Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What Does the U.S. Manufacture?

Computers, but apparently not for long:

"The trend for low-priced computers will last for the coming years," said Shih, according to the AFP's quote of a Commercial Times newspaper interview. "But U.S. computer makers just don't know how to put such products on the market... US computer brands may disappear over the next 20 years, just like what happened to U.S. television brands."

Excuse the anecdotal evidence, but a town that relied on jobs provided by a local television assembly plant was featured in a documentary concerning the impact Walmart has on U.S. economics. The cheaper, foreign made televisions acquired and sold by Walmart led to the collapse of the American plant. The freshly laid off workers in this small town found low paying jobs at their local -- wait for it -- Walmart.

A brief scan through the comments on this story as reported by Tom's Hardware suggests that the readers don't believe that this will happen. They cite higher quality products from companies such as HP versus their foreign counterparts and note, correctly, that the above prediction comes from foreign rival Acer. I am not so optimistic, however. When is the last time that Americans, en masse, valued quality over low prices?


  1. Low prices, bitches!

    Excuse me while I go practice my "How may I help you?"

  2. Well, aren't these computers filled with parts that are almost exclusively made in China anyway? I mean, I bought all the components in my machine and assembled it myself, does that make it American made? Even though I'm 99% sure every single component in there was made in china? I could be wrong on this, and I'm not saying I don't care, but what exactly is the news here? That companies like dell or hp won't even be assembling foreign-made parts themselves anymore? Yeah...that's sad if that's the case.

  3. @Sparrowhawk -
    This deserved a response earlier; sorry to get back to you so late.

    You're exactly right, but there are still two issues:
    1) Even if its just assembly jobs, we could use some actual jobs in the U.S. And it would be nice to have products that were at least assembled in the States.
    2) The assertion in the article is that those companies, or at least that branch of those companies, will not exist. Even if just the HQ is in the States, there is some cash flow into this country. It may not be significant, but given the economic state we're in, I'm not too keen on watching a U.S. owned company dissolve...