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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 60,989
    edited October 2016
    I think those that are left behind just didn't see it coming---that between robots and the need for further job education, they got blindsided. I completely sympathize with their situation BTW, but one has to face facts and deal with them rationally. Many folks hate "change" and they don't want to change. But other generations have done it. Horse and buggy people went into automobiles, housewives went into industrial work, poor immigrants went to high school and college.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,164
    A lot of things were a lot more affordable for prior generations, relative to incomes and living costs. The socio-economic gap now is close to what it was 100 years ago. This isn't progress. Job education isn't obtainable for a lot of people, without assistance. Until structured solutions are created (rather than just pointing at vaguely related topics from generations past), the demon of globalization will continue to be touted by many.
  • berriberri Posts: 8,654
    Globalization deals need to be fair. The US gives too much away too often to get a deal.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,164
    Free trade definitely hasn't been fair trade over the past 40 years or so. There have been a lot of benefits which many like to tout, and a lot of sacrifices which many don't like to admit.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 60,989
    There's no such thing as "free trade" or a "free market".

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  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,164
    fintail said:

    Free trade definitely hasn't been fair trade over the past 40 years or so. There have been a lot of benefits which many like to tout, and a lot of sacrifices which many don't like to admit.

    I wonder what the pros/cons would be if we had protected ourselves more, but then been uncompetitive on the global market, had to put up with the greater pollution, etc. Certainly there are pros and many cons for the US, as for other countries as well. It's easy to seen the greenery on the other side of the fence, I wonder what we'd get upset about if we actually changed things?

    I know when I go to Europe I see all these things that they seem to do better - and I find my own country aggravating in many ways. But I'm sure if I lived there for a while I'd miss a bunch of things that WE get better than them.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 60,989
    Everything is going to go to green technology and renewable energy, so any country left behind on this is going to pay through the nose for it in the future IMO.

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  • berriberri Posts: 8,654
    The free traders miss an important point - our industrial base. We are outsourcing too many important items, particularly in electronics. What happens if China tells us to go pound sand one day?

    As for the green stuff: If you follow the wind and sea currents in the Pacific, we are getting a nice dose of Asian pollution thanks to our outsourcing as well.

    Washington can talk all it wants, but it caters to the big moneyed interests that fund their campaign and lobby chests. The media tends to hold back because a good chunk of that money finds its way to them through commercials.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,164
    Green industry has a lot of pros, but one has to wonder if the movement is for realistic reasons, or for some people to profit and sooth their illogical guilt at the same time. I'll believe green is a reality when the best environmental criminals aren't "most favored partners" or whatever term those without real world worries use to defend their policies.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,164
    edited October 2016
    Is being uncompetitive simply trying to reach fair trading policies, and not diving head first into oligocracy? The externalities of bad socio-economic and industrial policy are what allow idiotic populism to take control. Are we not putting up with greater pollution even if we can't see it from our living room? It all ends up somewhere.

    Europe is way too much of a micromanaged nanny state, for one. Their past 30 years might have been a higher overall standard than enjoyed by many Americans, but I can't say decisions made by their current leaders will keep that alive in another 30 years. The US might not be such a bad place to be.
    tlong said:



    I wonder what the pros/cons would be if we had protected ourselves more, but then been uncompetitive on the global market, had to put up with the greater pollution, etc. Certainly there are pros and many cons for the US, as for other countries as well. It's easy to seen the greenery on the other side of the fence, I wonder what we'd get upset about if we actually changed things?

    I know when I go to Europe I see all these things that they seem to do better - and I find my own country aggravating in many ways. But I'm sure if I lived there for a while I'd miss a bunch of things that WE get better than them.

  • berriberri Posts: 8,654
    I think our current economic model is oligopoly. These industrial consolidations spell inflation for the consumer, but rest assured the CPI data model will be manipulated to understate it in the statistics. Doesn't matter which party is in control either.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 10,407
    Both parties are tax and spend parties. One just leans and tilts slightly from the other on who pays the taxes and where the money will be spent and/or wasted.
    Toy '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD, Commuter '17 VW Golf AllTrack SE 4-Motion AWD, Wife's '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6T FWD
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,164
    fintail said:

    Green industry has a lot of pros, but one has to wonder if the movement is for realistic reasons, or for some people to profit and sooth their illogical guilt at the same time. I'll believe green is a reality when the best environmental criminals aren't "most favored partners" or whatever term those without real world worries use to defend their policies.

    Well GM now sells cars made in China, and Volvo is Chinese owned. And some other company (I forget the name) may start selling here. So we can see the trends in the auto world.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,164
    edited October 2016
    berri said:

    I think our current economic model is oligopoly. .

    Lately it seems oligopoly but trending to idiocracy.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,164
    edited October 2016
    The trend is what? Origin doesn't matter? That if you have enough money, you can buy rules? Of course it doesn't matter how much of a criminal or abuser you are, you can still profit. The most favored "partner" (some partnership LOLOL) has free rein. And then the embezzling homeland low level officials can come here and launder their dirty gold in our real estate markets.

    I wouldn't buy a Volvo or a Chinese Buick for political reasons alone.

    Oligocracy. For whom the normal person votes matters little.
    tlong said:


    Well GM now sells cars made in China, and Volvo is Chinese owned. And some other company (I forget the name) may start selling here. So we can see the trends in the auto world.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 60,989
    Kleptocracy most likely. Or my favorite---Kakistocracy---rule by the worst citizens.

    Actually getting back more on topic, I think internationalism, or "globalism" if you will, should not be cast as a dirty word. If you look at the history of Western culture, and its incredible success, internationalism has been right at the foundation of this. Whenever the West has plunged into protectionism, or xenophobia, or isolationism, bad things have happened.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,164
    edited October 2016
    I still think it is oligocracy. Almost every piece of legislation benefits someone way up there. The same financial and policy controllers remain no matter who wins an election when both candidates are far more similar than different.

    I don't know if looting the western working class in the name of "trade" can be considered internationalism or globalism.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 60,989
    edited October 2016
    Who says it's being looted. The statistics don't back up the claim. The country is actually in pretty good shape right now. There's a lot of hysteria out there. Minimal inflation, jobs are up, unemployment at about 5%, stock market higher than it's ever been, low interest rates, crime rates continue to fall, GDP chuggin' along okay, U.S. scientific and cultural achievements are nothing short of miraculous these last few years. Auto industry is posting some pretty impressive numbers, too.

    Oh, the automaker from China that plans to come into the U.S is, of course, Geely. I think they will be selling a Volvo-platformed small SUV.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,164
    Greatest socio-economic gap since before the depression, that's what says there's looting. This isn't the reality the lucky generation faced 45-50 years ago.

    IMO buying a Chinese car today would be like buying a German car in 1939 or a Soviet car in 1953.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 60,989
    And what does that mean in everyday life? For most people, not much. Real wages haven't increased in well over 30 years, but people seem to live pretty well regardless. The malls are full, the cruise ships, the dealer showrooms, the theaters. Comparison to the Great Depression seems to carry little weight.

    These "factory jobs" aren't coming back. They're gone, Finito. Kiss 'em goodbye. Young people have to retrain for the world of 2016.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,164
    Nice edit inclusion of vague data ideals. Inflation and unemployment rates are creatively accounted to keep spirits up. For the latter, the methodology has changed with time. For the former, such small meaningless expenses as housing, education, and healthcare are conveniently omitted. Not seeing those cultural achievements, either - the idiotic and expensive war on drugs keeps chugging along, and the justice system is as broken as ever.

    People live "well" on the surface, as they spend more of their income to maintain a standard (look at modern savings and debt rates), utilize dual incomes and multiple jobs more than ever to make ends meet, and take advantage of goods made in abuse unethical/questionably legal conditions as a way to make the declining real incomes go a greater distance.

    The scare points of xenophobia and protectionism are also amusing. Historical record has those coming on the scene after economic collapse, not causing it. If you want to enable populist idiocy that is based in ideals like xenophobia and dumb trade policies, let the economy suffer first. The current POTUS race shows it.

    Malls are full? Outside of upscale developments and outlets, malls are a dying fad. Theaters? They were full during the depression too. Cruise ships? Economically irrelevant (and also popular during the depression). People like you and I who live on the affluent coastal areas aren't seeing the reality for much of the nation, not to mention much of what was the developed world. We all can't be the lucky ones in a few areas who are house rich, have fat funded-by-others pensions, or inheritances to make up the difference.

    "Retrain" is probably more difficult (financially) now than ever. Just be sure to get into a field our beloved corporate leaders who definitely don't deserve a gallows can't offshore.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,481
    Retrain" is probably more difficult (financially) now than ever. Just be sure to get into a field our beloved corporate leaders who definitely don't deserve a gallows can't offshore.

    Retrain carefully.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 60,989
    Sure, people in West Virginia aren't buying as many new cars as those in Seattle....okay...but there are always going to be inequities in income in a democratic society.

    I think it's just an orgy of self-loathing, personally. Fear mongers are painting a far darker economic picture than actually exists. A poll was taken of the demographic that is complaining the most, and their average annual income?.......$72,000 a year.

    When you start seeing cars on American roads like the ones in Cuba---THEN I'd accept that our economy isn't healthy.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,164
    72K is pretty modest in most west coast urban areas. You'll definitely never own a house in a non-demilitarized zone within a reasonable distance (commuting time) to employment centers, maybe not even a condo unless you want something sketchy, old with looming assessments, or a mortgage of 5x or more income.

    Get out of the posh areas here, and you'll see some interesting vehicles with charming Red Green style repairs. American and foreign cars both :)
  • thebeanthebean Parts UnknownPosts: 791
    I agree with @fintail.  What people are shopping in the malls are buying cheap Chinese junk that will wear out in a year or so.  With the move of a lot of our quality jobs offshore, retraining is learning how to say "paper or plastic?".  The peak of the great American empire is over.  It's all downhill from here.  Greed rules.  I'm so glad I only have maybe 15 years left here on earth.  It is going to be ugly.
    2015 Honda Accord EX, 2017 Honda Civic EX-T
  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,164
    edited October 2016
    I am not that negative. If anything, the rest of the world is devolving more than the US. Europe is a looming disaster, China is in some ways a house of cards, and Russia is always teetering on the edge. Other so called looming powers are corrupt to the point that it will limit their ultimate power. This will still place to be in a few generations, if we make it that long. Greed rules, but we probably manage it better than most - there's just still so much room for improvement.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,481
    edited October 2016
    Shifty -well, over here in Kansas and western Missouri, I can assure you that the economy is pretty much booming. In the KC Metro there are so many stores Mrs. iluv and I can't believe the buildup. Johnson County, KS, is the 3rd most wealth county in the nation. There is really that "gotta keep up with the Jones'" thing going on in the far eastern edge of Kansas, connected to Kansas City, MO.

    There is not a lot of building in downtown KC, MO, but it's because everyone's out in the suburbs and in Kansas City, KS, and places like Shawnee Mission, KS, Overland Park, KS, Lenexa, KS, etc. To the east on the Missouri side you have places like Lee's Summit, Grandview, Raytown, etc., that have money built in to them. However, the mega-buildup in homes and subdivisions and nice, nice stores and theaters is on the Kansas side.

    We never knew Kansas had so much money living here - most all of it is in Wichita, Topeka and the cities included in Johnson County connected to the KC Metro. So, as someone living and working over here, I can tell you fintail and Shifty, there is a big-time money-making vibe going on here. Working all of the time. I am not convinced the economy is in a shambles, not from what I see. If you're outta work in the KC Metro, you're not trying to get a job or you don't really want to work.

    Now, fintail, if you want to talk about the high cost of healthcare in America, I'll talk. It is awful in this nation. Just finished watching the 2007 Michael Moore film out of Europe where he discussed the kind of healthcare France serves up to it's citizens. Whoa - housecalls are common. Cost? Nothing. I'm not sure I believe the data. They're not paying for their healthcare - or they're paying little amounts for their prescriptions and their healthcare.

    Moving to Belize to retire? I have kicked the idea around a bit.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 60,989
    You live in the richest and most powerful country on earth. There's no reason to presume any kind of decline.

    The economy is healthy but not robust. Inflation/deflation are in balance. GDP grows every year. Unemployment rates are stable. BLS predicts a full recovery from the Great Recession by the year 2020.

    Best of all, there's no sign of crazy exuberance in the stock market.



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  • thebeanthebean Parts UnknownPosts: 791
    Well, I hope you guys are right.  I just can't see how we can prosper long-term with such a very small middle class and a lot of good industrial jobs, like auto manufacturing, moving out of the country.  I wish I was as optimistic as you all are, but I see lots of storm clouds on our horizon.
    2015 Honda Accord EX, 2017 Honda Civic EX-T
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 60,989
    Huge economies always will ebb and flow. America has undergone something like 7....or 9?....serious, scary major recessions, depressions or bank panics in the last 150 years or so. Even in the Great Depression, if you had just held onto your nearly worthless investments, (assuming the companies you were invested in didn't disappear) most people would have been made whole again in about 8 years.

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