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You are incorrect in thinking that it's OK to send manufacturing jobs overseas or somewhere else on our continent. You are also mistaken when you propose that the Volt would need to cost $100k if the majority of it were made in the US. However, you are correct in asserting that a UAW member should probably not be paid the sums that they currently collect. Pensions? Who the heck has a pension anymore besides gov't employees?

As for Apple being a US leader...how many actual, authentic Apple I-Pods do you think have been sold in China? Not many; not many people can afford them. How many rip-off's have been sold there: millions and millions. How many pieces of junk does China sell in the US? Zillions of things. Do you really think that Steve Jobbs is going to save the US economy? Nanotechnology? "Higher" education? Many high-schooled Indians can smoke our college graduates in numerous fields.

Unfortunately, many of the things that you look to for the US' future are related to intellectual property, something that is essentially unenforced in any foreign market. Is INTERPOL going to arrest people infringing on patents? Ha; yeah right!

Take a step out of the ivory tower for a couple minutes here and there; it'll do you good.
 

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When you claim that the Volt would cost roughly $100k if outsourced manufacturing were not used by GM, you are assuming that the price of manufacturing things outside of the US is much, much less. You also appear to be OK with letting the US economy rest firmly on the labor of white collar workers, esp in technology fields (of some sort), while taking advantage of cheap foreign labor for manufacturing.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for the Volt's battery system being manufactured outside the US because the environmental restrictions in the US make battery production much, much more expensive than in China or Mexico.

The situation for rest of the car's components probably isn't that clear-cut.

For a simple example, take Mag Industries in California. American Co; American manufacturer; "simple" product. Several years back they invested $Millions to automate their assembly plant in Ontario, CA rather than outsource production of their flashlights. Wholesale prices of their products have not increased over the last decade or so. The quality of their products is equally good as has been in the past. Chinese knock-off products are about 25% cheaper wholesale for "comparable" products, as they have been for the last decade. However, the three Chinese versions that I can think of off the top of my head are made with horrific quality standards.

In Mag's case, a simple aluminum or steel flashlight is produced in the US for a very similar price as foreign-made competitors; albeit at much higher quality.

For a high-tech example of US manufacturing, take Patriot Memory Systems. Another company that does the vast amount of its manufacturing and assembling of American products in the US. This company assembles state-of-the-art RAM modules for use in PC's and laptops. Their prices (both wholesale and retail) are similar to those of Chinese-made competitors. Take a look on New Egg's site if you don't believe me. Intel and AMD also do a bunch of manufacturing of their chips in the US (not many people know this).

Now if we can competitively manufacture items such as aluminum and steel tubes to high-tech computer chips in the US without outsourcing to foreign assembly labor, why can't we cost-competitively make a body panel for a car here? How about an electric motor? Wires? Steel or aluminum wheels? Tires? Seats?

Once these jobs are overseas, they don't often return...but it's not the assembly jobs that I'm necessarily worried about, it's the loss of the US' ability to manufacture within it's borders. It's a matter of national security, not to mention a growing disgust by the American consumer towards cheap imported products that are of poor quality.
 

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NLH,

You've ommitted one of the most important categories: taxes to the US gov't. Corporate taxes, income taxes, property taxes, employer contributions to Medicare and Social Security, although the latter two of these could be tossed into the "labor" category...

GM pays waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more to the US gov't compared to Toyota. The US gov't plays a huge role in the American economy, as you undoubtedly know already.
 
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