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Robots worse than that.

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    If a company uses robots and profits increase then the fruit of the robot labor is taxed when the company pays income tax. Thanks to trump that tax is probably zero. The displaced worker and the country suffer as even more money is taken out of the economy .
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Yeah, I remember when Detroit employed thousands of workers on assembly lines to build cars that had mechanical defects as they left the factory floor. It was left to the dealer to do all the fixes. They built big gas guzzling cars that didn't even handle well. And you never wanted a car built on a Monday because it had even more defects than normal.

    Then the damn Japanese came to America selling smaller fuel efficient Toyotas and Hondas that you could drive forever before they broke down. Part of that high quality was a result of robots replacing mistake prone workers on the assembly line. American car manufacturers started losing business to the Japanese selling Americans cars that Americans liked better. So the American manufacturers copied the Japanese and also robotized their assembly lines. Their quality also went up.

    Now if we could only have had protectionist measures in place to protect the American automobile industry from those cheaper foreign imports, just think how that would have affected the American economy and workers. Our landscape might look a lot like those big old American cars on the street in Havana, but yeah we would also employ a lot more people making them.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Don't need protectionist policies. The American auto industry was out of control . They had no problems for many years. Baseline statistical analysis says if there are no problems there is no control except in logical intuitive controls. And don't be so quick to pat Japan on the back. Japan financed its industrial revolution by sell years worth of pure junk products to the USA. Just like every developing country does. China used to dump absolutely worthless products that resembled quality USA products and charged higher prices than the junk was worth .
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I'm not patting any foreign entities on the back. I am more critical of corporate America and their aversion to risk. The CEOs and upper management of many (not all) US corporations are obsessed with earnings, not only annual earnings but quarterly earnings. Their annual bonuses are tied earnings, and therefore looking long term is secondary to short term gains that might inflate the stock price.

    It is only through foreign competition that many US companies have been forced to be better. There are countless examples of "invented in America" but because of a lack of will to take risk, foreign companies have taken the lead in developing the products. Perhaps one of the most talked about examples is how Kodak invented the digital camera, but then worrying about how it would impact its film industry, did not advance its technology. Canon and Nikon, two Japanese cameras, are now the leaders in that lucrative market.

    The electronic industry is now largely led by Japanese, Korean and Chinese companies, an area where back in the 50s and 60s, American companies like RCA were dominant. That's just one industry. Basically global competition from Europe and Asia has left many US companies in the dust, while others have thrived.

    The Americans do indeed make some very good cars now but without the impetus from global competition, that would probably have taken much longer. That's the point I was making about the "Havana cars" that might have been misunderstood.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt, your statement: "The Americans do indeed make some very good cars" is not quite right. Most of the parts are "imported" to built them. Body panels are probably also "stamped" in Mexico etc. They are more an "assembly" plant of "foreign" made parts. Even the "designs" are drafted by "computers" made elsewhere as well the assembly "robots" Let alone all the "instruments and electronics" in the car itself.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Good point. What I should have said is that GM and Ford make good cars. However, most all cars globally are "assembled" from parts all over the world. That includes the USA. Those cars made in the USA, Canada and Mexico actually have a large component of parts made in China, Japan, Korea and European countries.

    There is no such thing as a 100 percent made American car any more. Just go to any dealer and browse the stickers. They will say how much of the car is American...probably around 60 percent in most cases and a lot less in others.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    New York Times, Feb 26, 2018: Trump’s Tax Cuts in Hand, Companies Spend More on Themselves Than on Wages

    Quite predictably, Trump's tax cuts for corporations are resulting in massive buy backs of stocks.

    "Almost 100 American corporations have announced more than $178 billion in planned buybacks — the largest amount unveiled in a single quarter."

    This is money that would and should go to research and development or employee wages, but is instead used to buy back stock which pushes the stock price higher and makes bonuses higher for the CEO and those employees that qualify for bonuses.

    However, the other message is that the company lacks real growth (higher risk) opportunities from new or improved products, or investing in robots or people for higher productivity, and instead is satisfied with the status quo of their spot in the market place. That's a company that is not thinking long term, and although good in the short term for profit taking, will not be a strong company for growth. It's where foreign companies can find innovative ways to knock them out of their comfort zones.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Economists should teach and stress the importance of institutional business models vs event business models . Some managers see only expanding a good idea quick enough to go public then cash in and get out. That is an event business model. An institutional business model is a factory that invests in R&D and new equipment to provide better products to serve humanity and provide futures for workers .