Do you purchase the cheapeast products available? Is that the only factor you use to evaluate a particular product? Has everything been commoditized?
No probably not, but access to inexpensive smartly designed products can be had at most big box retailers. The combination of market competition and cheap labor rates have effectively produced products that are both inexpensive and of questionable quailty, but hey it’s cheap right? Buy, break, replace….it’s only two bucks. Did you know oil is used in the production of plastic? Forget about cars, what happens to my life if the production of plastic is limited?
This all brings me to producing items offshore. My company produces everything offshore. We have no US production capability. When we initially set up the company we visited several countries in Europe, but settled on one in Asia. I would have loved to set up shop in the US (i think it’s better), but I didn’t think I could sell enough $800 leather jackets to support a business. So what does this mean? Well, I guess there are manufacturing jobs in the US that weren’t created as a result of my business, but the market get’s a product it wants at a price it wants to pay. So who looses? I am really not sure.
What concerns me is, if the US eliminates most of it’s onshore manufacturing capability what happens if one day the Chinese or another Low Labor Producer (LLP) suddenly decides to stop doing business with us, however unlikey? We will move to some other socio economically depressed area and continue to exploit exceptionally low wages in order to deliver inexpensive products, but the real threat I see isn’t this. The real threat I see is that a LLP buys a strong brand or develops its own and can go to market agressively at a price point that an “outsourcer” cannot compete with. What happens then?