Author Topic: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)  (Read 856 times)

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Offline Calvin6s

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IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« on: October 08, 2015, 12:49:34 PM »
Ok.  This thread was inspired by talk of what industries are viable in the USA from a Political Humor tangent.

Having been a part of a forum, coming up with some standardization can help when somebody wants to find an old post that is relevant.  In this case, breaking down political issues.  I put "IssueTalk:" in the beginning as it could be used as a standard in Advanced search of the political subforum.  Just a suggestion for possible future Issue specific threads.

Made in the USA (and "they took are jobs") is a phrase that seems to encapsulate a set of many related issues.  It doesn't have to be limited to the USA.  Made in <my home country> is the real topic, but Made in the USA will be easier to search.

Feel free to discuss the pros and cons (and the mixture of both) for related topics.  I will try to modify a list in this initial post to create a table of contents of related topics.

Related Topics
 - Outsourcing
 - Import (Export)
 - Industry viability in your country
 - Trade agreements (NAFTA, TPP)
 - Industries consumed by undocumented workers
 - <Make a related topic suggestion>
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Offline Calvin6s

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2015, 01:03:31 PM »
Starting with the initial inspiration for this thread:

Are there industries in <your country> that are no longer viable and should be handled via importation?  The original example:  hat stitching (embroidery). 

If there has been a trend depleting the market share of an industry that you feel is set for an inevitable demise. 

What is the cause of the demise?  Labor costs?  Natural resource availability?

How should industries be rated for consideration of "saving" v. "letting die"?  If there is still demand, is that enough to consider the industry worth saving? 

Should we only keep high paying jobs?  If so, are the days of working your way up in a company long gone?  Was there really anything wrong with specializing your skills according to the job demand of the next plateau?  Are there problems with trying to learn a top level industry job before you have any serious real world experience in that industry?

What about quality v. price?

Will a country like China have a long term grip on *low skill* products or are they just the latest Japan, Thailand, Latin American country that will doom it's own industry to failure brought on by success?  Should the world just keep moving through each less well to do country to use its labor force's bad working conditions as a means to get "cheap sh*t".  Is it abusing the work force or giving opportunity?
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Offline Chino

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2015, 01:51:04 PM »
I've started buying certain clothes made in USA. Jeans is my biggest one. I have a six year  old pair of Diamond Gusset jeans. I paid $110 for them. They haven't even started shredding yet. Granted, that's a ridiculously priced pair of non-designer jeans, but they've made it six years so far. I've bought other brand's $40 pairs at places like Bob's, and I'm lucky to get a full year out of them. If the quality is there, I don't mind paying the premium up front. I'd rather buy one expensive item over four cheaper versions of a comparable item.

As far as the "are the days of working your way up in a company long gone?", that's hard to answer as a 26 year old. This country hasn't always had a 'work your way up' kind of work environment, right? Didn't people just go from plant to plant being told what buttons to press until retirement? I don't think hat stitching is any different than that.

I do agree that we need to focus on bringing in high-paying industries that keep America toward the top of the technology export spectrum. However, we are never going to have a society where everyone is capable of working in those industries. We have people who sweep floors, operate cash registers, pickup garbage, and wash dishes, why not have people that stitch hats? I'd personally be thrilled if a lot of the people on government assistance could find work making hats or other related clothing.

I think the bigger underlying problem is that wages have gotten so low compared to the cost of living. Many Americans simply can't afford products made in America. People will argue that that's because American's demand so much for hourly compensation, and then we enter a never-ending loop.

I wanted to buy this shirt a few months back. I emailed several people trying to figure out where the shirt was made. The only response I received was "They are designed and distributed in the United States".

Offline Stadler

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2015, 05:58:20 PM »
Look, I hope this thread can, like most of the others, maintain a level of nuance and a lack of "jingo-ism", because it's like anything else: not that simple.

I didn't post what I did to be "180 degrees" from anything.   And Chino brings up a great example of something that doesn't fit nicely into the stereotypes.   Those jeans should ABSOLUTELY be made here, if the difference in quality is worth the price.

All I was commenting on was the simple implication that "Made in China" is somehow de facto "bad".  Obviously, we have to put people to work; like the government projects that serve to keep us employed, that is the first priority.  I'm talking at the next level, where we start to preserve these jobs as entitlements. Where unions start to demand ever increasing wages and benefits for doing work that can reasonably and effectively be outsourced, when that worker is capable and qualified to do other, more highly skilled things.

All I'm getting at is the idea that we should be smarter - where and when we can - as to what work we take on, and what we want to accomplish. 


Offline Calvin6s

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2015, 08:58:08 AM »
It is actually very hard to steer buyers toward a Made in the USA product; even if the quality is 300%, but only 25% more in cost.  I've experience with this on multiple job levels in different industries.  Maybe 1 in 50 do it.  And of those that do it, it isn't out of patriotism buy recognizing the quality difference. vc
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Online El Barto

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2015, 11:27:36 AM »
A few things. For one, there are industries that America just don't do well in and it's afforded a crappy reputation accordingly. If I need a pick-up truck for some reason, I'm sure as hell buying something made in this country. If I need a small car I'd buy Yugoslavian before I bought something from Detroit. Anybody bought an American built cellphone lately? DVD player? When I was shopping for a new TV it took me all of 5 minutes research to scratch Vizio right off the list. In their case all of the problems seemed related to the American assembly side, as opposed to the cheap Asian components.

On the embroidered hats, they're all done by machine and I'd be really surprised if the embroidering machine in Laos is more than superficially different than one in California. Their might be different threads available, but it isn't the thread that breaks down; it's the stitching. Where you'll see the difference is in the maintenance and upkeep of the machine (sewing machines are insanely complicated an fall out of proper adjustment) and QC. Both of those are going to come down to volume. If we're talking about a boutique manufacturer who's doing small runs then I'd absolutely give that to the Americans. If we're talking assembly line production the Asians will generally win that one hands down. Sitting at the end of the line looking for a dropped stitch that'll come unraveled after a few months is going to be a low paying, menial job, and the days of finding an American who'd be honor-bound to flag one and halt production and work for peanuts are long gone.

I think the same reasoning applies accross the spectrum. The folks that made Chino's jeans might crank out in year what Levi's does in 4 days. You're always going to get better QC in that situation.

Something else I'll throw out there is that it isn't necessarily about labor costs at all. Building products in America really wouldn't add all that much to the cost. The problem is that America has a tiny fraction of the manufacturing flexibility that Taiwan does and it makes all the difference in the world. I've posted it before, but here's an article about why the iPhone couldn't be manufactured in this country and it has far more to do with infrastructure and culture than basic salary.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html?_r=2&hp

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Offline Chino

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2015, 12:12:10 PM »
A few things. For one, there are industries that America just don't do well in and it's afforded a crappy reputation accordingly. If I need a pick-up truck for some reason, I'm sure as hell buying something made in this country.

I'd choose a 5.7L Tundra over an American pickup any day (unless I won one in a contest or something).



I feel like American trucks wouldn't last for shit in those kinds of conditions. My father had a Seqouia (Tundra with a different body), and after 210K miles, the only part that failed was the dashboard LED that told you the high beams were on.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 12:19:03 PM by Chino »

Online El Barto

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2015, 12:31:55 PM »
I don't plan on fighting off the Libyans anytime soon. For 4-wheeling (which I'm not particularly into) I'd agree with you, though. However, Texas is full of old Ford and Chevy trucks that have been working farms and ranches for 2-3 hundred thousand. The commercials are pretty accurate in that regard--hard working and reliable.
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Offline Chino

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2015, 12:40:32 PM »
I don't plan on fighting off the Libyans anytime soon. For 4-wheeling (which I'm not particularly into) I'd agree with you, though. However, Texas is full of old Ford and Chevy trucks that have been working farms and ranches for 2-3 hundred thousand. The commercials are pretty accurate in that regard--hard working and reliable.

From a mechanical standpoint, I think the older American trucks are much more sound. The paint and cosmetic components are shit, but all that steel can take a lot of abuse.

Online El Barto

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2015, 01:05:54 PM »
I don't plan on fighting off the Libyans anytime soon. For 4-wheeling (which I'm not particularly into) I'd agree with you, though. However, Texas is full of old Ford and Chevy trucks that have been working farms and ranches for 2-3 hundred thousand. The commercials are pretty accurate in that regard--hard working and reliable.

From a mechanical standpoint, I think the older American trucks are much more sound. The paint and cosmetic components are shit, but all that steel can take a lot of abuse.
Yeah, what scares me about it is the electronic components. I drove a coworker's big SUV a couple of times and it has an all LCD dash. It's nothing but touchscreen MFDs. The first time an LED goes out in that thing it's going to brick the entire vehicle, guaranteed. Honestly, though, this is a problem with all new vehicles. I don't think anybody is making cars that will last 200k anymore, since the entire auto industry is in a redevelopment phase right now.

But whatever. I'm a German sports car guy, so none of this mattes to me. Americans will never make a car that fits my style.
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Offline Calvin6s

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2015, 05:32:59 PM »
Yeah, what scares me about it is the electronic components.
Electronic component quality in general have gone to crap.  My Commodore Amiga still boots up.  I can't imagine any electronic component built today being able to properly power on and properly function 30 years from now.  You are lucky if you get 3.

My Toshiba HDTV lasted about 2 years before its menu became unusable.  Oddly enough, it was the one time I bought a warranty.  It was replaced with another Toshiba TV that in just a year, the blue (of RGB) started getting out of control. 

Over half the people I know have cell phones that look like a stiff breeze could be the last straw to oblivion.  Cracked screens, buttons that no longer work, jacks that don't work, etc, etc.
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Offline TL

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2015, 01:02:09 PM »
Yeah, what scares me about it is the electronic components.
Electronic component quality in general have gone to crap.  My Commodore Amiga still boots up.  I can't imagine any electronic component built today being able to properly power on and properly function 30 years from now.  You are lucky if you get 3.

My Toshiba HDTV lasted about 2 years before its menu became unusable.  Oddly enough, it was the one time I bought a warranty.  It was replaced with another Toshiba TV that in just a year, the blue (of RGB) started getting out of control. 

Over half the people I know have cell phones that look like a stiff breeze could be the last straw to oblivion.  Cracked screens, buttons that no longer work, jacks that don't work, etc, etc.

One major issue with electronics is that they've become exponentially more complex over a relatively short period of time.
An old Nintendo system from 1985 can be expected to reliably work, while an original model Xbox 360 from 2005 has a much greater chance of something going wrong with it. When you look at what both machines are expected to do though, is becomes a bit less crazy.
In terms of inflation, that Nintendo system would be almost $450 USD in today's dollars, which is more than the Xbox One ever cost on its own. Combine that with a technical comparison.

The same goes for a modern computer, a modern television, a modern phone. They're much more complicated, and we expect much more from them.
Now, it many cases, yes, build quality does get compromised more often than it used to, typically favoring low price and rate of output over longevity. On that front, I'll agree that I usually prefer to pay a bit more for something that will actually last.
It's a symptom of people so quickly getting used to having access to extremely high end technology for low cost. When you look at what's in a modern smart phone, it's pretty insane, especially when you think about how recently people didn't have them. The problem is, people quickly went from being wowed by those advances to just expecting them. They refuse to pay more than a few hundred for something that even just a few years ago could have reasonably gone for over a thousand based on what's in it and what it can do. It unfortunately forces companies to cut costs where they can, in both components and labor.

You and I may be willing to pay a bit more for better quality and fair paying domestic production. Unfortunately, a lot more of the general public needs to get on board with that mindset too before there's any chance of that happening in a major way.
Obviously this is just for electronics. For other items, such as clothing, a much easier case can be made for domestic production. Even then though, it's more a matter of convincing companies to make slightly less money or convincing more consumers to be willing to pay a little more, rather than an issue with people not being willing to take those jobs. The jobs have to actually exist domestically for people to take them.

Offline jammindude

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2015, 01:07:20 PM »
I have a 1st Gen (maybe 2nd) Panasonic DVD player.   That thing is a BEAST.   But we bought it brand new in 1998, and it has outlasted every other DVD player we ever owned.   We only ever bought others because the older player couldn't play certain CD-Rs.  (Back in the day, the laser was different and was not capable of being diversified in what it played)   But anything it was originally designed to play...still plays.
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Offline Calvin6s

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2015, 05:12:39 PM »
That's only half the equation though:

Today's electronics are more "pure electronics" as opposed to a combination of electronics and moving part.  Moving parts create a higher risk of failure.

Today's electronics use a smaller scale, resulting in less heat.  Less heat create a lower risk of failure.

Today's electronics are designed more in the virtual world that allow simulations and stress tests that were not possible in the past.  Better development from the start.  Made possible by these very same "more capable" electronics.

Today's electronics are manufactured more by other electronics that use software such as CAD/CAM that allows infinitely greater accuracy than hand assembly.  The CAM software allows more instantaneous calculations for perfect symmetry, subdivisions, etc.  With less human calculations, the chance of error goes down.

Now that the design is *perfect* it is taken to a CNC or similar type machine that simply accepts the design file.  The designer did not have to painstakingly create a blueprint and explain all the finer points to the machine operator.  It is a perfect communication.  Less error.

This also creates less manual labor which drives down the cost of production.

Most of this process can occur without a PhD, except at the highest levels of design and engineering.  You can go far up the ladder in this process with basic math and computer skills and a few classes, as opposed to a full degree.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2015, 09:25:50 AM »
I don't plan on fighting off the Libyans anytime soon. For 4-wheeling (which I'm not particularly into) I'd agree with you, though. However, Texas is full of old Ford and Chevy trucks that have been working farms and ranches for 2-3 hundred thousand. The commercials are pretty accurate in that regard--hard working and reliable.

From a mechanical standpoint, I think the older American trucks are much more sound. The paint and cosmetic components are shit, but all that steel can take a lot of abuse.
Yeah, what scares me about it is the electronic components. I drove a coworker's big SUV a couple of times and it has an all LCD dash. It's nothing but touchscreen MFDs. The first time an LED goes out in that thing it's going to brick the entire vehicle, guaranteed. Honestly, though, this is a problem with all new vehicles. I don't think anybody is making cars that will last 200k anymore, since the entire auto industry is in a redevelopment phase right now.

But whatever. I'm a German sports car guy, so none of this mattes to me. Americans will never make a car that fits my style.

Between my brother and I, we've had three Toyota SR-5 (what they used to call their small pickup; competitor to the Ford Ranger) and they went (combined) over 700,000 miles.   I wouldn't pull a boat with them, but they were durable.  I'm a bigger fan of German too (I just - by circumstance more than anything, bought a used BMW X3, and I have a man-crush on that 3 liter 3-series engine that's in there. Man, that is one smooth motor.) 

As for electronics, why WOULD we pay for Jammin's Panasonic, ESPECIALLY in a smartphone?   Half of the market is only interested in the latest thing.  If you KNOW you are only going to own something for two years, why pay for ten years of quality?  I'm convinced that the leasing market did a lot (bad) for the (decreased) quality of mid-sized, mid-range cars.   When you leased, you KNEW you weren't in the game for more than three years.  It was only when manufacturers realized there was a market for "Certified Pre-owned" (read:  returned leased cars) that quality started to creep back up. 

Online El Barto

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2015, 10:00:47 AM »

Between my brother and I, we've had three Toyota SR-5 (what they used to call their small pickup; competitor to the Ford Ranger) and they went (combined) over 700,000 miles.   I wouldn't pull a boat with them, but they were durable.  I'm a bigger fan of German too (I just - by circumstance more than anything, bought a used BMW X3, and I have a man-crush on that 3 liter 3-series engine that's in there. Man, that is one smooth motor.) 
BMW perfected that straight six decades ago and nobody should ever buy a BMW that doesn't use some version of it. Their 8-bangers are notoriously bad, but those inline sixes are always one of the best motors available anywhere. I've had an M20 and M50 motor in my last two BMWs, and both of them went 220k+ before the rest of the car gave up around them, and they were as strong as the day they left the Fatherland. My next car will have an M54 and that'll probably be the end of the line for Bimmers for me. Honestly, BMWs have become far too computerized for my taste.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2015, 10:41:46 AM »
They really are, aren't they? I mean, at least in mine, it all works, but it seems there isn't an operation or process that isn't touched by the computer.

What is your choice of "German sports car"?

Offline Chino

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2015, 10:47:17 AM »
My mother has had four BMWs in the last 12 years. I've driven all of them and agree with this. She currently has 2014 BMW X3. I borrowed it a few weeks ago to pick up a snowblower I found on Craig's List. When I got to the guy's house, I hopped out and the car started rolling down the hill where the driveway met his yard. The vehicle was about twenty feet into his lawn before I got it stopped.  Putting that thing in park is a royal pain in the ass. Never in my life did I think a shifter could be so complicated.

The heads up display is pretty cool though.

This fucking thing.

Offline Calvin6s

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2015, 11:17:49 AM »
I'm really scratching my head here because this German reliability thing seems off the mark according to the data, culture and personal experience.

Data:  BMW reliability way at the bottom per latest Consumer Reports data

Culture:  I don't know how many sitcom jokes I've heard about German cars.  I recall as far back as Married with Children when the neighbors were talking about their German car "Klaus".  Finally Al Bundy asked "I hear about this car, but I never see it."  "It's in the shop."  It was a running gag.

Personal Experience:  When I entered high school, my aunt married a locally (in)famous attorney.  He took a liking to me right away.  He had so much money that he would just buy relatively expensive cars, drive them for a month or two, sell them and get a new one.  It was like he was playing Gran Turismo video games in real life.  He would constantly toss me the keys and say "hey, go pick up your cousin."  Obviously, as somebody that just got his license, this wasn't a chore but a unique experience.  And he'd tell me "really test it.  I know how to get you off if you get a ticket."  So I tried a ton of Turismo level cars in the late 80s, early 90s.  All of them drove so well that I felt like I was driving a bucket on 4 wheels hurtling toward its doom when I got back in *my* actual car.  So the reason to buy them was handling and powah.

Eventually I worked my way in to one of his "two months old, time to sell it" cars.  So for literally taking over the payments, I ended up with his grey market BMW Alpina.  The thing was pretty friggin' awesome.  I recall one time gunning it down the freeway to 140 mph (if you drove around in So. Cal., you'd realize this is like a jet engine passing crowded car lanes).  I didn't want to do it for long, just to see how fast it could get up there, how the handling held up (or actually improved).  So it was only for about 2 to 4 miles, then I passed a cop car parked on the side.  Now I flew by the car so fast that they had a lot of catching up to do.  In that time, I quickly went to the next off ramp, flew through the streets, into a parking lot and into a back alley car port.  So I actually lost the police officer.  Don't know if that would work with today's technology.

But that's what those cars are about.  The other part of the equation was I got to know my Barvarian auto tech way too well.  Seemed like I was spending $600 to $1200 every couple of months.  And this car was new.  I only had the car for about a year.  Sold it for a very large profit (helped pay for my schooling).  The maintenance was negating my steal purchase.  Almost all my money was going toward auto (on the P&L sheet) and I was a poor kid with a car he really couldn't afford.  Through the years, every German car owner basically has the same maintenance stories.  The purchase price really isn't the "can I afford this car" financial decision.  It is "can I afford to drive this car?"

As far as trucks, I have a Chevy that is just shy of 300k miles.
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Online El Barto

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2015, 01:13:54 PM »
Stadler: I've owned an E30 325is and an E36 325is. I'm shopping for and E46 330ci. I'm having difficulty because Americans won't buy stick shifts which is making it very hard to find what I want. After the E46s they became far too computerized for my taste. Once you get to the point where the car dictates whether or not it'll will allow you to drive it I want nothing to do with it. So I guess the answer to your question is older 3 series BMWs.

I drove that E30 every day for 10 years like the cops were chasing me. The harder you drove that thing the happier it was. Ran it up to about 225k or so and only got rid of it because it would no longer pass an emissions test without a ton of new platinum. I really miss that car. 




Calvin: Both of those cars were surprisingly cheap to own and operate. A big part of the problem is that most BMW owners are the sorts that will just take their car to the dealership and pay thousands for them to fix anything their "service adviser" tells them to. When I first bought the E30 I took it to BMW of Dallas and was told that it needed a new head gasket, power steering rack and complete cooling system. None of those things ever gave me a lick of trouble during the 10 years of merciless torment I put it through. While they are more expensive to repair, they also tend to fail far less frequently than a lot of other cars.

And the engineering compared to American and Japanese cars really isn't comparable. My BMW mechanics operate their shop to pay for their racing habit. It's not uncommon for them to still see the crosshatching in BMW cylinder walls after 120k. They don't leak and they don't wear. The leading cause of BMW death is that the head gaskets fail after a couple of hundred thousand miles and it's just not cost effective to replace it (the end of my E36, in fact). The block itself will still be golden.

With the exception of a $1300 clutch job I can't think of anything that ever needed to be done that cost more than $400 with either of those cars, and I could do a good deal of the work myself.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2015, 01:37:53 PM »
I had an '82 320i (the first year of the E30) and an '88 325i. 

You nailed it right on the head. Those cars were solid.   You could DRIVE those cars, and push them.  I did most of the work on that '82 myself (even changing a transmission) and it was a sweet car.  I got greedy and sold it because I got almost double what I paid, then bought one of my SR-5's.   I sold that and went back to the BMW, buying the '88, but it wasn't the same.  The mechanics were, but it got increasingly hard to do the work myself, and that was frustrating.  But I never experienced any of the "$$$$" complaints until I bought a '95 525i.  I have to go back and look up, but I think that was the E34.  In any case, I sold it when I had to replace the entire catalytic converter assembly to pass emissions in CT and we were talking several grand just in parts. 

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2015, 02:27:24 PM »
Yup, those cats (the aforementioned platinum) are what did in my E30. Once I got a ticket I had to quit driving it. To be honest, it was really beginning to fall apart around me, though, mostly due to the way I drove it. I really can't imagine an American car that would perform like that yet still take the abuse I put it through for so long.
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Offline Calvin6s

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2015, 02:44:14 PM »
This just isn't lining up with culture, data and personal experience.  Japanese (Toyota / Honda) cars are usually the long haul cars.  Now if we are talking old VWs, then that's something else entirely.

Here's some more data
Who Makes The Best Cars?
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.

Online El Barto

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2015, 02:55:22 PM »
Keep in mind that Stadler and I are talking about cars that were made in the 80s and 90's, and I've already said I wouldn't buy a post 2004 or so BMW. Moreover, we're also talking about a very different class of vehicle that doesn't have many analogues. America and Japan just don't make vehicles comparable to a 3 series BMW. They do completely different things. One is transportation and one is a car for drivers.

I'll also point out that people often talk about their car making it to 200k miles like it's a remarkable thing. That mileage is pretty much a given for a BMW and you'll see tons of them still for sale all the time. I bought my E36 with 178k miles on it and didn't worry a bit about it. I knew it had another 50k relatively low maintenance miles on it and that was that. Would you buy a Chevy Malibu with 175k+ miles on it?
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline Calvin6s

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2015, 09:22:37 PM »
Would you buy a Chevy Malibu with 175k+ miles on it?
I wouldn't buy ANY car with 175k+miles on it.  Dude 1 babied it for 175k and Dude 2 rand it into the ground for 175k.  Same model cars, two totally different outcomes.

I am the ultimate keep a car/truck forever guy.  I had a pickup truck for 16 years.  The only thing that made me get rid of it was the Obama Cash for Clunkers deal.  My truck was old enough that I would have never received what that instant cash trade in was worth.  And it created an incentive for the car companies to almost give the cars away.  I found the best deal, went down, gave them my truck and walked out with a brand new car with absolutely no down payment and extremely low payments.

That's life.  I thought Cash for Clunkers was basically throwing out cash for free.  But I'm a pragmatist and realized early on in life that your ideals are more annoying than helpful.  I didn't make the law.  If they put it to a vote, I would have voted it down.  But I would have been an idiot not to turn a 16 yo car into a brand new one for next to no money out of pocket.
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.

Online El Barto

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2015, 10:17:20 PM »
Would you buy a Chevy Malibu with 175k+ miles on it?
I wouldn't buy ANY car with 175k+miles on it.  Dude 1 babied it for 175k and Dude 2 rand it into the ground for 175k.  Same model cars, two totally different outcomes.

I am the ultimate keep a car/truck forever guy.  I had a pickup truck for 16 years.  The only thing that made me get rid of it was the Obama Cash for Clunkers deal.  My truck was old enough that I would have never received what that instant cash trade in was worth.  And it created an incentive for the car companies to almost give the cars away.  I found the best deal, went down, gave them my truck and walked out with a brand new car with absolutely no down payment and extremely low payments.

That's life.  I thought Cash for Clunkers was basically throwing out cash for free.  But I'm a pragmatist and realized early on in life that your ideals are more annoying than helpful.  I didn't make the law.  If they put it to a vote, I would have voted it down.  But I would have been an idiot not to turn a 16 yo car into a brand new one for next to no money out of pocket.
You check Craigslist and you'll find tons of BMWs with 175+ and 15 years on them and selling well. You can find non-M cars fetching close to 10k if they're well maintained.

I considered the cash for clunkers deal briefly, but at the end of the day no deal that a car company would consider viable would be enough incentive for me to buy a new car. I don't like the cars and I don't like the principle of instantaneous depreciation. I reckon you found a way to make it work well and cheers to you. I'm just differently inclined.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
E.F. Benson

Offline Calvin6s

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2015, 10:56:28 PM »
I considered the cash for clunkers deal briefly, but at the end of the day no deal that a car company would consider viable would be enough incentive for me to buy a new car. I don't like the cars and I don't like the principle of instantaneous depreciation. I reckon you found a way to make it work well and cheers to you. I'm just differently inclined.

Cash for Clunkers was a once in lifetime opportunity that made all the rules go out the window.

The crossover (compact SUV) was marked down from $23,000 to $10,500.  Fully loaded (except leather).  Then you take $4,500 off for my trade in .... $6,000.

Just plugged in the Kelly Blue Book stats and it goes for $10,631 even today ... 6 years later.

I turned a truck that I had more or less retired anyway into the steal of the century.  I know it wasn't a good program, but me not using it would have changed nothing.  I'm pragmatic and will never ignore something that is perfectly legal if it is more or less a windfall for me.  I probably would have put a few thousand into the truck by this point considering its age, high mileage and hard usage (towing, etc).

And it really helped America.  I traded in an American car and bought a non-American car.  The American car companies gave crappy Cash for Clunker deals.  And they were the ones that needed to take advantage of it.  Just an all around waste of government money.

Obama more or less bought my car.  What was the Stadler example.  Obama's gonna pay for my gas or something?  He did better than that for me.  And I rewarded him with my middle finger.
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.

Offline Stadler

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2015, 07:57:12 AM »
Keep in mind that Stadler and I are talking about cars that were made in the 80s and 90's, and I've already said I wouldn't buy a post 2004 or so BMW. Moreover, we're also talking about a very different class of vehicle that doesn't have many analogues. America and Japan just don't make vehicles comparable to a 3 series BMW. They do completely different things. One is transportation and one is a car for drivers.

I'll also point out that people often talk about their car making it to 200k miles like it's a remarkable thing. That mileage is pretty much a given for a BMW and you'll see tons of them still for sale all the time. I bought my E36 with 178k miles on it and didn't worry a bit about it. I knew it had another 50k relatively low maintenance miles on it and that was that. Would you buy a Chevy Malibu with 175k+ miles on it?

The other point that I think has already been said is, you are talking as much about the consumer as the car.   Every BMW I've had, I had a guy at the dealer I would go talk to for advice and such, but they RARELY did my work.  You're talking complaints from people who don't know a cock shaft from a crank shaft, and bring their cars in and play on their smartphones till their wife picks them up.   So when they get a $1500 bill they just know "WOW, $1500!".   I guarantee you I did my transmission for a small fraction of what some people have to pay.  And if you can't do your own work, in every municipality there are at least three guys named Dieter or Wolfgang that are "aftermarket service" providers, and you go look on their shop wall and they were either trained by or worked for BMW at some point. 

I remember doing that tranny for the 320i, and the nut that holds the transmission assembly together (after you take out the drive train) is a very specialized part, requiring a very specific tool (akin to a VERY thin walled socket, but BIG).  I couldn't even make one, and I didn't want to fudge it, so I went to the dealer, talked to one of the techs, and it ended up that I left my driver's license with him and he let me take the tool home to do the work.  Unusual yes, but it's that kind of mentality that surrounds these cars.  It's like how some bands dig taping and others don't, but even within that world, some ENCOURAGE it and even help facilitate it. 

Offline Stadler

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2015, 07:59:56 AM »

I considered the cash for clunkers deal briefly, but at the end of the day no deal that a car company would consider viable would be enough incentive for me to buy a new car. I don't like the cars and I don't like the principle of instantaneous depreciation. I reckon you found a way to make it work well and cheers to you. I'm just differently inclined.

You and me both.   Let someone else take that hit, and worst case scenario, I'll take it off your hands in three years or so.  :)

Offline Calvin6s

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2015, 12:11:47 PM »
You and me both.   Let someone else take that hit, and worst case scenario, I'll take it off your hands in three years or so.  :)

I guarantee you.  I took no hit.  I've already shown I could even sell the car today and get every penny back and more.  The government paid for a new car for me.

I'm very meticulous about quite a few things in life.  In my 20s, I'd hesitate about things because they might be legal and rewarding for me, but not something I agreed with.  Then I saw a lot of poor idealists bitching about how everybody is holding them down.

Most people think patterns are a constant and fail to see the exceptions.  I look for them. 

My only blind spot are people I care about.  My spidey sense constantly tingles telling me "don't do this", then my emotional side tells me "if you don't, they are headed for difficulties they probably will never recover from."

So you guys can pretend you made the wise decision, but you just missed an opportunity.  You are applying normal time rules to exceptional times.  I was born into massive debt (literally), so I've had to constantly look for legal but extraordinary events in life and constantly seize on them to work my way out of it.
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.

Offline Stadler

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2015, 12:15:20 PM »
You and me both.   Let someone else take that hit, and worst case scenario, I'll take it off your hands in three years or so.  :)

I guarantee you.  I took no hit.  I've already shown I could even sell the car today and get every penny back and more.  The government paid for a new car for me.

I'm very meticulous about quite a few things in life.  In my 20s, I'd hesitate about things because they might be legal and rewarding for me, but not something I agreed with.  Then I saw a lot of poor idealists bitching about how everybody is holding them down.

Most people think patterns are a constant and fail to see the exceptions.  I look for them. 

My only blind spot are people I care about.  My spidey sense constantly tingles telling me "don't do this", then my emotional side tells me "if you don't, they are headed for difficulties they probably will never recover from."

So you guys can pretend you made the wise decision, but you just missed an opportunity.  You are applying normal time rules to exceptional times.  I was born into massive debt (literally), so I've had to constantly look for legal but extraordinary events in life and constantly seize on them to work my way out of it.

To be clear, "you and me both" was in reference to the rejection of the principle of instantaneous depreciation.   I was not in a position to take advantage of the Cash For Clunkers program, and would not have ruled it out if I was.  I was more commenting on the fact that absent any government incentive, I would much rather buy a tried and true used car than a brand new one. 

Online El Barto

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Re: IssueTalk: Made in the USA (outsourcing, importing, etc)
« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2015, 12:21:27 PM »
You and me both.   Let someone else take that hit, and worst case scenario, I'll take it off your hands in three years or so.  :)

I guarantee you.  I took no hit.  I've already shown I could even sell the car today and get every penny back and more.  The government paid for a new car for me.

I'm very meticulous about quite a few things in life.  In my 20s, I'd hesitate about things because they might be legal and rewarding for me, but not something I agreed with.  Then I saw a lot of poor idealists bitching about how everybody is holding them down.

Most people think patterns are a constant and fail to see the exceptions.  I look for them. 

My only blind spot are people I care about.  My spidey sense constantly tingles telling me "don't do this", then my emotional side tells me "if you don't, they are headed for difficulties they probably will never recover from."

So you guys can pretend you made the wise decision, but you just missed an opportunity.  You are applying normal time rules to exceptional times.  I was born into massive debt (literally), so I've had to constantly look for legal but extraordinary events in life and constantly seize on them to work my way out of it.
You're being defensive when it's not warranted. I said in my initial post that I'm sure you pulled it off well and way to go. I'm sure other people managed to make it work, as well. In my case it really wasn't an option for a variety of reasons, one of which is my long-standing objection to eating the depreciation myself. That's just a principle thing on my part. Moreover, even a small car payment is still a monthly bill as opposed to driving a car I already owned. That wasn't an option at the time. Increased insurance, as well. I'm not judging the wisdom of either of our decisions, as you seem to think. I'm merely pointing out that it was the right decision for me just as trading in your truck was the right decision for you.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
E.F. Benson