Humour

City Renames Glanbrook Industrial Park

By Adrian Duyzer
Published February 18, 2010

Some good news to report on the economic front in Hamilton: Canada Bread is building a new, $100 million plant in Hamilton's Glanbrook Industrial Park, reports The Spec.

Now the business park is being renamed. The reason for this, according to The Spec, is because it has its first tenant. Its new name is the Red Hill Business Park.

Our anonymous source at City Hall reports that this name was only one of several considered, narrowly defeating "The Red Hill Parkway Was Obviously A Great Idea Park" as well as "The Red Hill Parkway Opponents Are Morons Park".

Our source confirms that this is part of a new city policy to name public property in line with established political opinion. Apparently, Main Street is also up for renaming: the leading choice is simply "One Way".

Adrian Duyzer is an entrepreneur, business owner, and Associate Editor of Raise the Hammer. He lives in downtown Hamilton with his family. On Twitter: adriandz

45 Comments

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted February 18, 2010 at 14:24:11

Congratulations should go to city council and the economic development team for this great development. This is a direct result of the completion of the RHVP and the servicing of industrial lands. I expect this will be just one of many such announcements in the near future.

This is the way that Hamilton will reclaim its industrial assessment and become a centre of private sector employment in southern Ontario.

Although I suspect that the RHVP deniers will disagree with me.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted February 18, 2010 at 15:09:21

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted February 18, 2010 at 15:16:31

Who hijacked A Smith's screen name? What happened to the low-tax, no-public-service libertarian we've come to know and love??

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 18, 2010 at 15:22:21

not sure I like the idea of a subway. they're so dark and depressing. LRT is great being above ground and still with the right of way....I'd take either in a heartbeat mind you.

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By Good News :) (anonymous) | Posted February 18, 2010 at 21:06:16

It's nice to hear a good business news story and that it involves 300 new jobs, right on.

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 18, 2010 at 21:59:38

The article stated that jobs will be offered to existing employees in the other locations first, so it will not be 300 jobs for the people of Hamilton, not unless all the existing employees did not move.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 18, 2010 at 23:29:40

Also, there were 500 jobs at the other locations, so it's a net loss of 200 jobs.

Still, at least there will be the taxes, and hopefully the Spec will stop whining about how we chased Maple Leaf away with our small-mindedness. See Spec? If you have a little self-respect and don't bend over for every abattoir that comes to town, you might actually end up with better quality facilities. Now Maple Leaf is saying some of its suppliers might relocate here as well. I wonder what the spillover effect of a slaughterhouse would have been?

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By rusty (registered) - website | Posted February 19, 2010 at 09:41:55

Here we go again, Hamilton defining economic success in terms of going after chunks of low wage jobs. Congrats Hamilton on landing 300 low paying menial jobs! Just what your image is looking for!

I realize a job is a job is a job but town's like Hamilton need to start landing employers that pay decent wages for 'new economy' type jobs. Good jobs tend to come in ones and twos. Can Hamilton families put their kids through University on a bakery job? Can a family survive on a single income from one of these jobs?

There are good jobs and there are McJobs. It seems that Hamilton is only interested in going after the latter.

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted February 19, 2010 at 10:16:36

This is pretty bottom of the barrel. It is good news for one reason - added tax revenue - but we will need a lot more business to even begin to justify the Red Hill in terms of upfront cost and negative externalities (sprawl, commuter drain, big box). I opposed it, but now that it's there, I hope for the benefits it was supposed to bring. That is not hypocritical, it is the correct attitude.

As someone who is currently forced to commute I just can't get excited about jobs in this area. It's just as far away as where I'm currently working except there is no effective transit. Anyone who works on the floor at this new facility will spend a significant portion of their wages on the vehicle that is required to get there. This is not progress.

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By Steel (anonymous) | Posted February 19, 2010 at 10:42:54

Average income will fall between $45,000 and $65,000 and that's low wage jobs?

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 19, 2010 at 10:44:33

well said Jon.
It's clear that the sprawl lovers on the forum are choosing to ignore statements by guys like us throwing support behind the Canada Bread announcement and hoping for many more like it. Seems all they know how to do is pick fights and name-call.
I hope the Glanbrook Park fills up to the rafters with factories and industrial plants. As you said, it's there and it's sinking us in debt faster than a waterlogged ship so let's at least get some return out of it and hope that the increased tax revenue can start to put a dent in the ongoing maintenance and construction costs of the surrounding sprawl.

It's a good news story, but it seems some people still only want to yell and scream and turn it into a negative story.

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 19, 2010 at 11:05:55

By Steel: The average wage that was quoted in the article is not the truth. The Canada Bread location here in hamilton is not unionized and pay just slighty over minimum wage. There may be some of the management types that could earn that much but the worker on the lines will not.

Maple Leaf has done a good job of closing many of the locations were workers were unionized, meaning be able to have access to benefits and pensions.

But then, many among us, think that those types of jobs and workers should not be entitled to the same.

And people wonder why the poverty rates are so high in this town, when workers paid minimum wage must go to the food banks because they cannot afford to live.

Comment edited by grassroots are the way forward on 2010-02-19 10:06:54

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By rusty (registered) - website | Posted February 19, 2010 at 12:42:52

Steel - Come on! Give your head a shake. $45-$65k? For a line worker? In Hamilton? It's minimum wage plus a medium pizza, don't believe everything you hear.

The bulk call center job mentality has sunk many a town in the past and it will do so for Hamilton. Progressive towns go after unique economic opportunities. Jobs that leverage unique aspects of the town and jobs that are tied into the future economy. The bulk employers approach is not going to bring any long term prosperity (I recall my home town of Leeds clamouring for call center jobs during the depressed 80's. They got them. But they left town a few years later. I repeat - no long term prosperity comes from bringing in these kinds of jobs.)

Like I said on my last post - a job is a job, so this is no bad thing. But it's not what Hamilton needs. Not even close.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 19, 2010 at 12:55:07

Ben, remember you can live a good life in the Hammer on a line job. There's a reason this place is dirt cheap compared to your current town. Sadly, too many people here want it to stay this way and have fallen in love with the Detroitesque status quo.

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 19, 2010 at 13:04:13

Jaon: I take it you did not attend the discussion, Who has The Right To Shape This City. You would have gotten some static from people in the audience if you just said what you said.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted February 19, 2010 at 14:18:46

Yup.. it's here now, fill it....

And as far as working in an unskilled job and making a wage like you were in a skilled job... that's pretty much gone the way of the dodo bird, and it's not going to come back. That's why skills are important.

I remember family of mine who worked at the Sterling plant in St. Thomas, making ridiculously high amounts of money for work they didn't need education or skill for. So they only worked a few hours a week to make enough to live on.

When it closed their choice had to be - work more hours, or get more skill. But crying for the return of a job where you're paid several times as much as minimum wage for unskilled work is ridiculous.

The rate of compensation has to correspond to the level of skill. And I've worked more than enough minimum wage jobs to know that most don't require a lot of skill!

Thankfully we do live in a city where you can do a lot of things on minimum wage - eat well, pay rent well within the correct percentage of your income, buy a house. $9.50 now/$10.25 (as of March) is pretty darn good for that.

Benefits are somewhat harder to come by, and often more important than the dollar amount one makes... even in skilled jobs, the amount of permanent "contract", part-time, and temp work that goes on to avoid paying benefits is unbelievable.

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 19, 2010 at 15:22:36

Meredith: It seems you are preaching that those workers who are unskilled must live on starvation wages. Workers have every to organize to fight for better wages, benefits and pensions, despite what you think.

I do not know maybe the fact is that many of the so called skilled workers, like yourself, are afraid to actually stand up and fight for better wages, benefits and pensions. Since the rise of precarious work has reduced many workers to the point of wage slaves and the fact that many of the agencies and such who promote the precarious industry have denied workers their rights under both employment standards and occupational health and safety, they even deny workers their rights to WSIB.

Why is it that over 100,000,000 dollars in the last five years have been uncollectable for those workers who have gone through the process, meaning, the ministry found that wages were owed, yet the legislation is not quite strong enough for them to enforce collection.

Why is it that many workers who earn minimum wages are accessing services at the food banks.

You do not speak for workers and sounds like you are advocating for poverty to continue.

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By rusty (registered) - website | Posted February 19, 2010 at 16:07:52

@grassroots - I don't support the view that low skilled jobs should pay poverty wages. I'm not sure that was even the point that was being made. Our wage laws should ensure that all wages can provide at least the bare necessities (and yes, I know that they don't).

As for Hamilton being a cheap place to live - well, erm, isn't that sort of self-fulfilling? Hamilton is currently a cheap place to live because it lacks the vibrancy and amenities of successful cities. That's nothing to be pleased about(!)

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 19, 2010 at 16:27:25

what talk were you at Grassroots?? I'm interested in hearing about a group that would get mad at someone for suggesting that the fact we are a dead, less than vibrant town is something we should aspire to hold onto.

Anyone concerned with poverty should be hoping for new jobs - both low and high wage, and a general resurgence of our city. Otherwise, take a look around and welcome to your future.

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By Baker (anonymous) | Posted February 19, 2010 at 16:54:59

I'm surprised they didn't call it the Hamilton Bread Business Park in honour of their first tenant.

But look on the bright side, we in Hamilton will have the freshest bread in Canada!

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted February 19, 2010 at 16:58:59

It's not even good bread... lol.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted February 19, 2010 at 19:34:14

It's good and bad I guess. The good(ish) It's something that will help pay for the RHVP in terms of assessment... we just need to find 100 more "Canada Breads" to break even on the highway. The RHVP is here so we can't make it disappear... whether you were in favour or not. We lost the war, so lets make the best of it. Shoot for the stars.

$9.50/hr?... my menial, unskilled labour summer jobs 20 years ago paid $10/hr. I could only guess that earning $9.50-$10/hr today is like making $3-4/hr, back then. Certainly not a job that could raise a family in the Best City in Canada to Raise a Child.

I have to ask, if highway access was the reason for the location ... then why didn't Hamilton offer a location around Sherman/Gage/Victoria and Burlington Streets? Plenty of brownfield land there... and closer to the major highways too.

Congratulations Hamilton, it only took what?... 5 years to get the first tenant. I can't wait for another 5 years to see what the second tenant will be.... a Tim Hortons donut rolling factory?

Hey McCabe.... we'll need a drive-thru A&W and Tim Hortons and a gas station there now for the factory workers. Better get on that.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted February 19, 2010 at 19:41:50

I guess I should clarify what I meant from that last statement http://raisethehammer.org/blog/695/propo...

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 19, 2010 at 21:14:52

Jason: The talk was at Skydragon, Who has the Right to Shape the City. It revolved around gentrification and there were four panelists, whom all had their views. Ryan was there as a panelist.

People expressed their views about this forum on a few points, the poor bashing that goes on by some posters, that fact that the poor are displaced by raising real estate prices, so that those who are the poorest can no longer afford to live.

It is not easy to live on minimum wage so your comment is out of line. Those on minimum wage may be able to afford shelter and food, cover their transportation costs but little else. Anyways many of the working poor are accessing services at the food banks, especially those who have children. And not all shelter that the working poor can afford is always the best.

So the query that was brought up at the discussion about the new urbanists, is that with their call for rising estate prices and rents, the poor are displaced and if they are no replacement of housing for them to go, will they be left to live in tent cities at the fringes of the city if social assistance, ODSP or wages do not increase as well.

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 19, 2010 at 21:42:38

Rustry: Yes of course that what the point was, those who are unskilled workers should be happy with making minimum wage.

I was at a forum in Toronto a couple weeks back, and well many people were involved, workers who were unionizied, and those workers who were not unionized and community activists around workers rights. It is a given that all sides must come together, to fight issues such as precarious employment which is a driving factor as to why many workers are struggling.

I have watched this city change in my lifetime and not for the good but voices like Merediths are not helping when they regulate those who are unskilled, who may not be able to attend higher education for a number of reasons to live in poverty for the rest of their lives, since people like her would not dare to rock the boat and actually fight for better wages, benefits or even pensions. There was a time when workers who were unskilled, blue collar workers were seen as important contributors.

I watched a film on the strike of 1946 and that was community pulling together, as people, the working people, the blue collar people stood together and fought for their right to become a collective. Even the business community at the time knew how important this battle was.

Why is it all these white collar people graduating from higher education ar afaid to stand on a line and they accept low wages in terms of their skills, then have the nerve to regulate others to low or minimum wage to justify their existance.

Comment edited by grassroots are the way forward on 2010-02-19 20:44:42

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 19, 2010 at 21:51:07

Grassroots, I share your concern regarding the working poor and certainly didn't mean for my comment to slight anyone. However, is gentrification really a problem in Hamilton?? We could walk for 1-2 hours from Dundurn to lower Stoney Creek and see neighbourhood after neighbourhood that is largely working poor with some of the cheapest rents and home prices in the urbanized province. I don't foresee gentrification being a problem anytime in our lifetimes. I know some people yell and scream when they hear plans for one condo building on James North, but the fact remains: flophouses and really cheap homes FAR outnumber any other type of residence for a massive portion of our city.
If anything, I think we need to look for ways to a) help the working poor find jobs and get to their jobs and b) stop allowing Toronto and the GTA to dump more poor people on our laps. It's simply not right to dump that burden on Hamilton.

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 19, 2010 at 22:23:07

Jason: I know that you mean well and the community faces many challenges but there are other views out there. As real estate or rents increase, the poor can be displaced if there are no replacement units and we do know that waiting lists for social housing are long, people can wait ten years. And social housing is not the answer either when we know that City Housing is one of the worst landlords in the city. Hamilton is not as bad a Torontos social housing but do we really want to go down that path where people are dying or evicted out of their homes like Mr Al Gosling and left to die in the streets.

The point of the lecture or discussion was to bring into the light that all the voices need to be at the table, which includes those from the low income, the working class, those who other ideas.

You are right that other areas should not dump their problems on Hamilton but that is the system, the government that is allowing that to happen.

Anyways, good sources say the the poverty levels are increasing over there in the Halton area, even though it is not really talked about in MSM and I would suspect that it will get worse not better.

Everyone deserves the right to live in this city, even though so people do not like certain segments of the population. It should be about community, not division.

One panelist critiqued the vision brought forward by Richard Florida and the creative class which was interesting to hear.

Comment edited by grassroots are the way forward on 2010-02-19 21:25:23

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted February 19, 2010 at 23:12:16

Grassroots, my apologies if you feel I was coming across too strong about minimum wage -- I think we can agree on that as far as Maple Leaf goes, it's not the kind of jobs Hamilton needs to attract, and that's the main reaction I have to this whole thing. We can also agree that "minimum wage" is a safeguard put in place, not the ideal scenario for anyone. The "living wage" increases are not ideal, but it is a much better deal than it was a few years ago.

We need better-paying jobs. And the industrial park is here, so "what's the best-case that can happen now" is the question at this point. I would like to hear your ideas about solutions. What are the jobs that you think Hamilton needs? What industries do pay good wages for those with a small amount of skill, and what industries train workers on the job and treat workers fairly?

Also, please keep in mind before talking about me again.... I still live on below minimum wage. I would LOVE to have the equivalent of a 40-hour work week at minimum wage to live on. That's more than J and I live on in a month, combined.

Most of my skills and education have other benefits, but I DO NOT make wages or salary from them at this point. I only get a stipend. That... almost covers my grocery bill. That's why I keep increasing both my education and skills in other areas.

I don't want to get sucked into another conversation about this, and I certainly don't want to draw your ire... let's agree on what we can agree on, please, and leave it at that.

Comment edited by Meredith on 2010-02-19 22:18:14

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 19, 2010 at 23:37:39

Solutions, education about workers rights, having in place a body that would help you fight for your rights, like a workers center. A worker center is not like an employment center.

Collectively bringing together all the voices of workers, unionized,non unionized, activists to work together against precarious employment. Bill 139 is now enacted law, but still the there are concerns if your rights will be upheld, it takes a long time to go throught the process and even then there is no guarantee of wages being collected. Collectively workers can be a driving factor to have legislation changed but that takes work to educate the public.

The only way workers won anything was by coming together as one voice.

Comment edited by grassroots are the way forward on 2010-02-19 22:38:22

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By Hamiltonian (registered) | Posted February 20, 2010 at 12:59:39

I just want to make sure I understand the majority of people who seem to comment on this site. This announcement of 300 jobs and millions in taxes paid is half good and half bad but the possibility of a fitness club downtown opening on Augusta (believe it when you see it - press releases are easy - see your boy Harry) employing about 97% less people is a great thing?

Having a point of view is one thing but being so entrenched in a position that you lose all perspective is something else entirely.

In the words of the great Carla Tortelli of Cheers "You're allllll ignorant"

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 20, 2010 at 16:18:00

Having a point of view is one thing but being so entrenched in a position that you lose all perspective is something else entirely.

I couldn't have said it better myself. I was surprised at how Red Hill supporters ripped me for my comment praising this new plant and stating my desire to see the entire business park filled up.

My only sidenote (complaint) was regarding the sprawl that is putting us tens of millions in debt. Apparently you're right - some people have lost all perspective and think that's its a wonderful thing to bankrupt the city with horrible planning.
As I've said before, if I was in charge the Linc would be lined with companies like Canada Bread - or at least have land reserved for such investments whenever corporate Canada chooses to return to Hamilton on any regular basis.

As for the Augusta Athletic Club, you need to remember what city you're in. Building anything on a downtown parking lot is practically worth a civic holiday to be declared in this town. The parade of red tape is miles longer for such projects than greenfields and anyone brave enough to walk into city hall with plans for a street-fronting building on a parking lot deserves massive kudos for even working up the nerve.

Comment edited by jason on 2010-02-20 15:20:29

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By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted February 20, 2010 at 18:44:51

lOTS of words!

but is Math chopped liver?

I'm interested in the actual taxes this business will pay to the city, minus the incremental (city) costs to service the infrastructure.

Ditto for the expected proportion of workers new to Hamilton, minus the costs to service their new housing.

Compare this with the amortized yearly costs of the expressway and we have a discussion! Otherwise it's just words, and not very meaningful ones.

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By adrian (registered) | Posted February 21, 2010 at 12:37:49

In case anyone was confused about my take on this: although I think it's silly to rename the "park" (why the heck do they call these things parks, anyway?), I think it's great that this factory is coming to Hamilton.

It's important to develop a mix of jobs and businesses, including some that are lower-wage and lower-skilled (note, though, that this place will also generate managerial and executive positions, and I'm assuming probably positions that are more engineering- and technological process-related too). There is no shame in jobs where you work with your hands. So long as the wages are fair, I'm all for it.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 21, 2010 at 13:38:40

Agreed. It's just unfortunate that most of those positions will be occupied by the people currently working in the existing facilities, which means few jobs, skilled or unskilled, for local residents. Our only hope is that some of these employees will move to Hamilton. Don't get me wrong, I'm as happy about this as the next guy, but let's not make it out to be more than it is.

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By Hammerhead1 (anonymous) | Posted February 22, 2010 at 13:56:35

My understanding from people who are familiar with Canada Bread management is that they expect that most people from the Toronto plants will choose NOT to commute/move to Hamilton. So, actually the bulk of the 300 jobs will in fact be new ones for current Hamilton area residents. In addition, the positions involved at the new plant will be semi-skilled positions and will NOT be paying minimum wage but slightly higher , in addition to several mangement positions which generally pay 45K + and technical positions 40K plus...

This is good news for Hamilton - let's try to be positive but plan for a better future in the years to come, sans urban sprawl.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted February 22, 2010 at 14:02:15

"they expect that most people from the Toronto plants will choose NOT to commute/move to Hamilton"

Ah the old "make 'em quit by moving their jobs" trick. Sounds like a wonderful company to work for.

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By Hammerhead1 (anonymous) | Posted February 22, 2010 at 14:22:18

nobrainer - while it would be wonderful for the company to take a vote of said workers and ask their opinion on whether Canada Bread should move or not, that's not the way business works. They are there for the sole purpose of making money - and adding to the tax base I might add. Don't be too quick to bash Canada Bread, they have provided millions in tax revenue and wages to people who might otherwise be living in poverty.

All workers at the Toronto plants have been offered positions at the new plant and have been given more than ample notice - that is a sign of a good corporate citizen.

Free enterprise is not perfect by any stretch, but the alternatives are much worse.

As mentioned in my previous post - this is good news for Hamilton. How about we focus on that and leave the corporate bashing for another time?

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted February 22, 2010 at 15:25:14

we're supposed to celebrate our gain coming at someone else's loss? I thought "free enterprise" wasn't supposed to be a zero sum game...

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By Hammerhead1 (anonymous) | Posted February 22, 2010 at 16:04:29

Nobrainer - I guess there isn't any hope of extracting a positive comment from you on this issue? I really didn't think I, of all people, would be "defending" free enterprise with anybody, LOL. If you knew me, you would laugh as well.

Come on - one positive comment about Canada Bread moving here? I know you can do it....

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By Hammerhead1 (anonymous) | Posted February 22, 2010 at 16:06:35

Nobrainer - by the way, free enterprise was never supposed to be a "zero sum game" - not sure where that came from? There are winners and losers - thus not a perfect system....

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By 1+1 (anonymous) | Posted February 22, 2010 at 16:26:02

Okay Mr. Mitchell, but let's also add in the costs to upgrade sewers and treatment plants and maintain the highway services and the new sprawling services and compare that to the cost of attracting a new plant to an already serviced brownfield.

But this crap can go on forever. The road's built and it is good to finally have a tenant on the properties it was supposedly built to service, and forget about the DeSantis press release about building Canada's largest new housing survey up in that region in the interim. That was just happy coincidence.

As for wages etc. I don't see high paying assembly line work returning to North America in any significant way anytime soon. Even with the billions spent to keep the big auto companies going here it is recognized that they are downsizing. UAW and CAW have had to negotiate lower wages into the mix, not higher. If for some reason manufacturing were to return from low-wage countries I think you would find the North American plants they return to would rely on greater automation and technology to reduce the amount of human labour going into each product. Even higher skilled job wages have to compete with robotics for jobs. That's going to be a problem for low wage countries hoping to improve living standards in the future too.

Employment trends are toward service industries, jobs that aren't easily shifted out of country. With higher rates of unemployment it's going to be difficult to raise those wages. Legislated higher minimum wages may be the only alternative.

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 25, 2010 at 00:03:46

Here is an old episode of the twilight zone: The Brain Center of Whipples

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBDBWYNPl...

It really brings things into perspective of the world we live in now, fixed costs vs variable costs, machine vs man, efficiency vs a person worth.

I like the ending, when Mr Whipple is replaced by a machine, he gets his just desserts but he is not happy to be replaced by a machine, but it was different story, when he was replacing everyone else.

Comment edited by grassroots are the way forward on 2010-02-24 23:04:55

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By Skeptic (anonymous) | Posted February 25, 2010 at 06:32:35

Grassroots...you are living in the Twilight Zone!!

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted February 25, 2010 at 13:40:39

By Skeptic: Why are you insulting me, I brought this forward because I thought it was an interesting analogy, considering this show is now 50 years old.

Rod Serlings ending comments such as

MAN BECOME CLEVER, INSTEAD OF WISE

makes a person think in retrospect.

Comment edited by grassroots are the way forward on 2010-02-25 12:42:22

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By Skeptic (anonymous) | Posted February 25, 2010 at 18:24:24

Not insulting you, Grassroots, just your stereotypical notion of progress. True, Serling was making a point which was prescient about the effects of automation. Similar points about the impersonal effects of technology were made far better by Charlie Chaplin in his classic "Modern Times". But both presented sterotypes. For every automated process a Blackberry is born. For every old technology a Microsoft leads the way. To suggest that somehow the business park at the head of this thread is like "Whipple's Brain Center" is, well, it's like living in an unreal world as concocted in the Twilight Zone. That's what I meant.

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