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China Starts Outsourcing From ... the US 274

Posted by Soulskill
from the wait-what dept.
hackingbear writes: Burdened with Alabama's highest unemployment rate, long abandoned by textile mills and furniture plants, Wilcox County, Alabama, desperately needs jobs. And the jobs are coming from China. Henan's Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group opened a plant here last month, employing 300 locals. Chinese companies invested a record $14 billion in the United States last year, according to the Rhodium Group research firm. Collectively, they employ more than 70,000 Americans, up from virtually none a decade ago. Powerful forces — narrowing wage gaps (Chinese wages have been doubling every few years), tumbling U.S. energy prices, the rising Yuan — up 30% over the decade — are pulling Chinese companies across the Pacific. Perhaps very soon, Chinese workers will start protesting their jobs being outsourced to the cheap labor in the U.S."
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China Starts Outsourcing From ... the US

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  • Funny ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @02:22PM (#47308159) Homepage

    Powerful forces â" narrowing wage gaps (Chinese wages have been doubling every few years)

    Funny, ours have been halving.

    So it really is a race to the bottom.

  • by Old VMS Junkie (739626) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @02:24PM (#47308175)
    Businesses will continue to take advantage of poverty, wherever it exists and whoever it is. Greed is blind to creed and color. All it cares about is profit.
  • by kick6 (1081615) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @02:29PM (#47308221) Homepage

    I was thinking some years ago "If all the jobs went to China because no one in the US wants the factory worker life, who is gonna build Chinese doohickeys when *they* get tired of the factory life?"

    I was thinking India. Or Malaysia, or Chile or something..

    But not the USA. I never even considered that possibility.

    WTF. This world no longer makes any sense to me.

    It makes perfect sense. After enough time of disparaging the factory life, Americans are finally realizing that it beats the alternative.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @02:39PM (#47308309)

    Alternatively: Businesses will continue to reduce poverty, wherever it exists and whoever it is. Greed is blind to creed and color. All it cares about is profit.

  • Re:Funny ... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @02:40PM (#47308329)

    Rather a race to the middle. It's all about balance. There's just no way for one group of people to earn more than another if not for their greater productivity. If a US worker can generate the same amount of wealth as a Chinese worker, or Vietnamese, or whatever, why should they earn more? You'll say because cost of living is higher. I'd say that's true, but so is your standard of living.

    A meeting at the middle is eventually going to happen. Sucks for comparatively wealthy westerners, but it sure is great for all those poor people around the world being uplifted from poverty.

  • Re:Funny ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pushing-robot (1037830) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @02:42PM (#47308345)

    More like "dropped on average a few percent in real purchasing power from its peak a couple decades ago".

    Considering how many of the world's problems are caused, enabled, or exacerbated by abject poverty, it seems a small price for bringing a couple billion people in the BRICS nations out of it.

    Unless you're one of those who think you were born deserving more than everyone else in the world.

  • by oh_my_080980980 (773867) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @02:49PM (#47308445)
    The only people who were disparaging manufacturing jobs were corporations who moved them overseas.
  • Re:Funny ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @02:54PM (#47308491)
    It also can not last. The reason multinationals are raking in such large profits from cheap labor is OTHER companies are still paying well. It only works as long as your target customer is well off but your own work force is poor, but if the pattern continues then the target customers will bit by bit also be replaced by poorer workers and that ripples though.
  • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karmashock (2415832) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @03:07PM (#47308631)

    Actually we've seen this happen in the US for many years with a lot of foreign companies. Often because US companies fail to resolve labor or regulatory issues and a foreign company cuts through the issue to find a way to produce products in the same place without incurring many of the previous costs.

    Toyoda for example has done this repeatedly and been able to produce cars more cheaply in the US then many of their American competitors using the same labor.

    A lot of it boils down to legacy corporations that have grown too large and inefficient.

    Things need a reboot on occasion. Many large companies should go through a serious reorganization top to bottom including the renegotiation of all contracts to take into consideration new opportunities and concerns.

  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @03:08PM (#47308635)

    The Chinese government is TERRIBLE at soft power.

    When the Philippines got hit by that Typhoon and they had the opportunity to inject soft power into the Philippines and offset public opinion about their territorial claims that are in conflict with the Philippines you know what they did? The offered a couple million dollars cheap tents that were probably worth less than a million dollars.

    You know what the US did? We deployed a carrier group and starting rescuing people directly, feeding them, setting up housing and providing medical care onboard the navy ships including emergency surgery for those critically injured. That relatively cheap soft power exercise for the US bought long term good will in the Philippines, in fact they actually started talking about maybe letting us open a base there again (it's bared by their constitution). We didn't really spend that much more than the Chinese claim to have spent but we got 200000x the value from it.

    The Chinese don't get soft power at all.

  • false choice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by globaljustin (574257) <justinglobal@gmB ... minus physicist> on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @03:08PM (#47308643) Homepage Journal

    You would rather the unemployed remain so, rather than get a job, however little the pay?

    that's a dumb dichotomy and it shows the weakness of your position

    obviously, in a perfect world we wouldn't need any remediations...we'd all ***rather*** not have the problem at all

    the minimum wage is the same as anti-trust laws...it plugs a hole in capitalism...just as a mononpoly is the antithesis of free market competition, so is it harmful when companies monopolize the factors of employment

    we need anti-trust laws for the same reason we need minimum wage laws: unchecked corporate greed

  • Re:oh boy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ultranova (717540) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @03:09PM (#47308657)

    China's downfall in production will come when the factory workers start having unions that are too powerful.

    Isn't it strange how success is always the accomplishment of awesome management but failure is never the fault of incompetent one?

    In any case, you're wrong. The world is running out of hellholes that tolerate slave labour, so those companies that can't turn profit without it have nowhere to go and no future save bankruptcy auction. That should make this the time of great opportunity for every businessman who can actually live up to their own hype; based on the amount of whining we're hearing instead of eager expectation, I guess most of them know the truth about themselves...

  • by WrongMonkey (1027334) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @03:37PM (#47308911)
    Check your math. I thought your inflation adjustment seemed a bit high and it turns out that the very calculator you link to agrees with me. $9779 in 1977 dollars is worth $37592.19 in 2013 dollars. Following the social security link that you provided, the national average wage index for 2012 was $44,321.67.
  • Re:First post (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @04:34PM (#47309487) Journal

    A lot of it boils down to legacy union shops that have grown too large and inefficient.

    I don't normally do a "FTFY", but this one sort of needed it.

    Most car companies are on par with each other insofar as management and the organization thereof, with a few degrees of slop either way. The big variable is that the Toyota/Kia/Hyundai/etc plants in the US are generally non-union shops in "Right to Work" states. The advantage of that is while they still pay a decent wage, they don't have to pay the massive UAW-blessed wage and headcount demands, let alone the added drag of bureaucracy, negotiations, etc.

  • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karmashock (2415832) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @05:08PM (#47309863)

    They are free to do it. Just as free as Toyota was to do it.

    Will the Unions whine? Its a question of rights. The unions have a right to whine. They don't have a right to stop it.

    If the unions want to buy the car company and then decide how to run it, that is fine... buy the car company.

    If they want to have no investment in the car company and just work for it like employees... then that is what you are... an employee. You don't decide as an employee where a company builds a factory.

    Full stop.

    Now through the labor department unions can use special interest politics to make life difficult for companies. But those companies can't be forced to keep factories open. Open a new factory some place the labor department isn't going to stop... if that means another country then that's what you have to do... then you shut down the factories in the union areas. Utterly shutter them.

    Its not a question of whether something is easy or not. Its an existential threat to the company. They don't have a choice. They must do things in a competitive fashion or die.

    Must.

    Do or die.

    If the unions refuse to cooperate then they can't be involved in the company's future. Retaining them in that position means accepting death. The only companies that will survive are the ones that either get a new contract with the unions that is competitive or that cut the unions out entirely one way or another.

    I suppose you could get a lot of back door government handouts... but then your business is less about selling cars and more about getting corrupt politicians to give you subsidies.

    Which is fine as far as it goes... just be honest about your business model at that point. You're a subsidy company at that point... not car company.

  • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karmashock (2415832) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @05:28PM (#47310029)

    A baseless insults is not a rebuttal, constructive criticism, or even technically an argument or thought.

    Its just a bit of animal noise you decided to type into your browser and then send through the internet to waste my time and patience.

    Please stop wasting bandwidth or stop wasting oxygen.

  • Re:oh boy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by k6mfw (1182893) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @05:44PM (#47310145)
    It's been said Capitalism is where man exploits man. Communism it's the other way around.
  • Re:oh boy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @06:21PM (#47310397)

    In other words, the USA is the last hell hole on earth that tolerates slave labour. When the Chinese find exploiting american's more cost effective than exploiting Chinese, there might be something wrong in your backyard.

  • by Daemonik (171801) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @12:49AM (#47312551) Homepage

    Unions are as equally corrupt as the company management or the government, but why do only two of those ever get the scorn of anti-union people like you?

    Most companies are run by CEO's with no loyalty to the company beyond what their stock options are worth, and will actively sabotage their operations if it will drive up their short-term stock prices. How is that sort of behavior better?

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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