Gone to China. Period.

Posted in Made in China at 2:33 pm by George Smith

Yeah, corporate America does hate you. Proven by the New York Times, if you’re still one of the saps.

From today, the must read:

Known informally as Foxconn City, where the iPhone is assembled. To Apple executives, Foxconn City was further evidence that China could deliver workers — and diligence — that outpaced their American counterparts.

[Nothing] like Foxconn City exists in the United States.

The facility has 230,000 employees, many working six days a week, often spending up to 12 hours a day at the plant. Over a quarter of Foxconn’s work force lives in company barracks and many workers earn less than $17 a day. When one Apple executive arrived during a shift change, his car was stuck in a river of employees streaming past. “The scale is unimaginable,??? he said.

Foxconn employs nearly 300 guards to direct foot traffic so workers are not crushed in doorway bottlenecks. The facility’s central kitchen cooks an average of three tons of pork and 13 tons of rice a day. While factories are spotless, the air inside nearby teahouses is hazy with the smoke and stench of cigarettes.

Foxconn Technology has dozens of facilities in Asia and Eastern Europe, and in Mexico and Brazil, and it assembles an estimated 40 percent of the world’s consumer electronics for customers like Amazon, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia, Samsung and Sony.

“They could hire 3,000 people overnight,??? said Jennifer Rigoni, who was Apple’s worldwide supply demand manager until 2010, but declined to discuss specifics of her work. “What U.S. plant can find 3,000 people overnight and convince them to live in dorms????

Steve Jobs died poorly, exuding contempt for everything not his way or the highway until the bitter end as a withered but still mean husk, delivering the blunt message to President Obama that iKit manufacturing was never coming back to the US.

For the Times, that message is drawn out to indicate the same holds for much domestic manufacturing.

Corporate America de-industrialized the US. Now the infrastructure and everything else needed to be competitive is completely gone.

It exists in China and other countries and there is no way to rival it.

Weeks ago reader Chuck brought this up in the comments section of an earlier post. With the exception of arms the US can’t do manufacturing anymore.

The New York Times deals with the high end of manufacturing, describing the power Chinese industry can bring to bear on complicated things like iKit.

It goes without saying Steve Jobs was reprehensible when it came to labor. iKit is built under conditions which create despair, in a system which cannot be done in the US precisely because it’s the pinnacle of capitalist sweatshopping, government support and mass material resources.

We can rival despair. It’s the super-factories, resources and will to protect industry that’s gone for good.

There is much talk about the employment of Chinese “engineers” in the superfactories. But these “engineers” only have a bit more than a high school education. Certainly, Americans are capable of the same jobs. But the structure is gone, recreated much better there.

There’s one industry that didn’t fall to the great removal. You know it. Arms production.

In the US, it’s protected. Arms production doesn’t have to be efficient like the making of iKit.

Making Predator drones and their follow-ons is not subject to the fast turnarounds and tyrannical equipment modification demands of the consumer electronics industry. Arms manufacturers can do whatever they want and their employees don’t have Steve Jobs to worry about. They just have to worry about making sure Congress doesn’t slash the
budget too much.

There’s a short comedy movie in showing an alternative near future where an aggrandizing asshole scornful of everyone not like him, someone like Steve Jobs, insists all drones and guided missiles be insanely great at arms trade shows. He’s subsequently put in charge of defense procurement. And promptly sends it all to China, much to the delight of wealthy shareholders and petty toadies in the shit nations we sell the stuff to.

Might as well do the entire middle class on the spit. Why stop at just non-military?

“Apple’s an example of why it’s so hard to create middle-class jobs in the U.S. now,??? economist Jared Bernstein told the newspaper. “If it’s the pinnacle of capitalism, we should be worried.???

Made five or six years ago, this video, embedded last week, makes a joke about America not knowing how to “pull pipe.”

However, the middle class knows all about being forced to suck it.


  1. Chuck said,

    January 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Some startling revelations from the NSB this past week:


  2. George Smith said,

    January 23, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Thanks for posting the link. Lots of material there.