Dr. Reich


Time marches on and once a person is out of the limelight, it seems as if they disappear into a worm hole – no matter how relevant their message.

Here is a piece written by Dr. Robert Reich, lest we forget, a Rhodes Scholar and Secretary of Labor in the first Clinton administration.  Currently he is  the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

As an Apple executive told the New York Times, “we don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems. Our only obligation is making the best product possible.”

. . .

Forget the debate over outsourcing. The real question is how to make Americans so competitive that all global companies — whether or not headquartered in the United States — will create good jobs in America.

. . .

It (Apple) assembles iPhones in China both because wages are low there and because Apple’s Chinese contractors can quickly mobilize workers from company dorms at almost any hour of the day or night.

But low wages aren’t the major force driving Apple or any other American-based corporate network abroad. The components Apple’s Chinese contractors assemble come from many places around the world with wages as high if not higher than in the United States.

More than a third of what you pay for an iPhone ends up in Japan, because that’s where some of its most advanced components are made. Seventeen percent goes to Germany, whose precision manufacturers pay wages higher than those paid to American manufacturing workers, on average, because German workers are more highly skilled. Thirteen percent comes from South Korea, whose median wage isn’t far from our own.

Workers in the United States get only about 6 percent of what you pay for an iPhone. It goes to American designers, lawyers, and financiers, as well as Apple’s top executives.

. . .

What’s going on? Put simply, America isn’t educating enough of our people well enough to get American-based companies to do more of their high-value added work here.

Continue reading at the link above.  Dr. Reich has a simple to understand solution to what ails us.

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