Skip to comments.Products fade away, not American workers
Posted on 09/03/2013 1:32:14 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
"De Soto, Holder of Twenty-nine World Records, builds a new aero-dynamic car at popular prices ... This year De Soto does the unexpected again ... introduces not one new car ... but two! ... We can't describe the new Airflow model. You will have to see it yourself to know how truly beautiful it is."
Go to a public library or a used-books-and-periodicals store sometime, select at random an American magazine from decades ago, flip through the pages at your leisure. What may strike you is not the now-forgotten news stories, but the energy and effort expended, the enthusiasm displayed, in the advertisements extolling products that were prominent at the moment, and that today are nowhere to be seen.
"When your head is stuffed up! Nothing helps a cold more than rest and sleep but you can't sleep when your head is stuffed up, and you can't enjoy your food when you can't smell and taste. If you want to have your head clear, enjoy your food and sleep peacefully, just buy a bottle of Mistol, put a few drops in each nostril and see how much better you feel immediately."
Labor Day weekend is as good a time as any to reflect upon what endures -- what matters -- in the life of American commerce and industry. What lasts are not the specific products we desire and purchase. They come and go. People, for a while, decide they need or want them....
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
De Soto was at least two decades ahead of its time. Toss in bad PR, and limited advertising, and it was bound for a limited production. But the real end to the series was the economic downturn of the late 1950s. I wouldn’t call it a real recession...but things slowed down for a year or two, and car sales lagged.
My dad bought one in 1956 I think....pink and gunmetal grey two tone! Had a pushbutton transmission....I’ll say one thing, everyone stared at it as we drove by.
I get the following messages:
Companies go out of business all the time. [shrug] Who cares? It's the way of the world. Perhaps an anti-busienss climate is no big deal.
Laborers! Workers! The Proletariat! These are what matter! We shall always have mouths to feed and people who need work! Let us celebrate the teeming masses who stand ready to produce the goods of tomorrow!
I say we are headed toward an automated world in which brands and companies will exist, but the need for workers will diminish.
“I say we are headed toward an automated world in which brands and companies will exist, but the need for workers will diminish”
My auntie, may she rest in peace, had a 1957 Chevrolet used State Trooper vehicle. It ran like a scalded dog....
DeSoto was no more ahead or behind the times than parent Chrysler. The Airflow was a radically advanced design available first and foremost as a Chrysler but also as a DeSoto. It failed because it was too different. Parent Chrysler learned a lesson there, learned it too well, proceeding to produce very conservative cars, well engineered but almost all dull from a styling standpoint, right through to the mid-fifties as a result. From that point, DeSoto was arguably the prettier brand in the Chrysler stable, not given quite to the extreme of excesses in an excessive era. What killed it was the late fifties recession, never recovered. Think of DeSoto as being Chrysler’s Oldsmobile, it was discontinued in order to free up resources to shore up the remaining four brands. Yes, four, Imperial had not been rolled into Chrysler yet, at that point.
Anything like this? ('57 cop car)
I’m a big fan of American products like Food - to eat! And another big fave is Shelter. Clothing, too! I hope America keeps producing these products even though they are a bit old fashioned. I think there is still a market for them.
Yes... look at Twinkies... they are back... the UNION GOONS THAT KILLED THEM ARE NOT!
I don't disagree, but this brings up lots of issues. If there are less workers, and population continues to increase, who buys these products, and with money made doing what? What do all of the ‘workers’ who aren't needed do with their time? Do they become a permanent welfare class? What does that do to societal structure?
Do we become more of a ‘part-time’ working culture, in which less jobs are shared by more people? How does that work, and who pays for their benefits? Yes, having automation might make products cheaper to manufacture, and thus more competitive - leading to greater profits and money available for wages. However, if fewer people are working and thus taxes go up to provide for them, wouldn't that just eradicate whatever savings there were from reduced labor costs?
It's obviously complicated, but eventually we will have to answer these questions.
Yes, but I’d swear it was a two door...
All good questions.
Let me take a step back and highlight part of the problem. The article that was posted was a Labor Day piece, about American workers.
Freepers have turned it into a "I love old cars!" thread.
The problem is that labor is losing its value -- automation does some of it, foreign workers do some of it. Standard of living is going down in this country. We are absolutely going in the direction of people who do no work at all, and people who have a part-time job. The number of people with solid careers demanding lots of time and effort is shrinking. In a society in which personal productivity seems to have no reason to increase, we seem likely to become a society in which fewer and fewer people can really support themselves. Voila! Government checks! EBT cards! Government healthcare! Government schools! It's a socialist's dream, because labor is no longer necessary, and everyone has (at best) a part-time job at McDonald's! Now we really need a strong central government redistributing all the wealth! Yee-Haaa!
But, we might as well turn it into a "I love old cars!" thread. I guess that's less depressing.
I’m reminded of the fight scene in the Infinity factory in the movie “The Minority Report. The car was assembled from start to finish in a factory where the only visible humans were the ones involved in the chase.
It will pretty much come to that eventually. The only question is, “When?”
And these sorts of changes happen extremely rapidly.
1. What socialists/communists fail to acknowledge is that basic human nature pushes us to want to better ourselves, to achieve, to distinguish ourselves. If this weren't true, we would not have made the advances we've made as a species - especially in the time frame in which we've made them.
2. When the ability of individual human beings to better themselves is suppressed, demotivation occurs - often along with depression and a variety of self-destructive behaviors (e.g. alcoholism in the USSR as one of a large number of examples).
3. Ironically, socialism/communism are generally pushed forward by ‘leaders’ who are narcissistic and who are in essence distinguishing themselves apart from the rest of us by being ‘leaders’ of these movements. Progressives are very often identified by a ‘save the world’ mentality - that features them as the special few who are the chosen ones to ‘save the world’. In essence, they are exhibiting behaviors consistent with item number 1 above, while pushing a world construct that denies the rest of us the right to distinguish ourselves.
4. The Utopian concept that we can technologically advance to the point at which human input is no longer needed, and we can all just ‘chill’ and enjoy the fruits of utopia - while ‘automation’ etc. takes care of business for us is terribly flawed for an extensive number of reasons. Among them:
A. Someone needs to invent, perfect, build, and maintain the automation. It will not just come into being on its own.
B. Even if one evokes the ‘ultimate’ automated society, in which ‘smart machines’ invent the automation, build it, perfect it, and maintain it, someone will have to invent and fabricate these ‘smart machines’. You could argue that ‘smarter machines’ will invent the ‘smart machines’, but this begins to get a little ridiculous and way too futuristic to be considered seriously in the current or foreseeable future context. Yes, all things are possible, but if one believes this scenario of machine begets machine begets machine, then I have Escher drawings you'd probably love to have hanging on your wall.
To me, the part of the human spirit that led us to go into space, to walk on the moon, and for many to die trying to reach the summit of Everest, is so intrinsic, basic, and intensely human that to deny these things essentially is to deny our humanity. Interestingly, on another thread today there was reference to the behavior of Russian athletes - including rudeness and hypercompetitiveness. In my view, it was inevitable that Russian athletes would be hypercompetitive, since for years and years athletic competition was the only way one could legitimately distinguish oneself in the USSR.
Lots to think about, and I'd love to hear other opinions.
And one wonders how many products the robots will buy.
At some point, it becomes impossible to turn around, and it may be that there is no "Plan B". People might wake up and say "Socialism really doesn't work!" and they may say "Our factories are automated, but who can buy the goods?"
And the question is: What now? You've gone over the waterfall. People lack a work ethic. People lack an education. The school system is a wasteland that simply cannot turn out a decent product for at least a generation. Morals are shot. The entire culture is shot.
People need to REALLY think out of the box. The problem is here today, but the fix is (maybe) 20 years away. What do we do?
I don't pretend to have the answer, but voting for a better guy, or tweaking section 24B of the tax code is definitely not going to stop us from going over the waterfall.
As I see it, the Left has executed a long-term plan over the past 100+ years. Conservatives need to stop thinking "How can next quarter be better?" and start thinking "Where can we hope to be in 2050?" As I say, I have no answer, but I think quick fixes are not the way. If going over the waterfall is inevitable (and I think it is) then we better start planning what to do after the crash at the bottom.
Agreed. The picture of a rowboat atilt on the crest of a waterfall comes to mind.
I wasn’t taking a shot at you, just remembering what a union official at a car plant in the 1950s said when management was extolling the virtues of automation (they don’t need breaks or vacations or sick days, etc.).
At the time I thought the guy was just against modernization, never thinking we’d get to this stage, exacerbated by shipping plants to where humans are still cheaper than machines.