Apple, China & ‘Made In America’: Not So Easy – At The Moment

I’ve often wondered why manufacturing at scale can’t be done in America. This New York Times article illustrates the hurdles: America lacks the scale, skills, infrastructure and cost advantages to be do so (at the moment.) It also lacks something else: an authoritarian, repressive government:

Another frustration with manufacturing in Texas: American workers won’t work around the clock. Chinese factories have shifts working at all hours, if necessary, and workers are sometimes even roused from their sleep to meet production goals. That was not an option in Texas.

“China is not just cheap. It’s a place where, because it’s an authoritarian government, you can marshal 100,000 people to work all night for you,” said Susan Helper, an economics professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and the former chief economist at the Commerce Department. “That has become an essential part of the product-rollout strategy.”

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