Everything Is Made in China, Part 1

By Ben Thomson

These days, you might have noticed that many of the things that you purchase in the USA are manufactured in China. Obviously, not everything is manufactured in China. There are many countries in the third world countries which also provide products to the USA. These countries include Nicaragua, Honduras, Taiwan, Indonesia, and China, are all countries that provide the USA with numerous products.

All of the foreign products being imported into the USA have caused somewhat of an outrage with the citizens in the USA. Usually, that outrage took the form of contempt for the loss in pride in the USA's manufacturing capability and the perceived loss of manufacturing jobs in the USA. Ever since the 1970's when trade with China reopened, the usual criticism came for the people who considered the large increase in foreign products as a threat to jobs in the USA.

Some of those who were advocates of free trade contend that the loss of manufacturing jobs in the USA will be compensated for by better paid technology and service industry jobs. Although this has not entirely been deemed to be true, assuming that it is, it still represents an issue for the job market in the USA by moving the jobs that many citizens of the USA want.

The fact is that should the manufacturing jobs in the USA be transferred overseas there will not be an increase in highly skilled jobs in the USA. This leaves the citizens if the USA without any reasonable job prospects since their jobs are now in Korea, Nicaragua, China, or somewhere else. These overseas countries have even taken the jobs in the service industry jobs, like car washer, fast food employee, or garbage man.

Therefore, one effect of this on the job market in the USA is fragmentation, an increased separation between lower skilled jobs and the higher skilled jobs. This leaves fewer jobs in the middle for the employee who only has medium skills. Some higher skilled and higher paying jobs are being created, but employees in the USA have a wide range of skills and many of these employees aren't all suited to the more highly skilled jobs in the technology sector. Those employees that can't fulfill the jobs that require a higher skill level are then left with the jobs that are beneath them since many midrange jobs are being done overseas.

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