Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jobs Americans Will Do

Despite the credit crunch and the depression in chip sales, Intel is investing $7 billion to build new chip factories right here in the good old U.S. of A. Good for them. I have to wonder if this is an outlier, or if there is some sense developing in the non-finance areas of the business world that they should begin sticking closer to the US, rather than sending their operations to further far-flung regions. 

It can be hard to remember this, but the US remains a technologically advanced nation with industries and products that most countries are flat out incapable of duplicating. It would be nice if these industries would actually stay here, rather than send their operations (and jobs) to some undeserving corner of the world simply because the local junta comes up with some cheap labor. 

It's fine to support free trade, and decry "economic nationalism," but there should be absolutely no shame in a US company creating jobs in the US for US workers. In fact, it should be encouraged. It's hard to imagine how we will end the Great Recession without improving those sectors of the American economy that actually produce something besides paper profits. 

Of course, these American chip plants will be in Oregon, New Mexico, and Arizona. Intel may be based in California, but there's no way they would actually invest billions of dollars in its home state just so it can be swarmed by the state's relentless regulatory agencies and tax collectors. 

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