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Old 06-03-2020, 10:17 AM
 
Location: MD, CA, TX
165 posts, read 32,170 times
Reputation: 281

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Quote:
Originally Posted by blisterpeanuts View Post
Since the late 1990s, nearly all high tech devices have been manufactured in Asia, initially in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, later in mainland China, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

Why has this happened, and is it likely that some electronics manufacturing might come back to the West? What obstacles might be preventing this?

I have my own theories, based on general knowledge of current events, but I'm not in the hardware business (well, actually I do work for a company that manufactures various types of devices with factories worldwide, but I'm not on the hardware side).

It seems to me that Westerners have a pretty good grip on research and invention, but when it comes to the nitty gritty of steadily engineering, assembling, and improving fundamental components, we lack long term focus.

The Asians, however, seem to have the patience to do repetitious, detailed work like soldering chips and other parts into tiny circuit boards. Also, they now have almost a total monopoly on chip foundries and other fundamentals of electronic products like LED displays.

This last part puzzles me the most. Why can't someone set up a plant to make LED displays in, say, Florida or Arizona, that is equally competitive, given that the components don't require tremendous hand work? Literally, it could be a machine etching or extruding some kind of material with an almost completely automated process.
Why? Simple! People don't want to work in factories anymore. Everyone just wants a cushy office job. These days, working in a plant or factory is looked at as low class.
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:31 AM
 
1,963 posts, read 503,478 times
Reputation: 3165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepgrl84 View Post
Why? Simple! People don't want to work in factories anymore. Everyone just wants a cushy office job. These days, working in a plant or factory is looked at as low class.
People would work in factories, or plants, or mills, or mines.

There just aren't any such jobs any more, and it has far more to do with "automation," to distill things to a single word, than it does with pretty much anything else.
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
8,082 posts, read 7,505,926 times
Reputation: 9105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
People would work in factories, or plants, or mills, or mines.

There just aren't any such jobs any more, and it has far more to do with "automation," to distill things to a single word, than it does with pretty much anything else.
Exactly.
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Old 06-03-2020, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Western NY
665 posts, read 718,723 times
Reputation: 795
Hmmm... all those engineering (&manufacturing) companies are moving overseas to hire hundreds of thousands of employees because there are no jobs (here or there) due to automation. Something fishy there.

Scotty, I need warp 10 now. Computer: I can't do it captain its going to blow up, and sorry engineering is now automated so Scotty was laid off.

Last edited by TestEngr; 06-03-2020 at 02:22 PM..
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Old 06-03-2020, 02:39 PM
 
1,515 posts, read 487,218 times
Reputation: 5114
Quote:
Originally Posted by treasurekidd View Post
This. Your question reminds me of one of my favorite movie lines..."American components, Russian components, all made in Taiwan!"
I liked the part when the animal cracker gazelle wondered whether he should migrate south (somewhere below Liv's belly-button). I'd pay good money if they ever decide to auction off that gazelle, it'd be worth more than Dorothy's ruby slippers, LOL.

Manufacturing can be a dangerous and dirty business. And the more money you can save by not paying for it to NOT be dangerous and dirty, the more goes into the profit margin. So, the U.S. has moved manufacturing to Mexico and China, because if Juan gets his hand smashed making Jeeps, there's no OSHA to fine FCA, and Juan can always get a job picking apples with one hand. And if Lin's life expectancy in Wuhan is ten years less than it would be with EPA-level emissions laws, well, Lin's cousin needs a job anyway, and it's just more dollars in GM's pocket. The UAW has essentially forced companies to offshore the auto industry, by demanding their workers have reasonable expectations of safety while working, those scoundrels! Same thing with the folks living around the plants who don't want their waterways polluted - how selfish of them. Same thing with the consumer electronics industry.

In the meantime, U.S. consumers continue to pay lower prices for their goods than they would if they were made in their own countries. Even more so because our standard of living is higher than it should be, because we're partially living on money that we borrow from China to begin with, the U.S. has maybe had one or two "balanced budgets" in the past forty years - but we need to do that, because if the people whose jobs are now being done by Juan or Lin knew the truth about their future, they'd start burning and looting the big cities, so we need to keep them happy by providing free education, medical care, food, and cell phones. In the meantime, the investor class (like myself) sees the stock market bounce back to near record highs despite 25% unemployment, the already unpayable National Debt being 20% higher than it was three months ago, and rioting in all major cities over one man's unfortunate and irresponsible death, while in Chicago 80+ people were shot and 27 killed last weekend alone, but that barely makes the bylines.

Whoever said, "Stop the world, I want to get off" was ahead of his time. My "new theory" is that an asteroid is on its way to destroy the earth, there is nothing we can do to stop it, and those in charge are saying, "What the heck, let them have a little fun before the end". It's the only thing that makes sense. I just hope they give me a great seat and a Minigun to play with before the end.
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Old 06-03-2020, 05:09 PM
 
9,610 posts, read 10,231,140 times
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Regarding the claim that there, "aren't any" manufacturing, goods producing or mining etc. jobs in The US.

Per the BLS there are a little less than ~40,000,000 such jobs in The US.
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Old 06-03-2020, 05:34 PM
 
4,516 posts, read 3,907,405 times
Reputation: 10766
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepgrl84 View Post
Why? Simple! People don't want to work in factories anymore. Everyone just wants a cushy office job. These days, working in a plant or factory is looked at as low class.
There's a whole bunch of blue collar guys out there - I have met a lot of them - who would disagree with you. They only want to work in a plant or factory; it's what they know, what they're good at. But they're stuck doing temp work, food service or custodial, whatever they can get without a college degree or technology skills.

Donald Trump ran on this platform: to bring back manufacturing and good blue collar jobs to this country. That is why tens of millions voted for him. That's his base of support. Not trying to get political in this threat - on the contrary - just citing a piece of factual data. There are a lot of people out there who feel left behind by the shift to service industry and "office jobs" and technology work. That's why this political change happened in 2016, and is likely to happen again in 2020.

I understand the reasons why plants and factories evaporated over the past 30-40 years. Frankly, the unions and plant workers themselves must understand it by now. They priced themselves out of the market, refused to deliver the quality of product at the price the market could support. Combination of bad management, bad work ethic, and terrible public policy (excessive taxation & regulation). The investors saw an opportunity to get out of this toxic environment, and they obviously jumped on it, and now we see the sad results.
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Old 06-03-2020, 05:42 PM
 
4,516 posts, read 3,907,405 times
Reputation: 10766
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curly Q. Bobalink View Post
I liked the part when the animal cracker gazelle wondered whether he should migrate south (somewhere below Liv's belly-button). I'd pay good money if they ever decide to auction off that gazelle, it'd be worth more than Dorothy's ruby slippers, LOL.

Manufacturing can be a dangerous and dirty business. And the more money you can save by not paying for it to NOT be dangerous and dirty, the more goes into the profit margin. So, the U.S. has moved manufacturing to Mexico and China, because if Juan gets his hand smashed making Jeeps, there's no OSHA to fine FCA, and Juan can always get a job picking apples with one hand. And if Lin's life expectancy in Wuhan is ten years less than it would be with EPA-level emissions laws, well, Lin's cousin needs a job anyway, and it's just more dollars in GM's pocket. The UAW has essentially forced companies to offshore the auto industry, by demanding their workers have reasonable expectations of safety while working, those scoundrels! Same thing with the folks living around the plants who don't want their waterways polluted - how selfish of them. Same thing with the consumer electronics industry.

In the meantime, U.S. consumers continue to pay lower prices for their goods than they would if they were made in their own countries. Even more so because our standard of living is higher than it should be, because we're partially living on money that we borrow from China to begin with, the U.S. has maybe had one or two "balanced budgets" in the past forty years - but we need to do that, because if the people whose jobs are now being done by Juan or Lin knew the truth about their future, they'd start burning and looting the big cities, so we need to keep them happy by providing free education, medical care, food, and cell phones. In the meantime, the investor class (like myself) sees the stock market bounce back to near record highs despite 25% unemployment, the already unpayable National Debt being 20% higher than it was three months ago, and rioting in all major cities over one man's unfortunate and irresponsible death, while in Chicago 80+ people were shot and 27 killed last weekend alone, but that barely makes the bylines.

Whoever said, "Stop the world, I want to get off" was ahead of his time. My "new theory" is that an asteroid is on its way to destroy the earth, there is nothing we can do to stop it, and those in charge are saying, "What the heck, let them have a little fun before the end". It's the only thing that makes sense. I just hope they give me a great seat and a Minigun to play with before the end.
Your analysis is reasonable. However, people are changing. Here's a clue: if you shop for consumer products on Amazon, an increasingly frequent question popping up in the Q&A section of a product page is: "Where is this made?" or "Is this made in USA?"

I don't have the data for this; only Amazon does and I doubt they'd reveal it. But "Made in USA" has suddenly become a thing. As an "investor class", you might want to invest into companies building plants & factories in the U.S. I suspect it's a good bet.
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Old 06-03-2020, 05:47 PM
 
5,963 posts, read 1,755,840 times
Reputation: 10445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
Yes, but you forgot that they became fine watchmakers.
Intel had a watch business in the Bahamas. Still did the last time I checked. Just a PO box.
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Old 06-03-2020, 10:05 PM
 
1,515 posts, read 487,218 times
Reputation: 5114
Quote:
Originally Posted by blisterpeanuts View Post
Your analysis is reasonable. However, people are changing. Here's a clue: if you shop for consumer products on Amazon, an increasingly frequent question popping up in the Q&A section of a product page is: "Where is this made?" or "Is this made in USA?"

I don't have the data for this; only Amazon does and I doubt they'd reveal it. But "Made in USA" has suddenly become a thing. As an "investor class", you might want to invest into companies building plants & factories in the U.S. I suspect it's a good bet.
Please excuse me if I sounded pompous with the term "Investor class", it was shorthand for "retired with most of my income dependent on the stock market", and it's not all that much income. Probably equal to about the average wage in my area, if the market meets historical averages. Nothing to brag about, unfortunately. I cannot BELIEVE the market is recovering in the environment we're in, it seems like a "head fake" in a boxing match. I sure do hope you're correct on the "Buy American" sentiment, that would be a very welcome change.

Last edited by Curly Q. Bobalink; 06-03-2020 at 10:57 PM..
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