Why Made in the USA is killed by Made in China; And what ever happened to Made in Singapore?

November 21, 2010

(To increase the font size of this essay – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) It’s a question that hangs like a fog after a party – why can the Chinese these days do everything that the Americans used to do, but cannot do these days – China these days seems to be running circles around the US in practically every industry – wind, solar, mass transport, nuclear, rocketry right up to mainstays such the automobile and semi-conductors – the lag between the US and China is so pronounced these days – it has even provoked many to ask: WHY???????? “Who’s Sleeping Now

As Lao Tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So where did the US take a wrong turn? And what did the Chinese do right to put themselves on the path to breakneck industrial growth? Coming to think of it (since we happen to be on this subject) why can’t Singapore seem to replicate the success of China? Don’t we have a scholar system? Weren’t we the first to implement mass rapid transport and reach out our air and sea ports to the world; when the Chinese were still sporting Maoist high collar jackets – so why are we still stick in the rut assembling camera’s and high end plasma TV’s? Why haven’t we been able to break out from the rut of putting-together-stuff-other-people-designed manufacturing? Why can’t we be real producers like China and move up the value chain? After all we had the best elites in the world manning the wheel house…right? So why are we now so far behind China these days that we are starting to look like China before it decided to wake up?

Does it have anything to do with size? As the movie Godzilla testifies: “size matters.” But according to the head of the ASDF, Vollariane thinks otherwise: “Size and lack of land has always been cited as factors that have corseted our innovation and creativity; this is the favorite tune of the custodians of power. We cannot do this or that because our population base is too small, we do not have economy of scale; our markets are too small etc. But if you look at some of the most creative and innovative societies in the world; size seems to be a non-issue – Sweden for example is a good example of small is beautiful; despite its small population; it is able to successfully harness innovation and creative to good effect and leads in areas such aerospace, automobile manufacturing, power generation and furniture design – in terms of patents per capita –Sweden today is the most innovative and creative place in the world –so this proves conclusively all this talk about population base, home market size advantage and resource constraint is hog wash – in my opinion whether a country makes or breaks; turns on only one thing – good and bad planning – let me share with you the real reason why China is able to successfully overtake the US in such a short time – and the real reason why despite our 40 year head start, we failed to capitalize on our strenghts to carve out competitive advantage – instead what we did was to squander precious resources on pie-in-the-sky projects like chasing Philip Yeo’s Byzantine pipedream……….this write up and interview with the head of the ASDF has been withdrawn from general circulation due to Measured Response.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: