However, we don't expect the capitalists to roll over and take factory closings, reduced sales, reduced profits, and market fluctuations. No, they're now blaming manufacturers of competing products from Asia of dumping products below cost, and enlisting the Department of Commerce to levy a "fee" to cover the difference between the cost and the price. This is legal, but dubious.
What's really happening here? The drop in appliance demand is a normal market adjustment-- it's directly related to the real estate business, which despite very low interest rates suffers from several distressing issues. First, there are few qualified buyers. Real estate prices remain unstable and depressed. And there's horrible unemployment. It's no wonder there's lower demand for new appliances. No problem. It's happened lots of times in the past. The markets will adjust.
But what Maytag wants to do is to shrink AND take some money away from the Asians. This is what gangsters do. Hire some muscle on the waterfront, and some money changes hands. And as a result the prices for our appliances stay high, Maytag gets to expense a lot of capital write-offs, more money is spent in the legal system, the Department of Commerce gets to flex its power. And more of Maytag's infrastructure is sure to be shipped to Latin America, Brazil, Mexico, or Asia. All of the manufacturers mentioned in the article are global businesses. Their shrinkage in the US will be offset by gains in other markets. And yet, they will surely write off large losses in the USA, reducing their US taxable income and hence their taxes. They're laying off 10% of their US workers.
[Maytag] faced intense price pressure from South Korean competitors LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. as they attempt to expand their U.S. market share by offering steep discounts on high-end appliances.
The U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday issued a preliminary determination that found Samsung, LG and other appliance manufacturers sold imported refrigerators in the U.S. at prices below the refrigerators' production costs.
The department said anti-dumping fees ranging from 4% to nearly 37% could be imposed on refrigerators with bottom-mounted freezers unless the manufacturers increase their prices. Whirlpool filed a product dumping complaint against the companies earlier this year.
So the thing is, the Department of Commerce should not be allowed to levy new fees on imported appliances, because it will do nothing to help consumers, and does nothing but buoy prices against the wise feedback from the market, for the benefit of an industry which will move their capacity to another market. Why is it plutocrats are total free-market zealots, except when they go totally protectionist defending their own markets? It's stupid, greedy, devious, and anti-free market. And enlisting government help is corrupt.
I'm sorry the link to the Wall Street Journal only connects to a part of the article and a paywall, but I wasn't able to find a working link to the information elsewhere. (Here's the best article I found) I got to read the whole WSJ article because it was linked from Google. I don't blame the WSJ for charging money for their material. This link connects to a long, detailed, and well written article, with high quality original reporting, that no doubt cost the WSJ a lot to produce and publish. Unfortunately, this means in order to learn about the foibles of the capitalists, you need to be rich enough to subscribe to the Journal. Grrr...