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Apple Proves It: Jobs 'Aren't Coming Back' to America

Asia provides workers, flexibility that US can't match
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2012 5:19 PM CST

(Newser) – Last year, President Obama asked Steve Jobs whether iPhones could be made in the US instead of Asia. Jobs was blunt: “Those jobs aren’t coming back." The New York Times takes a long look at why. In short, Asia has a surplus of engineers and factory workers who work cheaply in flexible companies—so flexible that one reportedly roused thousands of workers at midnight to produce redesigned iPhones on a massive scale. Says a former White House adviser: “If it’s the pinnacle of capitalism, we should be worried.”

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American economists are fretting, because Apple is only one example. Many US companies rely on Asian manufacturing, forcing would-be American factory workers into service-oriented careers that keep them out of the middle class. "As an American, I worry about that, but there’s nothing I can do to stop it," says an executive at Corning, which manufactures glass for iPhones. "Asia has become what the US was for the last 40 years.” (Read about Apple's new plan for the iPad.)

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