Shift the Manufacturing Jobs Away From China

manufacturing

It seems as though everyone is complaining that China has all our manufacturing (zhìzàoyè 制造业) jobs these days, that all these “wonderful” jobs could be brought back to us.  This simply isn’t true.  All the important manufacturing jobs like engineering and welding (please read these two sources to learn more: market research and employment increase) still remain in the US and in the West, in general.  The truth is that we are giving all the jobs we really don’t want to foreign countries like China.  With the high emphasis on the service industry in the developed nations, I have a hard time believing the masses in the West would be willing to slave away in a sweat shop.

The real issue is that we give almost all of these textile and low-level manufacturing jobs exclusively to China.  that means a lot of capital is being handed over directly to the Chinese.  For some odd reason, it is almost like we think that it is only the Chinese that is capable of these jobs or that it is only economically feasible to pay the Chinese.  What we really need to start doing is giving these jobs to other countries, like the Philippines and Indonesia.  It is a plausible solution, since hundreds of thousands of Southeast Asian people migrate to places like Hong Kong to land very low wage and unstable work in often unsuitable working conditions:

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Hong Kong alone has over 300,000 domestic helpers.  Every Sunday, these domestic helpers flood the streets of Hong Kong on their day off.  With nowhere else to go, they lay down blankets in the street, play musical instruments and card games, and call their children and family back home.

Although these domestic helpers are given a place to sleep and food to eat, they are typically only payed about US$500 a month.  As an alternative to this kind of work, I think they may find working in a factory closer to home for comparable wages as a feasible alternative.

To provide these nations with the opportunity to work in the manufacturing industry would lift their living conditions and would prevent China from receiving all the capital.  I’m not saying it is bad that the developed world pour all their money into the Chinese economy, but it isn’t really a good thing to put all eggs into one basket, especially since ties between the West and China haven’t exactly been the best these days.

Final Thoughts

I want to finish by saying that I am not really a fan of the way the developed world puts its demands upon the developing nations, forcing these people to go underpaid and essentially slaving away, performing menial tasks day-in and day-out.  This can be further extended by saying that those that are rich–from any nation–has the privilege to practically bath in money while others may be working twelve-hour shifts manufacturing things like Christmas ornaments, breathing in toxic chemicals the entire time, just to feed their families and pay the bills.

The world order under capitalism may be considered as being cruel, but at least it does provide a means for the developing countries; if the citizens of these nations are creative enough to find a niche for their economy, these countries can dominate a market, providing a opportunity for that nation to make progress.  An example of this being China and its manufacturing base or Argentina with its wines.  In the case of the low-level manufacturing industry, it might be about time to start sharing the jobs with even less developed countries than China.

9 Comments

  1. Very well written.
    From what I understand, companies in the US already are starting to source some manufacturing in developing countries other than China. Even China sources elsewhere, for instance in Viet Nam.
    But whereas China has developed the infrastructure to handle these tasks – buildings, electricity, transportation, etc – the even less developed countries may not have.
    BTW, I take issue with your use of the word “Force,” even thought from the words immediately following, you seem to understand that it was a choice – even if between the lesser of two evils. Capitalism, by its very nature is 180 degrees the opposite of force.
    As to whether workers in the west would slave 12 hours a day at menial jobs, its a matter of choices available. Is this the best job available Does the government allow it? (Yes, even in the supposedly capitalistic US, the government interferes mightily with the smooth workings of capitalism, to the detriment of the American people.)
    When I was much younger, I put in those long hours in the US, doing such repetitive work that it almost became mindless. It happened to be for much more than $500 a month, but I did the work by choice, because it was the best available job for me. I benefited from the ob, my employer benefited from my work, and my country benefited from the similar choices of all other Americans taken as a whole.
    As other developing countries become more and more ready to be able to accept the jobs – with high quality output – then workers and whole Economies in these countries will benefit more from them.
    Bob
    Bob@US-Issues.com

    • Thank you for the note, Bob. Sometimes I don’t fully flesh out the meaning I want to convey, especially word usage, but hopefully I can get the point across with elaborate examples and explanations. As far as sources to other countries, there has been quite a few other names of countries we can find on the tags of our clothes. If we already have some production going on in other countries, what I wanted to ask with this entry is: why don’t we have more in those countries and less in China? I am not an expert in business or in the manufacturing industry, I only know about China. Maybe there is a valid reason? Or is my assumption that there is no real valid reason except it might save a few bucks for the top dogs correct?

  2. Hallo sehr schön geschrieben ja China ist ein tolles Land und bin begeistert über die Schrift einfach fantastisch gibt es noch mehr Bilder von den Menschen wie sie leben und von den Kulturstätten das wäre schön zu sehen danke für deinen Bericht und wünsche dir einen guten Start in die neue Woche Klaus. Heute Montag 15.02 11 Uhr was für eine Zeit ist es jetzt in China viele liebe Grüße aus Deutschland

  3. Most of the workers in the U.S. who worked or still work in what’s left of the textile industry were or are immigrant women who work for poverty wages. In addition, the U.S. has lost more jobs to automation than to U.S. corporations moving factories to other countries where poverty is so horrible, workers are willing to work for what Americans consider poverty wages. In fact, I read recently that with the robotics revolution in the U.S. and the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (for instance, Facebook is pushing the AI envelope as a way to cut costs and increase profits — something Steven Hawkings warns is very risky because AI’s could become the next dominate species on the Earth in competition with humans) will cause more than 5 million jobs to be lost in the next few years. And lest we forget, the avarice of the few that led to the 2007-08 global financial crises starting in the United States, cost more than 9 million Americans their jobs and that isn’t counting on all the jobs that were lost around the world. I read that just in China 20 million jobs were lost.

    • Talking about job loss in China reminds me of the information I am reading about the millions of jobs to be lost very soon due to the coal mining industry decline. It will be very difficult for those unemployed to transition into different industries of the work force I think.

      • I think the CCP will retire workers early who are close to the mandatory retirement age. They did that during the global financial crises caused by the avarice worshiping few in the U.S. Then the CCP sped up infrastructure projects and hired millions – the building of new roads, airports, high speed rail, etc – in addition to hiring many of the recently unemployed into government owned industries where they added to the overstock of products that no one buys or needs.

        The idea is keep the people busy working and they won’t riot and rebel — something total lost on the wealthiest 1% in the United States that are in a race to automate jobs, cut pay and increase human unemployment while doing away with unemployment benefits, food stamps and housing subsidizes for the poor and homeless.

        Almost 7.7 million people in the U.S. were living doubled up with friends and family in 2013, which is an increase of 67 percent since 2007. The majority of people who go into shelters report that they have come directly from a doubled up living situation, which means this group of people is the most at risk of future homelessness.

        Over 6.4 million poor households were burdened with severe housing cost—paying over half of their income in rent each month—in 2013, representing an increase of 25 percent since 2007.

        On any given night, there are approximately 154,000 more people experiencing homelessness than there are beds available to assist them.

        And the wealthiest 1% in the U.S. are salivating over the increased profits that will come to them because of the robotics revolution to replace humans with artificially intelligence machines—sometign Facebook, for instance, is in a race to achieve first. The latest reports predict a loss of more than 5 million more jobs in the next few years.

        What happens to those profits for the 1% when there are no jobs and no more consumers?

        All a robot needs is a solar panel to recharge its batteries.

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