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RE: Design via Internet-Please delete if you are not interested

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Dennis:


    I was keeping myself out of this thread, but right now I feel I have one
or two things two share with anyone interested.
    First of all, I agree with most of the statements you made, and also I
believe the post by Christopher Wright was one  of the best on this subject.
    BUT there is one thing I could´nt stand and it was  your affirmation
that the U.S. are kind of a protective father, quoting you: "Our government
is a leader in helping other countries financially and has been since the
second world war."   Just a correction, the U.S. WERE a leader in toying
around with Latin American (and some more througout the world) democracies,
i.e. bringing down Allende´s government in Chile and handpicking Pinochet
(just in case the name rings a bell), only to protect American investments
in Chile.
    Don´t misunderstand me, please.  I just want to make clear that nor has
the U.S. been the Dalai Lama, neither has it been the Plague for the
underdeveloped countries all over the world, mine included (Argentina, BTW).
    I can highly recommend you a book by Eduardo Galeano "Las venas abiertas
de América Latina", somithing like "The bleeding veins of Latin-America".
It is very instructive and open-minding.

    Just a couple of thoughts.

Rodrigo (a.k.a. french-mailing list) Lema

-----Mensaje original-----
De: Dennis S. Wish PE <wish(--nospam--at)cwia.com>
Para: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Fecha: sábado 7 de noviembre de 1998 23:56
Asunto: Design via Internet-Please delete if you are not interested


>Mike,
>
>First, if anyone is not interested in this issue or my comments, please hit
>the delete key now. I am responding to others who feel that this issue is
>important to the business of engineering on an international level. The
>bandwidth taken by sending this message is negligible - so with due respect
>to others, please trash this post if you do not wish to be bothered with
it.
>
>For those interested:
>
>I would like to dispel some statements made by others in this thread:
>
>1. I am not trying to convince anyone to change their opinions, however, I
>do hope that they will take the time to understand how this affects the
>future of those who are providing services - the only industry really left
>in the US. I would like to express these idea's without intending to offend
>anyone. If you believe I am being offensive, I ask that you write me
>privately rather than accuse me publicly. I would hope that I can respond
in
>such as way that will explain my opinions further without taking up the
list
>time.
>
>2. No matter how may ways I say the same thing, it always seems to be
>interpreted as repressive and bigoted. I have made no attack against any
>person, nationality, religion or race. I pride myself in my desire to be
>more than a hate monger. We should be able to have a difference of opinion
>on matters without the need to attack anyone.
>I think that many outside this country think that Americans have a surplus
>of money and assets. Many believe that we have excess earnings each week
>that we can invest and place into savings. This is far from the truth. The
>majority of workers in the country live paycheck to paycheck. I may or may
>not be an example of the average American, but I don't think that this
>matters. I do live better than most but am more concerned about the future
>of my children and grand children.
>A lost wage, layoff or just a reduction in salary will seriously affect a
>family who has debt based upon their earning potential at the time they
>qualified for the loans. What many may not understand is that the debt and
>responsibility to pay back what you owe does not simply vanish when the job
>is lost or the wage cut.
>
>3. Maria accused me of being biased. She is correct - I am biased - not
>bigoted. I am biased as an Individual who wishes to protect my family from
>unemployment and welfare just because the company they worked for chooses
to
>go overseas where the labor is cheap.
>As someone pointed out, this is the fault of business. However, this is not
>entirely true. These corporations are controlled by those of us who have
the
>capitol to invest as stock holders. The drive to maintain profit insures a
>company can have the working capital it needs to stay in business, but the
>majority of profit is not invested in the welfare of the worker or back
into
>the growth of the business. The profits are extraordinarily high and the
>stockholders expect these profits year after year. This is capitalism to
>it's finest, but not everyone is happy with it. The investors have reason
to
>be, since the profits distributed to them.
> The philosophy is based upon greed, which is driven by those who do not
>work for the company but invest in them. Is this fair? Legal but not really
>fair to the protection of the individual.
>
>5. Mr. Tan stated that US firms move overseas to offer work for other
>countries and hire foreign labor. This is not entirely representative of
the
>shift in labor that my opinions reflect. If Fluor Daniels decided to do
work
>in the middle east and hires locals to do the work I would have no
argument.
>Any American company that goes overseas while maintaining their business in
>the US benefits both local and foreign countries. This is a good thing.
>However, I refer to companies that either leave the United States or
>contract out the labor because the rates are lower - thus taking the jobs
>away from the workers in the same American towns that these companies
>promised to protect when they moved in. At some point the towns degrade and
>the company's leave to find more presentable sites.
>
>6. Mr. Chang stated "The advantages of India are (1) very very low wages,
>(2) English speaking, (3) good universities that keep on producing highly
>educated engineers." He also states "It is coming like it or not!!!"
>I have no problem with #2 and #3. The problem is that when local workers
>lose their jobs they can not benefit from the income gains in other
>countries who will purchase American goods. Think about this for a moment.
>No new industry is created, labor is still in other countries and those who
>become unemployed or return to work at 50% of their previous wage will not
>be able to afford the products. I remember when I used to purchase a new
car
>every three or four years. I purchased my last car in 1984 and just this
>year bought a new car which I expect to last at least 14 years.
>
>Let me ask those of you from other countries who gained from the work lost
>by Americans: A) What do you hope to gain by the income? B) Assuming it is
>the ability increase your standard of living by purchasing a home, health
>insurance for your family, a college education for your children, clothing
>and food - How would you feel if the companies who came into your country
>and hired the majority of your workers, decided on short notice to leave
>your country and seek cheaper labor elsewhere. Assuming that you now have a
>society based upon high unemployment, what will you turn to compensate for
>the loss. How will you pay your bills, your mortgage, your child's
education
>and the doctor bills? Now assume that a similar company comes into town and
>offers you the same work at 1/4 the pay. If you are relieved that you have
>the work, how will you meet your debt? Americans enjoyed a single income
>family until the 1970's. The majority of Americans have two income families
>and may individuals hold down two jobs to make ends meet. Consider the
>inflationary dollar over the years and Americans no longer enjoy the luxury
>that grew to be synonymous with "the land of opportunity".
>This is a rhetorical questions, you need not answer, just think about it as
>a real possibility and maybe you won't make the same mistakes we did in
this
>country. You need to protect the backbone of your society - the worker.
>Don't be lead falsely by promises that can not or will not be kept.
>
>4. Bill Allens comments, which I paraphrase and interpret to say, - " shut
>up and stop bitching - accept it or leave" is not acceptable. This list is
>international - I'm sorry that not all of our belief's are the same. I am
>not here to convince anyone, only to let you know why I feel that unfair
>competition will place many of us in jeopardy.
>I also don't believe that we have not done our share to help others who
need
>the help of the United States. Our government is a leader in helping other
>countries financially and has been since the second world war. This money
>comes from our high taxation - in most cases over 40% of our income if we
>are not lucky enough to own a home where the interest rate is deductible.
>What you ask is that we continue to pay high taxes and donate a percentage
>of our income (in addition)simply to help another society compete against
>us.
>Look, if you want to compete, then do so fairly. compete on capability,
>quality and delivery time.
>
>It's not fair to play poker with the American people and lay down enough
>bets until someone has to fold. In this case, it's the American lifestyle
>that folds because we can't give up enough of our income to cover the pot.
>
>4. Maria commented that we deal well with foreign products and this is
>absolutely true. I bought four Japanese cars because of quality. In a
>manner, I supported the Japanese economy by purchasing their products which
>I believe were superior. Japan was competing fairly with product and
>quality.  However, this year I purchased the first American car since my
>last purchase of a Mitsubishi in 1984. Why? Because the quality improved
and
>I expect the same rate of return on my investment as I did with a Japanese
>vehicle.
>
>As Mr. Allen also stated, we can chose another field to work in. Now let me
>ask where this labor inticement will end? We have gone from an industrial
>country to one whose main industry is service. Taking engineering labor
>(engineers, drafting, etc) and moving them anywhere to follow the lowest
>labor trends attacks the service industry. No worker local or abroad will
be
>guaranteed a secure income. By the time the cycle returns to America (like
>the rejentrification of cities) we will be the lowest labor market, but the
>physical state of our country will suffer as Americans will not be able to
>maintain nor improve those things that we rely upon - quality of education
>in the pre-college level, maintenance of roads, sewers, buildings and much
>much more. Reduced income translates to reduced taxes, reduced income for
>maintenance, reduced municipal positions such as fire department, police
>department etc.
>
>Therefore, before you accuse me of being a "hate-monger" consider what will
>happen in your country when the time comes that your labor rates are no
>longer competitive on a world scale. There will always be lower rates.
>
>Will lobbying or politics help - not in our country. I don't believe in
>Government intervention in business but this did not stop the government
>from endorsing and signing the GATT and NAFTA agreements. Before Bill Allen
>considers this a political discussion it is not. It's still about
structural
>engineering and trying to keep those that will abuse a system from taking
>work away from those who need it as much as those in other countries.
>
>Therefore, if you wish to compete, consider your standard of living equal
to
>ours and compete. Bring your workers here and try to compete fairly on
>wages. Whatever you can charge to meet your obligations in the United
States
>and still save money to send home is fair.  Your gains may not be that much
>but you will be competing with your abilities.
>
> I hope that those of you who have entered this thread will believe that I
>have no inherent prejudice but wish to protect those who live in this
>country and who have made it a melting pot for others from around the
world.
>We did this because the United States was a land of opportunity where
>members of your family came to live and are now my friends and my
neighbors.
>If your relatives who live here are thrust into poverty, will you support
>them? If the opportunities no longer exist in your country (and they won't
>once a cheaper labor rate is found), what will you do to protect your
selves
>or your families.
>
>Respectfully,
>Dennis Wish PE
>
>
>
>