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?

2 comments:

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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