Where Do Your Shoes Come From?

Here is an interesting one.  Over the past forty years, shoe production has gone from factories in the US mostly to different countries in Asia, more or less working its way down the rim and expanding all the while, until now it mainly resides in southern China.  The thing is, they really don't want to make shoes.  No glory.  It doesn't pay as well as other forms of manufacturing, either.  So, production is shifting again.  Some to Vietnam, some elsewhere. 

How long before Asian labor costs become high enough that companies consider opening large numbers of factories in the United States again? 

How long before the United Sates is the home of low tech manufacturing? 

How long before the rest of the world looks at good made here and says "Oh, made in USA.  I think I'll pass"?  Or do they do that already?

I say within twelve years.

TheSquirrel TheSquirrel
51-55, M
1 Response Mar 10, 2010

Good story that made me think about globalization, and the ramifications for those of us who are not "global". Hopefully someday the word "local" will have as much impact. <br />
Would Americans work in factories that made shoddy goods? I am not so sure...we have our pride. <br />
In Asia, they are inured to the fact that they are the laborers of the world, and they'll take what they can get as far as "jobs" go.<br />
In America, we choose what kind of work we do, and if we wanted to do manufacturing, we'd do a way better job at it, due to our innate pride. It's the bane of our existence that profits win over quality. Perhaps someday manufacturing will return to America, but I think they will have a hard time 'enslaving' us to work in factories that pump out poor quality products for pauper's wages..<br />
Here's an interesting piece on Birkenstock USA, some of which used to be made right down the road from me in Marin County, California. They shut down the local factory almost 5 years ago, but Birkenstock's page makes no mention of that fact. The building still sits empty today at Novato, CA.<br />
http://www.birkenstockusa.com/about<br />
<br />
Methinks the world would be better off with local shoes, made by our neighbors who would then have jobs. *snickers*