• Field Notes 13.10.2010

    So what’s up with The Donald’s claims in recent weeks about windows made in China not being as good as what he can get here in the States, yet buying them anyway?  In the quest for cheapness, he might as well have stiffed every middle class worker in the U.S. of A.  Then in a “Morning Joe” interview on MSNBC last week, they got into whether or not he’s running for President in 2012 as a moderate.  Please, are you kidding me?

    I’ve got a pretty good idea there’s a lot of pent-up frustration within just the glazing industry over this Chinese window thing recently in the news – that alone ought to be enough to keep The Donald out of the Oval Office.

    Here are some of his quotes from the interview the other morning that really got the fuse lit, with rebuttals:

    1. “…their [Chinese company’s] product isn’t nearly as good as Pella and lots of other great companies we have in this country…”

      You bet those domestic windows are better!  And you have to be willing to pay for that quality.  It has a cost.  One that I venture many customers might be willing to pay for, too.  I’d like to see him sell this bill of goods to the AFL-CIO, let alone all the everyday Joes out there.  So why is he buying cheap?  Isn’t quality worth anything?

    2. “…everything we make is made in China…”

      Really?  I know some pretty good windows and curtain walls made here in the States.  Some of the other companies I’ve worked for (Wausau Metals, Harmon, etc, to name a few) are making their products here in the States.

    3. “…it’s very hard to compete when you have a false currency…”

      All he had to do is stand up for the people whose vote he’s going to want and buy U.S.  Build it into the financials for the project, and you’ll end up with a better wall.  He’s most likely billing his customers at market rates, building with cheap materials and becoming rich in the process.

    Come on, admit it, Donald. You played the biggest trump card you had:  Buy cheap, sell high.  That’s the good ol’ American spirit, isn’t it?  With that being said, it doesn’t necessarily mean buy cheap somewhere offshore and sell it to your own countrymen at a premium.

    Now, if you’re doing this for low-rent districts or projects, I might be convinced.  But there are low-cost windows done here, too.  But I’d like to see how many low-rise, low-income projects he’s done lately, where this might make some sense.

    And by the way, I hope he can find the Chinese company he’s buying from when the warranty issues come up. By his own admission, they aren’t as good as what you can get here.  How do you think that’s going to show up?  My secret wish is no U.S. company will service warranty issues on these particular made-in-China windows.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not running down all foreign-made goods.  Sometimes they offer performance characteristics not available in U.S. products or not made here at all.  To be up-front, a number of my company’s raw stock materials are made overseas.  For example, there are cases where no one in the States produces steel framing in sizes, lengths or in a precise manner as the product we use for our fire-rated or steel curtain wall product lines.  The only people that do are in Europe.  You can’t get this “Made in the US of A,” nor is there an “or equal” made here either. But, we do all shop drawings, fabrication drawings, structural calculations, fabrication and finishing here in the States.

    The point is, in a global economy, there often is no such thing as a 100% domestic product, but don’t run down the home-country brands when your main concern is price.  Got that, Donald?

    So I echo some others whose voices have already expressed this – just vote in the mid-terms.  Get out and support a candidate.  We have no right to complain if we don’t educate ourselves as to the qualifications of the candidates and then don’t vote.  At the rate we’re going, voting for “none of the above” is becoming awfully attractive.

    On a totally different front:

    Several weeks into football and the World Series looms.  The Phillies are playing hot and the talk is that the Yankees are in decline.  But in the meantime, a couple of good guys are leaving baseball, and they will be missed.  Joe Torre and Lou Pinella have left the game all the richer for their contributions.  While neither will be elected to the Hall as players, their managerial careers certainly qualify.  Bobby Cox is taking the Braves into one last playoff run.  Sorry, Bobby, for too, too many years, the Braves have broken my Phillies heart. But what a great manager, and one of the good guys, too.  Cito Gaston is another manager calling it a career.  But in the meantime, Go Phillies!

    And already the college football mighty have fallen.  Penn State (does anybody remember when Joe Paterno wasn’t the coach at Penn State) got drubbed by Alabama.  Texas has lost twice.  I can’t root for Boise St. – it isn’t natural to play on blue grass.

    Watched the Eagles and Redskins game the week before last.  It broke my heart to see Donovan NOT in an Eagles Jersey.  I can’t bring myself to burn my #5 green and white jersey.  He had a 3rd and 10 scramble from the pocket for a first down that locked up the game late in the 4th quarter.  This is not the first time the Eagles traded a starting quarterback to the Redskins:  how many of you recall the name Sonny Jorgensen?  Or does that show my age?  We got Norm Snead in Sonny’s place.  Now there’s a legendary replacement for Sonny. Donovan’s already missed, Vick’s hurt, and we’re back to Kolb. There’s been talk about finding out where Jeff Garcia is to sign as a backup.  My friends in Dallas are probably eating this up.  Kudos to the Eagles fans for the standing O given Donovan during that game.

    Posted by Blogger @ 9:02 am

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