“Today’s news from Tim Cook that Apple is bringing some Mac manufacturing from China back to the United States is encouraging for the first reason you’ll think of: it’s a tentative move to disengage from appalling labor practices at the company’s Chinese contractor, Foxconn, that tether anyone who owns an iPhone back to the developing world economy heart of darkness,” John McQuaid writes for Forbes. “But what does it mean for the American economy? For years, we’ve been told that the migration of manufacturing offshore is an economic inevitability, the result of ironclad laws of trade, labor and capital. Steve Jobs himself said of the China offshoring: ‘Those jobs aren’t coming back.'”

“It’s not clear yet what Apple’s reasoning is for making Macs in the U.S., but its a good bet that, for a company obsessed with design and quality control, proximity and the ability to manage every aspect of the manufacturing process will yield economic benefits,” McQuaid writes. “The U.S. is never going to be the manufacturing powerhouse it once was. (Or rather, manufacturing will never employ the numbers it once did.) But perhaps we’re not doomed to a McDonald’s-and-Starbucks economy either.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The ultimate goal is what Steve Jobs always wanted all along: Automated assembly via robotics.

They don’t sleep, they don’t strike or make demands, they don’t jump off buildings or die in dust fires, most of them don’t even need the lights on. They just make what you program them to make, the same way every time, with quality control that no human line can ever match.

“I’m as proud of the factory as I am of the computer.” – Steve Jobs, February 1990

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Apple CEO Tim Cook announces plans to manufacture Macs in USA; says TV is ‘area of intense interest’ inside Apple – December 6, 2012