The US will soon be stealing jobs from China – not bringing them back

December 6, 2012

It is a popular political pass time in America to bash China for stealing jobs from US workers.

However, Bree Fowler and Peter Svensson of the Associated Press reported, Apple to produce line of Macs in the US next year.

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook said in his interview with NBC that companies like Apple chose to produce their products in places like China, not because of the lower costs associated with it, but because the manufacturing skills required just aren’t present in the U.S. anymore.

“He added that the consumer electronics world has never really had a big production presence in the U.S. As a result, it’s really more about starting production in the U.S. than bringing it back.”

Reading that AP piece reminded me of an in-service I attended in the early 1990s when I was still teaching. We were told that America’s children, supported by their parents, were not interested in the sort of education that would have led to the type of jobs Tim Cook is talking about.

For one example, we were told about a GM bumper factory that once employed 500 workers but now employed two who maintained the computers and robots that were still making bumpers in that same factory. Those 498 jobs were lost to robots—not to China.

When one of the two workers was getting ready to retire, GM, by law, had to advertise and spend time attempting to find an American worker skilled enough to replace the one who was leaving. After several months and thousands of dollars spent to advertise the position, none of the applicants had the necessary job entry skills. Only then was GM free to look outside the US and hired a recent high school graduate in Germany to take the job that came with a $90,000 annual salary in addition to the benefits of health care and a retirement plan.

Today, many of America’s high school graduates are too busy chasing frivolous dreams of fame and wealth while standing in line to audition for programs such as American Idol or the X-Factor where sixty thousand from each show are rejected annually before the final ten or twelve are chosen to compete on live TV. In fact, Hollywood still attracts thousands of starry eyed teens each year.  That is a 99.98% failure rate but that hasn’t stopped many American children from chasing dreams and being encouraged by parents.

I remember one student of mine that dreamed of becoming a super model and possibly working for Victoria’s Secret. Her mother was even paying for private modeling lessons, and the student was only fourteen and no way did this girl look like the super models that Victoria’s Secret hires. To achieve that would have required serious weight loss and some plastic surgery.

Then there were the kids that never did the class work or homework because they were going to earn millions in baseball, basketball, football or golf, so why read?  After all, it was no fun to read.

Next there were the parents obsessed with the child’s self esteem and always feel good attitude. Heaven forbid that a parent should say no to his or her child or sit down and tell the child the reality of dreaming to become a super star in sports or entertainment or become the next Steve Jobs.

In fact, “The perception among some Americans is that immigrant labor and off shoring of jobs are the major causes of unemployment. Indeed, American corporations choose to utilize migrant labor and off shoring to India and China in order to pay out lower wages. Yet, studies have estimated that off shoring accounts for 10 percent of unemployment and would only affect two percent of employed Americans.” Source: Smirking Chimp.com

Does that mean that 90% of jobs lost in America were to robots and computers?

However, no matter the facts, if someone is out of work, it is easier to blame it on China or Japan or India or South Korea, or Bangladesh, for example, than on some machine probably made in America by another machine that caused the loss of 99.6% of the high paying jobs with benefits in that GM bumper factory back in the 20th century.

And if it comes to education, then the public (mostly parents that refuse to take the blame for how they raised their children) will need another scapegoat and turn, once again, on the US public education system, its teachers and teacher unions.

What were American companies supposed to do, go out of business because the children didn’t want to learn the skills necessary to work in those industries?

Discover Greed is Universal – a human trait

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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