close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Billy Joel's Allentown

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by BigChuck73, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. BigChuck73

    BigChuck73 Registered Lurk

    Messages:
    487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Just gets to me every time I hear it. I think of what we've lost/losing in this country in manufacturing and it makes me somewhat sad.

    "Every child had a pretty good shot
    To get at least as far as their old man got
    But something happened on the way to that place
    They threw an American flag in our face "

    Anyone else?
     
  2. G36's Rule

    G36's Rule Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,373
    Likes Received:
    85
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2001
    Location:
    Spring, TX.
    I liked the song in my youth. Still has a nice tune.

    But it is pretty much populist drivel. We still lead the world in manufacturing. Every child still has a good shot to get as far, or further, as their old man got.
     

  3. byf43

    byf43 NRA Endowment Life Member

    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    897
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
  4. bug

    bug

    Messages:
    1,827
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    I am going to take some heat on this.
    but I do like the song! we did not start the fire, also a good song.
    My opinion on the massage is mixed.
    I think our .gov had there way with all of us long ago.
    I think maybe apathy is what truly did us in.
    People stopped working for there money, unions made it possible.
    loyalty went out the window company's treat there employees like crap and want them to be grateful. Not likely!

    we allowed our own ego get in the way of the truth, we showed other's in the world how to do many things only we used to do and they want it more than we do that = we are lost

    But the song is great make me remember being a kid both good and bad.
     
  5. THEPOPE

    THEPOPE Nibb

    Messages:
    4,183
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    "....and we're living here in Allentown....

    and it's hard to keep a good man down...

    but I won't be getting up today-y-y-y-yyyyay-ayay-y-yy..."

    The destruction of the steel industry, lost to Japan, when American companies decided it was more economical to SHIP steel from far off, than they could find it here....at least, that is how I read it at the time....

    I am Out ...:cool:
     
  6. DaGroaner

    DaGroaner Anti-Socialist

    Messages:
    20,343
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Location:
    Firmly planted under Statist skin
    They threw Saul Alinsky in our face... including those lyrics.
     
  7. Brian Lee

    Brian Lee Drop those nuts

    Messages:
    9,539
    Likes Received:
    435
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Up a tree.
    I'm a manufacturing engineer, and I have personally seen manufacturing jobs disappear from America from a view that's right down in the trenches of it, and I don't buy this. I think it's just misinformation spread by Americans who make money importing and reselling Chinese stuff. If our middle class is still out there making money as usual, and if opportunity still abounds, then why are our federal, state, and local governments all so broke from the recent decline of incoming revenue?

    Go to Google maps, click on the satellite view, and then zoom in on any city on the southern Chinese coast and count the big container ships sitting in the port. Now do the same at any American costal city and just try to even FIND a port with any big container ships in it. The difference in ships coming and going is pretty staggering, and I think it shows a pretty good visual representation of the manufacturing exports from each country.
     
  8. G36's Rule

    G36's Rule Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,373
    Likes Received:
    85
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2001
    Location:
    Spring, TX.
  9. G36's Rule

    G36's Rule Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,373
    Likes Received:
    85
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2001
    Location:
    Spring, TX.
    How many shipping ports does China have?

    How many does the USA have?
     
  10. Davegrave

    Davegrave Dapper Dan

    Messages:
    4,170
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Location:
    NW IN
    Man I love me some Billy Joel.
    But not so much the serious allentown stuff.
    For The Longest Time is just flat out one of the best/best sounding songs of all time.
    And She's Got A Way is great too.
     
  11. wrenrj1

    wrenrj1

    Messages:
    7,242
    Likes Received:
    440
    Joined:
    May 22, 2002
    Location:
    Huskerville
    The whole album is good, it was a sign of the times. Got the vinyl.
     
  12. Mikey444

    Mikey444 sacré bleu!

    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Location:
    Bucks CO, PA
    Allentown is a hole. Besides, the steel business was in neighboring Bethlehem. Babe Ruth worked there for a brief period in the steel mills. I enjoy Bethlehem, lots of culture and some good night life. Plus half of the city shuts down for one week each year for Musicfest.
     
  13. devildog2067

    devildog2067

    Messages:
    16,569
    Likes Received:
    1,720
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    The truth doesn't care if you "buy it" or not. It simply is. America is the world's largest manufacturing economy in terms of DOLLARS, not volume.

    IE, we build supercomputers and heavy equipment and fighter jets. The Chinese build plastic crap. This is a generalization, of course, and they pump out way more "stuff" than we do, and they may employ more people than we do, but we still export more.

    The problem that you're seeing is that it's simply not sustainable to pay someone a "living" wage in the US to be a manufacturing drone. That may be sad, or it may be progress depending on your point of view, but regardless it simply IS. The standard of living in the US is going up, and we can't pay above-market wages for jobs simply because we feel that we owe people a "living" wage. The jobs command the salary that they do, and when it becomes cheaper to pay the Chinese to do it and ship the resulting product over the ocean that's what happens. You have to divorce any emotion from it, it's simple economics.
     
  14. Flying-Dutchman

    Flying-Dutchman

    Messages:
    7,102
    Likes Received:
    2,241
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    The song is depressing, boring and just chugs along kind of like the town.

    The new Sands Casino built on the old Bethlehem Steel site next to the rusting blast furnaces symbolizes the USA nicely.

    They gamble where they used to actually make something of value.

    Allentown had Mack Trucks, Western Electric, General Electric, breweries, knitting mills, etc…. all RIP.

    Now Allentown is one big ghetto with high taxes and a huge budget deficit.
     
  15. patw

    patw

    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    67
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Big business has been screwing us over for years and they will continue to do so. Auto makers,steel, etc., are getting workers cheaper oversea's because they love big profits and that is all. If the workers get paid less and materials cost less from outside our country, where is the savings to consumers? There is none. Talk to me all you want about taxation but I don't buy it. The profits stay at the top of the chain. Big business' loved to wrench it to people over 100 years ago and would have kept going if it wasn't for some people who wanted to stop it. Unions have always played a part in things and have helped our country more than most of us will know. Granted with any entity that has power,sometimes they will corrupt themselves. Research 'Labor Day' and see how the large companies of the times made people work for cheap/next to nothing, make people pay high prices at the company store and give away your job to a child,(factories.fields,etc.) and make them work for a lot less than your pay,(which was pretty low even then).This country is getting worse and I don't blame the politicians as much as I blame the ceo's of companies who lay off thousands and then give themselves a bonus. It's not about economics, unless you mean those who benefit at the top. Companies used to pay a decent wage with the idea of 'pay the person what he is worth'. Now companies can do whatever they want and suffer no consequences and even get a bailout. I am not saying you can't run a business the way you want, but eventually, what comes around goes around.
     
  16. Flying-Dutchman

    Flying-Dutchman

    Messages:
    7,102
    Likes Received:
    2,241
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Hey, the truth hurts.

    My business is in Allentown and Allentown is my pen pal.

    I am always getting letters from Allentown; this privilege tax, that business license fee, an extra fee for garbage as a business, gross receipts tax, rental license fees and on and on.

    The Allentown location is convenient but does not make me money.

    Most of my business is conducted through the internet and I am ready to move.
     
  17. Brian Lee

    Brian Lee Drop those nuts

    Messages:
    9,539
    Likes Received:
    435
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Up a tree.
    No, the truth doesn't care, but I disagree on what you have chosen to believe is the truth, and I'm not looking at it with emotion at all, because I'm not one of the drones, and haven't been thrown out in the cold.

    Because I have inside information about what's going on in certain companies I've done consulting work for, I get to see what you don't. Which is that the money being "saved" with Chinese labor isn't usually being "saved" at all, or passed along to retail customers as most people think. The "saved" money in most cases, is simply being kicked upstairs to executives who have upped their own pay by the "saved" amount. The overall effect is that the same money that used to be paid to workers - and it was a very workable situation - has now become the pay raise of the top CEO. The companies seldom (most of them anyway) pass along lower prices, and consumers don't really get much of anything any cheaper as you think. As manufacturing methods have improved in recent years, things have become cheaper to make, and many things would have still become cheaper at the retail level even when made here in the USA. But that would not have resulted in the CEO's being able to put all the money that used to be spent on laborer wages into their own pockets, as they do now - which is why so many things go to China to be made. So yes, as you suggest, economics is how the desicion is made, but we used to think a CEO who makes 40 times what the laborer makes was a well paid CEO. Now the big CEO's all want to make 400 times what the laborer makes, and you and I will just have to "agree to disagree" about whether that is right for the country as a whole or not.

    No CEO in America wants to pay his own employees a decent wage, but yet they all still want other peoples employees to magically still have money to spend on Chinese imports, and I think there's a hole in that logic. We can't all fire off our workers, and still expect that potential customers will still exist. Right now, retail sales people making dirt for wages is the most common job in America, and those people can't afford to provide every company with a strong customer base that has money to spend.

    As for the US being the largest manufacturer, are you sure you're not reading reports that counted newly constructed buildings, government funded bridges, and fast food as "products manufactured"? That's an old trick that George Bush tried to use to make US manufacturing numbers look better than they are. And the Chinese don't just make cheap crap that doesn't matter BTW. They made your computer, your cell phone, many of the parts your car was assembled from, and probably almost every modern appliance in your house. American cars could be deceptively counted as "American" manufactured goods, but they're as Chinese as they are American when the parts were made over there, and only the final assembly was done here. The same is now true of Boeing airplanes too, with many Chinese parts shipped here for final assembly. I contend that the numbers you think are "truth" were deliberately doctored by people who, as I said, are looking to profit off of the sale of jobs overseas.

    It's like global warming or any other political subject. The media will make "numbers" in news articles look like what ever you want to believe. If you are inclined to believe you personally become better off some how, when your neighbor looses his job, then you'll believe whatever Wall Street Journal BS article supports your view - and the WSJ is written by and for those who think they will personally profit from the mostly one-way trading situation with China.
     
  18. Brian Lee

    Brian Lee Drop those nuts

    Messages:
    9,539
    Likes Received:
    435
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Up a tree.
    Most of the companies in that article import parts from China, and the dollar value of all that off-shore component manufacturing in many cases amounts to more than the domestic final assembly work does. Referring to some of that stuff as "American" is a joke. It's only part American at best, and just as much is imported.
     
  19. Atlas

    Atlas transmogrifier

    Messages:
    12,512
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2001
    Location:
    north of the equator
    Saying "we still lead the world in manufacturing" may be true by the numbers, but we are loosing important segments of our manufacturing capabilities, for many areas of expertise it's more to Europe than to Asia. Many important manufacturing specialty segments are slowly going every year.

    That isn't to say that we're doomed, but what I see happening is worrisome...

    Those who say "that's the free market, it's all good" just don't see or understand what is really happening across the entire industrial spectrum. It isn't all about the numbers of the moment, anymore than blood counts accurately reflect your health at any given moment.

    Our national security depends upon our ability to make stuff, essential stuff. You can rationalize it any way you choose, but that is the simple fact.
    This is not something that can be easily measured nor characterized in a few sentences or paragraphs.

    There is more at stake here than jobs or some measure of old "dirty 20th-century industries".

    I wish I could stay to discuss this but I gotta turn in.
     
  20. ParaBear

    ParaBear

    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Come now, don't you know that turning middle class citizens into desperate, exploitable Third World inhabitants is good for profits? In the short term anyway.