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05-23-2013, 06:25 AM   #106
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Because US legislation is stupid enough to allow such thing to demolish its economy in the long run. After the .com Wild West phase, now there must be some kind of price parity between online and B&M stores set in place and enforced by law.
Or otherwise, you'll order you bread online in a few years, and feed on thin air.

Rules must change because that what we have now is the race to the bottom, utterly stupid, irrational and anti-economic.

See just one consequence of that race to the bottom: companies are left with no margin much needed for shifting into more environmentally sustainable economy modes of operation. If law reinforces that side of the equation, and allows total chaos on the other side, there's no economy, no future. Companies must start tightening belts and lay off people to get the money. And that's what you have now.

Now, let's think again: does it make sense to order a camera for cheapest possible price from some cutthroat idiot online? Your partner, dad, brother, etc. will lose their job tomorrow because of that, and your kids will have bleak environmental future.

Japanese companies' business model is not 'traditional', or 'oldfashioned' — it is sustainable. But what we want from them is not sustainable. It's ludicrous. For example, one reason I refuse buying Korean companies tech products (Samsung et al) is because their tech companies build their economy on: 1) clear theft of the IP, for which one needs good money to invest otherwise, and 2) cutting the margins needed for faster environmentally more sustainable practices and models. I'd gladly erase some Chinese made products from the list because of the both, but today absolutely everything is made in China. Then at least I try to buy from B&M shops, at a full asking price. I pay more, but I keep using it longer.

But US legislation is totally unaware of that economic fact because from the 1980s, the US has steadily demolished its own industry, from which it could learn more about sustainability, and didn't catch up with the rest of the world in the last 30 years either. Britain you mentioned above did the same, totally demolished its industry prospects and much needed learning. The cause? Reagan / Tatcher duo from 1980s brought you this. It's still not too late to fix it — if there's will.
1) If prices go down this is a race to the bottom I support. That's just economic efficiency.

2) Most brick stores have poor service in the big box era. Online is competition to those who usually are willing to pay for return privileges vs. a hands-on.

3) It makes sense to order a tested product (samples here, DP review) from a brand you trust at the lowest possible price...period. Get a warranty. Get a return policy. Factor in shipping if necessary. Price bargaining is the bedrock of product markets (doesn't work for everything like custom craftsmanship or healthcare).

4) The Japanese business model is ridiculous now. They are sclerotic in that they incorporate new technology so slowly they get left behind. GoPro Hero has taken over many dedicated videocam sales because they innovated at the edge rather than the middle. Same for the Red camera which has Canon and Sony worried. Dedicated camera sales are being eclipsed by smartphones and the Canikon and other brands do not "play nice' with network features.

The camera is an accessory to the computer and the network. Japan Inc. still treats it the other way around, and they are losing sales and customers as a result.

Japan has almost no presence in smartphones outside their isolated, expensive little DoCoMo network. And as a history lesson, many Japanese companies also "borrowed" their IP.

The US moved from being a producer nation to a consumer nation on balance of trade primarily because of the US currency as the e facto international reserve with all the global implications that creates. But that's not related to photography.

05-23-2013, 06:48 AM   #107
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Reagan / Tatcher duo from 1980s brought you this. It's still not too late to fix it — if there's will.
Them's bold wrods - and absolutely untrue. The bad stuff all happened during Clinton Adminstration when the God-Almighty-Dollar was strongest and foreign central banks sold gold to buy US Treasuries - for which reversal trade we are now paying.

Know your history before your assertions.
05-23-2013, 07:02 AM   #108
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
The US moved from being a producer nation to a consumer nation on balance of trade primarily because of the US currency as the e facto international reserve with all the global implications that creates. But that's not related to photography.
Prior to 1994 the US was a massive net food and coal exporter, which allowed exported dollars to be recycled, supporting a healthier balanced Balance of Trade and Current Account. The Clinton "Strong-Dollar" policy upset this relationship, allowing Brazil, Venezuela, Argentia and Australia to sign foodstuff and coal export contracts (20 year deals) at price-competitive leverage, so US producers literally closed mines and huge acreage of productive farmlands.

Further, for every one manufacturing job lost to foreign production over the last 25 years, three have been lost to domestic robots.

US manufacturers are on-shoring hundreds of thouasands of jobs becasue the wage leverage has been reduced to the point that the long supply chain can't justify making overseas. Even foreign car makers have planned 20 million square feet of new US plants for the enxt ten years - vehicles for export!!

Legisl;ation is working its way through the US Congress to force internet sellers to actually collect sales tax at the point of sale based on the Billing Address, just as auto dealers collect sales tax based on the address of registration rahter than the address of the dealership. Combining 7% to 11% Sales Tax with Shipping charges will reduce (but not eliminate) the price leverage enjoyed by online sellers.

Pentax needs to address warranty, quality control, design ethic, idiotic marketing, core business strategy and fragmented global distribution arrangements. Whether these issues originate in Japan or are the result of NOT being Japan-driven is unclear, post Hoya.

Often there are larger forces at work than surface viewing indicates, but surface viweing makes good stories and good politics.

Systems are self-correcting, but often it takes longer than we would like.

Last edited by monochrome; 05-23-2013 at 07:07 AM.
05-23-2013, 07:11 AM   #109
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Prior to 1994 the US was a massive net food and coal exporter, which allowed exported dollars to be recycled, supporting a healthier balanced Balance of Trade and Current Account. The Clinton "Strong-Dollar" policy upset this relationship, allowing Brazil, Venezuela, Argentia and Australia to sign foodstuff and coal export contracts (20 year deals) at price-competitive leverage, so US producers literally closed mines and huge acreage of productive farmlands.

Further, for every one manufacturing job lost to foreign production over the last 25 years, three have been lost to domestic robots.

US manufacturers are on-shoring hundreds of thouasands of jobs becasue the wage leverage has been reduced to the point that the long supply chain can't justify making overseas. Even foreign car makers have planned 20 million square feet of new US plants for the enxt ten years - vehicles for export!!

Legisl;ation is working its way through the US Congress to force internet sellers to actually collect sales tax at the point of sale based on the Billing Address, just as auto dealers collect sales tax based on the address of registration rahter than the address of the dealership. Combining 7% to 11% Sales Tax with Shipping charges will reduce (but not eliminate) the price leverage enjoyed by online sellers.

Pentax needs to address warranty, quality control, design ethic, idiotic marketing, core business strategy and fragmented global distribution arrangements. Whether these issues originate in Japan or are the result of NOT being Japan-driven is unclear, post Hoya.

Often there are larger forces at work than surface viewing indicates, but surface viweing makes good stories and good politics.

Systems are self-correcting, but often it takes longer than we would like.
And the correction may be one you did not imagine.

05-23-2013, 07:17 AM   #110
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Prior to 1994 the US was a net food and coal exporter, which allowed exported dollars to be recycled. The Clinton "Strong-Dollar" policy upset this relationship, allowing Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and Australia to sign foodstuff and coal export contracts (20 year deals) at price-competitive leverage, so US producers literally closed mines and huge acreage of productive farmlands. For every one manufacturing job lost to foreign production over the last 25 years, three have been lost to domestic robots.

US manufacturers are on-shoring hundreds of thousands of jobs because the wage leverage has been reduced to the point that the long supply chain can't justify making overseas. Even foreign car makers have planned 20 million square feet of new US plants for the next ten years - vehicles for export!!

Legislation is working its way through the US Congress to force internet sellers to actually collect sales tax at the point of sale based on the Billing Address, just as auto dealers collect sales tax based on the address of registration rather than the address of the dealership. Combining 7% to 11% Sales Tax with Shipping charges will reduce (but not eliminate) the price leverage enjoyed by online sellers.

Pentax needs to address warranty, quality control, design ethic, idiotic marketing, core business strategy and fragmented global distribution arrangements. Whether these issues originate in Japan or are the result of NOT being Japan-driven is unclear, post Hoya.

Systems are self-correcting, but often it takes longer than we would like.
I mostly concur, except that the US as currency reserve has different rules.

The current on-shoring phenom is partly as a result of QE and dollar parity. Being a Canadian, I see it everyday. I am buying lenses now because my $C is very high in relative terms and historically, but about to fall as the $US rockets up. I am rapidly losing my buying power in $US terms and I will buy less from the US and sell more to the US.

It is already self-correcting. Witness the Japanese mass QE under way and the rapid rise of the $US compared to the basket. Wage leverage parity vis-a-vis distribution costs are one thing, but you cannot export with a high dollar. You buy. I'd bet on US consumerism getting back to its bad old ways. Why does everyone think lens prices went up in North America?

Tax parity is long overdue. It's just basic tax fairness.

Back to Pentax. They need to stop playing money games with pricing and position their products and brands. Blowing in the wind chasing colour schemes as the reason to buy a camera isn't working when everyone is sharing online and my Pentax cannot even tether. There are huge gaps in their understanding of where the camera market is headed. Japan Inc. is now NOT the place for new ideas and positioning. They need to draw ideas from outside.
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