Made in China and killing the goose

Nevada Senator Reid recently threw a tantrum because the US Olympic team uniforms were made in China. The resentment against non-US manufactured items is quite intense. If emotion is set aside however, the question that should be asked is why there are so many things made elsewhere sold in the U.S. The answer to that question is not as simple as the conspiracy idea usually offered. Overlawyered describes one factor in how Litigation kills gas can manufacturer.

“An American producer is bankrupt because it couldn’t idiot-proof its product sufficiently to ward off the attentions of our product liability system. The next gas can you buy will probably come from somewhere like China, whose manufacturers are apt to be less reachable by American plaintiffs.”

This is just one example of how the U.S. seems to be trying to re-learn the fable about the goose that laid golden eggs. It seems that the current political campaign is all about killing the goose to find the gold (e.g. ‘tax the rich’) or doing what we can do to make that goose healthy and productive so as to keep laying golden eggs.

Looks like Amazon has some additional reading on this: The Decline and Fall of the American Entrepreneur: How Little Known Laws and Regulations are Killing Innovation appears to be an Amazon Prime Kindle loaner, The Decline and Fall of the U.S. Economy: How Liberals and Conservatives Both Got It Wrong is a bit more academic (note the ‘both sides do it’ problem), quite a bit more expensive, and looks at economic policy rather than business headaches.

It appears to be a significant case of dissonance between killing the goose and trying to keep it going. The ‘made in China’ problem can be a good study for understanding its source.

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