Rick Snyder's role in China job outsourcing examined

| Thursday, June 24, 2010
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My answer to the question of whether Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder sent jobs to China and other Asian countries while serving on the board of Gateway computer is: What does that have to do with being governor of Michigan?

If anything, Michigan should be engaging with China to figure out ways of capitalizing on China's huge and fast-growing economy, as former state schools superintendent Tom Watkins regularly urges.

But with anti-China sentiments running high, there's political capital to be amassed by accusing rivals of sending American jobs to the Middle Kingdon. Witness the effectiveness of Gov. Jennifer Granholm's China-outsouring attacks on challenger Dick DeVos during the 2006 election campaign.

So what's the story with Snyder? Annarbor.com reporter Nathan Bomey does an outstanding job of researching the Snyder-Asian jobs connection. You can find it here. I suspect Bomey's story already is required reading among political operatives in Michigan.

Here's the issue that nagged me as I read story: Snyder said he raised concerns at the board level about sending Gateway jobs to Asia. But Rob Enderle, a computer industry analyst told Bomey that Gateway likely wouldn't have survived if it hadn't shipped jobs to lower-cost countries.

So would Snyder have won the ideological battle but lost the company had he prevailed in his view that outsourcing jobs was the wrong move?


David Waymire said...

Perhaps a more fundamental problem for a gubernatorial candidate: the bottom line was that even in South Dakota, the state with the lowest taxes in the nation, a manufacturer couldn't compete against foreign factories paying $4 an hour or less.
That means any state seeking a factory-based economic strategy is doomed to failure.
Yet, that's exactly the strategy every one of the gubernatorial candidates are following, including Snyder.
Bottom line: Snyder didn't learn from this debacle that we must turn to a knowledge economy if we are to be a successful state. Right next door to South Dakota is Minnesota. Minnesota has attracted a lot of college grads (highest percentage in the Midwest) and thus has the lowest unemployment and the highest per cap income in the Midwest -- and relatively high tax burden. South Dakota has relatively few college grads, and much lower per cap income.
Why does Snyder want Michigan to follow the strategy of a failed state, like South Dakota, and not a successful state, like Minnesota, when he lived through such a difficult decision? If Michigan follows the low-tax strategy, it will get low-tax results...low paying jobs may come, but our economy will never return to prosperity.

KP Chen said...

The admit of China to WTO in early 2000s is a very, very significant event ...

Most Americans don't know and feel a thing about WTO, but China, only have a few years, to remake, rename, reorient themselves, as a WTO-Awareness, WTO Compliant and WTO-Savvy nation ...

If China doesn't build solid their factory and manufacturing bases, what destiny would be reserved for their people?

I would bet:

Women sells sex ...
Men steals money ...
Parents sell kids ...
Wholesale poverty ...

But, China, is a hugely populous country ... anything times 1.37B produces no small number ... blessings or troubles.

2007 or earlier, the world is still under the so-called Microcircuitry World ... Apple/Foxconn wadgets, gudgets, etc.

This paradigm is ending.

New Paradigm is coming.

Noboby honestly knows what is it.

And everybody gets a shot or has a stroke.

The world is evolving.

Keep evolving.

Often even smarter than the smart Tom, Rick and David ...

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