Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Mixed Blessing? Fuyao Auto Glass Plant Comes to Dayton, Ohio

Perhaps I am living in the past, a time when the United States was the dominant force in the global economy. So yesterday I wasn't nearly as excited as many Daytonians  when a deal was signed with the Fuyao Glass Industries Group that will bring 600-800 jobs to a beleaguered local economy. True, a vacant plant will come to life again. And folks will get needed work, but with an average wage as stated in the Dayton Daily News at $32-35k. That is only a marginally living wage, a wage that can support a family of four. And while this may lead to more Chinese investment in Ohio, which is always good, are we increasingly inching towards a colonial economy? To be sure, investment profits in greater proportion will be going back to China. American collaborators with Chinese investment will do well in the short run. But what about future generations?

Well, maybe I need to deal with reality, 2014. To be sure, the global auto industry is in a new era. It is reinventing itself in numerous ways, from electronic technologies and production to distribution. China is rapidly becoming the number 1 market and producer, and it won't be long before we see Chinese cars in the U.S. Consider the pace of the transition -- 15 years ago our everyday Chinese products were Happy Meal toys!

Beginning in the early 1970s the American economy began its long slide downwards, and now Chinese manufacturing are in Moraine. Real per capita income in the U.S. continues to drop. Poverty is endemic. Government is largely ineffectual in arresting this trend, and in fact is in part responsible for it. You tell me what lies in the future!

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