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"Those jobs aren't coming back," said Steve Jobs to the President, who asked what it would take...

"Those jobs aren't coming back," said Steve Jobs to the President, who asked what it would take to bring Apple's production to the U.S. It's not just low wages, Chinese manufacturing infrastructure has grown to remarkable size and sophistication. Apple's contribution to U.S. employment will be through its stores, its empowerment of entrepreneurs, and jobs at cellular providers and shippers, but not the actual building of its products.
Comments (156)
  • That's a bunch of bull ... Apple is only interested in dirt-cheap labor, no regulations and maximum profits! US manufacturing technology can easily exceed China's. The problem with made in USA is wages, taxes and regulations ... something we can fix!!!!
    22 Jan 2012, 09:46 AM Reply Like
  • "The problem with made in USA is wages, taxes and regulations ... something we can fix!!!!"


    Also not enough worker suicides. That would reduce the unemployment rate right there.
    22 Jan 2012, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • You forgot unions.
    22 Jan 2012, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • Really - Please see article in NYT Sunday Business section 1/22 and see if you still feel the same way.
    22 Jan 2012, 12:41 PM Reply Like
  • So fix it.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:15 PM Reply Like
  • The problem IS dirt-cheap labor, but the problem is not Apple's fault. The boom of capitalism depends on cheap labor. What is truly disgusting is the focus on the business-side of a human issue. Suicide rates for Chinese manufacturing workers is UNACCEPTABLE. And how does China respond to these reports? Double their pay.


    The world is a disgusting place.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:26 PM Reply Like
  • You contradict yourself Steve. if China's dirt cheap labor and no regulations are bull then why do you think they should be the way it is in America?
    22 Jan 2012, 01:33 PM Reply Like
  • GOP wants to pay workers same as China, no taxes on companies, 10% tax on wealthy, no environment protections.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:55 PM Reply Like
  • Here we go, right on cue with our very own Debbie Wasserman-Shultz mini-me.


    IF(and that's a big 'if) American corporate taxes were lowered from the current highest rate in the world at almost 30%, making us very uncompetitive, to a more sane rate of say 20 - 25%, you think that's a bad thing?


    Now, to give you a cookie, let's say we lowered it even more but attached a string to it, say lower the corporate rate to 15% for businesses that hired X% more workers and lower still to 10% for companies that hired even better targets at X+1%. This could all be easily done.


    Make up your mind. Do you want jobs here or not? If not, keep corporate rates where they are which is the highest in the world. Just don't complain then about there being no jobs.
    22 Jan 2012, 02:03 PM Reply Like
  • I was wondering where you were.
    22 Jan 2012, 02:46 PM Reply Like
  • Terry you really need to come up with some new - and perhaps even original - talking points and bumper sticker slogans.


    Please show us all some sources and references for your statements.
    22 Jan 2012, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • windsun
    Terry's source is the DNC. Same comments over and over---brainless.
    22 Jan 2012, 03:01 PM Reply Like
  • Wyatt -


    You may be correct up to a point but, given lower tax rates, US corporations might well choose to continue to offshore significant parts of their supply, distribution and even marketing chain of job creating activity outside the US (witness the Obama - Jobs dialogue set out above).


    The real focus of job expansion within the US must be on making more stages of the chain leading to the sale of goods and services efficient and effective, including diverting responsibility for the costs associated with employment where appropriate to others..


    One major impediment currently is the cost of so-called fringe benefits (i.e. health, retirement, educational and other employee based programs). While some might argue that these programs should be dramatically curtailed (i.e. shift the cost back to the individual worker), I suggest that their are great efficiencies of scale (not to mention a much better distribution of availability of benefits across the whole population and of the burden for paying for these benefits) if the Federal and State Governments designed and implemented replacement benefits programs for all legal residents in place of much of the employee based benefits programs.


    European and Canadian corporations currently enjoy significant cost of production advantages over their US counterparts because their cost of employee benefits are significantly lower while the residents of those countries generally enjoy better benefits at lower costs than US residents generally do.
    22 Jan 2012, 03:06 PM Reply Like
  • Isn't that redundant? Don't unions automatically mean uncompetitive wages?
    22 Jan 2012, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • The world is the same place it has been under the Soviet Experiment, the Great Society, and even that first 150 years of the US where there was no Socialist interests in politics. Politicians were largely outside of influencing the economy.


    That happens to also be the most prosperous period in American History.


    China's growth is much for the same environment. Little government intervention on daily operations.


    There's some myth that somehow an elected official, who is frequently indicted in scandals, fraud, and conflict of interests, is also the person who is going to mastermind a perfect society and a "balanced and fair" solution to everything.


    Hasn't happened in the last 5,000 years. Don't see how it's going to magically get "fixed" with some political election or a new set of regulations.


    But really, the world is a fantastic place. You just have to know there are dark spots to stay out of.
    22 Jan 2012, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • A Libertarian would posit that you should lower taxes to as close to zero as you can get. Being the lowest in the world would be just as effective.


    But that Libertarian would also posit that any environmental or humanitarian costs (eg: pollution) would have to be entirely paid for my the offending corporation in total with no exceptions. There would be no government "super fund cleanup" project. It would belong to the offenders. You have to protect the property of the individual and that's it. But the big fat government can't even do that. They make allowances for company induced damages.
    22 Jan 2012, 05:01 PM Reply Like
  • noob -


    I have no doubt that there are different strands to Libertarian thought but I have some doubt that any of them would hold that "any environmental or humanitarian costs (eg: pollution) would have to be entirely paid for" by "the offending corporation in total with no exceptions". One assumes that Libertarians would argue that we should be each on our own in a free market place and that, if a corporation chooses to exploit a 'free good' such as the environment aggressively, then so-be-it provided the corporation didn't act with criminal intent or malicious disregard for the health and safety of others.


    You may be implying that civil liability in tort would take the place of government interference and, consequently that corporations would be held accountable for "environmental or humanitarian costs" of their actions. I would argue, however, that if the courts set the standard of care much beyond compensation for criminal intent or malicious disregard, then most if not all Libertarians would hold that this judicial activism was an inappropriate intrusion by the State (after all, the courts are a state institution as much as are the executive or the legislature) contrary to Libertarian principles.


    I'm no Libertarian (although I'd be the first to freely acknowledge that Libertarians make a useful contribution to the ongoing debate about public policy generally). I don't advocate the sort of free-of-consequences for corporations and others that I describe in the earlier paragraphs in this comment of mine. However, I think it only serves to confuse discussions if we ascribe positions to a school of thought that are clearly at odds with the core beliefs of that school.
    22 Jan 2012, 05:54 PM Reply Like
  • "IF...American corporate taxes were lowered from the current highest rate in the world"


    Wyatt, you might want to check your facts before posting.


    From Forbes:
    "the average U.S. corporate income tax is just one percentage point below the median effective rate of their peers in the Organization For Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD."


    From Fox (We Don't Need to Cut Corporate Taxes, We Need to Raise Them)
    'In fact, given the existence of loopholes, off-shore banking and all kinds of accounting trickery, the real corporate tax rate in the United States is among the lowest in the industrial world, second only to Turkey."


    You might also benefit from reading another article from Forbes (The Top 10 Reasons Lying Will Corrode Your Self-Esteem):
    22 Jan 2012, 08:15 PM Reply Like
  • and here's an article stating that's untrue
    The problem with the majority of your examples is that the companies such as carnival that are "evading" taxes actually are generating quite a bit of income in other countries, but your sources don't differential between offshore profits and those made in the US.
    22 Jan 2012, 09:03 PM Reply Like
  • And the even shadier parts to search for.
    22 Jan 2012, 09:14 PM Reply Like
  • kcr357, but do you have a less biased source that says this? That one's from a GM lobbying group.


    How about we go straight to the OECD where all these articles and reports say they're getting their data. Here's the link:


    Turns out the Excel workbook for Corporate tax actually does NOT give the corporate tax rates. Instead, it gives the top marginal rate -- an entirely different beast. So I went to the next most likely Excel workbook, the tax rates for small corporations.


    Here we see that the U.S. adjusted tax rate (i.e., counting the deduction for local taxes that all businesses, even mine, will certainly claim) is 14.1%. This is 3.1 percentage points below the median (=17.2) of all OECD nations for which this data is available and 2 percentage points below the average (=16).


    The statutory rate (prior to that deduction that every business takes) is 15%, equal to the median and a bit below the average of 15.8%.


    All data quoted are for 2011.


    Even though marginal rate is not at all the same as one's tax rate, let's look at it, too. The top marginal rate is 32.7 adjusted and 35 statutory. Remember, this is NOT the rate that any corporation is even supposed to pay. It's only the rate for the last dollars earned by the companies with the highest total profits. Even this top marginal rate, however, while above the median and average, is lower than the top marginal rates in Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Spain. Again, this is for the 2011 worksheet.
    22 Jan 2012, 09:39 PM Reply Like
  • Fully agree with Steve, problem is Apple is only one case, there are thousand's others who followed this trail of blood and profit maximisation, and of course giving up on the well being of there own folks. Worked in the USA in the 80's and saw the textile exodus, never believing that globalisation would move ahead so fast.
    22 Jan 2012, 11:39 PM Reply Like
  • "According to a study by the Tax Foundation, America’s combined federal and state rate of 39.2 percent is only out paced by Japan’s rate of 39.5 percent – which Japan plans to lower next month. Without Japan in the lead, America’s 39.2 percent will render it the corporate tax rate leader in the developed world, aka the countries comprising the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).


    In recent years, many OECD nations have been lowering their corporate income tax to create more favorable environments for business. The Tax Foundation notes that since 2000 Germany, Canada, Greece, Turkey, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Iceland, and Ireland have all lowered their corporate tax rates by double-digits.


    Read more:"

    23 Jan 2012, 01:05 AM Reply Like
  • "According to a study by the Tax Foundation"


    The Tax Foundation is a GM lobbying group. It's not a reliable information source.


    I've posted the actual OECD numbers, direct from the OECD itself, which are much lower. The U.S. is actually below both the median and the average tax rate of the nations that the OECD monitors. I've also provide the link to the data so that anyone can verify these numbers -- including you.


    They number the Tax Foundation is waving around is not tax rate at all, it's the top marginal rate, which is a completely different animal. Even that, however is by no means the highest top marginal rate of the OECD countries.


    Wyatt, I'm curious, Why do you keep repeating something that's been so clearly demonstrated to be untrue?
    23 Jan 2012, 10:52 AM Reply Like
  • From your own source: "In fact, given the existence of loopholes, off-shore banking and all kinds of accounting trickery, the real corporate tax rate in the United States is among the lowest in the industrial world, second only to Turkey."


    And this will continue until the official corporate tax rate, currently the United States is the highest, is dethroned to a much more reasonable level.


    Question, liberal.


    Do you want multinationals moving their HQs overseas? Do you want more hiring? Do you want corporations reinvesting for more growth? You see, even if 40% is the highest top marginal rate, what you're in essence saying is that corporations shouldn't try to get there. You're creating a disincentive to remain in the United States and keep growth here and keep it capped well below such confiscatory levels of damn near 40%.


    You're also creating imbalances by companies retained earnings remaining offshore permanently, not available for reinvestment, growth or jobs.


    Why do you keep repeating something that's been so clearly demonstrated to be untrue?
    23 Jan 2012, 11:54 AM Reply Like
  • Wyatt, you totally lost me here:


    ""In fact, given the existence of loopholes, off-shore banking and all kinds of accounting trickery, the real corporate tax rate in the United States is among the lowest in the industrial world, second only to Turkey."


    "And this will continue until the official corporate tax rate, currently the United States is the highest, is dethroned to a much more reasonable level. "


    You're not making any sense with your assertion. SDNS has given evidence that US corporate taxes are amongst the lowest in the world, and yet you keep complaining that they're too high, that they need to be lower for competitive reasons, despite the evidence that cites lack of competitive pressures.
    23 Jan 2012, 12:06 PM Reply Like
  • Its pretty damn simple to understand. The highest marginal rate, all in, both state and national comes to a staggering 40%(roughly) for corporations. I don't blame them for keeping most of their profits overseas. Why would they repatriate? There's also a ton of global growth.


    If America is serious about jobs and growth here, the first thing DC's 535 morons just might want to check out is lowering the corporate tax rate to encourage more reinvestment here back at home. Instead, we are very globally uncompetitive.


    BTW, there's no such thing as 'a loophole' if its legal. That's meaningless Huffpo-speak for leftwing agitprop.


    Don't drink SDNS's kool aid. You're smarter than that(I thought).
    23 Jan 2012, 12:43 PM Reply Like
  • You're still contradicting yourself. On the one hand, you readily acknowledge that SDNS's point about low corporate taxes is valid. On the other hand, you continually advocate lower corporate taxes because you believe them to be too high.


    "BTW, there's no such thing as 'a loophole' if its legal. That's meaningless Huffpo-speak for leftwing agitprop."


    Statements like this mean that you readily acknowledge that corporate taxes in America are very low. I care less about how the taxes are low, I only care about whether or not they are low.


    It's not the argument I take issue with, it's the contradiction you demonstrate by embracing two diametrically opposed positions. If you think taxes are too high, then you should be refuting SDNS's point about tax loopholes, not embracing them. If you think taxes are low and should be lower, then perhaps you need to restate your argument to make it clear why this should be the case, since competitive pressures are no longer a compelling reason to advocate such a position.
    23 Jan 2012, 12:59 PM Reply Like
  • Just to clarify, I wasn't even taking anything I'd consider a loophole into account. The one differentiator OECD applies is to look at tax rates before and after applying a deduction for local taxes. That's a standard deduction that every U.S. business takes, so that's the right one to look at. Since it puts the U.S. at the lowest relative point wrt other nations (below both the median and the average), I decided to preemptively describe all the less valid ways one could also use the OECD data. Even by these less valid measures, the U.S. is never at the highest corporate tax rate (as Wyatt claimed).
    23 Jan 2012, 01:55 PM Reply Like
  • Apparently this is a bit too difficult for you. Not sure if going slower will help, but let's follow the yellow bouncing ball, k?


    "You're still contradicting yourself. On the one hand, you readily acknowledge that SDNS's point about low corporate taxes is valid."


    No. Depends on the size and earnings of the company on strictly US business and if they hit the upper end incurring the highest marginal rate.


    "On the other hand, you continually advocate lower corporate taxes because you believe them to be too high."


    Yes, rates are ultimately too high since they encourage investment elsewhere outside the United States.


    "Statements like this mean that you readily acknowledge that corporate taxes in America are very low."


    No. Tax rates are high. Thus, reinvestment is low. Growth in the United States is low and will remain low. Employment will suffer. Lower the rates.


    "It's not the argument I take issue with, it's the contradiction you..."


    LOL. Yeah, I think we're done here.
    23 Jan 2012, 03:09 PM Reply Like
  • "Even by these less valid measures, the U.S. is never at the highest corporate tax rate (as Wyatt claimed). "


    Wrong. Rates are the highest even if blended taxes are not. You're confused little girl.
    23 Jan 2012, 03:12 PM Reply Like
  • "Rates are the highest"


    Not according to the OECD's data.


    btw, "litte girl" is not an insult. "Little man", otoh....
    23 Jan 2012, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • Wrong. Rates are the highest. Japan lowered theirs last year.

    23 Jan 2012, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • "Japan lowered theirs last year."


    That doesn't change the fact that rates for the U.S. are below the median and also below the average of its peers. Based directly on the raw OECD data itself. You have only a lobbyist's say-so whereas I gave you the actual OECD data.
    23 Jan 2012, 04:00 PM Reply Like
  • All right. You guys are both presenting data that supports and opposes your own viewpoints.


    SDNS's OECD data actually corroborates Wyatt's viewpoints that the corporate tax rate in the US is the highest in the world. Even the small business taxes are nowhere near the lowest amongst OECD nations.


    What the Forbes editorials allude to is that despite these high "official" rates, what corporations actually pay in income tax, if considered as the "de facto income tax rate" would place it lower than most other countries' "official rates". IMHO this is rather misleading, as Forbes doesn't seem to take into consideration that loopholes and etc in other countries may also lower the "de facto income tax rates" in other nations besides the US.


    I'm no expert in the subject, but from what I glean from the data presented here, I have to conclude that corporate income taxes in the US are the highest in the world.


    "Not sure if going slower will help, but let's follow the yellow bouncing ball, k?"


    No, speed is not the issue. The issue is clarity, and the portion of your statement that I quoted in my original comment led me to believe that you considered US corporate income taxes to be low. I found this to be completely contradictory to all of your preceding and following statements, so I wanted to ascertain what you actually thought. Had you been consistent, clear, and concise throughout, there would not have been a problem.
    23 Jan 2012, 11:07 PM Reply Like
  • You are confusing rates and effective rates. The US does in fact now have the highest rate in the world. However, some "influential" industries have more and better tax deductions and writeoffs than others, so only a few (usually small to midsize businesses) actually pay the higher rates.
    24 Jan 2012, 12:22 AM Reply Like
  • According to this article, the US has the 6th highest "effective" tax rate
    24 Jan 2012, 12:25 AM Reply Like
  • " The US does in fact now have the highest rate in the world."


    Not according to the OECD data!
    24 Jan 2012, 02:01 AM Reply Like
  • "SDNS's OECD data actually corroborates Wyatt's viewpoints that the corporate tax rate in the US is the highest in the world."


    This is completely untrue. I listed multiple ways you might choose to spin the data and in every single one of them the U.S. was NEVER the highest rate. Other nations have a higher statutory rate. Other nations have a higher adjusted rate. And other nations also have a higher top marginal rate. if you disagree with any one of these, tell me which page of which OECD workbook you're looking at.
    24 Jan 2012, 02:06 AM Reply Like
  • "In 2011, national statutory corporate tax rates among the thirty-four members of the OECD will range from 8.5 percent in Switzerland to 35 percent in the United States. When sub-national taxes are added, the United States has the second-highest statutory combined corporate tax rate – 39.2 percent – after Japan’s rate of 39.5 percent."


    Late last year Japan reduced it's tax rate, the US is now the highest.
    24 Jan 2012, 02:08 AM Reply Like
  • "According to this article, the US has the 6th highest "effective" tax rate"


    I'll take the actual OECD data over an article in Bloomberg reporting hearsay from a representative of a special interest group. However, both do say that the U.S. is far from having the highest business tax rates.
    24 Jan 2012, 02:11 AM Reply Like
  • And just to clarify, no I am not confusing statutory and effective rates. The OECD workbooks I pointed you to only have statutory data. The numbers I gave you, with the U.S. rate for smaller corporations at 14.1% (below both the median and average rates of peers) are statutory rates. They are not effective rates, which would of course be lower. For heavens sake, look at the data yourselves. It's not like it's so hard to do that.
    24 Jan 2012, 02:32 AM Reply Like
  • "I listed multiple ways you might choose to spin the data and in every single one of them the U.S. was NEVER the highest rate. Other nations have a higher statutory rate. Other nations have a higher adjusted rate. And other nations also have a higher top marginal rate."


    Without any spin, looking at the top marginal rate (which would apply to all of the S&P 500 if I'm not mistaken), and accounting for "sub-central" government taxes, the US has an "adjusted" tax rate of 32.7%, below only Belgium and France.


    If I understand Wyatt's argument correctly, he is advocating tax reform by lowering the "official" rate and perhaps eliminating the loopholes. The lower rate would discourage the use of offshore havens and the practice of investing US capital abroad. This makes a lot of sense to me, especially given how high the official rate is compared to other OECD countries.
    24 Jan 2012, 02:37 AM Reply Like
  • "When sub-national taxes are added"


    This is the key clause Windsun. The U.S. rate (i.e., the federal rate) is not high at all. That's why they had to come up with something different to make a fuss about -- state and local taxes. What do you think "sub-national" means anyhow? Talk to your Governor and your Mayor about that, not your Congress critter.
    24 Jan 2012, 02:37 AM Reply Like
  • Right. Fact is Steve Jobs was a take no prisoners tyrant. He got what he wanted, no matter what. Like a liver transplant, despite having pancreatic cancer. I highly doubt he gave a crap about those million or so Foxconn slaves. For all you Apple trekkies, I hope you're enjoying your magical "Isomething" experience.
    22 Jan 2012, 09:54 AM Reply Like
  • Would be interesting to understand how you were able to type in your comment without the use of an electronic product which was made in the East.
    22 Jan 2012, 10:45 AM Reply Like
  • Check the tags on his shirts as well.
    22 Jan 2012, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • If you own AAPL you're part of the problem. Don't buy the "I" series of products and Apple will move back to USA. INTC still here. IBM still here. Why no AAPL?
    22 Jan 2012, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • Dude, buy a DELL.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • "INTC still here."


    Almost all of INTC's business, as well as their new factories, are built in Asia. Craig Bennett and Andy Grove have both been very public about the near irrelevance of the US in its business model.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • J457
    Dude, there IS NO PROBLEM..................
    22 Jan 2012, 02:47 PM Reply Like
  • J 457 - you need to do some research.


    IBM sold its PC business to China's Lenovo. In addition, IBM 's offshore strategy is a case study for outsourcing. Indeed they are the ones who advice American companies how to outsource and provide offshore resources.


    Dell "assembles" its computers closest to its customers. So yes they have factories in China, Malaysia and India. As to where the actual components inside a Dell as sourced from.... yep
    22 Jan 2012, 02:49 PM Reply Like
  • Count me as part of the "problem." I buy Apple products and own stock in the company.
    Apple's business model has made them one of the top two most profitable companies in the world.
    They aren't about to change because of some misguided "buy American" movement.
    They are an American company that found a way to compete and dominate globally.
    We should be celebrating them, not vilifying them.
    22 Jan 2012, 02:51 PM Reply Like
  • Consider yourself counted...


    Apple must be great because they are profitable is your logic? There is a greater real cost to the profitability that you are choosing not to see, do a little research


    Misguided "buy American" movement, you really are disconnected from the problems this nation is facing and how we got to this point.


    Will you continue to let your portfolio drive your rationalization of reality?


    22 Jan 2012, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • Apple's greatness comes from innovation and knowing that their products are one-of-a-kind. Their profitability is a direct result of this.
    I have done my research into Apple and this is why I own the stock and buy their products.
    I am not disconnected at all, my point is that Apple is an American company.
    To illustrate my connectedness, Ingersol Rand, a major employer in my area, has shifted work to other parts of the world over the years. Eastman Kodak just declared bankruptcy. They too are/were in my area. Buffalo, NY is a shell of what it was when I was a child. The problems in WNY are not out of line with the problems the rest of the nation is facing, in my opinion.
    Don't assume that because I support Apple that I am out of touch with the problems facing our country.
    My portfolio will include companies that I believe in. Apple is one of them.
    22 Jan 2012, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • I made the assumption based on what you wrote...


    If you have done your research on Apple then you condone:


    This is not innovation... This is what those that rule have been doing to the ruled since time began, the only innovation is the supply chain that lets you sleep soundly at night because you can play angry birds and don't have to ponder the real human suffering behind the curtain.


    Let your conscience be your guide...
    22 Jan 2012, 06:46 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks for your comment. You have given something to ponder.
    Have a good evening.
    22 Jan 2012, 06:50 PM Reply Like
  • Microsoft, HP, Dell, and IBM, among others, have products made at Foxconn. I was led to believe that only Apple did this.
    I appreciate the link.
    22 Jan 2012, 07:25 PM Reply Like
  • 1) Foxconn is just a moniker we have given to the overall factory conditions in China and other developing nations.


    2) Their labor conditions are reminiscent of what America went through at the turn of the 20th century, with worker abuse and etc.


    3) Regardless of how abhorable these conditions may be, we have to realize it's a step up from rural poverty, even if the stress level is much higher.
    22 Jan 2012, 07:58 PM Reply Like
  • I thought Foxconn was the Foxconn Technology Group. I apologize for my error.
    Thank you for your comment/correction.
    22 Jan 2012, 08:08 PM Reply Like
  • Richard, I agree with points one and two but on point three you are way off.


    The majority of the world still operates in "Rural poverty" , that being said what would you know about rural poverty and what qualifies you to say working in these conditions are a "Step up"?


    All progress is not equal...


    22 Jan 2012, 09:15 PM Reply Like
  • "The majority of the world still operates in "Rural poverty" , that being said what would you know about rural poverty and what qualifies you to say working in these conditions are a "Step up"? "


    Before I answer, I would like to ask you what qualifies you to make that same assessment? You seem to be of the opinion that rural life is preferable short and long term to current factory conditions in China.
    22 Jan 2012, 09:21 PM Reply Like
  • Both are one in the same...
    22 Jan 2012, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • Instead of waiting for an answer from you, let me just say that industrialization generally brings a much higher level of production per capita than rural labor. If you don't believe this to be a step up, then I would be afraid to ask what would be for you.
    22 Jan 2012, 11:42 PM Reply Like
  • You think in terms of " higher level of production" and equate that to a Step up?
    Produce more = Better
    You are confusing what is good for your portfolio versus what is good for the human condition.


    I have spent a lot of time working in the third world and have marveled at the simple happiness the majority of the rural agrarians have (that I have met).


    Its not about rural life versus short and long term conditions. It is about balance and constant improvement. To frame the discussion a little more clearly I believe rural life would be preferable in the short or long term compared to the deplorable conditions at FOXCONN.


    23 Jan 2012, 06:23 PM Reply Like
  • I never said anything about happiness...I was discussing rural poverty specifically. If you find happiness in poverty, then you're certainly free to find it in such conditions. Regardless, industrialization is a step up in that it alleviates poverty on a grand scale.


    No one has figured out the magic potion to make everyone happy. It's not consistent in agrarian life, nor industrial life, nor even the life of the ridiculously wealthy. I'll leave it at that.
    23 Jan 2012, 09:56 PM Reply Like
  • Steve must have been a Springsteen fan.
    22 Jan 2012, 10:05 AM Reply Like
  • Their size and sophistication is built upon virtual slave labor, rampant pollution, manipulated currency and a centrally planned economy where the companies are massively aided by the government in all facets (if they aren't the government itself).
    22 Jan 2012, 10:09 AM Reply Like
  • "Their size and sophistication is built upon virtual slave labor"


    You do know that their wages are able to afford them a better lifestyle, that we also call our own pay levels "slave wages" and that their wages are continually rising? Just think about that the next time you sip on your SBUX latte.


    "rampant pollution"


    That is because we have exported our pollution to China.


    "the companies are massively aided by the government"


    "It doesn't matter whether a cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice." - Deng Xiaoping
    22 Jan 2012, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • Look Richard, I know what people think about our "slave wages", but slavery isn't just about wages. "Dormitories" where all of the factory workers work. 12+ hours, all at virtual gunpoint. What our workers would consider "slavery" is nothing but when compared to the average Chinese worker.


    We don't export jack to China, China chooses to not control their industries so that they can cut every cost possible.


    Yeah, Ok, I guess them having a huge portion of their manufacturers controlled by the military is the EXACT same thing.


    What's sad is that China is held up as a reason for doing business by lolertopians.
    22 Jan 2012, 06:15 PM Reply Like
  • ""Dormitories" where all of the factory workers work. 12+ hours, all at virtual gunpoint."


    Gunpoint? LOL, please continue with your hyperbole, it's quite entertaining. Can you cite this? Are you saying they're not allowed to leave? Are you saying that they were captured and enslaved, and that they didn't sign a contract for employment?


    Are you saying that the right given to any American employer **to fire anyone in America without reason**, essentially denying workers their means to sustain a livelihood, is somehow any different? (look up "at-will employment")


    Are you saying that it would be more efficient to have these workers live wherever they choose, because that makes them so much easier to mobilize?


    What I see is militarized industrialization - their living conditions parallel what we do to our troops, especially in the army and marine corps. I've always believed that the military is the prototype for corporate behavior...China is exemplifying this belief. Our military takes care of our troops, similar to how these Chinese employers are taking care of their workers. We put our soldiers in extremely stressful situations...after reading this article, one can easily see many parallels in how these workers are treated. Suicide rates in the army and marine corps are also higher than civilian norms. You may not like the limits to freedom, but from what I've read and studied, these workers are a lot more appreciative of their employer than either you or me. They always have the choice to go back home into rural poverty. Instead they choose to tough it out.


    Would you rather they get all the benefits that our workers get? Because, obviously we can afford to do so, and obviously it's working swimmingly for us. We obviously have no debt problems or any sort of issues with socialized welfare. Oh, and BTW, China WAS socialist pre-WTO...didn't work. We bitched at them back then for being too we are bitching at them for being too capitalist.
    22 Jan 2012, 06:34 PM Reply Like
  • Steve understood the needs of his shareholders. His decisions in terms of foreign labor were neither unique to Apple nor should consumers (really) care where they are made. At some point, quality should trump the geographic coordinants of the factory.


    The real issue is for corporations to figure out how to strategically align the interests of the consumer, investor and worker. Very rarely are all three in the same room at the same time. But often, without the investor's interest being met first, the other two may not exist. For this reason, there's China and the exportation of labor.


    We can't have it both ways, nor three ways for that matter...
    22 Jan 2012, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • "Steve understood the needs of his shareholders".....


    Yes, but he also understood that greed can make you richer. He didn't give a crap about nobody but himself. He wanted more wealth.....


    Just like a drug dealer...he knows a lot of people are affected by drugs, but doesn't give a crap as long as he makes money.
    22 Jan 2012, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • Steve Jobs was worth about $7 billion at his death. Nearly all of that wealth came from his ownership in Next and Pixar. The Next investment was converted to Apple stock and was later added to via stock options. His Pixar investment was converted into Disney stock making he and his estate the single largest Disney shareholder. He sold all of his original Apple stock when he left the company in the 1980's. You might also remember he took no salary from Apple after returning. To refer to him as only interested in his wealth could not be farther from the truth.
    22 Jan 2012, 02:48 PM Reply Like
  • anonymous#12 -


    "Yes, but he also understood that greed can make you richer."


    He may have understood greed, but we can only speculate that his "greed" was solely monetary. This is the same guy who wanted to fly a shuttle with NASA. His drive transcended that of the conventional CEO who (by the way) might also be considered greedy.


    Say what you want about Jobs, but he changed the world - because of his perceived "greed" and therefore his methods worked.
    22 Jan 2012, 03:02 PM Reply Like
  • The question is did he change the world for the better?


    Are we inherently better people because of Steve Jobs?


    What exactly did Steve Jobs do, was he known for his charitable, works, did he ease human sufffering in any way...


    Does the Ipod really qualify for improving the human condition in any way and if it does would the suffering and damage caused by Foxconn offset those perceived gains?
    22 Jan 2012, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • While I do love my mac, I have to agree with you. I admire Buffet and Gates much more for their generosity and giving to humanity. What I've read about Jobs is not flattering and I would not have wanted to be around him in person.
    22 Jan 2012, 04:08 PM Reply Like
  • JohnLocke -


    My quote was precisely that, he changed the world. As far as whether or not it was for the better is subject for debate. But to your point, I guess the more appropriate and fair answer is, his existence did not hurt humanity in any of the ways changed by his success or that of Apple's.


    Was he perfect, unquestionably no! But neither was J.P. Morgan or Andrew Carnegie or any other world changing figures of the past. I'm of the opinion that his contributions was for the better, and my opinion is the only one that I care to count.
    22 Jan 2012, 04:23 PM Reply Like
  • Do not think for one second that Buffett is without his flaws.
    22 Jan 2012, 05:23 PM Reply Like
  • oh I agree ... none of us are without our flaws. All I said is, I admire his generosity. And I stand by that statement. I'm not sure I would have given away the billions he has, and his children seem ok with it, and pretty down to earth, smart and humane, as well. Gotta admire that in someone who is super rich and not misusing the power that gives them. Money can corrupt quite easily, and when you find someone who withstands that, well .... I just admire it. OK?
    22 Jan 2012, 05:27 PM Reply Like
  • Cameron, If your opinion is that he made the world better, back it up.


    Opinions are like... well you know, so the only thing we can try to do is influence the world in a positive direction with facts.


    Let your conscience be your guide
    22 Jan 2012, 09:27 PM Reply Like
  • I can certainly tell you from a personal level that Apple has made my life better, more enjoyable, more entertaining, more productive, etc.


    Can we live without technology? Yes, but why would we want to.
    23 Jan 2012, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • It's the truth though - those jobs aren't coming back.


    Simply look at a chart for manufacturing jobs for developed countries. All have the same trend. Eerily similar to agricultural jobs in the 20th century.
    22 Jan 2012, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • This isn't about how "Chinese manufacturing infrastructure has grown to remarkable size and sophistication".


    It is about how the American government has effectively outlawed manufacturing through stupid law and regulation after stupid law and regulation.


    I hope all the unions are happy.
    22 Jan 2012, 10:31 AM Reply Like
  • Spot on wyostocks.


    If Apple moved manufacturing back to the US there would be unions lining up at the door to ramp janitor salaries up to $25 per hour with 4 weeks vacation after a year while local politicians seek to grease their palms with kickbacks in order to get the factory.


    The US put itself in this position by creating an anti-business environment in manufacturing and elsewhere over the last 30 years.
    22 Jan 2012, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • What is missing in this country is an understanding of the fact that there is an abundance of cheap labor globally vying for a limited number of labor intensive jobs. In earlier times the situation was exactly opposite, and abundance of labor intensive jobs available to a limited labor force. Labor is cheap because it is in abundance.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:00 PM Reply Like
  • No doubt, the unions and special interests have a stronghold which have stifled USA growth. And whoever you vote for (Obama or Romney or Gingrich) will have the same business as usual motto.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:33 PM Reply Like
  • Capital is very mobile and it has a long history of moving to where it is needed and to where it can generate the highest return. This is a fundamental rule of capitalism.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:54 PM Reply Like
  • These comments are typical of the stupidity that accompanies this debate about global supply chains


    The fact is that for every IPad sold in the US more than half the value is captured in the US.


    ALL the HIGH PAID software PROGRAMMING, design and marketing jobs are based in the US. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM


    ALL the retail and distribution jobs are based in the US. GO TO THE MALL TO VERIFY THIS.




    IPad is assembled in China from parts created in Taiwan etc. The assmbly jobs are the LOWEST PAID because they are the LOWEST SKILLED and LOWEST VALUE ADDED. Not only are these not coming back the US you don't want them back.In China for someone whose other choice is to shovel manure this is a pretty good gig - but even in China with wage rates rising the days are numbered and these jobs are going to move - perhaps to Indonesia or Vietnam


    THe parts are all made where they can be sourced at the LOWEST cost and BEST quality. This is axiomatic


    If you decide that all of this is terrible and an abomination and for political reasons decide to outlaw ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY


    what you do is you put all those highly paid programmers and designers and marketing types iN the us on the unemployment.


    You ALSO eliminate the retail and distribution jobs and you slash the profits and value of a very large US company.


    And you provide an oportunity to a Korean or yet to be born Chinese company to create the nifty stuff that people want and pretty soon you are buying their stuff and all the software and programmers etc. have to go to Seoul or Shanghai and pretty soon after that you wil get your wish all those LOW PAID, LOW SKILL, LOW VALUE ADDED jobs will start to flood back the US. And your kids can spend 8 hours a day inserting a component into a machine they cannot afford to buy.


    Outsourcing creates jobs. In the US and outside
    Outsourcing creates value. Most of which accrues to the outsourcing entity.


    Get these facts through your thick skulls.


    22 Jan 2012, 10:33 AM Reply Like
  • Econ:


    Our propaganda-mill schools have half the country believing that a Soviet-style economy, where one works all day for an extra potato, is the way to go.
    22 Jan 2012, 11:17 AM Reply Like
  • I was going to peck out a few words aligned with what Econdoc has scripted. He has saved me the time. I can simply endorse his thoughts and hit the Like button on his note.
    22 Jan 2012, 11:40 AM Reply Like
  • There seem to be two kinds of working age people in the US these days. One kind goes to their job. The other kind waits for a job to come to them.


    I submit that part of the trend we are seeing is that workers in places like China have far, far more opportunities to join the first type of behavior. Meanwhile, the MSM explosion had had the unforeseen consequence of leaving a large number of Americans ensconced upon their couches waiting for the live feeds.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:25 PM Reply Like
  • "The fact is that for every IPad sold in the US more than half the value is captured in the US."


    So force AAPL to bring this money back home, or pay it to shareholders. If AAPL is sitting on hundreds of billions, why isn't more of it being placed into the USA economy, either thru expanded R&D or distribution to the shareholders? This is one area where I can appreciate the govt stepping in to force the funds back into the USA.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:36 PM Reply Like
  • I have a two word answer to your question, double taxation.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:54 PM Reply Like
  • "So force Apple...."


    So communistic.
    22 Jan 2012, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • There is somehow this idea that if the US has more drudge mindless assembly line jobs, it will fix everything.


    The problem is not China, it is the US. Deteriorating infrastructure, more and more regulations, highest corporate tax rates in the world,, and one of the poorest attitudes towards education in the developed world.


    Our current education system assumes that the only path is a college degree (no matter how useless), and if you don't take that path you are deemed a failure. Yet there are hundreds of thousands of jobs going unfilled for electricians and other non-degree manufacturing skills.
    22 Jan 2012, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • Right on!


    Except there are ~400,000 apps in the iStore and with a supply that large, the prices are low, there's really no margin to be made as a programmer, and programming has mostly been outsourced to India and China anyway. Retail is again, going online mostly. Distribution is a guy in a truck and some postal workers, hardly highly paid. Marketing... The growth markets are Asia, not the US so that's where the marketers are needed, and it's all about local knowledge of local cultures.


    But I'm an investor not an Apple employee. Like them I won't be investing in the US, or in US companies, for the same reason. America and Americans are just too expensive. They've handed their crown jewels over to Asia so the future will be from Chinese, Korean, Singaporean companies. For example, Samsung.


    What Americans are still really good at though, is debt. Spend, spend, spend!
    22 Jan 2012, 04:19 PM Reply Like
  • Manufacturing jobs won't be coming back while the current labor dyamics exist. However, if you extrapolate the annual rate of wage increases among manufacturing jobs in China, Apple won't be manufacturing in China 20 years from now. Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia may be experiencing a similar emergence in tech manufacturing that China did 15 to 20 years ago, but just like China, the long-term impact of industrialization will bring about wage reforms in these countries eventually, too. So about 45 years from now, around 2055, US labor could once again have a level playing field in the world tech manufacturing landscape.
    22 Jan 2012, 10:36 AM Reply Like
  • Um. China has a population of 1,338 million people.
    Vietnam 87 million
    Thailand 70 million
    Maylasia 28 million
    22 Jan 2012, 04:27 PM Reply Like
  • Major Pharma jobs also going to "emerging markets" Eg Merck planned layoffs in USA will be offset by hiring in China, India, Thailand,
    Eastern Europe and Mexico.
    22 Jan 2012, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • The reality has changed. America needs to wake up and do something about it. Study Germany and Japan and see how they have managed to remain leaders in manufacturing while maintaining good standards of living.


    This Bloomberg series on America's Dirty War on Manufacturing attempts to find some answers
    22 Jan 2012, 10:51 AM Reply Like
  • This argument like most others concerning social equality in the US is behind the curve: manufacturing is already coming back to the US in certain areas where labor quality makes a huge difference, such as higher end, tech-intensive manufacturing for energy and automotive.


    In addition, you have soaring labor costs in China combined with a falling dollar and rising energy hence transport costs. All of these together indicate that the US can and should bring back certain high-end manufacturing jobs.


    The real question is not whether those jobs exist but whether we can finally have an intelligent, pro-growth energy policy that doesn't stigmatize fossil fuel E&P. That will have to wait until after November, unfortunately.
    22 Jan 2012, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • The big missing piece of this debate is; What was the Presidents reply?
    22 Jan 2012, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • "What was the Presidents reply?"...


    Probably something along this line: "You DO know I'm running for re-election....right?"
    22 Jan 2012, 12:09 PM Reply Like
  • The article fails to mention a quote of Steve Jobs from the same source wherein he conveys to our political leaders that America lacks manufacturing engineers and skilled workers because it fails to train young people in the necessary disciplines.


    The high school I went to in LA trained thousands for manufacturing jobs 1910-1960. By 1965 engineering courses were absent and vocational training was only about hot rods and goof offs.


    At least America retains most of the software development, creative core and retail resources for Apple. Hopefully the educational resources that trained the employees fulfilling these tasks will also be retained.


    As for slave labor check out the wage slaves abounding in all economies. A difference in scale between foreign and domestic
    employers is all that separates "us" from "them"........ wages are rising in India and China.
    22 Jan 2012, 11:38 AM Reply Like
  • Steve Jobs didn't make sense, did he?


    Count the total dollar and human cost of unemployment here in the US over the past several years inclduing unemployment insurance, extensions, loss of payroll taxes, productivity, amounting to the order of hundreds of $B.
    22 Jan 2012, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • Indeed. These are direct subsidies of outsourced labor.


    But I can't blame the companies.


    You would be surprised how much regulation a small business like mine has to put up with as our compliance costs are enormous and are a tax which I pass on to the consumer.


    In the american(lowercase) workplace today the verbal police is straight out of Orwell. In this disgustingly legislated world of penny ante insult and paternalism, every worker becomes a threat to the business owner. Words. Yes, words. They are now legislated whereby one employee, one single employee, can sue you for everything you have.


    And my managers and supervisors can now be directly sued as well as targets in a civil court for telling a dirty joke since it is against EEOC policy which was entirely created after the 1964 CRA to assault personal private property.


    In my office I can say anything I want, but the moment I cross my office threshold, I put myself at risk everyday, for it is now demarcated as a hidden thought zone similar in every way to the Korean DMZ.


    You can thank a democrat for that. Go ahead. They've done their level best in discouraging free enterprise in every level of employment. Risk is now too great to try for most.


    My employee breakrooms are littered with mandatory posters which have become wallpaper at this point giving each of my employees the names of agencies and phone numbers of who to call to sue me out of existence. And the list of regulations is incessant, endless and ever growing. And my employees know them as well and use them as leverage. It is beyond comprehension how capitalism has continued to survive to this point in the face of these ridiculous fabricated fomentations of democratic hate now encoded into law to destroy the very people who create jobs and pay taxes and yes, support the very public sector that wishes to destroy them at every turn.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:36 PM Reply Like
  • What Wyatt says is all too true, and it goes all the way down to the local level.


    Just one example from our own company: About 4 years ago we expanded and built a new building to move into. The move in was delayed by 6 days for "safety issues". The "safety issue"? - a mandatory OSHA bulletin board was not posted.


    That was very minor, but multiply such idiocy by millions, and pretty soon you are talking about some real issues.
    22 Jan 2012, 03:33 PM Reply Like
  • Yep, death by a thousand tiny cuts. My biz is to the point I really need to hire, but just amount of time needed to fill out all the paperwork is keeping me at bay. It keeps increasing year after year after year, and my biz is about as small as you can get.
    22 Jan 2012, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • I see this article about jobs and labor rights in America, and human rights in China. The reality is those jobs are not coming back, so its now about education and economic policy, both broken. The decades of struggle and sacrifice in labor movement in this country will not allow us to return to 16 hour a day manufacturing slave labor like China, so how do we compete? Yes the U.S innovates, but it innovates and produces services with a smaller, highly educated workforce. What about the millions out there that do not have that education and used to be in the manufacturing sector? Are the corporations to blame? I don't think so. Are the special interest lobbyists for those corporations and banks that litter Washington and have more influence over the congress person from a place where manufacturing jobs are gone to blame? YES
    22 Jan 2012, 11:46 AM Reply Like
  • Its a complex issue. Part of the issue is that supply chains need a certain critical mass to become ultra-efficient and that has been achieved in China in many areas. Its been achieved in Thailand and Vietnam is some industries also.


    The cost of labor also plays a role, though its somewhat mitigated by shipping costs.


    It should show that the approach that governments take plays a role also. There is a fine line between common sense regulation and the inmates running the asylum. Unfortunately, we crossed that line a long time ago.


    Finally, there is one point I hope isn't lost. And that is American's selling out their own country. I've seen firsthand the German approach to outsourcing/offshoring... of production. And its basically that it doesn't happen unless there is zero profit left. Its seen as a failure (as it should be) for both the management and the workers. There is a pride taken by German management that they are fulfilling their responsibility to their country and to their workers.


    I won't disagree that finding equivalent American labor can be a challenge and that the American work ethic has declined over the past generation, but I also hold in contempt people being paid 10's of millions that are basically saying they aren't up to the challenge of running operations.


    Its kind of a microcosm of whats wrong in the USA - out of control government, more lazy people, and executives that care only of their next million dollar bonus.
    22 Jan 2012, 11:57 AM Reply Like
  • I was just wondering if German companies building production plants in the US, Mexico, China, Portugal, Spain, South Afrika, etc. isn't outsourcing? If so, they've been doing if for many years, but I'm not sure if that's the same thing.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:06 PM Reply Like
  • Thumbs up David. I was working up a response to this thread in the form of a question "If the USA was a company, would you invest - why or why not". One thing ocurred to me in attempting to answer my own question is as follows.


    One point which your post neglected to mention was the number of lawyers in the USA. One of my reasons for a Nay vote. It seems as if I receive some sort of class action notice twice monthly or so. My share - $1.19, Attorneys fees, $33,000,000.

    22 Jan 2012, 01:17 PM Reply Like
  • And you're participating, which fuels the plaintiff attorneys. If you don't join, they don't have a case and don't get paid.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • You have made an incorrect assumption that I join the class. The financials are included in the notice, that goes in the trash.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • You rarely see these plants in heavily Unionized states.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:56 PM Reply Like
  • BK, I believe that in almost all instances you'll find that the German company involved is manufacturing in the US to support their business in the US - not to close down their German operations and import back to Germany.


    I'm aware of a decent amount of activity in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia where German companies have outsourced components and some initial assembly, but its business specific and not entire industries.


    I don't think there is any comparison in terms of the attitudes of German executives towards their countrymen and the USA's. We've allowed the excuse of "doing whats best for shareholders" to excuse management from their responsibilities to their communities.
    22 Jan 2012, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • Germany also has a real and working education system for skilled trades and apprentices, unlike the US.
    22 Jan 2012, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • And all education is paid for by the government in Germany, and has been for the past 50 years. College and trade schools, even transportation to and from. Health insurance is affordable and good. Health care less expensive than in the US. Not sure why the idea of a healthcare system is so despised in the US, that one I can not wrap my brain around ... calling it "socialized medicine" is such stupidity! Ok, I'm off topic, but my mind wanders to these topics.
    We have several German interns in the company at all times, I had to laugh last week, when one of them came to me at lunchtime, asking where the "Kantine" is ... the canteen ... so I directed him to the lunchroom, with the typical vending machines. I had a feeling he was looking for the standard German canteen, with the home cooked, Gourmet meals, very low cost, for the workers. I gave him some money, because he had none ... he came back and returned the money, looking very disappointed, and said "there were only chips and crackers" available, and he doesn't eat that. Ok, this is not here nor there, but I'm just thinking of the extreme contrasts of our country to others, that we look down on for being "socialized" when really, they are just taking care of their workers.


    How many US companies do that?
    22 Jan 2012, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • In retrospect, the 'Apple iPhone phenomenon' is hardly new.


    Ever since after the WWII we have been actively and aggressively outsourcing our manufacturing sector, first to Japan, parts of Europe, then Taiwan, and now, China, India, Mexico, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, among others.


    At the same time it is still deeply mired in a WWII mentality and role of being a voluntary unpaid and sometime unwanted worldwide policeman.


    Entertainment and Weapons are now among the major exports along with agriculture.
    22 Jan 2012, 08:11 PM Reply Like
  • Read today's (01/22/2012) NYT article on I-Phone production and then comment on how likely it is that anywhere in the US this could have been accomplished in ten times the time frame.
    22 Jan 2012, 12:27 PM Reply Like
  • Apple is the Tech Nazis..............Get in their way and you are off to the gas chambers! I don't care if they made their products on the moon. Apple especially under Jobs would cut your throat to save a nickel. The only thought they give to Americans or anyone else for that matter is how to get them to buy more Apple products made with the cheapest labor possible.
    22 Jan 2012, 12:39 PM Reply Like
  • Great reason to respect the company and Steve Jobs in particular. I wish all the companies I invested in had a similar thirst for productivity.


    But you have already violated Godwin's Law with your gas chamber comment, which invalidates your point anyway by making you look desperate.


    As to everything else about Apple, I was never much of a fan. At least not the cult messiah worship, but that's a separate point of showing how empty the lives of his followers are which I don't give a damn about.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • Sheer demagoguery.


    It's precisely the objective of companies to sell the most products at the greatest profit, not to be running charitable feel-good operations for some liberal's idea of a "fair" society. As an investor, I want successful companies, not "compassionate" ones.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:57 PM Reply Like
  • What "Just-In-Time" manufacturing REALLY means:


    "A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day. "


    Efficiencies stemming from JIT manufacturing is a myth. It is built upon a labor force that is able to tolerate conditions that would make unions in the US cringe, to say the least. There would be mass strikes if US labor ever had to tolerate this to a fraction of the degree described in the article.
    22 Jan 2012, 12:44 PM Reply Like
  • And in the United States we have taken the whole union worker pact to the opposite end of the spectrum. Here the teachers strike if you try to take away their free Botox injections.


    I wonder also how many of the "workers" would prefer the way it was prior. No job at all.
    22 Jan 2012, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • “ 'I want a glass screen, and I want it perfect in six weeks.' ”


    "After one executive left that meeting, he booked a flight to Shenzhen, China. If Mr. Jobs wanted perfect, there was nowhere else to go. "


    That last sentence is why the 21st century will belong to Asia.
    22 Jan 2012, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • And why do you suppose that is?
    22 Jan 2012, 12:59 PM Reply Like
  • Well, read the article. It tells you why.


    “We shouldn’t be criticized for using Chinese workers,” a current Apple executive said. “The U.S. has stopped producing people with the skills we need.”
    22 Jan 2012, 01:08 PM Reply Like
  • There is much truth to that fact. I work for a large German automotive parts mfg. Automakers are ramping up big time again and we are desperately looking for tool makers etc. We search entire US, and there are few that fit the bill. So we bring in expensive Germans, for 3 months at a time, just to be able to set up new parts etc. Irony is, Mexicans and Chinese are getting more skilled than Americans, when it comes to manufacturing jobs. And the corporate guys know only one thing: profit margin! so no, those jobs will not come back to the US for a long, long time.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:38 PM Reply Like
  • BK - your experience mirrors what I am seeing all over. One recent quote
    "Both Gentex and MGS have partnered with local community colleges to increase the stream of skilled workers. One of them is Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.


    John Shiels is the associate dean of the industrial school. “We had over 500 openings in machining and tool and die last year and we had 20-40 people graduate from our program”, he told me.


    Read more:
    22 Jan 2012, 03:50 PM Reply Like
  • "“Our customers are in Taiwan, Korea, Japan and China,” said James B. Flaws, Corning’s vice chairman and chief financial officer. “We could make the glass here, and then ship it by boat, but that takes 35 days. Or, we could ship it by air, but that’s 10 times as expensive. So we build our glass factories next door to assembly factories, and those are overseas.”


    And who says manufacturing jobs aren't important? People are chronically forgetting that other jobs tend to follow manufacturing jobs, including more manufacturing jobs.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:07 PM Reply Like
  • Great quote from the article which sums up the article:


    “We shouldn’t be criticized for using Chinese workers,” a current Apple executive said. “The U.S. has stopped producing people with the skills we need.”
    22 Jan 2012, 01:11 PM Reply Like
  • I thought these were 'the jobs americans(lowercase) wouldn't do.'




    With 2 years UI to collect there are quite a lot of jobs that most americans(lowercase) won't do now. Why stop the gravy train?
    22 Jan 2012, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • "Chinese manufacturing infrastructure has grown to remarkable size and sophistication." There's one fool-proof strategy employed by the Chinese: when worker suicide rates get too high, double their pay.
    22 Jan 2012, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • I think the so-called above conservatives are blind to the strategic side, which daviddbc touched on. In China, Japan, Germany, Korea, and France, manufacturing has a national strategic dimension supported by the government. If you complain about the excess regulation and the union story then you won't explain Germany and France. If you prate about the free market then you are a naive fool. In all of the above countries, manufacturing is viewed as a strategic national priority and thus depending on the country, manufacturing gets direct/indirect subsidies. Obama has a point in that government intervention to save GM was correct. Where the majority of the above comments are blind is that all of the above mentioned countries most likely thought that people in the US were insane for considering letting GM fail.


    There is another nuance not touched upon so far and that's manufacturing IP/technology. In contradistinction to some of the above arguments in terms of plant location, more sophisticated tech companies keep critical manufacturing processes in the US to guard against IP/technology leakage. In this league are probably biotechs, Intel, Cree, Micron etc etc.


    So while Obama's instincts are correct, saving plastic injection molding and assembly jobs may not be an answer. After all, in contrast to all the negative crap above, the factual reality is: " The United States is the world's largest manufacturer, with a 2009 industrial output of US$2.33 trillion. Its manufacturing output is greater than of Germany, France, India, and Brazil combined." (Wikipedia). The fact we are achieving this in the face of blatant currency manipulation (China) and strategic national imperatives (Airbus) is a tribute to our country.
    22 Jan 2012, 02:07 PM Reply Like
  • "Obama has a point in that government intervention to save GM was correct. Where the majority of the above comments are blind is that all of the above mentioned countries most likely thought that people in the US were insane for considering letting GM fail."


    Yeah, I must have forgot that Tata Motors or even Toyota for that matter had a similar crushing VEBA that GM had after Wagoner let the pension balloon to unsustainable heights. LOL.
    22 Jan 2012, 02:15 PM Reply Like
  • Unions in Germany are nothing like unions in the USA in my limited experience. Unions in Germany understand that zero profits means fewer jobs. Outside of decent work conditions and lunch breaks there are zero demands in terms of restricting what work gets done by whom or by how many. And the German unions understand that the world is always changing and the workforce has to change also.


    I don't believe the USA has a huge problem with private sector unions, for the simple reason that those industries they were entrenched were really wiped out in the late 70's and 80's - leaving much fewer union members. Its our public sector unions that are sucking the financial blood of our country - and they need to be banned.


    France has taken a more extreme tact to saving manufacturing - they make the cost of closing a plant so high that most multinationals simply keep the plant and just make sure no new production is sent there. Long term the German approach will win out IMO.


    I believe there are four stakeholders - shareholders, management, workers, and the community. And all owe some of their success to each other. We have raised a generation of executives that don't seem to respect nor acknowledge that fact.
    22 Jan 2012, 03:19 PM Reply Like
  • 867046 - agree with your take and appreciate the positive view. But the world is changing too fast and no country can pat itself on the back.
    22 Jan 2012, 03:23 PM Reply Like
  • Unions in Germany operate far differently than those in the USA, but even there union membership is at an all time 100 year low.
    22 Jan 2012, 03:53 PM Reply Like
  • There's much we should imitate about the German model - esp secondary education, incl tracking and extensive vocational ed - but a big problem is that Americans aren't Germans. Specifically, American private sector union members do not have the work ethic, the sense of individual responsibility, the social solidarity that German workers have.


    Screw around on the job in Warren Michigan etc, and the UAW has your back. Try pulling that sh*t in Bayern and you'll be called on the carpet by the German union. Americans long ago lost the yankee ethos of thrift, hard work, bootstraps etc.
    23 Jan 2012, 12:35 AM Reply Like
  • As long as labor is cheaper elswehere, companies will go there...Not here in the USA... I would. They mostly have the same labor costs=Bigger profits=Bigger CEO bonuses=Bigger stock price.
    22 Jan 2012, 02:40 PM Reply Like
  • It started with NAFTA in the 90's. We ended up closing a small sewing plant in Florida employing 350 because we could not compete with the Mexican sewing factories...which are generally in rural towns where the villagers live in huts with no running water.


    Our government does not want manufacturing jobs in this country.
    22 Jan 2012, 02:52 PM Reply Like
  • Pssst don't tell anyone but NAFTA was done by the democrats not Bush.
    22 Jan 2012, 02:58 PM Reply Like
  • Al Gore, 1996: "NAFTA will _reduce_ illegal immigration." Number of illegal immigrants from Mexico to the US since 1996: ca. 7 million.


    Change in Mexican % of Calif. public school population since early 1990s: from about 20% of total to 51% in 2010.


    Change in Calif. public schools' national rank since early 1990s: from top 10 in the US to #49.


    At least we're still above Mississippi.
    23 Jan 2012, 12:40 AM Reply Like
  • Enough of Apple for one day.
    Everyone go pour a drink and watch the football games
    22 Jan 2012, 03:02 PM Reply Like
  • Now there is a comment that is dear to my heart!
    Have a great day wyostocks.
    Shutting down the iPad2- couldn't resist :)
    22 Jan 2012, 03:06 PM Reply Like
  • Steve Jobs paid himself one dollars per year, that is less than the average Foxconn slave. That makes Steve the supreme slave worker.
    22 Jan 2012, 03:11 PM Reply Like
  • The following is a brief report respecting a recent statement made by the Governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Barney. Some might read that statement as a vote of non-confidence in the prospects for the US but I highly doubt that was Carney’s intent. Rather, he was making the observation that the global economy has changed structurally and that in consequence the extent of US recovery will depend in part on the capacity of the US to creatively adjust to these changes and not simply upon the eventual reemergence of the US and global economies from recession.

    22 Jan 2012, 03:28 PM Reply Like
  • When does the human element become the important issue?
    22 Jan 2012, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • when Boeing tried to add manufacturing *inside the US* (but just another state), the NLRB gave them such a BS hard time


    and you wonder why no one else wants to manufacture here at all....


    blame the militant NLRB and their entitlement attitude, not Apple for maximizing shareholder returns and customer savings
    22 Jan 2012, 05:59 PM Reply Like
  • People talking about asian manufacturing as a haven of suicides and think that this problem is only central to AAPL are not intelligent enough to warrant conversation


    i would love for someone to tell me where in america, can computer manufacturers hire 100,000s of people on a whim without dealing with unions and constant regulations
    22 Jan 2012, 06:07 PM Reply Like
  • Steve Jobs is a traitor. We need factory jobs not more stupid retail jobs.
    The govt should lower corp taxes and regulations.
    Any American company not producing in America are traitors
    I know the unions and stupid a hole enviromentalist caused a lot of this, but still we need MORE maunfacturing jobs
    23 Jan 2012, 12:26 AM Reply Like
  • nah we need QE and more QE and more QE then a refresh.
    rinse recycle repeat.


    Where it comes from doesn't matter. EU ty FBR ty China ty ty Japan ty


    The gov't in the US is hopeless fascist banana republic. Short sell Zygna!
    23 Jan 2012, 09:12 AM Reply Like
  • as long as these thuggish union bosses exist, manufacturing is *not* coming back state-side.


    even if it's not china, Apple would route them to Mexico or East Europe or even Southeast Asia.


    you think all those auto makers and airlines are management's fault ?
    23 Jan 2012, 03:43 PM Reply Like
  • steve jobs paid himself a whole lot more than 1 dollar per year... Please...and if that was his salary, then maybe he's one out of a million CEO's that aren't money whores.
    24 Jan 2012, 04:21 PM Reply Like
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