When Candy Crowley asked the candidates about Apple manufacturing and said it was due to cheap labor, President Obama said his usual spiel about ‘investment’ but let the premise stand. However, it’s NOT about lower wages alone and Obama knows it. We know he knows it.
The Los Angeles Times points out the truth
Turns out the late Steve Jobs weighed in on the matter during a meeting with Obama in early fall 2010.
“The meeting actually lasted 45 minutes, and Jobs did not hold back,” according to Walter Isaacson’s biography of the Apple co-founder.
“‘You’re headed for a one-term presidency,’ Jobs told Obama at the outset. To prevent that, he said, the administration needed to be a lot more business friendly. He described how easy it was to build a factory in China, and said that it was almost impossible to do so these days in America, largely because of regulations and unnecessary costs.”
Later, during a dinner with Obama and a group of carefully selected tech CEOs, Jobs urged the president to find a way to train more American engineers, Isaacson wrote.
“Apple had 700,000 factory workers employed in China, [Jobs] said, and that was because it needed 30,000 engineers on-site to support those workers. ‘You can’t find that many in America to hire,’ he said. These factory engineers did not have to be PhDs or geniuses; they simply needed to have basic engineering skills for manufacturing. Tech schools, community colleges or trade schools could train them. ‘If you could educate these engineers,’ he said, ‘we could move more manufacturing plants here.’ The argument made a strong impression on the president. Two or three times over the next month he told his aides, ‘We’ve got to find ways to train those 30,000 manufacturing engineers that Jobs told us about.’”
The Obama administration has been murder on tech schools and trade schools, for ideological & political reasons. There’s a distrust of private education and an emphasis on public education, which benefits the teacher’s unions. Furthermore, I’d argue that the public school system has gotten so screwed up that it creates a bottleneck early on.
The reality is that China has a LOT of thing working against it, especially the stifling lack of freedom (which kills creativity and decision making) and the way they steal designs freely. Romney’s get tough policies would be a good start. Alternative school experiences in the U.S. — like Kahn Academy — would sure help, too.