Friday, September 29, 2006

The Reckoning - What an Apt Title

In 1985, David Halberstam wrote "The Reckoning" - an incisive book on the life of Henry Ford. This patriarch of the Ford family and a giant of American industrial revolution was a man for his time who stayed too long.

Mr. Halberstam gave us a look into the auto industry's past and insights into what he saw as the future. What he predicted in 1985 has arrived. As an industry, it had all the advantages of scale, tehnology, marketing and financing to insure its legacy through the 21st century. As we can see by today's headlines, the U.S. auto industry is going the way of the dinosaur. It will survive - but under new ownership and management. This is the clear result of focus, dedication and hard work of the Japanese - as well as the total stupidity and shortsightedness of our priviledged class of automakers and greedy unions.

The lessons and excesses of the past have caught up with us. First steel, now oil and autos, with a myriad of lesser industries and products finding more friendly havens for growth and opportunity than the U.S. will offer. We have been blessed like no other peoples, but by neglect, greed and laziness, we have committed suicide over and over again.

America the "SuperPower" that doesn't meet its oil, steel and manufacturing needs and is the largest debtor nation in the world will not last much longer as a Super Power. Are the politicians to blame or are we, the citizens of this incredible country to blame? It's wake-up time, America!!

Monday, September 18, 2006

"It's China by a Nose over the U.S."

That's the headline from the New York Times, September 16, for the article written by Floyd Norris. Check it out.

China, my friends, is exporting finished goods - you name it, we buy it. They, on the other hand, import raw materials and then export the high value finished goods, called "value added".

Someone with a loud voice should tell our leaders (?) the difference.

In July, for the first time, China reported higher exports than the United States. Our $80.313 billion vs. their $80.337 billion. China's August figure showed an increase to $90.77 billion. Let's hope we wake up in time to avoid Armaggedon.

What's good for GM, Ford,Chrysler and the UAW is NOT good for America! Remember when Detroit was the economic bright light of the US? One in every 10 jobs in America was auto related. What remains will soon be a shadow of its former self. Detroit stil doesn't make cars that people want.

Those Chrysler commercials with the fuzzy little German prove Detroit still doesn't get it. It still comes back to leadership across the board. The American people deserve whatever disasters come our way. No excuses. Try reading "The Reckoning" by David Halberstam (circa 1987). It's all there.

Friday, September 15, 2006

US Consumers: Gluttons for Imported Goods

Deficits be damned - just blame Bush! We don't save, but we do spend! What a novel approach the American people take to economics. We should be a leader in economic policies as well as having a strong defense. Hello - are you out there, America?

WTO case to be brought against China (from the Washington Post.com) The EU, US and Canada are expected to request a hearing by the WTO on China's restrictive policies regarding the importation of auto parts. This all started in March, with the formal requeest expected today. This is a first against China. At this rate, the most grievous of these barriers will be heard around 3005 A.D.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Students of International Trade - Help!

This blogsite wishes to take a leading position on a wide variety of trade subjects: finance, customs, barriers, trade agreements (or lack thereof), health and safety standards, subsidies, anything that impedes the flow of goods and services.

We plan to prepare studies which will be done by college interns. These studies will be published with credit to the student and university responsible. Several years ago, we did our first comparative study on trade support programs of Japan, Germany, France, England and the U.S. It was the first research of its kind, and was a real eye-opener.

Studies done this year will be eye-openers as well. They will alert exporters as to the actions which must be taken in Congress to move America forward in global trade. We need students who would be interested in developing their trade skills and knowledge. Does this kind of research turn you on?