“Would Apple investors tolerate lower profit margins to help rebuild manufacturing businesses in the U.S.? Hardly,” Philip Van Doorn writes for MarketWatch. “Might American shoppers be willing to pay higher prices to spur the opening of more tool and die factories in the U.S.? It would be a very tough sell.”
“These points illustrate why Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook oversimplified the situation when saying a shortage of ‘vocational kind of skills’ at home has led the company to have most of its products made by an estimated (by CBS) one million workers in China,” Van Doorn writes. “During an interview on ’60 Minutes’ Sunday, Charlie Rose pressed Tim Cook on this issue. Following his comments on a shortage of skills in the U.S. and the ‘focus’ of other countries’ educational systems on vocational training, Cook said, ‘you can take every tool and die maker in the U.S. and probably put them in a room that we’re currently sitting in. In China, you would have to have multiple football fields.'”
“Cook was referring to the small number of manufacturers in the U.S. capable of turning out a variety of finished high-tech goods,” Van Doorn writes. “The real problem is that it is so difficult for tool and die makers to turn a profit.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: If you can’t compete, change the game.
Tool and die makers are not plentiful in the U.S. because the U.S. economy is at a different place than places where such businesses can turn a profit. Therefore, you don’t waste money, time, and energy trying to turn out more machinists in the U.S. Unless you want to hand out even more food stamps. This isn’t the 1950s. You train people for the future, not the past. You train people for the types of jobs that profitable companies in your country need filled for the foreseeable future.
Tim Cook likely “oversimplified” things because he was attempting to explain something to Charlie Rose.