This Idea That Overseas Manufacturing Jobs Will Be Returning To The USA = Pure Fantasy by Global Slant
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As we enter the final lap of the presidential race in the United States, as always, the two candidates will say just about anything to secure your vote. And of course the economy is a major topic of conversation. Loud calls for both higher wages and more jobs dominate the rhetoric.
Naturally, both Hillary C. [the ultimate political insider/scumbag] and Donny T. [the idiot billionaire aka “The Trump-Tanic”] claim they can easily solve both of these problems. I can only laugh at their certitude. They are both so wrong…and like true political animals…they probably know it.
But promises will get you elected in the U.S. even if you cannot follow through, and execute, on them. But just in case they are both as intellectually obtuse as they appear to be…they may want to consider the following.
Overseas Manufacturing Jobs
First of all the exodus of U.S. jobs to overseas domains is primarily focused in the manufacturing sector. The uncomfortable fact = overseas labor is much cheaper than in the U.S. How come? Because many of these jobs do NOT require a high degree of skill and formal education…not to suggest that these jobs are easy to perform. But these skills can be taught to overseas labor with minimal effort/capital versus the potential returns on investment.
And in the manufacturing economy the labor component = typically the highest cost segment. Unfortunately, for the American manufacturing worker, overseas laborers will perform their same job at a significantly lower wage. Plus, sorry to say, the quality of work is effectively equivalent…but not always.
Anyway…think about it. For an American company, in most cases, it is cheaper to construct a product overseas [i.e. Nike sneakers]…even after a company constructs/rents a manufacturing facility, “tools” the facility, pays labor costs [which in some cases include housing] and then transports the product back to the USA. Not only is the labor cheaper…but MASSIVELY cheaper.
As a friend of mine, with a dubious talent for salty/crude language, once told me years ago “…they are paying fetus’ chained to a sewing machine about $1.00 per/day. No way we can compete.” Again…sorry to say it…but he is correct [although likely more than $1 per/day with improved conditions in 2016].
So given these facts how will any of these jobs ever be repatriated. The ONLY answer = when the level of manufacturing wages in the U.S. = the cost of production in these emerging countries [labor + production + transportation back to the USA]. Sorry to say but IT AIN’T HAPPENING ANYTIME SOON…IF EVER.
So how do both of the U.S. candidates for president rationalize their arguments to bring back American job…that is…the day after one of these knuckleheads is elected…against this stark/bleak manufacturing reality?
Basically, Donny T. wants to tax overseas production at the U.S. border…which sounds good but is economic suicide as it is both inflationary and protectionist. He clearly did not receive the memo on economic globalization.
As for Hillary C. I am not aware of any strategy other than her sheer desire to increase manufacturing employment. But when these jobs do somehow magically return [which they won’t] she proposes an increase in wages which sounds good…but only makes the U.S. increasingly non-competitive with the rest of the world.
Clearly…both candidates policies are intellectually hollow and poorly designed…almost comical in their seriously flawed simplicity. Of course their ideas won’t work and, if anything, will weaken America’s global economic strength. Thanks for the effort…I think…but NO THANKS. Please…Just Go Kiss More Babies.
However what both of these flawed candidates do seem to understand =this painful exportation/disruption of non-essential [anything but defense] U.S. manufacturing creates a lot of economic hurt in the U.S. And this is brutally unfortunate for many of America’s hardest workers…but this trend is not going to change anytime soon.
Just because you live/work in the U.S. does NOT entitle you to an artificially inflated wage vis-a-vis the rest of the world. Plus…blaming the lower wage accepting overseas worker for America’s labor issues is frankly…a very stupid argument. The global economy, in the future, will only become more connected.
So politicians like Hillary C. and Donny T. can either continue to whine and complain about this manufacturing job exodus or try to focus on somehow preserving the dwindling number of current American manufacturing jobs [actually it many cases it is pure assembly of overseas manufactured parts but classified as manufacturing] or examine the benefits of overseas production.
The primary benefit of overseas production is that it drives down inflation…that is the price of many goods at the cash register. We all like that…Right?
The real question that is rarely asked = Is the average domestic consumer prepared to pay more for a product, of equivalent quality, if it is manufactured in the U.S. versus overseas. In many cases the answer is YES…but how much more money are we willing to pay?
Will the average consumer pay $300.00 for a pair of basic NIKE running shoes or $1000.00 for an iPhone because it is manufactured in the U.S.? I doubt it.
Basically, at these inflated prices American consumers are likely unwilling to subsidize American labor…no matter how many “Proudly Made In The USA” placards/tags are displayed. BTW…I hope these placards/tags are actually manufactured in Americ’er?
Another less direct benefit of overseas manufacturing = improved sovereign relations.
Like it or not part of this country’s job is to promote democracy and capitalism throughout the globe although many American tactics employed to support this assertion run counter to the U.S’s cornerstone ideals i.e. re-establishing a sliver of a relationship with Iran. And what better than a marginally improved economy to promote the altruistic message/vision?
Plus…democracy is still the best global political structure “going” even though it produces two lousy presidential candidates like Hillary C. and Donny T. Maybe this election cycle is just an aberration? I certainly hope so.
So…back to manufacturing employment. Has the U.S. permanently lost its edge in production techniques? The short answer = Absolutely Not. When necessary this country can produce whatever it wants…whenever it wants…better than any other country…and this is not even worthy of a brief debate. But for now…the U.S. does not wish to produce. It just does not make current economic sense. But perhaps in the future…or is the future right now?
You see many of those overseas manufacturing jobs, that were exported, will eventually be replaced by robots…as many already have…and so many more will be in the not so distant future. Sort of like The Jetson’s Saturday morning show from long ago. As a child it was an animated fantasy but in the year 2016 and forward it is a BIG REALITY with significant global economic impact…as in a lot less human labor required.
The companies driving these technologies…so many are logically American…and they are very talented at it too…and will only get better.
And have you noticed that it is already here…practically applied in many industries? You might want to take a look at your weekly garbage trucks. The trash bins are picked up and dumped utilizing robotic arms. No more 2-3 dudes hanging on to the truck’s rear handrails. Some still operate that way…like in Manhattan…but not for too much longer.
So robotics are coming and they are not just cost efficient [after the initial capital outlay] and tireless. They also don’t complain about long hours, call in sick or go on strike for higher wages and more benefits.
It is such an easy sell to global corporate CEO’s and bean counters beholden to their stakeholders. Humans are such a SHORT…that is with regard to manufacturing employment.
So maybe the collective U.S. strategy [I think it was intended but maybe it can simply be assigned to unintended capitalistic consequences] about manufacturing is not as flawed as both Hillary C. and Donny T. claim.
Perhaps they just don’t see it? Or maybe their pollster’s have told them that all this whining/complaining will lead to more incremental votes in a crucial voting demographic…resulting in a 4 year residency at the White House?
Because…really…for all their jawboning about issues that effect you and I…this election is simply about their personal/ultimate goal in becoming the most powerful person on this planet. Nothing more than that…their promises on the campaign trail will quickly be mentally shredded once the final November votes are tallied.