Debunking two myths – “China stole American jobs” and “America built China.”

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    • #427793
      • Total Posts: 10,290

      The inexorable decline in manufacturing was first due to automation from 1945-1975 and then due to additional pressure from outsourcing to developing nations. Thus, manufacturing’s share declined from 38% in the 1940s to 20% in 1980 when U.S. corporations started accelerating offshoring of low-end manufacturing such as those related to textiles, shoes, and toys. By the time China joined the WTO in 2001, U.S. manufacturing of employment had already been further halved to about 12%. Then over the next two decades, it declined by only an additional three percentage points. Even the U.S. government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics acknowledges that only one-fourth of jobs lost in the last two decades in the U.S. can be ascribed to China.

      Simple. It’s because there was a vast consolidation of manufacturing in Asia. After China joined the WTO, many multinational corporations moved their factories from places like Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand etc. into China, where labor was relatively much cheaper. It was simply a matter of cost-efficiency. Thus, while Americans used to see names of numerous countries on the imported products before, now they just saw “Made in China” dominate the labels. This made China look like a bigger problem.

      Wait! How could that be? What about all the factories for Apple, Walmart, Nike, etc.? Well, here’s what happened: U.S. corporations simply outsourced all of them to other multinational corporations like Foxconn. Thus, the real investors in mainland China were Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore etc.

      China succeeded by emulating the proven paths of other Asian Tigers, which relied on investment, manufacturing, and exports to build their nations. However, this model has limitations and couldn’t have succeeded spectacularly without industrial socialism, as I explained in a previous article. Finally, China just didn’t take all the money. They have also invested $1.5 trillion in other countries. Thus, the money sloshes around and flows everywhere in this globalized world. It’s not a zero-sum game. Politicians don’t understand math and pundits prefer to ignore math.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #427823
      • Total Posts: 1,921

      Is it okay to blame the corporations?


    • #427841
      • Total Posts: 5,831

      for making it easy to ship manufacturing and manufacturing jobs overseas because of cheaper costs, without tax penalties or tariffs on those goods no longer produced in the US.

      We enabled it over decades.

    • #427851
      • Total Posts: 2,191

      Can’t blame them for that. They would have been foolish not to. The problem was the greed of our leaders, both corporate and “elected”, here in the states. I’m thinking of you Obama for the latter.

      We owe them nothing but disdain.

      In America, “Liberty” means “Free to Die in Service of Capital” - Amfortas the hippie.

      Most of today’s elites have the moral and social reasoning capacities of spoiled toddlers.

      “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage...but the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing c

    • #427856
      • Total Posts: 2,688

      That is the most pathetic strawman I’ve heard in a while.

      What I DO hear people say is Bill Clinton gave China Most Favored Nation Trading Status. That is TRUE. At the behest of his ‘campaign donors’. That intellectual property theft is a huge problem in China, and has been for decades now.

      And yes, they eliminated tariffs at the altar of Neoliberalism. And it worked out even better than they’d dreamed.

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

      • #427860
        Populist Prole
        • Total Posts: 615

        You nailed it succinctly those two talking points being a strawman argument.

        It sure did seem like the writer of that piece seems to blame corporations very obliquely, as if it were a sound business decision rather than rapacious corporate greed. The use of the automation talking point was another way for the writer to whitewash the issue: That we they can spin this as if it were some inexorable force of nature, while studiously ignoring that corporations fattening their bottom lines via labor artbitrage, lower environmental/saftey regs, corrupt tax policy was the result of a deliberate and concious dicision to do so.

        The same neoliberal claptrap that picked up steam during the Clinton years and rode the wave through the Obama years…and here we are listening to the 1992 talking points again.

    • #427866
      • Total Posts: 1,570

      Whether its sugar in Cuba, oil in the mideast, gas in Europe, the US government uses sanctions, regime change and war to hobble competitors in world markets. Foreign corporations have a 70 percent win record in Chinese IP infringement suits. What is the remedy of foreign economic interests when sanctioned or attacked by the US under some political pretext?

    • #427873
      • Total Posts: 3,082

      that’s what bit the US in the ass in the 50s and 60s–tear up the rail lines, you can go 65 on the the highway!

      note that Pooh Bear also shifted to actually paying attention to the poor and the interior spaces instead of just favoring Shenzhen, Shanghai, Tianjin (ironically what they purged Bo Xilai for 2012)

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