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Did China 'Steal' American Jobs?

Popularity 1Viewed 1500 times 2019-6-7 14:52 |System category:Economy

This is an assertion that Trump made during has campaign and now, during his presidency. To rational, intelligent people, we know that this isn't true, because, in fact, it would be impossible for Chinese to 'steal' American jobs.

American companies started outsourcing manufacturering jobs to many countries like China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh and others, many years ago.

Why did they do it?

The answer is simple. These countries could produce consumer goods at a much lower cost than American companies. The simple answer is, American companies outsourced to improve their profits. In fact, they improved their profits substantially even in light of the fact that shipping costs were added to the produced goods in order to get them to America.

American corporate greed is responsible for this. Of course, China met the demand quite easily because of the much lower labor cost in producing goods in China versus producing goods in America. It is a simple economic rule of capitalism. It is called 'supply and demand.' China and many other countries supplied cheaper labor while American companies were seeking lower manufacturering costs. American companies couldn't compete.

Who benefitted?

Well, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out. Both, America and China benefitted from this. I hear some Chinese criticize America for taking advantage of China's cheap labor. I heard Americans criticize China for 'stealing their jobs.' Well, America was instrumental in the great Chinese economic miracle of the past 40 years, however, we didn't do it with the intention of raising 800 million Chinese out of poverty. That was a result of the genius of the Chinese government leaders. America did it for higher corporate profits.

Another aspect of this is quite interesting. This exact same phenomena happened 180 years ago in America. Many Chinese people were starving to death in China. They heard that there was gold discovered in California in America. They left China to seek a new life. Preferably, one where their families could survive and even thrive. Many didn't find their fortune in gold, but, they did make a life in America. Thousands were employed to build the American railroad. They did it for cheap wages, but, it was far better than starving to death in China.

I've heard some Chinese say that America took advantage of these poor people. But, did they? Here was the simple choice. (1) Stay in China and starve to death. (2) Go to America, get a job and work hard to make a life for their families. They went to America in order to survive.

Today, the situation is just a repeat of history. And the question stands, 'who is benefitting from it?' THe answer is simple. The companies and nation of China and, the companies in America who freely and willingly bought their goods from the Chinese companies.

So, both countries benefitted from this. China won by sustaining amazing GDP growth. American companies (and Wall Street) won by posting greater profits. There were no 'winners' and losers' in this exchange. Both countries benefitted or else, it would have never happened. 

Did Chinese Steal American Technology?

A result of this labor and production exchange was inevitably the sharing of technology. Trump and his followers (which represent only about 40% of Americans) would like naive Americans to think that somehow China got into our country and 'stole jobs.' This is impossible. China simply supplied the demand for less expensive goods. The other question that Trump continues to talk about is technology and intellectual property.

It is well-know that a third of all smartphones are produced within a few kilometers of where I'm sitting while writing this. I live in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. Foxconn, a Taiwanese company, employees over 300,000 people in what has become known as 'cellphone city.' It is on Songshan Road which is within 200 meters of where I live here. The question that any rational and intelligent person would ask about 'China stealing American technology would be, 'who did American companies like Apple Computers and many other high tech American companies, entrust with their technology?' The answer is quite obvious. They shared their technology with China in order that Chinese companies might produce these smartphones.

Trump's assertions are ludicrous when the situation is looked at rationally, honestly and intelligently. China didn't 'steal' jobs from America. America 'gave' them the jobs. China didn't 'steal' technology and other intellectual property from America. American companies freely and willingly 'gave' them the technology in order to produce their goods. Was it America's technology? There's no doubt that it was. However, when they shared it with the Chinese and eventually Chinese companies started using what they'd been taught, it stands to reason that they would use it in Chinese companies and further improve the Chinese economy.

Any assertion otherwise, isn't rational or intelligent.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




Shake hands

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Reply Report kevinruud 2019-6-8 10:14
President Donald Trump stole women from Europe for his private purposes only, check his ex-wife and current one, so European men lost two women for bachelors. Ask him to compensate!

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Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.


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