Nuggets of Wisdom

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Made In America iPhones Will Cost More

Apple announced that it would be moving production of the iPhone from China to America. Already, Trump supporters are celebrating this announcement as a victory for Trump, believing that this is him helping bring back “jobs” to America as he promised.

This is BS for two reasons: first, Apple had been considering this move for some time now, so the God Emperor Don and his recent ascent had little to do with it.

Second, and most importantly, this move is hardly a good thing, as it will inevitably cause iPhone prices to more than double:

One big problem is that higher costs could cause a big price hike on an already-expensive product. The latest iPhone model retails for $649, and even CEO Tim Cook has suggested the phones might be too pricey right now for the company to break into certain consumer markets, like India.

Higher production costs would not just be because labor is cheaper in China than in the U.S.

"In no other country can you scale up so quickly," said John Dulchinos, vice president of electronics supplier Jabil, to the Wall Street Journal. "You have the ability to move quickly and there's a really strong electronics supply chain in Asia centered around China."

In other words, moving production back to the U.S. creates costly complications: The memory chips in Apple devices are made in South Korea, the displays are made in Japan, and the devices are assembled in China by companies based in Taiwan.
This is why I roll my eyes whenever I hear folks complain about how stores are filled with products “Made in China.” So? So what? Why does everything need to be "Made in America"? If another country can make something at a much lower cost than what it would otherwise cost to make over here, why even bother making it over here? Why not simply trade with the other country for it?

Especially baffling is when I hear self-proclaimed “free market capitalists” rail against “free trade” and cry out for protectionist, isolationist policies. What they’re essentially saying is that they support voluntary trade and labor, but only within the confines of our country’s imaginary borders drawn out by big government, and anyone wanting to trade outside said imaginary borders need to get on their knees, beg big daddy government for permission, and pay for the privilege through expensive and restrictive tariffs.

Sorry folks, but I’m a staunch free market capitalist, and the free market isn’t confined to our borders. It extends across the globe with anyone willing to trade with us. If the government has no business telling me who I can do business with inside our borders, why do they have such business outside our borders?

Not everything needs to be “Made in America”! Americans don’t have to make everything! We can trade freely with other nations for the things we need, and it will benefit us all in the long run. Not only does it provide us with affordable goods and services, but the economic interdependence created will allow for peace to follow. We need less protectionism and more free trade—and by that I mean real free trade, not phony corporatist “free trade” deals like NAFTA and TPP!