@jackOfManyTrades: We still make a fair bit of stuff here. The question is just what.
The manufacturing that migrated off shore was high volume, low price commodity products, like semi-conductor electronics. The manufacturing that stayed was higher up the value chain, commanding higher prices, or was the sort of thing that had to be made close to where it would be used. (As an example of the latter, there are several outfits near me that manufacture custom doors and windows. You give the measurements, they make and install. That's not something doable overseas.)
Another example is auto assembly, where a complete car *could* be made overseas, but it's cheaper and faster to market to assemble the finished product here and ship to the seller, because of the customization the buyer can specify when they place an order.
The issue with volume is where it goes. If the market is large enough that you can sell everything you make in your own country, you're fine. If you need to export, you may have issues because others can make things cheaper than you can, and you can't compete on price.
It is received wisdom in the UK that "we don't make anything anymore". But received wisdom doesn't match reality: the UK is the 6th largest manufacturing nation in the world and UK manufacturing output reached an all time high in 2007, just before the recession. I suspect there's a similar situation in the US, too: I bet your manufacturing industry is much larger than is commonly supposed.
This type of business strategy is built on the same IP concepts that Apple exerted in their case against Samsung. If you take these manufacturing techniques to Asia they will be copied, destroying your value proposition and differentiation. Will folks stand up and protect the IP legal infrastructure or cherry pick destroying it for all. It may be emotionally cathartic to throw Apple under the bus but in so doing, you're slitting the manufacturing throat of the West.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.