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State of our wonderful union?

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  • State of our wonderful union?

    Ok, I'm just going to rant for a little bit, so bear with me. Is it just me, or does anyone else get concerned by the fact that you just about can't find anything built here anymore?? Case in point: I've spent the last week casually looking for some basic old C clamps for an upcoming project. Nothing special, just common wood working tools. I was not able to find a single brand that was built here. I checked all the usual "box" and hardware stores to no avail. Does it bother me so much that a simple tool isn't built here, well not so much. It's the over all idea that really scares me more than bothers me. For those of you that don't know, I'm a relative "pup" among most of the old-timers on here (I'm only 30), but I have read my share of history books and listen to the stories from my family and friends over the years. Not in anyway to slight anyone from the wars of yesteryear (my grandfather flew on board the B-17G's over N Africa, dad was in Vietnam), but on top of all the valor, courage, and guts, there was another great advantage we held. To boil it all down, this great country was able to make "stuff" better and faster than anyone else could destroy it. What would happen today if we needed that production capacity? Not only that, but as most of us know, the very idea of the common person being able to do anything (really, anything) mechanical is virtually disappering from the landscape right in front of our faces. I work in the construction industry and can get boiling mad when I so often here comments like "you'd better get an education, or you'll end up working construction or driving a truck". I also have a class A CDL with double/triple and tanker endorsements....and I USE it! Some of the greatest people I've know over the years came home dirty at the end of the day because they did something that mattered from sunup to sundown (forget 9-5). Heaven forbid you use your mind AND your might during the day.

    Personally I'd like to thank the folks at Miller for their products and dedication to making this place better in their own little way. Hopefully, the great dollar will not force a change. After all, there's usually a reason someone is the cheapest bidder.

    Just my thoughts.....SSS

  • #2
    SSS: I could not agree more.

    I have been planning on buying a plasma cutter for a while, and I could get a cheap import 40Amp for about $600. But I plan to buy a Miller 375 27AMP for $1100 instead. I am mainly buying it not just because it’s a Miller, but because it is made in the USA.

    Wal-Mart use to be ALL AMERICAN Products (we only sell American), but now, you can't find anything in that store that was made in America (the ultimate bate and switch). After they ran out all the small mom and pops stores…. I hate that F-ing store.

    Just my 2 Cents


    • #3
      Originally posted by JHCHOPPERS View Post

      Wal-Mart use to be ALL AMERICAN Products (we only sell American), but now, you can't find anything in that store that was made in America (the ultimate bate and switch). After they ran out all the small mom and pops stores…. I hate that F-ing store.

      Just my 2 Cents

      I bet the old man " Sam Walton ) is turning over in his grave for what his company ( Wal-Mart / Sams Club ) has become since his death.


      • #4
        get boiling mad when I so often here comments like "you'd better get an education, or you'll end up working construction or driving a truck".
        Or, end up in Iraq as the "genius" from Massachutes (don't care if misspelled, I'm from Texas).

        Hello everyone. First post. A little off topic. I really enjoy this forum and hope to contribute. Be sure to vote today.....


        • #5
          I just wanted to follow up on my thread here for a bit. While I agree that there is something to be said about the consumer market and it's move out of this country, my true concern is for the infrastucture and work force that we are moving toward. I remembered reading an article a while back by Jay Leno in Popular Mechanics (you may notice that is where I got most of my themes in the starting thread) about the machinist industry.

          It's not very long and well worth the read as a straight forward commentary on our current state of affairs in this and similar industries. Just this morning on my way into work one of the local DJ's was interview John Ratzinburger (sp?), the host of the show Made In America, because of a book signing he is doing here tomorrow. He comment on the aspect of the upcoming generations and how they are not being taught even the most basic of skills. This has to do in part to the removal of shop and industrial classes from public schools. The places where a lot of people got their start in their field of expertise. One of the comments he said that most hit home with me was that of how most major industries and manufacturers were started by the average person tinkering in their garages with basics skills learned in everyday life. With a lack of the "tinkering" and villiage shops, where will the next big ideas come from??

          I realize this is a bit off subject for the Welding Board, but I felt it was something that needed to be shared and ideas put in peoples hearts and minds if we want to continue what we have for generations to come. So don't be afraid to take someone in as an aprentise and teach them what they need to know. Even if it means starting from the very begining. After all, it is up to those that know to pass it along to those that don't. SSS
          Last edited by SkidSteerSteve; 11-07-2006, 07:54 AM.


          • #6
            I agree with what I have heard here and would like to add something else. I am a high school technology education instructor. There seems to be a mind set among many of the administrators that run our schools that the "old school" industrial arts classes are no longer important to our student’s future. I would have to say this couldn't be any farther from the truth! The majority of students that I see in my classes will never go on to college, yet our schools our geared toward college prep! I have welding classes right know that have over 20 kids in each with only 6 welding booths, yet they won't break the classes up to make them smaller as it is only an "exploratory class". My area businesses are crying for weldors, yet administration doesn't see that the skills they learn in this class could lead them toward a career in welding, its just a hobby for them.

            What I feel needs to be done is for industry to get more involved with schools and really push for these classes to stay in the curriculum. It does make a difference as these businesses are often times huge contributors to the district indirectly in the form of taxes. I have a couple local businesses that have started to get involved and it is starting to help.



            • #7
              I also agree with what's being discussed here. The high school vo-tech welding-machine shop class in our town lets you limit your learning by choosing your projects. Many processes and joints can be overlooked and not mastered. My son took it and was always trying to help everyone else instead of his own grade/project. Thank God he went to and graduated from Tulsa Welding School where he also learned to live on his own. He is still in the trade today and making good money.


              • #8
                We are very fortunate in that our Technical High School is just that.

                Welding is not a " shop class ". Welding is in that school what college would call a " major ". They don't have an opportunity to " pick a project ". They are assigned a project with a skill set commensurate with thier eductaion level. They go through it all. Gas, Stick, MIG, TIG in addition to the use of various shop machinery that you would find in any well equipped fab shop.

                I took my welding classes in thier facility at night through the community college. This Tech High School prepares student in various field for a CAREER upon gradution. Welding student graduate certified as welders, they have someone from the industry come in and certify the students.

                The instructor said he has NOT had a student graduate who did not walk out the door and into a job welding.

                It's the only Tech school like it in the county, it is extremely tought to get into. You have to meet grade/attendence criteria to even begin to be considered. Once they accept that you have to write an essay saying why you should be allowed to go there. Then comes the interview.

                **** it's easier to get into Yale than it is this school.

                My 12 yr old son is working to get into that school, and we ( mom & dad ) are working to see that he gets what he wants. We see in him an interest that is genuine and if this is what he wants, it is what he will have.


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