Where Do We Go From Here?

This is what a lot of us on the conservative – independent – libertarian-inclined, and otherwise classic old-style liberal have been wondering over the last six months or so. Where do we go from here, seeing that elections largely can’t be trusted, especially in blue-dominated states with a long, long, long history of election corruption and assorted ballot shenanigans?

Where do we go, and what can we do about a national news media which has become so nakedly, proudly partisan, basically the stenographer and mouthpiece for the Biden Administration? Besides patronizing those independent bloggers, reporters and aggregators, foreign newspapers like the UK’s Daily Mail, and that handful of mainstream reporters who actually appear to recall the original mission of ‘afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted’ and report the plain old who-where-what? While it does seem that formerly competent and respected outlets are shedding viewers like the Titanic shed lifeboats after the encounter with the iceberg, at least half the country does believe what they see on CNN and read in the New York Times, and those of similar devotion to perpetuating the Big Lie(s). What to do, especially when loved ones and co-workers swallow the lies whole?

What can we do to counter and resist force-feeding of the social poison of Critical Race Theory, in corporations, to government employees (to include the military), in universities and in, most outrageously, our schools? It’s a pernicious, race-based poison, intended to divide, humiliate, and at worst, to drive out those who will not bend the knee and participate in the mandatory ‘struggle sessions’. How to complain or resist when to do so might mean unemployment at worst and social ostracism at least: we are social animals, we humans, and even misanthropes prefer a paycheck to poverty. How can we best and most effectively resist the apparent unpersoning of a substantial ethnic majority, when it seems to be an intellectual fashion even more damaging than that of the ‘recovered memory’ or ‘satanic abuse in day care centers’ – a fad enthusiastically pushed by establishment media?

The trans-gender idiocy will, I think, collapse of it’s own weight pretty shortly. There’s damn little toleration for an obvious male prancing around naked in a female locker room or spa location, obviously waggling his wang-wang whilst claiming to identify as a female. No, that’s a male pervert getting his jollies by waggling his wang-wang in the face of XX chromosome females. And what to do when formerly mediocre male athletes suddenly proclaim their new female identity and hit a winning streak when it comes to top medals, sports scholarships, and participation in high-value athletic contests … elbowing aside talented and hardworking athletes who were born female. It’s honestly another fad, pushed by deranged activists and a complicit established media – but what are our options to hurry along the inevitable collapse?

Finally – what options do we have when it comes to the blatant double standard in prosecuting crime: when violent Antifa or BLM protestors, and the nakedly criminal in places like Portland, Seattle, Oakland, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Baltimore, New York and the like are either freed within hours or winked at by law enforcement, while people who had done nothing more than to attend a protest in Washington last January are locked up for months, without being charged? Discuss as you wish.

While we still can.

 

54 thoughts on “Where Do We Go From Here?”

  1. I finally decided to pay for “Fox Nation” so that I could watch long form interviews by Tucker Carlson of such people as John McWhorter and Charles Murray.

    I have the advantage over many of you because I am 84 next birthday and may not have to put up with the nonsense for too long. On the other hand, my mother lived to 103 so that is a concern.

    I do have some hope for the election next year. It seems harder to steal 535 elections than only one. I did move to AZ to get far enough away from the crazies yet driving distance from kids and grandkids. I notice that Governor hair gel is adopting the Republican approach to voting security, at least in so far as checking recall petition signatures.

  2. People will figure out what works best for them.

    It’s a big country and still has significant regional differences in culture and politics. If you don’t like where you are, you might prefer somewhere else.

    Your interests are not necessarily aligned with the interests of prominent online conservatives or (if you swing the other way) prominent online leftists.

    The above points are true regardless of what happens in elections and partisan politics.

  3. The empty posturing of the wealthy woke and their useful idiots is discouraging, we all have to admit. But the failures of politicians, academics, media scum, and bureaucrats are not the problem which is going to cut us all off at the knees. The serious failure is economic.

    First, there is the hollowing out of the US economy, with literally tens of thousands of factories shut down and their manufacturing equipment shipped to China, Mexico, Vietnam, and elsewhere. Consequently, there is now an inability to make critical products (medicines, electronics, etc) in the US and a consequent unsustainable Balance of Trade deficit. Add to that the loss of tax revenues from all the offshored jobs and FedGov is now living on the credit card, spending something like $2 for each $1 of revenues — we know that is unsustainable. Let’s not even think about the unpayable promises FedGov has made on pensions, Social Security, and Medicare.

    What to do about the very real issues that Sgt. Mom mentions? Nothing! The coming economic collapse will clean the board of all of that silliness. Unfortunately, the cure is going to hurt.

  4. Exactly this, Gavin – the hollowing out of the US productive economy and sending all those jobs – those well-paid jobs for skillful, hardworking blue-collar workers – overseas? There has and will be a continued price paid for that. And the cure will hurt.
    What can we do, personally – to make it hurt a bit less? That is another question.

  5. We do have the advantage of Federalism, and it seems likely that the distinction between relatively sane states and non-sane states will become even more extreme.

    Also, the last year’s Covid experience and crime experience provide lessons as to how important state and local offices really are.

  6. Citizens: Attend “board meetings” of the taxing authorities in your jurisdiction. School boards, county commissioners, city councils, appraisal authorities, zoning boards … Make video recordings. Or at least audio recordings. And take handwritten notes when anything interesting happens. Keep the notebook. Keep the recordings. Start a filing system.

    Use the “open government” or “freedom of information” rules of your jurisdiction to obtain background to meetings and context for the interesting moments. It takes weeks to complete the process of request to (usually incomplete) fulfillment. Persist. Be patient.

    Learn. Figure out what the board is supposed to be doing, and what they ARE doing. Which members are clever and which others are along for the ride — or the perqs? Figure out which consultants, which staff members, what squeaky wheels, seem to be influential. Take the time.

    After a while, when you think you know something: speak. If the board allows it. Don’t expect to be “heard”. Or regarded as anything but a nuisance. Speak anyway. Most important — ask questions. Ask for the results of all the grand and glorious plans announced at meetings of the previous year. How much did they actually spend, or save? How many citizens or families or new businesses did the program actually touch — compared to what was promised? Speaking about prior projects and the results may often be more effective than speaking to the topic of the current day’s meeting. Freedom of speech is a muscle to be exercised. Speak up.

    Select one issue and become THE expert for your community. No one board member or staffer or journalist or union steward or consultant can know everything about every topic. Neither can you. But it’s not hard to become better informed, on one issue, than any and all of the others. It’s your community. They are your kids, your neighbors, your roads — your potholes, your riots, your gangs. Own the issue. And repair the problems.

    Don’t worry about the president or governor or anybody too far away to face, or shoot. Find your local board, decide how they can better accomplish their missions, and encourage them to do so.

  7. Has anybody gamed out what would happen if we let a feckless (they’ve flat-out lied for years) state like Illinois default on its pensions? A lot of people trusted the state. They’ll get hurt, and their friends will join them in looking for someone to blame. That gets ugly.

    OTOH, bailing out the lunatic states hurts everybody, and will never stop. (Unless the Supreme Court is heavily packed, I don’t think they’ll give the Feds authority over State budgets.) That can get ugly too. And when we inflate the dollar, a cook in Senegal can’t afford to buy propane anymore.

  8. …tens of thousands of factories shut down and their manufacturing equipment shipped to China, Mexico, Vietnam…

    It’s even worse. Years ago I had reason to research a certain Intel product, which turned out to be made in a fab in Vietnam. My research revealed that there was a US government program to train the workforce there. So not only have our self-described elite moved the US industrial base overseas, they are using American tax money to educate the foreign workforce of the offshored production! Clever of Intel, wasn’t it?

    Intel management has been very clever. I’ve read that they spent $84 billion on stock buybacks, no doubt enriching themselves handsomely, with the present result that they’re paying Taiwan Semiconductor to make products for them that they can’t make themselves, while begging for the American taxpayers to pay to build new fabs for them here in the US. Buying back shares was much more important than investing in research and development of new products.

    Clever, clever, clever- years ago, when I was arguing against “free trade’ at a particular website, I was often told that tariffs were nothing more a sort of welfare for failing industries. It seems to me that the tariffs are vastly better than what we have now, where we get to pay to build the factories of putatively American companies and pay to train their foreign workforce overseas.

    Perhaps there will be a government program to train the American workers of the fabs we will build for Intel- but more likely they’ll just be H1B visa holding serfs.

    Pardon my cynicism, but it has been well-earned.

  9. They’ll get hurt, and their friends will join them in looking for someone to blame.

    There have already been vast swarms of people hurt, and we already know who to blame- the people collecting those sweet sweet government pensions.

    And when we inflate the dollar, a cook in Senegal can’t afford to buy propane anymore.

    Why is this my problem? Senegal is an independent nation with its own government, which is by definition tasked with dealing with the problems of Senegal.

    That cook should take it up with them, and leave me out of it.

  10. When a lot of the factories here were shut down, the equipment was either abandoned in place or sold for scrap. Most was far too old and outdated to be worth relocating. That the management hadn’t invested in anything except emergency repairs for decades is what made foreign undercutting so easy.

    Wages in China are rising fast and actual productivity per man hour was never their strong suit. Hordes willing to work for $5-10 a day can hide a lot of inefficiency. It should be amusing, from a safe distance, to watch as the Chinese government rushes about trying to prop up one industry after another. It reminds me of the plate spinners that were common on shows like Ed Sullivan for a while.

    I’ll stick my neck out and predict that their next big problem will be in ship building. The big shipping companies are ordering dozens of huge new ships on the basis that the extortionate present rates will continue forever while their customers are working hard to eliminate ocean shipping from their cost structures. I see these two trends alliding (ship speak for when a ship hits something on shore) in about five years if not sooner.

  11. That the management hadn’t invested in anything except emergency repairs for decades is what made foreign undercutting so easy.

    From my personal experience, you have this exactly backwards. Companies couldn’t afford to invest in anything other than emergency repairs because of the foreign undercutting. Eventually, they gave up on producing inside the US and moved elsewhere or just went bankrupt. Triffin’s Dilemma.

    Wages in China are rising fast and actual productivity per man hour was never their strong suit.

    I’ll hazard a guess that they’ll get more productive, and fast. They’ve got production in place. They’re making things that are needed, globally. As productivity improves, the shed workers will move on to become restaurant owners or insurance agents or others things poor China couldn’t afford to have, to provide for the wants of the newly richer Chinese middle class.

    Meanwhile, in the US, car insurance has become too expensive for many to afford. They simply drive without insurance, or get what I presume is insurance for a week so they can legally renew their license plates. I expect the laws requiring insurance will soon be ignored, and in many areas they already are.

    This is not what happens in a country that is supposedly getting richer, as is asserted by the people who are already rich in America.

  12. “I’ll hazard a guess that they’ll get more productive, and fast. They’ve got production in place. They’re making things that are needed, globally. As productivity improves, the shed workers will move on to become restaurant owners or insurance agents or others things poor China couldn’t afford to have, to provide for the wants of the newly richer Chinese middle class.”

    I might agree – if the country were free. But they are still a Communist country, under their capitalism, and that means central planning. A country run by a very geriatric CCP. One of the big problems with socialism in general, and communism in particular, is misallocation of resources through central planning. I think that we are seeing at least some dumping of huge amounts of resources into industries where the money is not well invested. They seem to overcommit to industries where money could be spent better elsewhere. They spent a lot of money on building fabs, and now no one wants their ICs, because of what their government secretly put on those chips. They overbuilt on steel, and maybe heading that way on container ships. They spent a lot on pharmaceuticals, and now it turns out their quality control is abysmal.

    They have some other big problems. They have one of the fastest aging populations in the world, and part of that is a direct result of their One Child policy. Compounding that – that policy, combined with traditional Chinese culture, resulted in a significant sexual imbalance, with an acute shortage of reproduction age females. They are facing a distinct possibility of a population crash, loosing maybe up to half their population over the next several decades. They could try incentivizing having children, but their geriatric leadership is dithering. Besides, the middle class, around the world, tends to move in the opposite direction.

  13. Bruce Hayden…”But they are still a Communist country, under their capitalism, and that means central planning. A country run by a very geriatric CCP. One of the big problems with socialism in general, and communism in particular, is misallocation of resources through central planning. I think that we are seeing at least some dumping of huge amounts of resources into industries where the money is not well invested.”

    China’s economic growth is very largely the result of the economic liberalization that began under Deng Xiaoping. (The availability of export-facilitating technologies: container freight, cheap air freight, and the Internet) also helped. The current rulership seems to be reversing the liberalization, and, economically, that can only hurt.

  14. “ I do have some hope for the election next year. It seems harder to steal 535 elections than only one. I did move to AZ to get far enough away from the crazies yet driving distance from kids and grandkids. I notice that Governor hair gel is adopting the Republican approach to voting security, at least in so far as checking recall petition signatures.”

    I agree on elections. I had a heated talk with a good friend last night. His position is that the Democrats have been engaged in massive cheating across the country for quite some time. But for much of the country, it is very localized. Here in NW MT, if anyone were caught running ballots through machines several times, they would be strung up to the nearest phone pole. We are going to have 435 House elections next year, and I don’t see the Democrats having the opportunity to steal that many of those races. I expect a major swing in the House as a result because the Democrats have been running Congress as if they have a huge mandate, when, in actuality, despite all their cheating in the last election, they have a 9 seat advantage in the House, and the VP breaking 50-50 ties in the Senate (despite their having stolen probably at least 3 Senate seats). BTW, what happens when Harris ascends to the Presidency, and there is no VP to break the tie for the election of her successor as VP? It might be an opportune time for a party switch for Manchin, or even Sinema (given what seems about to happen in AZ).

    Which brings me to the Kracken. Underneath the apparent calm, the AZ Senate has completed the hand count and ballot inspection portion of their audit. They are double checking things, and still trying to get their hands on the Dominion voting machines. Maricopa county govt, along with the company providing machines, are in open defiance of court orders. That isn’t likely to persist. But all indications so far are that they have found massive discrepancies. We are talking hundreds of thousands of illegitimate ballots and/or votes. Maybe even 20-30%. We live half the year in Maricopa county, and there was zero enthusiasm for Biden, during the last couple weeks. None. There were few signs, no hats, T shirts, or spontaneous rallies, like we saw all over the place in the county.

    The audit results will be published before Labor Day, and maybe even this month, and that is going to change the national debate. We still hear how Trump actually winning the election is misinformation, and only fringe White Supremecists actually believe it. They will try to pretend that the audit was flawed and corrupt. But it wasn’t. It was heavily televised and video recorded, and every ballot, good or bad, was photographed. And among much of the country, their opposition will cease to be conventional wisdom, but rather subject to the sort of ridicule that reports of mostly peaceful AntiFA and BLM riots now get.

    More important though than whether the NYT, FaceBook, etc accept that this proof of massive election fraud, Republican legislatures across the country will be under increasing pressure to perform their own audits. Some 20 or so of them reportedly sent people to see what AZ was doing. GA seems to be getting ready to start their own audit, despite their state level Republican politicians previously going along with the certification of the election. MI and PA have shown some interest. All it is going to take is one more successful audit of a big county where the Dems appear to have massively cheated, and the legitimacy of the Biden Presidency and Schumer Senate majority will probably be shot. And one more, and it will likely be hard for the other Republican legislatures of the swing states that gave Biden the Presidency to resist doing their own audits.

    I mentioned elsewhere that the Dems in DC are acting like they only have a year or so to get done everything they conceivably want done. Notably, their policies, including their massive looting of the treasury, are almost assured of driving us into a recession, and very likely reintroducing the inflation that we really haven’t seen in 40 years.

  15. China has two problems that I see. One is related to population. A lot of middle class Chinese are emigrating. The Monterey Park area of Los Angeles County is now 95% Chinese. If China is getting richer, why are they leaving ? Second, I see a trend that may or may not be increasing. The Han Chinese are very racist. They stay within the clan and marry others like them. One reason why the Mongolians are among the most loyal allies is their fear of being taken over by the Han. Now, I see educated Chinese girls marrying Caucasian men. China already has a shortage of girls, especially those educated. Why ?

  16. “Fake chips, being sold for assembly into products in China:”

    As with defective and tainted pharmaceuticals (including COVID-19 vaccines), these issues are going to make it harder and harder to sell their products to the rest of the world.

  17. At least some companies are realizing and reacting to the downsides of manufacturing in China: the IP theft, the transportation-related delays in obtaining product (which create inventory-control problems), the vulnerability to political risk and shipping bottlenecks above & beyond the normal transit times, etc etc.

    Here’s a company I ran into yesterday whose business model and automated-assembly product are focused on enabling US-based manufacturing for electronics, especially for small-run products:

    https://www.launchpad.build/

    Once you get to high-volume products, though, it’s not only a matter of manufacturing, but also a matter of *marketing*…companies know that if they want to establish a position in the very large Chinese marketplace, they’d better locate significant activity in China itself, or they will likely be blackballed.

  18. “Where do we go from here?”

    That requires us to answer the question — Where are we now?

    It may be hard to accept, but perhaps our civilization is approaching the end of the 250-year life cycle that many historians and authors have noted for prior societies. As a society, it may be that we are approaching the Biden Stage where we can think no further than pudding & Depends.

    The analogy for society then is to ourselves as aging individuals. How de we react to the realization that we are growing older and nature will inevitably take its course?

    Some individuals decide to take out a reverse mortgage on the family home and go on that glittering world cruise, making sure there is no inheritance left for their disappointing children. It is not necessarily selfish — the harder times those adult offspring consequently experience may finally turn them from disappointments into the exemplary people that a lifetime of showering them with special treatment has failed to do. Or maybe not. But that is their problem & their opportunity, not ours.

    Where do we go from here? Eat, drink, and be merry! Drink the last of the summer wine.

  19. David F: “:.. companies know that if they want to establish a position in the very large Chinese marketplace, they’d better locate significant activity in China itself, or they will likely be blackballed.”

    And companies also know there is no such reciprocal obligation to be able to market their products in the very large US market. Why not? Apart from the obvious reason that China’s Political Class is looking out for the Chinese people, whereas the US Political Class is looking out for itself. So much easier for our Best & Brightest to take Chinese money than to do the hard work of creating a sustainable economy for their fellow citizens.

  20. Angelo Codevilla has a column critical of Trump that I sort of agree with.

    But whatever Trump might have thought, his voters knew that hatred for the ruling class—not Trump himself—was why they supported him. It was about themselves, not Trump. The ruling class knew it, too. That is why, for most of the past six years, it brayed so much disdain from every available venue on him personally, trying to convince at least some of his followers that he is unworthy of decent people’s allegiance.

    We need not rehearse the size, provenance, ubiquity, and vehemence of the ruling class’ attacks on Trump. It is near impossible to recall any official, semi-official, corporate, educational, media, or professional association that did not take part in them, often repeating the very same words ad nauseam. Trump’s peculiarities made it possible for the oligarchy to give the impression that its campaign was about his person, his public flouting of conventional norms, rather than about the preservation of their own power and wealth.

    I disagree with Codevilla that Trump brought much of this on himself by errors. Who was he to appoint ? He was elected president of the Swamp and we expected him to drain it by himself. He relied too much on his kids. Who could he trust ? He abandoned Flynn, which was a catastrophic mistake, I agree. Flynn was his key to the secrets of DC and the “IC.”

    Bannon failed him because Bannon was too impatient and too theoretical. Bannon is brilliant but not practical enough.

    What do we do now ? Trump may not be the 2024 guy. Maybe it’s DeSantis and Rand Paul. It’s not Nikki Haley who seems to have sewn up the tech oligarch vote.

    Keep watching what happens and hope for an honest 2022 election.

  21. I thought you guys had a lot of freaking economists among you.

    1 — we are an IP & SERVICES ECONOMY. Third Stage, not Second (“Industrial”).

    We are the ONLY nation which is fully along in this, and well suited for remaining the mainstay indefinitely, thanks to our “melting pot” social slurry — even as bad as leftists have made it, it’s still that way.

    WE have no business “making things” in the sense of “high paid manufacturing jobs”. The mainstay of factory work should be AUTOMATED ROBOTS, not people.

    THIS should be the factory of the future, though, it’ll have someone present to hit the “scram” button to shut things down if something like this actually occurred, Yeah, it’s fiction. But it’s a fairly GOOD prediction.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7omoVzuynmE

    In 1885, more than 85% of the US labor force was agricultural labor. By 1985, it was less than 5%. What happened to that 80% of the labor force? Why are we not worried about “lost farm jobs”? Right. They switched to factory work, and became “factory jobs”. Why? Mechanization, that’s why. Mechanization removed the need to have anywhere near as many people working on the farms. We now produce MORE food at LESS COST on LESS LAND than we did in 1900… with only 3-5% of the labor force.

    In 50 years, you’re going to find the trend which is already underway — suggested by that movie clip, above — and the vast majority of manufactured goods America needs will be produced by 3-5% of the US labor workforce.

    So what’ll happen to the other 90-94%? They’ll be working, but offering Services and creating IP. Making more money, under better conditions, with more safety than ever before. They will shift to IP&S jobs just as the 80% of the ag labor force switched to Industrial jobs.

    The thing some people fail to get is THERE’S NO MONEY IN MAKING THINGS ANY MORE.

    Food prices have fallen in real dollars for well over a century, close to a century and a half. Meanwhile, small farms have been mostly shut out because the margins on food are so small that the only way to weather the volatility of the food price market is to “get big” or “get out”.

    Well, factories are going to go the same way — either they will be huge… “American Keiretsu”, or they will go away. Margins are too small. Too small to pay the traditional “high” factory wage.

    Don’t want to believe that? Too bad. Reality says no.

    Here, let’s take an example — the iPhone 4. In 2010, it retailed for SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS. And yeah, while that money may have come from multiple sources, you can bet Apple got US$600 for each unit sold.

    The iPhone 4 was “Made In China”.

    So — how much money, out of that $600, did China GET, for MAKING the phone?

    100 bucks?
    NO.

    $50?
    Nope.

    $25!?!!?
    NO NO NO.

    $10!!!?
    Uh-uh.

    SIX BUCKS. One Percent. That’s what it was worth to “make” the phone. You’re not paying a freaking Joe Blow factory working fifty bucks an hour to “make” the phone for you. You’re just NOT. You’re going to have a machine doing most of the stuff, it’s what they are GOOD at.

    Apple got a big chunk of it — lots more than 1% — mainly for designing it, for knowing HOW to make the thing, not for MAKING it. For the **IP*. Other companies made money off the IP involved. Some made money for making sub-assemblies for the phone, which has a lot to do with owning the IP.

    Now it’s been 10 years, but do you seriously imagine anything else is going to happen?

    No matter what it is being made?

    https://mjperry.blogspot.com/2010/07/iphone-designed-by-apple-in-us.html

  22. }}} What do we do now ? Trump may not be the 2024 guy. Maybe it’s DeSantis and Rand Paul. It’s not Nikki Haley who seems to have sewn up the tech oligarch vote.

    Keep watching what happens and hope for an honest 2022 election

    Mike:

    1 — you’re forgetting Kristi Noem. She’s gotten a lot of good press for keeping SDakota open despite Covid. I think, if Trump is not involved, it’s goona be DeSantis/Noem time.

    2 — “hope for”? If that’s all, we can give up right now.

  23. Noem blew the tranny thing by vetoing a bill to ban bio boys from girls’ sports. That let a lot of air out of her balloon.

    If you can guarantee an honest 2022 election, I will donate to your campaign.

    Service economies are minimum wage economies. We need to be able to manufacture critical items, like pharmaceuticals, even if it is by robots. Digital printing with disperse manufacturing and restore a lot of critical defense industry.

  24. Can’t make money in manufacturing? Look at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation:

    Market capitalization $548 billion
    2020 revenue $47.6 billion
    Operating income $20.1 billion

    TSM is a ‘foundry’, they make chips designed and branded by others.

    Process knowledge is *knowledge*, just as much as product knowledge is knowledge.

  25. The air is going to go out if the globalization balloon because globalization post WWII depended on the US being engaged in enabling it. We aren’t any more. Both Gavin and PenGun are wrong but for different reasons.

  26. OBloodyHell: “We now produce MORE food at LESS COST on LESS LAND than we did in 1900… with only 3-5% of the labor force.”

    With respect, that sounds like Federal Reserve accounting. Agreed, the percent of the population working directly on the land today is small. Now ask yourself — Why is that?

    The answer is obvious — the farmer on the land is driving a factory-made tractor fueled by diesel which came from a refinery which processed the oil from the well drilled by that massive rig made of steel which came from the blast furnace processing ore mined with factory-made heavy machinery and then transported by ships built in a shipyard …. Damn! I forgot to mention that the farmer gets high yields from his land because he is using fertilizers made in a chemical plant which was built using specialty steels made in …. Double damn! I forgot to mention the insurers, financiers, marketers who take care of necessary support items while the farmer is out working on his fields — and they work in offices built from lumber which is cut down in the forests by men with chain saws made in factories and fueled by gasoline from the refinery processing oil from the well ….

    Short version — How big is the “tail” supporting the small number of farmers at the “tip of the agricultural spear”? The percentage of the population which is indirectly working on the farms is quite large. All that the silly Federal Reserve-type 3% figure shows is (a) that specialization leads to much higher productivity, and (b) that figures can be seriously misleading unless we stop to think about what they mean.

    But let’s assume that you are right and Americans don’t need to make anything — woke consciences will allow it all to be imported from places where peons are forced to work in salt mines. But Americans will still need to provide something to exchange for all those imported real goods, because in the long run all trade is barter. What will it be? Remember there is a limit to the international demand for rap music and cat videos.

    And all of this completely ignores the security aspect of depending on the kindness of strangers for the parts on all our military equipment. There is no example in history of a Cargo Cult economy surviving for long … for obvious reasons.

  27. Christopher B: “… globalization post WWII depended on the US being engaged in enabling it. We aren’t any more.”

    The first part of that statement is correct. Post WWII, the US had the only undamaged economy in the world and could afford to be generous. Maybe even saw allowing free access to the US market as a way of combating Communism.

    The second part is plain wishful thinking. “We aren’t any more”. Who is “we”? Certainly not the people who are importing so much from China that ships are backed up at the ports and China is running out of containers to ship the items we demand and cannot make any more. If the second part of that statement were true, the US Trade Deficit would be declining; in reality, it is increasing.

  28. China has no significant fab capacity, what’s there is all very old and very big processes. What they do have is some packaging of chips fabed elsewhere. The owners of the IP know the control of their IP wouldn’t last for more than a handful of nanoseconds once it entered the country. This includes design of the chips and especially the machines that make the chips.

    The counterfeit problem comes from these packaging operations that package legitimate, tested chips during the day, then package the chips that failed verification on the second shift.

  29. The gig seems to be to make the U.S. dependent on a few critical things. Who cares what we produce as long as they control something critical, like medications or electrical generation or petrochemicals. It is international gangsterism, “Pay or Die!”. As long as the elite get their cut, they don’t care. Meat, grain, timber or machinery will be cheap since we will have no choice if we want to survive.

    In the cell phone example, the designers will hold onto the essential secrets until they don’t. There will be no place in the U.S., or even a “friendly” country, where the product can be made. Paying off one or two designers is cheap as long as everyone else gets to work long hours for peanuts. That is how the CCP ran China. The “Party” guys were always fat.

  30. “ The counterfeit problem comes from these packaging operations that package legitimate, tested chips during the day, then package the chips that failed verification on the second shift.”

    It wasn’t just packaged ICs, of course. We have bought some very nice Chinese built optics from AliExpress. There seems to be a cat and mouse game going on there. There would be pictures sharp enough to show famous logos, model numbers, etc, and maybe even mention of the name of the well known company and it’s products. Then, one day, the photos will be fuzzed out around the logo (but you recognize it anyway) and removal of any text tying to the famous company. this wouldn’t happen just one place, but multiple places, all over night. I expect that they got a stiff letter from some IP attorney, telling them to respect trademarks, or else… Then the sellers would gradually build up again to blatant trademark ripoffs, just to cycle again. (One of the joys of being a junior IP attorney is seizing shipments of counterfeit products at Customs). In many of these AliExpress cases, they assemble prices for a big foreign company, and legitimately put that company’s logo and markings on it. But then at night, the build the same products (or same except for lower grade components), send them out the back door, and sell them at places like AliExpress.

  31. Gavin Longmuir asked:

    “How big is the ‘tail’ supporting the small number of farmers at the ‘tip of the agricultural spear’?”

    The answer to that question is the same as the percentage of the GDP devoted to food production. Because those trucks, trains, and container ships are not just transporting food or inputs into its production, they’re transporting all kinds of myriad products. And those mines and smelters aren’t just mining and refining ore to be used in manufacturing tractors. That ore is used to make all myriad of products, etc.

    Getting an accurate answer to your question will demonstrate why command economies don’t work well. In a free market economy, partial use of labor, capital, materials, and energy is rolled up into a product and reflected in its price. So the value of a sector is reflected in its percentage of GDP, which for food production in the United States is 5.2%.

    Mike K wrote:

    Service economies are minimum wage economies.

    Oh good heavens, no. Most, if not all, of the high-salary professions are service / IP based. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, and architects are all service workers selling their IP. The reason the top actors and other entertainers can make so much money is that they can sell their IP to so many consumers at once. It’s not the CD that costs $20. It’s the music on the CD.

  32. They spent a lot of money on building fabs, and now no one wants their ICs, because of what their government secretly put on those chips..

    China has its own set of problems, including that one above, but in my opinion this is roughly analogous to people in the pre-collapse USSR noting that America had plenty of problems, too. We’ll collapse before they will.

    They overbuilt on steel, and maybe heading that way on container ships.

    It seems to me that the plan was to bankrupt everyone else, then enjoy the monopoly. We’ll see.

    They have one of the fastest aging populations in the world…

    They’ll let the old die of natural causes, and the remaining population will be wealthier for it. China with 600 million people is still a lot, especially if they keep up the productivity increases and don’t let foreigners destroy their industry.

    I can’t predict the future, and I don’t want to mimic Gorden Chang, who has predicted approximately 50 of the last zero Chinese collapses. But I will say that I think China was doing amazingly well until just a few years ago, and then it started to go off the rails.

    But this thread isn’t about where China goes from here.

  33. I wasn’t clear about the problem of counterfeits coming out of China be cause I was speaking specifically about IC’s. They are very hard to fake from scratch, if you could do that, you’d be able to make the real ones. China can’t do that because, as I said, no one’s been stupid enough to allow that capacity into the country.

    Before chips are put into their final package, they are extensively tested to meet the manufacturers specs. A lot of the failing chips will seem to work but may fail at high frequency or under maximum load and temperature. The end user won’t be able to tell the difference without performing their own expensive tests. A lot of big users do, but smaller users tend to take the word of their suppliers. This is for high end chips like CPU’s. Cheaper low end chips might just be low spec parts marked to sell for higher priced parts and the IC producers are paying a lot more attention to destroying the failing chips to keep them out of circulation.

    I have a set of “mitutoyo” electronic calipers that I bought for $30 off EBay. Mitutoyo is very explicit that they produce nothing in China. I spent some time comparing my $30 mic to my $180 known genuine Mitutoyo mic. Everything seemed the same, right down to the little calibration certificate in Japanese until I spotted two mistakes, the color of the markings were just a little off and the $30 mic didn’t have the half-thousandth digit on the display. Measuring standards showed it was accurate and it functioned perfectly well, I use it daily. Somebody went to a lot of trouble to turn what would have been a pretty good $30 mic into a cheap counterfeit that they could still only sell for the same $30. Go figure.

  34. Where does the US go from here?

    1) Violence is coming, even more than is already here. I can easily imagine that a ****** off victim of a leftist mob, concluding that in the end their life will be destroyed anyway, will decide to kill as many of them as possible. That will inspire the regime to attempt gun confiscation, which will go poorly and will certainly be defied by multiple states. Or, alternately, a state will attempt to stop a leftist looting festival with the national guard, resulting in casualties on both sides and perhaps an extended guerilla war, certainly extended media hysterics about the awful “white supremacists.”

    2) The political culture has already collapsed, and that will become more apparent. The DC uniparty raised the kabuki theater to a high art, but the audience has tired of it and is wandering away. Hence the grassroot support for Trump, and on the other side, the grassroot support for various communist democrats.

    3) The international order based upon feasting on the wealth of the US that existed circa 1950 is ending. I continually see the US described as an empire. This is nonsense. Actual empires don’t spend trillions of dollars doing nice things for foreigners and they don’t let foreign empires bankrupt their industries because they feel bad for all the poor people in those other countries.

    4) Everything is on the table. Over the years I’ve continually seen leftists imagine that they’ve won forever and all time because of this-or-that. Lately they’ve arranged it so that the federal government has been importing vast swarms of foreign “refugees” and depositing them (mostly) in red states. Meanwhile, the left been incessantly shrieking about the hated white devils who infest this land and wishing that we’d all somehow be gone. Do they really think no one has noticed this and remembered that turnabout is fairplay?

    5) The regime has a competence problem, which matters. Joe Biden is senile, Kamala Harris has no discernible political talent, yet they’re the head of state and likely next head of state. Uh-oh.

    6) This has gone on long enough, so I’ll spare everyone my evaluation of John C. Fremont in regards to present events. Good luck to us all.

  35. }}} Service economies are minimum wage economies. We need to be able to manufacture critical items, like pharmaceuticals, even if it is by robots. Digital printing with disperse manufacturing and restore a lot of critical defense industry.

    Mike, this is factually untrue. It’s a total misconception.

    Why do you get “McWages”? Because you have “McSkills”, that’s why.

    There are plenty of jobs — and many more POSSIBLE — if you up your skills by some means, to find/fill a niche that is needed, or, better still, invent a niche for yourself in the “work ecosystem”.

    Two obvious existing ones include paralegal (requires only a 2y degree but starts at about 2x minwage), and welding (if you’re more a physical type), which requires time at a trade school but is easily within a couple years of time, and those also start at better than 2x minwage.

    }}} But let’s assume that you are right and Americans don’t need to make anything

    Gavin, you need to re-read more carefully. That is NOT what I said. I SAID, “There are no margins in it” AND “The age of the high-paid factory worker is gone”. OK, amend that latter — “The age of the MANY JOBS as a high-paid factory worker is gone”. There will be high-paid jobs, there just won’t be that many of them… because most of the labor is gonna be automation. There are going to need to be production engineers who know/figure out how to FIX things that are problems.

    America is ALREADY reshoring substantially — bringing back that manufacturing that fled the country back in the late 90s and early 00s… And we have been since around 2010, slowly but surely… but it’s coming BACK to highly automated factories.

    In financial terms the US Manufacturing economy ALONE — isolated from the other income sources — the #3 economy in the world — tied with Germany and behind (Duh) China and Japan.

    Yes, that’s right. Our manufacturing economy alone makes more money than all but three other economies in the world — and it’s roughly tied with the third of those.

    We do make lots of money from manufacturing. We often aren’t the one doing the end-assembly is all.

    }}} The answer is obvious — the farmer on the land is driving a factory-made tractor fueled by diesel …

    This is irrelevant. It’s pretty much like saying that the government is the source of all wealth because if they didn’t print money and dispense it then the economy would needfully be far far smaller (if it devolved back onto private sources for “money”, as existed in the past as an alternative). Yes, they do this because the manufacturing economy enables it by creating machinery and fuels to accomplish the tasks. And that manufacturing economy is itself sustained by the food that the ag economy produces, or it wouldn’t exist, either.

    In other words, “Yeah, it’s all interlocking as a forward-moving process. So. What.??”

    The IP & Services economies are going to be eating food created by the Ag economy and working on computers and other electronics created and enabled by the Manufacturing economy. Nothing is isolated from anything else and operating independently. “So, What.?”

    }}} Service economies are minimum wage economies.

    Oh good heavens, no. Most, if not all, of the high-salary professions are service / IP based. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, and architects are all service workers selling their IP. The reason the top actors and other entertainers can make so much money is that they can sell their IP to so many consumers at once. It’s not the CD that costs $20. It’s the music on the CD.

    Exactly. Thanks.

    In almost everything, having KNOWLEDGE is what pays. As I said — McSkills->McWages.

    Just testing automation pays a lot of money right now — more than 4x current minwage in most places, around 3x the “living wage” being pushed for. You’re getting paid a lot of money just for understanding how to test stuff. That it applies to automation is part of it, but hardly the only part of it.

    ========================

    Counterfeits, to be honest, are probably, in most cases, a sign your markup is probably too high. It may be that you actually need to charge the price you are asking to get your money back, and, by selling “knock offs”, the k-o maker is cheating the customer, but often, the reason the k-o is “good enough” to satisfy the consumer is because the original is priced to maximize income and is not a good reflector of the actual price-to-create.

    Granted, it’s more complex than the example I’m about to note, but:

    I generally assert that the price of everything is five bucks (yes, the cost of making that “first one” is the actual expense, and that is reflected in downstream pricing but it’s usually a fact.) Yeah, that’s a made-up number, but it’s suitable for making the point.

    You literally CANNOT buy a dryer (as in “washer and dryer”) for less than about US$200.

    WHY? There is little in the tech REQUIRED which is not based on tech available in 1910. Literally, 1910.

    What is a dryer?
    1 — big steel box
    2 — big perforated steel drum
    3 — bearings
    4 — 2 motors, one large, one small
    5 — fan blade
    6 — heating element
    7 — door with hinges
    8 — seals for the above.
    9 — sensors, switches, etc.

    Seriously. While one can put some slightly more advanced components into it to do some “fancy-schmancy” stuff, that’s all you need to make a consumer dryer. Things they could easily make — as in “not cutting edge” in 1910

    NOTHING in that thing is expensive enough to justify the $200 cost. The SHIPPING of the assembled thing is probably more expensive than the production cost X TWO.

    MEANWHILE, I can go find a COMPUTER PRINTER for US$50, with tech that is AT LEAST 1985-grade, and probably 2000-grade (i.e., the components could not have been made for any reasonable price prior to that era). Sure, that fifty-buck price is a loss-leader (they aim to sell you cartridges, etc), but … they aren’t making 200 bucks off of every buyer in the course of ownership. I’ve got one — a laser printer that was about 90 bucks, and I haven’t even used up the original toner cartridge (about $30 to replace) in over three years.

    Seriously — the cost of making that printer is THAT much LESS — despite the precision fabrication that is utterly essential — than the dryer? Sorry — I call “shenanigans!”.

    I repeat: I agree it’s more complex — a fair amount more complex, even — than my example, but the main thing is that the pricing structures of everything are a bit wonky — which I assert has a lot to do with the cost of that “initial one” — because everything is now driven by IP, and the need to pass forward the cost of that initial device/thing forward to the current sales.

    And that the cost of actually MAKING most things is fairly nominal these days — such that shipping and organizing costs more than the actual physical cost of the device, almost always, and usually the former is 2x or even 3x the actual physical cost of manufacture.

    Which is why most counterfeiting occurs: The creator of the “First” item is trying to recoup too much of that cost too fast for the market to support it/justify it… people LOOK for knockoffs because they want the device but cannot really justify the cost being demanded. “The value of a thing is what that thing will bring” — the bringing is below what they are asking… so knockoffs occur. They attach too much cachet to owning the “FirstMaker’s” product and have too much markup as a result.

  36. Is *welding* really properly categorized under *services*?….quite a few welders are employed in manufacturing. Others are employed in construction…which, if you think about it, is simply on-site manufacturing.

  37. “Is *welding* really properly categorized under *services*?….quite a few welders are employed in manufacturing. Others are employed in construction…which, if you think about it, is simply on-site manufacturing.”

    I made my living first as a software designer, then as a patent attorney. My father-in-law wanted to be a doctor, but life intervened, and he became a welder instead. He made a very good living at it, because he could make almost anything out of steel and iron. He wasn’t interchangeable with any other union welder because of that. He had amazing know how in that area. Why is his knowhow not IP, but mine with writing software, then patent applications is? Ditto with my wife’s ex father-in-law with fiberglass. Back in the 1970s, he built some of the fastest boats in the world. But that was only one of his endeavors.

    There are welders worth 2x minimum wage, and those like my late father-in-law worth 10x. Ditto with fiberglass construction, automobile repair (son of the boat builder restores classic Mercedes), computer programmers, etc. In patent law, there is still a multiple, but because of the entry requirements, the range is higher. I have known attorneys worth $100 an hour, and others worth thousands of dollars an hour. For all of these trades, what the more successful practitioners bring to the table is exceptional skill and expertise.

  38. Mike K wrote:

    Service economies are minimum wage economies.

    Oh good heavens, no. Most, if not all, of the high-salary professions are service / IP based. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, and architects are all service workers selling their IP.

    All I will ask is what percentage of those employed in a “service economy” are those high wage workers ? One percent ?

  39. mkent: “So the value of a sector is reflected in its percentage of GDP, which for food production in the United States is 5.2%.”

    That rather misses the point. We were discussing the percentage of the US population who work on the land. Historically, that was most people. Now there are relatively few people working directly on the land — but a much larger number of people who are working on the land indirectly, even if they do not realize it. The resulting higher standard of living demonstrates the benefits of specialization, which — allied to a source of energy and to greater knowledge — makes everyone better off.

    As for a percent of GDP — please! Take the time ro read something like Diane Coyle’s “GDP: A brief but affectionate history”. The denominator in your 5% calculation is rather dubious. But regardless of Federal Reserve type accounting, we all know that without food there is no economy. How does that factor into your “value of a sector”?

  40. Of course the USA is an empire–a hegemon with sway over many tribes, clans, and nations. None less than Thomas Jefferson conceived of the USA as an empire of liberty.

    That we’ve bankrupted and embarrassed ourselves in quixotic and utopian schemes of foreign improvement because of the sentimentality, vanity, and ambition of DC obsessives and ghouls doesn’t alter the power relationship.

    One attribute of empire is that the populace actually has very little input into decisions made in their name; another is that whatever the cost to the people, the obsessives and ghouls and their friends (the elites/corporate-military-industrial-congressional complex) make out like bandits.

    The historian Thomas Madden classes both Rome and the USA as “empires of trust.” Our very real generosity to former foes has paid off handsomely in the cases where those foes were of similar cultural background and had some desire to be modern–not so much in other places married to backward ideologies.

    YMMV but the term is too useful as a descriptor for me to worry about negative connotations.

    To venture an answer to the question where we go from here–farther down, slowly and then quickly.

    Cousin Eddie

  41. }}} “Is *welding* really properly categorized under *services*?….quite a few welders are employed in manufacturing. Others are employed in construction…which, if you think about it, is simply on-site manufacturing.”

    There are hack welders, and there are people who do all manner of artistic welding. You’re thinking of a narrow range of welding, but people who do entry gates for homes, railings for structures, etc., are certainly doing a service. Construction work is a service. You’re getting paid to do a job that isn’t a full-time-only-one-task function. That’s a service, even more so when the clientele and locations vary routinely. Some people may not want the headache of running a business, and so may just hand their services over to a business that does do that kind of thing (hunt down clients, schedules and defines jobs, does the bookkeeping associated with all the above), but it’s still a service someone is paying to get accomplished.

    }}} Why is his knowhow not IP

    It is, if you can figure out a way to record it for others to use….?

    That’s why there is a distinction — IP is recordable creations. Services are using skills and talents to do something which a recording is “not the same thing”.

    You can get a recording of a musician playing a song. Which is IP.
    But it’s generally not considered the same thing as being at a concert — which is why people pay good money to attend a live concert (and yes, maybe pay after for a recording of that concert).

    The performance is a service. The recording is IP. Hence, value in that economy comes from creating both IP and providing Services. An IP & Services Economy.

    }}} All I will ask is what percentage of those employed in a “service economy” are those high wage workers ? One percent ?

    I don’t have figures, but this partly depends on what you qualify as “services”, which makes it difficult. As David above seems to consider welding to not be a service, hence the stats are not assembled, much, to reflect this.

    But I think you can start to see that there are a hell of a lot of jobs which are “service” jobs even if people haven’t yet begun to think about them that way.

    And it’s a hell of a lot more than 1%, sir.

    You might consider looking at this list, and considering which ones are clearly, indisputably, “services” (in actuality, most jobs can be re-assigned as “service jobs”, not merely those asking “Do you want fries with that?” — which, if they keep trying to jack up minwage, will soon be done by a computer, anyway.)

    https://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.htm

    Is managing a funeral home a service? Well, the funeral home is itself providing a service, so employees working for the funeral home are service workers.

    Apparently there’s something like 10000 funeral home managers. Pretty sure that’s gonna pay way more than minwage. Suspect almost every job at a funeral home pays notably better than minwage. Handling dead bodies is not for the faint of heart.

    Most management jobs are service related. They don’t always pay great, but they do pay more than minwage.

    How about cost estimators? That strikes me as a service for damned sure. There’s 121000 of those. and that’s very much a skilled profession.

    “Computer and mathematical occupations”
    That’s 5.6 MILLION people. And very few of them are getting minwage.

    I think the point is clear. You’re locked into thinking of “McJobs”, when that’s a very limited sub-function of “providing services”.

  42. OBloodyHell — consider the possibility that you are a victim of False Doctrine.

    The real question about work is — does this activity produce a Real Good, which can be marketed, sold, and re-sold? The welder who makes a gate is producing a Real Good. The original purchaser can later decide to resell that same gate to someone else. That is Manufacturing.

    Contrast that with a barber, who is providing haircuts which are valuable to the purchaser but cannot be re-sold. That is a Service. Note that almost all Services depend on the prior acquisition of Real Goods, such as a barber’s chair and scissors. Without a foundation of Real Goods, the Service economy collapses.

    Part of Services is Overhead — lawyers, accountants, marketers, etc. In small amounts, Overhead is a necessary cost of doing business. In large amounts (as our Political Class has arranged today), Overhead is effectively theft from the producers of Goods & Services.

  43. Slicing the economy by *industry* and slicing it by *occupation* are both useful, but are going to give different results. A computer specialist may work for a manufacturing company or a bank, in which case he is going to roll up into the manufacturing or banking totals, whereas if he works for an outsourcing vendor, he’ll roll up into services…even when the work is being done on behalf of a manufacturer or a bank.

    Also, the sale of manufactured goods and the sale of services are often coupled. If you buy a set of jet engines from GE, you will probably want to also get a maintenance contract from the same source, at least for major maintenance. Similarly for a bank of elevators ordered from Otis.

  44. Bruce…”Why is his (welding) knowhow not IP, but mine with writing software, then patent applications is?” Provides an interesting set of examples. The welding knowhow is largely *tacit knowledge*, someone can be very good at it but be only partly able to describe what he is doing. It is not ‘scalable’, his output is limited to what he himself is able to do. The software is scalable (assuming that it is reasonably general-purpose in nature), lots of people can use it without requiring much in the way of additional costs. The patent work: not scalable in the sense of one piece of work being directly applicable to other patents, I would think, but potentially very highly-leveraged since a month’s worth of work on a particular patent could control hundreds of millions of dollars in potential revenue and profit.

  45. Construction work is a service. You’re getting paid to do a job that isn’t a full-time-only-one-task function.

    I see a concept emerging that anything a human being works at is a service. Building cars ? Installing the brakes is a service. Grinding valves ? A service. My point was that there are a thousand minimum wage workers for each cardiac surgeon. An accountant for General Motors ? Which is it ?

  46. Division of jobs between service and manufacturing as seen above is largely arbitrary. In what way is the person making burgers at McDonald’s different than someone working in a factory assembling those ghastly faux burgers you see in the freezer case? Only one qualifies a crime against humanity. The word you’re looking for is craft.

    Anybody that has farmed or lived long in a rural community knows that the local welding shop or possibly machine/welding shop is where you take things to not just be welded back together (there’s lots of that in farming) but also to be repaired, rebuilt, remodeled and often enough built from scratch. That’s in contrast to production line welding where pretty much everything is dictated and planned by others. Both require a combination of knowledge, often substantial, of metallurgy and mechanics as well as the hand-eye coordination necessary to see some subtle detail in a pool of molten metal and react appropriately and quickly enough to produce a sound weld. There is nothing that precludes one from studying design and art and producing that as well.

    As far as transmissibility of skill being a dividing line, I’ll bet that Bruce Hayden’s 100th patent application was better than his first. All skills need to be developed and practice is necessary but not sufficient. Why else are doctors and lawyers always practicing.

    Here’s a very old joke. Someone took his fliver to the blacksmith complaining of a strange noise. The blacksmith listened, went back into his (or her?) shop, brought back a hammer and struck the engine. The noise stopped, he said; “that will be a dollar”. The customer remonstrated that a dollar was a lot of money to pay for that. The blacksmith went back into his shop and brought back a piece of paper. The first line said; “Striking engine with hammer- $0.05”, the next; “Knowing where to strike engine with hammer- $0.95”.

  47. }}} The original purchaser can later decide to resell that same gate to someone else. That is Manufacturing.

    Not unless the original purchaser planned to do so, no.

    And the welder is using skilled knowledge to do it better, faster, and/or more efficiently…

    My car had a front-wheel crossmount beam which was messed up. My primary mechanic knew it could be fixed, and he’s a pretty good welder, and he did some of it… but there was part that required welding from UNDER the car, looking UP at the member, IN PLACE.

    He didn’t feel comfortable doing that, so he had a friend who is a master welder — like 30y of experience — come over and do that part.

    THAT is not “manufacturing”. It’s a SERVICE.

    BOTH of them were providing services.

    Manufacturing something is when you make something specifically to be sold to a generic, unspecified customer. Not when you make it upon request by the direct consumer.

    Methinks “False Doctrine” might be applied, but it’s more likely your determination to shoehorn “welding” as a manufacturing-only process.

    }}} My point was that there are a thousand minimum wage workers for each cardiac surgeon.

    I already demonstrated large numbers of clear service workers that went into the multi millions (6+) — against 148 million in the labor force. The numbers I’ve given ALONE are already at 1 in 25, which puts you an entire order and a half of magnitude off from “thousand” to one. Even if you softened THOSE up, you’d still wind up an entire order of magnitude off at 100-1.

    If you want me to spend more time trying to provide something more accurate than that, you’re going to have to spend a hell of a lot more time defining what is “acceptable” “service job” with me.

    BTW — “mechanic” — service job. Pays about 50-100 an hour, with experience. There’s only six mechanics in all the usa, though, apparently?

    }}} Division of jobs between service and manufacturing as seen above is largely arbitrary. In what way is the person making burgers at McDonald’s different than someone working in a factory assembling those ghastly faux burgers you see in the freezer case? Only one qualifies a crime against humanity. The word you’re looking for is craft.

    Oh, I would agree somewhat on this — I think I offered a better explanation above — if you are doing it as a generic task for an arbitrary, unspecified consumer, that’s manufacture. If you’re going it at the express request and with input from a personal, individual end-point consumer, that’s a service.

    Note that this still allows some welding “for hire” to be such a thing. If you’re welding the same car part, over and over… that’s manufacturing. If you’re working for the auto company, welding their machines to fix broken factory parts on demand (i.e., the machines tha RUN the factory)… that’s a service. The end-consumer in that case is the factory, not the people the cars are being made for.

    }}} “Knowing where to strike engine with hammer- $0.95”

    I learned the same joke, but it was a plumber and a housewife and fifty bucks…

    For the service call. :-P

    Only six plumbers, too, right?

  48. OBloodyHell — it seems you have a very clear idea in your own mind about what you are prepared to call manufacturing … but not much fits in there. So everything else in your classification has to be service. Fair enough. But it looks like those definitions are causing you to lose sight of the Big Picture.

    Electrician gets a job to install some wiring. That is service, per your definition. He goes down to his supplier and picks up cable — Made in China. He picks up electrical fittings — Made in Mexico. He buys a specialist tool — Made in Japan. Without those imported manufactured products from foreign manufacturers making the wherewithal for his work, our electrician has no service job.

    That is why a service economy is a contradiction in terms. It is like a man trying to walk on only one leg. Service depends on manufacturing. And a visit to any supply store will show you that the US has fallen short on the manufacturing side compared with even a few decades ago. Consequently, that “service” economy is unsustainable, and unsustainable processes eventually fail. Then even your $1,000/hour lawyers are going to find life getting tough.

    The hard evidence is there in the massive unsustainable Trade Deficit. US IP and services just aren’t worth that much to foreign buyers, whereas foreign manufactured real goods are essential to US buyers. Reality is that in the long run, international trade has to balance. Either we will return to manufacturing more real goods in the US, or US residents will have to adjust to a drastically lower standard of living. One way or another, the books will eventually be balanced.

  49. There’s only one way out of here and that is the reason the 2nd Amendment was put in there.

    Time’s running out.

    Collectivism, progressivism, cultural marxism, communism, “CRT”, whatever, is like a cement tombstone freshly poured over the remains of the late Constitutional Republic the United States of America (July 4th, 1776 – November 3rd, 2020)

    If we wait too much the tombstone will set and it will be too late.

  50. Electrician gets a job to install some wiring. That is service, per your definition. He goes down to his supplier and picks up cable — Made in China. He picks up electrical fittings — Made in Mexico. He buys a specialist tool — Made in Japan. Without those imported manufactured products from foreign manufacturers making the wherewithal for his work, our electrician has no service job.

    Well said.

    At this point you either understand something is wrong, or you don’t. If you don’t, you conjure up all sorts of special pleading buried in a pile of word salad in an to attempt to explain why nothing is wrong.

    That just isn’t working. Way back when I was paying for the privilege of discussing the issues of the day at a certain never-Trump website, for years I was pretty much the only person arguing against “free trade.” I still remember one particular occasion when I was being told the US machine tool industry was doing just fine. Literally the first item I found in a google search was titled “How can an industry survive without orders?”

    This had no impact upon the argument. You can’t reason someone out of something they were never reasoned into, and the glories of “free trade” are just articles of faith for some people.

    Shrug. This this isn’t going to end well, but it will end.

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