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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was sent these pictures the other day. They certainly speak for themselves!:rolleyes: The first are from China.



The Construction Site Hard Hat


The Dust and Particle Free Breathing Apparatus


OSHA Approved Scaffolding


The Lightweight Welders Mask





And now from India..........Where your tech calls you about computer problems!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/cry.gif



 

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Now those are photos that give one pause . . .  If one was to judge strictly from these photos we have lost our competitive edge and are being beaten in the marketplace by third-rate nations. 
 
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hey!
the last one does not count!
at least half of the bundle is straw, not lines.

the first one is not a hard hat, but a pack-saddle. astonishing, how much weight can be carried on skinny necks.

i think, the second one is just protecting himself from the stink of his bare feet...

third - if i look at the planks length, i think, they got a "two man safety overkill"

and the welder's mask, it beats my sunburns, i get from welding.

yes, cheap equipment, cheap lives, cheap wages and poor quality, that is what the first world is up against.

i could bet, that among the workers in the pics, there is none, who earns more than a dollar a day.
 
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Yeh but if those fellas in India can get all that mess to work they must be geniuses!


well, the principle is simple.
with their methods they achive a third or a fourth only - but they cost a tenth!
 

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There are photographs on American cities in the 1890s that look almost exactly like that--a bundle of wires, no apparent organization. If you took pictures at any American factory in the 890s, it would have looked almost exactly like that--no job safety laws or standards, no minimum wage, workers improvising with what they have at hand. It's sort of implied that these are lesser people--well, the US looked almost exactly like that, maybe worse, 100 years ago.

And there are lots of places in China that don't look like that--I bought a double bass from this company:

http://www.cscproducts.com/

I had a long exchange with their US rep., who was astonished at the work ethic, creativity, skill and resourcefulness of Chinese workers.
 

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Those arent wires....its Shelob's Lair /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif"

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Since I started this thread I should say that I am in total agreement that not all the Chinese companies are running their business this way. Look at Accucraft they could not possibly be like this. I also have a Guild guitar that was made in China and absolutely think that it is made as much to the highest standards that the American versions are. I grew up in foreign countries and fifty years ago saw much of these kind of things first hand. Just seems to me that the world should have progressed!
 

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It's an interesting moment. When i was learning to play bass and guitar, way back in the 70s, "starter" instruments were hard to play and sounded awful. They quickly came to hold you back. Today, thanks to CNC machines and Chinese/korean labor, you can buy a starter guitar that you could play the rest of your life.


The cheap labor issue is one I worry about all the time. It's a complex issue. I always try to buy from places where I know what the labor conditions are like. But the implication that Chinese people are lazy, or sloppy or incompetent just seems like racism to me. We have a daughter adopted from China: she's as bright and inquisitive and energetic and capable as any American. Chinese people improvise with their tools not because they are dumb; it's because they live in a country with the fastest growing economy in the history of the human race, literally transforming overnight
 

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Things have changed in certain circles, but it takes a few key ingredients:

1) People who demand change. The "we're not going to take it" crowd has to be vocal and more importantly irreplaceable. So long as there are people willing to work under those conditions, they won't change.

2) Businesses willing to change. That means the threats of fines, lawsuits, repairs, etc. stemming from "the old way" has to be greater than the expense of modernizing. Until that happens, provided a steady supply of willing workers, businesses aren't going to change.

3) Governments willing to enforce change. Government agencies are the ones who ultimately have the power to provide financial incentives for safer workplaces, either through tax credits for modernizing, and/or for penalties for safety violations. But the people have to be able to voice their concerns to their government, and that government has to be in a position to listen and act on their behalf. There are not many governments in the world where both of those conditions can be met.

A bit of historical trivia: 2008 marks the 100th anniversary of the amendment of the Railroad Safety Appliances Act, which is what forced the railroads to add things like automatic brakes and couplers to the trains. Though originally passed in 1893, it had no teeth; the government had no authority to go after non-compliant railroads until amended 15 years later. Call it a "grace period," but it wasn't too long ago in our history that we looked like those photos. Think about what it took to build the railroads into the mountains, and the incredible amount of lives that were lost doing so. Now overlay OSHA on that. You've now just made it too expensive to build railroads into the mountains. If you did have the money, you just quadrupled (at the minimum) the amount of time it would take to do so.

And don't worry, there are still plenty of examples in this country of similarly silly stuff that goes on. When was the last time you stood on your office swivel chair to reach something high up, instead of getting a proper ladder or stool? We've all been there. But now, with these safety practices and policies in place, we're all going to be 100% safe, right? Yeah, right...

I used to work for a very large cable/internet company who shall remain nameless. Their safety policies dictated that every vehicle in their fleet should be equipped with proper temporary signage for working alongside the roadways. Now, the vast majority of the vehicles in the company's fleet were cable install vans and bucket trucks, which (a) frequently worked alongside the road, and (b) had the appropriate cabinets and holding devices for these signs. Our news cars, on the other hand, did not. So, in order to comply with the company's safety policy, we had to carry 18" square, 1/2" thick steel plates and 5' long fiberglass pole sign frames which weren't secured to anything in our cars. In any kind of collision, these could go airborne and cause who knows how much damage. We argued this point with corporate management, but they didn't care. Policy was policy. From that point forward, our vehicles were non-compliant with company safety standards, and had corporate management found out, we would have all been fired. But--we all agreed--we'd rather lose our jobs than our heads.

Later,

K
 
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1) People who demand change. The "we're not going to take it" crowd has to be vocal and more importantly irreplaceable. So long as there are people willing to work under those conditions, they won't change.

2) Businesses willing to change. That means the threats of fines, lawsuits, repairs, etc. stemming from "the old way" has to be greater than the expense of modernizing. Until that happens, provided a steady supply of willing workers, businesses aren't going to change.

if i read your words, they seem right. but when i step out of my door, here in a third world country, things look different.
these days i employed a young man to clean old tools, i brought from my ranch to sell them as second hand.
he takes a day for the same work, i could do in less than three hours.
should i kick him out? or should i pay him a third of what i earn in a day?
he can't read, he can't write, he can't work, because his parents never sent him to school.
but he can procreate. he has four children, as far, as i know.
i keep him, he gets work, whenever i have something simple to do.
should i really be willing to change? upgrade the jobs i offer?
it costs him about 20$ US, to send one child to school for a year.
he makes about 8 $US a day - when and if he has work.
he is one of those about 50% of natives, that have work for more than 20 weeks a year.
in this country we are about 300,000 taxpayers out of a population of 6 million.
what shall we change? how shall we change?
 

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what shall we change? how shall we change?

With unemployment levels as high as you imply, and what I infer to be a largely illiterate labor force, things don't change. The notion of improved occupational safety necessitates a moderate level of industrialization to begin with. When you've got that many people who simply don't understand the concept of workplace safety and will do anything to earn a paycheck, safety goes out the window. Essentially, my first condition is not met. The labor pool has to be educated to the point to where they realize that their lives are being unnecessarily put at risk. Even if they are educated to that point, there have to be safer alternatives that they can go to. Without that, they're virtually forced to risk their lives for a paycheck.

What can be done is to work to improve the education of the population. While your hired help cannot read or write, he can work, evidenced by the work he's doing for you. A little bit of education--even simple trade skills training--will go a long way towards improving conditions. The next generation getting educations their parents didn't will also help. Right now, however, the infrastructure doesn't exist. It will in time--perhaps faster with a massive infusion of cash and education from the "outside." Then, you can talk change.

Later,

K
 

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The photos seem to support an analysis I found while doing some research on Japan-in particular to the point that Kevin is making:

Economist Kwan, a Hong Kong native who's spent his career in Japan, says Japanese fears of China are overblown. It's easy to pay too much attention to China's cheap labor: True, Chinese workers â€" who usually make less than $100 a month â€" earn just 3% of Japanese and 2% of U.S. wages. But because they tend to be poorly educated, use obsolete machines and toil for inefficient state-owned companies, they're far less productive. Chinese productivity is just 3% of U.S. levels and 4% of Japan's.
Kwan argues that Japan and China don't compete head-to-head because Japan specializes in more advanced products.
 
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What can be done is to work to improve the education of the population.

not by the goverment. it simply has got not enough money. (the tiny taxpayers-base)
the only schools and hospitals, that exist in our zone are paid by donations from our coops, churches, businessmen, farmers and ranchers.
on the 20$ he pays for a schoolkid, we lay another 250$ per kid. and what do we produce? young unemployed literates.
countries like ours may only export raw products (mostly agricultural).
every ranch, farm or business is allready overstaffed, as it is. we simply can not create jobs as quick, as the population grows.
and we simply can not pay one employee well, laying off two others.
so this kind of fotos will stay quite common in the future too.
 
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