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It depends on what "manufacturing" is?

Thomas Paul
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Joined: May 05, 2000
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So you thought the US was losing all its manufacturing jobs? Wrong, bucko! Gregory Mankiw, Bush's chief economist, says that making a Big Mac is actually a manufacturing job because you are "combining inputs to manufacture a product". Next month Mr. Mankiw will redefine "unemployed" to explain that America really hasn't lost any jobs while Bush has been in office.


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Jim Yingst
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Speaking as one of the 10% or so of Americans whose first job was as a minion of Ray Croc's empire, I can verify that making a Big Mac seems much more like an industrial manufacturing process than is does the creation of some sort of edible food item.
Regardless of classification, I think it would be nice if anyone making a statement about any number of jobs lost or gained be required to state the mean salary of the jobs lost or added. That should provide a clearer picture of what's going on.


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Randall Twede
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Joined: Oct 21, 2000
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    2

i was flabergasted to hear mr bush take credit for the "economic recovery". hell, the recession started shortly after he took office. maybe the recovery is because of anticipation of his departure. :roll:


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Matt Cao
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Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
The most recent economy recovery is questionable because all tycoons want their man in power. It keep repeating every single major elections. I think people is getting wiser/dumper depending on you are you talking to.
Regards,
MCao
Matt Cao
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Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
If Fast-Food Franchise is measured against Industry Manufacturing, then it is no wonder many Chinese folks I know staying away from the franchise specially McDee. I mention franchisee cost too high, they roll on the floor from laughing.
Regards,
MCao
Sadanand Murthy
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Joined: Nov 26, 2003
Posts: 382
Originally posted by Randall Twede:
i was flabergasted to hear mr bush take credit for the "economic recovery". hell, the recession started shortly after he took office. maybe the recovery is because of anticipation of his departure. :roll:

Economy does not change overnight - neither recession nor recovery. A lot of factors go into causing recession or recovery. And these take time. However certain events, especially catastrophic events, do have a more immediate impact on the economy. Presdential elections, IMHO, is not one of these (whether catastrophic or not, you decide for yourself).
Besides, the President doesn't really have any significant impact on the strength of the economy. After all it is the Congress that makes & passes the laws & the Pres. doesn't have line item veto power. The Fed. Reserver Board Chairman, I believe, has a whole lot more power than the Pres. where economy is concerned.
Then again, I am not an economics major or minor, more a toddler. So I could be talking hot air.
[ February 23, 2004: Message edited by: Sadanand Murthy ]

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Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
you are quite correct. The president can stop entire laws from taking effect but not change them (he can of course block a law stating what parts he's opposed to and use his veto powers to get congress to change those parts if he knows congress wants other parts passed badly).
The chairman of the Fed has no oversight AT ALL (apart from his own board which he may or may not control), and can basically make or break things as he likes.
Effectively economic policy is created in a boardroom in the Federal Reserve Bank headquarters and not in the white house and the capitol.
The economic downturn started during the Clinton era, though many didn't realise it (being still high on the .com boom).
The reversal started under the Bush administration. The increased government spending and reduced taxes may have helped it along, only time may tell.
Macroeconomic cycles last roughly 32 years. The last major downturn was in the early 1970s so it was about time (the one before that was the 1930s, the interval being longer there because of WW2 upsetting things).
That's the time it takes for the world economy to overheat, collapse, and rise again.
At this point stock prices (a poor measure but some indication of confidence) are up nicely from the lows last year and climbing cautiously.
The rate of progress is slow but steady which is a good sign. While it may take longer to climb out of the low this way a steady recovery will mean a longer period until another lapse.


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Eric Pascarello
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Joined: Nov 08, 2001
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    6
When I first heard this on the news I had to laugh. I bet these guys did not spend 7 years of their life making burgers. That also means all of the short order cooks in the world are manufacturing.
Got to love people making rules so they look good.
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Frank Silbermann
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1387
Was he being serious about McDonalds work being manufacturing? He may have been making the point that the borders between categories are rather arbitrary, making small changes difficult to measure accurately, and large changes difficult to compare across long distances in time.
For example, a broom pusher working in a GM auto plant during the 1950s was a member of the United Auto Workers Union. He was considered to be working in manufacturing. A broom pusher working for the Hilton Hotel chain was considered to be working in the service industry.
If those jobs are both gone and we now have two jobs working for a janitorial services firm whose clients include the Hilton Hotel chain and General Motors, then even though you have the same number of people (two) doing the same activities (pushing brooms), statistics would show a loss by manufacturing and a gain by the services industry.
As technologies change over time, the statistics become even less meaningful. We all can agree about prices rising because of inflation from 1975-1980. But how can one make meaningful, quantitative comparisons about changes in the cost of living between, say, 1754 versus 2004? Can we really compare the prices of gasoline versus oats? The cost of a gentleman's sword versus a compact Glock? The price of a powdered wig versus a years' supply of Minoxidyl hair-loss treatment? The fee for blood-letting versus a chiropracter's manipulations?
Economics is an art; that's why a successful economy cannot be based on planning, but rather must be based on trial and error by millions of individuals hoping to promote their own individual economic well-being.
[ February 24, 2004: Message edited by: Frank Silbermann ]
Steven Broadbent
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Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
I thought McD were feeling the cold wind of economic change - aren't profits down???

As for unions - I was a member of the italian metal workers union when I was doing java in Italy, don't ask me why, that's what I got!!


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Frank Silbermann
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1387
Steven Broadbent: "As for unions - I was a member of the italian metal workers union when I was doing java in Italy, don't ask me why, that's what I got!!"

I think it became traditional for programmers to join the metal workers union back in the days when mainframe technology dominated. IBM mainframe computers were sometimes called "big iron."
 
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