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RE: future generations of engineers (was foreign engineer requirements)

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Pankaj
This is no criticism of India by any means, however, what you refer to under "CAPITALISM" as a standard of living and concern for our environment over the price of human life is not an induced overnight issue - it requires a long time to build upon the industrial foundation. You are at, what I might refer to as the "Upton Sinclair" level of Capitalism. This was depicted in his book, "The Jungle" which was written in 1906. I bring this up because of its parallel to India's low consideration for the value of life safety issues in the work place - which our culture also experienced in the food industry of the early 1900's.
Pollution reached its highest level in the 1960's and 1970's when photo's of people walking the streets in Los Angeles wearing gas-masks. Woody Allen depicted this in movies like Annie Hall when Allen's friend invited him to Los Angeles where his friend drove a convertible wearing a solar shield body suit and helmet.
The point is that at some point in the evolution of capitalism on a global scale, multinational industries will have an obligation to their shareholders to maintain the highest flow of profits possible, otherwise, industries will perish as operating funds dry up. To accomplish this considering that the cost of fuel remains constant, corporations will need to find new sources of lower income. Following this "domino" effect your people will be as heavily indebted as the Japanese have become (after lecturing American's on the "Japanese Family methods of Car Manufacturing" of the 80's. What happened was the discovery of the credit card and indebtedness.
What did Russia find out when they became free of Socialism (albeit a flawed system by nature of their abuses). Capitalism means starving while you establish credit and build industry and as of today, in my opinion, Russia's greatest industry is their Black Market.
If I sound pessimistic it is because 2,000,000 jobs were lost in this administration (don't flame me as these are statistics and not intended to point fingers). To be fair, the current economic climate is mostly the fault of neither political party, but the many foolish (myself included) who believed that the value of tech stock is whatever the market will bear -- unlike buying cars, we treated stock like real-estate rather than paying attention to how long it will take for a return on our investment.
Getting back to my point - as soon as you have reached a level of comfort in your society that even comes close to ours, global corporations will move on to the next nation of lowest income available with the fewest concerns for human rights and the lowest hourly wage - and then the process starts all over again.
Who is the next nation to meet these requirements - I'm betting on Africa.
The only think that human nature has learned from this is there is no job security and when you get laid off don't expect the bank to be forgiving - just smile and greet the next owner of your home who happens to own stock in the company that sent your job to Asia or Africa or Mexico.
 
Dennis S. Wish, PE
 
"You just can't get there from here!"
-----Original Message-----
From: Structures Online [mailto:3.sol(--nospam--at)spectranet.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2003 9:29 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: future generations of engineers (was foreign engineer requirements)

David wrote: "Visit a foreign factory and watch them operate with little to no concern for what they are doing to the environment.  Everything from manufacturing oils to passivation or plating chemicals to scrap goes into the ground or municipal waste.  Worker safety is very low on the priority list ---
evidenced by minimal lighting in production areas where heavy equipment is operated.  Note how many workers are missing fingers, hands, etc.  Eyewear? Steel-tipped boots?  Safety-wash stations?  Even the dead-cheap earplugs aren't available in many shops.  Air pollution?  It's just a part of manufacturing and life.  I'd wager that more $$ is spent on capturing just the emissions from the typical U.S.-based bolt-making machine ---- than is spent on all compliance and safety issues combined in a plant in China, Mexico, or India.  Certainly the ones I've seen."
David,
 
In India or China, Missing fingers are not the issue. Staying alive is more important than missing fingers. If American manufactures spend big $$s to comply with safety issues, it is because of your prosperity & standard of living, which values missing fingers. The value of a missing finger will run higher than the $$s spent on safety compliance. In India or China, the value of a missing finger will not get you cost of one bolt (US price).
 
If I run a factory in India, with all the safety compliances, my product will become costly & I will price myself out of the market, because others won't. Again CAPITALISM (read my reply to Cliff), which we have just started to embrace, and so our standard of living, has started to increase together with everything else including safety compliance. Once we reach a standard of living where a missing finger would cost more than sfety compliance, we will have the safety compliance equivalent to US standards. It cannot be the other way round.
 
As for the importer in US, if he doesn't import from India, somebody else will. And if there is a law passed out against it, there will be some alternative route thru some other country, which achieves nothing except making the product maybe a little costlier, but still less expensive than US manufactured. So again CAPITALISM.....Tarriffs & protectionism would not help which will hurt the US more than anybody else.
 
Regards
 
Pankaj Gupta
Structures Online
India