Trying something new

First, I want to say how thrilled I am that I’ve been getting so many comments lately. It’s very exciting, and I’ve expanded the recent comments section on the side here to display 10, not 5 comments.

Anyway, it seems clear that there’s a lot of things people want to talk about that aren’t particularly relevant to what I’m posting about, and I really would rather the discussion stays at least relatively close to the topic of the post. But I don’t want to deny people a forum to talk about other Oakland political issues, so I’m going to try posting open threads here every few days.

I’ll link to stuff I find interesting, but am not planning on writing a whole blog about, and then you guys can feel free to talk about whatever you’re concerned about, whether or not I’ve written about it here. We’ll see how it works. Anyway, here’s your first open thread. Enjoy!

TagamiVision now has interviews up with District 3 City Council candidates Sean Sullivan and Nancy Nadel. Here’s a quick preview:

Watch the whole thing on Novometro Television.

3 thoughts on “Trying something new

  1. Ken O.

    I’ll have a go at this.

    Thanks. (You might also consider adding a “forum” to your site.)

    So, Oakland needs more jobs that less educated residents can apply for and get paid more than minimum wage for.

    Maybe when gas goes over $6/gallon, the manfacturing jobs we sent over to China and India will come back to the US because it’s cheaper to start making stuff here than paying people $0.40/hour in China and shipping it (less cheaply) over here.

    Here’s a potential solution.

    Oakland residents should boycott 99-cent stores, Target, Wal*Mart, Crate’n'Barrel, BedBath&Beyond, and every other store which does not sell goods made in the US, much less made in Oakland or nearby.

    If everyone did that, then we’d get to start choosing better alternatives!

    - thrift stores, barter, swaps, flea markets, craigslist
    - start a factory making essentials in Oakland: underwear, socks for starters, then more complicated items later

    To help, Oakland could pass an ordinance placing tariffs on all imports of cheap goods.

    Okay, so this is all an ideal world-according-to-Ken science project, but if implemented it would help bring back some blue collar jobs.

    This is what Japan does: they export goods to the US, but keep their doors closed to OUR goods! This is what Germany is trying to do: save its industrial base!

    Any country without an industrial base is a weak nation, or will soon become one. Just look around you to see all the “service” McJobs we have left, or otherwise FIRE + webmonkey jobs. And FIRE is sucking it big right now.


  2. Ken O.

    Nancy Nadel’s chocolate factory idea is great, and while it won’t ever pay $28/hour like the old General Motors factories did (well, they are hiring new workers at $14/hour now, to compete with KIA which hires workers in Alabama at $7/hr–remember that the next time you buy your FOREIGN car, subaru/bmw/kia/vw drivers!)

    If you buy a Korean car, your money goes into the pockets of giant Korean holding companies, and American workers here who assemble their cars get not much.

    I love korean food restaurants, and my LG phone works well, but I will not buy a Korean car. (actually, i won’t buy any car–I no longer own any!)

    Buy American/Buy Oakland, help your fellow countrymen.

    Thanks to NAFTA and WTO, we are awash in cheap foreign-made goods which is all well and good for foreign countries’ burgeoning middle classes. But as for our own? Gone. You need an industrial economy to have a middle class.

    Even white collar jobs are outsourced these days. That’s the power of corporate energy. (thanks, chevron)

  3. James H. Robinson

    Blue collar jobs are disappearing and they are NOT coming back. That’s just how it is. You cannot bring back the dead, and that includes dead industries. Boycotting foreign products will not help all that much. Really, y9u will just be potentially robbing Oaklanders of jobs.

    By the way, the Japanese do not have tariffs or unsurmountable barriers. For example, iPods sell pretty well in Japan, and that country has always been a strong market for Macs. The problem is that American cars were not competitive with Japanese cars, either in the USA or in Japan. US car companies didn’t modify their cars for the Japanese market the same way they do for the US market. For example, did you know that the Honda Accord sold in the US is completely different than the one sold in Japan? Also, did you know that ALL Honda Accords sold in the US are built here?

    That brings me to another point. Not only is Oakland not a competitive place for manufacturing relative to the Far East, it isn’t even competitive with other parts of our own country. Honda and Toyota both have MAJOR manufacturing plants in the US. Honda has one in Ohio that makes Honda Accords, Acura TL’s (a model sold mostly in North American and should basically be considered and American car), and other models. Toyota has a plant in Kentucky that makes virtually every Camry sold in the USA. Unfortunately, Oakland is too expensive, union-dominated, and crime-ridden to compete for what little manufacturing is left.

    Therefore, I think we should follow the lead of our neighbors. It’s interesting to me how Emeryville was able to transition away from manufacturing, while Oakland is still fighting a war that is already over. South San Francisco (“South City”) has a gigantic sign near the SFO airport the says, “South San Francisco: The Industrial City.” That’s not entirely true anymore, since South City has transitioned to biotech. Hell, even San Francisco is building a new campus at Mission Bay to pursue biotech and biofuels. Meanwhile, what is Oakland doing?

    Let go of the past and embrace the future. There really is hope.