Tim Cooks interview at AllThingsD this year he mentioned that the use of American labor would add $50 to $100 to their products. But something more important he said stuck with me. China has, from what I've read, about 700,000 tool and die makers, many being used in Apples' Chinese supply chain, equivalent to filling many large cities. I checked the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), and their numbers indicate the US has only about 70,000 total, as of the May 2011 report.
That is, the US has one tenth the number of these highly skilled artisans than Apple might alone require. And these numbers do not include the labor to perform the assembly after all the components are available. Tim Cook mentioned that the tool and die making sector in the US has been decreasing since the 1960's. We are 2 1/2 generations into this decline and any idea that this highly educated labor force could be reconstituted within the lifetime of any current living American is highly improbable.
Apple simply cannot bring the manufacturing back into the US. That's a pipe dream. And neither could any other manufacturer. Neither the President nor Romney understand or they are not leveling with the American people how in deep sh!t the US is. General encouragement that we need to emphasize STEM education (a prerequisite to just the tool and die making industry alone) is not enough.
A nation where 50% are anti-science, and 95% are scientifically illiterate, is not a country that could ever compete in this era. Fundamentally, the US economy is based on making money, not stuff. Making stuff requires math, science and engineering. Making money only requires fooling enough of the people enough of the time; promises are easy to make, stuff is not.
Edited by waldobushman - 10/18/12 at 6:01am