Posted on by weimiaowComments Off on In the 1950s, the Amer 上海千花网try was seen as the
e prototype of how business should be run. Car company executives were seen as the most capable manage
上海千花网品茶微信rs. In 1953, president Eisenhower chose Charles Wilson, known as “engine Charlie,” to be his Secretary of Defense.
Then, in 1961, president Kennedy chose Ford president Robert McNamara for the same position. (Of course, McNamara’s incredible mismanagement of the war in Vietnam reduced any confidence that car company executives were especially competent.)
By the late 1960s, the “big three “car companies in the US – General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler – formed a virtual oligopoly and turned lazy. 上海千花网
I remember American cars my father bought in these years often overheating and breaking down by the side of the road. Dad would have to stay by the car with my m
other and sisters while I walked a long way to find a service station and arrange a tow. (This was long before mobile phones.) 上海千花网品茶微信
So, American consumers were ready for more competitive Japanese-made cars, which had consistently high
er quality, to enter the market. My father switched to Japanese cars in the 1970s, and never bought another American-made car. 上海千花网
American car companies saw their profits fall and were not able to pay their workers t
he very high wages made possible by a closed, non-competitive market. The US government responded by
上海千花网品茶微信imposing quotas on the import of Japanese cars and by pushing Japan to rapidly raise the value of the yen.
Obviously, there was a conflict. American consumers benefitted from the cheaper, better cars while workers at the big three saw their jobs become less secure and the
ir wages fall. Fortunately, the protection was only partial and temporary, so the competition eventually forced US carmakers to improve.
Competition is at the heart of the current disputes over globalization and technology. On net, the spread of econo 上海千花网品茶微信
mic opportunities around the world has been a great boon. Many products are more widely and cheaply available than ever before.
Many countries, including China and India, have greatly reduced poverty and given opportunities to their people that would have been undreamed of by earlier ge 上海千花网
nerations. American and Western European companies and consumers have greatly benefitted.
But nobody really likes competition against themselves. Most people like some degree of stability and protection. A worker w
ho has put in 20 or 30 years in an industry will definitely feel that it is unfair to have to move to a much lower-pa
ying service job. A company facing new competitors will try to convince its home government to stop the competition.
Americans saw many benefits from the second globalization period. As Japanese and, later Chinese, manufacturers began to export t
o the US, many consumer goods became a lot cheaper in US stores. Many American companies made good profits by exporting t
o the newly open markets or by outsourcing manufacturing to cheaper and/or better factories outside the US.