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Quote: ".. when capitalism is a race to the bottom..."

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Quote: ".. when capitalism is a race to the bottom..."

Postby randycasburn » Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:44 pm

Someone recently tried to hijack a post about kite board companies being crap with a quote that is the subject of this thread. ( the entire quote is too long for the subject line )

There is a long history of many, many kite companies failing. Is this due to "a race to the bottom" or is it due to consumers controlling the market through the power of the purse?

I thought it interesting that consumers of capitalist products are openly discussing companies in various ways (customer support, product quality, production delays, etc). Also, that in a free market economy they have the freedom to decide what companies they will and will not buy from based solely upon their freedom of choice. And someone, clearly with a misunderstanding of economics, makes the particular remark in the subject of this thread.

It can also be argued that capitalist economics has less to do with the dilemma than Comparative Advantage created through international open-trade agreements - that even declared socialist economies use to their advantage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxism

Bottom line for me I guess: I want good companies to succeed and I want to buy my kites as cheaply as I can from one of those good companies. That seems win-win as long as I can identify the "good companies" :-)

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Re: Quote: ".. when capitalism is a race to the bottom..."

Postby NYKiter » Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:17 pm

Unfortunately some of the top US brands believe American workers are not good enough and chase the bottom in order to maximize profits. When you chase the bottom you pay the price of lower quality. I would bet that only a handful of factories in a dingy Chinese province probably service two thirds of all the kite brands in the market. Just the nature of capitalism, why then should anyone be surprised and complain about poor quality when all the companies race to the bottom and outsource (Im simplifying a complicated issue of course)???
Last edited by NYKiter on Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Quote: ".. when capitalism is a race to the bottom..."

Postby coleman » Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:30 pm

I wonder how much a typical kite would cost if it wasn't outsourced to a Chinese factory? The fact that nobody has done that leads me to think it isn't viable.

I would say if slingshot for instance decided to produce their kites in the USA they would be 2-3 times as expensive. So about 5-6 grand complete :o

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Re: Quote: ".. when capitalism is a race to the bottom..."

Postby NYKiter » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:32 pm

Sounds like you dont believe in America either...shame on you on Labor Day!!!

:baeh2:

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Re: Quote: ".. when capitalism is a race to the bottom..."

Postby randycasburn » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:38 pm

NYKiter wrote:... believe American workers are not good enough and chase the bottom...
I don't believe for a moment that US companies are biased toward American workers in this way. In fact, I think your comment is ludicrous. Please don't mix a social principle with an economic one.

I do believe companies make an economic decision that leads to using foreign labor. That decision leads to maximizing profit. This is no different than US farmers using immigrant labor during harvest. This again, has nothing to do with farmers being biased against US workers. It has everything to do with lowering cost of goods sold.

It is economic - not social.

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Re: Quote: ".. when capitalism is a race to the bottom..."

Postby randycasburn » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:53 pm

NYKiter wrote:Sounds like you dont believe in America either...shame on you on Labor Day!!!

:baeh2:
So I started this post without any personal references. I hope recognize that.

I understand the economics that drives these realities.

Like many others, you understand deflection, redirection, placing one on defense and overall avoiding or completely misunderstanding the root of the topic.

It's economic - not social.

Don't forget to pay your dues this month.

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Re: Quote: ".. when capitalism is a race to the bottom..."

Postby NYKiter » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:47 pm

OF COURSE they are biased toward American workers....they choose to outsource because Americans need health care, a safe work place and clean communities....who wants to pay for that....don't be naive. Nothing personal by the way, I purchase these kites too (never new). But, like almost everything we buy now, it only lasts half as long as it did when it was manufactured in the homeland.

Support American labor on labor day! Buy American! (its a social decision, not an economic one).
:clap: :clap: :clap:

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Re: Quote: ".. when capitalism is a race to the bottom..."

Postby tautologies » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:51 pm

I think production of kites will be back in the US in not too distant future. As robots increase their ability to take on complex tasks at smaller scale production will be moved back. It is a process that can be completed mainly by a machine. It follows the theory of comparative advantage.

This will lead to a few significant advances: lower time to market, lower production overhead associated with shipping and storage. Unfortunately for some it will also lead to fewer kite being on sale after the season, leading to an improvement in the second hand market.

NYKiter: There is no reason why a product made abroad is synonym with lower quality. You find so many examples of absolutely atrocious American quality. Of course it is fine to make your purchase decision based on any reasoning. :-)

Found it: a Great piece from This American Life.
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-a ... /403/NUMMI

(Its a story about process improvements. I remember listening to this going to the North Shore for a kiting session in 2010. )

Its a really cool piece.

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Re: Quote: ".. when capitalism is a race to the bottom..."

Postby William Munney » Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:26 am

Parts for my Canon camera are made in China and have no quality issues. I think there are too many kite companies, too many models of kites and not enough service. The industry's organization is not optimal. Kiteboarding shops are not set up to sell replacement parts or provide extensive warranty support. Staff is seasonal and they make money by selling lessons and gear to (mostly) newbies. Parts should be sold on Amazon or a brand sponsored website.

The market responds to customer demand- but kiting is a relatively new and small industry and it may take some time to adapt.

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Re: Quote: ".. when capitalism is a race to the bottom..."

Postby randycasburn » Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:57 am

tautologies wrote:I think production of kites will be back in the US in not too distant future.
Evidence that manufacturing costs in China (et al.) are increasing rapidly also provides support for your postulation.
tautologies wrote: Found it: a Great piece from This American Life.
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-a ... /403/NUMMI
..
Its a really cool piece.
Interesting indeed. Thanks for sharing...totally boring unless your cerebral activity is greater than that of a gnat. OK, it's really boring either way, but I still enjoyed the history lesson. :-)


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