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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The news services carried the sad story of Fannie May closing down operations in the US. Especially in the Chicago area, hundreds of people will lose jobs and will be given no compensation in regards to medical benefits, etc.
The sticker is that the company will be closing plants in the US only. The Canadian plants will remain open (see CNN news Jan 10).

So, I have decided that no Fannie May candy boxes will be seen in my house. Neither my wife nor children will purchase Fannie May candies.

This is not a democratic party or republican party issue. It is an American people issue. If foreign companies and US senior mangement want to move manufacturing out of the US, let them find customers there also.
 

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As a business owner, wouldn't you want what is best for you? Cost cutting where it is possible to do so?

GM has plenty of cars made in Canada and Mexico. Are you boycotting GM?

Many "Hollywood" movies are made in Canada. The Oscar-Winning Chicago, was filmed in Toronto, not Chicago! Are you boycotting movies?

Would you rather see a company disappear altogether because they can't afford to stay in business?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Remember the story of the 2 Indian lads walking through the forest. Upon spying a tiger, one sits down and begins to put his shoes on. The other lad says "Those shoes are not going to make you faster than the tiger!".
The first lad explains "I don't have to be faster than the tiger. I only need to be faster than you".
Iacocca said it best when asking for Chrysler's loan. You don't have to give Chrysler the money. Then Chrysler will shut down and these fine people will be out of a job and collecting the money as unemployment. Or you can give Chrysler the loan and these people will have jobs and Chrysler will be viable and repay the loan.
So, everybody wants the other guy to give in.

Look at the former OAG (Official Airlines guide). Bought by a foreign competitor then shut down.

Yes, I did buy a MC knowing that the majority of parts costs (motor, transmission) were built in the US. Remember, it is the parts manufacture that is what involves the most workers- not assembly.

And do you think that the candy will be less expensive? Most likely not. Or will senior executives take home more money? Most likely the case.

If Brad Pitt is out of work and does not make his millions, I could give a rat's a--. If Ken Lay doesn't get his million dollar bonus, I could give a rat's a--. If a worker who has toiled for years and asks nothing more than to keep a roof over his family's head and food in their mouths, I care.
 

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What's wrong with senior executives making more money?

Out of curioisty, 69Nova, what line of work are you in? Do you own your own company? Have you ever?
 

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Here's the problem. If every major company and most smaller ones move their operations out of the country then where are we going to work? There aren't going to be enough jobs left for those of us living in this country. My mom lost a job because one company moved to mexico. She's lucky to have been able to find a job after that, but it still took a few months. I lost my last because it went to India. India's version of Silicon Valley has more tech jobs and employs more tech workers then our Silicon Valley (as of last year). I can't find a job because of that.

And the problem isn't helped by Unions strangling the larger companies. My dad works for GM. They're not allowed to lay off an employee for more then a certain number of weeks. After that, my dad had to go back to work, punch in, and sit down for 8 hours, then punch out and go home. He was being paid to sit and do nothing because there was NO work. If you have 500 employees, and it takes 10 employees to make 1 item a week, but you only have enough sales coming in for 2 items per week, the unions force you to keep all 500 employees and pay them at the same time. Yes, it gets a bit more complicated then that, but you get the idea I hope.

Yes, a company needs to stay in business, but moving thousands of jobs to save money is the wrong way to do it since those thousands of people will no longer be able to buy your stuff. Or anything else, which will just help perpetuate the problem. If a company is not making money, then your top exec's should not be making 1000 times more then your lowest paid employee. The last company I worked at did the right thing. Upper management received 2 pay cuts, and lower management recieved a pay cut before everyone else got pay cuts or was let go. They at least tried to keep the company in one peice through a hard time, however, it still wasn't enough for a company that had cornered the market for their product.
 

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Originally posted by Skie@Jan 13 2004, 03:44 PM
Here's the problem. If every major company and most smaller ones move their operations out of the country then where are we going to work?
Indeed- this is a problem. One way to help keep jobs in this country is to demand certain requirements (wage/age/time) of the companies that import products here. Sure- we may not be able to get super-cheap sweat-shop clothes, but the country would be better off because U.S. companies would be much more likely to keep jobs in the U.S. Things would even out eventually-- and we wouldn't support companies that use inhumane production practices.

But I don't see that happening any time soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
35 years as a mechanical engineer. Started as a design engineer and now am a manager of development. In between this time, I left the company and served as an officer in the Corps of Engineers (took my parachute training in 1970 at Fort Benning). I have a BS and MS in ME.
No, I have never owned a company.
When looking at short term values. When looking at short term economic strength of a country, somebody might be able to say all is well.
But these theories have proven to be wrong. Take the theory that all these jobs going overseas are unecessary for the US job labor market because the displaced workers will be re-educated and find new jobs in new markets. Well, this has not happened. I cite this week's relevation that 300,00 new jobs were not formed but that these people are no longer seeking employment-giving up. Those that could find jobs are earning fractions of their former jobs.
Now, one must look at the education of the workforce. It is a spectrum that runs from high school to PHD's. Whatever the tier on this ladder, we must find work to suit them-to make them active members of the community. Having a job and making a contibution is to what the vast majority aspires. We don't need a 2 tier system (Latin America) of the haves and have nots but a solid middle class.

The world is a more competitive place now than when I graduate from college. Manufacturing of sophisticated equipment has moved overseas. In the 60's, one saw Milwaukee and Cincinnati tools. Now, one sees overseas brands by every name. And it is getting tougher because those earlier imports from Japan are now being pressured by Korea and other Asian countries (a korean car in the US in the 60's was unheard of). So, why not be protectionist?

Education. How do you explain to the younger generations that no jobs await them after graduation?

While on a lunch time walk, I was stopped by a man in a car who asked "Are their any jobs down that way?". I replied that I didn't think so. So, don't tell me that many jobs go unfulfilled- especially in large cities. I don't know if he is a guy lookig to feed his family; he may even be a veteran. What can I say about the foreign company and workers?

Then tell me of Ken Lay, Kozlowski and Conrad Black?
 

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I would like to answer the question: What's wrong with a senior executive making more money?

The answer is simple. Senior executive do not work. Ever. EVER EVER. No work should not be rewarded with pay of any kind. It's not hard to sit in a chair and file proposals and excel spreadsheets to the proper department. This week's expenditures? Have accounting handle that. New product development? Have R and D handle that. The simple fact is that most executives can be replaced by a filing cabinet.

Oh yeah, but he has to make the "Tough" decisions, right? The ones made so hard by having a whole department of people figure out what you should do for you? Please.

But wait, it's his "responsibility" if he makes the wrong decision. SORRY, not the case. If an executive gets fired it's not like he's losing his house, or worrying where the next meal is coming from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I do think that the American approach to business is full of flaws. The biggest misconception is that whoever is hired as CEO is going to single handedly right the company. Not so. Even in the Iacocca/Chrysler case, Lee had a solid design team (one being Hal Sperlich of the Mustang team) in place. No, Iacocca did not jump on the drafting board and start to lay lines for the minivan. His job was to go in and set the company's attitude. If there are Chrysler engineers from this era, I wish that they would respond.
Now, it seems that the CEO's think that they solely have done the job if the company turns around. So, they become stars. And this attitude is fostered by the media. Hell, it takes more than the pitcher to win a ballgame. As reported in the Chicago Tribune, many of these CEO's think that the company's assets are for their pleasure.
Lately, the decision made is the easy decision; go overseas where the salaries are lower and benefits are non-existent. Anybody in this forum can be CEO if that's the case.
And what about those boards of directors? They have become puppets of the presidents and CEO's. It surprised me to see an annual report of a company which I owned stock that had a person sitting on the board with only 500 shares. Now, I would at least expect that any person who is watching over millions of shares to have at least a couple thousand of their own money in the till.
In my previous reply, I forgot to mention the myth that an MBA can run any company. The MBA doesn't need to know the product since he is managing people. What bull. I've sat in too many meetings and heard too many people with BS answers. If the guy knows the product, the wool is not pulled over his eyes.
Good presidents elevate the people to get the job done.
You go to the auto mechanic and he can't fix your car. He doesn't get paid. No bonus either.
 

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The world would be a better place if companies
could charge absolute minimum prices and yet
afford to pay maximum wages. I do not know
exactly where the finger needs to be pointed to
know why the US is not as good a candidate as
other countries. Tougher labor laws, perhaps?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What happened to the supposed "betterment of man" due to NAFTA? As I recall, the working environment in Mexico was going to be elevated due to this influx of US orders.
Liability laws in the US are absurd. A fellow is injured and blames the equipment because he is intoxicated on the job or screwing around (case in point, a worker had his hand cut off by a press. He was involved in a betting scheme where upon a coin would be placed in the cutting area and the object was to hit the button and retrieve the coin before the knife came down. He lost.). So, the machine mfr is hauled into court and accused of creating an unsafe machine. Etc.Etc. The richest attorneys are the product liability specialists. (Could you imagine what would happen to car mfrs if they went through with the breathalyzer that would judge whether a person is intoxicated?). In this case, unions should back the companies. Get rid of unreliable (and dangerous) workers. Return to being a guild. Demand standards from the workers as far as skill levels.
Do you want to workin an unsafe environment? Where the plants do not care if you get hurt? In my previous paragraph, I do give an example of the extreme; the unqualified worker (the unreliable worker) should be corrected or eliminated.
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if the real issue for closing was the cost of raw materials, namely SUGAR.

LifeSavers pulled out of Holland, MI last summer & consolidated in Montreal eliminating several hundred jobs :( .

No matter what kind of concessions the Union/City of Holland/& State of MI made, the end result according to Life Savers was the cost of sugar in the U.S.

A large percentage of U.S. sugar is derived from sugar beets, not sugar cane.

CANADA imports a percentage of it's SUGAR from countries that grow sugar cane. Cuba is just one of many suppliers. I'm not trying to be political here, just stating facts.

The pure economic fact is the cost for sugar in Canada is much lower than in the US.

BTW, I'm not picking on Canada either....................


Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Do you think the price of candy is as sensitive as other commodities? The prices of gas, electricity, heating oil and natural gas are numbers that many people can rattle off since these products are always being used. I know kids don't care.

Regarding Cuba, I favor opening negotiations. BUT Bush and brother Bush will never do that since Florida has such a powerful Cuban (anti-Castro) voting bloc. I guess nothing will happen until the big hotel/resort chains get a more lucrative piece of the pie from Castro although they must be chomping at the bit to get in there.

Hell, even as we speak, George is kissing up to Fox. Fox is considering George's proposal regarding illegal immigrants? Fox should be taking care of business south of the Rio Grande.
 

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Originally posted by banzai79@Jan 13 2004, 11:17 PM
I would like to answer the question: What's wrong with a senior executive making more money?

The answer is simple. Senior executive do not work. Ever. EVER EVER. No work should not be rewarded with pay of any kind. It's not hard to sit in a chair and file proposals and excel spreadsheets to the proper department. This week's expenditures? Have accounting handle that. New product development? Have R and D handle that. The simple fact is that most executives can be replaced by a filing cabinet.

Oh yeah, but he has to make the "Tough" decisions, right? The ones made so hard by having a whole department of people figure out what you should do for you? Please.

But wait, it's his "responsibility" if he makes the wrong decision. SORRY, not the case. If an executive gets fired it's not like he's losing his house, or worrying where the next meal is coming from.
I think you mis Understand the whole role of senior executives. The statements you have made are the same as saying that the president of the United States could be replaced by a filing cabinet. I have never heard a more ridiculous statement. :type:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Timely news.
From the American Sugar Alliance, their spin on the Spangler Candy Co's moving to Mexico. "An exhaustive study by Buzzanell & Assoc shows that average candy wages in Chicago are $14.04 per hour as compared to $.56 per hour in Mexico. Also "American farmers operate under a policy that provides American consumers with sugar at a price 22% below the average consumer price in other developed countries."

And the good people of Greenville, MI, are going to lose 2500 jobs as Electrolux moves its refrigerator factory to Mexico. Must be those damned sugar prices again!
 
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