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Too Bad This Isn't Standard Capitalist Thinking

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Sink' started by zephcom, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. zephcom

    zephcom Well-Known Member

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    First the article:

    The way Americans think about blue-collar manufacturing work is a bigger threat than robots

    Snap-on's CEO Nick Pinchuk is featured in the article. His ideas concerning manufacturing in America is certainly not mainstream but should be. The article ends like this:

    “If you’re the head of a company and you say that people are your most important asset, on occasion you have to act like it,” he said. “My senior leadership team needs to know that employees are the most valuable asset.”

    He sees an employer’s basic responsibility in straightforward terms: giving employees the ability to keep their family safe, warm and dry; paying them well; giving them stability.

    In addition to not laying off any employees since “well, before the recession,” Snap-On has been giving 3% annual raises. “Not huge,” Pinchuk said, but it is an aspect of compensation that the company thinks is critical to make sure it remains consistent.

    The final aspect of work Pinchuk believes is critical, and often not associated with the manufacturing work that only 30% of Americans want to do, is meaning.

    “You need to give people a reason to feel good about themselves and what they are doing. We tell people they are making some difference, we are the people of work, help working men and women, the makers and fixers who create society. We hold that dear. It is kind of dramatic, but our people believe it. We have people who put wrenches in the hands of newborn babies because they believe it will influence their lives forever.”

    It is a simple concept. It is too bad it isn't a mandatory part of capitalism because without that, it doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of wide-spread adoption in America.
     
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  2. section9+1

    section9+1 Well-Known Member

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    Snap-on makes good tools, but they are excessively expensive.
     
  3. zephcom

    zephcom Well-Known Member

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    In your opinion, which is the better thing, inexpensive tools made by unhappy people or expensive tools made by happy people?
     
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  4. section9+1

    section9+1 Well-Known Member

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    I know which is better, but I also know which I will buy because low cash is not better either.
     
  5. section9+1

    section9+1 Well-Known Member

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    A good rule when buying tools is first by the cheap one. If you wear it out, then by more expensive, because you will know then which ones you use the most.
     
  6. zephcom

    zephcom Well-Known Member

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    My experience is that one should always buy the best tool they can afford because it will last longer and provide better service. Over time, one saves money this way because when you toss out the cheap tool you are also tossing out the money it cost.
     
  7. zephcom

    zephcom Well-Known Member

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    Interesting
     
  8. jacks

    jacks Er Victus Supporter

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    People look for "value" which is made up of price and perceived quality. It is pretty rare to have people also factor in social responsibility in their buying decisions. Though I think it is becoming more common.
     
  9. zephcom

    zephcom Well-Known Member

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    I think we have been sold that by advertising. The aspect of factoring in social responsibility is more of a grass roots thing. I understand that more and more people looking at corporate response to global warming as a factor of buying. That is why more and more fossil fuel advertising is attempting to highlight the company's work to reduce the damage they have been causing. Of course that advertising is only effective if they actually take steps to reduce their damage.

    Walmart went through that stage where they hired actors to pretend to be satisfied employees. It didn't work all that well because everyone knew the employees were, and still, treated poorly.

    One has to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.
     
  10. FenderTL5

    FenderTL5 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It used to be. A CEO's fiduciary responsibility used to be to all 'stake-holders', which includes employees. Stake-holder has been transformed to stock-holder.
     
  11. section9+1

    section9+1 Well-Known Member

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    Even a cheap tool can last a long time especially if it doesn't get used a lot. No point in buying an expensive tool if it sits on the shelf most of the time.
     
  12. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    That is because it is not true capitalism.
     
  13. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla His little lady

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    An item manufactured in the U.S. will cost more to produce than those made elsewhere. I support American businesses and I’m willing to pay more to do so.
     
  14. zephcom

    zephcom Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps that is why true capitalism is so disastrous. And is also why governments are necessary under capitalism.
     
  15. JackRT

    JackRT Flat earther waking up ... Supporter

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    Often when a company goes bankrupt or is purchased or moves offshore, the employees are left in the cold. When this happens the workers must be fully compensated (back pay, holidays, pension, benefits). For example, Nortel went bankrupt but ten years later the employees had not received their last paycheque and their pensions were history. On the other hand the executive officers were still receiving their regular pay and annual bonuses.
     
  16. mnphysicist

    mnphysicist Have Courage to Trust God!

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    All of the above ring true at times...

    I bought a Harbor Freight and Salvage (yes that was its name back in the early 80's) set of pozidrive screwdrivers and ruined one on the first use.... so I bought a Snap On set at 20X the price. As it turned out, that set has remained in my toolbox having been used 3 times over the last 4 decades. Granted, I needed it to do the job.. but still.

    The Snap On ceo is selling a bit of smoke and mirrors with the employee shortage thing. its easily solvable... but it will cost money, much as it did when manufacturing drove the US GDP rather than financial gamesmanship.

    1. Pay folks a decent wage. If you pay a welder $14/hour when welding school says you can make $40/hour, and a kid flipping burgers makes $11, you aren't going to have many people interested in working for you. This is simple supply and demand... yet manufacturers will whine that they can't find anyone to work for them.

    2. The vast majority of manufacturing jobs do not require a university degree, or even an associates degree... but HR doesn't want to take any risks, so they use the educational system as a means of screening people. You don't need an MBA to do a clerks job that was commonly held by a high school kid back in the 60's. You can save a lot of money by paying highschool grad salaries rather than MBA salaries... and use the savings to provide more competitive wages on the shop floor. My neighbor the other day was asking about microsoft office certification...and its like, the vast majority of MS office work either runs on macros/apps, or uses 5% or less of the capabilities of the software, which one can learn in a month on the job. You don't need to get into the guts of office to use it... but the company she was applying to required it. HR was using the cert as a screening tool.

    3. Manufacturers scream about folks lacking skills... we solved this decades ago with on the job training. I don't expect a n00b engineer to be competent on day 1, it takes a year or two of experience. The same situation applies to folks on the plant floor. One of my best microscopic welders had a degree in early childhood education, and was working for us as a janitor... he expressed some interest on the tech side, so we took a chance and invested in training him. it was a win win for all, albeit sometimes it doesn't work, but its still better than doing nothing by grumbling.

    He is spot on with meaning... which unfortunately ends up being sold very poorly if its sold at all. Otoh, for the firms who do so, the benefits usually come back multifold.
     
  17. ananda

    ananda Early Buddhist

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    It can't be a mandatory part of capitalism, because capitalism, in its nature involves competition, and competition involves cutting costs.
     
  18. zephcom

    zephcom Well-Known Member

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    It can be mandatory if the government says it is mandatory. One of the primary reasons to have government is to establish the rules of society. And that includes the rules which the economic engine has to follow.
     
  19. ananda

    ananda Early Buddhist

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    True, but then the revised system wouldn't be "capitalist" anymore.
     
  20. zephcom

    zephcom Well-Known Member

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    If that is the case, then America's economic engine is not capitalism either because government places all sorts of rules on how it is conducted.
     
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