Chinese vs. U.S. manufacturing

PBS is re-running the NOVA program, " Inside China’s Tech Boom."

At the same time, Netflix is running “American Factory,” a 2019 American documentary film directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, about Chinese company Fuyao’s factory in Moraine, a city near Dayton, Ohio, that occupies Moraine Assembly, a shuttered General Motors plant. The contrast between the disciplined, hard-working Chinese workforce and the grungy, whiny Americans is striking.

It’s hard to have much hope for the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing against the Chinese.



The contrast between Chinese manufacturing capacity vs US capacity --or Russian capacity vs US capacity, and especially in regard to the production of 155 mm shells-- is yet another instance of past political choices having present-day economic consequences that in turn determine --and limit-- future political choices in a vicious and intertwined feedback loop.

Or, to paraphrase von Clausewitz, “Economics is just politics by another name.” Hence, to ignore the latter is to misunderstand the former, especially in international affairs.


We’ve come a long way since 2019.

China has been going down the tubes ever since.

BTW the Chinese diabetes rate is through the roof. Lazy people with plenty to eat? Just like the Americans? No way! Way? hu huh.

There are no Chinese or Americans. There are individuals.

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It is always hard to compete against slave labor.

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Mexican labor is less expensive than the Chinese labor rates and better skilled.

The difference between a brutal, repressive, police state, vs a county where the citizens have a degree of freedom? USian workers would probably work like dervishes. if the alternative was being sent to a “reeducation” camp, where they would do the same work, for less pay, and be motivated by cattle prods.



The contrast in quality control is striking as well. It has been almost 20 years since I’ve been to China, but I doubt much has changed. I saw roads and buildings being built and was amazed in a bad way at the quality of construction.

I traveled this highway a few times and saw parts being built. Didn’t last long.

The hospital where I did medical mission work was adding a wing on one trip. The support pillars were randomly being driven into the ground. Might be able to make it work for one story but this was a 4-5 story addition. My missionary friends told many stories of quality control issues and the culture that made no sense.

You can find plenty of similar US stories too. Bottom line, humans are humans.


Some simple Chinese stuff I bought in Venezuela was utter crap. Yet Sandy Munro says that Chinese auto quality is great. Teslas and iPhones made in China are great. I guess it depends on who they are working for.

The Captain