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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    Excuse my ignorance, but that calculation seems (on the surface) to be a "loaded" formula. The term "rigged" so that the desired outcome is achieved comes to mind.

    I think it is a bogus study. No way to say where the profit ends up. Much of GM is owned by the Chinese so they get a cut. From the looks of the report I would bet it was paid for by GM. How did Chrysler get profit #6? They are owned by the Italians. I prefer the ALAA reports with the actual country of origin spelled out. Too many loose numbers in the Kogod report.

    http://www.nhtsa.gov/Laws+&+Regulations/Part+583+American+Automobile+Labeling+Ac- t+%28AALA%29+Reports
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Most of the infrastructure was built by individuals and private money up until the middle of the 20th century. During the depression many small bridges and roads were built with WPA workers. If the Feds started a WPA type project today the young people would not work for the wages given back in the Depression. The country was built by hard working individuals. Not by collective effort.

    That's not exactly true, so I'm going to disagree with your comment. Yes, hard working individuals did it, much of it by a lot of collective effort

    Railroads were given right of way eminent domain capability to run rails wherever they wanted. Even in my lifetime, as a kid, the Southern railway ran a track right through the middle of several property parcels near where I lived, mostly farms. The property owners had no say, and were offered a small sum... Take it or leave it.

    Utilities, such as Duke Power here in the Carolina's, were given guaranteed rates of return on investment by the government. They also exercise the right of eminent domain when creating their distribution system.

    As you pointed out, Hoover Dam, and others, were publicly built. Golden Gate Bridge. NASA was certainly not privately created. Nor was our modern highway system.

    On the subject of the WPA, it was publicly funded. Although I do agree that few would do that kind of labor today, if for no other reason the "safety net" provided today that many describe as lacking would have been viewed as living in luxury in the Depression.

    I remember seeing a History Channel program on the building of the Golden Gate Bridge, in which some of the surviving workers were interviewed, and them talking about being in a camp overlooking the construction, waiting for someone to fall so they could run down and get his job.

    That's what I call motivation.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    Likely sabotage by a union thug;)

    My wife's Greek Stepson was with the Greek Tourism board. They were the co-sponsors of a big travel show in Long Beach, CA. He was fit to be tied with the Union Thug operation there. They damaged their set while putting it up. Which was mandatory. They would not even allow the sponsors move any chairs or furniture around. And being it was a weekend, every thing was on Over time. Pretty bad when the Greeks think of US as corrupt.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    The electric code in Chicago and Cook County has always been very stringent. Such as requiring that all electrical wiring in walls of buildings is enclosed in pipe, thinwall. Amazing to watch home improvement shows on tv showing houses around the nation, and Canada, that romex is used widely. That is inferior to running electrical wiring in pipes and terminating in metal boxes on walls and in ceilings.

    No offense, but IMO, that's a lame excuse.

    While you may find non-conduit electrical systems in houses amazing, you're in an extremely small minority. In this country, few houses (overall) are.

    What I find amazing is that folks aren't able to understand how to plug lights and appliances in at a union-maintained location, but are perfectly capable of doing that at home. Around here, commercial buildings require conduit, but they catch fire and burn just like non-conduit built residential buildings.

    One would think the entire country would have burned down by now...
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,754
    edited April 2013
    And those who dish snark shouldn't cry about snark

    Well there's good snark and bad snark. You have the bad, I have the good. :blush:

    guess

    Yep.

    I won't get into it any further.

    Excellent!

    Toyota Avalon is a parallel universe Buick LeSabre. Camry is a Century (the bland 80s-90s model of course).

    They seem to have figured out the Buick market and are going after that demo with good cars (although ugly). I wonder if/when we will see them do better in the truck market? Lots of blue-collar patriots in that area - probably a tougher nut to crack. And of course they need to avoid some of those poor quality US-based frame makers. :P
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,754
    Excuse my ignorance, but that calculation seems (on the surface) to be a "loaded" formula. The term "rigged" so that the desired outcome is achieved comes to mind.

    That was my opinion as well. Which makes are more American when we heavily weight whether you have HQ here? Duh.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Percent is misleading. How much does a person contribute overall in federal taxes to keep this government, infrastructure and the defense of this nation going. Look at total taxes due for a family with AGI of $50K vs one with an AGI of $1M. The latter contributes far, far more to this nation than does the $50K family.

    As they should. The fellow with an AGI of $1 million, without question, expects far more government protection of his assets that the guy with AGI of $50K.

    Now, one can argue what the fair percent should be, which is legitimate. I'm already on record as stating we need a much simplified tax system, under which everyone pays something.

    But answer this...

    Which guy is gonna be screaming more if he loses everything?...

    Should the lesser paid guy get the exact same health insurance for 5% of what the rich guy pays? How about food? College tuition for his kids at a state school?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    Yes, hard working individuals did it, much of it by a lot of collective effort
    It takes strong willed individuals to see a Golden Gate Bridge and over see its construction. The collected workers are needed but not important as you pointed out, one falls another one takes his place. Collectivism we are being forced into today, kills the incentive for the individual to step forward and make a project like the Golden Gate bridge a reality. The prime example is our mess in CA called High Speed Rail. It is being built by committee and will likely never happen. This country over all is bogged down in the Collective mindset.

    Utilities, such as Duke Power here in the Carolina's, were given guaranteed rates of return on investment by the government. They also exercise the right of eminent domain when creating their distribution system.

    That is all part of the corruption our country has devolved into. Getting right of way for projects that benefit all has been around a long time. Now it is being used to benefit fat cat friends of politicians. The Interstate Highway system was financed by the tax payers. It took individuals to put the project together and have it work.

    The major example of the mess made by collectivism is the Soviet Union. They realized before it was too late that there is a better way, and they are fixing their infrastructure while we allow politicians to piddle away our tax dollars and not get anything done.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Which makes are more American when we heavily weight whether you have HQ here?

    You know, I'd love for the rating to be correct. To see major manufacturing of vehicles moving back to the US would be a great thing.

    OTOH, deluding ourselves into thinking that when it isn't true doesn't do anything positive.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,805
    edited April 2013
    Most of the infrastructure was built by individuals and private money up until the middle of the 20th century.

    Go look at the history of toll roads and bridges. There's some old 1800s era toll roads here that are marked with hysterical markers. The builders were given an exclusive franchise and a guaranteed toll rate. And there's one not far from here that literally ended in the woods. A toll road to nowhere. Even the loggers didn't use it since they floated trees to the lake on the river close by. Very hysterical.

    The other thing that amused me this week, having lived around the first TVA city and my brother having worked at TVA in Chattanooga, is all the angst about the proposal to sell the utility to for-profit outfits (like Duke Energy). The Dems down there don't like the idea but even the socialism hating Corker is up in arms over it. Funny how that works when it's your socialist ox getting electrocuted. :D

    Back to American cars and that study linked above, I suppose you could take the professor's assumptions and refigure them to your own ends.

    And the study could backfire; people who hate Big 3 iron for whatever reason will just start at the bottom and wind up with a Yaris or Scion or Prius.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited April 2013
    You know, I'd love for the rating to be correct. To see major manufacturing of vehicles moving back to the US would be a great thing.

    OTOH, deluding ourselves into thinking that when it isn't true doesn't do anything positive.


    Without trying very hard--the Fusion is or will soon be made in the U.S. after being made since day one in Mexico; the Sonic is the only subcompact built in the U.S. by anybody, and it replaced a Korean-built car; the Impala is being built in Michigan after exclusively Canada for over a decade; and the Camaro is moving to the U.S. from Canada. All good things IMHO.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    It takes strong willed individuals to see a Golden Gate Bridge and over see its construction. The collected workers are needed but not important as you pointed out, one falls another one takes his place. Collectivism we are being forced into today, kills the incentive for the individual to step forward and make a project like the Golden Gate bridge a reality. The prime example is our mess in CA called High Speed Rail. It is being built by committee and will likely never happen. This country over all is bogged down in the Collective mindset.

    I guess we have a different definition of "collective" effort.

    I define it as projects being done under the auspices of the government and supported by tax $ and/or tax breaks that would rarely, if ever, happen if funded and done by the private sector alone.

    I see "Collectivism", on the other hand, as management by committee.

    Your are on the mark about killing individualism. Our kids are taught to not rock the boat early on in schools. When I was a kid, the only way to get an award was to do something exceptional. Nowadays, everyone gets an award just because they participated.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Without trying very hard--the Fusion is or will soon be made in the U.S. after being made since day one in Mexico; the Sonic is the only subcompact built in the U.S. by anybody, and it replaced a Korean-built car; the Impala is being built in Michigan after exclusively Canada for over a decade; and the Camaro is moving to the U.S. from Canada. All good things IMHO

    Well, I agree those are all good things, but I don't see how those fit into the survey. The fact those cars, along with other possible vehicles, are coming back or already here doesn't validate the determination criteria used in the ranking.

    If we aren't going to attempt to be factual in our analysis of the US built criteria, why not simply claim all cars are 100% US built and call it a day?
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited April 2013
    Back to American cars and that study linked above, I suppose you could take the professor's assumptions and refigure them to your own ends.

    Hmmm... I thought the Toyota Avalon was the most American vehicle, with 85% US content and assembled in KY.


    http://editorial.autos.msn.com/what-are-the-most-american-made-automobiles#1


    The survey rank has it tied at # 10.

    I might accept a 2 or 3 ranking, but tied at 10?

    Something isn't right here. It can't be both. Which is it?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,805
    The profits* go back to Tokyo so they lose standing in the rankings.

    (*My wife own a wee bit of Toyota, but she grew up in Southern California, so she's not a true blue 'merican either. Not from Orange County in other words. :) ).

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  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    The profits* go back to Tokyo so they lose standing in the rankings.

    (*My wife own a wee bit of Toyota, but she grew up in Southern California, so she's not a true blue 'merican either. Not from Orange County in other words. ).


    While Tokyo most likely controls those profits, the real question is whether or not they actually go there. In a global economy, global manufacturers (including US manufacturers) keep their reserves and profits in many currency denominations, located all over the globe.

    IMO, its foolish for someone to think a large global company puts all its money in a big box and transfers it back home. It simply doesn't work that way, and its a huge error in the ranking.

    You can bet the leadership at Toyota, along with every other global company, does far more of what's in the company's best interest than what's in the home country's best interest.

    I'm gonna go out on a limb and call that particular survey mathematically biased. The ranking is based as much on interpretive semantics as it is on arithmetic.

    Just my opinion...
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited April 2013
    Go look at the history of toll roads and bridges.

    Funny story, but true.

    SC isn't big on toll roads, but several years ago a private group arranged to build a bypass off of I-85 as a toll road. It branches off I-85 and heads south to I-26, bypassing Greenville. It's about 10 miles long.

    Once it opened, everyone realized it was considered a private road, and in SC, there are no driving rules on private roads. In other words, if you build a road on your land, you can drive as fast as you want to on it, and that's exactly what happened initially. Every guy who wanted to go fast paid the toll and drove like there wasn't any tomorrow. I heard it called the longest drag strip in the US.

    That only lasted for a few days, until the state and the toll road owners worked out a policing arrangement with the highway patrol.

    The toll road has gone through bankruptcy, never made a profit, investors took a bath, and the last I heard, the road is owned by the state now, and state maintained. It remains a toll road, however.
  • all components are made off shore, probably by Magna. Who subcontract to other companies. So buying American means nothing. my escape parts are off shore, but PRIDE assembled in Kansas. Like Apple, they go to whom ever has the best price for a component. Take a look a the label of your kids clothing at Walmart. Bangadesh or india.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    I guess we have a different definition of "collective" effort.

    I define it as projects being done under the auspices of the government and supported by tax $ and/or tax breaks that would rarely, if ever, happen if funded and done by the private sector alone.


    First it would not be practical or profitable for a private company to build a free public road. So the community, state or Feds pool their resources and build roads and bridges for all of US to use. Now that we have all these roads and bridges the gas tax money should be maintaining them. However the people controlling the tax money find other things to spend it on. So our once fine roads and bridges are falling apart. In CA they have gone back to privately owned Toll and HOV lanes. The rest of the roads are falling apart while we P*** away money on Pie in the Sky High Speed Rail projects. The success and failure of Collectivism.

    Which is a positive for D3 PU and SUV sales. Most cars get destroyed by out 3rd World infrastructure in CA.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,805
    The toll road going to Dulles makes money for the private owner. Not sure of the details, but iirc, it's free going to the airport, but toll for commuters not taking that exit. Actually seems to have worked out well.

    Ah, Wiki says the profits go to Australia, LOL.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,791
    Toyota and Nissan will always be fighting for 4th place in the US truck market - unless recent trade talk hints allow in small trucks again. And even then, it will be a battle.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,791
    Well, in terms of the middle class dying off, it isn't from the wars.

    The unfunded war ideal, and how some defend it via the jobs it creates (at huge expense and debt) might be the best example of how destructive too much government power can be. It's also a sacred cow of supposed capitalists. Funny how that works.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,754
    edited April 2013
    The profits* go back to Tokyo so they lose standing in the rankings.

    I've always felt that this "profits go back to xxx country" argument to be ridiculous at best.
    • What is the profit margin of a car? Let's say 10% (probably less). So 90% of the value of the car is spent where it is made, not in the profits going back to xxx.

    • Of the actual profits, some of those are distributed to the shareholders, which could be in any country

    • Many companies keep their profits OUT of the country where HQ resides. Certainly many US companies keep offshore profits offshore to avoid US tax rates. How much do you want to bet that, for example, the GM and F profits from say, Mexico, stay out of the US?

    • There is a LOT of additional economic activity generated by the asembly plants, well beyond the value of the vehicles. The workers live in the area and buy homes, boats, cars, and eat at restaurants, etc. All things not shown in the sales numbers for the automaker, but still significant additions to the economic activity
    So profits are likely <5% of the value of the sales. If <5% of the economic value did "go back" to another country, then so what?
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,754
    Toyota and Nissan will always be fighting for 4th place in the US truck market - unless recent trade talk hints allow in small trucks again. And even then, it will be a battle.

    It would be nice to see some smaller trucks here again like we had in the '70's.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I've always felt that this "profits go back to xxx country" argument to be ridiculous at best.

    Not to beat a dead horse, but looking through the ranking one last time, I noticed that several Chrysler vehicles ranked above the Avalon. Seems that Chrysler gets a 6-point credit for "profit margin", which, according to the ranking criteria, is only for US companies. They also got a 6-point credit for R & D, which is exclusive to US companies.

    Someone remind me... Who has owned Chrysler for a while now?

    No, there isn't any bias in that ranking....
  • berriberri Posts: 4,202
    I kind of agree with Tiong on this matter, except I think the amount of profit flow is not a fixed percentage, but variable. Each year where the money is moved and spent (including R&D, vendor development, etc.) likely varies from business market (country) to business market as need and strategy deems fit. Now Chrysler, you can't blame Fiat for jumping in on that deal the US bailout provided them. Besides, the UAW likely seems tame compared to some of those Italian worker unions! Ironically, the dumbest Chrysler investors were probably the German's (Daimler Benz) despite the stereotype of German's being shrewd, although the US hedge fund following it (Cerberus) doesn't look too bright either. Luckily, it includes many former US gov big shots so it's hit was reduced (but you have to wonder if they weren't involved would Chrysler have been bailed out?).
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    While Tokyo most likely controls those profits, the real question is whether or not they actually go there. In a global economy, global manufacturers (including US manufacturers) keep their reserves and profits in many currency denominations, located all over the globe.

    Absolutely true. That is why Apple has about $140 BILLION stashed off shore to avoid paying 45%+ in corporate profits. So that and several other parameters on that report are bogus. You can bet GM does not bring any profit made in the EU or China back to the USA to be heavily taxed. The World is a free for all no real loyalty anywhere. In the USA lack of loyalty starts in the WH and goes to the homeless with a iPhone from China.

    For me buying American made products is something I try to do. I will not buy sub standard to get Made in USA on the label. Waiting on the new Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel to make up my mind.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,791
    edited April 2013
    The actual rate is 40% IIRC, and Almost nobody pays it anyway

    Scale back the military-industrial monster, use those funds to compensate for tax cuts, send the bill for defending tax havens to their leaders - and if they don't pay, let the pirates invade and pillage. lower US corporate taxes, end loopholes, send lobbyists to gulags (or worse)...and probably see what new excuses the "job creators" will have for not living up to their wild and crazy claims yet again.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    I have no problem ending our waste of money protecting most of the World from who knows what.

    Apple is a CA Corporation so they would be subject to something like 13% state tax. The money was made outside the USA and I see no logical reason for them to bring it back. They should pay the tax in the countries they make the money in. Our outdated tax laws make it difficult to justify bringing profits back to the USA. The USA is a horrible place to start a business. There are countries in Africa that are better choices. As long as the Eco nuts are happy, I can survive. Just glad I put my time in already. Hopefully the Feds won't steal anymore of the SS I paid in.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited April 2013
    Well, I agree those are all good things, but I don't see how those fit into the survey

    My comments are only tied to "the survey" in the most tenuous way. My comments are primarily in response to your statement about not believing that production is returning to the U.S., when it indeed has happened and for several high-volume products.

    As a U.S. citizen, I see those steps only as a good thing and frankly I don't see how anybody couldn't...but I'm sure those folks will be posting soon about it. ;)
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