I agree with Michael. What the rhetoric spewers forget is that you exist because of massive government subsidies:
- Air Traffic and Airports
- Communication systems
- Help from State department in doing business overseas
- Ability to attend top universities (till recently) with an in-state cost of less than $10,000
- Google and Netscape and others would not have existed if it were not for government spending
These things do not exist in countries such as China and India. Lets face it, every one in the US is not a Nobel Prize material or a top notch engineer.
It works here because all of us get a fair shake. That is not the case in India and China which people seem to comparing themselves to... in those countries the top 2% control over 90% of the wealth.
And yes our cost structure is too high because of our need to buy Toys... which are not necessary. Engineer in Silicon Valley avg pay over $90K engineer in India or China average pay $15K to $20K.
It does not matter whether they are good or not. So as a company I would pick India or China to run my business.
When it is seen as OK to export jobs, who can blame big business for doing so? There was some mining magnate on Australian TV recently making himself out to be pro-Australian, but he buys all his steel in China, and an Australian steel mill has just downsized with loss of n+1 thousand jobs, partly as a result.
Until companies are forced, by a carrot (being seen as unpatriotic to outsource) and stick (financial disincentives to outsource) nothing is going to change. Charity begins at home, except for these companies.....
True, and many years of consumption driven economy has put US in a bad energy/cost position to compete.
ie. the dispersed US homes vs. concentrated chinese homes.
dispersed homes will make public transportation expensive and impractical, those homes also consumes more energy.
by saving the cost of 2 cars/household the chinese could compete with americans and living well with half-1/3 of US salary...
The US till now had one of the best education systems in the world. Even though this was more inward looking without a lot of global exposure.
This was because access to education universal. Infrastructure built mostly during the 50s, 60s and the 70s is what fueled the growth.
This was a place where a person with a high school degree could earn a a very good income.
But times have changed, it is a global economy with competition from anywhere. No one monopolizes intelligence.... there are smart people all over the world. Given the opportunity smart people can succeed everywhere.
But the big advantage we have here is the infrastructure, connectivity, ease of daily life and doing business in most cases.
The main reason why a lot of jobs went overseas is that for regular run of the mill jobs, that do not require any specialize skill sets or high degree of innovation can be done any where by any one. In a global world it is cheaper to compete when your costs are low.
This is more so, when selling the products into countries where the disposable income is lower (which is where the growth is... the BRIC countries). The products have to be cheaper.
I might say something controversial here, but this innovation required (in today's $$) trillions of investment by the government in R&D programs, infrastructure and others which worked in cohesion.
Our misguided private industry thrust has consistently eroded our investment in education, R&D and others...think about it....semiconductor processes, devices, communications, GPS even the web (from ARPAnet and DARPAnet) would not have been possible without this.
Wall street and shareholders like me are not interested in innovation they are interested in stock value...not R&D as horizons are short term not long term.
This is a more complex problem than just increasing manufacturing base.
Companies are sitting on mountains of cash because they can not identify many growth opportunities in the US to justify investment here, and they are concerned about surviving the next financial meltdown - which they worry might be even worse than the last one.
A lot of this comes down to what people consider to be "living well".
People in USA have an inflated sense of want/need. If people rolled back to living like the 1950s they could live perfectly fine on a lot less money.
Companies are sitting on mountains of cash, and yet they will not invest.
Could it be that the U.S. regulatory and tax environment has resulted in a sclerosis where local industries cannot produce anything profitably anymore?
As well, antics such as the anti Keystone pipeline hearings and demonstrations are not helpful to a U.S. recovery.
Did you know that the Chinese are poised to make huge investments in Canada's oil sands? Our oil will either flow south to our friends or it will flow to the coast into Chinese tankers. Take your pick.
With respect to embedded systems, the pipeline and subsequent refinery upgrades offer a vast market for new and improved control systems. The pipe would be manufactured here. The control systems would be designed, built and installed by both Americans and Canadians for the benefit of all.
All we need is an environment where industry can flourish so that we can all have jobs again.
Outsourcing the manufacture of consumer products to China shaves something like 25 % off the total cost but US Corp.s have been giving at most a 10 % discount to Customers and keeping most of it for themselves and their shareholders ( who hardly ever get a dividend ). These Corp.s have used every dodge and distraction ( invented by the best brains at Harvard B School ) to convince Consumers that there is no alternative.
Now that a week has passed since the departure of Steve Jobs, it is time to blow the whistle on his cutesy weasel words like " designed in California, assembled in China ". Sure most of his OS and Apps still originate in the US but how many of the real high value hardware components in an iWhatever are really designed by PA semi ( Apple ) and even in the A5 some of the IP must still derive from ARM in England.
Folks in the "Occupy Wall St." movement should start demanding that consumer products must again be made in the USA. Let them start with posting a preferred product list with highest US / N. American input ( even 1 % is a good start compared to 0 %, in that sense even a cranky Blackberry assembled in Mexico is better than a se_y iX assembled in China ).
With such awareness and the Carrot and Stick that derives from it, market competition will soon induce even our MBA run US Corp.s to have higher content manufactured in the US.