Top US economic strategists used to claim that offshoring didn't matter, as US citizens' superior productivity, technological skills, and education would attract high-value jobs to the country. Given America's massive failures in educational policy, we no longer hear much about the "high value" jobs that a global division of labor was supposed to deliver to us. Instead, we see ever higher unemployment and no plausible plan to keep decent jobs in the country, or to be sure that those that remain are paid decently. Andy Grove has also helpfully demonstrated the necessary connections between ongoing manufacturing capacity and research designed to make production better. As he puts it:
Startups are a wonderful thing, but they cannot by themselves increase tech employment. Equally important is what comes after that mythical moment of creation in the garage, as technology goes from prototype to mass production. This is the phase where companies scale up. They work out design details, figure out how to make things affordably, build factories, and hire people by the thousands. Scaling is hard work but necessary to make innovation matter. The scaling process is no longer happening in the U.S.
You could say, as many do, that shipping jobs overseas is no big deal because the high-value work—and much of the profits—remain in the U.S. That may well be so. But what kind of a society are we going to have if it consists of highly paid people doing high-value-added work—and masses of unemployed? . . . .
Interesting post here: Balkinization