Last post on Dec 09, 2013 at 3:03 PM
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With parts coming from everywhere, does "Buying American" have much meaning anymore? Is quality and price the bottom line?
#18645 of 18919 Re: chapter winding down [andres3]
Sep 12, 2013 (11:40 am)
Or we could have spent the money on $300 toilet seats instead....
Hey - in a twisted way, that's a bailout as well.
#18646 of 18919 Re: chapter winding down [andres3]
Sep 12, 2013 (11:54 am)
Unfortunately, the gov is generally precluded from participating in financial market investments (it took a special congressional approval to do GM). I suppose you could use the 10 year treasury bond as a gov cost of money substitute though, but it was running well below 2% then I believe. Money has been artificially low here, but the bailout wasn't based on financial return - it was either jobs or politics whichever one wants to chose. Personally, my issues with it are more that it should have been a loan or special class preferred stock instead of common shares so the taxpayer was better protected (not to mention the BK settlement on politics rather than legal and investment precedence).
#18647 of 18919 Re: chapter winding down [robr2]
Sep 12, 2013 (12:00 pm)
I don't know the real story about those toilet seats and suspect I never will because news people tend not to be accountants. But chances are it's price was affected by several things such as small volume, unique specifications and/or part of a long parts list where individual unit prices were estimated as portions of the grand total. I remember reading something, maybe in the WSJ, years back where the $100 hammer was really a result of this type of unit pricing and as a consequence when all was said and done the reported hammer u/p was overpriced but the not reported in the press price of things like circuit boards were underpriced since they were all just cost estimated allocations of a negotiated top level cost/price.
#18648 of 18919 Re: chapter winding down [MrShift@Edmunds]
Sep 12, 2013 (12:35 pm)
It is not bad enough we are subsidizing GM Volt and Tesla. We are subsidizing Nissan Leaf and 9 other EVs with a $7500 tax credit. All are 100% non USA content. The Volt is only 45% US Content. That means 55% of that tax incentive ends up in another country.
#18649 of 18919 Re: chapter winding down [andres3]
Sep 12, 2013 (12:39 pm)
Invest the billions from the GM bailout in "insert high performing stock of choice here" and the true cost becomes astronomical!
You are right on the money there. They could have invested that $50 billion in TSLA (Tesla) and it would be worth $412 billion today. But it would not have bailed out the UAW. The ONLY reason for the auto bailouts.
#18650 of 18919 Re: chapter winding down [robr2]
Sep 13, 2013 (4:16 am)
A civilians buys a toilet seat! The military gets a "high performance waste evacuation module superstructure assembly!"
#18651 of 18919 Re: chapter winding down [lemko]
Sep 13, 2013 (4:38 am)
I used to order supplies for our project. Nothing fancy, mostly office supplies and such. We had our own government interface that we ordered through, but most of the stuff just came from Office Depot. And they usually gave us a discount!
I have a feeling a lot of those mortgage-payment toilet seats and hammers are high-spec, and not just the stuff you find at Home Depot. For instance, the hammer might be perfectly weighted, and engineered so it's less likely to fracture and send particles that could contaminate machinery, electronics, or whatever. Like if something comes loose on a rocket just before launch, and you have to hammer it back into place!
The toilet seat might be a special material that's less likely to break, or designed to break into less-hostile pieces. These are extreme examples, I'm sure...
#18652 of 18919 Re: chapter winding down [andre1969]
Sep 13, 2013 (8:12 am)
According to my Congressman, the high priced toilet seats and hammers, are due to "Sole Source Purchasing". That is determined by Congress. If an entire project is sourced by one company, they can charge whatever they want. If Lockheed has an order for 1000 hammers they may set up a factory to make them and charge the whole process to those hammers. Since that whole fiasco there are more checks and balances. Probably still have some of those over priced purchases. Mil-Spec can be very cost inefficient. And you may not get state of the art. Look how antiquated the computers were in the Space shuttles. My brother was involved in getting the Army to switch from Mil-Spec laptops to state of the art. It made for vast improvement in getting things done.
#18653 of 18919 Re: chapter winding down [gagrice]
Sep 13, 2013 (11:23 am)
Gagrice - you actually believe a politician? I can give you their answer without even talking to them: Republican - industry always does it better, Democrat - gov is more honest and cheaper. Defense issue -Rep- spend more, Dem -spend less. Tea Party - Gov sucks no matter what.
I'd think the Army computer issue would be one of ruggedness and survivability unless it's just office stuff. In most cases sole source probably will cost more than competition I suppose, but then there are the BUTS. Do you want to fly an aircraft that has key components replaced without using the builder or it's sub - maybe not, there are complex interfaces. Are there high fixed costs and low volume? A second producer might actually raise prices in that scenario. Think utility prices in some parts of Texas where they opened it up. The new guy either has to string new wire, or rent it from the current one. Either way, user prices will end up higher since each now has lower revenue to absorb fixed costs. Doesn't the gov have all kinds of data, audit and legal rights it can employ with it's vendors compared to industry? I'm thinking pragmatically that if our defense stuff was a big price rip-of, then how come so many countries buy it instead of from a different country? Can't be that bad of a deal?
You know what I'd like to see info on - how much do all these government reports and politically inspired laws and regulations add to the cost of doing business?
#18654 of 18919 Car subsidies
Sep 15, 2013 (1:44 pm)
As some may whine about the GM bail out, you must understand. Other countries/governments do this for their car industries. Should we as a nation allow the foreign car makers just take over our automotive industries?? I am sure they would be happy to take the money and run. Take our jobs and run too!! Now, to topic at hand. Buying American is as important as it ever has been in our nations history. Understanding the fundamentals and reasons why it is important to keep your money as close to home as possible needs to be taught to the next generation of Americans. We are in an economic battle for this countries survival over the next few decades. Myself, I try hard to buy American products and services when ever I can. I have taught my children how buying American products and services affects them and their opportunities here in America. Demand American products and services, it makes sense.