|Macs to be made in US|
|Written by Daily Vidette Editorial Board|
|Thursday, 06 December 2012 19:03|
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, announced this week that manufacturing of some Mac computers will begin in the United States, starting sometime next year.
Currently, most Apple production happens in Taiwan and China. Cook says this is because the level of electronic expertise currently necessary for the production doesn’t exist in the United States.
He claims that it has nothing to do with the lower production costs that outsourcing to other countries is generally used for.
He also says that very few American electronicscompanies use American labor to assemble their products, though many Microsoft products are made in the United States.
Cook says the decision to bring some Mac production back into the United States coincides with the economic downturn in the United States and the shortage of American jobs. This will be an opportunity for one of the most financially successful companies in the world to create American jobs.
However, Cook did not say how much of Mac computer production will return to the United States.
And regardless, Mac production is only a small percentage of current Apple products. Last year, more than 70 percent of Apple’s profits came from the sales of iPhones and iPads.
While the production of laptops and desktops might be returning to the United States, what’s to become of the rest of their products’ production? Will it still remain outsourced? How much difference will this really make?
U.S. workers have long taken issue with the outsourcing of labor. It has been a bipartisan issue and concern.
Critics of Mitt Romney have worried that he will outsource labor to China as he has done in previous business ventures, such as Bain Capital.
Critics of Barack Obama have worried that our current debt to China will lead us to outsource more labor and money to China in order to pay it back.
And beyond politics, many take issue with outsourcing on a humanitarian level, since much outsourced labor takes place in sweatshops, where the workers, usually women and children, are paid far less than a minimum wage.
Apple is certainly not the only company guilty of outsourcing its production to countries like China and Taiwan. Part of the reason superstores like Walmart can keep their prices so low is because they outsource production as well (on top of neglecting to pay their U.S. workers a living wage).
U.S companies should reconsider where they make their products, and while Apple’s announcement means a remarkably small dent in their production, it is a step in the right direction. The only way more companies will follow suit is if we, as consumers, insist.
If we stop shopping at stores like Walmart and stop buying Apple products not made in the United States, we might have to force their hand. And with Apple’s recent stock market job, they might need the good publicity of offering production jobs to American workers.
The companies who make these products aren’t the only people responsible for them. We as consumers also have a responsibility to make decisions based on what we think is right.