How on Earth Did We Ever Lose So Many Industries To Offshoring?

Apple  happens to serve as a good example. Nearly all of the 70 million iPhones, 30 million iPads and 59 million other products Apple sold were made overseas. Why you ask? Cheap labor is one part of the equation, but at a dinner affair with Steve Jobs and other Silicon Valley top guns back in Feb. 2011 President Obama had asked “why can’t that work come home?” Jobs’ answer was pretty grim, but highlighted the superior skills of the foreign workers, the flexibility and large scale of the factories abroad, and clearly stated “those jobs are not coming back”.  More than two thirds of Apple’s approximately 63,000 employees work in the U.S., while one third work overseas, but of the nearly 700,000 people that work for Apple’s contractors – the builders, assemblers, engineers, etc. of all of Apple’s products, almost none of them work in the U.S.. Instead they work for foreign companies in Asia, Europe and elsewhere. Apple’s story is not unlike many other tech companies and other industries as well – finance, accounting, banking, auto manufacturing, pharmaceuticals just to name a few.


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