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Old 3rd October 2002
  #4
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at the risk of sounding like a Mackie endorser....

I haven't seen nor heard any official statement regarding offshore operations (although this is the FIRST place I go when I get online, so the news may be out there already)...only anonymous postings at RAP regarding the subject. If it is indeed true, then perhaps, as I've stated before, we should look at the 'why' of such a move.

1. Government regulation essentially is designed to assist but eventually chokes certain types of business...taxation and ridiculous regulatory requirements essentially have caused the Middle East issue (gee...don't we have oil here? The reason all the oil companies operate offshore is that its cheaper to drill and import from another part of the world than it is to just drill here...thanks largely to the EPA....)

2. Litigation protection has gotten to be the only real profitable business right now...its cheaper to settle out of court on an inane and frivolous civil suit than it is to drag it through the court system for years...justice for all... my ass!

3. Changing demographics affects everyone...Fifteen years ago, how many of us honestly believed we could have a 72 channel digital mixer and a 999 track audio hard disk digital recording sysytem with non-linear, offline editing for less that $1Million? Now, external mixers have become a moot issue, as software mixers can do nearly everything a Neve, AMEK, or SSL can do...for a few pennies less...Remember Beta machines? Clearly superior but the market never really accepted them, so they essentially disappeared. The rapidly evolving technology of recording and sound reinforcement is now caught in that same cycle.

4. Offshore manufacture doesn't automatically doom a product: Fender's Mexico plant makes some mighty fine instruments; some products raved about in these forums are made in China...and, just for kicks, what major computer sysytem is made entirely in the North American continent? To the best of my knowledge, none of them.

5. Payroll, benefits, and other human resource issues are typically the biggest expense of any company. Mandated compensation for legitamately injured workers is one thing, but it doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that most comp claims are from people too lazy to work or too scared to openly steal from their employers. Want to blame someone for a coprorate offshore move? Blame the malingering thieves which seem to feed the never ending onslaught of TV advertising personal injusry lawyers. (Note: I have no knowledge of these things happening at any specific music company, just businesses in general, large and small.)

If Mackie and other countries end up heading overseas to stay in business, then more power to them. It would be real easy to blame it on 'corporate greed mentality' but I believe otherwise. I sincerely hope the stories floating around are just mule muffins piled up in one neat place, but if they are true, then its Mackie's choice by the cards we, the buying public, have dealt them.

(Whew...OK, I'm off my high horse now...)