Unfortunate Circumstances

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Matthyro, Mar 25, 2002.

  1. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    I have many great friends in the USA and don't mean to criticise any US citizens other than those lobbyists in Washington that have nothing better to do than persaude the US government to add more tarrifs to the Canadian softwood producers. This is causing massive layoffs that will affect British Columbia's economy which is already in dire straits. Railroads will also face disaster.
    This is totally against the NAFTA agreement between Canada and the USA .
    Unfortunately this will cause friction between some Canadians and US visitors. I hate to see anything that works against the good neighbours that have taken years to grow.
    I realize that US lumber producers want a level playing field but this is going too far.
    My opinion anyway.
  2. RI541

    RI541 Member

    This is a real touchy subject for me as I'm a builder and my father owns a furniture shop.I guess what bothers me is seeing truck loads of our trees going north to your saw mills.That realy wouldn't bother me too much as I dont have nothing against Canada, But the fact that my father has too buy truck loads of this lumber at a time. When I was younger he could just buy a half a truck load from one of the local saw mills.Now the saw mills are gone since the tree havesters get a better price from up north.

    I think it should be made as a 50/50 so that everyone fairs equal.
    The US industry has gone to pot.Japan,China,Mexico has lower labor costs.So must of the junk we get is from these countries.

    We Americans wonder why the country has gone to hell its because we sent all of our work overseas.We think that we deserve to make big wages when we dont.We're slowly destroying our own country.

    A few years back the prime minister of Japan told us what our problem was.We're lazy plan and simple.

    I'm not realy too proud of our goverment but will defend them.I am proud of our county and our flag.

    I hope that I haven't offended you as I dont mean too but we've already lost too much to foriegn countries.

  3. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Done it to us too....

    They've done it to us, too, Shane. Last month, they wacked a heavy tarrif and import quotas on Australian steel. Of the construction type, including rail tracks. And after our contribution to the Afghan Crisis, too. (which is greater than the US contribution, on a per-capita basis).

    Just prior to that, it was Australian lamb... What was being imported before that, amounted to 1 lamb chop per US citizen per year. However, to a small country like OZ, that's an awful big slice of the industry. Gone.

    Oh well..... "Once bitten...." as they say.
  4. RI541

    RI541 Member

    Heres a sample of what I run into quite a bit.

    I was hired to do some minor renovations to a house.Which included a fire door to be installed between the house and the garage.

    I could buy an American made door with out a problem,But I could get this same door from an Canadian manufacurer for $94.00 cheaper.

    Now the delemer,Do I buy this American made door so that the American who made it can feed his family or do I buy the Canadian made door for my customer (who pays me which feeds my family) to save him money?Now if I buy te Canadian door this means that the Canadian company made a sale,The American company lost a sale.

    I think that if America buys $1.00"s worth of goods from a foriegn country then that country should buy $1.00 dollars worth from us.

    Another example is Life Savers, which if you didn't know is the little round candy with the hole in the middle,I think thier moving to Canada,OK lets kill a couple hundred American jobs so that we can give another country a couple hundred jobs but save the company some money.

    "Life Savers......A part of living" Yea right

    You know the saddest part of all of this is that we Americans did this to ourselves by demanding outragous wages better benifits and all the other BS we dont deserve. The company man no longer exists in America.

    Fifty years ago if the company you worked for ran into problems you didn't quit your job no you took a pay cut and worked harder to help get the company back on its feet.Your reward??? You had a job to go to the next morning.Now a days people just leave and go to the next company and the next.Pretty soon there wont be another company to go to and this is something that my fellow Americans had better think about.

    Well I guess I've said enough,or what I'm trying to say is that America had better think about bringing the industry back to the US.

  5. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    I was hoping to stay out of this, but I can no longer resist the temptation.

    The free enterprise system - hell, western society itself - is based on buying the best quality at the lowest price. Heck, we all do it ourselves when it comes to model railroad equipment. So there is no way at all I can agree with your statement "I think that if America buys $1.00"s worth of goods from a foreign country then that country should buy $1.00 dollars worth from us". If Country A can provide goods of equal or greater quality in Country B than Country B's manufacturers can, then so be it - buy from Country A.

    In Canada, 90%-plus of EVERYTHING we buy - consumer goods especially - comes from outside the country. Even the small proportion of stuff we buy that was manufactured in Canada - say, for example, my wife's new Toyota Matrix - a lot of the materials that go into it are made in the states and shipped up here (don't even get me started on foreign companies investing in our countries).

    *HOWEVER*, I will agree to my death the idea of equivalent subsidies. If softwood lumber is being subsidized by the Canadian government (and I don't know that it is), then by all means our companies have an unfair advantage, which should be equalized somehow someway by your (USA) government. If our companies don't have an unfair advantage, but simply have a more efficient method of production (or some other advantage), and the USA government is simply trying to save face politically (as is often the case with all governments), then the import tax is unfair.

    The reverse relationship is also true - American farmers are subsidized up the "whing-whang" to produce a variety of crops. It's almost become necessary for today's farming industry. However, if Canadian farmers are NOT being subsidized equally, then we should charge an import tax on your crops. Fair is fair.

    That's it for today's seminar in Economics 381.
  6. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Okay there's another point I need to make - corporate loyalty. As a part-time futurist, this is one of my pet projects.

    IMHO, it wasn't the employees who screwed up loyalty, it was the companies. Once upon a time, loyalty was a two-way street -
    not only did we stay at the same job for an infinite period, but the companies kept us there for an infinite period.

    And then came "downsizing". Now, a company has one bad quarter, and poof, there goes 1/3 of its workforce (many studies have already been done that prove this is an inane practice - as soon as times are good again, the company has to pay way more in increased wages and recruitment costs than they would have had to if they just would have kept their workforce). So why should I or the rest of society be loyal to any company today??? No way hozay, if you don't look after yourself, nobody else will.
  7. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    We Canadians buy a great deal of merchandise made in the USA so we do our best to help the US economy. For example, virtually all model railroad stuff I buy was made in the USA. I buy Atlas and Dgitrax as well as roadbed. When I was into radio contolled model airplanes the electronics and kits I bought were US made.
    The main reason why Canadian lumber seems cheaper is due to the lousy value of the Canadian Dollar compared to the US dollar.
    Many people living close to the border find it cheaper to buy goods in Canada due to the exchange rate. Hopefully our dollar will increas in value then you will see a difference. In the meantime I hear that new home values in the USA have increased by close to $2000 and that renovations will cost more too. No end to these problems eh!
  8. RI541

    RI541 Member

    You might want to look at a Atlas locomotive to see where it was made I have three of them and not one is made in the USA.Ones made in China,One in Japan and there other is made in Yukaslavia.

    As far as I'm conserned If a man cant be loyal to the company that hired him,trained him,pays his insurance,pays him sick days and vacation,then he doesnt belong with this company.They didn't have to hire his useless butt anyways.

    Thats the problem with todays society is that every one thinks thinks thier so grand and they can just go to the next job.If you cant be loyal to the company then try going out on your on cuz apparently your that good.When you get out on your own you'll understand loyalty especialy if you hire some one who thinks the same as you.Been there done that bought the T-shirt and now I work alone.

  9. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Yep, well I've been through three downsizing rounds at a large company, and they didn't show any of my friends any loyalty, so why should I do likewise??? Ain't gonna happen.

    Been on my own too. And will go back, just need to grow my network first. So I have accepted a full-time position - but you better believe that I'm still half-heartedly looking for something better (pay and challenge). Cause nobody's gonna worry about me 'cept me.
  10. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    In my retail experience I started with the SS Kresge co which no longer exists then to K-Mart and in Canada they don't exist anymore Then to Horizon discount stores but they were owned by Eatons who closed them down, I moved into Eaton stores and worked in Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener, Saskatoon then back to Toronto and left Eatons just before it went bankrupt.
    Sign of the times.
    No matter how many hours I worked and tried to be loyal, none of these companies seemed to care a darn and thats why they no longer exist.
    Now I can't afford a subscription to Model Railroader as it would cost me $60 annualy. How much is a subscription in the USA today?
  11. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    Regarding the US tariffs.....

    It won't help, I know, but I wish to apologize for the go-it-alone mind set of our present administration. It is obvious in far more than just import duties. The Kyoto Treaty (I think it's called) comes to mind.

    The reactionary politicos of our country (and other countries too) refuse to believe that the world changes irrevocably, and they would like to think it can again be the era of Teddy Roosevelt "speaking softly but carrying a big stick" --- all they have to do is wish it.

    Well, they probably don't really believe that --- but it serves their political interests to profess it.

    We can hope for a REAL choice in our next elections. Possibly a futile hope, but a hope. We might also hope for a true democracy where the person with the most votes wins. But THAT really is a wasted hope!

  12. Mike R

    Mike R Member

    The tariff thing is politics at it's sleaziest form, which is most of the time...with the lumber issue, congressmen,senators, and the president are trying to secure votes for their next campaigns. Even if NAFTA or the WTO, or GATT rule against the tariffs, they can all say:"I did my best for you, [so vote for me again!].
    We have the same garbage up here all the time, our politicians bleat about Brazil subsidizing their aircraft industry, while our sleazemasters subsidize the hell out of Bombardier to get votes in Quebec.
    As a long time model railroader,I remember the high cost of USA made products here in the 50's and 60's, with a Canadian 50% duty on everything we got.
    regards, Mike
  13. gromit

    gromit New Member


    I don't know much about the Lumber situation, but the steel traiff was a bone head move. It save a few thousand steel workers jobs, but will force up the prices of everyone who uses steel in the US. Therefore people will buy cheaper foriegn products made from lower priced steel instead buying from US manufactures. In the end it will cost ten other jobs for every steel workers job saved.
  14. gromit

    gromit New Member


    I don't know much about the Lumber situation, but the steel traiff was a bone head move. It save a few thousand steel workers jobs, but will force up the prices of everyone who uses steel in the US. Therefore people will buy cheaper foriegn products made from lower priced steel instead buying from US manufactures. In the end it will cost ten other jobs for every steel workers job saved.
  15. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    To those from outside the U.S., my appologies. There are some really brainless acts coming out of Washington, and not just economic issues.
    To those who live here; Did you vote Republican, OR Democrat??
    Maybe if more of us looked at the other choices, things wouldn't be as bad.

    That's my two (inflated) cents worth.
  16. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    I really do appreciate the support from our American neighbours.
    Your ambassador here in Canada is working with both governments to reach an agreement. He is a great help.
  17. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    More to the point, Pete, Did "those who live here" vote at all?? Probably not.
  18. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    It's funny how for years people have said, "Get out there and vote because YOUR VOTE COUNTS!" Well, it was most literally true in this last presidential election. In Florida, anyway...in a few counties. My vote didn't count that time because I live in Texas!

    I think that it's interesting that there is a movement towards a form of isolationism growing here in the U.S. It seems that more and more people (around here, anyway) are getting an "Us vs. Them" mentality. But, unfortunately, we are intertwined in world affairs to too great an extent for us to simply withdraw into ourselves. It may have sorta worked a hundred years ago, but not now...

    What we need now is a major world war. Then we'd be right back on top. People would actually say nice things about the United States then! Well, all except the bad guys. So how about it? Anyone want to fire the first shot?

    Oh yeah, I forgot...the World Trade Center thing... But that doesn't count because...um....well, JUST BECAUSE.

  19. John Sneed

    John Sneed Member

    Here in the states we have what is called lobbyist What these poeple do is to represent special groups. they give large amounts of money to law makers campaigns in order to influence the laws in the favor of their clients. Here we have the best goverment that money can buy, and hell with anybody that does not think the same way they do. case in point: gun control.Polls show that most people are in favor of it. NRA is not, so no gun control laws. Same thing with the lumber industry. The lawmakers got payed off. this is the payback for all the money they gave them.Its not right, but thats not a big deal to the people that make the laws.The people that make the laws are the only ones that can change it.And they are not about to kill the golden goose. THE answer is term limits. My two cents.
  20. RI541

    RI541 Member


    I dont think anybodies vote counted in Florida unless it was a vote for Bush.

    As for a world war we realy dont have anybody to fight with.The only people who want to fight us are the third world terrorist.

    The only countries we should realy worry about is Iraq and Korea And we all know that Sudam is stupid enough to come at us again.We should have taken him out when we could have.We all know that we will be fighting him again.But we need people like him and Bin Laden.

    I will give Bush credit for going after Bin Laden.With Bush in office I dont think that Sudam will start to much because he knows that Bush won't think twice of sendind him a couple "care packages"

    I dont think that we will get either Bin Laden or Sudam behind bars. We'll just catch them and tell them to be good little boys like we did last time.

    We all know what Sudam is doing.Hes just rebuilding his arsnal,and I wont be suprised if Bin Laden is helping in some way or another.


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