I have read this site for a long time (amongst many others) but this is the first time I have felt like signing up to say anything. I am baffled by many of the posts on this thread but I learnt some time ago browsing here that many have inflexible views, refuse to keep an open mind and are really quite aggressive with those who do not share their viewpoints.
To quote Robert Quillen “Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance.”
Thus I will stick to a few thoughts that popped into my head instead.
1) ARM does have other benefits beyond those mentioned. Unlikely Apple would buy ARM but they are ramping up their development of mobile graphics & SoCs for Internet connected televisions (and other devices).
ARM are also based in Cambridge, England and have a strong talent pool and ties with the University. They are in the primary position for talent coming out of the University of Cambridge and the very latest in computer science research.
2) It is possible to start from scratch in a country.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13058866
As you will all know Foxconn plan to do exactly that in Brazil, lack of manufacturing infrastructure or expertise is not the reason they choose not to manufacture in the US. That is down primarily to wages. (I hope the BBC link works in your country of residence, apologies if not).
3) Wages are rising quite fast in China, pre-suicides the reported rate for a Foxconn worker was 900 RMB and is now 2000 RMB ($310 a month). You will appreciate that is quite the rise. Indeed the average rise in the minimum wage levels across China in 2010 was 22.5%.http://www.zerohedge.com/article/wag...m-salary-hikes
With inflation at 5.5% and food inflation at 11.7% in China this pressure will only accelerate further in the next year or two.
In addition to this to combat food inflation (and under pressure from the US) China is relaxing its hold of the value of the Yuan. This year alone it has gained about 10% on the dollar (last time I checked, may not be current) and is said to be undervalued by at least 40%. This would make the current value of Foxconn wages $434 a month. Considering the current low interest rates in the developed world driving investment to China the undervaluation estimate on the Yuan may be conservative.
Recently in the Chinese apparel making factories there has already been a shortage of workers and when the domestic market catches light in China (and it will) this problem could well send wages rocketing as factories struggle to meet demand.
This over a period of time will make manufacturing in America more appealing but initially will drive factories to Latin America, India and then the last source of cheap labour Africa. People in Nigeria for example earn about $330 Per year.http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_th...ome_in_Nigeria
So in short low tech assembly will probably shift around the world a bit until China & India become huge consumers. At that point in time the US could see a resurgence in this area or we could see rapid development of further automation.
4) The US actually has a shortage of workers!http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2010...kill-shortage/
So despite many many people being out of work, there are potentially jobs for some of them but no one has the right skills set. How much growth is this stalling in these businesses?, how many other low skill jobs would that growth have created?.
The US (and UK for that matter) has under invested in education and the future of its economy. It has workers with low skills or the wrong ones. The economy has moved to hi tech and the education system has not caught up. Despite a growing debt unless there is significant investment and realignment to upskill then other countries will continue to catch up.
People who are better educated have better health, commit less crimes, are less of a burden on the state and they create jobs. Short term investment pain for long term gain but unfortunately most Governments do not think further than making sure they are voted in at the next election. Why go for long term when they won't be in office to reap the glory, so they go for short term populist wins instead.
Anyhow less of my ramble! Enjoy your weekend.