Originally Posted by Alann
Apple made a LOT of money exporting jobs and manufacturing overseas. It seems fair that some of that money should be taxed on its way back to the U.S.
It's not that simple. Apple hasn't exported jobs if they didn't exist in US in the first place. We don't have skilled engineers to design and manage production. And we sure don't have enough unskilled labor for the grunt work. Who wants to screw batteries into iPhones 5000 times each day? Nobody in the US is going to take that job. Those positions would have to be filled by robots. Which is still a challenge. Thus, those 100K's jobs in china would equate to only 1000's in the US. Yet, those would be high paying jobs good for America. However, we don't have people with the required engineering skills to run the factories and program/supervise the robots, manage inbound supply chain, etc.
Operated-owned factories aren't efficient nor flexible. Given Apple's product cycle and demand fluctuations, it's near impossible to manage capacity utilization. It would be constant fight against having too much or too little labor & factory equipment. Nearly all CE products are assembled by contract manufacturers, 40% CE products come from Foxconn. It's manufacturing on demand. Only pay when needed, and can easily adjust volume. Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, all the major CE's use Foxconn for assembly because it's the most efficient solution.
The idea that Apple has moved jobs overseas is a farce. The idea that Apple should bring those jobs to US is laughable. It's not even a issue of higher wages. Apple does't have the needed labor, expertise, geographic location, factories in the US. Even then, Apple wouldn't have economies of scale and flexibility that contract manufacturer affords.
Saying Apple makes a lot of money from overseas manufacturing is like saying Apple has made a lot of money from using FedEx. Imagine if FDX were a Chinese firm, should Apple be expected to buy its own planes/trucks and distribute in-house so that those jobs are filled by Americans? Imagine what that would look like on launch day.