What China has that the U.S. cannot match

Every American concerned about this country’s economic future should take the time to read a lengthy piece in Sunday’s New York Times explaining why Apple refuses to build or assemble its products here in the United States.

Taxes have nothing to do with it. Regulations have nothing to do with it. Both pale in significance to things like this:

An eight-hour drive from that glass factory is a complex, known informally as Foxconn City, where the iPhone is assembled. To Apple executives, Foxconn City was further evidence that China could deliver workers — and diligence — that outpaced their American counterparts.

That’s because nothing like Foxconn City exists in the United States.

The facility has 230,000 employees, many working six days a week, often spending up to 12 hours a day at the plant. Over a quarter of Foxconn’s work force lives in company barracks and many workers earn less than $17 a day. When one Apple executive arrived during a shift change, his car was stuck in a river of employees streaming past. “The scale is unimaginable,” he said.

Foxconn employs nearly 300 guards to direct foot traffic so workers are not crushed in doorway bottlenecks. The facility’s central kitchen cooks an average of three tons of pork and 13 tons of rice a day. While factories are spotless, the air inside nearby teahouses is hazy with the smoke and stench of cigarettes.

Foxconn Technology has dozens of facilities in Asia and Eastern Europe, and in Mexico and Brazil, and it assembles an estimated 40 percent of the world’s consumer electronics for customers like Amazon, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia, Samsung and Sony.

“They could hire 3,000 people overnight,” said Jennifer Rigoni, who was Apple’s worldwide supply demand manager until 2010, but declined to discuss specifics of her work. “What U.S. plant can find 3,000 people overnight and convince them to live in dorms?”

Unless Americans are willing to live in dorms where their lives are completely controlled by their employers, and do so for less than $17 a day, they cannot compete for the kind of assembly-line jobs that many of our fathers and grandfathers performed. Apple, which last year generated $400,000 in profit, not revenue, per employee, employs just 43,000 people here in the United States, while its outsourcing contractors overseas employ some 700,000.

Focusing on taxation and regulation as the cause of our challenges may be politically and ideologically convenient, but it’s a distraction. As long as that’s the focus of our debate, we aren’t addressing the true problems that we face.

In fact, the situation reminds me of the old story about the drunk who has lost his car keys and is searching for them under a street light.

“Well, where did you lose them?” somebody asks.

“Somewhere over there,” the drunk says, pointing out into the inky darkness.

“Then why are you looking for them over here, under the street light?”

“Becaush the light’s better.”

– Jay Bookman

280 comments Add your comment

Daedalus

January 23rd, 2012
7:59 am

Ah, China, a free-market dream!

Daedalus

January 23rd, 2012
8:01 am

….and first!

Granny Godzilla

January 23rd, 2012
8:01 am

Ah….the Year of the Dragon.

USinUK

January 23rd, 2012
8:02 am

““What U.S. plant can find 3,000 people overnight and convince them to live in dorms?” ”

indeed.

which leads one to ask: what kind of world do you want to live in? where you have to leave your family and live in a dorm to work 12 hours/ day, 6 days/week JUST to be employed???

Paul

January 23rd, 2012
8:04 am

So at the next debate when Ron Paul says business moving overseas has nothing to do with taxes or regulations, he’ll get booed.

When he describes the conditions of Chinese workers, Newt will say “Hey! We can do that right here and bring back American jobs!!!”

and he’ll get a standing ovation.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

January 23rd, 2012
8:04 am

No mention of the nets FoxConn has put up to keep employees from jumping off the roofs? Or that there are often 8 or more to a dorm room and they often do not know the names of those who share their dorm rooms.

Damn them evillllllllllllll unions. Look at what the company towns they help us avoid.

Not in the U.S.

January 23rd, 2012
8:05 am

America rid itself of slave labor long ago. Many workers in the U.S. would rather have a job that provides benefits such as healthcare, retirement, workmans comp, and unemployment benefits if they are released.

TaxPayer

January 23rd, 2012
8:06 am

Georgia had such a system of cheap labor many years back. Republicans likely yearn for a return to those days.

Mick

January 23rd, 2012
8:06 am

I think that’s what the cons here envy, communist envy, where the workers are put in their place and the corprations reap the financial riches. Globalization for the US has been a bust, instead of raising them up to our standards, we are careening downward to theirs…

ByteMe

January 23rd, 2012
8:08 am

Shine the light, Jay, shine the light.

Mad Max

January 23rd, 2012
8:12 am

And this was built by saint Jobs…….Many on here were praising the man for his insight, compassion, etc just a few months back.

Paul

January 23rd, 2012
8:13 am

Still waiting for the ‘we don’t need no regulations, get rid of them all and business will take off’ crowd to appear.

But they don’t want the followup of ’so we can be just like China?’

Hmmmm….. doesn’t that scenario mean conservatives are more like communists than are liberals?

:-)

barking frog

January 23rd, 2012
8:15 am

As the overseas made electronics continue to erode jobs and
careers in the US no one in poitics or business addresses this
problem. Free Market Business cannot compete with government
sponsored business but the Free Market does not recognize that
the foreign owned brands will someday handle all the products
of the foreign owned manufacturers or they don’t care.

Normal

January 23rd, 2012
8:15 am

The new corporate way…communial living, communial jobs…CEO’s say,”what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine…Yep, the GOP wet dream….

Paul

January 23rd, 2012
8:15 am

Mad Max

See what happens when some people get new information? The reassess what they think. That’s as opposed to those who sign pledges to never, ever change.

Donovan

January 23rd, 2012
8:15 am

The answer is simple. It’s called communism. But don’t worry Jay. Your regime president is working on this for our country.

Normal

January 23rd, 2012
8:15 am

…and don’t forget the company stores…

Paul

January 23rd, 2012
8:16 am

Normal

Communal living?

Newt’s gonna love it.

Aquagirl

January 23rd, 2012
8:16 am

Republicans likely yearn for a return to those days.

They sure were trying when they passed the immigration bill. Imagine that….Americans are not willing to move to South Georgia and harvest crops for $10 an hour. There was palpable frustration we couldn’t get people to abandon their families for a couple months of hard labor with no benefits.

bill arp

January 23rd, 2012
8:17 am

What China doesn’t have that the U.S. does….Tree huggers that won’t let us build factories here anymore so we can make our own dang TV remote! Or fake rubber snake like my daughter wanted this weekend that said Made In China! We can’t make a fake rubber snake here now-a-days?!? Nice job, Libs!

Common Sense

January 23rd, 2012
8:18 am

Because so much of what you purchase goes to China, right?

List out your monthly expenses. Federal taxes, state, taxes, property taxes, health insurance, Home Insurance, Car insurance, cable TV, movies, music, gasoline, electricity, natural gas, fresh foods, canned foods, …….and then Ipods and other electronic gadgets and clothing….

Now what % goes to China?

That’s what we thought. Barking up the wrong tree again.

Taxes and regulations are strangling everything you get from the US (vast majority of your expenses. Cheap imports is affecting less than 5% of your monthly expenses. It’s not the Chinese labor that is affecting you after all.

kayaker 71

January 23rd, 2012
8:19 am

I am sure that there are just as many Democrats as there are Republicans taking advantage of Apple’s approach to a “free market economy”. You demean this cheap labor approach while you still rush to the Apple store to put your back order for an IPad or an Iphone which you, as well as the majority of American consumers, play with incessantly. These commodities have become a must have by most of Americans under 35 and I am sure, regardless of their political ideology, that the last thing they are worried about is the plight of some dormitory housed Chinese laborer. They want that device regardless of who is suffering to produce it and regardless how much money that that evil Apple corporation is making from the efforts of that 700K workers who eat pork and rice every day. They just don’t give a damn.

Paul

January 23rd, 2012
8:19 am

Donovan

Care to tell us which keeps us from becoming more like China regarding work conditions:

- putting in place laws and regulations regarding workplace safety, work conditions, maximum hours worked, minimum pay and overtime, etc. or

- getting rid of all regulations regarding the same, eliminating OSHA, getting rid of all wage, workplace health and safety laws and regulations?

Then lead us to the conclusion which course will make us more like communist China?

Normal

January 23rd, 2012
8:19 am

Paul,
Yep, Newt should have been a hippie…

TaxPayer

January 23rd, 2012
8:20 am

I hear you can even buy bottled air in their company stores. Fortunately, regulations do not prohibit them from selling dangerous pressurized air cylinders so they can enjoy the benefits that a truly free market has to offer, for less.

Lee

January 23rd, 2012
8:21 am

So, China is currently where the USA was in 1900, when textile factories dotted the landscape and workers lived in company provided “village” housing. Workers who “owed their soul to the company store”.

When one of those workers in China develop carpal tunnel syndrome from the repetitive assembly work, they will be cast aside. After all, there are 3000 people waiting at the door.

Likewise, China doesn’t have race pimps like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who demand that factories hire the less qualified and make it vitually impossible to fire the slackers.

Jay says that regulations didn’t force factories overseas, but he doesn’t talk about the chemical waste products from these Chinese factories where they dump hazardous chemicals in open fields or where coal fired power plants belch noxious fumes because they are not required to have the same environmental controls that US plants do.

No Jay, we all know why companies moved operations overseas. You mention the $17/day wage, but seems to me that you, along with your former politically correct pulitzer hack Cynthia Tucker, used to whine about raising the minimum wage in the US.

For the most part, if it were not for good ole American ingenuity, most of those Chinese workers would be out in a rice field looking at the south end of a north bound ox.

Don’t worry, though. Another four years of Obama, and perhaps we Americans will be living in factory barracks making $17 yen, er, dollars per day….

Normal

January 23rd, 2012
8:21 am

Paul,
What will interest me is how will the GOP pull off a Theocratic Communistic government.

Doggone/GA

January 23rd, 2012
8:21 am

I’m happy to say that I have never owned an Apple product, and have no plans to ever own one

stands for decibels

January 23rd, 2012
8:22 am

Jay, last week I listened to Mr. Daisy and the Apple Factory on This American Life and it gnawed at my gut for several days.

I don’t know if I can bear to read the Sunday Times story as well.

stands for decibels

January 23rd, 2012
8:24 am

never owned an Apple product, and have no plans to ever own one

DGA, while I understand the sentiment, you’re probably focused on the wrong enemy here. FoxConn manufactures electronics for scores of different brands. you’re probably using tons of stuff that’s left its factories.

Normal

January 23rd, 2012
8:24 am

Yes sir, Lee, donovan, and Bill Arp, are the poster children of the truly GOP brainwashed… :)

vince neil

January 23rd, 2012
8:24 am

Every ine of you should give up your iphone or ipad right now or shut the hell up!

TaxPayer

January 23rd, 2012
8:24 am

Doggone/Ga,

The problem is not restricted to Apple products.

stands for decibels

January 23rd, 2012
8:24 am

Obviously, the only answer is universal, worldwide governance that gives a good crap about human rights, including workers’ rights.

Mick

January 23rd, 2012
8:25 am

paul

Another day of simplistic false assumptions by some truly tunnel visioned, low information, opinionators. They’d rather have an enemy to blame than find solutions to the issues…

stands for decibels

January 23rd, 2012
8:25 am

give up your iphone or ipad right now or shut the hell up!

Also, hair metal sucks.

5-0

January 23rd, 2012
8:25 am

Sounds like it’s time for a boycott.

stands for decibels

January 23rd, 2012
8:26 am

Worldwide governance of pollution standards also plays an equally important role to finding a way out of this maze.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

January 23rd, 2012
8:27 am

but…but….but….this is about choices. This is what happens when you purchase Apple products at Walmart. Its the consumer’s fault! :roll:

barking frog

January 23rd, 2012
8:28 am

We could send more Marines to Australia and then invade China.

Road Scholar

January 23rd, 2012
8:28 am

Bill Arpp: No the best thing China has is a vision of the future. No, not the communes…a finacial plan and a national plan to move forward with…not a plan to discuss and fuss continuously about!

Oh the regulations…oh the uncertainty! When were there not regulations and uncertainty?

Lee

January 23rd, 2012
8:28 am

“Yes sir, Lee, donovan, and Bill Arp, are the poster children of the truly GOP brainwashed… “

Spoken by someone who actually thinks there is a dime’s worth of difference between the Dims and the Repugs….

stands for decibels

January 23rd, 2012
8:29 am

There are two scenes in that This American Life story I’ll never forget.

One is of his translator’s emotional reaction to what she’d had to dispassionately convey to her intrepid American reporter, climaxing in: “It’s all too much.”

The other was the reaction of one of the fired workers to actually seeing an iPad booted up and running (obviously, he and thousands of other workers have never laid hands on the finished devices): “It’s magic.”

Seriously, listen to it, if you can spare the time (unfortunately it’s no longer available as a free download, but can be streamed from that link above.)

Paul

January 23rd, 2012
8:30 am

off to the gym.

later -

Soothsayer

January 23rd, 2012
8:31 am

“Unless Americans are willing to live in dorms where their lives are completely controlled by their employers, and do so for less than $17 a day, they cannot compete for the kind of assembly-line jobs that many of our fathers and grandfathers performed.”

Well, gosh, Jay! It seems like some blogger on this here blog’s done been sayin’ that for years. Just like most construction workers in this country can’t compete with Mexicans who live 5 – 6 families per house in communal houses.

But, I can tell you something we’ve got that the Chinese don’t — Callister’s hair! At least not right now they don’t.

kayaker 71

January 23rd, 2012
8:31 am

The hypocrisy of the complainers continues to rear it’s head. Those evil corporations that AvVet rails on about constantly provide the American gluttony of consumer goods that continues to be imported into this country at about the same rate as cocaine from Mexico. That Samsung TV you are watching and that Kindle you got for X-Mas came from the same environment and were produced in much the same way as Apple products. The gasoline you stick into your pickup truck every week came at the expense of American lives in the Middle East keeping the Gulf of Hormuz open, gas lines at a minimum and politicians re-elected. And the majority of these consumers don’t give a flying fu*k in hell who is suffering to produce what they consume….. just don’t let me be without it.

TaxPayer

January 23rd, 2012
8:33 am

I seem to recall some guy on the tubes commenting that we would pay about 23% more for the same product with our higher labor costs. I assume that would still allow the corporation to maintain its current profit margin. Profits can never be sacrificed. Just ask Monsanto.

Doggone/GA

January 23rd, 2012
8:33 am

“DGA, while I understand the sentiment, you’re probably focused on the wrong enemy here”

Not my problem. I have never been impressed with Apple products, which is why I’ve never owned one

Soothsayer

January 23rd, 2012
8:33 am

And that’s not the half of it, Jay. Companies like Foxconn are moving factories farther inland to take advantage of even lower-priced labor because the workers along the coast are getting uppity and demanding more money. But, hey! It’s capitalism isn’t it?

JamVet

January 23rd, 2012
8:34 am

Morning, all.

Obviously, Lee still has racial demons that control him. To the point where even a problem like this one is easily explained due to shiftless and lazy black folks.

I’m not sure which is more idiotic, his or bill’s “tree hugger” statement…

Brosephus

January 23rd, 2012
8:35 am

Globalization for the US has been a bust, instead of raising them up to our standards, we are careening downward to theirs…

THIS!!!!

Soothsayer

January 23rd, 2012
8:36 am

Not tonight, Gnute! You know I just spent 4 hours and $400 of your money getting my hair done!

JamVet

January 23rd, 2012
8:37 am

I see where K71, not wanting to be left out, is also making a very strong bid for the idiotic, evil (LOL!) statement of the morning.

barking frog

January 23rd, 2012
8:38 am

Soothsayer 8:36, That’s okay Callista, you know my solution
to that problem.

George P. Burdell

January 23rd, 2012
8:38 am

Jay’s article is right on point and yet all the sheep conveniently use their own take to support their view and yet again ignore the importance of the point. Chinese GDP per capita is about $2,300 compared to $38,000 in the US. That is less than $9/day for a normal 5 day work week. It comes as no surprise that so many would be willing to work in these conditions when it probably doubles what they could make otherwise. The real problem is not lax regulations in China, or lack of unions, or anything else. The simple fact is that we have to make our economy productive enough to justify the huge differential in per capita GDP. If we can, we will thrive and prosper. If we do not, we all will see a lower standard of living and may end up being the ones living in company housing and making cheap electronics for the world. There can be plenty of opinions on how best to do that, but it is the only issue that really matters and the rest is just window dressing.

Mick

January 23rd, 2012
8:40 am

yaker

I rarely if ever go to walmart, try to buy my gas from sunoco, but there is only so much one can do when the market is flooded with goods made from asia. Remember when we were kids how we used to make fun of cheap japanese electronics? Everything in life is cyclical, if we ever get our act together here with trade, we can climb back up…

Doggone/GA

January 23rd, 2012
8:40 am

“THIS!!!!”

And I don’t agree. It might seem like that for a while, but eventually they’ll start rising up to our standard. The hardest thing to do is get someone to learn from someone else’s experience. Other countries are just hell bent on doing it step by step, as we have done, rather than learning from our experience and skipping a few steps. And of course, there are always going to be companies willing to assist in exploiting workers…but eventually they’ll be on the “losing” side of that proposition.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

January 23rd, 2012
8:41 am

And the majority of these consumers don’t give a flying fu*k in hell who is suffering to produce what they consume

Not that you care to be honest but I can agree that you and many Republicans do NOT care. You fail to lack real compassion. Out of sight, out of mind. There are MANY who do care and by expressing their opinions here, to Apple employees, by protesting, and by acting in small ways and urging others to act, they can make a difference. Do they have the millions and millions Apple can spend to cove up what is truly going on? Nope. Does Apple’s (and others) effort to claim social responsibility and falsely claim working conditions are good in China ring true? Nope. But who are the people pointing out these issues….the same ones you rant against daily. Michael Moore, the NY Times, and on and on and on.

Jm

January 23rd, 2012
8:42 am

Jay apparently you didn’t read it

ON THE FIRST PAGE IT SAYS:

“for technology companies, the cost of labor is minimal compared with the expense of buying parts and managing supply chains”

Another jay fail

Good grief

Martin the Calvinist

January 23rd, 2012
8:42 am

You are right Jay, we need to tax corporations more and regulate them more so more corporations will love to move overseas and pay their employees 17 dollars a day working 12 hours or more! Then we can collect wages from the gov’t doing nothing ourselves and we can use the world as our product making slaves! All this rhetoric and no solutions….that is all I hear from Jay.

barking frog

January 23rd, 2012
8:43 am

George P. that 2300 per capita is close the the per capita earnings
while the 38000 per capita in the US mostly goes to the upper 5%.

Soothsayer

January 23rd, 2012
8:43 am

What is it with the Right and their fixation on hair? First, there was Donald Trump with his elaborate comb-over, then Rick Perry with his hardo, and now — bless her heart — Callister with her plastic helmet that she wears! You just cain’t make this shyte up!

Jm

January 23rd, 2012
8:44 am

“semiskilled workers there were cheaper. But that wasn’t driving Apple.”

Jay has reading comprehension issues.

Jm

January 23rd, 2012
8:46 am

As Ramius on the Red October said: I read your book. Your conclusions were all wrong.

Jay, I think you should be a politician. You’ve got the same intellect.

barking frog

January 23rd, 2012
8:47 am

We could invade Central America and South America.

Peadawg

January 23rd, 2012
8:47 am

So what’s your solution, Jay?

Jm

January 23rd, 2012
8:48 am

Peadawg he doesn’t have one

He’s just a stone thrower

(ir)Rational

January 23rd, 2012
8:49 am

Interesting how Jay mentions nothing about American workers not being trained to do the types of jobs that the foreign workers are. Just trying to make it seem like the only way to get these jobs is to be willing to live in dormitories and work for slave wages. Well, I would like to know just exactly how you would all propose that we bring these jobs to America.

Jm

January 23rd, 2012
8:50 am

Heres what china has. Tens of thousands of engineers willing to work with a flexible mindset and a work ethic that has partially disappeared in America.

Soothsayer

January 23rd, 2012
8:53 am

In the era of globalization of production and employment, the reserve army of labor has drastically expanded beyond national borders. According to a recent report by the International Labor Organization (ILO), between 1980 and 2007 the global labor force rose from 1.9 billion to 3.1 billion, a growth rate of 63 percent. Historical transition to capitalism in many less-developed parts of the world, which has led to the so-called de-peasantization, or proletarianization and urbanization, especially in countries such as China and India, is obviously a major source of the enlargement of the worldwide labor force, and its availability to global capital. The ILO report further shows that, worldwide, the ratio of the active (or employed) to reserve (or unemployed) army of labor is less than 50%, that is, more than half of the global labor force is unemployed [6].

It is this huge and readily available pool of the unemployed, along with the ease of production anywhere in the world—not some abstract or evil intentions of “right-wing Republicans and wicked Neoliberals,” as Keynesians argue—that has forced the working class, especially in the US and other advanced capitalist countries, into submission: going along with the brutal austerity schemes of wage and benefit cuts, of layoffs and union busting, of part-time and contingency employment, and the like. Ruthless Neoliberal policies of the past several decades, by both Republican and Democratic parties, are more a product of the structural changes in the global capitalist production than their cause. This is not to say that economic policies do not matter; but that such policies should not be attributed simply to capricious decision, malicious intentions or conspiratorial schemes.

I would be willing to bet that more and more of those unemployed are in “developed” countries like the United States.

stands for decibels

January 23rd, 2012
8:54 am

So what’s your solution, Jay?

Not that you asked me, but what I’ve posted @ 8.24 & 8.26 is the only ultimate solution. The rest is just deck-chair re-arrangement, in the great scheme of things.

Mr. Roboto

January 23rd, 2012
8:55 am

How can they get any work done just eating pork fried rice. 1/2 hour later everyone still hungry.

St Simons- island off the coast of New Somalia

January 23rd, 2012
8:55 am

so THAT’s what the Ga Republicans are up to – they’re trying to get
Foxxconn to come here & build a plant.

Jm

January 23rd, 2012
8:55 am

Well that shut the liberal cabal up

Mick

January 23rd, 2012
8:55 am

Jm doesn’t realize it, but he is in love with the communist system and all the disadvantages for their workers leading to higher profits for the corporate gods…

TaxPayer

January 23rd, 2012
9:00 am

Jay, I think you should be a politician. You’ve got the same intellect.

And he still is not talking to you, jm.

stands for decibels

January 23rd, 2012
9:00 am

Jm suffers from delusions of relevance.

Jm

January 23rd, 2012
9:01 am

Mick

Unionized labor killed American manufacturing

It’s as simple as that

Nucor does very well but requires non union labor

stands for decibels

January 23rd, 2012
9:01 am

Jm is a member of the skimmer class.

Jm’s work produces no goods or services of tangible value. Jm sits in judgement of those who do.

(and speakin’awich, I gots to go do some. Later, kids.)

Mick

January 23rd, 2012
9:02 am

**Unionized labor killed American manufacturing**

Not intended to be a factual statement but it is both ignorant and ridiculous…

TaxPayer

January 23rd, 2012
9:03 am

Heres what china has. Tens of thousands of engineers willing to work with a flexible mindset and a work ethic that has partially disappeared in America.

Yes, their engineers are nothing more than slave labor.

Jm

January 23rd, 2012
9:03 am

Taxpayer

And I don’t care

TaxPayer

January 23rd, 2012
9:05 am

And I don’t care

Uh huh. :lol:

Granny Godzilla

January 23rd, 2012
9:08 am

Unionized labor killed American manufacturing

and WMDS and mobile chemical labs and mushroom clouds and socialist and kenyan and food stamps…..

and I’m a size 2….

Mr. Roboto

January 23rd, 2012
9:09 am

confucious say, “blogger who know everything, know nothing”….

Road Scholar

January 23rd, 2012
9:14 am

I have to agree with Jm about the decrease in work ethic. Now will hell freeze over?

Even new hires, who lack experience and tried and true analytical skills, want quicker promotions and raises based on mearly doing an adequate job. They do not know the ramifications of their actions because they lack experience.

Most allude to the “entitlement mentality” think of welfare; I’m seeing the same in our workforce.

Doggone/GA

January 23rd, 2012
9:14 am

“confucious say, “blogger who know everything, know nothing”

You might want to rethink that one, wise man, there’s an inherent disconnect in there.

John Galt

January 23rd, 2012
9:18 am

I buy energy every day. I buy an Ipod once every two years….

Sure Jay, that’s the problem with the US: China

Not the President stopping energy projects when each of us consume energy every day of our lives.

Educating The Wrong Way

January 23rd, 2012
9:18 am

If this country would stop thinking that EVERY child should get a college education and focus on the (technical schools) we could bring manufacturing back to the U.S. It costs a whole lot less to train someone at a technical school versus a four year university. Besides that, most kids that graduate from a technical school will come out making about the same or more than their college counterparts.

St Simons- island off the coast of New Somalia

January 23rd, 2012
9:18 am

China also has a cultural paradigm of “all pulling on the same rope”
or “we’re All in This Together”
vs.
“yee-haw, cowboy, its ever’ man fer himself, yer on your own”

one of these philosophies has a future in the Future, one does not

ha, Social Darwinism is naturally selected for extinction, how ironic

Recon 0311 2533

January 23rd, 2012
9:19 am

Oh please answers to the root cause of our lost manufacturing won’t be found in the New York Times unless someone enjoys reading lengthy propaganda articles from that sorry media organization. Taxation, over regulation a domestic business climate that’s become less friendly than foreign competition along with government negotiated trade agreements that produce unfavorable trade balances and the shift of investment out of the United States into foreign markets. If you want answers look to business leaders not the left wing propaganda machines like the New York Times.

RetailJeff

January 23rd, 2012
9:19 am

A LACK of a free market in China is what creates this situation. Free markets would never produce this type of factory as someone else would offer workers a better option. China’s lack of freedom and competition is directly causing the working conditions. Let’s keep the debate clear.

FrankLeeDarling

January 23rd, 2012
9:22 am

I am reading this on my I pad

(ir)Rational

January 23rd, 2012
9:23 am

Road Scholar – I think hell is about to freeze over, assuming it didn’t when you agreed with Jm. I think my generation, and especially the one after mine (I’m pretty sure history will show a huge mental divide between people born in the early to mid-80s and those born in the late 80s and 90s) are a big part of that problem. I think a lot of the blame should be placed on our parents too. So many of my friends had their parents tell them they were special when they were, just more of the “short-bus” type special than the type their parents were telling them. There are a lot of people who were pushed into college (nothing wrong with getting an education) when they would have been better off not going and working instead. When they graduate, they then have the sense that they’re too good for the jobs they are probably qualified for, and if they take them, they feel they deserve more than they’re worth. Like I said, I blame their parents because a lot of them wouldn’t have ever gone to college had their parents not pushed them to it, and if they weren’t growing up getting participation trophies and being told they were a winner then they wouldn’t have that mentality.

(ir)Rational

January 23rd, 2012
9:24 am

Oh, Road Scholar, the hell freezing over part was me agreeing with you and Jm.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

January 23rd, 2012
9:25 am

If you want answers look to business leaders not the left wing propaganda machines like the New York Times.

Do not look behind the curtain. There is nothing to see there. Look over here. Of course we, your business leaders, would never lie to you. Everything is fine Dave.

Bruno

January 23rd, 2012
9:25 am

which leads one to ask: what kind of world do you want to live in? where you have to leave your family and live in a dorm to work 12 hours/ day, 6 days/week JUST to be employed???

Great point, USinUK. In isolation, these work conditions sound horrible, until you consider the alternative, which would be no job at all at $0 wages. The reason that 3000 people will jump at the chance to work for Apple in China is because it represents a vast improvement over their current situation. You want to cry over Chinese people working hard and yell loudly when someone suggests that poor kids here n the US be given an opportunity to work at their schools, but the reality is that you have no realistic alternative plan for them. It sounds to me that you’d be happy to see them starve to death instead as long as they did it with “dignity”.

Obviously, the only answer is universal, worldwide governance that gives a good crap about human rights, including workers’ rights.

You know, sfd, if you ever paired up a little brain power with all of that good compassion you seem to be overflowing with, you might get somewhere in life. In case you didn’t notice, an all-powerful state with central planning as its MO is what caused China to be at the bottom of the economic heap in the first place. It is only the limited free-market reforms of the past 20 years or so which has allowed them to prosper.

Jm

January 23rd, 2012
9:27 am

Let’s see newts Freddie contract…..

Adam

January 23rd, 2012
9:27 am

Regulations have nothing to do with it.

Well, I beg to differ. Regulations that say we have a minimum wage, a reasonable work-week, and other such laws are exactly why we will never have a city devoted to this kind of thing. Not to mention that unions are ALLOWED by federal law, and people can’t be retaliated against for forming or participating in one *gasp*

Republicans have one thing right – if we want a city full of people that will only do work for their whole lives, living there day in and day out and possibly never leaving, making less than $17 per day and deciding sometimes their only way out is to jump off the roof, then we need to repeal any union regulations, repeal minimum wage laws, and any laws associated with labor at all and let the “free market” decide for itself what to do with workers’ entire lives.

I mean, if that’s your goal….

Fast and Furious Spending

January 23rd, 2012
9:28 am

Jay,

You’d like it if the US economic situation would be as hapless as you say; perhaps a pass for your uber-liberal marxist sympathies there, invoking (like your idol Tom Friedman) how capitalism has really failed in the US and how we need to be all of us, flat-earthers?

Everyone else,

Looking here under the darkness of Jay Bookman’s analysis may be no better than following the drunk.

While we can say that the US maybe can not deliver 3000 workers by tomorrow, neither can the Chinese develop things that the world will buy. We do that. The Japanese do that. The Chinese build many of the lower tech things we decide we don’t want to do.

But hold on! What of companies–high-tech companies like Boeing Aircraft? Certainly no one could argue that the Obama administration isn’t hamstringing their efforts through, um—regulations, to prevent their developing more business in South Carolina, for example. No one can argue that Obama himself isn’t over-regulating the Canadian pipeline to death.

So maybe we do need to consider abating regulations, (someone tell Jay Bookman), before our economy and our workers are so sclerotic, incapable and stupid (like our liberal columnists) that we are really incapable of producing anything. Economic truth, which Bookman, Friedman, Krugman and the whole lot of these bums ignore everyday is that we CAN have a strong economy, as long as we encourage the development wherein we are economically strong.

Good luck on that happening with the immature petulant Marxist we now have occupying the White House. “Transforming” America the Obama-way means moving towards North Korea–a slave state, or towards Mexico–a kleptocracy. This is why his presidency is so weak, and this is why Jay’s previous post on this blog was also nonsense.

The worst of Newt Gingrich is better than the best of Obama.