By on April 27, 2015

Trans-Pacific Partnership Circa 2010

The Detroit Three are among those expressing concern over the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement, specifically what it would do to the industry.

Last week, both houses of Congress approved President Barack Obama’s request for an up-or-down vote to fast-track the free-trade agreement involving 12 nations and affecting 40 percent of the global economy, The Detroit News reports. The urgency comes amid warnings that if the TPP isn’t put into effect as soon as possible, China, not the United States, would be the one creating similar trade deals.

Though the TPP has few fans among unions, activists, and most Democrats in Congress, the Detroit Three have their own concerns about the fast-tracking proposal: once enacted, the 2.5-percent tariff on cars and parts, as well as the infamous 25 percent “Chicken Tax” on imported light-duty trucks, would disappear over a period of time. The latter has been used to protect the domestic truck market by keeping competitors out unless the latter were willing to build trucks in the U.S.

According to the trio, were the tariffs – which they want to keep around for 25 more years at minimum – to disappear, and if Japan weakens its currency to better compete against them, domestic automakers would eventually be undercut by Japanese automakers. In turn, the Detroit Three would face considerable pressure to return fire, with those on the factory floor likely to be the hardest hit.

Another issue surrounding Japan is importation of U.S. vehicles, which the trio state has been difficult to accomplish over the years due to a number of trade barriers, tariffs not being among them as far as Japan’s importation policy is concerned. Japanese automakers counter that so few U.S. vehicles are imported annually because the Detroit Three haven’t made much of an effort to sell them to Japanese consumers in the first place. While the former has spent billions and employed thousands to build vehicles in the U.S., Detroit hasn’t done the same at all.

Currently, their lobbyists are working to add an enforceable currency provision to the TPP to protect Detroit’s standing. So far, the provision has yet to be added to the pact.

[Photo credit: Gobinero de Chile/Flickr]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

130 Comments on “Trans-Pacific Partnership Fears Hover Over Detroit Three...”


  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    I am FOR this partnership! It is good for America’s commerce and exports just like NAFTA was good for America.

    Cheaper imports to America will raise the standard of living for those with less money to spend on necessities.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Just don’t complain about the increased number of participants on welfare programs. NAFTA punched a hole in the blue color economy of the textile region of the USA. Local state governments didn’t invest in higher tech trades within public education until it was too late.

      There still is a need for low skill jobs that require high school like attendance in the region and it doesn’t exist. So long as you keep paying for that out of your income taxes, you’re allowed to support NAFTA and TPP.

      The supply base for automotive manufacturing will see a vast transformation in their capital. Manufacturing standardization is ready to move to the next tier of low cost countries and TPP is ripe with them.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Truth from the man on the ground.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        tresmonos, progress is a b!tch. There will always be winners and there will always be losers with progress.

        In the case of NAFTA I think America as a nation won. I think that NAFTA has done more good for America than it has done bad.

        And is it not the function of ANY administration to improve the lifestyle of the people that elected it?

        NAFTA did more for most Americans than it harmed other Americans.

        America cannot remain static, and that is what you imply should happen in order to protect some working minority.

        We live in a GLOBAL economy now. Remember Bill Clinton’s push for the GLOBAL economy?

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          I understand globalization. I help enable it. The only ‘bi1tch’ is you when you complain about the lower class. Poverty is a vicious cycle; our government undercuts education and sends more jobs overseas. Life is great when you pop out of a privileged vagina. Unless you fought your way from some mill village to your comfortable position in life, I don’t want to hear your sh1t.

          Mexico is already a playground for manufacturing. The biggest drain will be the competitive edge South Korean and Japanese imports will gain. Honestly, this is more of a play to help out ‘allies’ in the face of the largest economic player in the world. It’s the last play on our consumerist economy. No more 1990’s booms to your retirement portfolio.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            tresmonos, your bitterness and class-envy overpowers your reasoning.

            I didn’t pop out of a privileged vagina. I had to work for everything I got. It is not unreasonable to expect others to do the same, instead of having them lust after a piece of MY action.

            Both my parents were LEGAL immigrants, I remind you, without a pot to p!ss in when they started in America.

            I had the shirt on my back when I joined the US Air Force in 1965. So yeah, I feel I am entitled to everything I get now because I got it the old fashioned way, I worked for it!

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            There is no class envy. I do not envy you if you have to shop at Walmart. Trust me, I lead a comfortable life style. I just prefer to keep my eyes open to the plight of my neighbors. Some of us are born with compassion. Your internet personality lacks it.

            There are many privileges I have been granted that has given me a competitive edge in life. A good public education being number one on that list. Second was the fact that my parents were capable of achieving a comfortable life style through hard work. I was able to focus on studying and sharpening skill sets. I didn’t have to work and extra curricular activities kept me out of trouble.

            The people I have worked with and lived among have an equal amount of stories of success and failure. What this country is lacking is better investment in our youth. Protect your future if you’re prepared to test the merits of your local economy to a global competitor. We haven’t done as best as we could in our past is my argument.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yeah, I agree about America’s education system and that’s why I put as much effort into my offspring and their offspring as I do.

            I want to provide for them that proverbial “leg up” on their competition. I am not saying I am paving the way for them, nor am I a helicopter.

            My goal is to start them off in their working life without debt and with a decent ride, even if I go broke doing it.

            Things are changing in America, some for the good, some not so good. I believe the key is that we each have to be flexible to take on those challenges.

            So, if TPP comes to pass, we all, each and everyone, have to make adjustments to accommodate those changes. Just like we did when NAFTA came about.

            But I’m not sure TPP will actually come about. There is so much opposition from ALL unions to it, and bi-partisan condemnation to boot.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            I usually agree with you HDC but the economic opportunity that you had thanks to a relatively closed market 50 years ago, or even what I had 20 years ago, doesn’t begin to resemble what globalization has built now.

            Competing with four billion hungry third worlders on anything like even terms isn’t a competition at all, outsourcing wins. For the jobs demanding physical presence that can’t be outsourced they’ve insourced tens of millions of those hungry third worlders to drive wages down, with more coming in every year.

            Not to say by any stretch that there are no opportunities left but there are a hell of a lot more people here than there are jobs that support a middle class lifestyle. This trade agreement will do its part to close off a few more of them.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Dan, I see a greater opportunity for American exports, while at the same time having those third-worlders basically providing labor to provide us with lower-priced goods.

            In America, we have transitioned to a mostly service-industry because industrially we could not compete with the cost of labor around the rest of the globe.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Tres good posts, I agree with your position and Dan’s. What’s gonna happen when all of those unemployed/underemployed and hungry folks take note of those in more “comfortable positions”?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            28-Cars-Later, The same thing that’s happening now.

            And like Dan mentioned, there will be jobs lost with TPP, just like there were with NAFTA.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Things haven’t gotten out of control, yet. The proles thus far have been issued EBT cards for their soylant green HFCS powered junk. I don’t see this as a sustainable model for the future.

            Additional: NAFTA occurred in 1994 when there still were jobs to lose. The nation is already cut to the bone and has turned into a part time job economy for many. We can’t afford to lose any more. The nation is beginning to resemble something from Rand BEFORE another trade treaty.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I agree that it is not sustainable, yet this is exactly what will happen. There’s precedence.

            The US government will raise its debt ceiling and the US will climb to over 30-trillion in national debt, all by a bi-partisan act of Congress.

            No self-respecting Democrat blinked an eye when we crossed the 18-Trillion national debt mark, so what’s another 12-Trillion?

            We’ll import more immigrants to do the work for us in America and pay the taxes that will pay for the benefits of all the unemployed Americans. It’s happening now.

            Hence the move these days toward Obamesty for the 15-million illegals in hiding in America.

            That, and the 15-million increase in votes for the Democrats in future elections.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            HDC, it’s the best of all possible worlds if you already have money, all the goods and services of the world at third world pricing. It was set up by and for people who have money, and still is. Look no further than DC – we, the people, looked for all the world as if we’d just elected a muslim, foreign-born version of Al Sharpton yet even he turned out to be a Wall Street banker in all the ways that count.

            But I digress.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Dan, I agree with you, but this is progress. It isn’t always nice. It is rarely good for everyone. But it also cannot be stopped.

            For decades we, in America, thought to forestall this progression of assimilation into the global economy and the result was a huge trade imbalance.

            BTW, my wife and I never had money, and still don’t, but we manage to make a go of it on what little I have worked for.

            OTOH, my wife’s dad, along with many people in their sixties and older are actually making cash distribution of their accumulated personal wealth to their children and grand children. But this is not the forum to go into that.

            A lot of people also adhere to the Al Sharpton School of Business of starting a business but not paying their taxes. Happens all the time.

            Well, someone has to pay those taxes to provide for food stamps, welfare checks and free cell phones.

            So now the move is afoot to get illegal aliens to come out of the proverbial closet and into the open so that they can be recognized, registered, issued TINs and enlisted to pay taxes in support of the Great American Welfare State.

            It’s the New America. And I’m fine with that because that is what the majority wanted and what the majority voted for.

            Majority rules in America.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That 15 million figure could be used as a fifth column inside the nation when instability commences.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Quite a number have actually gone back south of the border down Mexico way in the last several years.

            But we really don’t know how many we have in hiding in the US.

            The “official” guestimate is supposed to be 11-12 million. The various South American Consulates in the US issuing documentation to illegals have mentioned greater numbers. But the number fluctuates daily.

            The problem is the immigration laws of the US, a nation of immigrants, so totally f’ckedup in its immigration policy that anyone can waltz across the border and squat, and/or commit crimes in America, without repercussion.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            28,
            What happens in any event could be shaped by real leaders instead of demagogues playing on people’s baser instincts and calling for redistribution schemes.

            As to the mill town comments, propping up mill towns industries that aren’t globally competitive just leads to more victims and bigger collapses. Every cheaper import is not the result of unfair business practices.

          • 0 avatar

            “As to the mill town comments, propping up mill towns industries that aren’t globally competitive just leads to more victims and bigger collapses. Every cheaper import is not the result of unfair business practices.”

            True but a number are and you should deal with them in a practical matter if you don’t want to kill your own manufacturing base.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            My point is that if you treat them all as though they are extraordinary then you just make things worse. Also, if you can’t react to trade predators in a way that will be positive, then it doesn’t pay to react at all.

            So much of trade war moves end up picking a new victim so that your own rent seekers can prey on your own citizens while really doing nothing for the victims of foreign aggression.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            HDC,
            No one treats ‘mill towns’ with any extraordinary anything. Most of these unemployed have poor public educations, poor health and a very poor outlook on life. It’s your tax dollars that get to be absorbed by these people until you stop being a cheap 4ss and invest in your nation. Until then, keep the handouts coming or the mob will come and get you.

      • 0 avatar
        runs_on_h8raide

        tresmonos is right on this one. TPP will bury American auto manufacturing. NAFTA did what it was designed to do…crush the blue-collar middle class and outsource manufacturing to China and other nether regions. Follow the money…Slick Willy was well paid for that.

        Let us not forget all of the ancillary industries that support manufacturing plants. Delis, dry cleaners, other types of supply-type retailers…like chemicals etc. I can type a laundry list. They go under when the plants go. Its a downward spiral..and a lot of these people are mom & pop owners who know only one thing and have done it well for a few decades. Highdesert cat is either being sarcastic or is for real. Its hard to tell. He could be part of the 1 percent which is the only class in America to improve their standard of living the past decade and half, by skyrocketing percentages, according to all research, so of course he’d be all for it.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I’m for real. I haven’t lied or embellished anything, ever, that I have submitted on ttac.

          BTW, I live my life in Wal-Mart fashion and it has made my life better. NAFTA and foreign competition has made it so I could afford things I could not before.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Life is too short. I can afford all of life’s luxuries and every single piece of clothing I wear is woven/tanned and sewn in the states. And I don’t make much. Buy good once and you won’t have to buy three pairs of cheap shirts at Walmart.

            Buy one sweatshirt from American Giant and I beg you to say a Champion equivalent is comparable. I’ve gone through two pairs of cheap sweatpants in the gym and finally decided that even my workout clothes would be better off high quality. Then again, I’m not a sedentary person.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            No one is arguing against your lifestyle.

            Clothing are expendable items. You’d be amazed how few items of clothing I own. I go Commando much of the time, especially when doing manual labor.

            Buy clothing as I need them, when I need them, then wear them out before replacing them again.

            What I am saying is, more people can buy what they want or need when prices are lower.

            And the global economy utilizing the provisions of NAFTA have made more things accessible to more people than ever before.

            TPP is not going to be perfect, neither was NAFTA. But TPP is better for America than continuing without it.

            It does not mean TPP will come to pass. There is a bi-partisan effort to kill it in the womb.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            Well those of us who actually pay income taxes would beg to differ.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          GATT was the treaty designed to outsource to China, not NAFTA.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I am not a proponent of protectionism but as tresmonos has pointed out, if one does not invest in education there is nothing for those low skill workers to transition to.

        On can say , “oh I came from nothing and do well so can everyone else” does not understand human nature. A Paradigm by definition is a distinct set of concepts or thought patterns, including theories, research methods, and standards for what constitutes legitimate contributions to a field. The same applies to societal norms and social mores or what is often referred to as “class”. If one is raised in a lower socioeconomic class then it becomes very difficult to rise above it. I remember a respected senior RCMP member making the comment , “It would take an exceptional swimmer to get out of that cesspool”.

        Those who have happened to have dribbled out the end of the right penis will always be at an advantage. It is incredibly difficult for “the haves” to understand “the have nots”.

        Broad generalizations just make the problem worse. A combination of right and left wing strategies are needed to fix issues such as poverty. In other words a balance between social intervention and policing.

        You can correct a mean dog as a pup but full grown you don’t have much choice but to cage it or put it down. I much prefer fixing the problem at the puppy stage.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          ” if one does not invest in education there is nothing for those low skill workers to transition to.”

          Lou_BC, you are presuming that American kids today want to be educated. Some do. Most don’t. They’re too busy with tech toys to be bothered with getting an education.

          Jonathan Gruber has been vindicated. Americans are stupid!

          That’s why America has to continually import people to do work that requires a modicum of intelligence.

          • 0 avatar

            To be fair we don’t really need to import people it’s just cheaper. I worked for a fortune 100 company that had slowly been swapping in H1 visa workers in their IT department. They have literally been laying off 80k a year workers and replacing them with 40k a year H1 workers. Same for most of the Engineers I know that were replaced by H1 workers. They already had the workers their just saving cash I know plenty of unemployed engineers and IT workers. Most find jobs quickly but there pay seems to have been declining over the past 4-5 years. Now I actually am fine with bringing in high skilled workers I believe America should have a clear path to citizenship for people who work hard. I do have an issue with companies destroying the middle class for .0000000000000025% improvement in stock value for their share holders.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            mopar4wd, yes, I’m sure it’s cheaper as well in some specialties.

            Two of the doctors my wife and I see are from India. They both got their education here, will be practicing here for ~8 years after residency, and will both return home to India to continue their practices there.

            The only reason neither was offered an appointment with the US military to erase their medical school bills was because they were not US citizens.

            Not everyone coming to the US under H1B wants to become an American citizen.

            Many illegal aliens here have no intention of ever becoming an American citizen.

            My daughter-in-law was a wetback. She became a US citizen when my son got his Commission in the US Army more than 20 years ago, but the rest of her family born in Mexico never did, to this day.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            highdesertcat – I wasn’t just talking about children. Education is a fundamental building block to a competitive prosperous system.

            “That’s why America has to continually import people to do work that requires a modicum of intelligence.”

            Motivating people to educate themselves and improve is part of a strategy needed to improve a country as a whole.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Lou_BC, that was understood.

            But in order to instill the willingness to learn, it has to start at the formative level, i.e. American elementary school, mid-high and then on to high school.

            Were you aware of the low percentage of high school graduates America produces?

            Some parents try to beat that by enrolling their kids in Montessori or similar Academies starting with kindergarten up to 12th grade and subsequent graduation.

            That costs money but I understand their success rate is much higher as well.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @highdesertcat – I’ve been pointing out the value of a good education to my children since they started grade school. I keep telling them that it is important to pick a trade or degree that has a market i.e. you can find work with it. Feel good degrees don’t feel good if you can’t pay the bills.

            I do believe it starts at home. My dad did that with me and my brother. He used to say that as you age it is much easier to lift with your brain than with your back.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Good on you, Lou! My philosophy to keep working consists of the basics: people need to eat, people need a place to live, and people need to be buried after they die.

            Picking a career in any of these three career ladders means you’re set for life. Of course, a person has to like what they have chosen to do for a living.

            Anyway, I have enjoyed chatting with you all during this day. My wife and grand daughter just came home from their business trip to Santa Fe, and I’m going “off the air.”

            Won’t be on again for a while. Have things to do, places to go, and people to see.

            Good night, yawl.

          • 0 avatar

            HDC,

            Very true about not staying. About 60- 70% of the Inidan families here in CT seem to stay the others head home after 5-7 years. But I’m not sure that’s any better kind of like hiring a bunch of temps to avoid paying payroll taxes and healthcare. Again most of the people coming over are competent and I’m happy for them but I believe the government needs to regulate the program the way it was intended, pulling in needed talent rather then acting as a cheap labor pool dragging down wages in a normally well paying sector.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        While some light manufacturing jobs migrated to Mexico due to NAFTA, most ended up going overseas to China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc. as they had even lower cost of wages.

        Some light manufacturing returned to the US as labor costs in China have risen (along with the high transport costs when the price of oil was high) and some companies realizing that they needed more flexibility and quicker turn around time than manufacturing thousands of miles away would allow.

        But these “new” manufacturing jobs pay about $12/hr w/o much in benefits.

        But as costs have risen in China, Mexico is now really starting to benefit from NAFTA (esp. since it has FTAs with countries that the US does not at this juncture).

        What NAFTA did do early on was blow a big HOLE through the small farmers of Mexico with govt. subsidized US foodstuff/agricultural products – leading to the mass migration of men (and women) from villages in rural Mexico.

        Pretty sad that the many of the same people who pushed for NAFTA are the one who are taking the lead in bashing the illegal immigrants w/o being aware that one led to the other (or if they are aware, are conveniently ignoring it).

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      And lo, it came to pass, that on the 27th of April, in the Year of Our Lord 2015, I agreed with a political comment by highdesertcat 100%.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        LOL!

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          HDC, your “commando” comment was simultaneously horrifying and hilarious. TMI, Mr. Cat!!!

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            thelaine, when I’m restoring, repairing, or refurbing houses in the 115-degree desert weather, I do what I can to be more comfortable. The more loose the clothing, the better.

            I have even gone as far as wearing fashions by Omar, the tent maker, as did my workers, and we truly looked like a bunch of rag-heads with wet towels on our heads, fastened with head-bands.

            TMI, indeed. Yet, brutally honest. I kid you not. I actually have pictures of these disgusting incidents.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      If you take their jobs, then they can’t spend money on necessities. We need more protectionist trade measures, hate to say it, not relax the few that we have.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    This is misleading. The AAPC (American Automotive Policy Council, which is essentially a lobbying effort for GM, Ford and FCA) supports the TPP.

    http://americanautocouncil.org/trans-pacific-partnership

    The objection is to Japan being involved with it (although they don’t come out and say that outright.) Detroit would be happy to work with the other participants to the agreement.

    The ACEA (the European automotive lobbying/trade group) doesn’t want an EU-Japan FTA, either.

    In essence, they see Japan as getting more of these deals than either the US or EU. They argue that Japan uses passive-aggressive regulations to restrict imports, while there is little upside opportunity for non-Japanese OEMs in Japan.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Pch101,
      You are talking like you are an authority on this subject.

      And yet yesterday you claimed Thailand was a part of the FTA and it isn’t. You have little knowledge on this subject. It appears your involvement is to purposely misinform.

      You claim only 60 000 Amaroks are manufactured each year.

      You claim the Japanese automakers have an unfair advantage over US manufacturers in Japan.

      See a common thread?

      Your use of information is misleading, why?

      Why do you constantly misinform and attempt to massage a message?

      What a sad excuse you are.

  • avatar
    Driver8

    The great sucking sound is about to get a whole lot louder.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Monica’s not running, Hillary is; wait now that I think about it she does suck in a much different way.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      It’s not at all certain that this will come to pass. The Democrats and many Republicans are dead-set against it. A rare-bi-partisan stance, each s!de jockeying for political position for the 2016 elections.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        The Democrats who are against it amount to the likes of Franken, Warren, Wyden et al. The Republicans are similarly anti-establishment.

        While these are generally the best of the lot, they’re also effectively marginalized. They don’t get corporate money (especially the Democrats) and the primary voters on both sides would crucify them at the mere mention of the word “compromise”.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    What troubles me most about the TPP is the enhanced ability for corporations to challenge the laws and regulations of the signatory states, and to demand compensation when they feel they’ve been injured by those regulations. I’ve always felt that low-cost manufacturing states would have to raise labor and environmental standards as their citizens begin to demand a higher quality of life, but TPP seems like a tool for corps to drag us down instead of lifting the the third world up.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @ClutchCarGo – often FTA’s become a way for corporations to avoid moral and ethical obligations to worker health, safety and standard of living. They also allow corporations to sidestep obligations to provide sound environmental stewardship which can be argued falls under worker health, safety, and standard of living.

      Those who happen to have jobs that are unaffected by offshoring are either ignorant or indifferent. All they care about is being able to get a cheaper T-shirt at Wallmart and going out and buy that McMansion they don’t really need on credit they can’t really afford.

  • avatar
    turf3

    Hurry, there are still a few non-CEO, non-Walmart clerk jobs left in the USA, hurry up and send the rest of them overseas.

    The “global” economy benefits those at the top, who are mobile and who see themselves as “citizens of the world”. It is detrimental to those in the middle and near the bottom, who by and large do not have the resources to be freely and globally mobile, and who do not have the kinds of education, skills, experience, and connections to be mobile.

    There are examples of nations that have a high cost of living and standard of living, yet have maintained a manufacturing base (Germany). They have done so by the use of policies that permit many of the benefits of free trade while mitigating the damages of free trade. In the US, our government have progressively done half of the job, by aggressively opening US markets to low cost goods, while failing to make even the slightest effort to protect the workers whose jobs are adversely affected by free trade.

    I am not sure whether this is due to perversity or incompetence, but I tend toward the former.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Germany succeeds as an EXPORT power due to designing and manufacturing premium good that the rest of the world desires – which is something that many US corporations have lost the art of doing (have seen an improvement in this area).

      While yes, taxes beyond a certain point and unions overstepping their bounds are detrimental, higher taxes and the German unions haven’t prevented the German industrial machine from being more competitive than the US due to better leadership/management at the top.

      For too long, American CEOs were too short-sighted and fixated on short-term stock valuations (since it benefited their own bank account).

      During this period of the waning of America’s industrial might, the one thing the US (along with England) became better at doing was FINANCIAL ENGINEERING – which led to artificial booms and increasingly larger busts – from the S&L crisis to the dotcom crash to Enron manipulation and the excesses of Worldcom, Tyco, Adelphia, etc. to the huge influx of $$ into commodity futures such as oil (drastically inflating the price) and last, but not least, the real estate boom (started by the bundling and securitization of mortgages and the inevitable bust made many times worse by Wall St. banks and hedge funds betting huge on derivatives.

      The middle class and increasingly the upper middle class have gotten hammered through all this.

      The funny thing is that even the 1% are starting to complain – “bundlers” for campaigns for who raise from $500k to a couple of million for politicians are now complaining that they are like 2nd class citizens; ignored by the major politicians as they try to curry favor with the billionaires (the Koch brothers, Adelson, Art Pope, Mellon-Scaife, etc.).

  • avatar
    runs_on_h8raide

    The Irony of NAFTA is more foreign auto plants of been built here in America than those by GM, Ford and FCA. If it weren’t for Honda, Toyota, VW, Nissan, BMW, the American manufacturing base would have really been in the ol’ toilet. But hey…lets move more “‘Merican” plants offshore…yea that’s the ticket….massive layoffs and their “trickle” down affect for all, except Wall St, politicians and CEO scum. Gotta put that extra La Ferrari in the garage ya know.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yup! And all those Americans provided with good paying jobs! And what does the UAW want to do? Organize that labor so that they can collectively bargain those foreign employers into the grave like they did GM and Chrysler.

      For those ingrates, I hope that the foreigners take those jobs and move them to Old Mexico where they are more appreciated than in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Among the transplants, Honda was the first overseas OEM to build a plant in the US.

      This decision was a response to the “voluntary” import quotas imposed by the Reagan administration. (Cars that were built in the US were not subject to the quotas.)

      You can thank trade restrictions for the increase in manufacturing. Ironic, ain’t it?

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Changing the meaning of irony now?

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          It should be ironic for those who wrongly believe that the transplants were a byproduct of free trade, when it was exactly the opposite.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            I was under the impression that transplants were a byproduct of sledgehammers wielded by fat guys surrounded by news crews.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            The trade restrictions resulted in an increase in domestic manufacturing. That’s not ironic. It’s predictable.

            Who wrongly believed that free trade resulted in the transplants? I have never, ever, heard this theory.

            You just can’t make a mistake in your mind can you? Not even on the web?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “That’s not ironic. It’s predictable.”

            You should share that information with the guy who started this thread. He’s giving the credit to NAFTA. (Helpful hint: It makes things easier to read the comments prior to responding to them.)

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            I read him, you didn’t understand his perfectly good use of irony or the fact that he did not even come close to implying that the transplants were a result of NAFTA.

            Your mistakes are piling up, but keep digging.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        China and Brazil both recognized that having a domestic auto industry was a major step in growing a middle class – hence the trade barriers/auto import tariffs.

        The massive export of natural resources has made the currency valuations of Canada and Australia soar to levels where it has become unsustainable to keep, much less increase domestic auto production.

        Australia has given up and Canada has been offering incentives left and right to the automakers (the latest one being made to VW).

  • avatar
    kkop

    The TPP issues go way beyond the auto industry. It would allow foreign laws to be applied to users in the US. If you think DMCA is bad for your digital rights, the TPP will strip you of even more. This legislation was lobbied extensively by the movie industry. Good for some corporations, bad for US citizens.

    https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    TPP won’t impact manufacturing as much as everyone thinks. From my understanding, intellectual property is what is mostly at stake.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Top FTA priorities for the US usually involve ag exports and IP protection. (The film and music industries’ concerns about piracy influence US policy.)

      Those nations that negotiate with the US often prioritize protecting themselves from US agriculture. The whole chicken tax conflict began when the French and the Germans attempted to do just that — the truck tax was a retaliatory measure taken when the French and Germans attempted to protect their farmers from US poultry.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        I just don’t see anything that’s ground breaking in the TPP. Nothing that will impact my profession. Sure, Vietnam and Malaysia will likely increase their US exports, but there is very little left to squeeze out of the manufacturing value stream. Tier 2 and 3 auto suppliers will likely feel the squeeze, but I work for the man who doesn’t mess with low margin high volume junk. Good luck to the ma and pa suppliers out there.

        So that leaves us with e commerce and services. And I know jack about this realm.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          tresmonos – intellectual items as you have mentioned may be much more at risk.
          Pharmaceuticals seem to be one group terrified of free trade. Once a patent is expired it isn’t long before copycat drugs hit the market. Tylenol versus acetaminophen is a prime example.
          The odd benefit indirectly to copycatting is the newer strategy of pharmaceuticals investing in low volume orphan drugs. The profitability is there due to many insurance plans picking up the tab and due to low volumes, copycats can’t make inroads into that market.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            eh, f*ck em. Manufacturing has been getting knocked off for decades. No one seems to mind Rock Auto versus OEM fascias. Let the masses have their cheap, risky drugs. Our economic condition warrants it. Bring on the risk.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            tresmonos – generic knockoffs chemically aren’t any different than brand name drugs. Acetaminophen is chemically the same as Tylenol and Ibuprophen is the same as Advil.

            The usual free market checks and balances (if it is too expensive don’t buy and prices come down) doesn’t work well in health care since you are in a position where you can’t refuse treatments and shopping around isn’t much of an option.

            Everything boils down to a risk/benefit or cost/benefit ratio analysis.

            Manufacturing has also been hit hard by automation too. Why pay a bunch of stoned Chrysler workers dollars an hour when a robot can replace 10 of them.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Thailand wants to join the TPP and Obama has invited them to join. Theoretically, it could become a base for producing US vehicle imports, although I doubt that it would make much of a difference in practice.

          Generic drugs are fine. Once drug patents expire (they run for 20 years), legitimate pharma companies are free to produce them. If you use any medications, odds are high that most or all of them are generic and are not made by the company that invented them.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Why Thailand and not China?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            China has indicated some interest in joining. The feeling isn’t exactly mutual from the US side of the table.

            One possibility is that the Obama administration wants to use TPP to establish benchmarks that would ultimately require a nation like China to make more concessions than it would currently want to make. Or one can surmise that the US is trying to use the TPP as part of a containment strategy, which would call for purposely excluding China. Adding Thailand, the Philippines and South Korea would be more appealing.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Pch101 – true.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    1. Free Trade
    2. Cheaper Prices on Imports
    3. Prices on American Goods have to fall to match
    4. American Wages fall to accommodate lower Prices
    5. demand falls off as American workers now have less money
    6. Prices fall to meet demand
    7. GOTO 4

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do have to support highdesertcat to a degree with his comments.

    Why do the people who fear never look at what has occurred in countries that have freer markets than the US.

    Most here seem to consider the US the freest nation on earth. This is a mirage in some instances.

    FTAs are great. People complain about China and it’s cheap wages, but yet consider Mexico’s involvement in NAFTA great.

    What FTA’s allow is for a nation to profit easier from what it is best at. The US can only gain from an FTA with the Pacific Rim nations.

    I did read another incorrect comment by Pch101 regarding the Japanese. Actually the biggest FTA’s issue’s between the Japanese and US is agricultural, primarily rice, sugar and some grains.

    The Japanese consider their rice the same as many who comment on TTAC consider pickups. The Japanese say their rice is the best, but levy up to a 738% tax on imported rice. The same as the US pickup and the protection offered to it.

    This Pacific Rim Nations will all benefit from this FTA. I do hope it succeeds.

    Maybe you guys in the US might be able to buy a mid spec midsizer dual cab 4×4 for under $25 000 when it is all done and dusted.

    Don’t fear in the US. It seems the US populace and leaders constantly generate fear amongst it’s people. Why live in this constant state of fear thinking someone is always trying to undermine the US.

    Full size pickups will not disappear. They will become more competitive, cheaper. This is a win for the consumer. If the consumer wins, everyone wins.

    • 0 avatar
      stryker1

      A win for consumer, and a lose for the american worker, and if they happen to be the same person, they won’t be for long.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @stryker1,
        How is this a loss for the worker? It is a bonus for the worker as increased consumption improves business.

        Imagine if the candlestick makers were still around. It would cost more to buy a candle for a birthday cake than the cake itself.

        The reality is if a job requires protection, then it is costing everyone directly and indirectly, this will have a net negative on employment as it will cost more to purchase goods and services reducing a person to a more limited budget.

        If goods and services are cheaper and incomes remain static or improve then your standard of living improves.

        The jobs lost in the vehicle industry will transfer across to profitable industry that are self sustaining and don’t require protection or handouts at the expense of the country, again compounding growth.

        This effect will flow on much further across a nation than the supposed benefits of subsidisation.

        Yes, some will lose their jobs, but they will find other jobs.

        Do we still plough fields with a beasts of burden.

        A selfish Luddite view of the world you have. Sorry. Think of others and your country and it’s future not the “here and now”.

        • 0 avatar
          stryker1

          “It is a bonus for the worker as increased consumption improves business.”

          It’s not clear why this should be the case. Consumption by who? And who are you saying business improves for? It seems like lower prices should mean lower wages for workers who produce those commodities.

          “If goods and services are cheaper and incomes remain static or improve then your standard of living improves.”

          But incomes do not remain static. As prices fall, so must wages.

          “The jobs lost in the vehicle industry will transfer across to profitable industry that are self sustaining and don’t require protection or handouts at the expense of the country, again compounding growth.”

          It’s not clear what these profitable, self-sustaining jobs are, or what “self-sustaining” could even mean in this context. Are you talking about farmers? I suppose they could be self sustaining.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @stryker1,
            First, did you read my comment???

            The workers will not be on lower wages, just like the candlestick maker isn’t on lower wages, or the many people needed to plough the fields.

            Where are these jobs nowadays? Gone. So no wages are needed to be paid. They will find new jobs.

            You seems to be looking at the here and now, not the future. This is what a Luddite does.

            There will be fewer producing more.

            The world is changing, especially the manufacturing sector.

            The US, Australia, Canada, etc shouldn’t try and compete with developing nations and protect the jobs you speak of.

            Why, because you will then end up on their wages by attempting to keep them out. Let them in and move on.

            You have it backwards.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            As a farmer(‘s son), I wil say very few of us are completely self-sustaining. Except for a few resourceful individuals, we have to get our diesel from somewhere off the farm. And our seed, and our fertilizer, and our chemicals. (Our farm is one of very few I know that saves last year’s soybeans and small grains for this year’s seed, and still uses physical cultivation as a substitute for some chemical application.) And most of us, despite our roots, get our food from the grocery store (though this summer, I hope to change that).

          • 0 avatar
            stryker1

            I agree with you, prices will fall. But I think you need to look again at the wage and employment data. Demand in this country is weak, and the reason is that the people who used to have those jobs don’t have them anymore. They’ve moved on, but to things that pay alot less. Less money to spend, less demand. Less demand, less money for Business Owners who wish to sell into that demand. Less money for business owners, less re-investment/hiring. Less hiring, more unemployment and lower wages.

            I’m not sure how you get around it.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @stryker1,
            The US has already started heading down the road with the use of almost developing nation levels of income to compete with these countries.

            Look at how much an American Axle worker makes an hour….$10, how about those $12ph Detroit UAW workers.

            You want this to protect jobs? It is costing additional money in food stamps and welfare to keep these people working.

            This doesn’t include the $3 000 per vehicle manufactured in the US that’s subsidised by the US taxpayer.

            Every American Chrysler sold in Australia is subsidised by the US taxpayer. Is this good for business?

            If you want to compete with countries like China so you can keep you uneconomical manufacturing jobs, then so be it.

            The auto industry has to find a level foothold in profitability to maintain itself. Just throwing money at jobs does nothing to protect in the end.

            These jobs have to be a positive and profitable asset for a country, not cost.

            Work for any company, the only reason you have a job is because they view you as an asset. If you weren’t would you still be there? Only if someone pumps additional money externally into your job.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Stryker1,
            Wages do not have to fall with prices. You keep making very common mistakes based on seeing the world as static and zero sum. We naturally fall into that trap even when we know better.

            The question is never about deciding on economic models. The question is always deciding on how much government interference is unnecessary, unwanted, or even counter productive.

            In aviation, we say the regulations are written in blood because the good ones are, and the bad ones will be. It’s not at all the same in Econ. Their rules are true until they are not. Still, they can write rules that lead to blood. Trying to print dollars to create demand, and other consumption based schemes can really blow up. The only hope is that they get bailed out by innovation that they themselves are putting the brakes on by wasting resources, warping the information the markets create, and disincentivising real work.

            Some percentage of the smart folks presently trying to get rich on legal, finance, and government schemes could be helping companies create real value. That’s a silly tax we impose on ourselves with most government schemes. In a time when the poor get type II diabetes from too many calories, what needs reexamining is not why there are not enough jobs. It’s why are we not helping the markets solve the problems by removing government interference. The only interference we need is to foster competition by squashing oligopolies and cheating.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Big Al – as tresmonos pointed out, the problem lies in the fact that the USA does not invest enough in education or the access to it. A country not prepared for change will not change.

          There are too many in the USA that believe that self-determination applies to all. Self Determination is a subset of self actualization. Fine and dandy for those at the mid to top of the pyramid.

          Those rummaging around dumpsters for food have the choice to eat garbage or steal or starve but not the choice to go to college to find a better life.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC,
            Education is very important to improve a nation.

            It’s how it’s managed.

            Below landcrusher brought up a good point on how the money used in education is squandered. This is also true of Australia.

            Nowadays kids are taught useless “stuff” on how they fit into society and life enhancing skills.

            Maybe the most important life enhancing skill to teach is what required to get a job, ie, the 3 R’s. Not matter what era the world is at we need to be able to add, communicate and transcribe our thoughts.

            This is becoming less and less relevant as time goes by.

            Maybe the teachers don’t have the necessary skills to teach and instruct as it was when we were kids.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Big Al from Oz – in many respects the changes in ideology we have seen in the education system stem from the fact that many of those “feel good” 60’s era hippies have moved into the “establishment”.

            Feel good is fine as long as the standard of education is there. My sons go to a private Christian school because they have a good blend of both. The ironic thing is that a few years ago one of my wife’s friends was saying we should complain because our kids were learning what her kids were learning in public school. I should point out that her kids were a few grades higher.
            I pointed out that government sets the bar low for schools but it doesn’t mean you have to teach to that level. It is a minimum standard not a maximum one.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            The US can equalise it’s education system quite simply and not have student loans.

            Student loans are a curse to the US education system. So is this “you need a college education” paradigm to do better in life. These were brought onto the US by the themselves.

            It doesn’t matter what you do you must be encouraged to excel. Money isn’t the only instruments to use.

            To give more American youth access to tertiary education is simple. The government pay out existing student loans and places a 5%-10% additional income tax on anyone who has used any form of tertiary education (or used tertiary education), that’s with a pass or fail, or as we must say now, successful or not successful. Pass/fail is no longer used because when you use the word “fail” the person might get upset.

            Have tertiary education available to all and when they get a job they pay an additional level of income tax until the cost of education is paid off.

            Why not, it’s a fair user pays system that allows all to be educated.

            But they only get one chance at this. They can’t start a degree then decide they don’t like it. If they do then they find the money themselves and still pay down via tax what educational resources they used.

            Another, is to scale degrees to what is needed, ie, if there are to many choosing a life enhancing Arts Degree and and aero eng’s are in short supply you inflate the price of the Arts Degree and reduce the cost of the Aero Eng Degree.

            Not hard.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      NAFTA decimated the small farmer in Mexico (due to the import of cheap, govt. subsidized US agricultural products, basically depopulating whole villages in rural Mexico of its adult males as they ventured north to find work.

      Many light manufacturing jobs were leaving for China and other parts where the cost of labor (at the time) was still a good bit cheaper than in Mexico.

      The influx of Mexicans into the US kept wages low for the jobs that were left (basically laborers and low skill service jobs).

      And aside from the cheap crap that is available in Walmart, it’s not like prices have gone down.

      Even designer labels and mid-high end apparel brands (like Banana Republic, Polo Ralph Lauren and J. Crew) all have their stuff made in China, and now Vietnam, Bangladesh, etc.

      So the cost of labor is way, way cheaper than what it would be in the US, but the price of their clothing has not only not gone down, but has actually increased by a good bit.

      10-15 yrs ago, a tee from BR was around $16 – now it is around $26.

      A pima polo from RL used to be around $65, now it is around $85.

      That’s what I call a huge increase in margins – and who benefits?

      Mostly the CEOs and other top management (who pat themselves on the back for a job well done by awarding ever increasingly ridiculous compensation packages to each other – since they all sit on each others boards), followed by the shareholders.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    “The US has already started heading down the road with the use of almost developing nation levels of income to compete with these countries.”

    Yes, that’s more or less what I’m saying.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @stryker1,
      That’s the problem. The US must work within a global world, it can’t be isolationalist or your standard of living will drop.

      That means the candlestick makers, ploughmen, etc will lose their jobs or in this day and age many manufacturing jobs.

      You can’t improve wages beyond a point of your competitors. So either the US becomes more innovative and modernise production or it reduces it’s standard of living and maintains the status quo.

      Do you know those tiny cameras on your smart phone, laptops, pads, etc?

      Well they used to be made in China by thousands of workers.

      Now 15 people run a factory in Sydney and produce 90% of the world’s needs. This is where we are heading, like agriculture.

      The most productive agri industrial nation are modern OECD economies. Because we can grow thousands times more per person than a Kenyan or Mozambique farmer.

      The modern nations will eventually pull back some manufacturing and new industries will develop, similar to the way agri industry has moved back. But with far less people doing the work.

      Go back when the candlestick makers and ploughmen lost their jobs in the 19th Century and tell them in the future that there will be computers and IT jobs, cars, combines, headers and tractors, massive tunnel boring machines, jetliners, etc they would of laughed at you.

      Or tell them that Jules Verne was correct and man will be on the moon.

      Our future is like that of the candlestick make and we don’t know what it holds. But to fear the future will make you more uncompetitive.

      Unions fear the future, hence the struggle it is to modernise and move jobs out of an industry.

      Fear is bad for business and society.

      • 0 avatar
        stryker1

        I’m not sure why you keep bringing up unions. I didn’t say anything about unions.

        “So either the US becomes more innovative and modernise production or it reduces it’s standard of living and maintains the status quo.”

        I think you think that I’m arguing that we should resist technological advancement, and I don’t think I do. I think, rather, that we’re going to have to start reconsidering an economic model that requires anyone who wants to survive to be able to find employment in a future where we need so few people to produce most of the things that we need.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @stryker1,
          So who are you really, and be honest.

          You now state that I’m continually bringing up unions.

          Where have I done this?

          Hmmm…….our discussion has me wondering what the intent your actions are.

          Good conversing with you, good bye.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @mopar4wd,
            Many of the future jobs have yet to become reality.

            During WWI do you think someone would of thought their great grand kid would of had a job working in space. It’s sort of the same now. What will our great grand kids have on offer to them?

            This has occurred throughout history. You sound like you are fearful of the future.

            Why protect jobs, especially when a country like the US can’t afford to pay it’s own way? If you don’t know the US has already put the next couple of generations into debt that has to be paid down.

            As for you comment regarding who can and can’t or has or not have the aptitude to do what is irrelevant.

            Why put someone through training that is of no value? If a person doesn’t have the aptitude become and engineer and there is very little opportunity to become a lawyer why waste resources on that person? The money could be better spent on another person to help the country.

            That person has to find something that will pay his way through life. It isn’t the governments job to ensure that.

            Also, there are many degrees, my comment isn’t just regarding those professions. Open up your mind.

            As for the cost of protectionism. The US spends more than $2.4 trillion every year on subsidisation/protection, handouts, social security, etc.

            That’s a lot of money, lots of borrowed money at that.

            Look at Greece. A classic example of overspending and subsidising through borrowings.

            Why protect a job or industry that can be done more competitively elsewhere.

            If you had a job and you were used to living on $1 000pw, then lost it and gained a job at $800pw would you borrow $200 every week, or would you adjust your lifestyle/standard of living to suit your current income?

            That’s what countries have to do.

            Like the person you mentioned that doesn’t have the smarts to be an engineer. Why become an engineer, you aren’t competitive? If you are good at washing dishes, then do that.

          • 0 avatar
            stryker1

            More assumptions.
            Assumptions make for a poor argument.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @stryker1,
            You get an “A” or pass for your observations.

            Any prediction of the future will be an assumption. You are trying to make an assumption sound negative.

            Yet you have given no indication of what you think the future holds.

            As I noted in my first comment to you, above. You are fearful of the future and apparently incapable of making future decisions.

            How does it feel to be insecure. The best way to look into the future is to research and not rely on everyone around you to determine what direction to head in. Or expect the government to support your lack of drive for personal growth.

            You are a Luddite and a union man. I did realise this from the onset of our discussion.

        • 0 avatar

          Big Al ,

          I guess me question is what happens to the workers in the new world order? When you open up cheap labor markets the manufacturing moves there killing thousands of jobs at some point you won’t have enough jobs for employees driving wages lower not higher. Not everyone can become and engineer (thou my guess is we will have an excess of those in 10 years or so given the recent focus on sending kids to STEM) just like we have an excess of marketing majors and MBA’s at the moment. At some point I’m not sure were going to be able to innovate more jobs that don’t physically work on something. I’m not sure it;s a good idea but I would say that the US is big enough that we can afford to have some protectionism many countries have it and seem to do a far better job of managing it then the US.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @mopar4wd,
            New World Order? Boy what an overstatement to look for a bite. Rather childish, don’t you think? Are you a grown man or a boy?

            Do you have any knowledge of what a World Order is?

            The changes I speak of will take several decades. This is an evolution of were we are today. No different than what’s occurred throughout history.

            By the sounds of it may yourself and stryker1 can have some intelligent dialogue on what it is like to feel insecurity and failure.

          • 0 avatar

            New World Order was a bit strong. I understand progress, and I know things will change (To be fair there is a candle company about an hour from where I live that employs well over a 1000 people) But there are a lot of questions on this trade agreement that are unanswered and I’m not sure America really needs to remove many more barriers. My big issue is the speed with which this can kill an industry or group of industries It’s one thing for the market to kill something but this is essentially picking winners and losers in the reverse of their normal methods. These particular trade talks reportedly are being pushed heavily by fortune 100 companies alot of smaller business seem a little wary from what I can tell. Which should tell you something right there.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Actually, worker productivity in the US has increased by a good bit over the past decade or so as US companies have tightened their belts.

          The only problem is that those workers haven’t seen any real wage increases to go in line with that productivity increase.

          Meanwhile, US corporations are sitting on record profits and the only ones who have made out like bandits are the CEOs and other top management.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @bd2,
            You are correct in you comments.

            The reality is in the US the middle class has been dwindling.

            The hardest part of all this is to alter the mindset of a nation, ie, the USA.

            The US needs a major rethink of it’s position globally. It doesn’t have the economic might to be as it was, and yet I do think many within the US still look back to it’s Golden Years straight after WWII.

            The British did this. When I first came to Australia back in 69 I remember those who spoke of the British Empire as if it was some strange and magical force. It was a past glory.

            To mend to problems confronting not only the US, but all OECD economies/countries we need to make room for the up and coming nations. We don’t rule the roost like we used to.

            We need (OECD) need to restructure how we operate to maintain our competitiveness, as the up and coming countries might overtake us. Why not aim to be equal.

            The industrial revolution as we know it is diminishing and we are entering a new phase of the industrial revolution.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    All these nonsensical posts on the U.S. not investing in education need to come up with something new to whine about.

    Currently we spend about 20k per student in my district. We get below average results.

    The issue is how the money is spent and what the priorities are and constant bickering about unwanted federal mandates.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Not to mention those horrible school lunches by Michelle.

      I ate twice with my 8-yo twin grandkids at their school and both times the food was gaggable.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Landcrusher – there is always private school… if you can afford it.

      something new to whine about?

      How about those Republicans……….

      Hilary the next Commander in Chief…….

      Investing in education involves more than just throwing money at it.

      • 0 avatar

        Very true there are good public schools out there if you look. I’ve been fairly happy with my kids school. I have also met plenty of very smart 20 year- olds lately that make me think the country is not as far off with education as people make it out to be. Is it perfect — no. But it can be fixed. And part of the fix will be setting up the schools to properly guide kids thru their future options not just sending them to a 4 year college with no idea what to do with the experience.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Private schools mostly cost less, but you get no break on your taxes or vouchers.

        The best public schools are in the best (mostly high $$$) neighborhoods. Property taxes in those areas runs ten grand plus a year.

        It’s near impossible to have a good school in a bad area, and the rats from those areas scurry into the good ones as well. We need to get rough and tough with the worst ones. It’s a process that works well in most every facet of society.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Landcrusher – not sure how it works in the USA but in Canada if the private school is tied to a church or religious order then part of the tuition is considered a donation which is tax deductible. The school does have to meet government standards and must be recognized by other educational institutions or you are setting up your kids for failure. Some smaller “Christian” schools aren’t recognized by colleges or universities.

          In Ontario or Quebec you can chose to send your kids to Christian or “public” non-denominational schools and the government covers the bill via taxation. In BC where I live it is a bit of a rip off as one pays taxes and if one sends their kids to private or Christian schools the government only provides partial funding.

          We do have “inner city” schools that tend to have a higher rate of “problem” children because families cannot afford to shop around for a better school or afford to bus or put their kids to a better school. The rules for what constitutes a behavioral problem warranting teacher’s aides and other supports are onerous. ADHD/ADD tends not to get funding but autism or Asperger’s does. Rules don’t cover the broad range of disorders well. If one gets pigeonholed into the “wrong” category they are basically screwed unless the parents are educated enough or wealthy enough to fight for their kids.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Those For-Profit schools aren’t the answer, esp. at the university level.

        “Schools” like the University of Phoenix charge as much tuition as a real brick and mortar university (and way more than the local community college or state school system which isn’t the flagship) – around $16k a year and the diplomas aren’t worth much.

        The majority of delinquent loans are from students at these For-profit schools and yet, the Republicans tried their darndest to dilute legislation that would have curbed the abuses (hey, it pays to be a billionaire who can fill the campaign funds of numerous politicians).

        Think about it – an online “school” like the UofPhoenix created a billionaire and has hundreds of millions to spend on stadium naming rights.

        That’s my problem with most Republicans these days.

        They aren’t in favor of less spending; they are just in favor in less spending on areas which they deem fit (like, you know, actually helping those who need help).

        But giving fat, govt. contracts to those who already have wealth and power – eh, no problem.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      20K is nothing. I don’t know where you got your education, but I suggest you go back and learn some more.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    This article proves the point that tariffs increase prices and restrict competition. Where is Denver Mike to argue that the Chicken Tax does not effect price and completion. Denver Mike would argue that the tariffs increase competition and make prices cheaper. Not true Denver Mike.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      I asked you to make two lists.

      Notice how those two lists specifically disprove your point.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Psych101,
        Here a cut and paste and the link from a respectable journal/newpaper.

        “The downside, as our colleagues at Green Car Reports have noted, is that the “chicken tax” has effectively insulated U.S. truck manufacturers from competition for five long decades. That’s kept prices high and created huge profit centers at Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors — so much so, some argue, that the Big Three have slacked off in developing innovative cars because they’ve become addicted to the easy money offered by pickups.”

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/cars/did-chickens-cure-or-kill-us-pickup-trucks/2013/08/07/4cb016d0-ff83-11e2-8294-0ee5075b840d_story.html

        You can keep on talking through your UAW a$$hole and try to bullshit your way with limited and inaccurate information.

        Why don’t you start providing links to justify your position.

        Again, I ask, who sponsors your comments on these sites, as you really can’t believe the dribble you put forward.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Jeff S – No, I said tariffs do nothing but filter out the weakest of the weak. But there’s still absolutely zero guarantee those missing OEMs or specific models would immediately, or ever go on sale in North America, if or when tariffs are dropped. US consumers are a tough crowd and hate to pay much, except for obvious exceptions. So it’s not hard to picture OEMs not wanting any part of it. If it was up to you, they’d have to. It doesn’t work that way.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    pCH,
    Did this get posted incorrectly?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Pch101–Tariffs do not equal more competition and cheaper prices. On the other hand I will have to agree with some of the other comments that good paying jobs in the US have disappeared and probably more will if the Trans Pacific agreement passes. The importance of having an educated workforce will be even more important because the jobs that will be created will be fewer but requiring more skill and education. We cannot be isolated from a global economy. Eventually the demand for bigger trucks will fall and the manufacturers will want to make more of their vehicles in Asia and not want to have to deal with the Chicken Tax. As Big Al said the next generation might not want the same large expensive trucks that their fathers and grandfathers had. Harley Davidson has been experiencing the same thing in that most of its buyers are aging baby boomers. Each generation is different.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      So you didn’t make those lists. I can see that you’re aren’t inclined to allow facts to get in the way of your arguments.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        What lists? I can’t find what PCH is talking about.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/chart-day-imagine-u-s-auto-industry-without-pickup-trucks/#comment-5548337

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            PCH,
            If you are actually trying to say that the chicken tax has lowered prices and increased competition, and your proof is that there is now more competition, then you fail both Econ and Logic.

            Here is your logic applied to rats and poison: Farmer Brown discovers rats so he puts out poison. Soon, he finds he has even more rats. You would conclude poison made the rats multiply, and then insist anyone disagreeing make a census of the rats and lists their names in order that this would make them see you are correct.

            That’s nuts.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I figured that you wouldn’t get it.

            The reality is that there were more OEMs building trucks for the US after the tariff loophole was closed than before. That is simply a fact, and that fact directly contradicts the (inaccurate) point being made by the other poster.

            Furthermore, that increase in the number of producers was a direct consequence of the tariff ruling. GM and Ford both began to produce small trucks domestically in order to avoid paying the tariff on the imports that were buying from Isuzu and Mazda, while those two Japanese firms continued to import them.

            I never claimed that the tariff reduced prices. What is evident is that it had no effect on prices. The prices of small trucks largely failed to even keep with inflation during that period.

            You guys talk a lot about free markets but don’t understand them. It is not always possible for companies to pass on higher costs to their customers. In the case of the small trucks, they were popular and the US provided manufacturers with considerable scale, so the OEMs had no choice but to continue to compete on price. Along those lines, the US market then provided too large of an opportunity to cause them to withdraw.

            I’m not surprised that the usual suspects fail to understand that markets operate like that in the real world. But there are some posters here who clearly have trouble with reality.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            You figured wrong. I get it all. It’s you that doesn’t understand markets or causation.

            Yes, tariffs can create more domestic manufacturing. That’s the point of a Tariff, and sometimes it works. However, it leads to inefficiency which misuses resources and reduces activity and wealth overall.

            TINSTAAFL.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Pch101–Give me some specific examples where raising taxes and raising trade barriers has lowered prices and increased competition. I don’t need a list to prove basic economic theory. Are you UAW?

Read all comments

Recent Comments

  • ShoogyBee: Here in Milwaukee, Kias and Hyundais are being stolen left and right. Visit the Milwaukee subreddit and...
  • Ol Shel: Spoken like someone who still dumps his used motor oil down the well. It’s the only true way to own...
  • Ol Shel: And those old V10 fords and Dodges are worth almost nothing due to their hideous economy. Same will happen...
  • dal20402: “f you’re dumb enough to get screwed by a dealer you had it coming to you.” What boundless...
  • tylanner: Ladies and gentlemen, this bilking industry of do-nothing middlemen, which continue to blaze the uncharted...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber