View Full Version : Asian made - again

Frank Fusco
08-30-2006, 11:04 AM
There is a thread in general woodworking:
that gets into the old subject of American vs. asian made stuff.
I'm as patriotic a flag waver as they come. I wish nothing we picked up in the stores was overseas made. I cheer at seeing "Made in America" on labels. But, and it's a big BUT, we still have to be loyal to our pocketbooks. If it costs, for example, $1000.00 to make it in the USA and retails for $2000.00 but we can get it made for $250.00 in China and still sell for $2000.00, where would we (you?) go? A business exists to make a profit for it's investors. I just received a gas stove from Northern Tool. It is a nice looking (Franklin stove style) unvented propane heater. I shopped locally and found they ran from about $1000.00 to $1400.00, fake logs were extra and ran between $400.00 and $600.00. With shipping I got my stove for $400.00 including logs. After receiving it, I found out it was made in China. Lessee, $400.00 vs. $2000.00......ummm.....I'll go with the savings. The upside is probably that it was designed by American engineers and is being imported by Americans and sold by Americans. Folks are still employed and customers like me are still contributing to the economy

Bruce Shiverdecker
08-30-2006, 11:59 AM
I'm patriotic, too, but, in about 1975, I was looking for a new auto, for business. It had to be able to seat four comfortably, carry about 500 lbs in catalogs and samples and I was looking for about 25mpg city and 30 hgwy. Looked everywhere. I finally selected a Nissan 200SX. It was a three door hatch back. 2 liter overhead cam engine, 5 Speed Overdrive Transmision - 28/34 mpg (the odometer was the first I had seen that read up to 999,999.99) IMPRESSIVE!

The only car that came close pricewise was a Chevy Chevette. Not even close in quality and the Chevy cost $3000.00 more. The difference in mileage would cost me a little over $3000.00 over the two years before it was time to replace it. When I drove the Nisson to some of the plants I called on, I caught some flack to which I answered "If you are willing to GIVE me $6000.00, I'll give up the power and comfort of the Nisson, otherwise I don't care what you think!"

I still have that philosophy. If we were willing to work production work at lower wages, we could have MADE IN AMERICA more, but since we are not, we will see more and more "MADE IN ..............................!" My first home was a 1100SQ/FT slab house at $17,000.00 (1968), I bought a Chevy Vega when they first came out for less than $3000.00. Compare the prices today and put the difference where it belongs...................... Manufacturing Wage and Benefit increases! Locally a Large employer actually paid bonuses to employees that showed up on time. WHAT THE HECK IS UP WITH THIS! How about FIRE them when they DON'T!

A friend of mine left a "new construction" Plumbing company, when it was forced out of business, for industry. He got a work order to repair a hose in a spray booth. While there, he saw another that needed replacing. He did and got written up by the union! After that, he learned to play by the rules. He needed a 14-1/2" piece of stainless tubing cut. He wasn't allowed to cut it himself (Which would have taken a Max of 15 minutes). he had to go to the pipe shop and wait for it to be cut. It took four shifts to get it cut (32 hours). For all that time, someone from the plumbing crew was REQUIRED to wait at the pipe shop! Nuff said? There are hundreds of instances where things like this happened. Is LABOR at fault ALONE? No.... Corperations were making money hand over fist, because the World economy was steaming ahead, and just said OK, every time the unions said jump!

Buying from the BORG is doing the same to small business. For a 5 to 10% difference, we are putting locally owned, businesses with Knowledgeable and caring people out of business. I found this out looking for a camera. We used to have 5 or 6 camera shops in town, now we have only 1! If they can get what I want, I will buy from them!

Sorry to rant. Just tripped my trigger today!


Joe Pelonio
08-30-2006, 12:00 PM
My problem is with the fact that people here in the US are still unemployed while the people employed in Asia doing the work are making a fraction of what they would have to pay here. Also, their buildings and land cost a fraction of what they would pay here. As you said there has to be a balance. I will buy something without knowing where it was built, I don't inspect the tags that closely. I won't intentionally contribute to this problem though.

I had a woman come in and give me prices for doing my vinyl cutting/weeding/taping for signs. I would e-mail the artwork files and she would ship within 2 days. At the time I paid my employees $10-12/hour. Her prices would amount to about 50% of what it was costing me
even with shipping from China. I declined.

Matt Warfield
08-30-2006, 3:59 PM
The sad fact of the matter is that we're in an economic fight with China only we're giving away the fight because we see profits for right now. Once China has all of the manufacturing technology and knowledge to go with, foreign businesses will be very limited. I'm pretty certain I'll see this in my lifetime and the effects on inflation will be astronomical. Just based on shear market size and natural resources, it won't be very long before China's economy surpasses our own. Yes, it's becoming more and more of a world economy. But as a communist country, China can close its doors at any time and then we have to fall back to the expensive way of doing business. Sure, it's all relative but that will be a very painful episode in our country's future.

But hey, it's almost quittin time which means I can go butcher more wood!! :D