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  1. #51
    Very Active Member UtahPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RinconRyder View Post
    Things changed because the rest of the world recovered from the devastation of WWII. Among first world countries the USA was the only significant one with virtually no battle damage and its industries were in high gear as a result of producing war materiel for the previous six years. In addition, there was tremendous pent up demand from the US population for cars, houses and other material things that could not be bought during the war years - and civilians had money to pay for these things because of the mandatory wage and price controls during the war.

    But during these same 1950's and 60's not everything was Made in America. If you wanted precision camera equipment it came from Germany. England produced quality musical instruments. Japan began with cheap toys, much as China is today, but quickly became the world leader in automobiles and took motorcycle manufacturing away from the Brits.
    I never really thought about it that way, but it makes sense.

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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by RinconRyder View Post
    Things changed because the rest of the world recovered from the devastation of WWII. Among first world countries the USA was the only significant one with virtually no battle damage and its industries were in high gear as a result of producing war materiel for the previous six years. In addition, there was tremendous pent up demand from the US population for cars, houses and other material things that could not be bought during the war years - and civilians had money to pay for these things because of the mandatory wage and price controls during the war.

    But during these same 1950's and 60's not everything was Made in America. If you wanted precision camera equipment it came from Germany. England produced quality musical instruments. Japan began with cheap toys, much as China is today, but quickly became the world leader in automobiles and took motorcycle manufacturing away from the Brits.
    About 1969, two years after I graduated from college, the front cover of a Machine Design magazine had the title, "Invented in Europe, Developed in America, Produced in Japan"! It was interesting how product evolution took place by crossing from one side of the earth to the other. Cameras were one of the examples cited.

    Not only did pent up demand fuel manufacturing growth, but so did high taxes. Personal income taxes topped out at over 90% in the 50's and 60's. I don't know how high corporate taxes were, but they were up there. So, one way to avoid paying taxes was invest income in manufacturing facilities. Interesting contrast to much of current thinking about taxes. Also, ready access to and abundant supply of, raw materials such as iron ore helped spur growth. Eventually, by the 80's, low wages, no pollution controls, and easier recovery of iron ore made iron ingots cheaper to bring into Pittsburgh from Brazil than smelted from iron ore from Minnesota.

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  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsimion View Post
    When did things change? Because when I grew up, almost everything was made in America and somehow we could still afford to buy stuff. It was that way for sure through the 1970s. In fact, it wasn't that many years ago that Wal-Mart was advertising all the products they carried that were made in America.
    I likely grew up in a different income class. We couldn't afford most non-essential consumer goodies until the Chinese imports started coming in. They were cheap in quality but also in cost.
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  4. #54
    Consumer Advocate akspyderman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoMtnSpyder View Post
    About 1969, two years after I graduated from college, the front cover of a Machine Design magazine had the title, "Invented in Europe, Developed in America, Produced in Japan"! It was interesting how product evolution took place by crossing from one side of the earth to the other. Cameras were one of the examples cited.

    Not only did pent up demand fuel manufacturing growth, but so did high taxes. Personal income taxes topped out at over 90% in the 50's and 60's. I don't know how high corporate taxes were, but they were up there. So, one way to avoid paying taxes was invest income in manufacturing facilities. Interesting contrast to much of current thinking about taxes. Also, ready access to and abundant supply of, raw materials such as iron ore helped spur growth. Eventually, by the 80's, low wages, no pollution controls, and easier recovery of iron ore made iron ingots cheaper to bring into Pittsburgh from Brazil than smelted from iron ore from Minnesota.
    MN solved that problem. They began using "Taconite," a derivative of iron ore. They mixed iron ore with something, and pelletized it. They have been shipping taconite to the steel mills since the late 60's. The Fitzgerald, as well as all other ore boats were loaded with taconite when it went down.

    The open pit mines were still up and running in Northern MN (the iron range) when I left the area in 2001. Taconite was the product.
    Last edited by akspyderman; 12-07-2017 at 07:44 PM.

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  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by akspyderman View Post
    MN solved that problem. They began using "Taconite," a derivative of iron ore. They mixed iron ore with something, and pelletized it. They have been shipping taconite to the steel mills since the late 60's. The Fitzgerald, as well as all other ore boats were loaded with taconite when it went down.

    The open pit mines were still up and running in Northern MN (the iron range) when I left the area in 2001. Taconite was the product.
    MN iron is now less than 2% of global production at about 40 million tons annually. Production back in 1974 was 65 million tons and from 1941 to 1945 411 tons total.
    http://minnesotabrown.com/2017/02/mn...ls-source.html
    http://minnesotairon.org/education/history/

    The comment about Brazil vs MN was made to me around 1984 by a guy whose specialty was installation and repair of exhaust flues of large industrial furnaces.

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  6. #56
    Consumer Advocate akspyderman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoMtnSpyder View Post
    MN iron is now less than 2% of global production at about 40 million tons annually. Production back in 1974 was 65 million tons and from 1941 to 1945 411 tons total.
    http://minnesotabrown.com/2017/02/mn...ls-source.html
    http://minnesotairon.org/education/history/

    The comment about Brazil vs MN was made to me around 1984 by a guy whose specialty was installation and repair of exhaust flues of large industrial furnaces.
    Thanks for posting the articles. Sad to see the decline though. That appears to be steady over the years. The iron range was a heck of a place and a large driver of the economy back in its heyday. Not so much anymore.
    Last edited by akspyderman; 12-08-2017 at 02:52 AM.

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  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by akspyderman View Post
    Nice to see that MN is still the 5th largest source of taconite in the US.
    Minerals, not taconite. It falls behind coal, gravel and stone I believe.

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  8. #58
    Active Member RinconRyder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoMtnSpyder View Post
    Not only did pent up demand fuel manufacturing growth, but so did high taxes. Personal income taxes topped out at over 90% in the 50's and 60's.
    What you stated is technically true but very, VERY few people paid that percentage. If you check the tables on taxfoundation.org you will see the history of Federal tax rates from 1913 through 2013. One dollar today has the same buying power as 10 cents did in 1955. In 1955 the median income in the USA was $5,000 per year. That would mean that the average marginal tax rate was 26%. Actual percentage would depend on many different situations/deductions so it is safe to assume most people paid less than 26%.

    What would be interesting is to know the actual tax monies paid then as compared to now. I remember sitting with my parents when they were filling out their returns sometime in the mid/late 50's and I don't remember any complaints or discussion about how much tax they paid (and my dad was known to complain about such things).

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by RinconRyder View Post
    Things changed because the rest of the world recovered from the devastation of WWII. Among first world countries the USA was the only significant one with virtually no battle damage and its industries were in high gear as a result of producing war materiel for the previous six years. In addition, there was tremendous pent up demand from the US population for cars, houses and other material things that could not be bought during the war years - and civilians had money to pay for these things because of the mandatory wage and price controls during the war.

    But during these same 1950's and 60's not everything was Made in America. If you wanted precision camera equipment it came from Germany. England produced quality musical instruments. Japan began with cheap toys, much as China is today, but quickly became the world leader in automobiles and took motorcycle manufacturing away from the Brits.
    Another key thing here was that everyone other than the US had their industrial base flattened during the war. A large reason we came roaring back after WW2 was that we we the only country capable of building things. Everybody wanted (heck, needed) our stuff.

    So, everyone else had to, over time, rebuild their factories, while we kept using what we had. The eventual result was that everyone else had newer, modern plants while the US was still using its older, less modern facilities.

    Another factor was that some of the rebuilding economies (especially Japan) took the time to examine such outlandish concepts as statistical process control and management engineering concepts (these eventually matured into what we now call Total Quality Management). But these same practices were not implemented in the US for quite some time, especially in the auto industry, due largely to union resistance to change.

    So, it was a combination of newer production facilities and better management practices that allowed foreign competition to eventually overtake the US and kick our butt.
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  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Baxter View Post
    Another factor was that some of the rebuilding economies (especially Japan) took the time to examine such outlandish concepts as statistical process control and management engineering concepts (these eventually matured into what we now call Total Quality Management). But these same practices were not implemented in the US for quite some time, especially in the auto industry, due largely to union resistance to change.
    It wasn't just unions, if in fact they really were much of the resistance. Management attitude and the bean counters were a big part of the resistance. When I was working for the Army in Rock Island in 1984 to 1991 one of the new engineers came to us from General Motors. His specialty had been window crank/lift mechanisms. Engineers were directed to establish tolerances for manufacturing that would result in about a 7% reject rate. The bean counters said that resulted in the lowest overall manufacturing cost for the part! You can be sure not all of the defective parts were caught before they got put into cars.

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  11. #61
    Very Active Member jcthorne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RinconRyder View Post
    Japan began with cheap toys, much as China is today, but quickly became the world leader in automobiles and took motorcycle manufacturing away from the Brits.
    Lets just say I strongly disagree with the sentiment that Japan is the world leader in automobiles.

    They are not the number one producer, they are not the world leader in automotive technology and their vehicles do not lead the highest quality or fuel economy roles.

    The opposite is actually true. Japan leads one automotive segment by a large lead. They have the most automotive recalls.

    Its a 1980s myth that is long overdue to disappear.

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  12. #62
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    JC,
    Do you have a source for that information?

    I'd like to like it : I just need some verification...

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  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcthorne View Post
    Lets just say I strongly disagree with the sentiment that Japan is the world leader in automobiles.
    We are talking about production in the 70's, 80's and 90's but if you want 2016 numbers just look here: https://www.statista.com/statistics/277055/global-market-share-of-regions-on-auto-production/

    China now leads the world in vehicle production but it is virtually for their domestic market only. Who is next? Japan of course.

  14. #64
    Active Member RinconRyder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcthorne View Post
    Japan leads one automotive segment by a large lead. They have the most automotive recalls.
    That is almost totally due to the Takata airbag issue - a sub-system supplier. And a ton of other marques also suffered from this identical issue.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoMtnSpyder View Post
    ...Personal income taxes topped out at over 90% in the 50's and 60's...
    Back around 1970 when Bob Hope had his weekly variety show, I remember this passage from one of his stand-up intro monologues:

    "People express envy to me about the amount of money I make. Yeah, right! My income tax is 90%, my agent gets 10%, and all the rest is pure gravy!

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  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by missouriboy View Post
    Back around 1970 when Bob Hope had his weekly variety show, I remember this passage from one of his stand-up intro monologues:

    "People express envy to me about the amount of money I make. Yeah, right! My income tax is 90%, my agent gets 10%, and all the rest is pure gravy!

    It's a good joke but only partially true. Agent costs would be deducted before calculating his tax amount.

    At his death Hope's estate was estimated to be worth between $400M and $700M. Not bad for someone who was taking home only 10% of earnings.

    From the book: "Bob Hope: The Road Well Traveled": To get around the high personal income taxes Hope formed multiple companies including "Hope Records", "Hope Enterprises" and "Hope Corporation". In 1950 Hope was paying about 50% of his personal earnings (est. $3-$4 million dollars per year) in taxes. Those are in 1950 dollars or about 10 times what it would be worth in today's money.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by RinconRyder View Post
    It's a good joke but only partially true. Agent costs would be deducted before calculating his tax amount...
    Well, of cooouuuuuurrrrse!! And he didn't pay 90% on the first taxable dollar, either. Everybody knows that, and that's what makes it funny.
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  18. #68
    Active Member RinconRyder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missouriboy View Post
    Well, of cooouuuuuurrrrse!! And he didn't pay 90% on the first taxable dollar, either. Everybody knows that, and that's what makes it funny.
    And that was the major problem with Hope. His crap wasn't funny.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by RinconRyder View Post
    I too was a big fan of the inline fours. My '71 Honda 750 Four (slightly modified) could beat the pants off any HD made in those days.

    But the UJM were just following a trend by trying to copy HD's Potato Twins. It didn't succeed. Both Yamaha and Kawasaki did however sell a bunch of their 80ish vertical twins ala Triumph, BSA etc. So sometimes copying but producing a better product does work. I owned a '81 Yammy 650 Twin which, when I saw it last, had well over 100,000 miles on it and the then owner was about to take it cross country for the 4th or 5th time. I think Kawasaki still sells their version of the Triumph Bonneville 650 twin.
    Pretty sure those old 750 fours would beat current day HD's (I own a Road King so I know)

    I remember back when I worked at the Harley shop and HD stock was selling for 5 cents a share just prior to AMF buying HD. The US tried tariffs against the Asian market then but it didn't seem to do much then and probably will not do much now. There is always a way around.
    Best practice seems to be build better and cheaper and customers will come.

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