We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The V Chip was supposed to "add jobs" too. I used the V Chip exactly ZERO times since it's been installed...though I'm sure it added probably 1 or 2 jobs in the US. And a good $150 or so to my TV(s).
Every time one of my friends tells me that we've "outsourced our wealth and our future" I laugh heartily. Manufacturing that moves offshore is replaced with jobs at ports for the importing that occurs. Sure, jobs ARE lost, but if they weren't the price of the goods manufactured would rise....and our money wouldn't be spent on other goods and services which are available - our economy would stagnate.
Meanwhile, by moving offshore, the loss of jobs occurs ONCE due to relative pay/productivity values being better overseas. But at some point, the country those jobs moved to will suffer a loss of jobs, leading to another shift of jobs to another country where pay/productivity values are (once more) better. This time, however, the loss of jobs DOES NOT effect the US....and the lower prices for goods actually CREATES jobs here!
Taking the long, Ricardian, view of trade opens your eyes to real value and real efficiency. I won't buy a car just because it's made in the USA. Why bother? If a car from Japan has the stuff I want, is cheaper, or has some other qualities I'm seeking, then I'll buy it because it suits my needs and tastes. And THAT is what drives the economy.
I hve three sons in the car biz. They admit foreign cars cost more in maintenance.
That said, the MSN article was written by a person who doesn't seem to have a memory going back beyond the Clinton years. A reason we have lost so many manufacturing jobs is indeed cheaper labor elsewhere. Another reason is the lack of patriotism and policy from Government. Indeed, we shipped entire factories overseas beginning in the Carter years, in order to get huge tax writeoffs and to win foreign friends. [Irony alert] That worked well. If trends continue, we will be ordering military hardware from our overseas friends while we are experiencing austerity on a level not seen here since 1890.
The article has a point, but draws the wrong conclusion.
US (or EU) manufacturing isn't expensive because the factories aren't efficient, it's expensive because wages and taxes are a lot higher than they are in Asia or Africa.
That difference is so high that even the more efficient manufacturing processes employed in America and Europe (less waste) can't prevent the cost of the finished product being several times higher than it is when created in Asia or Africa.
When your rent is $100 a month and you spend $2 a day on food and other essentials, your $500 a month salary is no pain.
When your mortgage is $2000 a month and food costs you $20 a day, $3000 a month is meager.
US workers, on average, are 10 times more productive than their counterparts around the world. This is the result of good education and high levels of capital investment.
As we ship jobs overseas, the jobs can ONLY go to regions where the wage differential also accounts for the productivity differential, or the job shifts are wasted. In fact, this may be the case in many of the job shifts that occur in the computer coding business. I have documented many instances of companies sending coding jobs overseas with the hope of reducing their staff here - only to find themselves rehiring US staff to debug product developed overseas. Cost savings have "appeared" only to see these savings shift into other departments and lost.
This is not the norm in manufacturing, where workers who are 1/2 as productive as US workers are paid 1/10th of what their counterparts receive here. This is because investment in capital abroad has tax incentives and lower costs associated with them - and so do the workers!
But fear not. These job losses are temporary and transient. Sure, it hurts today. But in the long run the US will be stronger and more self-sufficient because of it. Our companies will have to learn to produce more efficiently or go out of business.
Our workers will have to learn to price themselves effectively or lose their jobs.
It's called a world market and it's not a bad thing.
I’ve said it before, but it’s probably too late to restrict national security and exceptionality technologies.
How does Germany do it anyways?
Lord do I hate hearing this same old argument, my perspective is thus. In 2004 our house was lost in a fire, total loss. Fire caused by a badly designed charcoal smoker made in China and became a total loss when the (presumably) American made fire hydrant failed. So we rebuilt and replaced all our possessions.
What I have found is that while I never have had reason to regret buying American, Taiwan, Japanese, Spanish, German ...etc. there is no price low enough to justify buying Made in China. What they make is crap, all crap and nothing but crap. We've had to replace dishes, chairs, can openers, wine corkscrews (two china-made until I found a Spanish made beauty) literally everything that was Made-in-China broke, bent, faded, and failed.
Did you know our government allows China to trade with American companies without a treaty that allows Americans to sue Chinese manufacturers in Chinese courts? A photo supply house I used to do business with went bankrupt when the entire quarterly shipment of photo paper that it received and sold to its customers was defective and discovered they couldn't recover costs or damages from the Chinese firm.
Today when I go to Lowes I'll pay extra for tools made in Mexico and refuse to purchase anything made in China.