about drywall from China that they say is making them sick and turning copper and other wiring in their homes black. They also blame it for a "rotten egg" smell in their homes.

CPSC is leading the federal investigation, but Tenenbaum said that so far no one has concluded that the drywall is directly linked to the health issues and corrosion problems.

"It's a mystery why we haven't been able to be more definitive at this point," she said.

The commission expects to have results from its testing sometime in September.

--The commission is working on a plan, expected in September, that would spell out specifics for a new database that the public could search to see complaints and concerns about consumer products. Consumers, she said, could file reports about products that other people could see before purchasing a new item. Tenenbaum said all complaints would be screened to ensure they're legitimate.

--The agency plans to open its first overseas office, in China. Tenenbaum said a small staff would be based at the U.S. embassy there and would help educate Chinese officials about product standards. Many toys involved in a string of recalls in 2007 came from China.

nakman
07-22-2009, 11:13 AM
No comments about the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, eh? maybe just as well..

Ok, how about this one... http://www.manufacturing.net/article.aspx?id=208594

Chinese Worker Commits Suicide Over Missing iPhone

Chinese Worker Commits Suicide Over Missing iPhone

GUANGZHOU, China (AP) -- An employee at a factory that makes iPhones in China killed himself after a prototype went missing, and Apple Inc. responded Wednesday by saying its suppliers are required to treat workers with dignity and respect.

The dead worker, Sun Danyong, 25, worked in product communications at Foxconn Technology Group, a Taiwanese firm that makes many Apple products at a massive factory in the southern city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

Although Apple and Foxconn have confirmed Sun's suicide, they have not provided details about the circumstances, which have been reported by the state-run Southern Metropolis Daily, one of the region's most popular papers.

There's tremendous pressure on employees dealing with Apple's new products to maintain a high-level secrecy over the gadgets, traditionally launched amid great suspense and a big marketing buzz. Apple is also a constant target of prying journalists, rabidly faithful customers and competitors who make great efforts to try to steal a peek at its latest technology.

Sun was responsible for sending iPhone prototypes to Apple, and on July 13 he reported that he was missing one of the 16 fourth-generation units in his possession, the newspaper reported. His friends said company security guards searched his apartment, detained him and beat him, the paper reported.

In the early morning of July 16, Sun jumped from the 12th floor of his apartment building, the paper said.

Jill Tan, an Apple spokeswoman in Hong Kong, issued only a brief statement about the incident.

"We are saddened by the tragic loss of this young employee, and we are awaiting results of the investigations into his death," Tan said. "We require our suppliers to treat all workers with dignity and respect."

The hot-selling iPhone has helped make Apple immune to the global recession. On Tuesday, the Cupertino, California-based company said its earnings jumped 15 percent in the third quarter -- growth propelled by laptop and iPhone sales.

More than 5.2 million iPhones were sold in the third quarter -- seven times what it sold at the same time last year -- and the spike in sales was partly because of a newly released version of the device, the company said.

One of Apple's most important manufacturing partners has long been Foxconn, owned by Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. -- the world's biggest contract manufacturer of electronics. The corporate behemoth has also produced computers for Hewlett-Packard Co., PlayStation game consoles for Sony Corp. and mobile phones for Nokia Corp.

Foxconn said in a statement its security chief has been suspended and turned over to the police.

The security official, Gu Qinming, was quoted by the Southern Metropolis Daily as saying he never hit Sun. Gu reportedly said after three security personnel searched Sun's apartment and did not find the phone, the employee was ordered to go to Gu's office on July 15.

The security chief said he didn't think Sun was being truthful about the phone, the paper reported.

"I got a bit agitated. I pointed my finger at him and said that he was trying to shift the blame," Gu was quoted as saying.

He added, "I was a little angry and I pulled his right shoulder once to get him to tell me what happened. It (the beating) couldn't have happened," the paper reported.

Local police declined to respond to questions from The Associated Press.

Foxconn executive Li Jinming said in a statement that Sun's death showed the company needed to do a better job helping its employees with psychological pressures.

"Sun Danyong graduated from a good school. He joined the company in 2008. He had an extremely bright future. The group and I feel deep pain and regret when a young person dies like this."

Red_Chili
07-22-2009, 11:38 AM
It seems like another twist on companies building products overseas - where environmental laws are lax or nonexistent, labor is subsistence level, and costs are super cheap therefore - and keeping their hands clean of the environmental and social impacts.

Some have called it environmental outsourcing. Put the crap in someone else's back yard. Only here, they can wash their hands of employer/employee practices and walk the holy path.

nakman
07-22-2009, 11:49 AM
So you think there's actually some mafia-like presence exerted by Apple? And they actually had to rub this poor kid out for stealing a 4th gen iPod?

that's pure rhetoric, I honestly don't know what to think... but agree having it all done overseas makes it appear less of their problem.

Red_Chili
07-22-2009, 11:54 AM
Nope... what I am saying is, they say treat people with respect, and walk away and don't monitor it at all, don't enforce it. Then their hands are clean.

The outsourcing contractor winks and nods and says oh of course we will. Then they do what they darn well please, with big bucks on the line, people mean very little. Pretty common and universal business pressure... no?

nakman
07-28-2009, 10:33 AM
So here's the resolution: http://www.manufacturing.net/article.aspx?id=209326


Family Of Chinese iPhone Suicide To Get Compensation
By Peter Enav, Associated Press Writer
Manufacturing.Net - July 28, 2009






TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- The Taiwanese employer of a young Chinese man who killed himself after being interrogated over a missing iPhone prototype has agreed to pay compensation to his family, a company official said Tuesday.

Sun Danyong, 25, jumped from his high-rise apartment in southern China last week after officials of Foxconn Technology Group questioned him about the whereabouts of the iPhone model that was in his possession.

Sun was responsible for sending the device to U.S.-based Apple Inc., which contracts with Foxconn, the world's biggest contract manufacturer of electronics.

Sun alleged he was beaten and abused by Foxconn security personnel, who denied it.

Sun's suicide cast unwelcome attention on Apple's notorious culture of secrecy, which tries to create a big pre-launch buzz about the company's products and upgrades. Apple is also a constant target of prying journalists, rabidly faithful customers and competitors who want an early peek at its latest gadgets.

A Foxconn official in Taipei said Tuesday the company would pay Sun's parents a lump sum of 360,000 yuan ($52,600), plus 30,000 yuan ($4,385) every year as long as either of them remains alive.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to deal with the press.

Earlier, Foxconn apologized for the incident and suspended the local security chief who headed up the Sun investigation.

Gu Qinming, the suspended security chief, admitted he grabbed Sun once by the shoulder but denied beating him.

Red_Chili
07-28-2009, 12:53 PM
52 grand once, and 4 large every year. And that's what he is worth to them. Nice.

DaveInDenver
07-28-2009, 01:12 PM
52 grand once, and 4 large every year. And that's what he is worth to them. Nice.
So what would be fair comp for getting thrown jumping from an apartment window?

Red_Chili
07-28-2009, 01:17 PM
That is a question for tort law and a jury. Sounds to me like they got off for about what it costs to treat a few executives to a lunch meeting.

DaveInDenver
07-28-2009, 01:27 PM
That is a question for tort law and a jury.
That's avoiding the question. What do you think, no ducking and leaving it to the faceless 'system'. Keep in mind that the average engineer's salary in China is about $12,000/year. A jury is made up of people just like you or me. What is a human life worth financially, be it ended by avoidable accident or on purpose?

DaveInDenver
07-28-2009, 01:36 PM
I should say that I dunno personally what a life is worth and I hate to think about it, trying to quantify using potential earning over some period. Seems wrong to think of our lives like that. I would not make a good actuary. But if I had to say, assuming it was truly an accident, then 5 years lump sum plus some re-occurring payment is at least something. It does smack of, you know, hush money.