Technology Review is currently running an excellent series of articles, the last one I mentioned, about shale gas, fired everyone up and subsequently, many readers missed the point, which was how it could help bring manufacturing back to the USA. The magazine is trickling these articles out day by day and the latest one goes into the “reshoring” initiative that’s really taking off.
One quote is very positive:
… the vast majority of what Americans consume isn’t high-tech at all. We need to efficiently make ladders and hammers and paper and lights. And we need to do it with the relatively unskilled workforce that we have. Since other countries are targeting high tech, we’ll never dominate it enough to balance the trade deficit.
In other words, many of the very people out of work are exactly the ones who can do what needs to be done.
Yes, Apple and GE get all of the press when they bring back some jobs by making things here again, but lots of little companies are joining the trend, Cleveland Cyclewerks, for instance, is one we’ve mentioned gradually moving operations back to the USA.
To me, the rationale for sending a few million jobs to other countries never made sense. Sure, wages were lower, for a while, but now wages in China are rapidly rising and the numbers no longer add up, if they ever did. All of those MBAs apparently thought no one in China would ever ask for a raise, oops!, and now they have to bring those factories back here. Export products, not jobs, even an MBA should be able to understand that.