Well, in effect someone says Boston Consulting Group is great, and then someone else says, "You're lying! What do you have against them?" LOL.
To answer the other part of your question, about what I think about whether we can have "made in the USA" again, I'll repeat my older posts on the subject (probably some of them you had to scroll down too far to see, so here they are again):
Of course the US can manufacture again. We did it before, but, at that time we had
1) more raw materials,
2) greater technical knowledge than most of the rest of the world, and
3) protective tariffs.
If you watch some old movies, such as Life with Father (concerning the story of Clarence Day), you'll hear the old stock broker mention how tariffs protect the living standard of the American worker. Since then, however, the Great Depression has been used as an argument against tariffs, on the theory that we are all better off economically when trade is free and unfettered. As raw materials were depleted, trade became even more important. But as barriers were dropped, instead of bringing in more raw materials, the US lost its manufacturing base. The result was the decimation of the US economy.
So, to manufacture again, the US must either drop the living standard even further to match the rest of the world (which would weaken our political system, as people become less and less independent, and more economically insecure and dependent), or raise barriers again, and create technological advances that would permit the use and reuse of local resources.
With the easy purchase of politicians, likely the most expected course would be the former.
A ramification of a sinking economy is that more and more people start thinking outside of the system, that is, engaging in illegal or immoral activities (or generally considered immoral activities by people who have never seen television before) either to get ahead or to just stay afloat. That's never good, because it erodes the basis of trust that is needed for a society to function. Once that's gone, a lot of time is spent in static, security overhead. (Static because it doesn't advance your situation, but merely defends it.)
I'd argue that the best course for the world--not just for manufacturing but for general well being--is to recognize that we are much more productive (and I measure productivity in innovation, not the number of stupid plastic coffee pots made) in aggregate when we have personal economic security, trust in each other, and freedom to think and innovate. People aren't going to risk trying to invent revolutionary, breakthrough technologies if it is only going to enrich an oppressive master. We'll all fall into the thousand year "celestial empire" rut, and basically remain essentially static (compared to where we could be).
I would guess that the rise in the cost of fuel will create a natural barrier to trade, and should allow local manufacturing (in the U.S.) to reestablish itself.
Thank you for the link. I checked the article out. BCG's analysis in the article seems well balanced and well researched. It could serve as a good assessment of current state of manufaturing abroad (the labor markets in places China) and talked about new opportunites here in the US. It also, acknowledged some of the companies that have taken heed to the closing window of cheap labor and moved operations to the US and the clear data warns against starting now. Even Unions are amenable to collaborating with employers. It is yeah to Made in USA!!!!
Alex - More than just a matter of having "Made in the USA" on the products it's more about bringing back manufacturing to the US. This certainly means the creation of jobs and also having local products affects the environment in a positive way.
The reason why most of manufacturing has moved to Asia is the competitiveness in prices and/or cheap salaries compared to what the companies should pay in the US or elsewhere.
It's not just a matter of a label that says "Made in the USA" but of jobs in the USA. Companies that move their manufacturing plants to Asia or elsewhere create jobs there but not in the US. There is also a perception that made in the USA signifies higher quality. Certainly, I find that customers of clothing lines that have shifted their manufacturing plants abroad complain that the quality has deteriorated as a result. But I cannot say that customers experience that for all types of products.
You'd be surprised at the extent production is taken abroad, sometimes even just a step -- like packaging a candy that may itself be made in the USA -- can be shipped over to China. Also a lot of American food companies, like Kellogg's and others, base their products on ingredients that are manufactured in China.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.