I agree with JimT. FOXCONN is not the model to follow. Those workers are not well paid, work in substandard conditions and have little skill. Don't forget, the per capita income in China is still below that of Jamica (last I heard). While they have hundreds of millions of people wanting to improve themselves, they will be willing to work in these conditions.
But the thing to remember is that China was not a high tech manufacturing country just a short while ago. We previously lost out to Japan, which was also not a high tech powerhouse, initially. Now, look at Japan. With NAFTA, wasn't Mexico going to be the low cost manufacturing center for the US? We talk about China, but it was floods in Thailand that disrupted hard disk drive production just a couple of months ago.
Setting up high tech manufacturing is not a function of the people, it is a function of social and government policy. As US workers become more flexible, they can get back manufacturing jobs. I believe it is Nissan that is ramping up its manufacturing in the US to where it will be larger than the output of their Japanese factories. This is driven by exchange rates, not supply chains. Caterpillar is considering bringing jobs to the US from Canada because of union intransigence there and more flexibility here.
These jobs can come back in an instant. Becuase they are contract jobs, Apple, or whoever, can contract with someone else at any time. This is the original motivation for outsourcing of manufacturing. If you follow the logic of the article, then the auto industry shoud go back to their original model. At one time Ford and GM took in raw materials (iron ore, rubber, etc.) and made cars in an integrated industrial enterprise. I don't see that happening.
Interesting thought: What if Apple did open a FoxConn-type of plant here in the US? Given the widespread poverty and desperation for jobs, there would be a line around the block to apply for a live-in factory job. 12 hours shifts? No problem! Go to Detroit. Go to Kansas City. Go to any major city over 500,000, and you will have unskilled laborers in droves. It's time to break the mold of conventional thinking about what American's will and won't do. China wants us to keep doing what we're doing. Nothing. Roll over quietly, let them take all of the jobs, take all the know-how and factories, and one day a few years from now, the country is a third-world country. It's not too late. Stop this foolishness now!
I've seen this trend for almost 20 years. Global outsourcing is the wave of the future. It's ok, we'll be a nation of consultants, we don't want low-paying menial jobs. Well, two (possibly three) economic crises later, we're seeing the fruits of this corporate empty-headedness. Bottom line is I completely and wholeheartedly disagree with the notion that Apple doesn't have the obligation to bring work back to the US when they can get it more cheaply overseas. They ABSOLUTELY have the obligation to do so. Like all American companies, they DO! We're so afraid of a trade war that we don't realize that the war was already started 15 years ago. We're losing that war. Badly. Look around!? The easiest solution is to do what all other countries in Asia and Europe do. High protective tarriffs against imports, high taxes against companies that have more than 10% of their workforce overseas, and finally lush government subsidies to support strategic industries back into the US for good. We HAVE to level the playing field. We're already in crisis! the government is already going broke. Let's spend what's left on us to try to save OURSELVES! It's too late for soft measures.
This is a great essay but the Titile is a day late and a dollar short.
Obama, the only one speaking on this issue with any precision is speaking correctly and this underscores his efforts on our behalf.
Nixon opened the door to china and Boeing and containerships have brutalized us along with the penchant of buying imported cars, thinking that they are superior.
It's really Congress that has sought to undermine and destroy our country through all sorts of absurdities and ghastly statements.
That Mitt Romney would have said let GM and Chrysler go under is mind boggling. A friend commented yesterday that 30% of Ameica is actually either stupid, in denial, or insane.
We had better start taking care of ourselves or it's game over, we will become a 3rd World Country.
And the irony is that the basic research was done here. I believe that it was the University of Cincinatti where much of the research was done on LCD displays yet it was Samsung in Korea that became the major force in that technology as well as giving Whirlpool a huge jolt at Best Buy.
Steve said it in his Biography... it's the Product that counts.
Now Bob Lutz has come up with something new and we shall see how that pans out.
We must think of Home first and cut this crap about foreign entanglements.
Lets trust our American instincts and evaluate our work ethics when thinking about why we don't want to work 12 hour shifts and live in a dormitory-style housing, ala, FOXCONN.Remember, FOXCONN was forced to put up jump-nets around the dormitory perimeters to catch all the suicidal jumpers off the rooftops.
Meanwhile, just about every design engineer I know DOES work 10-12 hours fairly regularly, and always to the unhappiness of their spouse. It s the nature of our development work coupled with the nature of the design engineer.We put in the long hours when we are fascinated with our work, as opposed to being driven by an oppressive force.Think of the carrot vs. the stick mentality.
There is a funny thing with the Chinese mold shops. I have toured multiple tool shops in China. Not one of the shops had any metal working machinery from China. They have some of the world's best equipment,and all of it was made in either the US or in Europe. The operators running the equipment were all trained internally, so the skill was only as good as the best instructor available.
I think you hit the nail on the head when you mention American innovation. That is something that I have just not seen from China, Mexico or India. They might be able to put the same screw in a machine a thousand times a day. But to come up with something out of the box just doesn't happen. But I still struggle with the idea that we have to train all of our children to obtain those skills. In some cases we have children that would make very good dirch diggers. And if ditch digging is what you're good at. I hope they will be able to find a job doing that so they can be happy. Rather than being forced to go into a profession that they will not be happy at because that's the job they can find here in America.
I agree its probably unlikely that those jobs are coming back. Which is unfortunate because nearly every experience I have had with cheap labor, whether in Mexico or China has resulted in lower quality. Whether it be tools with the part numbers in backwords or having to nearly rebuild the entire tool when it gets back to the states. In the endm the cheap labor and quality that corresponds to it, is not worth it. There;'s something to be said for a worker that can read, think and alert you to a quality problem. And you can only find that in the United States. Too bad we won't build more stuff here.
Alexander, per my previous reply on battery power in respect to overland energy distribution and grid replenishment I should like to point out the sepecifics of public misconception and deliberate misinformation.
First as I previously stated the grid system itself is out dated and needs to be redisigned using new methods of modular fullment to reduce cost, improve relability and safety, eliminate high lines and reudce maintenance. Current build methodology will not hold up in bad iceing, floods, hurricanes, fires, or wars. In fact I question why the grid even exists other than thats how Mr. Westinghouse designed the first overland, overhead, distribution system out of Niagra Falls to distribut Mr. N. Tesla's multi-phase power. Markets exploaded and on going invention became suppressed or couldn't raise capital. Go see the orilional success it is still working.
Jumping to 2012, we are still using cross country distribution (thank God without Edison's and Wall Streets perfered DC telegraph method and designs) but, really havent moved forward. Why? We have stand-alone generation capability and know how to use it, or do we? Or are we reluctant to explore the true value of new technology fearing the selfish control methods applied by the J. P. Morgan's of the world and the fossil fuel community?
Truth-the fumes kill us but we need transportation and are willing to pay the up charge for exhaust converters, the fracing destroys our water supply but continues even as do the earth quakes it causes, yet we need to grow food. So grid loads continue to rise worldwide, but clean energy generation has been surpressed for??? shall I count the ways...
I believe a NEED prerequisit such as on a ship at sea is not there. Nor do we understand the alternates available to us. Thoes such as ZERO, COLD, FREE, FUSION or E-Cat technologies. And, why don't we undestand or use such technologies? Technologies that have been known and hidden away from the public for at least a century and are here NOW. These eneryg systems are safe, make NO polution, are very buildable, genrate limitless power, are afordable and provide the keys to safe tranmutation of spent fision fuel.
It is my contention that the R&D, Engineering, Scientific and ALL OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES should demand, world wide, patent restructuring and government coperation to make this happen! IF this happens we may truly look forward to a renaissance of new discovery and invention.
Should this happen it would require considerable reguatory changes but, the patent office MUST CHANGE FIRST. In reality, the U.S. Patent office at this time, in the history of the USA, to be seen by the public detramental to our common competive worldwide well being as a nation. Should this change; the virtues of free enterprise will again prosper and invigorate the populations of our planet.
US manufacturing does benefit from cheap labor in that some European companies source product here in the US to avoid high labor costs and stiff organized labor rules in Europe. Granted the copanies are not US based, but the jobs are here.
PTC will offer a virtual desktop environment for its Creo product design applications, potentially freeing engineers to run them from remote desktops on a variety of operating systems and mobile devices.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.