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Re: Why Chinese goods cost less...

Postby Lmo » March 7th, 2013, 3:47 pm

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Of course there was no offense taken greenman.

I still do think there is a valid argument there in that there are a lot of low skill/high pay union jobs in the U.S. that the Chinese beat the pants off of us on because they don't seem to approach work, pay, and standards of living as entitlements.


I think you are correct. "Labor" is a union "craft" that every construction project utilizes. These men and women, unskilled* for the most part, are who do the down in the trenches, dirty, physical tasks. It's literally life-shortening work. Many of my friends that work as laborers look like they are my age; 62. Most are only in their early fifties, having been in the trade for thirty years. They are at, or near their retirement age, having been broken by all the years of hard labor. They make, even after thirty years, nothing near $38.18/hour

* Unskilled is a misleading term. Everything has a way to be done right or wrong. Efficiently or inefficiently. I never realized that digging a trench with a backhoe required the assistance of a laborer until I tried operation one in tight quarters at night the first time. The operator can't see what's going on himself, but an experienced laborer knows what needs to be accomplished and how, he can see obstructions and knows how to direct the operator. After a life like this they deserve to be able to retire, they are entitled to retire. They earned it. Since I do not personally know any Chinese construction workers I can't say how they expect to live the senior years. Perhaps if they have extended family they are taken care of... As a person with no children I can not expect this, and there are a lot of other folks around the world that fall into that category.

Sorry for the rambling thoughts ... just trying to get it all out. So many variables; sociology, geography, culture, cost of living, etc.
Lew Morris
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Re: Why Chinese goods cost less...

Postby dziner82 » March 26th, 2013, 11:26 am


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Greenman wrote:I still do think there is a valid argument there in that there are a lot of low skill/high pay union jobs in the U.S. that the Chinese beat the pants off of us on because they don't seem to approach work, pay, and standards of living as entitlements.

I worked in a large union for a time where people pushed a cart and picked parts 8 hours a day for $35/hr, it was incredulous.



i dont think there are many of those jobs anymore. in the early 2000's maybe, but anyone who had those jobs were either bought out into early retirement, or have retired ans since seen their benefits slashed. the jobs at the local factories in flint/saginaw/detroit michigan (that are still in business) where some employees got paid upper $20's/low 30s per hour (mind you those were employees that likely had 15-20+ years in) are now getting paid $10-$14 an hour at best.

those are assembly line jobs, other unionized jobs i really dont know much about.

Im not fully to one side or the other on this issue, but the whole "union workers getting paid $40/hour to tighten a nut" argument is about 10-15 years obsolete in my opinion.

also the chinese for the most part dont have ANY entitlements, so yes it makes sense that they are in a different plase on maslows hierarchy. Do we have too many... maybe. but just so hard to compare the US worker and the PRC worker.

Re: Why Chinese goods cost less...

Postby Lmo » March 26th, 2013, 1:05 pm

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It appears our young Operating Engineer may be in training for a more lucrative career than we are aware of.

Over the past decade, the number of new graduates from Chinese universities has increased sixfold to more than six million a year ...

Among Chinese age 21 to 25, university graduates have an unemployment rate of 16.4%, four times the rate for those who quit school after elementary school...

Nearly half of college graduates in 2011 started at wages below those paid to migrants who come from China's farms to fill its factories and construction sites ...

Decisions about curriculum and fields of study were made largely in Beijing at the Ministry of Education or by provincial officials, with little input from local employers. The result was a mismatch between graduates turned out by many schools and the skills sought by employers.

Last year a record 1.1 million students took the national civil-service exam, 13% more than the prior year ... 3,000 college graduates last fall applied for about 1,000 jobs to be street cleaners, drivers and other sanitation-department workers ...

"If you work for private-sector [Chinese] firms, your family will lose face," she says. "Those aren't famous firms."

Source: Chinese College Graduates Play It Safe and Lose Out
Lew Morris
"It's what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

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Re: Why Chinese goods cost less...

Postby kushy » April 20th, 2013, 12:00 pm


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I think because of less quality and not more educated on this.:-)

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