Re: The tide may be truning @Steve Davies 3
All correct points there, although where China has overbuilt capacity and infrastructure, and demand has declined, the country is now exporting deflation to the rest of the world. Arguably wage arbitrage has always been an export of jobs from the buyer to import deflated goods, but we're now seeing Chinese manufacturing having to sell at below cost to survive (for how long I can't say). A quick web search should turn up the details, but I seem to recall that the five largest Chinese shipyards have had a single order between them in the first six months of 2012, and the low margins being quoted for Hon Hai don't look very sustainable to me.
There's also the problem that having completely trashed our domestic manufacturing we can't easily rebuild the skills quickly. So toolmaking or production engineering skills are in short supply, and workers able and willing to do high quality blue collar work are few and far between.
The two things that would make a financial difference would be free floating currencies in Asia, and Western governments giving up their pernicious payroll taxes. That'd see the renminbi rise by about 30% against the dollar, and reduce the costs of employing staff in consuming countries by between 7 and 20%. China's in no hurry to lose the export focused jobs, so the first of these won't happen anytime soon, and you can be sure that your democratic representatives are in no hurry to give up tax income that they can then spend on ***t of their choosing.