Outsourcing! USA Olympic Team uniforms made in China? Burn them!
Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! [a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]Croupier: Your winnings, sir.Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much. [aloud] Everybody out at once!— Casablanca (1942)
“I am so upset,” Nevada Senator Harry Reid told reporters. “I think the Olympic Committee should be ashamed of themselves. I think they should be embarrassed. I think they should take all the uniforms and put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again.”
Republican House Speaker John Boehner said, “they should have known better.”
Because these low-skilled, low paying Chinese jobs should have been low-skilled, low-paying American jobs, I guess that’s the takeaway. Except these would be high-paid jobs in the United States, and don’t forget a little something for the union. This function of Americana priced itself extinct long before Ralph Lauren found it cheaper to produce uniforms somewhere else. Anywhere else.
Even Captain Renault knows it. “Made in the USA, assembled in Mexico,” so this is what that label means!
Think of the price tag involved; a part of the operation so vitally important to product quality plus the hassle and expense of dealing with other nations, language barriers, training, navigating international finance laws, Customs, taxes and fees, then transporting it all — it’s still cheaper than doing it all in the states.
Labor costs, literally. It does.
U.S. Postal Service likely to default on August 1, unmanageable labor costs and no ability to outsource jobs overseas; U.S. cities declaring bankruptcy and states, billions in debt, strangled by labor costs and unable to outsource. It’s killing them.
Private enterprise hires workers in other countries, why? Because it’s legal to do so.
A $50,000 yearly salary translates into over $70,000 cost to the employer, making every hire an investment and punctuating the reality that increases in minimum wage hurt the unskilled. Business will hire less, lay off more and/or raise prices. You either adapt and stay competitive or fail.
Low-skilled jobs are low-paying jobs — an enduring truth — just as higher-skilled jobs usually pay more [see: “Duh“]. Legislating low-paying jobs into being higher-paying jobs doesn’t make them higher-paying jobs, it moves them to regions where they’re still paid what they’re worth.
The same people who hear the word “outsourcing” and are trained to have seizures:
- Almost always support policies which price jobs out of America. In the realm of cause and effect, “made in China” is the result of regulations coming at a price — for every action, a reaction.
- Ignore that foreign companies build here and hire more than twice* as many people as they employ in China, Mexico, and all other countries combined. It’s always a mythical vacuum sound taking the jobs away.
Outsourcing happens in a global economy, America should be proud to lead the world. We don’t manufacture as much anymore** but we create and market it and make the whole damn thing happen. Why not let El Salvador do the grunt work?
The net difference to the bottom line is staggering.
Ralph Lauren designed and produced 529 custom uniforms for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, at a cost of just over $900,000. Using Chinese manufacturing, each uniform priced at roughly $1700 per athlete.
What is true, an iPhone assembled in the United States would add 72% to the expense of creating it. It would cost Apple $1,140 to make an iPad, rendering it a toy for the wealthy — those greedy one-percenters using FaceTime and asking Siri which flavor gelato***** goes best with Veal Florentine.
What about the 99%? Cursed with Blackberries and Pinkberry? Burn them!
- *22.9 million Americans.
- **still the world’s largest manufacturing economy — about one in six private sector jobs — producing 21 percent of global manufactured products. China is second at 15 percent.
- ***probably less.
- ****maybe, I have no idea.
- *****pistacchio or frutti di bosco
When President Obama asked Apple founder Steve Jobs what it would take to make iPhones in the United States — “why can’t that work come home?” — Jobs replied, “those jobs aren’t coming back.”
In the typical production supply chain for consumer products, of which apparel production is a good example, the higher-value, pre-manufacturing activities like designing, engineering, and branding, and post-manufacturing activities like marketing, warehousing, transporting, and retailing happen in the United States, while the mostly lower-end manufacturing and assembly activities take place abroad. In the end, the final product is a collaborative effort, with the majority of the value accruing to U.S. workers, firms, and shareholders — Daniel J. Ikenson, CNN
It’s not just cheap wages. China has more skilled factory workers and sits at the center of the global supply chain. If you can’t move operations to South Carolina or Alabama without getting sued by the Obama Justice Department, the People’s Republic of China is no longer six degrees of separation from anywhere.
And this is China — not some Cambodian sweatshop with monkeys chained to sewing machines, whipped for not finishing a seam edge with an overlock stitch, it’s China — where everything in America is produced now.
We’re looking at this the wrong way — business should just give up profits. Ralph Lauren couldn’t afford to take one for the team, do the right thing?
Business must embrace its moral obligation to serve the community, by overpaying workers and spending with no concerns of budget or expense. As Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid has upheld this philosophy by not passing a budget for more than three years, so this concept of burning and starting over again is an easy stance when nobody’s paying the bills.
Give up profits! Which does nothing to keep the price down. Back to Apple, the bill of materials on a 16GB iPhone 4S is $188. Add manufacturing, it jumps to a total of $196 — EIGHT DOLLARS. If made in the USA, total production cost would increase to $337! Higher retail price, fewer sales, less revenue to share. But for a moment …
Imagine what kind of job opportunities would come to America if an iPhone factory were located here and hired 230,000 American assembly workers. That is indeed a very appealing scenario, but unfortunately, a very bad one. The average manufacturing wage in 2010 is about $2.00 in China and $34.75 in America. By locating the same iPhone factory in America, Apple would add more than $25 billion in labor costs a year, which would completely wipe out Apple’s 2010 profit of $14 billion.
Had we made the iPhone here in America, we would have deprived Apple of the resources to employ highly paid engineers to design, professionals to market, and young associates of Apple Stores to sell the cool products. Apple might have been bankrupted a long time ago — Forbes
Give up profits! YOU give up profits! Go to work every day and tell your boss to keep the check, you’re doing this for the moral obligation of whatever the rest of that sentence is. Besides, when you do what you love, it’s not work. The best jobs, you’re willing to do for free because you enjoy doing it. Lead by example.
Cold weather led to panic that female beach volleyball players would wear long-sleeves, shorts instead of bikinis – a seldom-used rule in international volleyball. But the Russians and Chinese were in two-piece swimsuits for the opening match, and Germans and Czechs did the same later.
And where are beach volleyball uniforms made? Trick question, nobody cares.
© 2012 – 2013, Soapy Johnson. All rights reserved.