Is there really a free lunch - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-07-2008, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mcbear View Post
There will always be several levels of folks who act as "expediters" in business transactions. That won't change. There will always be groups of people who match people with services. That won't change. So, yes positioning himself to feed off the free money food chain. That will trim down but won't go away.

As for a skill set that doesn't make anything? Well, there are plenty of skills that don't make things that are still necessary in any economy. It's not that we need to remove them from the economy, it's that we need to rebuild the manufacturing industries. That is where the problem is. There is both an market for and a need for both skillsets and both industries.

And you are dead on that we cannot be a 100% service industry country. Even with reduced lifestyle expectations we will fail at that.
I guess I was referring to a broader definition of manufacturing jobs e.g. including mechanics, plumbers , doctors .., intellectual workers , actor/actresses, anyone who engages in producing or sustaining a product.
On the other hand, the "expediters" exist because of the inefficiency of the marketplace. Once some company like Amazon, Costco, ebay, carmax(?) figures out a way to cut them out , these jobs have no reason to exist. The same can't be said of the "manufacturing" jobs as long as the products remain relevant in the marketplace.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-07-2008, 06:39 PM
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I guess I was referring to a broader definition of manufacturing jobs e.g. including mechanics, plumbers , doctors .., intellectual workers , actor/actresses, anyone who engages in producing or sustaining a product.
On the other hand, the "expediters" exist because of the inefficiency of the marketplace. Once some company like Amazon, Costco, ebay, carmax(?) figures out a way to cut them out , these jobs have no reason to exist. The same can't be said of the "manufacturing" jobs as long as the products remain relevant in the marketplace.
Plumbers and doctors are manufacturers?

Don't kid yourself, it is called "service jobs".

Actors on the other hand are "manufacturers", in a way. They "make" products that sell (and sell well) both here and overseas.

What else do we have?

Oh yes Boeing.

Oh Yes, GM, Chrysler and Ford.

Right.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-07-2008, 06:44 PM
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I guess I was referring to a broader definition of manufacturing jobs e.g. including mechanics, plumbers , doctors .., intellectual workers , actor/actresses, anyone who engages in producing.
On the other hand, the "expediters" exist because of the inefficiency of the marketplace. Once some company like Amazon, Costco, ebay, carmax(?) figures out a way to cut them out , these jobs have no reason to exist. The same can't be said of the "manufacturing" jobs as long as the products remain relevant in the marketplace.
But Amazon and eBay ARE expediters. They are there ONLY to facilitate buyer and seller.

And I understand you definition of manufacturing or Production work. They are white, blue and pink collar but the problem is we are reducing their numbers as we "improve". We "offshore" our workforce and only leave management chains to drive marketing, finance and all the distribution channels. We "automate" to INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY and streamline operations while at the same time reducing the number of workers. It makes those US PRODUCTIVITY numbers really look good each month as X production is achieved with fewer and fewer workers. We remove rooms full of adding machine operators and typing pools as we "computerize" industry and eliminate the need for those services as everyone is expected to build their own spreadsheets and write their own memos/documents.

I am not suggesting that we go back to 1950 but we obviously need to address the ever growing population and the ever shrinking employment base. Unions and industry had a plan in the Sixties in place to increase wages to allow only one member of the family to need to work as everyone's wages increased over time. That concept got lost. It is not a solution but it is an element of one.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-07-2008, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maine_coon View Post
Plumbers and doctors are manufacturers?

Don't kid yourself, it is called "service jobs".

Actors on the other hand are "manufacturers", in a way. They "make" products that sell (and sell well) both here and overseas.

What else do we have?

Oh yes Boeing.

Oh Yes, GM, Chrysler and Ford.

Right.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-07-2008, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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But Amazon and eBay ARE expediters. They are there ONLY to facilitate buyer and seller.

And I understand you definition of manufacturing or Production work. They are white, blue and pink collar but the problem is we are reducing their numbers as we "improve". We "offshore" our workforce and only leave management chains to drive marketing, finance and all the distribution channels. We "automate" to INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY and streamline operations while at the same time reducing the number of workers. It makes those US PRODUCTIVITY numbers really look good each month as X production is achieved with fewer and fewer workers. We remove rooms full of adding machine operators and typing pools as we "computerize" industry and eliminate the need for those services as everyone is expected to build their own spreadsheets and write their own memos/documents.

I am not suggesting that we go back to 1950 but we obviously need to address the ever growing population and the ever shrinking employment base. Unions and industry had a plan in the Sixties in place to increase wages to allow only one member of the family to need to work as everyone's wages increased over time. That concept got lost. It is not a solution but it is an element of one.
Yes, Amazon etc .

Automation and the increased PRODUCTIVITY are good things whereas OUTSOURCING is simple labor replacement, the amount of labor remains the same, just the cost of labor went down, so PRODUCTIVITY as work per unit labor is NOT improved by outsourcing.

A longer term solution is have people start PRODUCING things of marketable value. Too many have been spoilt by the financial gravy train (real estate industry for one) by the easy money.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-07-2008, 07:18 PM
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Yes, Amazon etc .

Automation and the increased PRODUCTIVITY are good things whereas OUTSOURCING is simple labor replacement, the amount of labor remains the same, just the cost of labor went down, so PRODUCTIVITY as work per unit labor is NOT improved by outsourcing.

A longer term solution is have people start PRODUCING things of marketable value. Too many have been spoilt by the financial gravy train (real estate industry for one) by the easy money.
No argument from me on reducing the gravy train - well, unless the reaper stops at Consultant Station.

And I wasn't saying that Automation was a bad thing as I pointed out. Just that it is a "good" thing when you maintain employment levels and actually INCREASE production, not reduce employees and increase productivity. Production and productivity are two different things.

I would love to see X work force as they become automated and produce multiples of their previous work. That means they are increasing market share.

As a country we win when we have workers on the job producing. Whether it is widgets or cars or software or legal briefs or designs on whiteboards [whew!!!]. We lose when we ship jobs to India or China or just close plants or allow the economy to ebb into a recession where product is not needed or affordable. 10/20Million people out of work [depending on if you use current or all] is too big of a number for this country's economy to function correctly. Folks who say "let them fold" for the Million plus Auto jobs apparently don't realize the consequences of that statement.

McBear,
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