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Thread: Your local economy

  1. #1
    plazul
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    Your local economy

    With all the conflicting economic news I'd like to survey people to see how their local economies are doing.

    Are they adding good paying jobs in your area? What new projects are underway? What is your community doing to promote economic development?

  2. #2
    Proud American Peg's Avatar
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    Re: Your local economy

    It's scary how much the Ohio Valley depends on the steel industry. Way back when, when I graduated high school, getting a job at the steel mill was THE thing to do. Over the years, the industry has had more downs than ups. People who thought they had job security, and were already over spending, found themselves losing their homes, their wives, etc. as things continued to get worse. The men and women have given up benefits, taken pay cuts, etc. to keep their jobs. What had once been their dream job, became their worst nightmare. The trickle effect goes to every business around. They have less to spend shopping, so stores, bars, etc. are affected. Things are starting to improve somewhat, but I doubt the steel industry will ever be what it once was. I see steel workers every day at my job, and it's sad to see so many people who feel stuck with a job they are miserable doing now.

  3. #3
    plazul
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    Re: Your local economy

    All of the iron ore that built Ohio's steel industry, and the rest of the nation's steel industry, came from up here in Northern Minnesota. Ever heard of the Iron Range?

    This area has been devastated too and the steel mills all shut down back in the Seventies. The mines are still going but many have closed and the good union jobs are scarce. We lost over a quarter of our population back in the Eighties and it's still declining.

    Thanks to Japanese steel dumping and other unfair trade practices places like Ohio and Pennslyvania have been decimated. The days of the well paid blue collar worker are dead.

  4. #4
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    Re: Your local economy

    Our steel industry was decimated thirty years ago along with most of our heavy industry. Its one of the myths about scotland it's not all brigadoon and shortbread we are or were one of the most heavily indistrialised countries on the planet.

    Bush almost started a trade war with the EEC and japan over steel imports and only stopped as other industries began to complain having to pay artificially high prices for steel was affecting their exports and profitability. Globalisation is not somthing that just affects other countries it will affect the US as well.

    Your steel industry wasn't efficient enough to compete on the open market and neither was ours, blaming dumping rather misses the point.

    Next time you are in a bike shop have a look at where the frames and components are made. Look at the electronic chips in your cars where your TV's are made

    It's the same with farming. you can't complain about EEC subsidies to their farmers when you subsidise your own farmers and block imports form third world countries. The EEC insisting that american farm produce be clearly identified as GM if that is the case is not anti american, european consumers just won't buy the stuff of it's clearly marked in the UK most of then had to take the stuff off the shelves because no one was buying it. Starting a trade war over it and trying to get us to accept them will not get the result you want. There is a lot of pain to come for many industries, particularly the old heavy industrial ones.

    It's the same in the IT industry, most computers are made in the far east China is going to have an increasing part to play as well that's why oil proces are going to rise no matter what you do in the middle east, unless you try and tell middle eastern countries who they can sell to although I doubt even GW is that daft.

  5. #5
    plazul
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    Re: Your local economy

    You're correct that America's steel manufacturing facilities were inefficient but we're correcting that and bringing online innovative taconite processing plants and flash furnance mini steel mills. America knows how to compete. But we can't compete with countries that are dumping steel at below market rates.

    Many of America's agricultural subsidies should be abolished (President Bush uses them for his ranch) but some serve the purpose of maintaining a steady supply of products while protecting the family farm. We have the cheapest food costs in the world and we're going to keep it that way.

    If we eliminated all agricultural subsidies American food stuffs would still be cheaper than those produced in Europe. We believe in fair trade but we're not going to let our guard down untill there's *fair trade* across the board. Witness our half trillion dollar trade deficit with China.

  6. #6
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    Re: Your local economy

    Many of America's agricultural subsidies should be abolished (President Bush uses them for his ranch) but some serve the purpose of maintaining a steady supply of products while protecting the family farm. We have the cheapest food costs in the world and we're going to keep it that way.
    But you expect us to put up with you dumping subsidised agricultural crops on us?

    But we can't compete with countries that are dumping steel at below market rates.
    Howq about when it your import tax was beginning to hurt your own industries that use rather than produce steel.

    So should many of the EEC. It's a red hot topic in europe, but the discussion goes round and round with nothing being resolved as vested interests get involved. Probably GM crops is the biggest issue between the US and EEC we just don't want them but the american press seem to put it across as simple protectionism on europe's part. So when you read that in your press bear that in mind.

    Monsanto has had to pull out of the UK because of the protests against their crop trials. This is the company that said DDT was harmless and discredited their own scientists when they tried to publish the results of their own tests. People just don't trust the agri companies any more.

  7. #7
    plazul
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    Re: Your local economy

    Do you think food prices would go down in Europe if American crops weren't subsidized and Europe took down all of its barriers? Would you rather have us put *all* of our vast agricultural land into production and let the winner take all? On that sort of *level* playing field the American family farm would totally disappear and big agribusiness would blow European farmers out of the water. Also, the last time I checked France was doing a pretty good job at protecting its farmers.

    I think you're talking about genetically engineered crops being an issue in Europe but with world hunger reaching crisis proportions I'm not very sympathetic to that unscientific concern particularly when I hear that distribution of food supplies in Africa is being blocked by food production activists.

    If Europe doesn't want it, fine, but don't expect America to bend over for European agricultural exporters if that's the case.

    Globalization is affecting us all but instead of pointing fingers at each other we should create international laws forbidding labor exploitation, product dumping, and state subsidization of greedy multinationals.

    (btw, is food taxed in Europe?)

  8. #8
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    Re: Your local economy

    Globalization is affecting us all but instead of pointing fingers at each other we should create international laws forbidding labor exploitation, product dumping, and state subsidization of greedy multinationals.
    I think we agree with each other.

    If Europe doesn't want it, fine, but don't expect America to bend over for European agricultural exporters if that's the case.
    Europe doesnt want it. It's not about trade it's concern about the environment. I think it is portrayed as simply being about trade issues in the US but to the average european it is not that simple. There really was a tremendous backlash against GM crops with test crops being destroyed. nything labelled GM doesn't get bought. Not labelling the stuff is viewed as the govt and agribusiness trying to sneak in by the back door. Please understand the opposition to GM is very much a grass roots affair our government amd in europe ignore that kind of sentiment at the risk of being voted out of office.

    I'm not very sympathetic to that unscientific concern particularly when I hear that distribution of food supplies in Africa is being blocked by food production activists.
    It's hardly unscientific. We already have problems with our water supply being contaminated by pesticides and fungicides. Used in conjunction with genetically modified crops that need the concomitant pesticides it may be good for the likes of the big agribusinesses but it's a potential disaster for the environment.

    Canadian farmers that don't use gm seeds are finding the stuff in amongst their crops and are being sued by the seed companies who swear blind it couldn't be there except by someone planting it. I would put in a link to the story but I've lost it.

    The thing is once we have these and they do damage we are stuck with the consequences.

    As to food production, you know what we inport from Kenya? Flowers, in a continent where millions starve they grow flowers as a cash crop because they can't get enough for their food crops thanks to the EEC and US dumping foodstuffs. The problem is not we can''t feed everybody it's that the food is in the wrong place

    It is a very complex issue with no single factor causing the problem. I suspect we could spend the rest of the year debating the issue but probably agree in broad terms. The problem is in debates I have seen like this it tends to fall in to a slagging match about capitalism versus communism which totally miss the point. Nor is it US against EEC we are both at fault on this one.

    As to the economy, most of the growth in the UK comes from small to medium size enterprises. The internet is beginning to have atremendous impact on busionesses and the way they operate. I am about to set up my own company, currently I work with a larger company, self employed but i pay them a monthly charge for office space admin etc. Thanks to new scanning tachnology and internet based transactions and research I no longer need them. I can do the same level of business and triple my profitability. Boy do I love IT. Wre;; Ilike to use it, in truth once I get things working the way i want i tend to lose interest.

    I live in an area where twenty years ago there were a few major employers. When they left unemployment was around 10-15%. Now there are hundreds of businesses and employment is under 3%. It is not change that is the problem but how you deal with it.

  9. #9
    plazul
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    Re: Your local economy

    My nephew has a graduate degree in agi-science and he says the hype about GM is not based in sound science. But I'm not the expert so I'll let that one go.

    Telecommuting is big in the U.S. and more and more professionals are becoming independent contractors. Engineers, for example, have it made as telecommuters and demand for their services is high.

    Web merchandising is a different ballgame though and the competition is overwhelming. You really need expert advice, I think, to get into web marketing.

    What sort of business are you in? Just curious if you do much business over here.

  10. #10
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    Re: Your local economy

    Register to remove this ad.
    What sort of business are you in? Just curious if you do much business over here.
    Financial services, couldn't do business outside of UK.

    My nephew has a graduate degree in agi-science and he says the hype about GM is not based in sound science. But I'm not the expert so I'll let that one go.
    Don't forget we had all the scandal about BSE-as do you-quite frankly it is doubtful if anyone will believe the government again when they say something is safe newver mind things like wmd

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