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SurfGuitar101 Forums » The Shallow End »

Permalink Gibson Guitars Made with Illegal Wood?

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http://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2011/sep/22/feds-still-mum-on-reason-for-gibson-raids/

Bob

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/musicians-off-hook-after-gibson-raid/story-e6frg6so-1226143493765

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
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IvanP wrote:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/musicians-off-hook-after-gibson-raid/story-e6frg6so-1226143493765

That's great news for individual instrument owners, if we can believe the feds. I still worry about different agencies not talking to each other and have differing interpretations of the law. And of personnel changes in the federal agencies, with new people coming in with different interpretations. Still, I think that we can sleep better, knowing that we're probably OK as individuals.

Bob

Bob

Regarding vague laws, a congressman once told me to my face that they intentionally write vague laws so (after people get arrested or bring lawsuits) the courts can decide how to interpret and apply the laws. What I told him I won't print here. (Edit. Okay, I told him he was an idiot and that this is how laws are enforced in dictatorships.) He's no longer in office.

So, yeah, all the best with any property we possess if it's made from current or future restricted materials.

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

Last edited: Sep 22, 2011 17:19:26

The Feds defend themselves:

http://hardwoodfloorsmag.com/editors/blog/default.aspx?id=664&t=As-Controversy-Ensues-Lacey-Act-Under-A

And apparently it is all about whether the wood imported from India for Gibson qualifies as 'finished' (as an Indian law requires) or not. If the DoJ actually ever brings a suit against Gibson, I think this is what the case will be all about. (So, does the govt expect Indians to actually make the finished fingerboards used by US guitar manufacturers? I can't believe that would be the case.) I still find it pretty incredible that the Lacey Act requires our govt to enforce foreign laws and regulations. That just makes my head explode. I guess the assumption built into the Lacey Act is that many origin countries of endangered lumber have corrupt or at least ineffectual governments that can't be trusted to enforce their own laws - which may in fact be at least somewhat true. But still...wow.

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

From Gibson on Facebook:

Support for Gibson Guitars against DOJ intimidation
Gibson had a deal with Fiji to get mahogany off a plantation. This would make the wood 100% sustainable. Gibson secured the exclusive contract for this wood. Fiji claims Gibson will build a factory to produce Guitars in Fiji. Henry J. called of the press conference to negotiate. Make one wonder if the labor portion of the Lacey Act is showing how easy, American workers are on the chopping block because of this law. Sad when we can be manipulated to keep our people out of work. We need to repeal the Lacey Act.

Bob

Last edited: Sep 28, 2011 14:47:30

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/278379/gibson-raid-much-fret-about-pat-nolan?page=1

Bob

RobbieReverb wrote:

Make one wonder if the labor

portion of the Lacey Act is showing how easy, American
workers are on the chopping block because of this law.
Sad when we can be manipulated to keep our people out
of work. We need to repeal the Lacey Act.

You're kidding, right? Why weren't you up in arms when GM pulled out of Flint, Detroit, and pretty much everywhere else in the US to move its production overseas? How many people reading this are wearing brand name clothing, none of which is made here in the USA anymore? Why aren't you up in arms about that? Nike and GM have done a million times more harm to American jobs than the Lacey Act would ever do. Quoting the National Review Online is also giving its anti-government spin on things.

Seriously, if you want to help the US economically, you should boycott all of your brand names: Nike, Converse, Tommy Hilfiger, the Gap...and the list goes on way too long for me to even attempt to type in the names. There's virtually NO production in the US anymore and it's not due to the Lacey Act. If Gibson did something wrong to warrant them being singled out, then hopefully they will be found guilty. If they didn't, then they will be found innocent. All of this griping isn't going to help anything. All of this anti-government speech is just as ridiculous as it is caustic. Nowhere else in the free world is there such a poisonous attitude of its citizens.

All the hatred just needs to stop.

Matt "tha Kat" Lentz
Otto and the Ottomans: 2014-
The Coconauts surf band: 2009-2014
www.theamazingcoconauts.com
Group Captain and the Mandrakes 2013
http://www.gcmband.com/
The Surfside IV: 2002-2005, 2008-2009
the Del-Vamps: 1992-1999, 2006-2007
http://www.dblcrown.com/delvamps.html

Last edited: Sep 28, 2011 16:48:22

Matt22 wrote:

Nowhere else in the free world is there such a poisonous attitude of its citizens.

Matt, as someone that grew up in a different country (Croatia) and that has gone back there twice in the past few years, I can assure you that is not true.

There's virtually NO production in the US anymore

The US was the second largest exporting country in the world (mostly consisting of manufacturing goods) in 2010, behind China.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/12/business/economy/12charts.html

So, one question, Matt: you've made your feelings very clear about imports, but what about US exports? Should we try to export?

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

Last edited: Sep 28, 2011 20:04:46

Incidentally, here is a link to a 2005 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (I should mention that the research done by the Federal Reserve is highly respected in the economics profession), titled "U.S. Jobs Gained and Lost Through Trade: A Net Measure".

The concluding paragraph (my bolding):

Our analysis suggests that offshoring has been a limited phenomenon — and one that has contributed only marginally to the labor market’s weak performance in recent years. Through year-end 2003, the number of jobs embodied in net imports did not exceed 2.4 percent of the country’s total employment. Moreover, the jobs lost to net trade flows grew at a slower pace after the recession than they did before—dropping from 45,000 jobs per month in 1997-2001 to 30,000 in 2001-03. These findings provide little support for claims that the transfer of U.S. jobs to overseas workers is largely to blame for the jobless recovery.

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

Thank you, Ivan for bringing your perspective as an economist into this thread.

My own local yokel (conservative bent) paper surprised me with big lead on the front page that linked to a half page editorial inside on the Gibson story. It took a "big government intrusion run amok" angle (like I said, it's an opinion piece). But this can be a polarizing hot button political issue if used that way---so good for everybody for keeping it pretty civil even while stating strong opinions.

"And then... the last reverb crashed and summer ended, poof." Ferenc Dobronyi

IvanP wrote:

Matt22 wrote:

Nowhere else in the free world is there such a
poisonous attitude of its citizens.

Matt, as someone that grew up in a different country
(Croatia) and that has gone back there twice in the
past few years, I can assure you that is not true.

There's virtually NO production in the US anymore

The US was the second largest exporting country in the
world (mostly consisting of manufacturing goods) in
2010, behind China.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/12/business/economy/12charts.html

So, one question, Matt: you've made your feelings very
clear about imports, but what about US exports? Should
we try to export?

Ivan, I'm well aware of your beginnings in Hrvatska. There are still many a person over there who is very happy. A good friend of mine is a lawyer in Zagreb and he's a very patriotic person. I guess it's all relative as to whom you run around and associate with.

My point is that with all of this anti-government ranting (which is just jumping on the bandwagon, IMHO), why do people still live here? I mean, if you hate this government so much (and that is speaking in a general sense, Ivan, and not directed at you) then why do you live here?

Ivan, my views are also at a variance with that of the article you posted. Numbers can easily be manipulated to prove virtually anyone's point. I'd have to check into the sources for the article to see exactly what they're using to come up with their numbers. For instance, why do "manufactured goods" include food items? Most of the big "manufacturing" companies don't do any manufacturing at all, unless it is with food items. On another note, one might not be aware that in 2010 Hershey packed up its plant and now all of their candy is produced in Mexico. I bet that really puts a dent in the manufacturing stats now, as Hershey makes a plethora of candies.

Yes, the one good thing Andrew Jackson did for this nation was to raise tariffs to increase American manufacturing, which in turn led to American exports. It's no secret that the reasons the great societies of History have fallen for economic out-sourcing. Look to Rome and Spain as the biggest examples. Out-sourcing jobs and manufacturing equals a weak state.

Now I'm sure you think that I'm anti-capitalism. That is not true at all. However, I can honestly say that I am NOT a fan of the American "brand" of capitalism. Incredible greed has taken the over the helm of our ship and I'm just surprised so many people are fleeced by it. Then again, maybe I'm not so surprised after all.

Matt "tha Kat" Lentz
Otto and the Ottomans: 2014-
The Coconauts surf band: 2009-2014
www.theamazingcoconauts.com
Group Captain and the Mandrakes 2013
http://www.gcmband.com/
The Surfside IV: 2002-2005, 2008-2009
the Del-Vamps: 1992-1999, 2006-2007
http://www.dblcrown.com/delvamps.html

Last edited: Sep 28, 2011 22:53:26

Matt22 wrote:

Ivan, my views are also at a variance with that of the article you posted.

So, your views are in denial of facts?

Numbers can easily be manipulated to prove virtually anyone's point.

These are not just any numbers, 'manipulated' by someone - these are basic national accounting entries, compiled using the same methodology by government agencies (primarily the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which is part of the Department of Commerce) for over half a century. These are the basic facts with which all economists work. What do you base your own views on, besides some anecdotal evidence?

I'd have to check into the sources for the article to see exactly what they're using to come up with their numbers.

Matt, the source for those numbers is the Census Bureau. And it's reported in the New York Times. I would think you'd find both sources trustworthy.

Yes, the one good thing Andrew Jackson did for this
nation was to raise tariffs to increase American
manufacturing, which in turn led to American exports.
It's no secret that the reasons the great societies of
History have fallen for economic out-sourcing. Look to
Rome and Spain as the biggest examples. Out-sourcing
jobs and manufacturing equals a weak state.

Matt, as a PhD economist, I assure you you're dead wrong about all of this. There are few issues on which economists are more united than the benefits of international trade. There was a survey done among economists in 2006 by a Wake Forest University scholar, published in The Economists' Voice, a UC-Berkeley-affiliated academic journal - here's its summary from Wikipedia (it's late, and it's the quickest source for it I could find):

...the broad consensus among members of the economics profession in the U.S. is that free trade is a large and unambiguous net gain for society.[25] [26] In a 2006 survey of American economists (83 responders), "87.5% agree that the U.S. should eliminate remaining tariffs and other barriers to trade" and "90.1% disagree with the suggestion that the U.S. should restrict employers from outsourcing work to foreign countries."[27]

Even one of the great heroes of the left over the past ten years, Paul Krugman himself, an economics professor at UC-Berkeley, is a staunch free-trader, and has even defended outsourcing. You can do that reseach yourself (his Wikipedia page is a good start). In fact, his Nobel prize in economics a few years ago was not for bashing Bush and trying to revive mostly-dead Keynesian theories, but rather for his contributions to what's come to be known as New Trade Theory, which was all about showing the benefits of globalization and increased free trade.

I don't know why you think you know what you know, but I assure you that what you think you know is wrong, at least when it comes to international trade.

Now I'm sure you think that I'm anti-capitalism.

I never said that, never even implied it. My argument here is not about capitalism, but rather simply about facts of international trade.

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

Last edited: Sep 28, 2011 23:48:50

Ivan,you obviously are the god of economics and anyone who says anything against the word of god is dead wrong.

What are your facts? "Facts" can be manipulated and twisted to fit any agenda. Why do you think that there are so many religions claiming to be the one true religion? If one believe it's a fact, does that make it a fact? Or is it a fact because one wants to believe it? Are "facts" open to interpretation? Is anything ever 100% true? I guess reading Stockman, Volcker, and Solow makes me dumb and what I should be reading is Pongracic. I guess I have it all wrong. After all, I don't have a PhD...

It's no use having a discussion with someone who always has to be "right." I never claimed to "know" anything. I was merely asking questions. In my opinion, anyone claiming to know everything should be held in high suspicion. Those are the types of people who don't like being asked certain types of questions...the ones that are challenging and don't have a PR response.

"Wisest is he who knows he does not know."

Matt "tha Kat" Lentz
Otto and the Ottomans: 2014-
The Coconauts surf band: 2009-2014
www.theamazingcoconauts.com
Group Captain and the Mandrakes 2013
http://www.gcmband.com/
The Surfside IV: 2002-2005, 2008-2009
the Del-Vamps: 1992-1999, 2006-2007
http://www.dblcrown.com/delvamps.html

Last edited: Sep 29, 2011 00:20:40

Matt22 wrote:

Ivan,you obviously are the god of economics and anyone who says anything against the word of god is dead wrong.

Matt, all I did is point out that there are such things as 'facts', and facts are stubborn things. The above data come from reputable sources and all economists work with these data - and they don't support anything that you claimed above. I asked you to provide your facts on which you base your theories. I am asking once again. I would love to see them.

What are your facts? "Facts" can be manipulated and twisted to fit any agenda.

Well, given that you were the one criticizing those that 'hate' the government, I would think that you would be willing to accept our federal government's own data. Am I wrong in assuming this?

Are "facts" open to interpretation?

OK. So, what is your interpretation of the data provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau?

Is anything ever 100% true? I guess reading Stockman,
Volcker, and Solow makes me dumb and what I should be
reading is Pongracic.

First of all, I never called you dumb or even implied it. Just because you are wrong on this one issue, doesn't mean you are dumb. Second, none of this is 'the world according to Pongracic', none of this is based on my own research or work. I'm simply telling you what the economics profession as a whole is (overwhelmingly) saying. Sure, there are some dissenters, but very few. If you want to defend your views, then it's incumbent upon you to first understand the theories that support free trade, and then try to understand the critiques of the dissenters. But you cannot simply make strong economic claims and not expect to have them challenged by an economist.

I guess I have it all wrong. After all, I don't have a PhD...

In order to earn that PhD I had to do a shitload of reading and studying and thinking. I do believe that qualifies me to talk about economics in a more certain way than you do. If we were discussing biology or physics, I would not make any of those claims. Would you be willing to argue with a medical doctor about the intricacies of the human body? And if you said something wrong in that argument, would you not heed his/her authority? Why do you have a problem doing that when it comes to economics?

It's no use having a discussion with someone who always
has to be "right." I never claimed to "know" anything.
I was merely asking questions.

Where are these questions you asked? I do not see a single one, Matt. Instead, I see multiple claims, spoken as an expert - here are a few (bolding is mine):

There's virtually NO production in the US anymore

Seriously, if you want to help the US economically, you should boycott all of your brand names: Nike, Converse, Tommy Hilfiger, the Gap...and the list goes on way too long for me to even attempt to type in the names.

Yes, the one good thing Andrew Jackson did for this nation was to raise tariffs to increase American manufacturing, which in turn led to American exports. It's no secret that the reasons the great societies of History have fallen for economic out-sourcing. Look to Rome and Spain as the biggest examples. Out-sourcing jobs and manufacturing equals a weak state.

From everything I've ever read about international trade, these are completely and utterly wrong claims.

In my opinion, anyone
claiming to know everything should be held in high
suspicion. Those are the types of people who don't
like being asked certain types of questions...the ones
that are challenging and don't have a PR response.

Again, where are these questions, Matt? And in addition, where do you see me claiming I know everything? The only thing I do claim I know is a fair deal of economics, and I've got qualifications to prove it. What are your qualifications for your claims about economics and economic history?

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

Last edited: Sep 29, 2011 06:35:21

The questions are the sentences that end with this symbol: ?

Here is one of them from my post: 'For instance, why do "manufactured goods" include food items?'

Here are three others: Why weren't you up in arms when GM pulled out of Flint, Detroit, and pretty much everywhere else in the US to move its production overseas? How many people reading this are wearing brand name clothing, none of which is made here in the USA anymore? Why aren't you up in arms about that?

It's obvious that we are not going to see eye to eye. Yes, you did imply that I was stupid in a post, but it's ok. I don't mind. I just posted other things tongue-in-cheek. I may not be an "expert" on economics, as that is not my field. I'm not even an expert on Literature and that's what I teach. But I do know my history.

Ivan, I don't hate you. In fact, I think you're a marvelous musician. I'm done with this topic, though. Back to reading my William Bunch book.

Matt "tha Kat" Lentz
Otto and the Ottomans: 2014-
The Coconauts surf band: 2009-2014
www.theamazingcoconauts.com
Group Captain and the Mandrakes 2013
http://www.gcmband.com/
The Surfside IV: 2002-2005, 2008-2009
the Del-Vamps: 1992-1999, 2006-2007
http://www.dblcrown.com/delvamps.html

In the spirit of things, Ivan, I would like to apologize for my tongue-in-cheek remarks. I admit they were meant to poke a little fun. Anyway, no harm intended. Shana Tova.

MTK

Matt "tha Kat" Lentz
Otto and the Ottomans: 2014-
The Coconauts surf band: 2009-2014
www.theamazingcoconauts.com
Group Captain and the Mandrakes 2013
http://www.gcmband.com/
The Surfside IV: 2002-2005, 2008-2009
the Del-Vamps: 1992-1999, 2006-2007
http://www.dblcrown.com/delvamps.html

Matt22 wrote:

The questions are the sentences that end with this symbol: ?

Funny...

Here is one of them from my post: 'For instance, why do
"manufactured goods" include food items?'

That was the only question that I could find in that post - and the answer is that food items are manufactured goods. I honestly don't understand this question. How would you classify them? Anyway, manufactured goods made in the US go far beyond just food items - it's easy enough to bring up the Bureau of Economic Analysis report on national accounts and see all sorts of heavy industry products made in the US, too.

Here are three others: Why weren't you up in arms when
GM pulled out of Flint, Detroit, and pretty much
everywhere else in the US to move its production
overseas? How many people reading this are wearing
brand name clothing, none of which is made here in the
USA anymore? Why aren't you up in arms about that?

I'm sorry, I thought all of these questions were rhetorical, and not intended in the spirit of actually expecting answers. My answer to them: businesses who own their own private property have a legal and moral right to do whatever they want with that property. They do not have any sort of a moral obligation to keep providing jobs, especially if they're hemorraging money, as GM most certainly was (which they couldn't do forever, anyway, eventually having to go out of business - and then there are no jobs provided by them anywhere nor the products that they produce). I believe there is a huge difference between a private business making a decision to eliminate some jobs (due to outsourcing or any other reason or method) and those jobs being eliminated by misguided and likely ineffectual laws.

It's obvious that we are not going to see eye to eye.
Yes, you did imply that I was stupid in a post, but
it's ok. I don't mind.

Matt, I absolutely deny this. In NO PLACE did I imply you were stupid, nor did I think it at any time. I challenge you to find where I did such a thing. I admit that as an economist, it is of great annoyance to me when non-economists speak of economic matters with great deal of certainy, especially when they are wrong in their opinions. But I absolutely recognize the difference between not knowing something (even if the person doesn't recognize it) and being stupid. I would never, ever accuse you of the latter, even if I thought it - which I do not. However, not knowing something is the basic human condition - all of us do not know a lot more than we know. We are all specialized in our areas, and that's all for the better (including being specialized across borders!). But that requires being willing to learn from those people who have specialized in other fields.

But I do know my history.

Matt, you yourself said that facts are open to interpretation. If you are studying economic history without knowing economics, you will inevitably end up with wrong conclusions. Theory is absolutely necessary to make sense of history - it's like glasses that allow you to focus and see better. Without those glasses, you will miss much of the story. Ín order to make sense of economic history by properly interpreting it, we absolutely must study it by relying on economic theory.

Ivan, I don't hate you. In fact, I think you're a marvelous musician.

Well, thank you and I'm glad to hear that, Matt, though I'm not sure why you say it, since I most certainly didn't imply that I hated you - and I don't! Again, you can't expect to make bold (and erroneous) economic claims without expecting to be challenged by an economist. I'm sure if somebody started making claims about literature that you knew were wrong, you would not just continue to sit by, either. I just hope you're willing to consider that economists may be right on the above and choose to educate yourself in this area.

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

Last edited: Sep 29, 2011 08:24:19

Matt22 wrote:

In the spirit of things, Ivan, I would like to
apologize for my tongue-in-cheek remarks. I admit they
were meant to poke a little fun. Anyway, no harm
intended. Shana Tova.

I must admit to not being really sure which comments were tongue-in-cheek and meant to poke a little fun, but thank you for your apology, anyway, Matt, I accept it.

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

Smile

And all is good with the world.

Matt "tha Kat" Lentz
Otto and the Ottomans: 2014-
The Coconauts surf band: 2009-2014
www.theamazingcoconauts.com
Group Captain and the Mandrakes 2013
http://www.gcmband.com/
The Surfside IV: 2002-2005, 2008-2009
the Del-Vamps: 1992-1999, 2006-2007
http://www.dblcrown.com/delvamps.html

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