1. bobbo, of note in the news: says:

    “The only chip made in America.” Then: “and then the wafers are sent to Asia for assembly.” /// Defne: made.

    Interesting Dylan Ratigan show today. Lady guest was on about “industrial society” wherein all the productivity gains made in mfg is done by automation–ie a few folks at the top making their millions, while “thousands of employees” at the bottom have their jobs taken by machines or ships to “Asia.”

    Yes–the number of jobs a society has available is directly set by governmental “policies” like 2.5% tariff on goods from China. Why not make it 25% like the Chinese have and maybe that assembly line could make the final product here in the USA cheaper than in China?

    Anyone know how much of our “debt” is held by China? = = = == 7.5%. Most of it is held by USA Bond Holders from the looting of Soc Sec. No lock box.

    We’re doomed===all by short sighted narrowily interested special legislation. Rich PUKES want their investments in China to pay off, so don’t expect any effective legislation to develop jobs in the USA as is EVEN NOW–so doable, if we only would.

    If PUKE isn’t the right word here, what would be more descriptive?

  2. interglacial says:

    How Lexar memory is made:
    1. (USA) The US plant is FULLY automated. The two guys you see walking in at the beginning probably didn’t even need to be there, but for the camera-shoot to show one of them peering over a portable maintenance terminal. Everything is robotic (Japanese? manufactured robots by the look of the labels on some of them) and the plant pumps out hermetically sealed cases of wafers.

    2. (Asia) Cut to shot of worker opening wafer cases and manufacturing begins. Circuit boards, assembly, injection molded cases, package printing, testing, quality control, logistics and distribution.

    Multiply this by a thousand other companies doing the same and you end with the unemployment so high government has to cover-up the figures. However, reality is worse than this. Most companies haven’t even bothered to retain a token part of their manufacturing here.

    Bobbo is right, we are doomed.

  3. tomdennis says:

    I sure miss CrankyGeeks.

  4. RTaylor says:

    Can’t we accept the concept of a global economy? The more dependent we are on one another, the less likely the chance of war. The US needs to change accordingly. How about quitting the role of world cop? How about forming a global space exploration group. No single country can afford interplanetary manned flight. Protectionism and excess patriotism foster conflicts. It’s the only way the human race will survive.

  5. bobbo, of note in the news: says:

    RTaylor==everybody agrees with the broad sentiment. That just breaks down when the details are considered. Amusing you think there are conditions under which the human race will survive, but maybe I’m being too pessimistic? Well….the species will always survive. I just think “culture” when I think hooman.

    To the Stars and beyond!!!!!!!!

  6. Sparky_One says:

    But I can’t get a burger without mayo and the counter person can’t return the correct change without a machine.

    We are creating a society that won’t be able to understand these processes nor repair them.

  7. AlanB says:

    @4 RTaylor- “Can’t we accept the concept of a global economy?” I worked for a company that manufactured big servers for Sun until they took the work off shore. Went 14 months without a job. Hard to recover. When I did find a job it was working with the DOL in the trade act dept. Now instead of private business paying me to make things you pay me to help find jobs or arrange and pay tens of thousands of our tax dollars (per individual for thousands of individuals in my small state alone) for education or retraining to help make trade affected workers employable. And I’m not just talking high school dropouts. I’ve worked with doctorates.

    I’m not making a political comment
    or saying what’s right or wrong. I know better than to do that on this blog 🙂 and besides; I really don’t know what’s right. Just pointing out some of the cost. I suppose the good news is…. I have a job.

  8. admfubar says:

    i the part about hand tested!!! how the hell do you test a memory chip by hand??? :))
    who are they kidding?

  9. msbpodcast says:

    That chip fabrication factory was once used in a music video. (Or one that looks identical to it.)

    Arrgh! I can’t remember the name of the group or the song that I featured in one of my own podcasts. (so its going to bug the Hell out of me until I remember.)

    I can almost remember the tune too. Arrgh! I HATE getting senior moments like this.

    I remember the two guys and the one woman wearing white clean-room jumpers. There was one moment where they were crossing in the hall which was particularly surreal. Her expression seemed longingly sad.

  10. George says:

    I’d like to see the silicon ingots they cut those pizza-sized wafers from. Imagine a single crystal of silicon that large.

    All of you that worry about jobs and the like in the US… don’t. As soon as all the non-renewable energy resources are depleted, we’ll have to go back to subsistence farming. It will be feudalism all over again. All this high-tech stuff will be a distant memory. There will be a second Dark Ages, and Islam will play a major part.

  11. bobbo, the magic 8 Ball says: Think Again says:

    #11–Shortsighted George==Oil gone in 50 years but liquified coal has proven reserves for 500 years and seabed methane more than that. No, we can continuing polluting ourselves long enough to develop green energy for sure.

    The future, except for what we will do to ourselves, is so bright, I gotta wear shades.

  12. grx says:

    @msbpodcast It’s The Postal Service – Such great heights.

  13. bobbo, the magic 8 Ball says: Think Again says:

    And as the gods would have it:


    Read the comments. A whole new technology may be presented ((doubt it–but eventually its unavoidable)) here supporting a new pollution free hydrogen economy==plus clean water.

    Where are those shades of mine?

  14. Dustry says:

    The video clearly shows how a memory card is manufactured. It is amazing. That’s what this post was about. The way you twist everything to fit your strange world view is troubling. Have you seen a therapist lately?

  15. Hyph3n says:

    #10 msbpodcast said “That chip fabrication factory was once used in a music video. (Or one that looks identical to it.)”

    The Postal Service – Such Great Heights


  16. God, also known as Allah says:

    re: Dustry #14, bobbo made an excellent comment on the actual content of the video. I’m surprised on how a company like Lexar can so easily brain wash you into believing their American made (cough) products video was only about the amazing process, and not about the fact that they really aren’t made in America.

  17. bobbo, the magic 8 Ball says: Duck and Cover says:

    #17–Allah==so when is the next flood?

  18. sargasso_c says:

    American oil is made in the Middle East. Japanese cars are made in the USA. American wealth is generated in other countries. Point lost, is that this is a global economy. Each country gets to do what it is most efficient at doing. Unless you live in France.

  19. God, also known as Allah says:

    #18, bobbo… I only work in mysterious ways. Besides, it would take all the fun out if I told you when.

  20. Awake says:


    There is one major problem with your tariff solution.

    Labor is much more expensive in the USA than it is in Asia. So if we shift the labor intensive jobs to the USA, we need to charge more for the products in order to account for labor costs.

    If we were to impose a 25% tariff, then products would still be manufactured overseas, AND they would be much more expensive than they currently are. So a $500 TV would cost $625, labor would still be in Asia, and you would no better off.

    Adding a tariff does not help, because it would have to be high enough to overcome higher labor costs, and then our products would be utterly uncompetitive outside the USA. All you accomplish is raising prices for Americans.

    So there really is no answer as long as US consumers want the cheapest product possible, and/or are demanding relatively high wages. I imagine that Lexar would be happy not to have to ship their chips to Asia in order to package them, if they could get $3 / hour labor here in the USA in order to stay competitive.

    The future of the USA in NOT in labor intensive manufacturing. If we are going to concentrate in manufacturing, it should be in building products that low cost labor countries will buy to keep their own labor costs low, which means high tech equipment, built by skilled and well educated employees. Complicated stuff that nobody else can make cheaply.

    Sadly, that means that the overall standard of living of the USA will continue to decrease, because a technical college degree will be the minimum required, and all those high school graduates that used to work in low skill manufacturing will be relegated to asking “Do you want fries with that?” That means 75% of the US population will be minimum wage pretty soon.

  21. Skeptic says:

    Awake, all good points, however China and other Asian countries are also adept in designing and building their own high tech equipment, or at least copying ours. There is no way to get out of this situation without pain while Asia catches up and rich countries have to meet the resultant lower standards of living halfway. The world is becoming homogenized.

  22. dexton7 says:

    Politics aside for a moment.. it is a very cool manufacturing process if not monotonous near the end.

    It sure beats the factory jobs that I had during high school and college. I never thought I’d get all that molten plastic out of my boots. =/

    While I’d like to see more jobs like this available here in the US… I have to agree with #6. I see Bobbo’s point as well, but electronics prices would increase by 100 fold if we did that.

    The devil is in the economic details.

  23. bobbo, I dropped my Magic 8 Ball says:

    Nice. We are all struggling honestly with what I assume none of us really understands?

    If not “free trade” then “fair trade?” I philosophically don’t buy that a 25% tariff from China makes “sense” but a 2.5% tariff is appropriate for the USA?

    Although I did hear a discussion over my head about how China’s manipulation of its market was creating inflation and joblessness for them–even with their 10% annual growth?

    I don’t know macro economics well enough to stand fast on any given theory, and I learned a long time ago my guts were only good for judging what I liked to eat=not relevant to anyone else.

    “Relative Advantage” is a fascinating subject though I would actually like to take a few courses on or even find a book or two that didn’t immediately put me out of my depth.

    Can we all agree we shouldn’t give tax advantages for corps to move overseas==or will that result in higher consumer prices as well? As is consumer price the sin quo non of what is best for America, or should some allowance be made for “jobs?”

    When are we going to jack up the price of basic food on the rest of the world, or charge for our mercenary military forces. Economic warfare could be just as ugly as the real kind?

    Allah–you are consistent. Evil, but consistent.


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