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Old 11-06-2012, 12:47 PM
 
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Steve Jobs commented that it's really easy to open a factory in China, but it's really hard to open a factory in America.

Offshoring/outsourcing has been a huge problem for at least 20 years, but what can be done to encourage American companies to keep their factories inside the US?

One problem is that if you're a politician and you do something that causes American companies to lose money, you will be voted out in two days.

Another relevant Steve Jobs comment was that they have so many engineers in China that help out in the factories. He implied that it's hard to find engineers in America, although he didn't mean PhDs. (My source is the biography of Jobs by Walter Isaacson.) One day Jobs decided he wanted to make an Ipod with a really nice aluminum case so he opened a factory in China for just that. I wonder if he even considered opening it in America.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:03 PM
 
Location: The North
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Maybe ask first why should we keep some jobs here. While some offshored work would serve us well to stay here, lots of it does not. Low skill assembly jobs drain the economy of productivity and should be offshored. R&D work which goes elsewhere could possibly be saved with increased immigration combined with more funding and incentives to schools. Higher skill assembly and the most essential R&D do not find their way out.

The really questionable outsourcing which we probably hurt to lose the most is some professional work, such as lower level accounting, finance and medical jobs whic are tranmsmitted to low wage countries purely to save money. When education overseas for such fields costs 1/10th the cost in the US this is the inevitable dilemma because you cant get a degree in accounting and then expect to pay for it at $10 an hour as the pay a certified accountant in the Philippines or India.

While these are problems, most outsourcing is not. It does an economy no good to require minimal skill work to stay here when there is no value in it. Paying someone $9 to do something another person can do for $2 is just burning value.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Aside from selfishness, what motivates you to want all high-paying jobs in the world to be reserved for Americans?
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
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Well we have a few Doctors working for us from a few Asian nations only thing is we call them Nurses here. I keep hearing how other places have more Engineers, more Doctors, more people with advanced degrees and when many of those people come here they are ill equiped to take on the work that we would have them do. You pay people what they are worth and you don't do work that you can pay someone else less to accomplish. It is a matter of what is of value. Would you have a skilled tradesman cleaning rain gutters or would you find a person to do that kind of labor at a 1/3 the cost or even less?
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
17,493 posts, read 16,131,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy702 View Post
Maybe ask first why should we keep some jobs here. While some offshored work would serve us well to stay here, lots of it does not. Low skill assembly jobs drain the economy of productivity and should be offshored. R&D work which goes elsewhere could possibly be saved with increased immigration combined with more funding and incentives to schools. Higher skill assembly and the most essential R&D do not find their way out.

The really questionable outsourcing which we probably hurt to lose the most is some professional work, such as lower level accounting, finance and medical jobs whic are tranmsmitted to low wage countries purely to save money. When education overseas for such fields costs 1/10th the cost in the US this is the inevitable dilemma because you cant get a degree in accounting and then expect to pay for it at $10 an hour as the pay a certified accountant in the Philippines or India.

While these are problems, most outsourcing is not. It does an economy no good to require minimal skill work to stay here when there is no value in it. Paying someone $9 to do something another person can do for $2 is just burning value.
So what exactly should happen with all the people who are not capable of acquiring advanced skills and education? What if someone has an honest work ethic, but cannot command a top dollar income in a highly skilled or knowledge intensive profession? Maybe we can send them all to China with the jobs??? How exactly is there no value in the work done by a $9/hr worker? Those jobs used to pay considerably better before China became a competitor, so there was plenty of value in it at one point according to your observation.

At any rate, I believe what we should be hoping for is a balanced economy, where there is some form of opportunity for everyone, including the $9/hr worker. Of course, that appears to be a challenging prospect with China receiving preferred trading status, but there is always "just in time" work and small quantity work where China is not a practical option. That work won't be going anywhere thankfully. It's not as simple as "let's outsource all our low paying work".

And let's take it a step further... If the $9/hr is trying to compete with the $2/hr foreign laborer, why SHOULDN'T the accountant hoping for $25/hr not also compete with their $10/hr competition? Can you explain why we should bend the rules for some, and throw everyone else under the bus? Do you disapprove of free markets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SOON2BNSURPRISE View Post
Well we have a few Doctors working for us from a few Asian nations only thing is we call them Nurses here. I keep hearing how other places have more Engineers, more Doctors, more people with advanced degrees and when many of those people come here they are ill equiped to take on the work that we would have them do.
Bingo. What they call an engineer in China would not constitute an engineer in the United States. Their engineers can't hold a candle to ours, as their poor quality work would suggest.


We could have more engineers in the U.S. as well, except... Employers require advanced educations, and that costs $$$. You can't pay an engineer what you would pay in China because it would not encourage anyone to undertake the expense. We used to have plenty of engineers in this country, including many with no formal education beyond H.S.. What happened was companies started requiring more advanced education and credentials, and the number of "engineers" declined. The reward did not justify the expense as wages stagnated, employment prospect declines, and all the factories started leaving the country. Manufacturing raced to the bottom and it took the engineering discipline with it. Why would anyone become a manufacturing engineer in America when all the potential employers are in China?
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:12 AM
 
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It's not bending the rules
If someone isnt qualified to generate much more than 9 dollars an hour for their employer regardless of how hard they work then they arent worth more than 9 dollars an hour. If they didnt work hard then they would be worth even less. Jobs used to be more plentiful for them in the past but you can't live in the past forever.People and companies who don't adapt to a changing world get left in the dust.

Some jobs for the most part are purely based on hard work- the problem for people who need those jobs is anyone can do them and they are easily replaceable so they arent worth much.

If you were an employer who would you want to hire or pay more:

Employee 1 who works is ass off, but is stupid, constantly makes mistakes, is inefficient, without the mental capacity to improve and generates 10 dollars an hour in profit for you or Employee 2 who doesnt work as hard, but is very smart, never makes mistakes, is very efficient, learns quickly and generates 50 dollars an hour in profit for you?


As far as jobs like engineers go
Part of it is the cost of living and education is cheaper in places like Chine and part of it is on a whole they are far more educated than students over here not even counting college. Its a totally different culture over there.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Fort Payne Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpasa View Post
Steve Jobs commented that it's really easy to open a factory in China, but it's really hard to open a factory in America.
There are several reasons other than the labor costs. One thing is a lack of regulations mainly environmental, in my years working off shore I have seen water discharge that flowed into lakes, rivers, and ponds that not only could you "walk on water" but you better not light a match even close. Instead of getting all the necessary licenses and permits, off shore in most cases all a company has to do is grease the appropriate politicians and they can proceed. There are no workman's compensation worries saving both money directed toward premiums and lawyers. Another biggy, in this country you build your OWN factory, off shore in almost all situations, you have to have a strategic partner to share the costs and risks (in other words you are contracting)

Quote:
Offshoring/outsourcing has been a huge problem for at least 20 years, but what can be done to encourage American companies to keep their factories inside the US?
Easy, look at the trade policies of the country we are dealing with, put in the exact same policy toward them. When a country has put up a road block, put up the same ones for them instead of pandering either for our "so called national security", oil, or votes in the UN.



Quote:
Another relevant Steve Jobs comment was that they have so many engineers in China that help out in the factories. He implied that it's hard to find engineers in America, although he didn't mean PhDs. (My source is the biography of Jobs by Walter Isaacson.) One day Jobs decided he wanted to make an Ipod with a really nice aluminum case so he opened a factory in China for just that. I wonder if he even considered opening it in America.
I'm sure, American engineers like to be paid well with benefits; many unfilled openings are for contract engineers with no benefits or job security.
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:31 PM
 
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My point is that the quality of life in America, in general, is better when the unemployment rate is down. There's more people working and therefore paying income taxes, buying things, and are less likely to be on welfare. I wasn't thinking about whether the jobs are below somebody's skill level.

Outsourcing does save money for America's companies but it dries up the economy. It was mentioned on 60 Minutes a few weeks ago. A textile company in America laid off half its people and opened a plant in Honduras. That's good for the textile company and good for Honduras. How is it good for that little American town?
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:36 PM
 
2,651 posts, read 5,071,675 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bxlefty23 View Post

Employee 1 who works, but is stupid, constantly makes mistakes, is inefficient, without the mental capacity to improve and generates 10 dollars an hour in profit for you or Employee 2 who doesnt work as hard, but is very smart, never makes mistakes, is very efficient, learns quickly and generates 50 dollars an hour in profit for you?
Are you saying workers in China or Latin countries are more like Emp2 but Americans are more like Emp1?
I didn't want racial stereotypes to enter this but it does.

People constantly make jokes about shoddy products at Walmart made in China. And yet Steve Jobs kept opening plants in China. Believe me, Steve Jobs is not a person who cut corners.

I heard an American construction manager saying workers from Latin America (including some who are undocumented) work very hard with no complaints. But he also hired an American kid to sweep the streets and the kid complained that the work was boring.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:32 PM
 
1,566 posts, read 2,885,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpasa View Post
Are you saying workers in China or Latin countries are more like Emp2 but Americans are more like Emp1?
I didn't want racial stereotypes to enter this but it does.

People constantly make jokes about shoddy products at Walmart made in China. And yet Steve Jobs kept opening plants in China. Believe me, Steve Jobs is not a person who cut corners.

I heard an American construction manager saying workers from Latin America (including some who are undocumented) work very hard with no complaints. But he also hired an American kid to sweep the streets and the kid complained that the work was boring.

i was referring to the comment of

"So what exactly should happen with all the people who are not capable of acquiring advanced skills and education? What if someone has an honest work ethic, but cannot command a top dollar income in a highly skilled or knowledge intensive profession?"

They would be employee one
Competant productive employees would be employee to

The poster himself says there are people out there who work hard, but are not capable of skilled work that produces much of a profit for a company and wonders what will happen to them. Jobs where all that matter is hard work is what matters can be done by anyone and therefore not in demand or well paying. In more higher paid jobs hard work by itself isnt what determines how valuable so bringing up the fact someone may be hard working is basically irrelevant.What really matters is their production.

He asked what will happen to these unskilled 9 dollar an hour workers that can't improve their education or skill set- thats why I asked him who he would hire between those 2 employees.The simple answer to his question is a 9 dollar an hour worker incapable of improving their value as an employee is in for a very rough life barring getting extremely lucky.

It real easy for people to spend other people's money and say someone is underpaid. But the fact of the matter is none of these people would pay anyone a good wage if their net effect on profits would be negative.
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