China is the low bidder for the San Francisco Bay bridge steel structure. Yes the IO will be imported from China, and the steel manufactured in China. The steel fabrication will be done in China. The bridge will be shipped by barges to the San Francisco bay and erected in the San Francisco bay. The reason why American steel workers are more expensive, by $400,000,000 is very simple. California is broke, if the Bay Bridge is financed by US Federal subsidies, union labor has to be used. The labor cost goes up by $400,000,000. California decided to have the bridge finance by private fund. Therefore the bids could go overseas. Something tells me the private financing is Chinese! LOL. Obama is running the US and its workers in a hole as big as his home town, Chicago? Obama the absurd. All this is good for the IO trade. Who knows MSB steel may be used. It could very well be, should the US IO cost of the bridge could be deducted from the import duties if there is any, duties that is.
>>>The reason why American steel workers are more expensive, by $400,000,000 is very simple ... union labor has to be used.
Look at a Chinese steelworker details:
>>>The Times notes that 55-year old steel polisher Pan Zhongwang arrives at work at 7 a.m. and leaves at 11 p.m. seven days a week earning $12 a day and a bed in the company dorm.
It makes an appealing story to blame democrats, unions, and Obama for the higher cost of US labor. But get real. The problem is Chinese "slave" labor. We get cheap stuff because we are willing to see Pan Zhongwang chained to a 16-hour-per-day job at 75-cents per hour. Oh wait, he gets to sleep in the company dorm.
It is a wild oversimplification to make the leap to blame your favorite political targets, but the problem is not so simple. We have a world economy and a wide, wide labor surplus in the world. One solution to having too much labor in the world is to move to the lowest wage. I support the democrats and the unions in opposing that. The race to the bottom is bad for everyone. I don't want "success" to be US steel workers earning 50-cents an hour.
There really isn't an easy answer. We have a world with two sweeping forces going on. The population grows and grows. 7 billion people in the world currently. We have increasing productivity as it takes fewer people operating more powerful machines to produce more. In a world of 7 billion, we need very few steelworkers.
>>>Obama is running the US and its workers in a hole as big as his home town, Chicago?
This is a big leap fom the Bay Bridge to US national fiscal policy. I think it has no logical validity. I also oppose the answer that seems to be coming from the right: that what we really need is to compete at the level of China, with lower wages, decreased environmental reegulations, decreased workplace safety, decreased labor rights, etc.
I am also for federal fiscal responsibility, which is why I support the democratic party.
I was forced to join the Machinist Union in California 40 years ago. For 2 years my work was very confined to ever qualified permissible tools and tasks. Had I stayed with a union job, I would have never achieved the level of success I was able to raised to. I have no need for union. OSHA and workmen compensation insurance penalize employer that does not adhere to these organizations work safety rules. Having worked in the O&G offshore business, I can say that work related injuries are a no no. All the employers I was associated with did not stay in business long if the working conditions were not good. Than we worked 12 hour shift, 28 days and 28 days off. We were given all the safety gears free, and no unions. The profile of a offshore worker is not that of a passive union brainwashed worker. The worker is willing to work hard for a good pay but is not willing to take unnecessary risks. Companies have schools and issue certificates of knowledge that qualify you for certain jobs. Again Union have nothing to do with these requirement. USCG is in charge of the tests exams and curriculum. Unions are an impediment to an economy well balance and fetching good returns for everyone. We all have a place in society, up to the individual to materialize the opportunities he chooses. Government function is to make sure that we all have a share of these opportunities without choosing winners and losers. If not you have socialism.