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  1. #1
    RGA
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    External factors of buying decision...

    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.

  2. #2
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I am wondering if others look into such things before they make a purchase.
    Absolutely not...
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  3. #3
    RGA
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    Any reasons or just no?

  4. #4
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    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...
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  5. #5
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    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.
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  6. #6
    RGA
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    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.

  7. #7
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    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.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    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.
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  9. #9
    RGA
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    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=H3m5l...eature=channel

  10. #10
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    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.
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  11. #11
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    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

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  12. #12
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    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.
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  13. #13
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wooch
    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.
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  14. #14
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    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.

  15. #15
    RGA
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    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...385010001.html

  16. #16
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    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.


  17. #17
    _ Luvin Da Blues's Avatar
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    Boycott Dagogo!!!!!!!!
    Back in my day, we had nine planets.

  18. #18
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

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    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.

  20. #20
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    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.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    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!

  22. #22
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    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?
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

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    That's Elle Driver!

    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!!

  24. #24
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    A very complex issue....

    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

  25. #25
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worf101
    ...
    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).

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