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RGA
06-28-2010, 03:02 PM
A recent thread that turned into a car debate got me thinking about the buying decision when considering the company as a factor.

With Cars I do not buy a Ford - not because a specific car may not be good or the company is getting better but by what I call seriously questionable history of and very poor corporate citizen. Since you can't go after a corporation and no individual can be held accountable for their actions all I have left is voting with my dollar. From Henry ford donating to the cause to put Jews in Gas chambers, to pressuring governments not to improve emission standards with the threat of lawsuits, to selling cars they know would kill people but elected to not fix the problem because letting people die and paying off lawsuits was better for the bottom line - and after all ALL corporations first goal is the shareholder - all other considerations are legally secondary to the generation of profit. But few seem to make the decisions so easily. And then the tires, the cop killer vehicles the class action suits on other vehicles. Enough is enough IMO - there is competition that makes just as good if not better cars that don't have those kinds of track records. So I elect to make the choice for something else.

With audio and the built it in slave labour countries where corporations can skirt unions and labour laws I have some difficulty with those. Although to be fair some of these companies do a better job with their treatment of employees. I have less of a problem with a Chinese company selling Chinese gear using Chinese labour and following their laws than I have with European or American companies that deliberately dump their own workforce to build in places like China merely to skirt labour and pollution controls.

I am wondering if others look into such things before they make a purchase.

bobsticks
06-28-2010, 03:14 PM
I am wondering if others look into such things before they make a purchase.

Absolutely not...

RGA
06-28-2010, 03:20 PM
Any reasons or just no?

bobsticks
06-28-2010, 03:40 PM
Any reasons or just no?

Well...to start, I don't entirely agree with your worldview. I suspect that there might be a Jew or two working for Ford now and probably more than a majority of the workforce would not agree with the concept of gassings...and unions are a useless relic of the past. In any case, I don't equate the production of automobiles with audio products in that one is more of a tool or means of transportation while the other, by necessity, must conjure emotion and evoke artistry.

As far as audio goes, I find it equals out in the wash. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of the "Chinese situation" in re: European and American outsourcing. That said it's been my experience that the products I've heard (lower line KEF, B&W) that have been outsourced have been inferior. I wouldn't be of a mind to give consequence to them anyway so social protest is not on my agenda.

Do they make A/V gear in North Korea or Venezuela...if so maybe it would alter my opinion. I ain't buying any speaks from that crazy Elvis puppet guy...

frenchmon
06-28-2010, 05:00 PM
So because BP lied about the oil gusher, do you think Americans should not by BP gas?? I was so made about the oil leak, I thought about not buying gas from them any more as long as I lived, and telling all I knew not to by gas from BP.

After I cooled down and came to my-self a week later, I thought about it...I decided not to tell others and continue to support BP...why??? Because there's lots of Americans who work for BP and need their jobs. Same with any company in America...Just because of the pitfalls of the CEO's, their bad history and so forth, those at the bottom need the work.

I dont share in your views about this either...sorry RGA.

RGA
06-28-2010, 05:22 PM
So what your both saying is if there is company A and company B and Company A outsources work, lowers wages to below poverty lines, skirts tax laws, lets people die for profits because paying lawsuits is cheaper, and pretty much any other evil thing they can do whilst company B does none of those things and is just as good a product you still support company A.

Okay. Now I get why companies like Ford stay in business. PS: The holocaust was real and just because slack jawed morons don't think it did and concoct lame evidence doesn't change the 100% fact that it did.

And Unions - well anyone who complains about losing jobs overseas have themselves to blame - if they supported Unions - none of that would have happened. While I do agree that some Unions can be a pain the ass and just as corrupt as what they're supposed to be fighting - companies usually get the unions they deserve.

Ford

Its founder hired a former Navy boxer as a strikebreaker, made employee bonuses dependent on them reporting proof of "clean living" to a "Social Department", and was awarded the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the highest civilian honor in Nazi Germany, after their annexation of Austria. Hitler called him "my inspiration" and kept a framed photo of Ford on his desk. And several Ford executives published anti-Jewish newsletters.

In the 1970's and 1980's, Ford collaborated with the Argentinian dictatorship to brutally suppress intellectual and dissidents. Subsequent lawsuits have alleged that Ford's managers drew up "hit lists" of labor activists and housed a secret prison in its basement.

And who can forget the Ford Pinto scandal? From wikipedia:

Through early production of the model, it became a focus of a major scandal when it was alleged that the car's design allowed its fuel tank to be easily damaged in the event of a rear-end collision which sometimes resulted in deadly fires and explosions. Critics argued that the vehicle's lack of a true rear bumper as well as any reinforcing structure between the rear panel and the tank, meant that in certain collisions, the tank would be thrust forward into the differential, which had a number of protruding bolts that could puncture the tank. This, and the fact that the doors could potentially jam during an accident (due to poor reinforcing) made the car a potential deathtrap.

Ford was aware of this design flaw but allegedly refused to pay what was characterized as the minimal expense of a redesign. Instead, it was argued, Ford decided it would be cheaper to pay off possible lawsuits for resulting deaths. Mother Jones magazine obtained the cost-benefit analysis that it said Ford had used to compare the cost of an $11 repair against the cost of paying off potential law suits, in what became known as the Ford Pinto Memo. The characterization of Ford's design decision as gross disregard for human lives in favor of profits led to major lawsuits, criminal charges, and a costly recall of all affected Pintos."

Yup a nice clean company if there was one.

RGA
06-28-2010, 05:43 PM
So because BP lied about the oil gusher, do you think Americans should not by BP gas?? I was so made about the oil leak, I thought about not buying gas from them any more as long as I lived, and telling all I knew not to by gas from BP.

After I cooled down and came to my-self a week later, I thought about it...I decided not to tell others and continue to support BP...why??? Because there's lots of Americans who work for BP and need their jobs. Same with any company in America...Just because of the pitfalls of the CEO's, their bad history and so forth, those at the bottom need the work.

I dont share in your views about this either...sorry RGA.

Why would I support workers who choose to work for morally and ethically bankrupt organizations? Why do you? Just because they're American. Plenty of people work for companies that do horrible things and those workers quit and become whistle blowers or merely leave because they conclude that working for monstrous companies is not something they can stomach. Those people have something called integrity. While many are willing executioners and "just follow orders" because they get a pay cheque at the end of the week.

Sometimes you don't have a choice - but I am saying when you DO have a choice why not make it for the responsible companies over the irresponsible ones. Oil is more of a government level issue. I don't go to the store and buy a bottle of BP. Do you? but the government can most certainly get off the oil tit - it doesn't purely do to heavy lobbying power and the fact that governments are owned by Big Oil, Big Pharma, and any other Big you can think of.

With my Ford example there are something like 10 or more other car companies that offer very similar products for very similar prices so with a proven terrible track record why not consider the other makes? I could understand it if you needed a car and Ford is the only maker but... Or if you support local workers or fair trade why buy something you know is made offshore to increase profits over something that is made in a plant where you know the people making it are being paid fairly.

Unfortunately, the Union buster views is idiotic. I am not a fan of union power becoming too big - but I am MORE fearful that business is allowed free reign to be complete dictatorships on American/Canadian soil. The purpose of the Union was to stop businesses hiring 5 year olds to clean chimneys and often dying in the process. Or to stop them hiring 8 years olds to work 16 hour days 7 days a week. And firing them if they didn't bend over for the boss (literally). Without Unions driving morality and ethics in business do you think it would not go back to those very things? See Kathy Lee Gifford (though I don't think she was in the know) and Nike as examples of what companies will happily do if no one is watching over them. I understand Unions have problems but they are out to better the working class - which is 95% of the population and not out for the business owners. Though good business owners who treat their people well - usually don't get unions. The reason they show up in most cases is because the boss is an ethically bankrupt jerk.

JohnMichael
06-28-2010, 05:44 PM
Nice world view but do you do anything for the needy in your local community. Charity begins at home.

Since much equipment is being made in China the quality of life has improved for many. Oh and our next source of inexpensive cars will most likely be from China so the working poor can afford a car.

RGA
06-28-2010, 06:01 PM
I think the biggest problem starts with the Corporation model as a citizen free of any moral and ethical obligations. I lived and worked in China for a year and saw first hand how people lived in the working cities. The cities shown on TV like Shanghai and Beijing are paradise and not to be remotely confused with where the companies actually put up shop.

I'd highly recommend watching the documentary "The Corproation" which has both the lefty views and several major Corporate right wing for profit guru's actually agreeing - the sky is falling when that happens. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3m5lq9FHDo&feature=channel

Woochifer
06-28-2010, 06:36 PM
Everybody has their own set of filters for deciding on what products to buy. Even the most ardent laissez-faire guys will avoid certain companies for their own reasons. Where it becomes a slippery slope is when people start getting self-righteous -- presuming that their issues must be everybody's issues.

Just in your example about Ford (oh gawd, please not another car thread!), if you're going to play the WWII Nazi card, then you'd also need to extend your boycott to Siemens, Krups, Volkswagen, and any number of other German companies that not only supported Hitler, but actively employed slave labor and directly enabled the Nazi death machine. Or Japanese companies like Mitsubishi that manufactured weapons and other machinery that caused or enabled the slaughter of thousands of American GIs and millions of Chinese civilians.

And of course, this begs the question -- are going to boycott a company because of the views and political donations of its founder (in the case of Ford, they were a publicly owned company even back then, so technically Henry Ford not a majority stakeholder)? Or are you going to go on the basis of their production processes? Or are you going to boycott because you feel the products are immoral or harmful, etc.?

In my case, given a choice between Ford and Toyota -- right now, I'd go with Ford. Why? Because it was Toyota that shut down the manufacturing plant near my house. In partnership with GM, Toyota used that facility to learn how to make cars in the U.S. and create the domestic supply chains needed to produce cars in North America. How do they reward the workers that made that plant into one of the highest quality rated and most cost efficient facilities in the world? They pink slipped 5,000 workers and moved the production to their non-union facilities.

I don't give a crap about Henry Ford's political views or lawsuits that were settled decades ago. At the moment, I care more about Toyota axing the livelihoods of my neighbors, and negatively impacting the community around me.

But, I am gonna get self-righteous about somebody else deciding to buy a Toyota? Nope. What I buy and don't buy, and where I shop and don't shop is contingent on what's important to me.

ANY company, no matter how righteous their operations might be is going to have some aspect that somebody won't like. I mean, look at Ben & Jerry's (before they got acquired by French conglomerate Unilever) -- they made a high quality product, paid their workers well, bought from local farmers, did not use milk from hormone-injected cows, donated huge sums to charitable causes. Yet, they too were the target of a boycott. The reason? Their products were deemed harmful because they were high fat and promoted child obesity.

Even socially-responsible investment funds use any number of filters that might result in the inclusion of companies that I simply don't like. The filters on some of them might remove companies involved in gaming, alcohol, union busting, war profiteering, etc., but will leave in companies that I don't personally like for any number of other reasons such as Microsoft. So again, everybody has their priorities. I have mine, just don't presume yours onto me.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
06-28-2010, 07:05 PM
In my case, given a choice between Ford and Toyota -- right now, I'd go with Ford. Why? Because it was Toyota that shut down the manufacturing plant near my house. In partnership with GM, Toyota used that facility to learn how to make cars in the U.S. and create the domestic supply chains needed to produce cars in North America. How do they reward the workers that made that plant into one of the highest quality rated and most cost efficient facilities in the world? They pink slipped 5,000 workers and moved the production to their non-union facilities.

I am with ya on this bruddah. And now Tesla is going to get used by them as well. I think a lot of us Bay Area folks are pretty through with Toyota at this point. I was going to buy a Prius later this year, but decided to wait for the Honda CR-Z instead

http://cr-z.honda.com/?ef_id=1097:3:s_260b11973d255a5c953a5d42d118464b_3 295806317:TClizAqoEGMAAFMrEjkAAICi:20100629030444

I think Sir T is in love.....

bobsticks
06-28-2010, 08:02 PM
So because BP lied about the oil gusher, do you think Americans should not by BP gas?? I was so made about the oil leak, I thought about not buying gas from them any more as long as I lived, and telling all I knew not to by gas from BP.

After I cooled down and came to my-self a week later, I thought about it...I decided not to tell others and continue to support BP...why??? Because there's lots of Americans who work for BP and need their jobs. Same with any company in America...Just because of the pitfalls of the CEO's, their bad history and so forth, those at the bottom need the work.

I dont share in your views about this either...sorry RGA.

Actually this one could end up being a non-argument. In the midwest BP is divesting itself of it's service division. They're selling their stops to Love's; 40 in this state alone. So you can still support the little guy while flippin' the double bird at the corporate giant.

bobsticks
06-28-2010, 08:26 PM
So what your both saying is if there is company A and company B and Company A outsources work, lowers wages to below poverty lines, skirts tax laws, lets people die for profits because paying lawsuits is cheaper, and pretty much any other evil thing they can do whilst company B does none of those things and is just as good a product you still support company A.

Okay. Now I get why companies like Ford stay in business. PS: The holocaust was real and just because slack jawed morons don't think it did and concoct lame evidence doesn't change the 100% fact that it did.

Um...no...that is, in fact, not what I meant nor said. I said that it's been my experience that the "victims" of outsourcing are usually vindicated by the unusually crappy output of a less caring, less involved, less engaged, less experienced upstart.

If I'm in an audio boutique and hear sounds from the heavens I'm not likely to take time to run a Google search on the company in question to make sure that no seals were killed in the production of these amps or that the beryllium is American beryllium and not Japanese beryllium because I disagree with the Land of the Rising Sun's tariff policy.

When did anyone in this thread deny the holocaust? I certainly didn't. I would however state that I don't believe in sons paying for the sins of the father.


And Unions - well anyone who complains about losing jobs overseas have themselves to blame - if they supported Unions - none of that would have happened. While I do agree that some Unions can be a pain the ass and just as corrupt as what they're supposed to be fighting - companies usually get the unions they deserve.

No.



Everybody has their own set of filters for deciding on what products to buy. Even the most ardent laissez-faire guys will avoid certain companies for their own reasons. Where it becomes a slippery slope is when people start getting self-righteous -- presuming that their issues must be everybody's issues.

Yes.

Clearly if I already have some knowledge of a company's malfeasance on a performance level then it will effect my decisions but the political climate of a company/country is not necessarily a causal factor in that.

If I had previous information that suggested that JM Reynaud made his employees date only women with hairy legs and armpits or if Yaqin enforced a strict Ping Pong Dim Sum only policy for its London distributors...well, obviously, that would be grounds for a boycott. I'm just not gonna do a bunch of legwork to find a reason not to make a purchase.

RGA
06-28-2010, 09:36 PM
Everybody has their own set of filters for deciding on what products to buy. Even the most ardent laissez-faire guys will avoid certain companies for their own reasons. Where it becomes a slippery slope is when people start getting self-righteous -- presuming that their issues must be everybody's issues.

Just in your example about Ford (oh gawd, please not another car thread!), if you're going to play the WWII Nazi card, then you'd also need to extend your boycott to Siemens, Krups, Volkswagen, and any number of other German companies that not only supported Hitler, but actively employed slave labor and directly enabled the Nazi death machine. Or Japanese companies like Mitsubishi that manufactured weapons and other machinery that caused or enabled the slaughter of thousands of American GIs and millions of Chinese civilians.

And of course, this begs the question -- are going to boycott a company because of the views and political donations of its founder (in the case of Ford, they were a publicly owned company even back then, so technically Henry Ford not a majority stakeholder)? Or are you going to go on the basis of their production processes? Or are you going to boycott because you feel the products are immoral or harmful, etc.?

In my case, given a choice between Ford and Toyota -- right now, I'd go with Ford. Why? Because it was Toyota that shut down the manufacturing plant near my house. In partnership with GM, Toyota used that facility to learn how to make cars in the U.S. and create the domestic supply chains needed to produce cars in North America. How do they reward the workers that made that plant into one of the highest quality rated and most cost efficient facilities in the world? They pink slipped 5,000 workers and moved the production to their non-union facilities.

I don't give a crap about Henry Ford's political views or lawsuits that were settled decades ago. At the moment, I care more about Toyota axing the livelihoods of my neighbors, and negatively impacting the community around me.

But, I am gonna get self-righteous about somebody else deciding to buy a Toyota? Nope. What I buy and don't buy, and where I shop and don't shop is contingent on what's important to me.

ANY company, no matter how righteous their operations might be is going to have some aspect that somebody won't like. I mean, look at Ben & Jerry's (before they got acquired by French conglomerate Unilever) -- they made a high quality product, paid their workers well, bought from local farmers, did not use milk from hormone-injected cows, donated huge sums to charitable causes. Yet, they too were the target of a boycott. The reason? Their products were deemed harmful because they were high fat and promoted child obesity.


First with Ford and Toyota - Why make it about either or. Surely you are intelligent enough to know that Ford has a long deep history of horrendous behavior beyond Henry Ford. In fact I could probably bypass the man's actions because historically speaking the time frame he lived many countries around the world along with very likely the majority of their citizenry were anti-Semitic. Ford has actively in the past and not the distant past chosen to pay off law-suits rather than recall for safety Pinto and more recently their rolling over trucks they blame the tire makers on - yeah. And in Europe the class Actions lawsuits against Ford Focus which is pretty recent since this is not an old model. Ford has a systemic, generational history of this. This is not something that was in WWII so let's forget it. I could go with you on that, but it's in the 60s, 70, and then just building garbage through the 80s and 90s the Focus in the 2000s - this is ongoing systemic and no one is held accountable for any of it.

And it appears to me that Toyota is doing their best Ford impersonation. So on the one level they are not looking out for the safety of the people and on the other hand Toyota and likely others doing what you just noted with dumping their employees - no doubt for cheap labour.

It's not really about being self-righteous because I sit here with products made by corporations doing rather obscene things. The issue is once-known do we continue to use our dollar to support it? I owned Ford as did my parents but once we learned about them we said "You know what there are other choices" and you make them - it also helped that the car practically self destructed at a 85,000 kilometers. :) I mean I have never owned a car that within 5 years of fully maintained easy driven driving did the transmission fail, the driver seat broke, roll-up windows brake (power okay but the actually roller snap LOL), wheel bearings engine, paint. I mean it was like some movie where someone dumps toxic waste on the car and it starts to crumble. It was like that movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles "hey at least the Radio still worked."

Toyota makes fine automobiles and people bought them for their safety and reliability and I suspect on some subconscious level integrity. They will or should take a massive hit for that. But I don't see any good reason to just say - ok let's buy a Ford. Why? there is Honda, Subaru, Kia, Hyundai (these South Korean makes have been lighting up the reliability, safety and warranty scores in CR and the Lemon-Aid recently) and if they're smart may have a nice shot at stepping up to the plate as the new Toyota. The bottom line is there is more choice than Toyota and Ford. Lots more. So while today's Ford may be better than Ford a decade ago - why give them the money when plenty of other makers do not have any sort of that "known" track record. We could "assume" they're all the same but that's not really fair either. Innocent until proven guilty is not a bad doctrine to follow and so why not give the money to the ones who may not be innocent but have not been found guilty. IMO - Toyota and Ford have been found guilty.

I think it's unfortunate when you note Ben and Jerry's - I am less familiar with them in Canada as it seems Breyers is the biggest name ice cream brand along with I suppose Hagen Daz at the premium end and Purdy's chocolates Ice Cream in the West.

I just think that it's important to do what YOU can here and not blindly follow the herd. Unfortunately the herd is sometimes as smart as a bucket of rocks which explains the last 4 years of George Bush (I'd say the first four years but as Bush note "There's an old saying in Tennessee ó I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee ó that says, fool me once, shame on ó shame on you. Fool me ó you can't get fooled again."

Perhaps Ben and Jerry's should have been supported but the herd supported something else. That doesn't mean that your support even if the minority was the wrong thing to do.

Lastly why not be righteous if it is in fact the ground your on is in the right or the just? I would not place it above others - it ends up being preachy. I am not telling people here what to buy - I suppose what I am saying is perhaps think what you buy through a little more closely. Discover the options are more than A and B and say gee Ford did that, Toyota did this so screw em both I'll buy a Hyundai. Sometimes it's not about buying from a good corporation - it's about buying from the least bad one.

RGA
06-28-2010, 09:55 PM
I am not sure where you are from Bobsticks but I am from Canada. Land of the Union in some respects though they are being busted as fast as possible.

A Union should be about and starts because a group of employees who feel their getting ripped off by their management want to complain. If you complain as an individual the boss can arbitrarily fire you for being a "problem." A Union however protects all the workers from such an act because the boss is less likely to be able to fire the entire workforce or will be prohibitive to do so.

I worked for Esco Limited a large Steel Foundry in BC that was not a Union shop. It was not a union shop because Esco paid a very good wage to the employees, and had nice bonus plans and largely followed what other foundry's with Unions did. Things like not waiting for an employee to get to 50 and say "You're fired" and boot him to the curb because they could hire 2 other newbie 20 year old for the same price. You see without union protection - you could work for a company for 30 years and they could can your ass for NO REASON whatsoever. A Union ensure that that does not happen.

Now you may be a business owner so nothing I say can possibly convince you otherwise because business owners tend to be purely self-interested parties. It costs a business more money on the bottom line then it is automatically wrong and evil. If you can't understand that a union is a construct to safeguard the entire workforce both in terms of ensuring a liveable wage, acceptable working hours and working conditions then I don't get your argument. The Union has been responsible for those changes, not governments, and most certainly not the charity of business owners (the bottom line is ALL that counts) and increasing wages and improving working conditions hardly supports the bottom line.

If there were no Unions we would all be working 7 days a week, for 1/10 what we make now with no health care, no pensions, no safety concerns and we'd be fired for not sleeping with the boss or licking his boots. I lived in a city called Wnezhou China. This is a city of unchecked capitalism - it would be what capitalism in its trues sense would get to if no one bothered to step in. China is said to be communist - Wenzhou is not. It is a land where the big shoe companies put up shop, where they can pay off the officials so they can have free reign. Whenzhou could use a union. Or at this point a revolt. And America should pay close attention because at some point people can only be pushed so far. There is no Marie Antoinette to put to the guillotine but there are plenty of CEO's, CFO, COO, and basically the rich in general that are in the minority. And sadly from images I have seen large parts of the US (Michigan notably) are looking eerily like Wenzhou all the time. http://www.frommers.com/destinations/wenzhou/3385010001.html

poppachubby
06-29-2010, 02:18 AM
I told myself I wouldn't join in on political debates here. I am a trade unionist and have many colourful opinions on this topic, however I am not aware of audio companies using "Free Zones" or countries with non existant labour laws.

RGA, aside from China, what countries are being used to make gear?

I would recommend anyone interested in this topic read "No Logo", an excellent book by Canadian author Naomi Klein. It took me about 2 weeks to get through but it's quite an education on this subject.

http://civitatedei.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/nologo.jpg

Luvin Da Blues
06-29-2010, 03:42 AM
Boycott Dagogo!!!!!!!!

Feanor
06-29-2010, 03:59 AM
A recent thread that turned into a car debate got me thinking about the buying decision when considering the company as a factor.

....
Not really a factor with me at all. I only consider the value of a product, not usually the company's country of origin or the or its alleged misdemeanours in the ancient past; (I own a Ford). For decades I had a family to support on a meagre income; today I'm retired but still with some family obligations. I've never really had the luxury to making such principled decisions like some of you rich people or our single person, RGA.

I don't admire companies that outsource to cheap labor countries. A hifi example is PSB; once their speakers were made in Canada but no more. A year or two ago Paul Barton in a Stereophile article positively gloated about contracting manufacture of his speakers to China. (By contrast, Paradigm, a company whose product RGA so disdains, still make all their speakers in North America.) Sad, but in my modest circumstances I'd nevertheless buy PBS if they offered better performance per buck.

Face it, friends, that's what capitalism is all about -- maximizing profit regardless of anything else. (Well, excepting enforced laws & regulations, in which case politicians are bribed to ignore or repeal said regulations, actions of the oil industry). What's an effective capitalist organization to do when labor in China or India works for 10 cents on the dollar vs. North America -- especially when their competitors are outsourcing? Of course it isn't only wages & benefits per se but also taxes, labor protection practices, and environmental regulations. Greed is the most reliable of human motivators; ('way more powerful a predictor of behaviour than love, lust, or charity). This is Adam Smith's "invisible hand" in action.

The company I worked for years started to outsource computer program coding to India. Why not? Remember: 10 cents on the dollar for developers of basically equal competence. In fact it actually paid them to bring Indian systems analysts on-shore as an alternative to local contractors. This involved flying them and their families to Canada and paying for their accommodation & subsidizing their other expenses; nevertheless it cost them considerably less than paying contractors or even employees.

Yoh, bobsticks, you'll agree. NA and European, and now Japanese, workers are 'way over paid. Many have been truly pampered, especially in the public sector but also historically in the auto industry, by concessions to powerful unions. It all has to end -- and will, though maybe not before public service employees become even more priviledge vs. the rest of us.

Obama at the G20 a couple of days ago stated that world prosperity can no longer be paid for by selling stuff to US consumers -- he is so totally right. I'm afraid that the lifestyles of NA workers and middle class has be sustained for 20 years or more by (1) cheap credit, and (2) cheap off-shore goods. This is ending because their borrowing capacity has topped out and now off-shore goods will look increasingly expensive. Bear in mind that if the Chinese Yuan climbs in value, which the their gov't says they will allow, their goods will climb in price in close step.

The situation is not much better Europe than America. Actually worse in PIGS where sovereign debt is the crisis issue.

We are observing the decline of the West -- suck it up, folks. We've had this coming so it's only our just deserts. Actually what I'm more worried about is that as China and India catching up with us it will finally destroy the globe's weather & environment.

Hyfi
06-29-2010, 05:38 AM
Wow, I don't know where to start.

Do any of you really think that there is ANY car manufacturer that has not covered up safety issues? Are there any that do not outsource to little companies dictating the price and delivery?

I bought a Toyata 2 years ago because the RAV4 was the best vehicle with the best features for me compared to all other smaller SUVs. The Equinox and sister were stupidly designed with rear seats that did not fold flat and window controls on the center console instead of the door. The Honda CRV has seats that are so short my legs fell asleep on the test drive. The Saturn was too much money for the included features.

I never thought to look into slave labor facts, I bought the car that worked for me that did not appear to be junk.

Now, i really don't want to get started on unions but here goes....
I was a Toolmaker for 25 years. I worked in mostly smaller shops but did work for a few larger ones. All but one were non-union and I'll get to that in a few.

One shop I worked in, we made stamping dies for GM. I was making about $12 an hour then with moderate health coverage and not the greatest vacation time. Our dies were then shipped to GM where a Union employee making upwards close to $25 an hour with quadruple the bennies I was getting to sit and watch run in auto mode. And then those A-holes go on strike because they are unhappy with their wages and benefits. WTF is wrong with that picture? One word...Union!

I have also worked in shops where you were paid well and had good health care. You could also jump ship and go to the next shop down the street for $1.00 more an hour with no loyalty, same as the no loyalty shown by most employers.

The real problem comes down to the misuse of the concept of Capitalism. Capitalism is a great concept when one owns a good company, sells a good product, and pays his workers well. The problem starts when making more money than one needs to live well, at the expense of paying his workers, and ripping off the public is the priority of the owner and or shareholders.

Now back to my personal Union experience.
I worked for a shop called Metco, whose customers included Grumman, the maker of all the US Mail trucks as well as other auto related companies. There was a 90 day waiting period to join the Union. There were lots of Company tools that were not readily available due to the old timers hiding everything. You had to suck up to them just to use a public shop item. Then, they gave me a set of Cam Dies to build that punched all the rivet holes in the wing window panels of the mail trucks. I was used to working a certain way, with pride in my work, and making my parts as close to the prints as possible. One day the owners son came up to me and was looking at my work. He told me I was machining too many surfaces and making the dies look "TOO NICE". I was taken back a bit and asked if I was over the allotted time. He said No. I then asked what the problem with my work was if I was well under the limit. The boss said, "They might want to see that type of work all the time". I politely closed my toolbox, said "Then you don't want me working here" and I walked out.

Unions were good at one time, now they are a Defense against the abuse of Capitalism. If we returned morality to the owners of companies, corporations, there would be no issue and unions could just go away. In that same shop above, I watched as useless drones who were far from productive, have their jobs kept in place not because they were a worthy employee, but because they were a Union Member. (another way to protect yourself in the MFG industry is to be a Mason. Being part of the Club is almost as powerful as being a Union member)

Now as far as boycotting BP, that is stupid. The US let them do what they did unchecked after being cited for many many violations. BP employs 23,000 workers in the US. Also, if they were to go bankrupt, who will pay for the cleanup? That's right all US citizens.

GMichael
06-29-2010, 06:10 AM
If I am aware of some injustice done by a company, then I will consider it. I may still buy from them depending on the level of injustice, relivence to my life, quality of product and deal Iím getting. But I donít normally go digging to find out all I can about them and their practices over the years or decades. Maybe I should, but but who has that kind of time to look into every company they buy from? I will however look into a companies reliability and service records if itís a large purchase. If itís a big enough purchase I may even post about it here to get everyoneís views before buying. If a company had a bad rep, I trust that someone here will know and tell all about it.

Hyfi
06-29-2010, 06:12 AM
If I am aware of some injustice done by a company, then I will consider it. I may still buy from them depending on the level of injustice, relivence to my life, quality of product and deal Iím getting. But I donít normally go digging to find out all I can about them and their practices over the years or decades. Maybe I should, but but who has that kind of time to look into every company they buy from? I will however look into a companies reliability and service records if itís a large purchase. If itís a big enough purchase I may even post about it here to get everyoneís views before buying. If a company had a bad rep, I trust that someone here will know and tell all about it.

Do you shop at Wall-Mart? Slave Labor at it's best!

GMichael
06-29-2010, 07:07 AM
Do you shop at Wall-Mart? Slave Labor at it's best!

Not many choices where I am. Who wants to drive 30 miles to buy milk?

Rich-n-Texas
06-29-2010, 07:13 AM
The only thoughts your righteous crusade for social justice are provoking in me, RGA, are that I want to watch both "Kill Bill" flicks again. Daryl Hanna & Uma Thurman are BAD ASS!!

Worf101
06-29-2010, 07:13 AM
I understand wholly what RGA's getting at. However it is nothing new or unusual in this modern era. As soon as the world industrialized and mass-transportation evolved to the point where the production of goods could be divorced from a logisitical need to be close to markets, we've had industries and company's act against the best interests of their host country or the world as a whole. I'm well aware of the Ford motors in Nazi aircraft and vehicles. I also scream at Mercedez Benz ads that conveniently omit models from 1932 to 1946. No pictures of uncle Adolph riding in the back of the drop top Benz in those commercials.

And our british friends are no less stained than their German counterparts. What was done in the name of Empire in Rhodesia and India was no less heinous than what was done in Europe in the 30's and 40's. And we in America have no moral high ground point fingers from either.

While I know all these things however I know you can't keep score forever or fight every fight. I pick and choose my battles, very carefully. I've never bought a German car and never will as the same companies that were making cars before the war were making cars after the war. I hold the Japanese to a lesser standard because despite the numerous atrocities commited on surrendered soldiers and civilians, they never built any ovens that I know of. Also I buy products from japanese automobile companies (ie subaru) that post date the war.

I buy fair trade when I can and I avoid Wally World like the plauge. I use local and buy local, Pollacks Hardware as opposed to Home Despot, at every turn. Small battles where I can place my efforts and utilize my personal powers to do the most good.

Worf

Feanor
06-29-2010, 07:40 AM
...
While I know all these things however I know you can't keep score forever or fight every fight. I pick and choose my battles, very carefully. I've never bought a German car and never will as the same companies that were making cars before the war were making cars after the war. I hold the Japanese to a lesser standard because despite the numerous atrocities commited on surrendered soldiers and civilians, they never built any ovens that I know of. Also I buy products from japanese automobile companies (ie subaru) that post date the war.
...

Worf
You should read up on Japanese atrocities in China. A big difference between present-day Germans and Japanese is that while the former are genuinely flagellant about their Nazi past, the latter are loath to admit their guilt and keep the facts out of the kids' text books.

In any case I've owned both German and Japanese cars (for which I do not apologize).

JoeE SP9
06-29-2010, 07:48 AM
Hyfi, you are so right. Unions have a tendency to protect poor and marginal workers. Too many union workers care nothing about the quality of their work. They know the union will protect them when they perform below acceptable levels. I have heard that Harley Davidson had a union problem caused by having too many job classifications. You weren't allowed to do a job out of your classification even if that job was something you had to know how to do in order to do your job.
Pride in my work is essential. Although I'm officially retired I still do quite a bit of computer work (hardware and software). My biggest problem is the lack of repeat business. Once I build or repair a computer or write some custom software I don't hear from that customer again. Although they send me lots of referrals, I don't hear from them until they want a new PC or some different custom software. It bothered me until I realized that in this case "no news is good news".
Don't get me wrong. I realize that unions are sometimes a necessity. However, in many cases they have gone too far in salary demands and their protection of the marginal or poor worker. I believe they are pricing themselves out of work.

Hyfi
06-29-2010, 08:09 AM
However, in many cases they have gone too far in salary demands and their protection of the marginal or poor worker. I believe they are pricing themselves out of work.

They are also pricing the product out of reach for most americans. That is one reason I got out of the manufacturing business, along with injuries. Manufacturing in America is pretty much dead compared to 20 years ago before NAFTA. Once that went into play, MFG left the country. We are now a Service oriented country and not a Product oriented country.

Too many americans are forced to buy cheap slave labor products because they cannot afford the overpriced american union made product that does the same thing.

frenchmon
06-29-2010, 10:31 AM
Why would I support workers who choose to work for morally and ethically bankrupt organizations? Why do you? Just because they're American. Plenty of people work for companies that do horrible things and those workers quit and become whistle blowers or merely leave because they conclude that working for monstrous companies is not something they can stomach. Those people have something called integrity. While many are willing executioners and "just follow orders" because they get a pay cheque at the end of the week.

RGA...dont know about Canada, but I moved from North Carolina to St.Louis...and in both places its not like you have a choice of finding a Job these days. I work in IT and I got lucky when I found a Job as quickly as I did when I moved to St. Louis. I know people who worked at IBM in Carlona and got laid off...top IT jobs, and it took forever for him to find a job.

Im following the missus from state to state because she is the one with the real job who can just transfer her or she can put in a request to move. Most foke dont have time to worry about what the company is doing as long as they putting clothes on the backs of their kids and a roof over their heads. Thats integrity my friend. If those same people refused to work and take care of the kids because of the CEO's who are crooks, you would be the first to call them dead beats.


Sometimes you don't have a choice - but I am saying when you DO have a choice why not make it for the responsible companies over the irresponsible ones. Oil is more of a government level issue. I don't go to the store and buy a bottle of BP. Do you? but the government can most certainly get off the oil tit - it doesn't purely do to heavy lobbying power and the fact that governments are owned by Big Oil, Big Pharma, and any other Big you can think of.

Most people dont have a choice...thats my point! And I just went to the store and bought a bottle of oil last week. My car is burning oil now....I might have to buy a Ford soon. I like that Taurus. The issue you bring up is corrupt and unethical practices by Corporate America, so that means BP fits the bill just like Ford. BP lied to the American people and lied big time to try and cover there tails. And then they had to be forced with pressure to pay those who lost their establishments due to the oil.


With my Ford example there are something like 10 or more other car companies that offer very similar products for very similar prices so with a proven terrible track record why not consider the other makes? I could understand it if you needed a car and Ford is the only maker but... Or if you support local workers or fair trade why buy something you know is made offshore to increase profits over something that is made in a plant where you know the people making it are being paid fairly.

So would you have all people to boycott Ford? Put them out of business? And what would be the result of that? Are you thinking this thing to its logical concussion or what? Answer that please.


Unfortunately, the Union buster views is idiotic. I am not a fan of union power becoming too big - but I am MORE fearful that business is allowed free reign to be complete dictatorships on American/Canadian soil. The purpose of the Union was to stop businesses hiring 5 year olds to clean chimneys and often dying in the process. Or to stop them hiring 8 years olds to work 16 hour days 7 days a week. And firing them if they didn't bend over for the boss (literally). Without Unions driving morality and ethics in business do you think it would not go back to those very things? See Kathy Lee Gifford (though I don't think she was in the know) and Nike as examples of what companies will happily do if no one is watching over them. I understand Unions have problems but they are out to better the working class - which is 95% of the population and not out for the business owners. Though good business owners who treat their people well - usually don't get unions. The reason they show up in most cases is because the boss is an ethically bankrupt jerk.

Did you see what happened at Boeing Aircraft this past week in St.Louis? The Union wanted a strike. The people voted it down. Do you think they cared about unfair practices by the CEO's or the company as a whole? Why do you think the people voted it down? RCA...I understand all your arguments man..believe me. But the average person just don't have $ 500.000 sitting in the bank to do what you think they should do man! We know these companies are unethical....most of us know what Ford and other companies have done. I know whats going on at NIKE...shoot! Thats old news...and its also old news that its 2010. Times are hard and babies got to eat. Let the forces of God take care of the forces of evil...in the mean time let people work man its hard out here. Sorry man but what you are talking about aint going to happen. Its hard to get a dollar these days. Like your honesty and ideas...but its 2010

Hyfi
06-29-2010, 10:41 AM
Let the forces of God take care of the forces of evil...in the mean time let people work man its hard out here.

Yikes, from politics right on to religion. I hope you realize that that mindset is a copout. People have to make things happen...or not. But saying "I'll just sit back and pray for god to handle all my problems" is one of the fundamental problems of religion.

God isn't doing anything. He-She-It gave humans the ability to choose and do as they please, right or wrong. He-She-It is not just going to step in and fix everything he just allowed us to F up.


I do agree that people have to work, and can't always choose to turn down a good job because of what the CEO is doing. But people can make as many possible moral choices along the way.

Of topic but one of my big peeves are Animal Rights activists who wear leather shoes and hold their pants up with leather belts.

frenchmon
06-29-2010, 10:59 AM
Yikes, from politics right on to religion. I hope you realize that that mindset is a copout.

Well you just missed the whole point then. In other words...I aint going to worry about what those who are in the seat of CEO's stop me from doing what I have to do.


People have to make things happen...or not. But saying "I'll just sit back and pray for god to handle all my problems" is one of the fundamental problems of religion.

And that's my point...make it happen for me and my kids by working. Now you can go and try to close down Ford all you want, but ima making the money. You sound like you got the money to do what RGA is talking about.... so close them down.


God isn't doing anything. He-She-It gave humans the ability to choose and do as they please, right or wrong. He-She-It is not just going to step in and fix everything he just allowed us to F up.

Look...you are the one making this into religion not me....I don't think you want to have this conversation so I'll just stop here. My goodness Hyfi...a guy cant use the word God in a sentence without you getting off on a rant...and all defensive....dangit!



I do agree that people have to work, and can't always choose to turn down a good job because of what the CEO is doing. But people can make as many possible moral choices along the way.

And who said they couldn't?


Of topic but one of my big peeves are Animal Rights activists who wear leather shoes and hold their pants up with leather belts.

Ok...we need to stop going off the road, and come back to the original topic...it aint religion and it aint Animal rights...its...its...what is it any ways....?

GMichael
06-29-2010, 11:36 AM
Ok...we need to stop going off the road, and come back to the original topic...its...its...what is it any ways....?

Bashing Rich for trying to save the world from itself?:devil:

frenchmon
06-29-2010, 11:48 AM
Hey...you better remove that devil from your posting HYfi might get the wrong idea:D :D

GMichael
06-29-2010, 12:02 PM
Hey...you better remove that devil from your posting HYfi might get the wrong idea:D :D
He already knows that I AM the devil.:D

frenchmon
06-29-2010, 12:04 PM
He already knows that I AM the devil.:D

Hahaha...lol!

RGA
06-29-2010, 01:47 PM
I am not saying quit your jobs and go someplace else. It's a hard time for a lot of folks I get that. That being said, there is no reason to sit in the job working for slime balls and not explore other jobs send out resumes, take courses for a different career path. I also understand a family of five on limited income in some ways being forced to shop at Wal-Mart. When you can buy a jug of V8 for $2.50 and other places are charging $4.27 and that just on one item I get that money only goes so far. That doesn't quite explain why the new top of the line BMW owner is shopping there however.

As for Ford - yes they have workers so does Honda, Kia Hyundai etc and most of them are built in the US and Canada. Why not boycott Ford. Why not every single person target one company to send a message to ALL the rest of them. Yes the workers at Ford would lose their jobs - but car buyers have to buy cars from someone and those other car companies will have to pick up the slack and that means they'll be looking for experienced workers - in other words they'll hire the Ford workforce to pick up the slack. If the general public got together and targeted a mega corporation and shut them down overnight then that would speak the only language corporations give a damn about - money.

And before you buy the Taurus - read the Lemon-Aid guide. Trust me - you have been warned.

Edit - the Lemon-Aid may not be available in the United States - but here is an example of Taurus issues http://fordsuckz.0catch.com/___3_8L_Lemon-Aid/___3_8l_lemon-aid.html

Ajani
06-29-2010, 01:54 PM
God isn't doing anything. He-She-It gave humans the ability to choose and do as they please, right or wrong. He-She-It is not just going to step in and fix everything he just allowed us to F up.

I know that point was totally off topic, but since it is very much my view on God, I feel inclined to nod in agreement...

OK, now we can get back on topic... lol

Ajani
06-29-2010, 02:00 PM
As for Ford - yes they have workers so does Honda, Kia Hyundai etc and most of them are built in the US and Canada. Why not boycott Ford. Why not every single person target one company to send a message to ALL the rest of them. Yes the workers at Ford would lose their jobs - but car buyers have to buy cars from someone and those other car companies will have to pick up the slack and that means they'll be looking for experienced workers - in other words they'll hire the Ford workforce to pick up the slack. If the general public got together and targeted a mega corporation and shut them down overnight then that would speak the only language corporations give a damn about - money.

That's actually a very good point: If Ford falls, then some other car company will take Ford's sales and experienced workers.

I remember back in the Enron scandal, when the fifth largest accounting firm in the world (Arthur Anderson) collapsed. Guess what happened to many of the experienced Accountants and Auditors from Anderson: they moved to other Accounting firms. Anderson's clients went elsewhere and so did their employees.

bobsticks
06-29-2010, 02:24 PM
That's actually a very good point: If Ford falls, then some other car company will take Ford's sales and experienced workers.

But not necessarily in the United States...and we have our own problems that we're busy not addressing. I know it's one big ol' Green World but I don't pay taxes in India or China. At some point I gotta look out for my team, my peeps...



I remember back in the Enron scandal, when the fifth largest accounting firm in the world (Arthur Anderson) collapsed. Guess what happened to many of the experienced Accountants and Auditors from Anderson: they moved to other Accounting firms. Anderson's clients went elsewhere and so did their employees.


Yes, they moved to other firms in the United States and took up golf with their new friends. One cannot assume de facto that the resulting move will remain within a specific locale or power structure especially within the manufacturing sector. We already have politicians and unions to make those assumptions and CEO's to prove them wrong.

frenchmon
06-29-2010, 03:49 PM
As for Ford - yes they have workers so does Honda, Kia Hyundai etc and most of them are built in the US and Canada. Why not boycott Ford. Why not every single person target one company to send a message to ALL the rest of them. Yes the workers at Ford would lose their jobs - but car buyers have to buy cars from someone and those other car companies will have to pick up the slack and that means they'll be looking for experienced workers - in other words they'll hire the Ford workforce to pick up the slack. If the general public got together and targeted a mega corporation and shut them down overnight then that would speak the only language corporations give a damn about - money.



I heard of an account of a fine fella who told his own story about how he worked at a very nice company in a nice city where he was making a very decent salary just into $200.000 and taking very good care of his family before he got caught up in the recession and lost his very good paying job. Had to give up the company car and other perks that came with it and almost lost his house. Took him a while to get hired by another company, and when he did get hired he was making far less than he was before. Long story short, the guy had to buy a car and had to pay an outstanding high rate because his credit was tore up. No one would give him a honest loan but the wolves who prey on people who need help. His credit was awful due to the recession.

When I lived in Carolina, our Mexican friends drove the job market down with low wages....American born, skilled people looking for decent work couldn't get a job because Mexicans sneaked into the country and took what was once good paying jobs. I mean jobs a person could be proud of like D.R.Horton Home builders, Centex Homes, and other good paying jobs. Mexicans took those jobs working for peanuts and doing it 7 days a week. Thats all you see building homes in the Raleigh/Durahm area...no whites no blacks but Mexicans who work for peanuts. Whats my point? The recession was even worse than that with putting good schooled ...and skilled... and trained people out of work. Employers have tons of resumes and applications sitting on their desk. They can hire whom they want at what salary they want to pay them...and believe me, many of these once good paying jobs are now being worked for far less now than before the recession hit us.

So you are asking people in 2010 to boycott a job in order to put a company out of business because of unethical practices, and then another company is going to pick up the slack and pay them just as much as they made at the other company while we are just coming out of a recession??? Hahahahaha....lol!!! that is just down right insane advice RGA....I love you man as one of my fellow audiohobbyist, but its not going to happen nor will it work in today's market....maybe back in the 80's but not today.

You should have seen all the Boeing Aircraft workers on the local news here in St. Louis when asked why did they not strike when the union said to vote the new contract down. They all said the same thing...times are hard, its to hard to find another job, we all got bills to pay. It aint like those engineers over at Boeing Aircraft Co. are make $20 hour. Some of those guys are making close to $100-150 hour.

Ajani
06-29-2010, 05:05 PM
A question that comes to mind is this:

Why are American workers so well paid (relative to workers in other countries)? I'm a US CPA, and the salary I receive in Jamaica is a mere pittance compared to what I got in Toronto and what I'd get in the US. The sad truth is that it may just be that the world is slowly balancing out and India, China, etc are moving up as the US is going down. Maybe everything will become more level eventually and people will just stay in their own countries, rather than migrating to better paying countries.

RGA
06-29-2010, 09:11 PM
When I lived in Carolina, our Mexican friends drove the job market down with low wages....American born, skilled people looking for decent work couldn't get a job because Mexicans sneaked into the country and took what was once good paying jobs. I mean jobs a person could be proud of like D.R.Horton Home builders, Centex Homes, and other good paying jobs. Mexicans took those jobs working for peanuts and doing it 7 days a week. Thats all you see building homes in the Raleigh/Durahm area...no whites no blacks but Mexicans who work for peanuts. Whats my point? The recession was even worse than that with putting good schooled ...and skilled... and trained people out of work. Employers have tons of resumes and applications sitting on their desk. They can hire whom they want at what salary they want to pay them...and believe me, many of these once good paying jobs are now being worked for far less now than before the recession hit us.


And that is precicely why you need to support UNIONS. Look I know unions are a pain and that it "protects" a lot of "useless lazy bums" and I get those arguments made in this thread - I 100% agree that this is a huge problem. But without them there is nothing stopping companies from firing all their $25 an hour labourers for guys who will work for minimum wage. That is why you had unionists busting knee caps and threatening people who crossed the line as scabs. YOU must FIGHT for your wages and if you don't your wages will be reduced and reduced to the point that employers will pay as little as they possibly can. You are probably better off working for a small business owner than a corporation because they deal with their employees more often face to face and it's harder to screw someone when you see them everyday. The film I posted called "the Corporation - you see that CEO's have never even walked through their own plants.

Unions have their problems there is no question about it - but you have to weigh the overall good with the overall bad of not having them. I am middleclass (right now lower) so it would make far more sense for me to vote left wing than if I were a rich guy. I used to work for the NDP which is our provincial lefft wing government and I was shocked at all the wasted programs. I felt they were spending tax dollars on programs that went way over the needs of the people receiving them. Sure I believe people need some help when they are disabled but some of the programs went crazy over the top. As you know many dislike left wing governments in general because they "overspend" on things and they tend to increase taxes.

So after my stint I voted for the right wing party called the Liberal party (yes that's our right wing) so they cut spending and lowered taxes. The problem was they got rid of those over the top programs but they also got rid of a whole pile of programs that are actually quite needed. They laid-off the people who actually did the work and kept the middle manager morons. They gave teachers a 0-0-0 pay increase. In other words teachers got no raise for three years (this works out to a pay cut because the cost of living went up about 9% over that period - if you don't get at least the cost of living then you got a pay cut). All government employees also got that cut. meanwhile they gave themselves a 15% pay increase.

Anyway, the point is that while the left wing may OVERSPEND on useless programs they at least did spend it on things that people actually need and use. I would rather the money actually go to something that 90% of the population will use and needs even if we spend on useless junk. The alternative is that the 1% of the elite business owners all save some money that went to them buying a bigger house and cars and audio gear. Great for them and no one else. And none of that money trickles down - they used their money to buy Oracle software so they could lay off employees. So that notion that the business saves money and hires more people is an outright lie.

And this goes to Unions. It's stupid that I can't change a lightbulb because it's union protected - the janitor needs to do it. I know it's insane and idiotic, but the alternative is we both have no job and some guy does it for $2 a day. If I want to do it - I can take the pay cut I suppose. The Union increases all pay for all workers whether they are in a union or not. The non union shops will see the competitor pay $10 an hour and if they don't get close they have to pay $10 an hour as well. As for illegal workers - government needs to step in. Typically, migrant workers do the work nobody else wants to do - like picking apples for 12 hours a day.

With a union job such as nursing or teaching in Canada you need to be certified in the Province to be able to get those jobs. If you are an American teacher you can teach interim until you meet the crednetials required and as such immigrants or people sneaking in can't get those jobs even if someone wanted to hire them. Again that is why if more jobs had such accreditation these kinds of things would not happen.

Woochifer
06-29-2010, 09:20 PM
First with Ford and Toyota - Why make it about either or. Surely you are intelligent enough to know that Ford has a long deep history of horrendous behavior beyond Henry Ford. In fact I could probably bypass the man's actions because historically speaking the time frame he lived many countries around the world along with very likely the majority of their citizenry were anti-Semitic.

As others have noted, how many generations back are you going hold responsible? As I pointed out, just about any of the large companies in Axis countries that were in business during WWII have blood on their hands. If Ford is to be held responsible for anti-semitic views of Henry Ford, then do you hold German companies like Siemens, Krups, Daimler-Benz, and others to the same standard?


Ford has actively in the past and not the distant past chosen to pay off law-suits rather than recall for safety Pinto and more recently their rolling over trucks they blame the tire makers on - yeah. And in Europe the class Actions lawsuits against Ford Focus which is pretty recent since this is not an old model. Ford has a systemic, generational history of this. This is not something that was in WWII so let's forget it. I could go with you on that, but it's in the 60s, 70, and then just building garbage through the 80s and 90s the Focus in the 2000s - this is ongoing systemic and no one is held accountable for any of it.

But, this is an issue pertaining to product quality, not the external factors that you're talking about in your thread. If you're talking about product quality, then take a look at what Ford is doing right now, rather than constantly trudging up dirt about cars that aren't even made anymore (even the Focus now has an above average reliability rating). In case you didn't hear, Ford placed #5 in the latest JD Power IQS ranking, while Toyota placed #13.


And it appears to me that Toyota is doing their best Ford impersonation. So on the one level they are not looking out for the safety of the people and on the other hand Toyota and likely others doing what you just noted with dumping their employees - no doubt for cheap labour.

Oh please. If you're going to go decades back and talk about safety, keep in mind that the Toyotas produced during the 70s and early 80s were some of the worst ranked cars on the road in terms of their safety. Yes, they were reliable, but they ranked near the bottom on crash test performance. The first head-on collision crash test that the NHTSA ever conducted pitted a Toyota Celica against a Ford Mustang. The data from the crash test indicated that passengers in the Ford would have survived, while in the Toyota they would have sustained fatal injuries.


It's not really about being self-righteous because I sit here with products made by corporations doing rather obscene things. The issue is once-known do we continue to use our dollar to support it? I owned Ford as did my parents but once we learned about them we said "You know what there are other choices" and you make them - it also helped that the car practically self destructed at a 85,000 kilometers. :) I mean I have never owned a car that within 5 years of fully maintained easy driven driving did the transmission fail, the driver seat broke, roll-up windows brake (power okay but the actually roller snap LOL), wheel bearings engine, paint. I mean it was like some movie where someone dumps toxic waste on the car and it starts to crumble. It was like that movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles "hey at least the Radio still worked."

Like I said, if you dig deep enough, just about every big company is going to have some skeleton in their closet that somebody won't like. You don't like Ford. Fine. But, it becomes self-righteous when you start dredging up all of this dirt, as if it's unique to Ford. I mean, when you start describing Toyota's despicable response to their safety issues as "impersonating Ford" you're trivializing it.


Toyota makes fine automobiles and people bought them for their safety and reliability and I suspect on some subconscious level integrity. They will or should take a massive hit for that. But I don't see any good reason to just say - ok let's buy a Ford. Why? there is Honda, Subaru, Kia, Hyundai (these South Korean makes have been lighting up the reliability, safety and warranty scores in CR and the Lemon-Aid recently) and if they're smart may have a nice shot at stepping up to the plate as the new Toyota. The bottom line is there is more choice than Toyota and Ford. Lots more. So while today's Ford may be better than Ford a decade ago - why give them the money when plenty of other makers do not have any sort of that "known" track record. We could "assume" they're all the same but that's not really fair either. Innocent until proven guilty is not a bad doctrine to follow and so why not give the money to the ones who may not be innocent but have not been found guilty. IMO - Toyota and Ford have been found guilty.

Like I said, my issue with Toyota has to do with one of those "external factors" that you were bringing up. The safety issues with Toyota's drive-by-wire systems are not external factors -- they are directly related to the product itself. Even if this recall hadn't blown up in Toyota's face, they would STILL be on my s*** list. I owe it to my neighbors, who are hurting RIGHT NOW because of actions that Toyota directly took against them.


I think it's unfortunate when you note Ben and Jerry's - I am less familiar with them in Canada as it seems Breyers is the biggest name ice cream brand along with I suppose Hagen Daz at the premium end and Purdy's chocolates Ice Cream in the West.

I bring up Ben & Jerry's only because they were so often cited as a model company. Even a company like B&J's with the most socially responsible operations can get targeted for boycott because of somebody else's issue, which in the case of Ben & Jerry's was health and obesity. To those boycotters who have a laser focus on those issues, a company like Ben & Jerry's is no different than a tobacco company.


I just think that it's important to do what YOU can here and not blindly follow the herd. Unfortunately the herd is sometimes as smart as a bucket of rocks which explains the last 4 years of George Bush (I'd say the first four years but as Bush note "There's an old saying in Tennessee ó I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee ó that says, fool me once, shame on ó shame on you. Fool me ó you can't get fooled again."

Has nothing to do with following the herd. It has to do with prioritizing what's important to you. Even the herd will have its own reasons for supporting this company and not another. Everybody does.


Lastly why not be righteous if it is in fact the ground your on is in the right or the just? I would not place it above others - it ends up being preachy. I am not telling people here what to buy - I suppose what I am saying is perhaps think what you buy through a little more closely. Discover the options are more than A and B and say gee Ford did that, Toyota did this so screw em both I'll buy a Hyundai. Sometimes it's not about buying from a good corporation - it's about buying from the least bad one.

Well, the reason is that everybody has a different definition of what's righteous. Some people constraint it to the product it self -- i.e, the product quality, the price, the customer service, etc. Others will consider the external factors. Isn't that what this thread is about?

Hyfi
06-30-2010, 03:10 AM
Well you just missed the whole point then. In other words...I aint going to worry about what those who are in the seat of CEO's stop me from doing what I have to do.



And that's my point...make it happen for me and my kids by working. Now you can go and try to close down Ford all you want, but ima making the money. You sound like you got the money to do what RGA is talking about.... so close them down.



Look...you are the one making this into religion not me....I don't think you want to have this conversation so I'll just stop here. My goodness Hyfi...a guy cant use the word God in a sentence without you getting off on a rant...and all defensive....dangit!




And who said they couldn't?



Ok...we need to stop going off the road, and come back to the original topic...it aint religion and it aint Animal rights...its...its...what is it any ways....?

Sorry about that Wooch...It wasn't supposed to be a personal attack on you. I guess I also took your post the wrong way but yeah, I do go off sometimes over certain mindsets that I see as a huge problem that is stopping things from getting done.

I wasn't telling you not to work for whoever pays your bills.

Hey this all reminds me of something. I used to work with a guy who was always getting into new ventures and trying to start businesses. He came to me and my wife offering us a part in a company that goes after people who have not paid fines levied by a judge. Delinquents, I guess they would be called. The job was to go through court records and find people who owed money and go after it. I forget the % but after a few days talking and thinking it over, we decided to say no. We were not going to do a job that made miserable peoples life worse. We were not going to go after poor people that did not have the money to pay the fines. It was a conscious decision to do what we thought was right instead of chasing the quick buck. There is plenty of it in these cases.


And no, I don't have the money you think I do. I did however go back to school in my early 40s, get a degree and change my career. I got out of the Toolmaker/Machinist world because I wasn't making the money I should have been and some injuries. NOT because the trade is overrun with Germans whose ancestors didn't stop the atrocities of WW2. (that one was for RGA)

And RGA, if you're gonna stomp on ford for having a part in history, you better not be drinking a German beer, or nice Riesling, or even eat some German Chocolate Cake. As a matter of fact, if you single out ford, you will have to single out every company that hires Germans.

Hyfi
06-30-2010, 03:14 AM
Hey...you better remove that devil from your posting HYfi might get the wrong idea:D :D

Thats funny!

frenchmon
06-30-2010, 10:06 AM
Sorry about that Wooch...It wasn't supposed to be a personal attack on you. I guess I also took your post the wrong way but yeah, I do go off sometimes over certain mindsets that I see as a huge problem that is stopping things from getting done.

I wasn't telling you not to work for whoever pays your bills.

Hey this all reminds me of something. I used to work with a guy who was always getting into new ventures and trying to start businesses. He came to me and my wife offering us a part in a company that goes after people who have not paid fines levied by a judge. Delinquents, I guess they would be called. The job was to go through court records and find people who owed money and go after it. I forget the % but after a few days talking and thinking it over, we decided to say no. We were not going to do a job that made miserable peoples life worse. We were not going to go after poor people that did not have the money to pay the fines. It was a conscious decision to do what we thought was right instead of chasing the quick buck. There is plenty of it in these cases.


And no, I don't have the money you think I do. I did however go back to school in my early 40s, get a degree and change my career. I got out of the Toolmaker/Machinist world because I wasn't making the money I should have been and some injuries. NOT because the trade is overrun with Germans whose ancestors didn't stop the atrocities of WW2. (that one was for RGA)

And RGA, if you're gonna stomp on ford for having a part in history, you better not be drinking a German beer, or nice Riesling, or even eat some German Chocolate Cake. As a matter of fact, if you single out ford, you will have to single out every company that hires Germans.


Hey Hifi...hope you don't think im angry because of the God comment....I just thought it odd that you said that but it really does not bother me one bit....and I hope my words didn't set you on fire.

One other thing...Ima smoking a brisket this weekend and some baby backs with some good old Mauls bbq sauce with some potatoes smothered in smoky cheese sauce on the grill and some green veggies. But I've been wondering about something sweet after im done eatting....thanks for mentioning the GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE....I think I will make one.

Cheers.

RGA
06-30-2010, 10:24 AM
:9:
A question that comes to mind is this:

Why are American workers so well paid (relative to workers in other countries)? I'm a US CPA, and the salary I receive in Jamaica is a mere pittance compared to what I got in Toronto and what I'd get in the US. The sad truth is that it may just be that the world is slowly balancing out and India, China, etc are moving up as the US is going down. Maybe everything will become more level eventually and people will just stay in their own countries, rather than migrating to better paying countries.

The issue is that their wages should go up - not your wage going down to meet their levels. Unless you want the owner of the corproation to be a trillionaire and everyone else living at poverty. It's Ferengi mentality. If people want things changed they need to organize - vote and "think." The fact that China pays their people $1 a day doesn't mean we have to compete. Government can simply apply a thousand percent tarriff or slow global trade until things are on par. Something. But it requires people to control government and corporations not the other way around.

Bill Maher on France http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKS0yISz6xQ

frenchmon
06-30-2010, 10:30 AM
And that is precicely why you need to support UNIONS. Look I know unions are a pain and that it "protects" a lot of "useless lazy bums" and I get those arguments made in this thread - I 100% agree that this is a huge problem. But without them there is nothing stopping companies from firing all their $25 an hour labourers for guys who will work for minimum wage. That is why you had unionists busting knee caps and threatening people who crossed the line as scabs. YOU must FIGHT for your wages and if you don't your wages will be reduced and reduced to the point that employers will pay as little as they possibly can. You are probably better off working for a small business owner than a corporation because they deal with their employees more often face to face and it's harder to screw someone when you see them everyday. The film I posted called "the Corporation - you see that CEO's have never even walked through their own plants.

Unions have their problems there is no question about it - but you have to weigh the overall good with the overall bad of not having them. I am middleclass (right now lower) so it would make far more sense for me to vote left wing than if I were a rich guy. I used to work for the NDP which is our provincial lefft wing government and I was shocked at all the wasted programs. I felt they were spending tax dollars on programs that went way over the needs of the people receiving them. Sure I believe people need some help when they are disabled but some of the programs went crazy over the top. As you know many dislike left wing governments in general because they "overspend" on things and they tend to increase taxes.

So after my stint I voted for the right wing party called the Liberal party (yes that's our right wing) so they cut spending and lowered taxes. The problem was they got rid of those over the top programs but they also got rid of a whole pile of programs that are actually quite needed. They laid-off the people who actually did the work and kept the middle manager morons. They gave teachers a 0-0-0 pay increase. In other words teachers got no raise for three years (this works out to a pay cut because the cost of living went up about 9% over that period - if you don't get at least the cost of living then you got a pay cut). All government employees also got that cut. meanwhile they gave themselves a 15% pay increase.

Anyway, the point is that while the left wing may OVERSPEND on useless programs they at least did spend it on things that people actually need and use. I would rather the money actually go to something that 90% of the population will use and needs even if we spend on useless junk. The alternative is that the 1% of the elite business owners all save some money that went to them buying a bigger house and cars and audio gear. Great for them and no one else. And none of that money trickles down - they used their money to buy Oracle software so they could lay off employees. So that notion that the business saves money and hires more people is an outright lie.

And this goes to Unions. It's stupid that I can't change a lightbulb because it's union protected - the janitor needs to do it. I know it's insane and idiotic, but the alternative is we both have no job and some guy does it for $2 a day. If I want to do it - I can take the pay cut I suppose. The Union increases all pay for all workers whether they are in a union or not. The non union shops will see the competitor pay $10 an hour and if they don't get close they have to pay $10 an hour as well. As for illegal workers - government needs to step in. Typically, migrant workers do the work nobody else wants to do - like picking apples for 12 hours a day.

With a union job such as nursing or teaching in Canada you need to be certified in the Province to be able to get those jobs. If you are an American teacher you can teach interim until you meet the crednetials required and as such immigrants or people sneaking in can't get those jobs even if someone wanted to hire them. Again that is why if more jobs had such accreditation these kinds of things would not happen.

I have worked union jobs and i still have my Teamsters card but have not worked a union job in about ten years....does that make me still a memeber? I have no problem with unions.

RGA
06-30-2010, 01:05 PM
Woochifer
1) Toyota and Ford. As I say why buy either one? I have less of a problem with a car that loses to another car in a safety shootout than I do when a company deliberately decided NOT to fix a problem they know about (Pinto and Mustang 60's) because it is cheaper to pay lawsuits than have a recall. The fact that two cars in a test and one outperforms the other may be that one is simply better designed but that is not proven to be malicious intent to let people die.

2) Arguments for war and the players involved are debatable. Mercedes is a German company supporting their own troops in battle. They may be on the side you don't like but Germans had some decent reasons for entring WWII - the holocaust is something else but Hitler was elected and did not have anything close to the majority vote but more than the rest in their system. I have more of a problem with American companies who sold to both sides, selling to the American forces and ALSO selling to the german forces. Playing both sides for profit without the least care in supporting their own. it puzzles me when people support Domestic and say they won't buy Japanese for Pearl Harbour when GM and Ford were profiting on the deaths of many more American Soldiers in WWII. Japan had several reasons to be suspicious of America since the 1920s and the trade embargo put a demand on Japan that forced their hand to some degree. They don't have clean hands but no country does.

3) I sold my Toyota Corolla in part because of what is going on with this company. Choices lend themselves to alternatives. While it is true that most if not all car companies have their ethical shadyness it is also true that many have "worse" track records than others. Safety recalls and some others are not always the fault of the maufacturer is the company supplying the seatbelts screws up then you might give the car maker the benefit of the doubt but when problems are obvious and fixable and they do nothing then why continue to support them. Ford has an abysmal track record. I was not insinuating or trying to lessen the significance of what Toyota has done by saying their pulling a Ford. But this is the first time to my knowledge that Toyota has been in such a "major" scandel. The Lemon-Aid has been discussing the engine surge problems in numerous Toyota models for 10 years. I highly recommend you and everyone else on these boards BUY the Lemon Aid used car guide. It is Canadian and sold at Chapters but perhaps there is a US edition.

4) There is just no reason to throw your dollars at companies with proven horrible track records. You may argue they all probably do the same but I prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong. I did with Ford, GM, and Toyota - onwed a car from all three. Also had a Honda. My parents have had Nissan, Dodge, and Kia.

The Honda and Kia have been the best vehicles we have owned in terms of reliability warranty and safety. Kia has shown some inroads now that they are under Hyundai control and sharing platforms (I traded my Toyota in for a Kia Rondo for full disclosure). In a strange way the South Koreans are about as American as a car not made in America can be since the country has essentially been reshapen after the Korean War and a large influence of that can be seen in both Audio and Cars as Koreans love McIntosh and those old school horn loudspeakers. They have less of a track record and people still scoff at them for the abysmal Hyundai Pony. But some of their recent offerings in several publications have them scoring the best in their respective classes for reliability long term and short term, safety, warranty, price, features, and even size - yes they even have more room for us fatso North Americans than the domestic counterparts. So screw Toyota and Ford. Honda, Subaru, the Koreans, have some great cars for lower prices and they're arguably better vehicles without the horrendous track records. Granted most of them don't look very slick.

I am most certainly not telling people what to buy. I am just saying why not explore the other choices out there because had my parents not had a Kia I would not have even looked at them because even five years ago they were putting out dreadful cars. being bought seems to have helped. Anyway, we'll see. My Toyota was not all that safe, not reliable, and could possibly kill me. I am hoping for better things from the Rondo. It has scored well in Consumer Reports, it got better ratings for safety and reliability than Honda Civic (which I owned and loved), and most of the Toyotas Mazda and Fords. Hopefully they don't do something completely evil in the next few years. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/kia-rondo/

GMichael
06-30-2010, 01:18 PM
Mercedes manufactured large ovens for people to get cooked in during the war. Just sayin’.

RGA
06-30-2010, 02:20 PM
Mercedes manufactured large ovens for people to get cooked in during the war. Just sayiní.

Well I would not buy a Mercedes regardless - after reading about their quality in the Lemon-Aid that alone would have me steer clear of the garbage mobiles. "German Engineering" is hardly a selling point to me.

Add the quality of the given product to the ethical recent and not so recent history of whatever company in queston and you have at least a three pronged criteria to go by. Add more if desired. I've had 5 cars by five different makers. I'm not exactly brand loyal.

Anyway, back to audio. I don't think we see any of this with audio companies regarding wars. So it largely rests on employment standards and the debate over off shore building and the like. I suppose that's probably tougher to determine.

E-Stat
06-30-2010, 02:55 PM
So it largely rests on employment standards and the debate over off shore building and the like.
As for me, I buy well made, reliable and good sounding components because I keep them for a long time.

rw

luvtolisten
06-30-2010, 04:56 PM
:9:
If people want things changed they need to organize - vote and "think." The fact that China pays their people $1 a day doesn't mean we have to compete. Government can simply apply a thousand percent tarriff or slow global trade until things are on par. Something. But it requires people to control government and corporations not the other way around.

I agree. People need to get involved and vote, not wait for someone else to do it. Boycotting only hurts the small companies. I saw on CBS news the other night,people are boycotting BP and their sales are down. Who does BP do? Cut off the independent dealers. The mom& pop stores. Let's face it most places that sell gas are mom & pop stores. They don't make money selling gas. Selling gas is just a reason to get you into the store to buy something else.The problem is, the people in charge of these large corporations are not held accountable. They are well padded from any boycott with guaranteed salaries. The CEO of BP, came in, gave his "sorry sorry sorry' speech for a day then sped off to vacation on his yacht.
Look at the travesty with the banks & CEO's. They get a "bail out" and a month later respond by giving themselves a bonus for such a "good" year. What we need to do is get involved and vote for politicians with integrity, to hold the people responsible (I thought that's why CEO's made the big bucks) accountable. We need another "Give 'em Hell Harry". I was glad to see Obama shut down the mines in WVa. after the coal mine disaster till things were made right. But I am disappointed to see his "walk bys" on the gulf coast. Looks like I'm comparing dollars to donuts, I would like to see him on that ba*tard BP CEO a$$, at least get him off his yacht and raking a beach!

RGA
06-30-2010, 08:31 PM
luvtolisten

That's why I posted about the movie "The Corporation." It has all the freedoms of an individual - a Psychopathic individual" and cannot be held accountable - unless you call a fine accountable. The first step is to dismantle the notion of the "corporation" and you simply say the corporation as a concept is banned. The owner of the company is 100% responsible and can be held liable (or whoever the decision makers are). A starting point would be to make public safety the first priority not the bottom line.

The Ford Pinto incident at the very least should have gone something like this. The person who signed off on the decision to pay legal bills instead of fix the problem - executed. The company is fined a trillion dollars payable by the end of business day or all assets seized by the government and sold to the competition. Hell in China you drink you drive you kill someone you get shot. We have too many people in the world and the slime balls don't need to be draining the system. The milk scandal in China - people involved shot. you kill babies for money - you get shot. You'd think in America with more gun owners than pet owners this kind of thing would be acceptable. Probably would not need the guns if you got rid of the slime balls the first go around.

I'm being partly facetious here but if they have total disregard for the masses then the good of the many outweigh the good of the one. Gotta Love Spock. http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1658545_1658498_1657866,00.html - I say let the CEO burn and take his millions

Feanor
07-01-2010, 04:55 AM
luvtolisten

That's why I posted about the movie "The Corporation." It has all the freedoms of an individual - a Psychopathic individual" and cannot be held accountable - unless you call a fine accountable. The first step is to dismantle the notion of the "corporation" and you simply say the corporation as a concept is banned. The owner of the company is 100% responsible and can be held liable (or whoever the decision makers are). A starting point would be to make public safety the first priority not the bottom line.
...
Good point, RGA, and basically the same one on made earlier: the contemporary large corporations have only one interest, and that is to make as much money as possible as soon as possible, and, as a corollary, increase the market value of their stock in the short run.

And the more broadly held a corporation, the more fixed is its profitability focus. A company like BP is a good example. The owners of these companies are largely investors -- mutual funds, hedge funds, government, private, and union pension funds who are very far detached from the local employees and communities where the companies operate. Much more even than the company's top internal management, these owners are fixed on profits to the exclusion of any and all other considerations. Furthermore the outside owners are not especially interested in the longer term viability of the companies, but instead in their market performance over few months or couple of years. No wonder that employee welfare, community welfare, national prosperity, and the environement get so little empathy from these organizations.

Yet for example in the US, corporations are allowed to make unlimited contributions to the election campaigns of candidates. This is monsterous stupidity and a thing that tends to ensure that there willl be little progress to address the increasingly urgent problems of the real people. With polititians in the pockets of large-scale investors, what can the rest of us do besides bend over and take the shaft??

luvtolisten
07-01-2010, 05:21 AM
Yet for example in the US, corporations are allowed to make unlimited contributions to the election campaigns of candidates. This is monsterous stupidity and a thing that tends to ensure that there willl be little progress to address the increasingly urgent problems of the really people. With polititians in the pockets of large-scale investors, what can the rest of us do besides bend over and take the shaft??

Excellent point. There are far to many private interest groups and corporations getting preferred treatment. The CEOs that gave themselves a bonus was a crime, and should have been treated as such.You can call it embezzling or just plain grand larceny. They should have been thrown in jail instead of a severe tongue lashing. You or I or anyone else on a different level would have.

mlsstl
07-01-2010, 08:19 AM
Yet for example in the US, corporations are allowed to make unlimited contributions to the election campaigns of candidates....

I think you are incorrect on this point. According to the Federal Election Commission web site, corporate contributions to candidates are expressly prohibited.

See http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/contrib.shtml#Corporations_Labor_Banks

There is also a chart that shows the limits for individuals, political parties and PACs. Also, all contributions are public record so you can always check to see who has contributed to a candidate.

frenchmon
07-01-2010, 10:16 AM
I think you are incorrect on this point. According to the Federal Election Commission web site, corporate contributions to candidates are expressly prohibited.

See http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/contrib.shtml#Corporations_Labor_Banks

There is also a chart that shows the limits for individuals, political parties and PACs. Also, all contributions are public record so you can always check to see who has contributed to a candidate.


Ahhh...unless I miss understood, the highest court in the land overturned that ruling about 2 months ago?

bobsticks
07-01-2010, 10:49 AM
Ahhh...unless I miss understood, the highest court in the land overturned that ruling about 2 months ago?

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2010-06-30/news/bs-ed-campaign-finance-reform-letter-20100630_1_loopholes-glen-burnie-planned-parenthood

Feanor
07-01-2010, 11:46 AM
I think you are incorrect on this point. According to the Federal Election Commission web site, corporate contributions to candidates are expressly prohibited.

See http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/contrib.shtml#Corporations_Labor_Banks

There is also a chart that shows the limits for individuals, political parties and PACs. Also, all contributions are public record so you can always check to see who has contributed to a candidate.
Now the corps can spend, spend, spend ...

... New York Times report, January 21, 2010 (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22scotus.html)

pixelthis
07-01-2010, 11:58 AM
Its silly to punish a company because of its corp history.
Ford, Dupont, several oil barons(one whose name starts with R) funded Nazi GERMANY,
so are you going to not use air conditioning, gasoline, petrochemical products?
THE germans commited crimes, they paid for them.
FORD makes an exelent product these days, boycott them and put some Americans outta work.
OH, BTW, you also have to boycott Mazda , as Ford owns them(a mazda 3
is a focus, basically).:1:

mlsstl
07-01-2010, 12:07 PM
Ahhh...unless I miss understood, the highest court in the land overturned that ruling about 2 months ago?

This court decision was in January 2010.

Direct contributions to candidates by corporations are still prohibited.

What the decision said is the absolute ban on independent political speech by corporations was unconstitutional. For example, under the original law (McCain Feingold) that was challenged, a corporation could not run TV ads on a subject that might be perceived to favor one candidate over another.

Under the original law, if one candidate favored increasing auto registration taxes and other favored lowering them, a corporation that happened to be a car dealer could not run public ads pointing out the advantages of lower auto taxes even if they did not expressly name a candidate.

The Supreme Court decision says a corporation is free to say what is on their mind, but still cannot contribute money directly to a candidate nor can they coordinate with a campaign when running their ads. And, they still have to disclose their involvement in their ads.

Incidentally, the "corporation" at the center of the lawsuit was a non-profit that was not selling a product. They made a movie about Hillary Clinton.

See: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22scotus.html

mlsstl
07-01-2010, 12:24 PM
Now the corps can spend, spend, spend ...

In 2008 there was over twice much spent on Viagra advertising as was spent on the Obama/McCain presidential election (about $1.2B by Pfizer versus $445M spent on both campaigns.)

Given what is spent advertising little blue pills, dog food and perfume, when has too much been spent on politics? Interesting question.

;-)

Feanor
07-01-2010, 01:41 PM
This court decision was in January 2010.

Direct contributions to candidates by corporations are still prohibited.

What the decision said is the absolute ban on independent political speech by corporations was unconstitutional. For example, under the original law (McCain Feingold) that was challenged, a corporation could not run TV ads on a subject that might be perceived to favor one candidate over another.

Under the original law, if one candidate favored increasing auto registration taxes and other favored lowering them, a corporation that happened to be a car dealer could not run public ads pointing out the advantages of lower auto taxes even if they did not expressly name a candidate.

The Supreme Count decision says a corporation is free to say what is on their mind, but still cannot contribute money directly to a candidate nor can they coordinate with a campaign when running their ads. And, they still have to disclose their involvement in their ads.

Incidentally, the "corporation" at the center of the lawsuit was a non-profit that was not selling a product. They made a movie about Hillary Clinton.

See: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22scotus.html
Thank you for this clarification. Although my reading of the cited article doesn't make clear the continued limitation, I'll take your word for it since you seem to be familiar with the background.

However apparently corporations and other interested groups can now spend unlimited amounts throughout election campaigns to promote their points of view, including pointing out the supposed strengths or weaknesses of candidates. This being true, it is scarcely different than directly financing a candidate's campaign, notwithstanding that they still may not "coordinate with a campaign".

mlsstl
07-01-2010, 02:05 PM
However apparently corporations and other interested groups can now spend unlimited amounts throughout election campaigns to promote their points of view, including pointing out the supposed strengths or weaknesses of candidates. This being true, it is scarcely different than directly financing a candidate's campaign, notwithstanding that they still may not "coordinate with a campaign".
IMO opinion, there was a lot of unwarranted hysteria about this issue. There were plenty of organizations prior to this ruling that were attempting to influence public opinion one way or the other.

All that had to be done was form a 501(c)(4) organization (MoveOn is a classic example) or a 527 organization and millions of dollars flowed in favor of targeted candidates and against others.

In other words, there were plenty of hi-jinks being played prior to this court decision and I personally don't believe much has changed on the playing field.

There will always be people who try to game the system one way or the other. It is like pushing in on a balloon - push here and it simply bulges somewhere else.

I'm in the sunshine camp. I've got no problem with people promoting their cause, but there needs to be full disclosure so that one can follow the money.

I think that's the last of my comments on this subject. Back to audio, everyone!

Feanor
07-01-2010, 02:44 PM
In 2008 there was over twice much spent on Viagra advertising as was spent on the Obama/McCain presidential election (about $1.2B by Pfizer versus $445M spent on both campaigns.)

Given what is spent advertising little blue pills, dog food and perfume, when has too much been spent on politics? Interesting question.

;-)
I'd be happy with a Viagra limitation personally. And when it comes to politics, consider that in some democratic countries there are limitations on the total of political spending.

But in the political case, the fundamental problem is less the total spending but rather that huge amounts might be spent on one side of an issue and only relatively tiny amounts on the other.

Needless to say corporations (and their supposedly not-for-profit surrogates) have vast sums that they will spend to promote low corporate profits, low product safety standards, low employee safety standards and miniumum wages, and minimal environmental regulations. Whereas individuals, environmental advocates, and even unions, have much less money to defend the contrary options.

Ajani
07-01-2010, 09:05 PM
The first step is to dismantle the notion of the "corporation" and you simply say the corporation as a concept is banned. The owner of the company is 100% responsible and can be held liable (or whoever the decision makers are).

Such a move would potentially collapse the US economy (and I don't mean a recession - think 4th world status)... Consider the size of the major corporations - very few persons are rich enough to have ownership of them, which is why you find pools of investors (buying and selling shares on the stock market). Very few investors would be willing to invest in a company if the were 100% liable for the failings of the company. Essentially only persons with enough shares to control the company might take such a risk.

Imagine if a person with a few share in BP could be sued for the current environmental disaster. That person has essentially zero control over the actions of BP.

So what would likely happen is that most major corporations would collapse. As much I support the notion of having more small businesses with owners fully accountable and in control of their business, I don't think that you can just dismantle the existing corporations without causing economic chaos.

Feanor
07-02-2010, 02:47 AM
Such a move would potentially collapse the US economy (and I don't mean a recession - think 4th world status)... Consider the size of the major corporations - very few persons are rich enough to have ownership of them, which is why you find pools of investors (buying and selling shares on the stock market). Very few investors would be willing to invest in a company if the were 100% liable for the failings of the company. Essentially only persons with enough shares to control the company might take such a risk.

Imagine if a person with a few share in BP could be sued for the current environmental disaster. That person has essentially zero control over the actions of BP.

So what would likely happen is that most major corporations would collapse. As much I support the notion of having more small businesses with owners fully accountable and in control of their business, I don't think that you can just dismantle the existing corporations without causing economic chaos.
Quite right, Ajani. The concept of the "limited liability" enterprise is fundamental to modern capitalism and the industrial age. Without it we'd retreat to the middle ages -- or give over to public ownership of all major production.

On the other hand, with "limited liability" should go limited rights. The concept that the corporate legal "person" should have same rights as an actual human person is absurd.

hifitommy
07-04-2010, 09:42 AM
find another place to vent.

recoveryone
07-04-2010, 10:49 AM
I got on this late and read most of the post on the first page, but I too would have to side with those that urge a since of caution on that line of thinking. In the case of Ford Motor Co, I guess you can count out buy several types of vehicles (brands) for Ford is global and has its finger in many brands:

Volvo
Jaguar
Land Rover
to name a few and I guess if you like to BBQ don't use charcoal either for it was Ford (KING FORDS) that has that market cornered, As worf pointed out about how companies are global you would need to be totally self sufficient (grow your own food, fuel, clothing ...etc) to really boycott any company.

YBArcam
07-05-2010, 07:56 PM
And before you buy the Taurus - read the Lemon-Aid guide. Trust me - you have been warned.

Edit - the Lemon-Aid may not be available in the United States - but here is an example of Taurus issues http://fordsuckz.0catch.com/___3_8L_Lemon-Aid/___3_8l_lemon-aid.html

That isn't about the current Taurus. Therefore, it's largely irrelevant. The current Taurus uses a 3.5L engine, not the 3.8L.


OH, BTW, you also have to boycott Mazda , as Ford owns them(a mazda 3 is a focus, basically).

Ford gave up their controlling interest in Mazda recently. I think they still hold a small stake, but it's drastically reduced from what they once held.

As for the topic of this thread...while I agree that corporations have way too much power, to suggest that limited liability should be done away with, well, a few posters here have already shown that this isn't feasible. Is there another suggestion that is? Frankly, I'm not going to punish Ford for mistakes made long ago by people who no longer run the company. Ford is under new management who have done much to turn things around. Why punish them? They may be better corporate citizens now than Honda's or Kia's management for all we know. To punish them seems more out of spite than anything else, looking at things that happened decades ago, at the hands of different people, and ignoring what's going on now. When a company makes poor decisions and product, that's when the market should punish them. If they are smart enough to fix those issues, especially when new people do so, that to me warrants praise.

As for audio, like you said RGA, some companies that have moved mfg to China treat their employees well. It seems to me then, that to punish a company that has made this kind of move is presumptuous. Unless you know of a company that is mistreating workers, it's just jumping to conclusions. So I've got no problem buying a Chinese made product. Frankly, if you don't want to spend an arm and a leg, you often have little choice.

Almost any company that competes in terms of value is going to feel pressure to move manufacturing to China, assuming of course they want to remain competitive and thus survive. So while I like that Paradigm still makes their speakers in Canada, I wouldn't be surprised, nor would I blame them, if they decided in the near future to change that fact. Seems to me that you cannot dish out blame at the individual company level for this. The government is going to have to come up with a solution that discourages this sort of behavior, otherwise it won't change of it's own volition.