back to article Trump's taxing problem: The end of 'affordable' iPhones

It's tempting and all too easy to sneer at Silicon Valley for being out of touch with not just the world but the US as well. Huge salaries, a high concentration of a single industry and a self-referential culture oblivious to how its ideas could do anything but change mankind don't help either. The sight of tech's leaders …

  1. 2StrokeRider

    As an IT worker in the US, I'm quite happy that President-Elect Trump will make it harder for a foreigner to compete with me for a job. We have tech people out of work and and when I put a job opening out, a few applicants are foreign workers asking I take on their Visa costs, but there are dozens of better qualified U. S. Citizens applying for the same job. The non-U.S. persons do have lower salary requirements, likely because they want to stay in the U.S., but Visa costs outweigh the savings.

    I expect the firms bringing these people in from overseas are paying them far less than their U.S. counterparts to justify that fee.

    1. Mark 110 Silver badge

      So surely you can just hire your native workers if you want to? I tend to find in the IT world that native hires are vastly more productive than those provided by the offshore outsourcers I work with. Do that. Measure it. Baseline it. Prove it. Get management buy in. Do more of it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "So surely you can just hire your native workers if you want to?"

        Who is the YOU in that sentence? I know it's not in the 99% of the work force.

        Call me a grinch, but I don't see anything changing in the futur.e. It's too late to pretend it's going to "turn around", capitalism is now corrupt. The "it" here is any sensible living for the future of the masses.

        1. Mark 110 Silver badge

          I was talking to the OP. He/she said "when I put a job opening out, a few applicants are foreign workers asking I take on their Visa costs, but there are dozens of better qualified U. S. Citizens applying for the same job".

          All I was saying was hire the dozens of better qualified US citizens and make sure you can measure and prove the benefit to thhe business of your choice. You aren't a grinch at all unless you are in a position to hire staff, prefer off shore candidates, then moan about it.

        2. Geoff Campbell
          Boffin

          Re: "capitalism is now corrupt"

          Capitalism has always been corrupt, it's baked into the model at a fundamental level. Hell, it's even right there in the name - capitalism is all about the flow of capital, i.e. money.

          There was a time when some constraints were placed on just how viciously pure that could be, but those disappeared some time early last century, I think.

          GJC

          1. Geoff Campbell

            Re: "capitalism is now corrupt"

            Four down-votes (and many more to come, no doubt) but no actual rebuttals. Very interesting...

            GJC

            1. Mark 110 Silver badge

              Re: "capitalism is now corrupt"

              Those downvotes without a ressponse are incredibly annoying. I have made quite straightforward factual posts that have attracted a load of downvotes with mostly people not telling me why. In the worst case I knew exactly why, but still. A downvote won't change my opinion.

              Intelligent discussion of the issues has a very good chance and is much more fun.

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      "As an IT worker in the US, I'm quite happy that President-Elect Trump will make it harder for a foreigner to compete with me for a job."

      OK, but have you noticed how most of the world's consumers don't live in the US? You think they will be 100% happy with your protectionism, and won't, you know, do the same?

      1. 404 Silver badge

        Mkay. Is China an open or closed market? Where is all the moaning over Chinese protectionism?

        I'm not being a smartass here - there is a level playing field or there is not.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You also have to be a bit suspect that producing offshore is cheaper in the long run when you have huge employment issues in the rust belt.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > As an IT worker in the US, I'm quite happy that President-Elect Trump will make it harder for a foreigner to compete with me for a job.

      You must not be very good at your job if that is a problem.

    5. PassiveSmoking

      I'm a tech worker in the UK and never worried about my job security from the EU open borders policy or from international outsourcing. The former is because in my experience tech workers from the EU can match UK workers in terms of talent but also demand the same level of salary, so there isn't a huge advantage to hiring them over the local talent and the meritocracy decides who gets hired. I'm perfectly fine with the best job going to the best candidate. As for development being outsourced to distant lands it's become increasingly apparent that the quality of code you get from these outsourcing development houses is terrible. You pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

      If you're good at your job then globalisation shouldn't pose a threat to you.

      1. Alien8n Silver badge

        My previous employer outsourced their entire accounts team to India. On the one hand they're now discovering that they (in India) really aren't very good at their jobs. On the other, part of the push to outsource was down to a lack of accountants here in the UK (well, a lack willing to be paid peanuts). At the end of the day it's a boring job that no one in their right minds would want to do.

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        If you're good at your job then globalisation shouldn't pose a threat to you. Hah!

        That of course assumes your employer has a clue. I have been made redundant a few times to be replaced by outsourcing and find out later that the outsourcing has been pretty disastrous - a little bird told me the last job I was made redundant from they spend more flying out to India to find out what's going on than my salary was. But the MBAs and accountants seem to still be working there despite this.

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: If you're good at your job then globalisation shouldn't pose a threat to you. Hah!

          >That of course assumes your employer has a clue.

          ^ This.^

          Outsourcing seems to be more about CV stuffing for those managers in charge of the change. "Look what I can manage!" before the hidden costs kick in.

      3. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
        FAIL

        Check the salaries offered.

        I get job offers occasionally. Many are for skilled positions, requiring several years' experience in the discipline required. The salary (allowing for inflation) is less than I started on fresh out of uni.

        This has been true for a while.

        So, the ability to outsource basic Engineering tasks has depressed the value of the work. So, surprise surprise, hiring is difficult from the local pool, as the salaries are generally poor. Fewer people bother acquiring the skills - there's no point, as the salaries are set at outsourcing rates.

        That's the long-term cost of "globalisation"

        1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

          Re: Check the salaries offered.

          the ability to outsource basic Engineering tasks has depressed the value of the work

          I'm not saying you are wrong, but there is not enough information in what you say to draw that conclusion. There are other possible effects which could have caused it.

          30 (or more) years ago, for instance, IT-based professions were very specialised, with much fewer jobs but even fewer candidates. Salaries would obviously be much higher than they are now. Look at any niche specialism and you will find much higher salaries.

          However, computers then "took off". Salaries were inflated even more, but increased access to computers allowed more people to learn the skills. We now have a market flooded with candidates and, while there are also more jobs, the balance has changed and wages reflect that.

          So there is one reason for lower salaries without blaming offshoring. Now, I'm not saying that offshoring hasn't had a huge effect, but it's not the only factor.

      4. Naselus

        "If you're good at your job then globalisation shouldn't pose a threat to you."

        Don't talk bollocks.

        Say you live in country A, where the cost of living is $20k a year for basic food and rent. Your salary therefore MUST be greater than $20k a year if you are to afford to live in your country.

        Now say in country B the cost of living is $4k a year. If someone can do your job as well as you can from there, then they can do it for $10k a year - half the price you need just to rent and eat - and be banking more than they are spending.

        This is exactly what has happened to manufacturing jobs world-wide. Automobile manufacturers didn't leave the Rust Belt because the workers weren't good at their jobs. They left because people in Mexico could do the same job and yet only wanted 1/3rd as much money for it. It took them a number of years to get there... but they got there. The same thing applies to you, you're just running 40 years behind the auto workers in Detroit.

        1. PassiveSmoking

          "Say you live in country A, where the cost of living is $20k a year for basic food and rent. Your salary therefore MUST be greater than $20k a year if you are to afford to live in your country."

          This is true, but as far as most of Europe goes, the cost of living is going to be closer to 20k than to 4k so an European worker is going to expect a salary in the same range as a UK worker. Especially if they actually do come over here and have to face the same cost of living as UK residents face. The guys in India may be a hell of a lot cheaper than that, but the guys in India also turn out terrible terrible code that's not worth even the cheap price you pay for it. Trust me, I've made a few quid cleaning up the mess one of these outsourcers left behind.

          "Automobile manufacturers didn't leave the Rust Belt because the workers weren't good at their jobs. They left because people in Mexico could do the same job and yet only wanted 1/3rd as much money for it"

          Funny, because my understanding of the situation was that the Rust Belt car industry died because they produced shitty gas guzzling unreliable basically disposable cars that would oxidise in six months, and they subsequently got eaten alive by the Japanese when they started making high-quality economical durable products that would still start on a cold day, a situation that the oil crisis only made worse because who wants a gas guzzler when petrol suddenly costs three times as much? The American manufacturers made the wrong product for the time, the Japanese manufacturers made the right one and the free market made its choice.

    6. SWEng2016

      As an IT worker in the US I have never had any trouble staying employed. I was working contract in telecom at the time the dotcom and telecom collapse occurred. I became unemployed just before Thanksgiving holiday (late November) and had a new job lined up to begin in January right after the Christmas holiday. That was the longest of several periods of unemployment If you don't keep your skills up and diversified you can only blame yourself for your inability to stay employed and well paid. I am able to consistently command 6 figure annual incomes.

  2. Mark 110 Silver badge

    We will have to wait and see

    "There is a "but", however. Donald Trump himself. Given his propensity for verbal pugilism during the presidential campaign, it's difficult to know what words were intended simply to score points and grab the sound bite and which was actual policy in the making"

    Exactly right. We are all wondering if he really meant all those strange, populist things he said.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We will have to wait and see

      He is bound to a gigantic web of vested interest and it is a vested interest he cannot divest from.

      He is not the first president to come from a family with millions in the bank. Previous "privileged" presidents like Kennedy or Bush senior, however, could divest their assets because they were tangible. They could sell them, put the proceeds into a hands-off trust and pick up the trust as they exit the White House.

      Trump is different. Trump's business for more than 10 years has been LICENSING HIS NAME. There is no f**** way someone can divest from their name. The mere idea is preposterous. So his primary assets - various license deals which license his name and generate revenue will stay. Every single one of them is a target for a "What a nice deal you have here, wonder would you like something to happen to it". A lot of them are in geographical locations where "something happening to it" can be arranged for nominal sums paid to via an intermediary to the local cleptocrat-in-chief or one from his large retinue of cronies. There will be a queue of people including intermediaries working on behalf of the Valley queuing to invest money into "wonder would you like something to happen to it" schemes.

      So any politics President Trump will do in the next 4 years will be phenomenally interesting indeed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trump's business for more than 10 years has been LICENSING HIS NAME.

        Now you know why he'd run.

        Soon, in a Trump University near you: the "I can be president, and so can YOU!!1!" seminar.

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: Trump's business for more than 10 years has been LICENSING HIS NAME.

          Can you? Only if you can prove to DT that you were 'Born In the USA'.

          Oh wait... Bruce is a Hillary supporter.

          Being president of the USA is 'The road to nowhere' job.

          Coffee time.

          1. Midnight

            Re: Trump's business for more than 10 years has been LICENSING HIS NAME.

            "Being president of the USA is 'The road to nowhere' job."

            But... David Byrne is Scottish.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We will have to wait and see

        You say Trump is tied to his name as a set of valuable properties? And this will negatively affect him as president, with no way to divest himself? It's quite a lot to assume, but okay.

        So, what about all that loose talk I heard, that the Trump business brand was becoming toxic? Weren't people running away from it like the plague?

        Is that all over now? Good, glad we got that settled. ;-/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We will have to wait and see

          You say Trump is tied to his name as a set of valuable properties?

          Not to properties any more. To businesses operating on a property - golf, casino, etc. They pay a fee to use his name. This is a licensing deal - it cannot be put into trust, cannot be liquidated, etc as the only thing licensed is the Trump trademark.

          So, what about all that loose talk I heard, that the Trump business brand was becoming toxic?

          Toxic to me - of course it is. I am not the target audience. I do not play golf and he has not changed my attitude to people playing golf in the slightest. The sub-0.001% of the population which is customers of the "resorts" which license his name does not find anything he does toxic.

          He is one of them. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, grown up with the same silver spoon, still with the silver spoon today and will stay with it tomorrow. Just like them.

          If anything, his brand for his target audience has just shot up in most parts of the world. Even the short turmoil when his old buddy Alwaleed bin Talal dumped him and had a very public spat with him is over. If anything becoming a president has made it more valuable in places where sh*t like this is valued and which are primary licensees: Middle East, Asia, ex-USSR, etc. Watch for "Trump" signs being raised above "golf resorts" in Abu Dabi, Bahrain, etc in the immediate future. There will be a few.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We are all wondering if he really meant all those strange, populist things he said.

      Are.. are you implying that El Trumpo may have lied to the people?

      Unthinkable!

      1. gerritv

        Re: We are all wondering if he really meant all those strange, populist things he said.

        I think he got advice for the best in that field, Farage himself.

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: We will have to wait and see

      Given one of the first things he said after his election was 'I want to unite the country' he was reversing a campaign promise after 30 seconds so dont expect any radical changes - he's got to get most of his shit through congress and they wont like it at all.

    4. Captain Badmouth

      Re: We will have to wait and see

      "We are all wondering if he really meant all those strange, populist things he said."

      All the interviews of republicans I've seen since the election have them saying " That was just for the election", or words to that effect. I've no doubt Obamacare is in his sights, though.

  3. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Actually it might bring the opposite

    I mean for many companies import duties won't actually matter. Large International corporations surely will find ways to dodge any import duty, as they can simply avoid crossing US borders.

    There might be another point. Large companies might move out of the US and set their headquarters somewhere else. Some highly qualified employees might move them, while others might simply quit... bringing a lot more decently qualified people on the "market". They might perhaps found their own company, or work at another company raising the average of skill there.

    In any case, there is not much telling what Trump will actually do.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Actually it might bring the opposite

      >There might be another point. Large companies might move out of the US and set their headquarters somewhere else. Some highly qualified employees might move them,

      Isn't that what is already happening? The US companies have gone multinational so they don't pay tax and they bring in H1B-visa workers, which is similar to moving those jobs abroad. The companies are "American" in terms of control, but not really in terms of tax and, to an extent, jobs. If you've got nothing left to lose, you might vote for Trump... oh look! If the government has nothing left to lose in terms of tax, it might start putting up barriers to increase the costs to multinationals and encourage local-based corporations which actually contribute to the local economy... oh look!

      Perhaps what is happening is that people are looking at the iphone 7 and Galaxy 7 and think - meh! I don't really need that. Perhaps they look at their laptop and think, "the new ones don't do anything more for me than the old one, but I do really need a job." Perhaps the prospect of cheap IT just doesn't hold much attraction any more. Perhaps they see Dell hiking prices to pay for the EMC acquisition and think, "I see no reason to help Dell pay off his debt." Perhaps they look at the Apple price hikes (yes it isn't a Brexit phenomenon) and think, "Yes it is a better screen and faster CPU, but that doesn't improve my life enough for me to pay what Apple is asking." Apple has lost sight of something they have always known - you have to sell the benefits, not the tech. The tech-industry's problem is that innovation stalled a few years ago. Consolidation, the cloud and now price hikes are an effort to hide the fact that their products are not providing that much additional benefit to customers.

      Razer's Core is a product which should have been in the development labs of all laptop makers - its something I've wanted for years and I can't imagine that no-one at HP, IBM, Lenovo, Sony, Acer, Asus, Apple, or Dell thought of it before. The companies have been so good at picking off consumer surplus that they have forgotten that everyone has to win for the transaction to take place.

      But back to the tech industry issues. The lack of trade barriers is great while there is a competitive market place. However, we mostly have a (US-controlled) hegemony. In this scenario, higher tariffs, and more expensive imports should stimulate competition. Perhaps the Chinese and the Russians will focus on making their own better chips which will give Intel a kick, much as AMD's competition did a while back. Once we have more effective competition, we can start bringing the tariffs back down. Perhaps licensing tariffs will help put an end to the moving of profits via "intellectual property" licenses to tax havens, leading not only to more government income, but a fairer playing field for those companies too small to take advantage of complicated legal arrangements - again, more competition.

      Trump certainly presents himself as an obnoxious idiot. That idiocy may in the short term lead to higher costs and a less free market, but in the long term a more competitive market with lower-cost products. That's sad for the existing producers, but rather good for everyone else.

      It isn't a sure thing of course. Tariffs can hide all sorts of inefficiencies, but we seem to have arrived at monopoly or oligopoly markets with little competition. Competition is hard for the companies involved but good for the customers - and who is not an IT customer?

  4. Roland6 Silver badge

    To get around that, firms will need to build infrastructure in the US and take on, presumably, less skilled and more expensive domestic employees.

    The hiring of skilled IT people has been a problem since before I joined the IT industry in the 1970's, and so has been a factor in many of the advances that have either made IT easier for less skilled people or enables highly skilled people to be more effective.

  5. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Trump has to be careful

    Even that darling of 'american manufacturing' Boeing uses parts made all over the world on their Aircraft.

    If President Donald Duck puts import tariffs on all those imports then the Airlines will switch to Airbus.

    They use American made parts which is what he wants.

    So the US aircraft maker can't compete with Airbus because they have to pay more for the same parts than their European Competition.

    How is this a win for the USA?

    Isn't Economics wonderful.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trump has to be careful

      You misspelled "President Donald F*ck".

      1. tfewster Silver badge

        Re: Trump has to be careful

        Calling him "Donald F*ck" is completely unnecessary.

        Why not "President Fart"?

        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=trump

        1. MrKrotos

          Re: Trump has to be careful

          Calling him "Donald F*ck" is completely unnecessary.

          Why not "President Fart"?

          I prefer "Duck Fart" :P

  6. MR J

    I am Mad

    As an American living in the UK then I just cant win.

    We had this Brexit thing and that gave happy happy joy joy feelings that all foreigners (lawl) would be kicked out and give me a chance at getting a lovely job when manufacturing comes back from China to the UK, perhaps filled by picking strawberries during free time due to lack of staff.

    Now we have this Trump thing, and that removes my happy happy joy joy feelings and he wants to do the same thing. Alas this means that the Muricans are trying to steal jobs from Great Brexitan.

    I guess all I can do now is go to Canada, where is that immigration portal.

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: I am Mad

      As a Brit living in the USA I feel your pain. I was glad I wasn't there now there's nowhere left to run when things get sticky here. Iceland looks pretty cool, in all senses of the word.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Meh

        Re: I am Mad

        Do you feel a noxious wave of Conservatism is about to claim you? Can't get away? Sorry, I can't feel your pain. Can't understand it, actually.

        Why not just, give up? Let the tide of rational prudency wash over you. No more anger. No more frustration at the problems of the world. It won't be so bad, you'll see. Economies will pick up, jobs will get better, and in a decade everyone will be so full of pep that they'll be suckers for another Progressive as President. And by that time the economy will have enough new strength to sustain such abuse once more.

        1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

          Re: I am Mad

          To be honest I'm not really feeling pain; just joining in with the general mood of my adopted country and playing my allotted part. I do have a suspicion Trump might well be a single term president but am prepared to be surprised. I just hope he can keep his tiny hands off all those tempting interns. Another Bill Clinton debacle is not what my once furious, now jubilant, neighbours are looking forward to. Silly buggers were outside last night shooting guns in the air. Hope buyers remorse doesn't set in too soon. We all deserve some happy time now and again.

        2. Blitheringeejit
          Alert

          >> It won't be so bad

          If I were living in Estonia, or maybe even Poland, I wouldn't be feeling so sure about that right now.

        3. PassiveSmoking

          Re: I am Mad

          Rational prudency? Trump? That's a good one

        4. SWEng2016

          Re: I am Mad

          Where do you get your drugs? I could use something like that.

      2. jonfr

        Re: I am Mad

        >As a Brit living in the USA I feel your pain. I was glad I wasn't there now there's nowhere left to run when things get sticky here. Iceland looks pretty cool, in all senses of the word.

        Iceland is currently in a wast economic bubble. It is going to collapse one day with all the problems that come with it. My advice is look elsewhere, at least that is what I'm doing and I'm a Icelander.

    2. Sampler

      Re: I am Mad

      As a Brit living in Australia, I feel I made the right choice..

      Having very nearly moved to California two years ago I'm quite glad the prohibitive measures of getting a visa stopped me and I stayed in Sydney - no Brexit, no Last President, just fun and sun.

      1. dan1980

        Re: I am Mad

        @Sampler

        Australia, the US and the UK are not all that different. So have we not seen the same thing? I think the concerns of 'ordinary' citizens in these countries are largely the same but where we, in Australia, differ from the US and UK is that voting is compulsory in our elections.

        I understand that many people in the UK and especially the US feel that not voting is an important right and I accept that. But on the other hand, I believe the compulsory voting necessarily engages - to at least some extent - the entire population. I suspect that this is what keeps Australian politics relatively centrist and makes elections mostly - though never exclusively, unfortunately - about policy issues.

        Of course, we don't have a President so that's also a fundamental difference but what about the UK? The similarly between the US Presidential election and the Brexit vote is that, as voting wasn't compulsory, the appeal was much more emotional because they were not so much trying to sway people with their arguments but trying to fire up the existing feelings of the population.

        In both the US presidential election and Brexit, one side was firing people up to change things and fix things and make it all the way their pre-existing emotions and biases tell them it should be - telling them that they've been marginalised and that their lay-person instincts were right all along. The other side was telling people to, essentially, stay the course - that the system works and we just need, essentially, some tweaks. Change this tax a little, amend that law a smidge.

        In the US, you've also got a real patchwork of voting laws which certainly contribute to these results because, again, the election is not about swaying people but about turnout - about encouraging enough of your people to actually go and vote. There are barriers to voting and the goal is to get 'your' people impassioned enough to overcome those barriers and vote.

        1. Mark 110 Silver badge

          Re: I am Mad

          @Dan1980 - have an upvote for a considered well argued post. I am interested to know if your moderate government down under is more to do with you having proportional representation than compulsory voting (in favour of compulsory voting by the way) . . . off to Google . . . OK, so you have a system of preferential voting, not as good as my favoured system of proportional representation but way better then first past the post.

          I would argue your moderate governmment comes as much from the absence of hard FPTP as it does from complusory voting.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I am Mad

          "In both the US presidential election and Brexit, one side was firing people up to change things and fix things and make it all the way their pre-existing emotions and biases tell them it should be - telling them that they've been marginalised and that their lay-person instincts were right all along. The other side was telling people to, essentially, stay the course - that the system works and we just need, essentially, some tweaks. Change this tax a little, amend that law a smidge."

          You have this exactly backwards. It's the libs in charge that are changing things, and it's the conservative people voting against them that want it stopped. But you go ahead and preach that the very recent radical liberalism imposed on mostly conservative people is the way it is, and always was. Go ahead and cement left-fringe attitudes as the center of rational thought. After all, didn't history begin when YOU achieved political consciousness?

          Oh, and tell all the serfs that they need to "stay the course," and be sure not to fall behind on tax payments! Those windmills won't build themselves...

          1. dan1980

            Re: I am Mad

            @Big John

            "You have this exactly backwards. It's the libs in charge that are changing things, and it's the conservative people voting against them that want it stopped."

            No - you have misunderstood.

            I am not talking about liberal vs conservative at all. In the UK, Cameron staked his leadership on staying in the EU and the head of the official 'Remain' group - Stuart Rose - is a conservative peer in the House of Lords. And there were, of course, Labour members who supported the 'Leave' campaign.

            In the US, it's not so simple as saying that the Presidential race was a choice between a Republican and a Democrat. Donald Trump's first major victory was in securing the party's nomination - something he did with a platform of not being 'one of them'. His big push against the other Republican candidates was that they weren't to be trusted because they were part of the system. Similar too was his dismissal of the views and assertions of experts or academics - they, too, were part of the system and not to be trusted. Trust him, instead, and trust your own instincts.

            Donald Trump did not run, primarily, as a 'conservative' against a 'liberal'; ran ran as an anti-establishment outsider against the establishment. That he ran, also, on traditional 'right' issues does not make him 'conservative'. His message was not just to limit immigration but to actively round-up and kick people out and build an impossible wall to keep them out. His message was not just to resist pressure from the UN and NATO but threaten the US's involvement in them.

            And, I never suggested that the 'libs' weren't 'changing' anything. Of course they are, but so are conservatives. Every party and president makes changes and they nature of government most usually means they are slow (which is not necessarily a bad thing). I said that one side wanted to 'stay the course' - not 'stand still'.

            That the two sides, in the US, were labelled as 'Republican' and 'Democrat' is not insignificant by any stretch but far more important was the core difference in their position in relation to & attitude towards the institution of government. That, after all, is why Trump was there in the first place.

            You say it is 'the libs in charge that are changing things'. Why then didn't the 'conservative people' make an established 'conservative', with a proven history of conservative voting, the Republican nominee? If people were really wanting their conservative representative to resist changes then why didn't they choose Ted Cruz, who has a career-long history of arguing conservative cases as a lawyer and proposing and voting for conservative bills in the Senate? Most particularly, he openly criticised other republicans for insufficiently resisting changes by Obama. If anyone of the Republican candidates could be said to be dedicated to resist liberal changes, surely it would have been Ted Cruz, rather than Donald Trump who has a provable record of agreeing with 'liberal' policies.

            Neither the US election nor the Brexit vote was about conservative vs liberal ideology; it was about one side/candidate pointing to the established order and telling everyone that that is the problem - all those politicians and economists and academics and journalists and scientists who sit in their towers and tell you how the world is and how it should be - they are the ones who are wrong and you are the ones who are right.

            For the Brexit Leave campaign it was sometimes absolutely out in the open, with people like Gove outright saying that people had had enough of trusting experts, like the economists clearly pointing out the cost/benefit numbers of EU membership.

            I want to be clear, at this point, that I don't actually reject that line of argument.

            There is a large part of me that really feels some affinity for some of the underlying concern and push-back. Ignoring the undeniable xenophobia that both the Trump and Leave campaigns harnessed, there is a purer, more defensible argument that must be grasped by the 'establishment' if there is to be any hope working towards a society that is cohesive and happy.

            That argument is that the well-being of the population is just not being properly considered. The establishment - which consists of the majority of politicians, economists, bankers and business 'leaders' - are just not using the right metrics or working from the right assumptions. The prevailing logic has been, and continues to be, that globalisation is the way to go and that the measurement of sucess is whether the 'economy' benefits.

            There is no room in this model for the real, everyday concerns of the average citizen and people are, quite frankly, getting rather sick of it. It is entirely possible for an educated individual to understand that a particular law or deal or tax will improve the economy but be against it.

            The 'establishment' has constructed their 'system' as this precarious, complex, inter-connected, gigantic house-of-cards whose only protection is that they have made it so that it is too complex, too inter-connected and too gigantic to fail. Or, more accurately, to fail without taking down rather a lot else.

            The 'system' is, essentially, trickle-down economics writ large but it has become like a sword of Damocles over us all, ready to fall if we make too sudden a move.

            Many people have accurately observed that our economies result in a small number of people controlling the vast majority of wealth but it's actually more problematic than that because it's not simply a result of the system; it's the inherent design of it.

            So yeah, with that tangent, I understand one part of the frustration that has led to both Trump and Brexit and my hope for the future is that our politicians, collectively, hear the wake-up call and understand - really understand - the deep feelings of disappointment, distrust and even betrayal. People really believe that their governments have not just let them down and ignored them but sold them out.

            It is not about 'conservative' vs 'liberal'.

    3. Dagg
      Mushroom

      Re: I am Mad

      I guess all I can do now is go to Canada, where is that immigration portal.

      Crashed!

    4. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

      Re: I am Mad

      "I guess all I can do now is go to Canada, where is that immigration portal."

      Down. It was inadvertently DDOSed by all the Americans trying to leave.

      I'm thinking that Reykjavik is lovely at this time of year.

  7. LDS Silver badge

    In Trump friendly Texas...

    A company called Idera bought another called Embarcadero (home of what remained of the once mighty Borland products), fired the US developers (also closed the Spanish office), and outsourced all products development to East Europe or somewhere alike.

    And wasn't in Atlanta where a bank existing IT staff was replaced with cheap employees from India, whom the fired people were "forced" to train also?

    It was lack of local skills, or simply greed to lower costs while keeping the same prices?

    Maybe there are some reasons - guts ones maybe, but they count too - why so many people voted someone like Trump, despite the man and the havoc he could lead to? Scared people are known to make the wrong choice.

    It happened in Europe one century ago, it's happening again. And then too there were warnings and sensible advices. Utterly ignored by the ruling class in charge, until it was too late.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In Trump friendly Texas...

      You win Godwin's law prize.

      1. SWEng2016

        Re: In Trump friendly Texas...

        Godwin’s Law does not dispute the validity or otherwise of references or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis. (RationalWiki)

      2. LDS Silver badge

        Re: In Trump friendly Texas...

        Actually, I was thinking more about Italy in the period 1919-1920, just before Mussolini took the power. Italy was on the winning side (although after a late change of it...) - it wasn't after a big defeat, huge repair expenses, and a social turmoil with the King fleeing and the like (it would happen after WWII, with a very different outcome).

        Yet, its economy was in a bad shape, and men returning from the combat fields had to face many issues, which were not addressed by the government and the entrepreneurial class, despite the many advises to do so. It paved the way to Mussolini (who came from the ranks of the Socialist party and knew very well which chords to touch....)

        Or you may draw a parallel to Berlusconi, who used the collapse of the "First Republic" Italian parties under their corruption scandals, to get power. He never realized what he promised (a more liberal Italy, less State, less taxes, etc. etc.), but he made laws that ensured corruption could keep on unaffected, increased the debt wasting money to build consensus, and lead Italy to its current situation (not alone, but a great deal of responsibility is on him). But his business was safe....

    2. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: In Trump friendly Texas...

      A century ago the European elites were drowning in debt maintaining their extravagances and their standing armies and needed to cull large swaths of the population or risk being swept aside as their economies crumbled. Completely different to now.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What the hell Register??

    Hold the phone?!?! Who said local IT resources are LESS SKILLED?? Can you put some logic and - coughFACTScough behind that particular little cherry please??

    All my outsource dealings have involved a dramatic LOSS of skillset and talent as work shifted offshore (to India mostly).

    1. Mark 110 Silver badge

      Re: What the hell Register??

      Agree completely. A few years ago I was tasked with handing over Change Management process from UK to offshore HCL. They had not a scoobies. Never heard of Change Management before. Risk assesment? Nah. Impact assessment? What. Scheduling for least risk/impact? Making things difficult wasn't I.

      Back out plan? Why would we want to back out?

      Rehearsal on preprod? Whats the value in that . . .

      My heart bled :-(

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: What the hell Register??

        And when the same system is onshored to which ever depressed region is giving the best tax breaks this week - you think the natives you are handing over to will all be Donald Knuth ?

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: What the hell Register??

      No matter where, outsourcing or local, you offer peanuts, you get monkeys...

      It's pure greed for more profit, no matter the Industry, you buy cheap, you don't get quality, sooner or later your customers will notice. Fail to invest in your workforce and they'll either leave for your competitors or fall behind in effectiveness.

      So of course there is a likelihood of local talent falling behind if they are passed over for imports or outsourcing.

      At some point that foreign workforce will spawn it's own competing Industry, undercut and wipe out the original. One day, the likes of Foxconn will own the likes of Apple.

    3. Calleb III

      Re: What the hell Register??

      I know that this is IT/Techie website, but IT is not the only industry out there that is being outsourced...

      My guess is the author is talking about non-IT skill sets, like mechanical and low level low paid engineering tasks that are deemed to be beneath someone living in a first world country in the past couple of decades.

      I'm not familiar with the US Education system but i doubt there are many places that teach how to maintain a loom or sewing or metal working

  9. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    I have no problem with gearing back the corrupt H1-B program

    Amazingly enough, the American government is in place principally to promote policies that benefit Americans. And I personally don't deny foreign governments the right to do the same for their own people. So yes to more domestic hiring of IT workers, even if the prices go up a little.

    Plus we are going to need more local IT jobs when things like self-driving cars and trucks start appearing and throwing the huge numbers of professional drivers out of work. I don't object to the self-driving vehicles, having drivers that don't get tired and need pitstops makes a lot of sense. However, we will need to do something for the current drivers, and maybe some can be retrained to lower-level IT jobs, and we can move the people currently in those lower-level jobs up the ladder a little, and so on.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: I have no problem with gearing back the corrupt H1-B program

      While I agree in principle with the H1-B program being corrupt and importing lower quality workers for less money, corporates don't care about anything except the bottom line.

      If we look at manufacturing, those jobs (and the plants) were off-shored some time ago and they aren't coming back. The US has lost major skill sets over the years, such as machinists so that won't happen. The corporates decide to offshore IT and those skillsets will soon disappear also.

      Follow the money or in this case.. the profit. Where's the most to be made? Higher cost (wages) US or lower wages/cost offshore?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: I have no problem with gearing back the corrupt H1-B program

        The machinists jobs weren't offshored, they were automated.

        Look at a car assembly line today compared to the model-T, notice anything about the number of workers?

        I suppose you could ban robots and CNC to increase factory employment and ban JCBs to reinvigorate the ditch digging industry, then get rid of all those combine harvesters, then the power looms ...

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: I have no problem with gearing back the corrupt H1-B program

          Go look at the videos of how a Tesla is put together and you will see the future for car workers. viz, there isn't one. Almost the whole assembly is automated. They are even talking about designing robots to service the robots.

          OTOH, if no one has a job how will they be able to afford a Tesla (or anything else for that matter)

          Even flipping Burgers for minimm wage is about to be totally auotmated.

          There will be a new revolution in the USA before long. If the new Presidente is concerned about unemployment, then he ain't seen nothing yet. It will get very ugly.

          Ned Ludd will be cheering from his grave.

          What price that spray tan then Donald?

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. YARR
      Joke

      However, we will need to do something for the current drivers, and maybe some can be retrained to lower-level IT jobs, and we can move the people currently in those lower-level jobs up the ladder a little, and so on.

      Remember those captchas which were used to validate OCR scans of hard-to-read print? If we apply the same technique to coding: break down tasks via an automated process into piecemeal logic decisions which can be presented as quick games for people with short attention spans. The results are machine translated back into code and if it meets the test spec then the player is rewarded with a micropayment.

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
        IT Angle

        @Yarr

        Consider the many transferable skills professional drivers would bring to IT jobs:

        1. High tolerance for long stretches of repetitive activity--check!

        2. Familiarity with energy-enhancing drinks and products-check!

        3. Comfort with unreasonable delivery dates - check!

        This is sounding like a better idea all the time :)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "it's difficult..."

    "...to know what words were intended simply to score points and grab the sound bite and which was actual policy in the making"

    It's not difficult.

    He has said, is saying, and will say anything, anything at all, which serves his sole purpose, the aggrandizement of Donald Trump, or what he perceives as serving thus.

    If half an hour later saying the opposite will serve that purpose -- well, he's proud to be a dynamic businessman, right?

    Unless of course you count the Mexican Wall as a "policy in the making".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "it's difficult..."

      Unless of course you count the Mexican Wall as a "policy in the making".

      I'm waiting for the Canadian wall he builds to stop people escaping just like the Berlin wall.

      1. Major N

        Re: "it's difficult..."

        gotta keep those damn Snow Mexicans out

        1. genghis_uk

          Re: "it's difficult..."

          I would think Canada are more than happy to build a wall - and pay for it

          1. JungleJim

            Re: "it's difficult..."

            <<I would think Canada are more than happy to build a wall - and pay for it>>

            Well, given that a little under 80% of Canada's exports go to the US (I know, dumb idea to be so dependent on one market; it's been said before many times) I'm not so sure we would be. It would have to have a door in it wide enough to let a truck through.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Strawmanning

    What is Gavin Clarke getting at with Dell and EMC? They're honorary members of Silicon Valley even if their headquarters are elsewhere. Why don't we make RAM and SSDs domestically anymore? We damn well should.

    I don't mind paying import duty. It's arguably the least regressive, least intrusive, most enforceable form of taxation. As long as income/sales/VAT taxes are cut or eliminated to compensate.

    As for Trump, I'll withhold judgement. He's a wildcard. He could like Nixon, like Carter... or like Reagan.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Strawmanning / Nixon, Carter, Reagan

      So far he* reminds me of Warren G Harding, but we'll see.

      * Oh please, can we start saying 'He who must not be named'?

      1. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: Strawmanning / Nixon, Carter, Reagan

        Nice post. I had never heard of Harding though his successor Coolidge I had. I love the fact that "He conducted a front porch campaign, remaining for the most part in Marion and allowing the people to come to him". The just finished election would have been so much more civilised if the candidates just stayed home.

      2. genghis_uk

        Re: Strawmanning / Nixon, Carter, Reagan

        Except Harding died after 2 years in office so he limited his impact.

        Pence could be worse than Trump so it is hard to say whether it would be a good thing in this case.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Strawmanning

      >What is Gavin Clarke getting at with Dell and EMC?

      That it's one thing to rage against those silicon valley hipsters.

      But once you start putting regular American workers in Republican states out of work by imposing tarrifs on components that make it too expensive for Dell to run factories - your party support might drop.

      I assume all those German and Japanese car plants will be kicked out of Georgia and Alabama to make America great again.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Strawmanning

        > But once you start putting regular American workers in Republican states

        No problem. EMC is based in the Democrat stronghold Boston metro area, and parent company Dell is based in Democrat-leaning Austin metro area.

        Give 'em hell, President Trump :)

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Strawmanning

          The HQ might be, but their factories are normally in whatever depressed area is giving the best tax breaks - in Dell's case North Carolina and Tennessee.

          If your first act is to impose tarrifs to bring the jobs back home - which closes these factories - you might just lose some support.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Prepare from some rubbish American products

    There are areas of manufacturing that the US technology sector has not done in a very long time, and so those that are familiar with the processes and techniques will be retired or rather rusty in their skills.

    You do not simply buy a chip fabrication plant, plug-it in, start shovelling sand in and expect perfectly performing chips out the other side. There are a lot of skills that people have got to acquaint themselves with, and this may not be doable in the maximum 8 year term that Trump has (if and only if he is re-elected).

    Rushing into this is going to end in tears.

  13. SeanC4S

    The real action is not what the US does or doesn't do. I would definitely be watching out for major geopolitical realignments as the main consequence.

  14. Colin Tree

    race to the bottom

    Cheapest man(woman) gets hired.

    If Trump's going to put a tariff on foreign goods, he has to put a tariff on foreign workers.

    A fair amount would be the amount of money taken out of the US economy by a foreign worker.

    Especially taking into account further cash recirculation in the local economy which would be lost with a foreign worker.

    This will encourage employers to re-skill the local workforce.

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      Re: race to the bottom

      Capital controls will have to follow good and labour controls as well.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is important to remember...

    ...that if you want to sell your product at a profit the people who buy your product need to be willing to pay more than it cost to make it.

    If you want to manufacture using staff in the same market in which you sell then you have to accept that your product has to be high value - such that people might be willing to spend the next 4 years paying for it - or that your product will be niche - you are going to use your lower classes to build something just for your upper classes.

    The way you "democratise" production is to push your costs into a market with relatively low input costs - at least compared to the market you are trying to sell into. Of course this is just another version of the niche method, above, only you are using the worlds lower classes to build for the worlds upper classes (your lower/middle/upper class).

    Maybe it is a weakness with consumerism - as soon as you create a world where everyone reckons they need a 100" curved flatscreen TV and this year's XBOX you create a situation where the ONLY thing you can do is pump money outside of that "sphere of need" to produce it at costs that can be borne by people inside the sphere.

    Sadly, when you attack consumerism, you also attack the source of your (relative to others in the world) comfort. "If we aren't selling XBOXes we don't need XBOX sales and support staff, so sack 'em".

    Unless you are living by barter in an agrarian wonderland - where nature does the value-adding for you - you NEED for the things you need to be made somewhere cheap so that the costs of your needs can be less than whatever it is that you make. If you aren't making enough money you need to either sell high value products in your own market at low turnaround (which in the long term is a zero sum game), encourage everyone in your market to crank up their debt like a sonofabitch and consume your products at a rate that can support you and your costs (which is a great way to become indentured to financial institutions), or make a product that appeals to a niche market wealthier or vaster than you (which NEEDS you to be dynamic and imaginative and to not keep obsessing about trying to skew the markets oblivious to the fact that anything you do will come back and bite you in the arse)

    Its physics. Trump is trying to sell a perpetual motion machine and the US just bought in. Which is not to say that Hillary is necessarily better. Or any other country, particularly. World is not flat, the syphon will not keep filling itself, and MC Escher was not an economist.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Domestic employees

    To get around that, firms will need to build infrastructure in the US and take on, presumably, less skilled and more expensive domestic employees.

    Here's a novel concept for American companies: train your staff in new skills instead of treating them like disposable assets.

    1. Julz

      Re: Domestic employees

      The US corporates gave up training their workers a looong time ago.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    disenfranchised lash out in anger, result is nothing good

    Like Brexit it really doesn't matter how angry or desperate the "ignored" get, the minorites retain control and the ability to continue ignoring them.

    This is the ultimate problem with popular democracy, people believe that they can vote for "cake today" without thought for tomorrow. For years they voted for instant gratification at the cost of the "common" wealth and now the coffers are empty and the people in control are going to continue "ignoring" them to save themselves.

    It doesn't matter how many gross loud mouthed retards the "ignored" vote into office because that is not where the power is held. The real power is safely held where no vote can reach because the "ignored" happily already voted for things to be that way.

    To the ignored, yes it is true that companies have been allowed to outsource everything they could to poorer countries and still trade at home without penalty but now it is too late to change the tide. Yes it is also true that cheap labour has been intentionally imported to lower wages along with new laws enacted to prevent the aboriginals from grouping together to oppose the influx again to late to change.

    It is all true but so is the fact that the "ignored" were happily ignoring it when they had the chance to prevent it. The companies and the minorities that control them hold the power and whomever you now vote in will continue to work for their interests over yours. You had your chance to prevent all of this but voted for "cake today" instead. So now the coffers are empty and the bill for your years of cake needs paying the "ignored" want to stamp their foot and say it is everyone elses fault. Well welcome to democracy, there never was such thing as a free lunch no matter how much you vote for it, the bill always needs to be paid by someone and this time it is you.

    .

  18. joeldillon

    Um Apple licenses the ARM ISA but designs its own chips, doesn't it?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Indeed, and ARM design their cores at their locations all around the world.

  19. James 51 Silver badge
    Windows

    It is not efficient to ship raw materials a long distance to be transformed into a finished product. Unless the US becomes a manufacturing hub on a vast scale it won't acheive the economies of scale that can be acheived else where. Without the vast pool of highly talented people who live around the world it will slow down development until more people can be trained up or those people can be hired (and the taxes paid driving up costs) or brining them in. From someone who is suppose to have the best brain it's not a very well though through plan. Did get him elected though which was probably the point. Given that he has only a casual relationship with reality and the truth he can flipflop his way out and no doubt his supports will forgive him as they have forgiven so many things.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Unless the US becomes a manufacturing hub on a vast scale

      That's "make America great again" in a nutshell.

      We have millions of highly talented American people (and legal immigrants) just scraping by in part-time shit jobs until manufacturing comes back. And plenty of people, with money and experience, trying to (re)start manufacturing businesses to fill the void of quality affordable products. The only things stopping them are the massive useless bureaucracy and the flood of cheap shit imported from Asia.

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        Reorganisation on that scale will take far longer than a term or even two terms in office. If other countries slap tarrifs on US manufacturing in repsonce it will make US exports less competitive. There is no simple or easy way to deliver what trump has promised. Still he has the best brain and I look forward to seeing it in use.

        One reason why China is so poluted is that we outsourced our manufacturing there. Trump seems to lower enviromental standards so I hope he has a plan for when lots of people start coughing and they have no health insurance.

      2. SWEng2016

        When that manufacturing does come back it is likely to be highly automated, leaving the unemployed jobless still.

  20. Smitty

    It's all international now

    Trump doesn't seem to get that the tech industry is just so globalised now and there's little he can do to change that. While it is admirable from a US viewpoint to force the likes of Apple, Microsoft and Dell to employ more US citizens and make more products in the States, he doesn't realise that the US is just a increasingly smaller part of the global marketplace.

    What happens when he tries to turn the screws to force these companies to comply? They can simply up-sticks and move their HQs to the EU or one of the new emerging mega-markets such as India or China. Tech companies don't need to stay anchored in one country anymore.

  21. Fihart

    Exporting imports and jobs.

    When I was a kid I noted how US toy companies imported Japanese components and complete products, gave them a US brand and sold them on to Europe.

    Avoiding high wage economies seemed smart to me as, doubtless, the greater part of what I paid was pocketed by the brand's owners. But it also seemed inefficient, as US products tended to be more expensive than European ones, let alone those imported directly from the Far East.

    To the present. Virtually none of the IT companies make anything in their home countries. This doesn't seem to lead to cost savings for users -- as Apple's amusing prices demonstrate.Thus the inevitable rise of Far Eastern brands, doubtless building on skills and infrastructure and economies of scale facilitated by supplying US companies.

    To take a more prosaic example -- Levi's originally supplied the UK market from factories in the US. The price -- about three times that of UK brand Lee Cooper -- seemed reasonable for a better-made product and a tangible authenticity. Later, production was in Scotland and product quality remained, but one could still buy US-made Levi's when holidaying in the States where, ironically, they cost less than in the UK.

    More recently Levi's has started supplying even the US market from Mexico and the world market from factories in Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Poland and more. Unsurprisingly this has diluted the brand (and, I think, quality) and provides little incentive for customers to pay more for jeans possibly made in the same factories as those sold under cheaper labels.

    Moving manufacturing back to the US sounds attractive. The alternative is to continue concentrating wealth in the hands of the brand owners, to deprive the home market of incomes with which to pay for products -- and to encourage competition from abroad.

    1. Mark 110 Silver badge

      Re: Exporting imports and jobs.

      Levis is a great example. I used to love my Levis. Then after a couple of lower quality purchases 10 years ago I moved on and haven't gone back.

    2. Patrick R
      Windows

      Re: Exporting imports and jobs.

      >Avoiding high wage economies seemed smart to me

      Avoiding paying taxes for years as a billionaire and a would be president still seems smart to someone.

      "Do what I say ..."

  22. ridley

    So if you are a US company manufacturing in abroad you are going to be hit with a 35% tax on importing to the US. So being a US company makes you 35% less competative.

    Solution?

    In Trump world you make huge investments in plant/workers etc etc to avoid the tariff, this would potentially cost billions.

    Or

    You move your headquarters overseas, I am sure many small countries will welcome them. This would cost approx, sod all in comparison to above.

    I am not sure that this is what Trump had in mind though.

  23. johnnorris10

    not another brexit dig?

    Two comments - sterling had to fall - we have the highest current account deficit in the developed world. Brexit was an excuse to do what should have been done years ago.

    And why should US workers be more unskilled? Less experienced perhaps but they can be trained, much like the overseas workers were. The US went abroad not because overseas were skilled but because they were cheap and that allowed higher margins and better profits.

    1. Mark 110 Silver badge

      Re: not another brexit dig?

      Agree with you that sterling was, and probably sttill is, overvalued if you are an exporter. The amount of money flowing into the City of London being the primary cause of that. However, as much as we might have a distaste for the City it provides huge employment opportunities for us IT workers and drives our wages up (even if the companies offshore to try and control that).

      If we lose the City then IT remuneration will go down.

  24. Calleb III

    There was an interview with one of the Apple execs, I think it was with Tim Cook while he was still COO where he explained why it's virtually impossible to manufacture the iphone in US regardless of the cost implications.

    Basically it boils down to lack of low skilled labour, not high skilled labour. As in the past couple of decades the "Western" culture is driving the youth towards higher and higher education and white collar jobs, while slowly moving production to the "Developing" countries for various reasons like cost and environmental impacts. He came up with some numbers in 10'000s of people needed for the assembly plants alone.

    Another factor is the supply chain, where in China/Taiwan the factory that produces the semiconductor components is just "down the road" from the ones producing 90% of the other components like the metal/glass body and the tiny screws.

    Another factor is the total "out of touch" of the American sub-contractors/suppliers, that in the case of the Ipnone 4 "revolutionary" glass body quoted 6+ months to come up with a prototype. Their Chinese/Taiwanese counterparts took days to come up with a viable prototype.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      There's plenty of low-skilled labour in the Western world too - just is not cheap as it is in China or alike.

      Even if parents try to get a better education for their sons and daughters, not everybody succeed, wants, or can even try for lack of resources.

      The number of school dropouts is still high - and would be better to give them a job, even a lower end one, that have them live of state aids (although that's good for politicians who controls those aids, and thus votes...). It doesn't look to me US lacks low skilled workers - which are low-skilled up to a point, working in a manufacturing plants still requires specific skills, more than putting goods on a Walmart's shelf.

      But of course wages should be high enough to make them able to live in a developed country - where the cost of housing and basic life needs is often kept high to ensure good revenues to the same who complain about wages costs.

      But take Germany, for example, which has a school system which lets only those who get enough good results to access higher levels, while others are driven to other jobs. It still has a very strong manufacturing sector which is not sustained by immigrants only. While it's no surprise the supply chain moves where main plants are located.

      But a crook like Cook prefers people paid nuts, easily fired if the complain, no pension plans, no health insurance or system to be paid for, little or no environmental regulations, people who die can be easily replaced, after all. And then sell phones at $700 or more... as long as he can find enough customers.

  25. Maty

    ah ... economics

    Here's how it was explained to me (it was late, the pub was about to close, so the economist doing the explaining had to use some heroic simplificatins, but still ..)

    Basically, it's about the consumers. If everyone in the state has a good job, they can afford to buy stuff. If company A moves its operations offshore, but continues to sell stuff within the state it makes a profit, because its goods are cheaper. However, the pool of available consumers has shrunk by the number of jobs moved offshore.

    Currently the US is in a position where the consumer pool is shrinking as more and more companies move jobs offshore and try to sell to the diminishing number of people who have good jobs within the state. (Not a lot of people are buying stuff in the rust belt right now) Everyone knows that the way to stop this impoverishment of the nation is to stop offshoring. But any individual company that tries this will be broken by the competition. It has to be the government.

    It's rather like raising the minimum wage - when this happens there's more money going around (poor people spend money, the rich bank it). However, no single business can unilaterally raise wages and stay competitive.

    Some economic actions have to be done by the gubmint for the common good.Sort of government by the people for the people ...?

    1. SWEng2016

      Re: ah ... economics

      Or, sell in to promising emerging consumer markets like China (ask VW how this might be done).

  26. JJKing Silver badge
    IT Angle

    @ Mark 110

    I am interested to know if your moderate government down under is more to do with you having proportional representation than compulsory voting

    Sorry Mark but you have mixed up two different countries here. New Zealand has proportional representation but no compulsory voting.

    Australia has compulsory voting but not proportional representation. Australia does however give you two votes (waiting for the down vote avalanche now) and this is called Preferential voting. You get a primary vote where you vote for your desired candidate. If your desired guy, sorry candidate, doesn't get sufficient votes to carry the day, 50.1%, then your second vote comes into play. Your second vote for the next person that you might like to see elected then gets totalled with the initial votes so there is eventually get a candidate who gets a 50.1% of the two votes and so wins a seat in parliament. (The 50.1% is for the Lower House. The Senate works a little different but also on percentages.)

    It gets very complicated and all sorts of deals are made to get the Preference vote for your party. In the election held here in July, there was a doofus who won a seat in the Senate with just 71 primary votes. He got past the line with preference votes directed from other parties.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019