What if ALL manufacturing jobs were outsourced?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Merkava_4, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. Merkava_4, Oct 5, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011

    Merkava_4 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #1
    What if ALL manufacturing jobs were outsourced to other countries, would there still be enough jobs in other sectors for people to work?

    I asked that same question on a different forum, and this is one of the interesting replies I got:


    Your thoughts?
     
  2. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    I think if you keep chipping away at jobs for the sake of taking advantage of cheaper labour elsewhere you're left with an unhealthy society at home. This combined with making higher education more difficult to achieve creates class chasms. Life is filled with inequalities and that's not always a problem but it needs tempering.

    It reminds me of this quote:

    "You're born, you take s***. You get out in the world, you take more s***. You climb a little higher, you take less s***. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what s*** even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake son."

    People who have climbed so far that they can't recognize s*** have lost the understanding of how to objectively decide how s*** should be handled. So when some business tycoon rambles on about how it all works I know what they're saying needs taking with a fistful of salt.
     
  3. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #3
    Besides losing jobs to poorer areas of the world, modern society also faces a problem from technology itself. Foxconn announced a while back that they are going to be laying off over 1,000 Chinese workers soon, because for how cheap those workers are, robots are vastly cheaper. This is a trend that also happened with other manufacturing, and with improving AI and robotics, it's not hard to see that in the next few decades, the labor that's done by $1/hour workers today will easily become the work done by automation.

    What will happen in such a world is a great magnification of the importance of capital. Once manufacturing becomes nearly free (or really approaches $0), the only assets that count are the ones that you can turn into a sellable resource. Whereas most of the population used to work for a combination of labor and skill (adding value to the company), the only way to add value in this hypothetical world would be to offer your bank of ideas to a company. To a certain extent, certain high tech companies have been doing this already, but nothing compared to the fields which are driven entirely by marketable ideas like publishing, music, and tv/movie production.

    The observant reader will note, though, that 99% of us are not chart sensations, Pulitzer winners, or red carpet veterans. Once the world of work shrinks down to just those who have the right capital to bring, we subject the vast majority to abject poverty.
     
  4. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #4
    Domestic manufacturing is one of the engines that powers the Middle Class. As goes manufacturing so goes the Middle Class.

    The bastards that export manufacturing do so knowing that people there work for slave wages, with an absence of environmental protection. Although Chinese workers may no longer be quite at slave wages, the number one killer of Chinese workers is pollution. They will have their reckoning and by then the multinational corporations will have moved manufacturing to the next "business friendly" no-regulation, no worker protections, country.

    This is NOT the way to conduct global manufacturing. There is NO morality. Corporate greed and the desire to enrich one's self is what drives this.
     
  5. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #5
    Manufacturing is not the only way to add value, but, everyone in a society needs an opportunity to add value, not just people who are above average. People who think that everyone can be a doctor, lawyer, or electrical engineer are people who themselves can't understand simple statistics.
     
  6. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    City of Angels
    #6
    If you're in the US and worried about this, I'd watch France and the UK closely. In both those countries, the service sector composes a bigger % of the GDP than here in the US. If a service economy really is a dead end road, those countries will crash and burn first.

    Though personally, I think reviving manufacturing here in the US is an impossible problem. Without heavy government subsidizes, I don't see how companies can compete with labor costs in China and other developing countries. And our government is too broke and disfunctional to be able to subsidize anything of this magnitude.
     
  7. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #7
    There is a key problem wrong with the quote, we aren't outsourcing the manufacturing because we aren't capable of doing it ourselves, it's simply cheaper to have a less developed nation do the tasks that are not demanding. Why pay some American union worker 40 dollars an hour for unskilled labor when someone from china will do it for 5?

    Also we take a raw material build a prototype and have china build it for 3 dollars and sell it for 50. It's not as if china is making the markup from the manufacturing process, we are simply taking advantage of their low wages.

    I think we should be much more worried about technology takeover as unskilled or low skilled labor will disappear. That could either lead to a huge leap in living conditions or the worst depending how well controlled it is. Eventually we could let the machines do the work while we just live.

    ----------

    At the same time look where china is now compared to years ago, multinational greed appears to have raised the living conditions of many by providing work. If you look at it on a global scale and ensure that people aren't being abused it could be argued that these jobs are more needed over there.
     
  8. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #8
    Adam Smith would be spinning in his grave at the thought of interfering with comparative advantage. At any rate, manufacturing takes up less than 20% of the jobs in the US and has been falling since the 70s. It will become like agriculture where 3 or 4 % of the population still work. Not many are nostalgic about farm labor.
     
  9. Huntn, Oct 6, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #9
    The people who lost the jobs won't be arguing that. Ultimately we are all pawns in the hands of the powerful. And maybe you overlooked my blurb about China, widespread health issues, and the same multinational corporations moving on to the next cheap country when China becomes too expensive to work with. Then where will the average Chinese workers be? Simply put the rich get richer, and for the rest of us, it's a plummet to whatever worldwide average pay scale is.

    My larger point is that groups of people who gather into societies are supposed to work together and look out for each other based on mutual good. If you are loyal to your country, it should be loyal to you. This does not seem to be the case with large multinational corporations who know no loyalty except towards their management food chain and filling the pockets of their top brass with gold. The rest of us are expendable workers. Government is the only entity that has the ability to bring reign in corporations and greed. However I don't currently have any hopes my government (the U.S.A) can accomplish this. :(
     
  10. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    America's Third World
    #10
    Yes, historically speaking, Americans did leave the farms to go to work in industry. But all that's just history now. The present reality is this -- as manufacturing declines so does the American middle class.

    And that's a problem that's not easy to solve. A hundred years ago, farm boys left for jobs in the big city, but where do you suggest we send today's generation to look for work?

    As the article, "The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it", from over a year ago noted, "You can't raise a family on what you make flipping burgers at McDonald's or on what you bring in from greeting customers down at the local Wal-Mart."
     
  11. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Location:
    Land of eternal Spring
    #11
    Gotta love capitalism. :(
     
  12. Merkava_4 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #12
    What if the dollar and the yuan were worth the same, wouldn't that bring offshore manufacturing to a screeching halt?

    BBC News
     
  13. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #13
    No, we would find another country. The standard of living typically rises to the point that it is no longer profitable and then the companies move on. It's an interesting byproduct of the greed. I don't know that it is sustainable though.
     
  14. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #14
    Yes, what would happen if the American goverment utilized the exact same currency protections, regulations and tariffs that they use to prevent imports from us?
     
  15. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #15
    An economic system whether it encompasses a State, a Country, or the World can be a closed and healthy system. Tariffs typically are viewed as bad things, if business are looking to manufacture cheaply without regard for where their workforce originates. But if you look at any free trade agreement closely, you'll see that until other countries enforce the same environmental and economic standards, there is no way that regulated Western countries can compete with cheap unregulated countries. Free trade agreements in reality are job exportation agreements. This makes a strong argument for tariffs as a means of leveling the playing field. We want clean food and water and average workers should be able to find jobs that can sustain meaningful lives. Why should we allow large multinational corporations to screw the domestic work force to enrich themselves? Under this framework, I think tariffs are a must to level the manufacturing playing field.
     
  16. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #16
    They continue to do what they have been doing for the last 30 years. They become information workers, doctors lawyers, financial advisors, bankers, etc. The service sector is so much more than McDonald's and Walmart.

    As an aside, I find it strange that most American's categorize themselves as middle class. Anyone who has a job in manufacturing or any field requiring physical labor is surely working class. Management, professionals, academics, clerics, etc. are what I would categorize as middle class and by-in-large they have been doing OK in the last few decades. The upper class are business owners and inherited wealth. The lower class or the under class are the unemployed poor or those on welfare. Just making my buckets clear. ;)
     
  17. localoid, Oct 7, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011

    localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    America's Third World
    #17
    Not everyone has the ability to learn to be a doctor, lawyer, banker, etc. (expect maybe in the parallel universe).

    The problem is providing good jobs for people who aren't able to learn to be a doctor, or can't afford the education even if they were (able to learn).

    Any ideas, 'bout solving this matching-people-to-jobs-they-can-do problem?

    Oh, that's silly!* Obviously, you've not gotten a copy of the memo entitled, "The Great American Dream".

    The term "middle class" in the U.S. takes on very powerful meaning, all it's own. It's a household word and something any school child can explain. But (of course) like the "official" American Bible, everyone has a slightly idea of what's what.

    In general, Americans simply don't believe that class system exists in the U.S. But of course there are people in upper, middle, and the poor "groups". Here, you'll never, even hear a discussion about "classes". The rich group is open to anyone -- it's a grand lottery that anyone can win**! The middle class is where most of the real Americans end up (yea!) If you're some kind of lazy, ne'er-do-well, you (naturally) end up on the bottom (dragging the rest of us down in the process).

    It's upper, middle, and lower, baby! That's it. It's simple. Easy for even a child to remember. That's all there is. Or ever will be. Amen!

    In the U.S., you can't even bring the subject of "class" up without being branded a "socialist" (or the "devil's disciple" in some southern states).


    * But actually, it's not.

    ** Many will enter; few will win.
     
  18. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #18
    I disagree. I believe everyone has the potential to move beyond physical labor and into jobs that require people to think. Not everyone can become a doctor, of course, but most could become medical technicians or nurses' aides given the opportunity and the willingness to learn. The problem with the US starts with the outdated education system as its designed to produce factory workers when none are needed anymore. Change that and you can achieve even greater things than the past.
     
  19. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #19
    Greed will be the U.S.'s undoing. We need people marching in the street. We need leaders who are attuned to the majority, not the wealthiest of minorities. Marching in the street could be a good thing if it results in change for the better. For a beginning, the extreme right wing GOPpers need to be voted out. The GOP needs to be remade into something more like where they were in the 1960's before the decided it was good to walk hand in hand with the wealthy, screwing working-class citizens. We have to remind them of that. The idiots who have no business voting for GOP polices have to smarten up or we are screwed.
     
  20. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    America's Third World
    #20
    Unfortunately, babies aren't born "equal", in terms of their abilities, either physical or mental. As "unfair" as it may be, not everyone is going to be good at math or have what it takes to become a great football player. You can't fit a round peg in a square hole...

    The idea that anyone can be trained or educated to do <insert randomly selected job title here> is an absurd argument. And I say that after working 15+ years in personnel work.

    For any job, there are 1) specific skill sets needed, 2) specific training/education required, and 3) specific physical demands set by working conditions. The Occupational Outlook Handbook outlines the specifics of most jobs.
     
  21. Eric-PTEK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #21
    All of those are replaced by motivation. Sports may be the one that sits outside that as far as how far you excel because there are genetic differences that sometimes are difficult to overcome from a physical standpoint.

    I am about 1/2 way through Talent is Over Rated: What really separates world class performers from everyone else.

    They give 2 sports examples. Tiger Woods and Jerry Rice. Tiger Woods was raised to play golf.

    Jerry Rice admitted that he was not a stellar athlete however his training routine was insane. The trainer for the 49'ers would not tell other people what Rice did out of fear that someone would hurt themselves. He worked endlessly on his routine, his diet, etc...until he started to train to the level he did, and according to the book when it was published to a level that other players do not even come close to, did he become a super star.

    Look at Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, and most F1 drivers, they all started at 5-6 years old in Go Karts.

    The creepiest example in the book was a professor from Romania I believe decided to prove this point. That training and dedication create excellence. He had 3 girls. He trained all of them in chess. Neither he nor his wife were excellent players, but they trained and trained and trained them. 2 of them went on to be Grandmasters, one a world champion and the third excelled but not to the level of the other two, however she admits she never worked as hard as her 2 sisters.

    It's a decent book and has some good perspective.
     
  22. localoid, Oct 9, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011

    localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    America's Third World
    #22
    Theory is great, but let's try a real-world experiment...

    Stop by and I'll be glad to introduce you some of the area's unemployed iron workers, coal miners, and construction workers so that you can "motivate" them on the idea of becoming nurse aides.

    I suggest you bring your magic wand with you so that you can magically give them the skills, knowledge, ability, etc. they'll need to perform their new jobs.

    NURSING ASSISTANT/AIDE: SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES AND TASKS

    (Technical and Functional Expertise)

    Skills

    Note: The technical and functional skills listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Nursing Assistant commonly recognized by most employers. Typically, you will not be required to have all of the skills listed to be a successful performer. Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

    Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
    Talking to others to convey information effectively.
    Teaching others how to do something.
    Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
    Managing one's own time and the time of others.
    Actively looking for ways to help people.
    Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
    Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
    Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
    Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

    Knowledge
    Note: The technical and functional knowledge statements listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Nursing Assistant commonly recognized by most employers. Typically, you will not be required to have all of the knowledge listed to be a successful performer. Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

    The Knowledge of:

    Principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
    Structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
    Principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
    Information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
    Abilities

    Note: The technical and functional abilities listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Nursing Assistant commonly recognized by most employers. Typically, you will not be required to have all of the abilities listed to be a successful performer. Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

    The Ability to:

    Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
    Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
    Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
    See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
    Identify and understand the speech of another person.
    Speak clearly so others can understand you.
    Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
    Exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
    Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
    Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
    Tasks
    Note: The following is a list of sample tasks typically performed by Nursing Assistant. Employees in this occupation will not necessarily perform all of the tasks listed.

    Turn and re-position bedridden patients, alone or with assistance, to prevent bedsores.
    Answer patients' call signals.
    Feed patients who are unable to feed themselves.
    Observe patients' conditions, measuring and recording food and liquid intake and output and vital signs, and report changes to professional staff.
    Provide patient care by supplying and emptying bed pans, applying dressings and supervising exercise routines.
    Provide patients with help walking, exercising, and moving in and out of bed.
    Bathe, groom, shave, dress, and/or drape patients to prepare them for surgery, treatment, or examination.
    Collect specimens such as urine, feces, or sputum.
    Prepare, serve, and collect food trays.
    Clean rooms and change linens.
     
  23. flopticalcube, Oct 9, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011

    flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #23
    I have said nothing of the sort. I didn't say everyone is born "equal", whatever you mean by that, nor did I say everyone has to be good at math. I do believe everyone has the ability to think, however. They just need to be trained how to do it and have some self-confidence in their own abilities. That is what education is for and where the US is failing. As for "The idea that anyone can be trained or educated to do <insert randomly selected job title here> is an absurd argument. " I agree, but I didn't say that. I said most people could do a nurses aide job given proper training and the willingness to learn. I also think its absurd that we consign millions of people to manual labor because our educators lack the will and/or the imagination to help these people move beyond the confines that have been ascribed to them.

    Trying to bring back the days of heavy industry and labor-intensive manufacturing is a dead-end prospect. The sooner everyone realizes this the sooner real progress can be made. There are an infinite number of jobs that require people to use their minds so an infinite number of round holes for those round pegs, as you put it. Unfortunately getting people into those jobs requires those in power to use their minds and that has been woefully lacking for some time.


    Hmm... no magic wands, just proper education. No one is going to get anything without effort. It may be too late for some.

    That list of skills and abilities looks like something anyone who has worked on an assembly line in Detroit could easily handle.
     
  24. localoid, Oct 9, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011

    localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    America's Third World
    #24
    In the 80s and 90s, educators thought that they could train everyone to be a "computer literate" simply by putting computers in the schools. It was absurd idea that was ill conceived and poorly implemented.

    If you bought everyone in America a piano, would we end up with a nation of skilled musicians? Of course not! If we gave every baby born a calculator, would that mean they would all grow up to be an engineer?

    Yes, the Industrial Age is long gone. But for that matter, the Information Age is last century's news. For better or worse, we now live in the age of the Knowledge Based Economy which will be highly "globalized".

    But it's not like blue collar jobs suddenly won't needed anymore in the U.S. The nation's infrastructure is currently falling apart. We are basically faced with the challenge of rebuilding the country to 21st century spec or the country will simply "fall behind". It may be expensive but we can't afford not to. And yes, we do have the friggin' resources to do that.

    Sorry to say, but you live in a dream world. I spent years working with recruitment of persons for nurse aide training and more the 50% couldn't pass the test to be accepted for training because they couldn't do simple arithmetic.
     
  25. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #25
    I agree. American educators have proven time and again that they are basically useless. And yet most children today can work far more complex computers than existed back then. hmm....

    And the concept of willingness is where? Without motivation and internal desire, the cup holds no water. Without education, there is no water for the cup.

    Right. So its high time people got off their asses and started preparing themselves for it.

    US infrastructure is very poor but, as you said yourself, not everyone can be trained to be a builder and after these jobs are done, what then? Manual labor has been declining for 30 years and nothing will stop that decline. Its better to face this reality now than in 10 years when it will be worse.
     

Share This Page