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Comments

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338

    Pension plans could prove an extreme difficulty for some states.

    Pensions, what's that? I think 401k's have all but replaced them.

    Companies used to encourage long term employees. Now they are considered liabilities.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    Everything in America seems to be short term whether business, gov or consumers. I'm not sure this is good really. Also corporate America and its MBA programs are possibly becoming too quant and computer program focused. Sometimes you need qualitative critical thinking skills too. Then there is effective communications...
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    shiftrightThese really are monopolistic enterprises. What are we going to do about this? Will the Feds just remain ga-ga until we crown our first Trillionaire, or will they start anti-trust action, like they did way back when with Standard Oil.

    The last time a president pushed anti trust was Bill Clinton on Microsoft. MSFT crashed and brought the whole dot.com with it. That was 1998. Wife's portfolio went from $397K down to $107k thanks to Paine Webber.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Some posts removed for "politics", sorry.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yes, there's always some risk in anti-trust legal actions. But if you don't take the risk, then new businesses can't catch a break. Monopolies stifle innovation. I think Apple, Google and Amazon own like 40% of internet content worldwide.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,550
    edited April 2018
    Pensions are for the more than equal class, now, citizens deluxe. I wonder how many will be on thin ice as more boomers hang em up, or if taxpayers will be forced to bail it all out.

    I have a friend who went the government job route, just for this. He quips that it is 70% of work for 70% of the pay and 150% of the bennies, compared to private sector, and it is really hard to get canned after 5 years. At least from what I can tell, leadership can be just as dopey. Then I look at him and notice his mom and dad were public sector, his brother and a couple cousins are, too. Hmmm. Maybe I planned wrong.

    The key to monopoly-busting is to not make it political - as all action against Bezos is political. And so many are addicted to his products, it might not matter. I just hope his WaPo can do the same thing it did 45 years ago.


    Pensions, what's that? I think 401k's have all but replaced them.

    Companies used to encourage long term employees. Now they are considered liabilities.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,550
    And yeah, Wall St worries me more than the media, too. You never know what might move the market 10% in either direction.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    edited April 2018

    Pension plans could prove an extreme difficulty for some states.

    Pensions, what's that? I think 401k's have all but replaced them.
    Companies used to encourage long term employees. Now they are considered liabilities.
    Being in Unions for 46 years I have an inside look at what happened to defined pensions. And why so many companies bought their employees out with cash. If you followed ERISA like I did you would know the answers. When I worked for Ma Bell you had to work 15 years to be vested. I worked 9 years and got nothing from Bell. I worked with a guy that left AT&T management after 16 years and came to work in Alaska. He got shuffled around as manager and eventually ended up back in craft as a Teamster with me. When he turned 65 Ma Bell sent him his first Pension check for 16 years service. $207 a month. Company pensions were not all that great. Back to ERISA changes. 1974 after I left Bell ERISA lowered the vesting to 10 years. Didn't do me any good. Then in 1988 the lowered it to 5 years mandatory vesting. That is when the companies said enough is enough. Thankfully for the Teamsters it was not earlier or we would have been bankrupted by all the pipeline workers that headed home after the pipeline was finished in 1977. What it did to those that remained was cut our benefits and raised our retirement age from 45 to 55. Took our medical coverage after we retired. The 401K became the replacement as it could be carried from job to job. What ever you and your employer contributed was yours. It was not as good as defined pensions. But like mine, if I died the day after I retired no more funds for spouse or family. Thankfully I have been collecting for 12 years and hope to keep on collecting.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    The Teamsters used to have a pretty sweet deal going. Don't know about now.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaMember Posts: 8,257
    You couldn't tell from reading the headlines or listening to the MSM, or even following the stock market, but no tariffs have been placed on anything as of yet by the U.S. or China. There is a negotiation underway, and all these threats of tariffs are just a part of it. My GUESS, is that things will be worked out in some fashion without any tariffs going into effect.

    2013 LX 570 2016 LS 460

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 17,517
    fintail said:

    I have a friend who went the government job route, just for this. He quips that it is 70% of work for 70% of the pay and 150% of the bennies, compared to private sector, and it is really hard to get canned after 5 years. At least from what I can tell, leadership can be just as dopey. Then I look at him and notice his mom and dad were public sector, his brother and a couple cousins are, too. Hmmm. Maybe I planned wrong.

    What your friend says is mostly accurate. The 70% number is probably close to what the weighted average works out to - there are some very devoted people who go at 100% or more effort, at least for a while. They are offset by (in my case based upon what I saw) those who do very little or nothing for years without consequence. One of the depts I worked had a guy who was an accountant who must have developed mental illness, as he was smart but considered unmanageable by a series of bosses and spent the day in his cube reading, tending to the things he had hoarded into that spot, and generally being outside of the organization. He was inoffensive and didn't bother anyone, and retired after 30+ years. We had another guy whose hours were 0630 to 1430, who read the newspaper and slept until people started drifting in around 0800, and had naps thoughout the day as well. He took early retirement when a 5-year additional pension time sweetener was offered. Then you have the normal folk, likely the bulk of the organization, who just don't do anything much of value but don't offend anyone either and make a career out of it. The managers/directors get promoted out of the ranks and quickly realize they cannot do anything much to change things either, and see those few that do try to buck the system quickly get cast aside or banished, so they go along to get along. There is no incentive to make anything better. It is a badly flawed system.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 211,806
    houdini1 said:

    You couldn't tell from reading the headlines or listening to the MSM, or even following the stock market, but no tariffs have been placed on anything as of yet by the U.S. or China. There is a negotiation underway, and all these threats of tariffs are just a part of it. My GUESS, is that things will be worked out in some fashion without any tariffs going into effect.

    The market is always forward looking. So, risks and hopes are priced in, though not always efficiently. If it wasn't that way, we could all invest purely by P/E ratio.

    So, the more talk about tariffs, and the possibility of them, the better chance the markets will be lower than otherwise.

    Also, even though China has more at stake in a trade war, the amount of disruption that their population will endure is a lot higher than ours, I think. Not necessarily by choice, as they can't vote out the rulers. So, I'll guess that we'll cry uncle first, or suffer the consequences.

    Hopefully, none of that happens.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    edited April 2018
    I tend to agree; however, China does have a devastating weapon at its disposal if they get squeezed too hard---rare earth metals. Cell phones, EV automobile motors, radar, etc. Poof!

    I wouldn't poke the bear (or the dragon) too much if I were the U.S. Besides, without trade deficits, other countries wouldn't buy our debt anymore. How's that going to play out? Not well.

    I don't think our economic policy is guided by people who really grasp the complexity of economics, and Wall St. are all short-timers, seems to me. There's very little longterm thinking that goes on in America.


  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 211,806
    Not sure that came out the way I intended.

    I meant that the Chinese population can endure a lot more pain than we can. Because, they are used to it, and don’t have a lot of choice. Americans will apply pressure to their elected officials, if this starts affecting their pocketbook. I’m guessing we don’t have the political will to follow through, in any meaningful manner.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Dictatorial governments can be very effective in their own way, by making very rapid decisions and/or policy changes. The Chinese are not stupid. They know how to fight back.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    If Trump can get China, Japan & Germany to level the playing field on trade, he will have accomplished a lot. Then renegotiate NAFTA which was a royal screwing of the US middle classes.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450

    The Teamsters used to have a pretty sweet deal going. Don't know about now.

    Many of the Teamster pension plans are in critical condition. Ours in Alaska would have been ok, except a lot of pipeline workers cashed out, left the Union and came back as non union workers for renamed companies. That loophole was closed in the early 1990s and we still are not fully funded.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    edited April 2018
    gagrice said:

    If Trump can get China, Japan & Germany to level the playing field on trade, he will have accomplished a lot. Then renegotiate NAFTA which was a royal screwing of the US middle classes.

    I don't agree at all with that. Certain economic theory suggests that persistent trade deficits will harm a nation's economic outlook by negatively impacting employment, stunting growth, and devaluing its currency. The United States, as the world's largest deficit nation, has consistently proven these theories wrong. .

    People in Washington shouldn't tinker with things they don't have a firm understanding of. It could be slitting one's own throat.


  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450

    gagrice said:

    If Trump can get China, Japan & Germany to level the playing field on trade, he will have accomplished a lot. Then renegotiate NAFTA which was a royal screwing of the US middle classes.

    I don't agree at all with that. Certain economic theory suggests that persistent trade deficits will harm a nation's economic outlook by negatively impacting employment, stunting growth, and devaluing its currency. The United States, as the world's largest deficit nation, has consistently proven these theories wrong. .

    People in Washington shouldn't tinker with things they don't have a firm understanding of. It could be slitting one's own throat.
    I am looking at trade barriers more than trade deficits. Since WW2 we have let countries like Japan and Germany sell their goods here with no tariffs. When we want to sell to them they tack on tariffs or high taxes to make their own products desirable. I am just looking for fair trade deals with the various countries.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaMember Posts: 8,257

    gagrice said:

    If Trump can get China, Japan & Germany to level the playing field on trade, he will have accomplished a lot. Then renegotiate NAFTA which was a royal screwing of the US middle classes.

    I don't agree at all with that. Certain economic theory suggests that persistent trade deficits will harm a nation's economic outlook by negatively impacting employment, stunting growth, and devaluing its currency. The United States, as the world's largest deficit nation, has consistently proven these theories wrong. .

    People in Washington shouldn't tinker with things they don't have a firm understanding of. It could be slitting one's own throat.


    So you think that if President Trump negotiates a better trade deal for the U.S. with China, Japan, and Germany, that this would be a mistake? We are not in great shape now, and would be in horrible shape without our ability to print/borrow money and keep kicking that 21 trillion dollar national debt down the road.

    2013 LX 570 2016 LS 460

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,591
    gagrice said:

    If Trump can get China, Japan & Germany to level the playing field on trade, he will have accomplished a lot. Then renegotiate NAFTA which was a royal screwing of the US middle classes.

    Was it a "rushing sound of the jobs leaving" that Ross described in the campaign?

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Reagan put a tariff on Japanese cars and it's still in place, far as I know. And the U.S. places numerous tariffs already on foreign products.

    The idea that the USA is a paragon of free trade is just political BS. We have tariffs on foreign vegetables, auto parts, fruits, clothing, canned tuna--even Chinese tires.

    There are about 12,000 specific products that fall under U.S. tariffs right now.

    The problem is more about Americans living beyond their means and being steeped in debt. We don't save, we have more household debt now than in 2008. Add to that the stagnant wages, and American corporations manufacturing overseas to save $$$, plus robotics and offshore tax dodges, plus jobs without benefits and shorter hours, and no wonder so many Americans are hurting.

    We operate in an unsustainable system, and tinkering with NAFTA isn't going to make it better I'm afraid.

    The entire idea of a "free market" is an illusion IMO. A more accurate description would be "a rigged free market".
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,550
    I am curious as to the problems in the playing field between USA and Japan/Germany.

    Germans and Japanese have effectively no desire for American-brand or American-market cars, so that answer won't work.

    I'm also curious as to the real hard line Trump will play with China when his son-of-a-conman son in law (of a conman) Jared hawks pay for play residency to Chinese kleptocrats.
    gagrice said:

    If Trump can get China, Japan & Germany to level the playing field on trade, he will have accomplished a lot. Then renegotiate NAFTA which was a royal screwing of the US middle classes.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,550
    I can believe it. My friend tells me some wacky stories too, but he lets it slide - he has put in his 5 years and knows he'd be tough to can now, and he's just riding it out til around 60.

    I don't know/care if I will offend anyone, but I don't believe public sector employees deserve a higher ROI on their pension contributions than the average Joe can get from his 401K contributions.
    ab348 said:



    What your friend says is mostly accurate. The 70% number is probably close to what the weighted average works out to - there are some very devoted people who go at 100% or more effort, at least for a while. They are offset by (in my case based upon what I saw) those who do very little or nothing for years without consequence. One of the depts I worked had a guy who was an accountant who must have developed mental illness, as he was smart but considered unmanageable by a series of bosses and spent the day in his cube reading, tending to the things he had hoarded into that spot, and generally being outside of the organization. He was inoffensive and didn't bother anyone, and retired after 30+ years. We had another guy whose hours were 0630 to 1430, who read the newspaper and slept until people started drifting in around 0800, and had naps thoughout the day as well. He took early retirement when a 5-year additional pension time sweetener was offered. Then you have the normal folk, likely the bulk of the organization, who just don't do anything much of value but don't offend anyone either and make a career out of it. The managers/directors get promoted out of the ranks and quickly realize they cannot do anything much to change things either, and see those few that do try to buck the system quickly get cast aside or banished, so they go along to get along. There is no incentive to make anything better. It is a badly flawed system.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,550
    I am not sure why anyone thinks he or the swamp can negotiate any better deals, nor offer details of what exactly is needed with Japan and Germany. Hint, they don't want a Malibu or F150.

    Also, cheap Chinese goods help mask the declining real incomes experienced over the past 40 years. But maybe things will trickle down, any day now, and everyone will hit it big. Everyone is a temporarily embarrassed millionaire.



    houdini1 said:



    So you think that if President Trump negotiates a better trade deal for the U.S. with China, Japan, and Germany, that this would be a mistake? We are not in great shape now, and would be in horrible shape without our ability to print/borrow money and keep kicking that 21 trillion dollar national debt down the road.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 211,806
    Tariffs on Japanese trucks led to the invention of the 4-door SUV.
    Trucks had a 25% tariff, but add rear doors, call them a wagon, and the tariff drops to 2.5%.

    True story.

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  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaMember Posts: 8,257
    edited April 2018
    The media and a lot of people appear to be freaking out over President Trump's negotiating style. It is hard to tell if they are afraid he will fail or afraid that he will succeed.

    2013 LX 570 2016 LS 460

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 17,517
    fintail said:

    I can believe it. My friend tells me some wacky stories too, but he lets it slide - he has put in his 5 years and knows he'd be tough to can now, and he's just riding it out til around 60.

    I don't know/care if I will offend anyone, but I don't believe public sector employees deserve a higher ROI on their pension contributions than the average Joe can get from his 401K contributions.

    It is literally impossible to fire a govt employee union member here unless they commit a serious crime in the workplace. Even theft is often not enough, you need assault of some sort. We had a store manager who admitted stealing over a long period of time and we fired him but the union grieved it and eventually we were forced to take him back. We had another manager who was totally inept and got shuffled around for a while as tends to be done here since you cannot fire them for poor performance. She went off on sick leave, used all that up and then went on long-term disability until that got cut off by the insurer, at which time a human rights claim was filed with her claiming her failure to perform was due to remarks made by fellow employees about her - essentially the "everybody's against me" defence. That case went on for 5 or 6 years before the arbitrator decided we needed to take her back. By that time I was retired so I don't know what happened other than that the organization refused to take her back since the jobs had changed significantly since she crashed and burned and there was no desire to see her again, so they were seeking a financial settlement which I'm sure is what was wanted in the first place. I know the legal costs were approaching 7 figures by the time I left. It is simply absurd. If we had been able to fire her and give her a years worth of severance it would have been 1/20th or less of what it ended up costing.

    The pension plan I am in is fully funded and is managed by people who usually do better than the market index each year. However not all are that good. The teachers plan here is funded at only 60%-70% and over the years was subject to chronic under-contributions by teachers, overly generous payouts, and general incompetence. Last I read they are something like a billion dollars in the hole.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 211,806
    houdini1 said:

    The media and a lot of people appear to be freaking out over President Trump's negotiating style. It is hard to tell if they are afraid he will fail or afraid that he will succeed.

    I don't think Wall Street is political. They vote with their investments, and it isn't negotiating style they are worried about. It's a trade war and possible damage to the economy.

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  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaMember Posts: 8,257
    I agree, but Wall Street is also very fickle and unpredictable. Even with the wild swings lately, the Dow is still up about 6,000 points since Trump was elected.

    2013 LX 570 2016 LS 460

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,591
    kyfdx said:

    Tariffs on Japanese trucks led to the invention of the 4-door SUV.
    Trucks had a 25% tariff, but add rear doors, call them a wagon, and the tariff drops to 2.5%.

    What are the tariffs on vehicles of various types imported into Japan--or is it even allowed?

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,550
    edited April 2018
    Virtually the only American cars Japanese consumers want are vintage cars. Aside from a random Corvette or Mustang, there are no modern US offerings suited for or desired by that market.

    Deficits with Germany and Japan are a funny thing for two reasons. Germany has a mere quarter of the population of the US, Japan a little more than a third. 65 years ago, their corporate and policy leaders learned the idea of "export or die", and developed a mindset of making products that appeal on the global market. With smaller fiscally conservative domestic markets, and domestic products that appeal to the entire planet, they will always be net exporters. There's no winning a trade deficit battle with those and similar countries. Most of their tariffs on American goods exist only in theory due to agreements with local EU-style agreements, as nobody wants most of the goods anyway.

    China, on the other hand, is a subject that I can't blame the powers that be for wanting to fight - but, they probably aren't doing it the right way, especially as they have allowed west coast real estate markets to be negatively impacted by "investors" from that region. And it will also be tough as the flood of cheap Chinese goods has helped to mask the sad real income growth experienced since trickle down.

    Either way, in a trade war that brilliant stable geniuses who claim to be businessmen but could never have made it without family largesse claim will cause something to be great, consumers will foot the bill and be even worse off. I don't think anyone with any real credentials in economics is afraid this ideal will "succeed".
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,550
    My city worker friend has told similar stories of basically being unable to be fired. Even at managerial non-union levels, it appears to be the same.

    I have a stinking suspicion many public sector pensions in the US are in the condition you describe at the end, and it will only get worse as more boomers retire and then live long lives. Who will bail it out? We know the answer.
    ab348 said:


    It is literally impossible to fire a govt employee union member here unless they commit a serious crime in the workplace. Even theft is often not enough, you need assault of some sort. We had a store manager who admitted stealing over a long period of time and we fired him but the union grieved it and eventually we were forced to take him back. which I'm sure is what was wanted in the first place. I know the legal costs were approaching 7 figures by the time I left. It is simply absurd. If we had been able to fire her and give her a years worth of severance it would have been 1/20th or less of what it ended up costing.

    The pension plan I am in is fully funded and is managed by people who usually do better than the market index each year. However not all are that good. The teachers plan here is funded at only 60%-70% and over the years was subject to chronic under-contributions by teachers, overly generous payouts, and general incompetence. Last I read they are something like a billion dollars in the hole.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    houdini1 said:

    The media and a lot of people appear to be freaking out over President Trump's negotiating style. It is hard to tell if they are afraid he will fail or afraid that he will succeed.

    I think the real fear isn't about succeeding or failing on any given point. After all, if you make 20 random decisions, you are bound to be both horribly wrong and brilliantly correct at least once (or more).

    The fear is the "method". It is chaotic and doesn't fit any pattern for leadership. The decisions are often based on erroneous, or skimpy, or half-baked, or dare we say, deliberately deceptive, information---much like a very naive investor might act when they are a rookie in the stock market.

    It reminds me of one of those "rockumentaries" where the camera follows some utterly decadent rock and roll band on a tour---everyone in the entourage looks stoned, freaked out or crazy except....the accountant. This guy is wearing a suit and tie and quietly goes about exercising restraint and offering good advice.

    You want a sober person running things. Hysterics are for the stage.

    Once again, the old adage: The market doesn't like chaos.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 211,806
    edited April 2018

    kyfdx said:

    Tariffs on Japanese trucks led to the invention of the 4-door SUV.
    Trucks had a 25% tariff, but add rear doors, call them a wagon, and the tariff drops to 2.5%.

    What are the tariffs on vehicles of various types imported into Japan--or is it even allowed?

    I'm sure they are very, very high.. But, I don't know. The Japanese car market is about 25% the size of the American car market. I don't think our domestic auto industry jobs are coming back, even if they open their markets to them.

    Most of the Japanese cars that I buy here have no tariffs, because they are made in the good old USA. ;)

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    There are no tariffs on American cars being imported into Japan.

    However, there are other financial barriers and manipulations that can make American cars expensive to buy.

    Generally, the U.S. complaint has been that some countries manipulate their currencies to keep them weak against the U.S. dollar.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 211,806
    If we want to use Japan as an example: Insular economies that discourage imports and immigration usually end up old, stagnant and dying.

    We have a trade deficit because our standard of living is so much higher than our trading partners. We need a lot of stuff!! :p

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well that's true but our "standard of living" is based on debt. Americans have enjoyed (if you factor in inflation) negative interest rates on many types of loans, and for other things they want, they max out their credit cards.

    Most Americans are actually pretty broke. They have no reserves. Most don't "own" their homes or cars, and with inflation, their wages haven't gone up. On top of that, now they have to borrow to get an education as well.

    What the "stock market is doing" bears little relation to most Americans' everyday lives.

    The DOW, the GDP--all that is debt-driven. We aren't in an "equity bubble" we are in a "debt bubble" IMO.



  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZMember Posts: 5,347
    Hey, what's not to like? Each party can blame it on the other one, except that one party has a firm grip on education, most of the media and all of the entertainment industry. I'm sure this will turn out just fine.
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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,591
    edited April 2018
    The interest should be as a united country wanting to see equity in the treatment of our imports into China along with fair treatment of our companies who operate there by not having to have 50/50 partnerships with a China company. We don't require that for Chinese or other alien companies operating here.

    Along with relaxing that required partnership to operate in "their" country, we must stop the theft of intellectual property, and that 50/50 business is setup to do exactly that, which means the US part can be frozen out as the intellectual secrets are used by the Chinese portion to produce the same goods.

    Instead of a united interest, in the US the interest is in using fixing our unfair treatment as a cause to divide our country rather than unify us.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,550
    Right now the Secretary of Education is probably the least qualified to hold the title in history, so you might want to think that one through.

    Also, when a for-entertainment news show can have the "leader of the free world" erupting into a tweet storm via their often errant or bogus coverage, one might want to think who really has a hold over the media.

    Those conspiracy theories remind me of the religious ones about who controls newspapers and banks.

    Hey, what's not to like? Each party can blame it on the other one, except that one party has a firm grip on education, most of the media and all of the entertainment industry. I'm sure this will turn out just fine.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,550
    edited April 2018
    Sadly, this should have been addressed 30 years ago, and not after Pandora's Box was opened and spilling junk all over the place. The IP-stealing joint ventures are indeed disastrous, and I can't see how they can be reeled back now. What can one do in 2018? Pull out? Forbid Chinese investment on American soil?

    With Jared hawking pay for play residency to kleptocrats from our most favored "trading partner", don't hold your breath.

    The interest should be as a united country wanting to see equity in the treatment of our imports into China along with fair treatment of our companies who operate there by not having to have 50/50 partnerships with a China company. We don't require that for Chinese or other alien companies operating here.

    Along with relaxing that required partnership to operate in "their" country, we must stop the theft of intellectual property, and that 50/50 business is setup to do exactly that, which means the US part can be frozen out as the intellectual secrets are used by the Chinese portion to produce the same goods.

    Instead of a united interest, in the US the interest is in using fixing our unfair treatment as a cause to divide our country rather than unify us.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,550
    edited April 2018
    If only quality of life was the same as standard of living. We have large TVs and fat cars, but insane uneven healthcare, middling education, shoddy infrastructure, et al.
    kyfdx said:

    If we want to use Japan as an example: Insular economies that discourage imports and immigration usually end up old, stagnant and dying.

    We have a trade deficit because our standard of living is so much higher than our trading partners. We need a lot of stuff!! :p



  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Fintail says: Also, cheap Chinese goods help mask the declining real incomes experienced over the past 40 years. But maybe things will trickle down, any day now, and everyone will hit it big. Everyone is a temporarily embarrassed millionaire.

    It looks more like we were far ahead of the rest of the World 40 years ago. The global community is seeking parity by offering US what we want. The Chinese are beating US on several levels. Keeping the cost of labor in check to insure production levels to meet demand. Germany and Japan are dealing with the same issues concerning cheap Chinese imports. Why is it OK for the Europeans to raise tariffs on Chinese goods and not the USA?

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/08/solar-industry-says-eu-tariffs-chinese-imports-will-raise-panel-prices
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Fintail: Right now the Secretary of Education is probably the least qualified to hold the title in history, so you might want to think that one through.

    Pretty bold statement about a person that has started some of the most successful private schools in Michigan. She has the same views on Charter schools as Obama's Ed secretary Arne Duncan. I think you are watching too much MSM.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaMember Posts: 8,257
    edited April 2018
    Some might say it is OK because Trump is not the President of the EU.

    2013 LX 570 2016 LS 460

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 17,517
    I like how China subsidizes consumer-level exports. I can buy something on Amazon or ebay for $1.99 and it has free shipping from China via China Post. How does that make any sense?

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,550
    Pretty bold statement from someone who likely watches FOX all day and thinks it isn't MSM. Successful as judged by who? She knows nothing about public education, has no real work experience nor relevant credentials, yet another one who would be nothing if not for family fortune. The legitimate first world doesn't depend on for-profit and Christian schools for primary education, you know, the first world kicking American butt in virtually all HDI. She's a joke, like virtually all of 45's appointees.

    If she wasn't a major contributor via being an heiress to a sketchy MLM fortune, she wouldn't have the job at all. She has stumbled and failed in every interview in her history in this job. Have you seen when people ask her anything? She's clueless.

    Yeah, those MI charter schools are looking great
    gagrice said:

    Fintail:
    Pretty bold statement about a person that has started some of the most successful private schools in Michigan. She has the same views on Charter schools as Obama's Ed secretary Arne Duncan. I think you are watching too much MSM.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,550
    edited April 2018
    The US was ahead a couple generations ago, until others learned that coddling the top few doesn't actually help all. 35 years of trickle down nonsense and a socio-economic gap of levels not seen since before the depression show what has happened since.

    Cost of labor in check = glorified slavery, and living conditions that are not acceptable for a truly developed first world nation. Do you want to live in that reality? Unless you have a connection to some kind of official, you aren't going anywhere. Those new residency-purchasers buying so much high end real estate in some west coast areas aren't lucky entrepreneurs.

    Solar panels are almost invisible compared to the random all-out war that someone who inherited a fortune from daddy and found success as a showman thinks is a panacea.
    gagrice said:


    It looks more like we were far ahead of the rest of the World 40 years ago. The global community is seeking parity by offering US what we want. The Chinese are beating US on several levels. Keeping the cost of labor in check to insure production levels to meet demand. Germany and Japan are dealing with the same issues concerning cheap Chinese imports. Why is it OK for the Europeans to raise tariffs on Chinese goods and not the USA?

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/08/solar-industry-says-eu-tariffs-chinese-imports-will-raise-panel-prices

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Nothing seems to be trickling down. What is happening is that companies are buying back their own stock and driving up the price, and paying some dividends to keep stockholders happy enough to drive the price up even more. There is so much leverage going on here, it boggles the mind.

    If tariffs go up , that will also help American companies, but consumers will pay more for everything, which will make them very unhappy. Also, the Chinese aren't stupid. They will put a tariff on items that hit right in the POTUS's heartland, like say soybeans (which we export in massive amounts to China).

    I don't think anybody should start a trade war with China.

    This is all a diversion from the real issue anyhow. We are spiraling into debt and losing any means to correct the problem, nor any coherent form of remedial action.

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