September 8, 2011

Just when you start to forget why unions became unpopular ...

From the NYT, on a labor dispute at a port in the state of Washington:
About 500 longshoremen stormed the new $200 million terminal in Longview before sunrise Thursday, carrying baseball bats, smashing windows, damaging rail cars and dumping tons of grain from the cars, police and company officials said.

That reminds me that one of the forgotten efficiencies bestowed by the containerization revolution after WWII in which sealed standardized steel boxes that could be carried by truck, rail, and ship became the norm. Containerization made it much harder for stevedores to steal some of the cargo. Theft had been a traditional perk of working on the docks. Wikipedia explains:
Improved cargo security is also an important benefit of containerization. The cargo is not visible to the casual viewer and thus is less likely to be stolen; the doors of the containers are usually sealed so that tampering is more evident. Some containers are fitted with electronic monitoring devices and can be remotely monitored for changes in air pressure, which happens when the doors are opened. This reduced the thefts that had long plagued the shipping industry.

By the way, as a commenter points out, the American engineer who invented the modern container, Keith W. Tantlinger, just died. Here's his NYT obituary, which does a good job of explaining both the importance of his particular innovations, and how precisely they made an old idea idea a giant success.
Until the mid-1950s, however, seaborne cargo transport had changed little since the day man first lashed together a raft, stocked it with trade goods and set out for distant shores. For centuries, on waterfronts worldwide, goods as diverse as flour, coffee, whiskey and mail were literally manhandled — loaded by longshoremen onto ships in sacks and crates and barrels and, at the other end, loaded off again. 
The method was expensive and took time. In 1954, Mr. Levinson’s book reports, the cargo ship Warrior left Brooklyn for Germany carrying 194,582 separate items. These had arrived at the Brooklyn docks in 1,156 separate shipments. 
Containerization unified the process, letting a single shipper move merchandise across land and sea. In 1958, The New York Times described the new technology this way: 
“A trailer is loaded, for example, in Springfield, Mo. It travels by road to New York or San Francisco, sealed, virtually damage-proof and theft-proof. By ship it goes to France or to Japan, eliminating warehousing, stacking and sorting. Each ship takes on her cargo with a few hundred lifts, compared to 5,000 individual lifts by the old method.”

Also, now that I'm on the topic of longshoremen, one of the odder economic facts is that America's busiest port is Los Angeles / Long Beach, despite LA being a high cost urban area, traffic for trucks being bad, and the port being notoriously unionized and corrupt (e.g., the scene in Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs where the head gangsters get the vicious ex-con Mr. Blond a job at the port that he doesn't have to show up for as a reward for taking the rap and not ratting them out). And LA / Long Beach isn't even a real harbor -- it's just created by breakwaters. I guess the other potential dominant ports are even worse. San Francisco used to be the dominant West Coast port due to its superb natural location, but I guess Harry Bridges, the San Francisco-based Communist boss of the ILWU, permanently wrecked San Francisco Bay.

But even with the extra costs imposed by the LA / LB port, the cost of intercontinental shipping is a minor aspect of the cost of imported goods today. Tantlinger's invention broke down the natural tariff barriers of oceans that protected American manufacturers. 

105 comments:

Anonymous said...

"a rare showing of union militancy"

Anonymous said...

Did you see that the inventor of the cargo container died today or was that a coincidence?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/07/business/keith-tantlinger-builder-of-cargo-container-dies-at-92.html?src=recg&gwh=9E44D8B762EF94A82EAFAD2B804D44D8

Anonymous said...

I know the left will attribute it to bad economic times, but I have to wonder if all this leftist violence (flash mobs) is not a result from up top. "payback time"

Eric Holder seems much more interested suing small towns for enforcing immigration laws.

Anonymous said...

Why is this so disgusting? Because WA state is not a slave plantation. If you don't the wages and working conditions, QUIT THE JOB! Sheesh...

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the oceans being 'the last natural tarrif barrier'.

The general move throughout the world to abolish all tarrifs and import controls was entiely political and elitist driven, with virtually no democratic consultation with the people.It remains unquestioned to this day - Joe Sixpack hasn't got a clue about it - despite the occasional lies blurted out by politicians like Bill Clinton's absurd boast a few years ago that the latest round of trade talks would boost American incomes massively.
Basically it is pure ideology and undemocratic dictatorship by an elite (rather like the EU), imposed by an unaccoutable supra-national body.
The move to containers was only a minor matter in comparison.

Anonymous said...

"Capital Good, Labor Bad!"

Your slip is showing....

Mel Torme said...

Very interesting, Steve. I agree with your last paragraph. From someone involved in shipping from China, I know that it only costs (order of magnitude) ~ $2,000 to $3,500 to ship goods in a standard 40' container from a Chinese port all the way to America's west coast, east coast, or Europe. This was a coupla years back, but I doubt it's changed that much (oil is up, but demand is down)since then.

That is a big volume (just guessing, but 40' (obviously) x ~ 8' x 8' (?) ) to fit hundreds of thousands of small items in. The shipping costs become negligible if you ship small electronic items, or anything with small volume and a reasonable value/item. Yes, there's a weight limit for the container, so you are limited in shipping heavy small items. You can see that limit on the back of any container rolling down the road on a truck. They'll be a max gross wt. and a tare wt (which is the container's empty wt.); subtract the tare wt. from gross to see what you can haul.

Lastly, I don't remember reading about the particular guy that just died, but I read about the invention of the ro-ro container ships. The ships were a big part of this advancement, Steve. "RO-RO" doesn't come from "row, row, row your boat", as it stands for "Roll On, Roll Off". A container ship had to be designed for these containers. I just remember one of the first companies being "Sealand", and I used to see that on a lot of containers. Now, they are Hainjin, Evergreen, Hapag Lloyd, Cosco, Maersk, etc.

Mel Torme said...

Oh, yeah, the point of the article (oops): For Anonymous post #4, the guys working the Longview port now are still union but just a different union. I doubt I'd hire anyone back who cuts hopper-car break lines because he is unhappy with working conditions. Send him to Toby in HR.

SFG said...

Gonna disagree with you here, Steve, and from a strictly populist point of view you theoretically shouldn't have a problem with, given your frequent criticism of elites and their love of immigration. ;)

Actually, it was only the unions and their lobbying after the 30s or so that made possible the broad middle class that made the 50s and 60s so good. When their power started waning in the 70s, we started to see the middle class shrink.

Unions are full of blue-collar whites, who are theoretically the people you favor, and certainly the ones hurt by immigration the most. Sure they got too greedy, but the results of that were inefficiency. The results of Wall Street's greed were a giant market crash and lots of blue-collar people out of work. The results of CEOs' greed include immigration (cheap labor!) and the resultant race-replacement, not to mention stagnant wages that make affordable family formation harder.

So...why so bad? Frankly, I can understand why blue-collar whites dislike a welfare state that gives their money to welfare cheats in Harlem, but jumping into bed with the corporate elite in the Republican party strikes me as extremely counterproductve.

Anonymous said...

BBC 4 recently aired a documentary titled "The box that changed Britain"--the shipping container--which of course changed the entire world.
The interviews with the old dockers were sad,but most saw the inevitability of progress.

Well worth watching if you can locate it,though the strong Cockney and Liverpool accents may be difficult for American ears to decipher,but worth the effort.

Obvious said...

Longshoreman are among the last well paid blue collar groups. The scarcity of ports and their tenacity have been key. Companies can't just move operation to the next town over because ports are limited and when they get there longshoreman will be ther as well. The only ways they lose their positions are if goods are imported through mexico and trucked/trained into the US or if they break down in their tenacity.

Conatus said...

I was a cook on a working boat in New York Harbor in the early 70s. Guys from tugboats would come by and eat lunch once in a while and talk about how to get a union book for three grand. You had to have a union book to work the tugboats. If you got a union book your middle class future was assured. Your organization, the union, pushed for your piece of the American pie.
But since the 70s union membership in America has gone from 25% of the workforce to under 10%. At the same time the Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality has gone from .38, the level of Europe and Japan, to .46,the South American level.
The creation of billionaires via financial leverage and 15% hedge fund taxation is much worse in toto for the American middle class than the existence of decrepit unions. Besides what do you need a billion dollars for? Having a billion dollars is all about pissing contests with your fellow billionaire at the ultimate expense of the American middle class.

sykes.1 said...

I'm old enough to remember the conversion to containers, and the response of the ILWU then was violent, too.

Anonymous said...

OT. The first chapter of Goldberg's JEWISH POWER is very instructive

Anonymous said...

It's the Team(ster) vs the Tea(party).

Anonymous said...

Don't tariffs make economic war against other countries? I'm pretty sure they can retaliate too.

We're all worse off in the long run with protectionism.

Protectionism is not only bad policy it's also immoral

Anonymous said...

OT. This statue of Marilyn Monroe is as culturally and politically significant as the King statue in the Mall. Guess why.

Anonymous said...

OT. Consider this Monroe statue and its significance. Obama is from Chicago and he's now in DC. DC gets King statue, Chicago puts up Monroe statue. Obama is the son of black man and white woman who acted like a slut since her teens. Why no outrage from feminists at this vulgar 'sexist' statue? (1) Change in feminism since rise of Paglia-ism and ho-culture. (2) Jewish women, who dominate feminism, may see the statue as a great symbol of Jewish power over goy shikses. Monroe has been elevated... only to be leered at like a ho. 'We build you up to tear you down'. The original appeal of this iconic image from the 1950s movie was that the audience could NOT see what was underneath her dress as it was buoyed by air below. It was teasey, but now it's been turned into massive public pornography. Monroe has been revealed as a proto-porn plot. She worked for Hollywood and was even married to Arthur Miller. Norman Mailer wrote about her as a piece of meat. And now, Monroe, as a symbol of dumb shikse blonde is nothing but public porn meat for Chicagoans of all races to gawk at. The message of this statue by the Jewish community is 'we own you and your daughters'. Sex addict King in the Mall and sex doll Monroe in Chicago. Both were controlled by the Jewish community. Message to stupid white goyim? Worship the Magic Negro and don't resist the whore-ization of your women. The fact that there isn't a single objection to this lewd piece of garbage is shocking.

Matt said...

Why wouldn't containerization just push back the theft opportunities to the people who load the containers?

Dutch Boy said...

I have no problem with containers. I do have a problem with the contents: cheap stuff from China that used to be made in the USA.

Whiskey said...

No, the container did magnify the trade advantage of cheap manufacturing abroad, in search of cheap labor, by vastly reducing the labor cost of transporting goods out of the ship and onto rail or trucks. Shipping containers are "intermodal" that is easily lifted out of a ship, onto a truck or rail car, and can be transferred from a rail car to the "final miles" on a truck. All with little labor costs.

Steve's right, the technological improvement was revolutionary. As revolutionary in its own way as the disposable razor blade (killed whiskers/beards). The only question is, will oil remain cheap enough to make inter-ocean trade possible. Water is the cheapest transport because it is the most energy efficient, but rising oil prices sticking permanently around say, $150 a barrel might greatly curtail even that mode of transport.

We've had cheap energy for so long we've no idea of how expensive energy shapes societies.

Anonymous said...

For much of American history we've had political parties championing protectionism(usually Republicans) and free trade(usually Democrats), so it certainly is more than just any natural barrier. Still this is interesting, and it will be interesting to see if terrorism eventually forces a regime that undoes a lot of the gains containerization provided.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what kind of name Tantlinger is? Sounds either like an upper class British name or German, but I've never actually heard of another living person with said name.

Anonymous said...

but rising oil prices sticking permanently around say, $150 a barrel might greatly curtail even that mode of transport.

It might, but by how much? If "Mel Torme's" figure of ~$3000 to ship a container from China to N.America or Europe is accurate, then freight costs are currently negligible. They would still be only a minor expense if shipping costs went to, say, $6000 or $10,000 per container, provided you're shipping something more valuable than gravel.

Cennbeorc

Anonymous said...

We're all worse off in the long run with protectionism.

Protectionism is not only bad policy it's also immoral-

-----
Yeah, it demolished Japan. The place is a wreck...

Anonymous said...

"As revolutionary in its own way as the disposable razor blade (killed whiskers/beards)."

True. Less goatees than ever. Where the eff have you been? Don't get out much do you.

not a hacker said...

the disposable razor blade (killed whiskers/beards).

Uh, excuse me?

Dahinda said...

They are building LA's replacement as we speak:

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/mar/25/business/fi-mexport25


Also there are plans to connect the Port of Lázaro Cárdenas to Interstate 35 in the US by way of a new rail and highway right of way through Mexico. This would bypass several hundred miles that trucks and trains have to travel o cross the US to the west coast. It ould also bring shipments right into the heartland of the US.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_of_L%C3%A1zaro_C%C3%A1rdenas

Jim said...

If you wnat a great history of containerization, read "The Box", by Marc Levinson (http://www.amazon.com/Box-Shipping-Container-Smaller-Economy/dp/0691123241)

Some tidbits: The real innovator of containerization (others had had the idea, but it had never gone anywhere) was Malcom Maclean, who was the true inventor of containerization, was in the trucking business and knew nothing about ships.

His company, Sealand, started uses them but had little success both because of inertia and union and regulatory problems until he got hos first big contract: shipping stuff to Vietnam for the war. SInce the Pentagon was shipping stuff one-way but paying for the round trip, he figured out that he could make extra profis if he figured out how to make an extra stop and fill the empty contriners with stuff on the return trip. He thus created the Far Eastern export boom of the 60s and onward.

Anonymous said...

"Actually, it was only the unions and their lobbying after the 30s or so that made possible the broad middle class that made the 50s and 60s so good. When their power started waning in the 70s, we started to see the middle class shrink."

Counterpoint:The greatest gains "made" by the unions happened during a period of immigration restrictionism.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I can understand why blue-collar whites dislike a welfare state that gives their money to welfare cheats in Harlem, but jumping into bed with the corporate elite in the Republican party strikes me as extremely counterproductve.

My guess is it's because the only unions with growing membership now are unions of government workers, i.e., parasites.

Bob said...

The Port of Los Angeles/Port of Long Beach is the most impressive man-made structure I've ever seen: huge bridges, power plants, barges, cranes, etc that go on for miles in every direction. I'm sure Ayn Rand loved it.

I don't see it ever being replicated elsewhere. That part of LA is not crowded or expensive. Traffic is also light. The 105 and the lower portions of the 710 and 110 are all modern, well-built, and don't have much commuter traffic.

All the vacant lots and dumpy one-story buildings indicate the surrounding land isn't that expensive in the area. Also the importing is done by companies that are clustered in San Gabriel Valley and the Inland Empire, where there is Chinese talent making the orders from Asian factories and American talent for domestic marketing and logistics. There's just no way its moving elsewhere, and higher oil prices mean ocean shipping is near its peak anyway, so no demand to move it anyway.

If a city wants a bunch of port jobs a LNG facility is a better bet.

Anonymous said...

Counterpoint:The greatest gains "made" by the unions happened during a period of immigration restrictionism.

Exactly.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of unions, is there an unwritten rule that says you have to be an horrifyingly ugly woman to be president of the teacher's union? Remember that Mexican woman, Senora Chupacabra? Well, take a look at Karen Lewis, president of Chicago's Teacher's Union. Wow!!

I think I found Jabba the Hutt's mother.

Svigor said...

Don't tariffs make economic war against other countries? I'm pretty sure they can retaliate too.

We're all worse off in the long run with protectionism.

Protectionism is not only bad policy it's also immoral


I'd like to see an argument against "protectionism" that surveyed all the "protectionism" OTHER countries get up to. You know, how you can't start a business in Saudi Arabia without an Arab partner, foreigners can't just buy real estate or start businesses wherever they want in Mexico, etc.

"Protectionism" may be bad over all, but surely the guy who eschews it in the face of the guy who embraces it is a fool. Sounds too much like unilateral disarmament to me.

I like reciprocity, personally. Doesn't have to be tit for tat (though that should be the starting point in discussions IMO), since that's what exchange mediums are for, but it should be the standard IMO.

It's like with guns. You can make the argument that guns hurt society overall. I wouldn't agree, but you can plausibly make the argument. But you can't convince me that, given armed thugs roaming around, I'm not better off armed. There's nothing plausible about that. And since we have no way to put guns back into the bottle...

Eric said...

Counterpoint:The greatest gains "made" by the unions happened during a period of immigration restrictionism.

This. Wages go up when growth-induced demand for labor outstrips supply, not when 20% of workers form labor cartels. If we, as a nation, were really interested in raising wages for unskilled and semi-skilled labor we'd get serious about curtailing illegal immigration.

With a million unskilled laborers flooding over the border every year there was no hope people without specialized skills would be able to maintain their standard of living.

SFG said...

"Actually, it was only the unions and their lobbying after the 30s or so that made possible the broad middle class that made the 50s and 60s so good. When their power started waning in the 70s, we started to see the middle class shrink."

Counterpoint:The greatest gains "made" by the unions happened during a period of immigration restrictionism.



Good point, and actually not a counterpoint. Both unions and immigration restrictionism work at the same juncture: creating labor shortages (or preventing a labor surplus). Just because no party is pro-union and pro-immigration-restriction doesn't mean I can't be. I actually thought Perot had a pretty good thing going until he went off his medication. "Giant sucking sound of jobs disappearing?" Bad choice of words, but he was right, wasn't he?

"My guess is it's because the only unions with growing membership now are unions of government workers, i.e., parasites."
I won't deny a lot of those posts are NAM employment programs, but you do have government scientists, engineers, etc. who do real work.

Still, the result of Reagan Democrats voting for Reagan seems to have been falling wages and increased immigration. I'd be more interested in taking back the Democratic party--the Republicans are too funded by Big Business to ever change, but you had real pro-labor Democrats as late as the 50s.

I don't know...it just seems like an immigration-restrictionist pro-labor party that's socially conservative could pick up a lot of votes (and yes, I'm a liberal, but I'll give up gay marriage to get the middle class and our manufacturing base back), but there's no way to get that past the party leadership on bopth sides.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone here know how much cheaper it will be to ship product in to the port of Lázaro Cárdena vs the cost to ship product in to the port of Los Angeles or Long Beach?

Let's assume that a container of product made in China can be delivered to a Target in New Jersey for $3,500 all in right now, if it passes through Los Angeles or Long Beach.

How much less than $3,500 are we talking if the container goes through Lázaro Cárdena?

J. Pisspont Morgan said...

…jumping into bed with the corporate elite in the Republican party strikes me as extremely counterproductve.

Amen, brother! The way the Street has been coddled by the likes of Geithner and Frank and Dodd is disgusting.

Hey, wait a minute…

Bill said...

SFG said...

Gonna disagree with you here, Steve, and from a strictly populist point of view you theoretically shouldn't have a problem with, given your frequent criticism of elites and their love of immigration. ;)

Actually, it was only the unions and their lobbying after the 30s or so that made possible the broad middle class that made the 50s and 60s so good. When their power started waning in the 70s, we started to see the middle class shrink.

-SFG


The ILWU is a bunch of primadonnas who make over 100k on average per year. Their Bolshevik "ideals" have degenerated into a hereditary caste of thugs who think it's their God-given right to hold the rest of the country hostage for their bloated paychecks and pensions.

Harry Bridges was a Stalinist shill who supported the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact -- the union he forged is one of the worst things to come out of San Francisco.

My grandpa and dad were Teamsters in Seattle. They were paid by the hour. Longshoremen sit in the tavern with a pager getting paid while they wait for ships to dock. Additionally, they treat non-union workers like absolute garbage. They are slave-drivers themselves, with an enormous sense of entitlement. It takes ordinary folks years to get into the union, and in the meanwhile they are worked like dogs by the ILWU rank and file.

Another thing: do you think the truckers and rail workers are getting anything out this latest ILWU tantrum?

It's time to break the ILWU -- they only care about themselves and their extraordinarily privileged position in our public ports.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that what is best for America is an immigration program that allows in plenty of people with IQ over 130 and zero people with IQ under 130


On average, people with IQ over 130 pay a lot more in taxes than people with IQ under 130.

I know that the more popular view among the posters here is no immigration at all, but I fear that you lose too many potential googles and intels. If you have an exception for people with IQ over 130, you succeed in creating a massive labor shortage that drives up wages of the middle class while still allowing plenty of superstars in to America

Duke of Qin said...

Fuel costs are only a fraction of the total shipping costs involved in a 40-ft container. To add some more detail to what Mel Torme mentioned, a significant majority of the costs in shipment are miscellaneous fees.

For a door-to-door shipment from a factory in China to a warehouse in the US requires China domestic trucking costs, customs export declarations, AMS fee, port terminal handling charges, the actual shipment charge (usually from an NVOCC unless you are a bulk shipper like Wal-Mart), maritime insurance if your payment terms require it, US customs clearance, wharfage, a harbor maintenance fee, a merchandise handling surcharge, any duties according to the harmonized tariff schedule code of the shipment, a pier pass fee, clean truck fee (thank you California), ISF fee, X-ray fee and/or intensive security exam fee (if you have the misfortune of having your shipment randomly inspected), demurrage fees if your container is too slow to be unloaded and pass through the port, and finally rail and trucking to the destination.

I am certainly omitting a few charges here and there but you get my point. Even if fuel charges were to double overnight, the total costs of a shipment itself will only rise about a quarter or a third at most. Fuel rises mostly impact trucking costs to and from ports, the actual fuel prices for everything else is actually a minority of total all inclusive costs.

Duke of Qin said...

To the anonymous asking about shipping through a Mexican port to a proverbial Target in new Jersey it wouldn't be any cheaper. You wouldn't even use Long Beach to begin with. Add two weeks transit time from the Pacific through the Panama canal and use the port of New York for goods destined to New Jersey.

Actually for east coast bound shipping you are looking at around $4500 dollars (sans insurance) FOB from the port of Shanghai delivered to door unless you are shipping significant volumes.

Anonymous said...

Duke of Quin, you clearly know what you are talking about, thanks for sharing.

May I ask you to clarify - Let's say I am apple, I have twenty thousand IPODS made in a factory in the interior of china and packed in to a standard 40 food container. I then want that entire container sent to a central distribution warehouse owned by "Target" or "Best Buy" and the distribution warehouse is in New Jersey.

What is the total door to door cost, including absolutely everything?

If the total door to door cost is $10,000 then the cost per Iopd is only one dollar an ipod. Hard to see how it will ever make sense to manufacture ipods anywhere but China.

On the other hand, if 40 foot container can hold only twenty giant clothes drying machines, and the cost is ten thousand, that comes out to $500 per drying machine. So it may (may) make sense to have the manufacture of the drying machines done in the USA.

I guess it all depends on the value of the manufactured object and the volume of the object.

Please give us more sense for the door to door fully loaded cost thanks

Anonymous said...

Great post, Steve


Most readers of this blog prefer the immigration policies of Denmark, for example, over the immigration policies of the USA.

Denmark today allows almost no low IQ immigrants in to the country, and for this and other reasons people with an IQ under 90 are a very small fraction of the labor force.

Since there are so few people with IQ under 90 they can find plenty of jobs for them washing dishes, mowing lawns etc. You don't need unions in Denmark to make sure that the average man with IQ under 90 can have some dignity and earn a living wage.

Both the democratic party and republican party have worked very hard to make sure that there are millions and millions of people immigrating to the USA with IQ under 90. These fine folks have plenty of children, and as a result a huge % of the US labor force has an IQ under 90

The massive oversupply of workers with IQ under 90 means that the types of jobs that a person with IQ under 90 can do are in short supply, and the employers can generally get away with paying very very little and also treating the workers pretty badly.

I doubt that any of the other posters here at Isteve have an IQ under 90, but most of us can sympathize with our fellow citizens who, out of sheer bad luck were born with an IQ under 90.

so clearly, if you know for sure that your children and grandchildren are going to be born with IQs under 90 you should live in Denmark. your issue will do better in Denmark.

On the other hand if you know for sure your children and grandchildren will have IQ over 140 I would say that the US is superior to Denmark - on average your children and grandchildren with IQ over 140 will make more money and live larger here in the USA than they would in Denmark.

Anyone here in the steve o sphere know the break point?

At what IQ level is it better to be born in Denmark and at what IQ level is it better to be born here in the USA?

Steve Sailer said...

I've been told by a very well informed friend (who occasionally contributes to VDARE under the pseudonym "Economist") that America's big remaining comparative advantage in manufacturing lies mostly in large industrial goods, such as offshore oil platforms. Perhaps these tend to be things to big to containerize?

MacD said...

Interestingly, Vancouver is the largest port in Canada and the largest port on the West Coast of North America by metric tons of total cargo, with 76.5 million metric tons.

Anonymous said...

Don't tariffs make economic war against other countries? I'm pretty sure they can retaliate too.

We're all worse off in the long run with protectionism.

Protectionism is not only bad policy it's also immoral


Lets hope China and India dont start slapping tariffs on western goods & services.

Obviously Im joking. They already do.

Why is it we are supposed to selflessly reduce tariffs to nothing and wait years, decades . . . forever and never see that reciprocated?

SFG said...

"Perhaps these tend to be things to big to containerize?"


I doubt the USA's comparative advantage derives only from the lack of longshoremen here--other countries have much, much more aggressive unions.

If I had to guess why the US would be better at making big stuff, I'd have to guess we have more space than other countries, so manufacturiing of really large objects iseasier. Does anyone with an engineering or manufacturing background know if this makes any sense?

Anonymous said...

Denmark today allows almost no low IQ immigrants in to the country, and for this and other reasons people with an IQ under 90 are a very small fraction of the labor force.

Since there are so few people with IQ under 90 they can find plenty of jobs for them washing dishes, mowing lawns etc. You don't need unions in Denmark to make sure that the average man with IQ under 90 can have some dignity and earn a living wage.


And that illustrates the brilliance of TPTB. They have engineered the discourse to such an extent that those of the liberal/left who claim to be concerned for the underdog will sacrifice anything, any policy, any principle to continue mass immigration.

The left have deliberately infected with a sort of political AIDS.

'Racism' is the magic word.

To be against immigration is to be a 'racist' and that ths the worst thing one can be on the left.

Therefore TPTB merely have to engineer things such that to oppose their desired policies is to be racist. After that they dont have to defend those policies, they get their supposed class enemies to do it for them - for free!

Duke of Qin said...

Anonymous & Steve,

Many goods can be disassembled for transit and then reassembled either on site or at another facility. Iphones and Ipads are valuable enough that Apple likely simply uses airfreight to deliver them rather than by sea. The proverbial washer and dryer combo while large are relatively light for their volume (large internal void for your clothes) and can likely be semi-disassembled into parts and then re-assembled very quickly at the factory. The weight of a container is generally limited by what a port is willing to accept rather than it's physical limitations, usually about 18000 kilograms. You should probably more worried about trucks hauling the cargo being penalized for exceeding limits when weighed before you approach that limit.

You would be surprised at how compactly goods can be disassembled. I remember one instance when a 30000+kg item was specifically engineered so that when broken down, the diameter of the largest component would fit a 40-ft container. Even then you can still book flat-rack containers (basically an open air skid) items for irregularly shaped heavy cargo. Your biggest worries then isn't really about shipping it across the Pacific but more about getting all the necessary local clearance for trucking oversized cargo in the US.

The reason America still has a comparative advantage in manufacturing large industrial goods is not shipping costs but simple expertise. These are generally engineered goods that are very specialized for particular applications in industries with high entry barriers for competitors both financial and technological. Wal-Mart may have plenty of sourcing options but for operations like deep sea oil drilling you are pretty much reliant on companies such as Cameron. Shipping costs I suspect has very little to do with it. If California can ship a bridge from China, you can guess what else is economically feasible to transport.

beowulf said...

"The move to containers was only a minor matter in comparison."
That's true because containerization reduced costs of exporting as well as importing, so it should have been a wash.
"In 1961 ocean freight costs alone accounted for 12 percent of US exports and 10 percent of the value of US imports... the average US import tariff was 7 percent." Levinson, The Box, ch.6

I hate to say it, but if we want to eliminate the trade deficit (and Donald Trump was quite right to harp on it, its a $600B demand leakage responsible for nearly half of our $1.3T budget deficit), its either Warren Buffett's way or the highway.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Import_Certificates

There's no way we can export our way out of the hole when our trading partners are using currency manipulation and nontariff barriers to keep us out.

Anonymous said...

We are millions 'n' millions,
We're coming to get you
We're protected by unions
So don't let it upset you
Can't escape the conclusion
It's probably God's Will
That civilization
Will grind to a standstill
And we are the people
Who will make it all happen
While yer children is sleepin',
Yer puppy is crappin'
You might call us Flakes
Or something else you might coin us
But we know you're so greedy
That you'll probably join us

We're coming to get you, we're coming to get you

David Davenport said...

I've been told by a very well informed friend (who occasionally contributes to VDARE under the pseudonym "Economist") that America's big remaining comparative advantage in manufacturing lies mostly in large industrial goods, such as offshore oil platforms.

Steve, your "Economist" is feeding you the globalist big biz party line, and you seem to be biting on it.

What comparative advantages does China actually have in manufacturing compared to the USA? Let's see, cheaper wages, carefree worker health and safety standards,few or no pollution controls, and let's not forget, cheaper wages, cheaper wages, cheaper wages.

Are any of those things really long run advantages? No, they are not. Wages to low too allow development of a mass market middle class are not a long range comparative advantage.

Is Chinese technology or science superiors to the USA's? No, China is not superior in brains or technical know-how, no matter what "Economist" tells you.

Does China have any advantage over North America in natural resources? No.

David Ricardo coined the phrase "comparative advantage" in 1817. However, Ricardo never envsioned today's mobility of raw materials, manufacturing capability, and capital.

Consider Wikipedia re "comparative advantage":

Free mobility of capital in a globalized world
Ricardo explicitly bases his argument on an assumed immobility of capital:

" ... if capital freely flowed towards those countries where it could be most profitably employed, there could be no difference in the rate of profit, and no other difference in the real or labour price of commodities, than the additional quantity of labour required to convey them to the various markets where they were to be sold."[6]
He explains why, from his point of view, (anno 1817) this is a reasonable assumption: "Experience, however, shows, that the fancied or real insecurity of capital, when not under the immediate control of its owner, together with the natural disinclination which every man has to quit the country of his birth and connexions, and entrust himself with all his habits fixed, to a strange government and new laws, checks the emigration of capital."[6]

Some scholars, notably Herman Daly, an American ecological economist and professor at the School of Public Policy of the University of Maryland, have voiced concern over the applicability of Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage in light of a perceived increase in the mobility of capital: "International trade (governed by comparative advantage) becomes, with the introduction of free capital mobility, interregional trade (governed by Absolute advantage)."[7]


(continued)

David Davenport said...

"comparativeadvantage"

continuation:

... Some scholars, notably Herman Daly, an American ecological economist and professor at the School of Public Policy of the University of Maryland, have voiced concern over the applicability of Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage in light of a perceived increase in the mobility of capital: "International trade (governed by comparative advantage) becomes, with the introduction of free capital mobility, interregional trade (governed by Absolute advantage)."[7]

Adam Smith developed the principle of absolute advantage. The economist Paul Craig Roberts notes that the comparative advantage principles developed by David Ricardo do not hold where the factors of production are internationally mobile.[8][9] Limitations to the theory may exist if there is a single kind of utility. Yet the human need for food and shelter already indicates that multiple utilities are present in human desire. The moment the model expands from one good to multiple goods, the absolute may turn to a comparative advantage. The opportunity cost of a forgone tax base may outweigh perceived gains, especially where the presence of artificial currency pegs and manipulations distort trade.[10] Global labor arbitrage, where one country exploits the cheap labor of another, would be a case of absolute advantage that is not mutually beneficial.[11][12][13]

Economist Ha-Joon Chang criticized the comparative advantage principle, contending that it may have helped developed countries maintain relatively advanced technology and industry compared to developing countries. In his book Kicking Away the Ladder, Chang argued that all major developed countries, including the United States and United Kingdom, used interventionist, protectionist economic policies in order to get rich and then tried to forbid other countries from doing the same. For example, according to the comparative advantage principle, developing countries with a comparative advantage in agriculture should continue to specialize in agriculture and import high-technology widgits from developed countries with a comparative advantage in high technology. In the long run, developing countries would lag behind developed countries, and polarization of wealth would set in. Chang asserts that premature free trade has been one of the fundamental obstacles to the alleviation of poverty in the developing world. Recently, Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan and China have utilized protectionist economic policies in their economic development.[14]

Comparative Advantage

Elsewhere, I have read that Ricardo's 'comparative advatnge" idea was a cover story that served the purposes of the British Empire back when Britain was on top.

For example, Great Britain wanted to import raw cotton from India or the southern United States as cheaply as possible. However, Britain also wanted India and the southern United States to import finished cotton cloth instead of manufacturing Indian or American cloth.

Why import and export this way? Well Britain did have a real comparative advantage in textile manufacturing in the early 19th century, although cotton didn't grow to well in the home islands.

Ricardo supposed that the UK's manufacturing comparative advantage would go on forever. ... A convenient assumption for the British Empire.

////////////////////////

Something I should have said in my previous post. Wages that are much too cheap are not a long range advantage.

But and furthermore, wages much higher than than those paid by competitors operating with civilized worker health, safety, and environmental standards are also a drawback.

David Davenport said...

Steve, I also object to the defeatist notion that China is the inevitable top dog of the 21st century.

Mel Torme said...

Perhaps these tend to be things to big to containerize?

I don't think that's it, Steve. There are not many commercial ships built in the US, but they don't need to be containerized (in fact, they can carry containers). Anything that can be done with cheaper labor and especially without the onerous regulation on manufacturing businesses we have here, will be.

These oil platforms probably require design and manufacturing expertise that cannot be found in China (yet). One thing anyone who manufactures in China can tell you is that quality is not job 1. It may be job 8 or 14 in priority. There's some things that just need to be right the first time, and I'd put a floating oil platform in that category.

Anonymous said...

"Why is it we are supposed to selflessly reduce tariffs to nothing and wait years, decades . . . forever and never see that reciprocated?"


Ugh, it is about as rational as expecting your dog to reciprocate. Dogs don't have money. Duh. And neither will 3rd worlders.

Mel Torme said...

I thought I had read through all of the comments before I posted just now, but missed another Duke of Quin post, so sorry for my repetition about the expertise. This is actually due to the fact that comments take a while to show up, as Steve's was the last post when I posted 10 min. back.

One thing that really bugs me is why even damn furniture comes from China. It is mostly wood by weight. This wood is shipped over as logs from the US and Canada (not in containers, of course), cut, and assembled with the cloth and padding, and then shipped all the way back in containers. Yes, I know the legs are off and there are guys who figure the exact best way to pack these things into a standard 40' container, but come on!

This stuff used to be made in NC, and 2 trips across the Pacific Ocean by all the wood were not part of the costs. It is still cheaper right now, obviously, for stores to get the stuff from China. Furniture is an example of items (as discussed) that can bulk out the container quickly or weight-limit the container. The shipping costs have got to be significant.

BTW, I don't know all Duke of Quin does about all of the bureaucracy/fees, but I do know this: We don't have free trade with China, not in both directions. It's easier for them to ship here than for us to ship there - they can make it a nightmare to get the containers from the docks on their end. That might have been OK in 1994, but it isn't cool now.

SFG said...

"Is Chinese technology or science superiors to the USA's? No, China is not superior in brains or technical know-how, no matter what "Economist" tells you."

I wish I believed you. One of the most dangerous things you can do is underestimate your enemy, as the Russians found out fighting the Japanese. We know Chinese-Americans are good at science and math. Is there any reason to suspect a nation of a billion can't raise top-notch scientists and engineers? They've got a bigger pool to work from, and their culture respects academic ability, as opposed to ours, which respects athletic ability and interpersonal skills...

Anonymous said...

"Anyone here in the steve o sphere know the break point?"
I doubt that the American style system will be ultimately better for anyone. Capital investment->high tech jobs of the future depends on scarce labor.

"I know that the more popular view among the posters here is no immigration at all"
Replacement rate immigration worked, we'd be fine with letting in as many people as leave every year, provided our government is not tripping all over itself to give them special privileges.

"Still, the result of Reagan Democrats voting for Reagan seems to have been falling wages and increased immigration. I'd be more interested in taking back the Democratic party--the Republicans are too funded by Big Business to ever change, but you had real pro-labor Democrats as late as the 50s."
Immigration was opened up in 1965, it just took until 1980 for the full extent of family reunification to hit. Obviously Amnesty #1, protected class status for Indians, the H1-B visa program, and a host of other policies did little to help. Both parties are fairly well corrupted at this point, but even still they continue to get incredible turnout. How much of that is simply "don't let the other guy win because he'll be worse" I couldn't say.

Anonymous said...

Jeremiah Wright commemorates 9/11 in his own special way. A certain powerful group in this country made the spiritual protege of that man into the president of this country. That dude will lead America in the remembrance of 9/11. How much of this sick BS can we take?

Anonymous said...

"Protectionism" may be bad over all, but surely the guy who eschews it in the face of the guy who embraces it is a fool. Sounds too much like unilateral disarmament to me.


Good points by Svigor.

Anonymous said...

'Protectionism is immoral'

Well that's a new one on me.Usually the criticisms are that it's 'inefficient' or 'illiberal'
But I've never heard 'immoral' before.
'Moral' actually means precepts of 'natural law' that are agreed upon by most humans in the community as right thing to do.The word is usually applied to such things as theft, spousal abuse, sexual activity of all sorts, arbitrary violence and unjust decisions punishments etc, lying, deceit etc, you know that kind of thing - behavior that governs the chracter of individuals in society whether they are 'good' people or not.
How trade policy, incidentally tariffs were the normal way of doing things for most nations up to 30 years ago, and was the policy of the USA for hundreds of years during its greatest period, can be judged to be 'immoral' is beyond me.
It is as ridiculous as calling exchange rate/currency policy as 'immoral'.

JSM said...

"might, but by how much? If "Mel Torme's" figure of ~$3000 to ship a container from China to N.America or Europe is accurate, then freight costs are currently negligible. They would still be only a minor expense if shipping costs went to, say, $6000 or $10,000 per container, provided you're shipping something more valuable than gravel."

Whiskey's right, actually.

While the *ocean* shipping is cheap, moving those gazillion toasters inland to the Target stores gets done by trucks.

Most truckers are now self-employed owner-operators who lease their truck. If the truckers can't afford the diesel, they won't drive.
A gazillion toasters sitting on the dock of Port of LA, because no trucker can make a profit driving them to Denver and Salt Lake, doesn't do Chinese toaster-makers much good.

Anonymous said...

Great to hear you beat up on a trade union. Of course, they're the ones responsible for the immigration madness, with their incessant demands for cheaper and cheaper labor, with their own ignorant, petty, selfish desires cloaked under the mantras of free trade. And look what they've done to the country since! Ha! You're a very smart man, Steve, no-one'll deny it. Smart enough to know how badly the f**ktard economic ideology espoused by you and your lot devastated the very demographic you proclaim to see protected. It's funny to see you snicker in your petty Thatcherite way, when, really, you'd a made the nastiest neo-con proud, and when it mattered! Just when you started to forget why people like you are so unpopular! Go f**k yourself!

JSM said...

"The creation of billionaires via financial leverage and 15% hedge fund taxation is much worse in toto for the American middle class than the existence of decrepit unions. Besides what do you need a billion dollars for? Having a billion dollars is all about pissing contests with your fellow billionaire at the ultimate expense of the American middle class."

My candidate for Post of the Week.

Bravo, sir.

Anonymous said...

The Chinese are superior at stealing American technology and intellectual property. Creating? Not so much.

China is not Japan.

Zippy said...

I've long advocated an IQ-based immigration policy. I'd be fine with letting anybody with an IQ over 130 into the country, while excluding anybody with an IQ below that.

However, I'd make an exception for blacks with an IQ over, say, 115. It might take a generation or two, but they'd end up interbreeding with our own native black population. Yes, there is regression to the mean, but you do end up with a higher mean.

The black IQ would still be below the white/Asian IQ, but raising it by just a few points would do wonders.

Anonymous said...

Their Bolshevik "ideals" have degenerated into a hereditary caste of thugs who think it's their God-given right to...

Man, I can't ever get my anti-semitic rants through Komment Kontrol anymore.

Kudos, dude, kudos.

[Although the only nit I would pick would be with your use of the phrase "have degenerated into": I would have said "have been unmasked as".]


The way the Street has been coddled by the likes of Geithner and Frank and Dodd is disgusting.

See "hereditary caste of thugs", as above.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
China actually has the advantage in big engineering projects involving tons of heavy metal rather than the USA.
For example China is the leading ship-builder and think of that recent case of that San Francisco bridge.
We tend to think of China's advantage in minturisation due to the plethora of gadgets we all own, but I'd wager that China's labor/education level advantage weighs moe heavily in there favor when heavy engineering is involved.
Here their advantages in terms of steel production, skilled manual labor, design personnel etc really come to play.By contrast labor is likely to be a trivial imput in modern expensive computing devices - but still the west doesn't have any edge there.
At the moment the west's strongest suite is in pharmaceuticals and specialised engineering (eg marine diesels, gas turbines, aircraft etc), that are the fruit of years and years of R and D.
How long that will hold up for I don't know.

Mitch said...

I know that containers were incredibly disruptive technology, but while the longshoremen did react, er, negatively to their arrival, my understanding is that San Francisco's geography doomed it for containers, not the unions.

San Francisco just didn't have the room to build a container facility--its shoreline was far more valuable than Oakland's. And even Oakland, which replaced SF as the number 2 port, has been weakened by the natural limitations of SF Bay.

I mean, sure, we could have destroyed the two bridges, utilized Alcatraz and Yerba Buena, and turned the whole area ugly in order to maximize our shipping industry, but that's a tradeoff no one would have made.

Anonymous said...

One example of the lop-sidedness of briatin's trade with China is that whilst ships coming to britain from china deliver container after container load of laptops, i-pads, i-pods, clothes, shoes, Tvs, electronics, toys, etc etc from China, Britain has very little in the way of goods to give back.
Therefore for operational reasons (ie to keep the ships low in the water as ballast), Britain (at a discounted shippping rate) gives China the gift of its rubbish.
Waste paper (collected by dustmen as part of a recycling intiative), waste plastic and scrap metal make up some of Britain's biggest exports to China.
There you have it.China sells Britain advanced electronics - all Britain can give back in return is rubbish.
Says it all really.

manboobz said...

"You might call us Flakes
Or something else you might coin us"

This puts me in mind of a family of unintelligent nerds I once knew.

Anonymous said...

OT: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Jacqueline_Kennedy/jacqueline-kennedys-feelings-martin-luther-king-jr-revealed/story?id=14478321&singlePage=true

Jacqueline Kennedy on Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
.....
Mrs. Kennedy says Bobby told her "He made fun of Cardinal Cushing and said that he was drunk at it. And things about they almost dropped the coffin and -- well, I mean Martin Luther King is really a tricky person," Mrs. Kennedy said.
.....
"He told me of a tape that the FBI had of Martin Luther King when he was here for the freedom march. And he said this with no bitterness or anything, how he was calling up all these girls and arranging for a party of men and women, I mean, sort of an orgy in the hotel, and everything," she said.


Ok, so who is the bad guy here?

"It shows you the poisonous … activities of J. Edgar Hoover, and the idea that this is going on at the highest levels of government is really twisted," Caroline Kennedy said.

Anonymous said...

Until Chinese and Indian university students start earning degress in Womyns Studies, their competitive advantage will remain...

Anonymous said...

Steve, your highly informed source is wrong - at least when it comes to oil rigs, which are almost exclusively manufactured in East Asia. The 2 biggest manufacturers are in Singapore, but there are also companies in China and Korea. Same is true, as pointed by another commentator, for oil tankers and LNG ships. And power and chemical plants and their components and substructures are increasingly being manufactured in Asia as well.

Anonymous said...

I wish I believed you. One of the most dangerous things you can do is underestimate your enemy, as the Russians found out fighting the Japanese."

Which confrontation are you speaking of? Anyway, a better example to look at would be US vs. Japan and US vs. the PRC. Had relatives who fought both the Japanese and PLA. Hands down, both said they'd rather face the Japanese any day of week instead of the Han in Korea. If we take on the Han again, we had better be prepared for some extreme unpleasantries that have nothing to do with technology.

Anonymous said...

Elsewhere, I have read that Ricardo's 'comparative advatnge" idea was a cover story that served the purposes of the British Empire back when Britain was on top.

apparently he was a very funny man.

"For example, a famous Ricardian theory is that profits "depend upon" the price of wheat.
...Profits could not possibly depend upon anything else, since everything else is "given," that is, frozen. It is an excellent theory that can never be refuted and lacks nothing save sense."

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=310377

David Davenport said...

We know Chinese-Americans are good at science and math.

That's the same kind of ill-informed sterotyping as the assumption that all Africkan Americans are ace basketball players.

I can recall a discussion with a foreign Chinese electrical engineering graduate student who wasn't doing very well in his studies. No, I wasn't his instructor.

I recall that fellow telling me in fluent English that he relied on his "common sense" when doing his homework. I thought to myself, 'Brother, your common sense is too common."

Is there any reason to suspect a nation of a billion can't raise top-notch scientists and engineers?

No, but there's no reason to over-estimate the Chinese, either.

They've got a bigger pool to work from, and their culture respects academic ability, as opposed to ours, which respects athletic ability and interpersonal skills...

It's a delusion to think that progress in science and technology relies on vast hordes of scientists and engineers. The idea that future Amnerican techno-prowess depends on multitudes of school children growing up to staff divisions, corps, and armies of scientists and engineers -- that's all pee cee cant.

Actual research and development is done by small, elite cadres. Always has and always will. Top older stock American engineers and scientists of the past -- at least the Bay Boomer past that I know-- present, and future probably skip going to their U.'s football game on Saturday afternoon, and spend most of Saturday doing homework.

Me, I remember trying to sort of split the difference.


9/9/11 8:03 PM

Anonymous said...

David Davenport.

Let's look at the issue from a purely logical point of view.
China has a population 4 x that of the USA.
It's fairly certain that the IQ of the average Han is higher than that of the average US citizen (even if we strip out NAMs).
It is also certain that China graduates not only a higher absolute number of engineers and scientists, but a bigger number in proportion.We're talking of millions annually here.
Now, all technological innovation and breakthrough is the result of labored effort by individuals and research teams (plus the odd Eureka moment) investigating and trying to understand what seem to be intractable problems and processes.
Ergo, even if a high proportion of Chinese technologists are duffers ( which I doubt), they still will have the edge due to numbers and nothing else.

Anonymous said...

Which confrontation are you speaking of?"

Maybe he's talking of the Battle of Khalkin Gol. A massive Soviet defeat at the hands of the Imperial Army of Japan!

Anonymous said...

It's fairly certain that the IQ of the average Han is higher than that of the average US citizen (even if we strip out NAMs).


I'm skeptical of that. When China stops stealing our technology and starts creating their own, then we can talk about their superior IQ.

I don't think the Han are stupid or to be underestimated, but their coming dominance isn't a certainity. If we continue to export our manufacturing base and knowledge capital to them, then it'll become a certainty.

JSM said...

No, we don't want to bring smart Africans to America.

We should send American Blacks to them.

Because American Blacks have a higher average IQ than in Africa, that would raise Africa's IQ, rather than lower it further, as bringing their smart people here would.

Ted Plank. said...

He's talking about the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05, where Japan's Army and Navy stomped all over the Russkies. Japan also sent an occupying force into the Russian Far Eat during the Revolution, and behaved typically badly.

We and the Brits also badly underestimated the Japanese in the beginning, many soldiers actually believed their slanted eyes threw off their aim, and that their airplanes couldn't be any good.

We learned the hard way.

Anonymous said...

"There you have it.China sells Britain advanced electronics - all Britain can give back in return is rubbish.
Says it all really."

Waste and scraps are a top American export as well.

Anonymous said...

"It's fairly certain that the IQ of the average Han is higher than that of the average US citizen (even if we strip out NAMs)."

In terms of intelligence, whites and Chinese are about the same. In terms of individuality and initiative, whites have the advantage.
IN terms of collective pride, identity, and unity, Chinese have the advantage(while whites have become downright suicidal).
Chinese are also unified in their grievance as a victim people(of Western and Japanese imperialism), while whites are unified in their guilt.

Anonymous said...

"The Chinese are superior at stealing American technology and intellectual property. Creating? Not so much."

But smart people steal better. It's like Madoff stole but brilliantly. And the English were world pirates--stealing especially from Spanish cargo--before they become world traders.

Anonymous said...

"Great to hear you beat up on a trade union. Of course, they're the ones responsible for the immigration madness, with their incessant demands for cheaper and cheaper labor, with their own ignorant, petty, selfish desires cloaked under the mantras of free trade."

But as Democrats, they elect people like Obama to Washington.
Also, one reason why so many American businessmen wanted to hire foreigners or relocate was because Union demands got out of control. There are bad guys all around, but Union thuggery is legendary. It works more like a mafia than workers' interest group.
When unions were for safe working conditions, 8 hrs, and overtime, fine. But when unions demanded one benefit package after another, job security to the point where it was difficult to fire lazy bums, and wage increases even when profits were hurting, they dug their own graves.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that what is best for America is an immigration program that allows in plenty of people with IQ over 130 and zero people with IQ under 130

On average, people with IQ over 130 pay a lot more in taxes than people with IQ under 130.


There's so much wrong with that argument. For starters there is the glib assumption that fattening the governments tax coffers is the Single Most Important Thing In The World, and so all else must revolve around that supreme goal.

Who thinks like that?


Also, there is no evidence that people with IQ's greater than 130 actually do pay "a lot more in taxes" then those with a lower IQ. I think that C.C. Sabathia, Taylor Swift, and Brad Pitt are all fine people, but they're not high IQ.

I know that the more popular view among the posters here is no immigration at all, but I fear that you lose too many potential googles and intels.

Oh God, no! Not that!

Camlost said...

However, I'd make an exception for blacks with an IQ over, say, 115. It might take a generation or two, but they'd end up interbreeding with our own native black population.

Not really.

Black males with high IQ/income are generally marrying outside of their race as much as possible?

Wouldn't you in their shoes?

Zippy said...

Anonymous, you don't think that Taylor Swift has a high IQ? Sure, she's young, pretty, nearly six feet tall, has a good singing voice and a magnetic personality.

But objectively she's not THAT gorgeous, and she sure doesn't have the best voice ever. I'd be shocked if her IQ weren't north of 120.

As for those who don't want to import high IQ blacks, you're right that we'd reduce the IQ of Africa, but . . . so what? An American with an IQ of 115 can be a productive member of society; a black African with an IQ of 115 has much less social infrastructure to arrange beneficial exchanges.

Exporting our high IQ blacks might beneficial to Africa, but it'd harm us. Exporting low IQ blacks might be a good idea, but I don't see how that can be arranged.

And even if they marry whites or Asians, in our cultural context, their kids count as black.

Anonymous said...

"I think that C.C. Sabathia, Taylor Swift, and Brad Pitt are all fine people, but they're not high IQ."

Of course it could be his agent, but Brad Pitt does choose projects based on what seems to be high IQ directors. To me an above average director can coax a performance out of what an otherwise bad actor might be capable of. "A man has got to know his limitations". He may not be a genius, but he knows who can make him look smarter/better. I'm guessing he is not your typical Hollywood dullard. Compare his resume to someone else who works with big name directors, Shia Labeouf. No one is capable of making that void look like a good actor. Not Oliver Stone. Not Spielberg.

JSM said...

"Also, there is no evidence that people with IQ's greater than 130 actually do pay "a lot more in taxes" then those with a lower IQ. I think that C.C. Sabathia, Taylor Swift, and Brad Pitt are all fine people, but they're not high IQ.'

Plus, high IQ people are better at sniffing out tax loopholes / finding clever accountants to create tax shelters.

And your average self-employed plumber making 100K pays just as much as a primary care physician grossing 100 K after malpractice insurance.

Truth said...

"Anonymous, you don't think that Taylor Swift has a high IQ? Sure, she's young, pretty, nearly six feet tall, has a good singing voice and a magnetic personality."

No, she's your typical Disney, Illuminati-connected slut who fucked a bunch of famous adults in their 20's while she was a teen, made songs about it, and got pats on the back for it from people like you, because of her angelic blond hair.

David Davenport said...

Re Chinese comparative advantages:

Headlines Predict Death of MS-Office

With stale features, the suite faces extinction.

By John C. Dvorak
September 7, 2011

...

One thing caught my attention in that Forbes.com article. A brief anecdote recounts Microsoft’s sale of the entire Office Suite in China for $29 because of the prevalence of piracy in China—probably the most under-told story in the tech sector. It does two things: First, it reveals that China has a huge productivity advantage over the U.S. if it can get Office for $29. Second, it sends the message that entire nations should pirate Microsoft software because then they will get a better deal. What kind of message is that? But I digress.

...


John C. Dvorak

Anonymous said...

Are the Zetas going to allow those containers to pass through without exacting tribute? Especially if we legalize drugs.

Kent Gatewood

Anonymous said...

The reason LA/LB is the biggest and busiest port in the US is because half the railroads to the west coast terminate in Los Angeles. That's the big reason LA eventually passed San Francisco as the biggest city on the west coast.

There are only two railroads out of the Pacific NW: one out of Seattle and one out of Portland. There is also one railroad that goes through the Sierra Nevadas out of the San Francisco Bay Area.

But thanks to the Cajon Pass and Banning Pass, there are two railroads that head east out of LA: and the one that goes up Cajon Pass branches out into two at Barstow. Superior transportation links to the east (especially Chicago) mean that LA was destined to be the biggest port on the West Coast.

Steve Sailer said...

Thanks. Good point about easy railroad transport out from LA through the Cajon Pass (3800 feet) and San Gorgonio or Banning Pass (1600 feet).

DanJ said...

Mssrs. Anonymous:

"There you have it.China sells Britain advanced electronics - all Britain can give back in return is rubbish.
Says it all really."

"Waste and scraps are a top American export as well."

Reminds me of an old definition of a colony; a country that is only allowed to export raw materials, and to import manufactured goods from the mother country.

Anonymous said...

Zippy: Taylor Swift... objectively she's not THAT gorgeous...

Uhh, yeah she is.

I'd walk over broken glass for the chance to say hello to that chick.


Brad Pitt

Off-topic, but yesterday I saw Benjamin Button for the first time, and I've gotta confess that I could sit in a chair and do nothing for the rest of my life but watch Cate Blanchett read names from the phone book and still I'd die a happy man.

My God, she's breathtaking.

Whew.

SFG said...

There's really only room in our economy for a few Taylor Swifts and CC Sabathias. We should be more worried about whether the people we're letting in are going to be good teachers, doctors, and truck drivers. Frankly, athletics and entertainment are areas where NAMs shine, at least in part because you don't need a tremendously high IQ.

And while I appreciate Taylor Swift's relative conservatism, entertainment professionals in particular have played a huge role in creating a permissive culture. In general artists tend to be low-conscientiousness, high-neuroticism types (happy, organized people don't look for careers in something as uncertain as the arts).

Anthony said...

As Mitch noted above, Oakland took the post traffic from San Francisco. At the time, Oakland was a backwater, but its Port Authority took a gamble on containerizing, which paid off in spades. San Francisco was late to the game. However, shipments to SF or Oakland which go anywhere outside of Northern California have to go over some tall mountains, which costs money. Shipments to Los Angeles/Long Beach have a flatter path getting out, either by rail or truck. There are also 3 times as many people near LA/LB than in Northern California, so even without considering goods shipped further east, there's a good reason for lots of traffic to go south.

I'm not sure what's the breakpoint cost for shipping goods from Asia to LA via ship then rail or truck to the East versus coming through the Panama Canal and unloading in Houston or New Orleans, but for time-sensitive shipments, it's faster to go through California's ports than to stay on a ship into the Gulf of Mexico. And for some goods, the extra few days matters.

Anonymous said...

Spike Lee & Troofie: The only two brothers in American with a true disdain for tall, beautiful blonds!

Truth said...

She's "Pretty", she ain't old enough to be beautiful.