Saturday, July 16, 2011

Markets in Everything: Chopsticks Made in the USA



It seems everything we buy these days says “Made in China.” But 2 million disposable wooden chopsticks with a "Made in the USA" label are made every day now at a Americus, Georgia factory (Georgia Chopsticks) for export to China, Japan, Korea and other Asian countries.  Business is booming, and the company plans to increase production to 10 million chopsticks per day. Watch the video above and see news reports here and here.

HT: Matt Bixler

11 Comments:

At 7/16/2011 9:56 PM, Blogger Chad Smith said...

This is one of your better posts. : ) Is there a deeper message here?

 
At 7/16/2011 10:27 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I guess that paper umbrellas are next.

 
At 7/17/2011 6:56 AM, Blogger bob wright said...

Interestingly, the reporter said that the equipment the company will use to increase production from 2M/day to 10M/day was made in Korea.

And the man who opened the factory is a Korean.

So weren't these jobs on-shored from Korea?

If unions oppose American jobs being offshored to other countries, shouldn't they also oppose on-shored jobs?

In the name of fairness and intellectual honesty, shouldn't unions be agitating for these jobs to be sent back to Korea?

 
At 7/17/2011 7:29 AM, Blogger Bernie Ecch said...

How much does the job pay? And what jobs did the 300 who were turned down end up getting? Is the unemployment still at 12%?

 
At 7/17/2011 9:50 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

How much does the job pay? And what jobs did the 300 who were turned down end up getting? Is the unemployment still at 12%?

What matters is that a person took a risk and invested in the capital required to fill a consumer need that created jobs for people that needed them. Obviously, sufficient pay was offered because so many people had to be turned away. What those people do cannot really be the concern of the business person who is trying to look after the need of his customers.

 
At 7/17/2011 1:07 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

VangelV "What those people do cannot really be the concern of the business person who is trying to look after the need of his customers."

Perhaps Bernie is suggesting that those 300 should have also been hired.

After all, making wooden chopsticks is a "sustainable" industry, so there may be federal funds available for creating Green Jobs. :)

 
At 7/17/2011 1:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Bernie

I don't understand your comment. Are you suggesting that this good news story should be ignored because 150 jobs is just a drop in the bucket, and the chopstick plant didn't hire every unemployed person in the US?

 
At 7/17/2011 1:21 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Bob Wright: "In the name of fairness and intellectual honesty, shouldn't unions be agitating for these jobs to be sent back to Korea?"

Of course they should. and I'm surprised we haven't heard more complaints about all the US workers who lost their jobs due to US chopstick making equipment factories closing.

 
At 7/17/2011 2:35 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

If the USA doesn't collapse under debt and a Bank-of-Japan monetary policy in the next 20 years--ie, we become Detroit with aircraft carriers--it will be because we are exporting heavily to the Far East.

This story is an early harbinger, like another story about exporting invasive carp to China.

China was the last great and large low-cost manufacturing platform on Earth. Other options are corrupt or over-regulated (India or Mexico).

I have read that North Mexico's factories (maquiladoras) are humming again as China becomes more expensive, but I suspect the USA still has a better platform.

And with the real minimum wage today below that of the 1960s, who can say USA wages are too high?

Now, if we can just stop taking on federal debt and de-militarize, we could have a bright future.

 
At 7/17/2011 6:44 PM, Blogger hidisbeeric said...

I wonder how many trees they have already cut down. I hope Mr. Lee has heard of sustainable forest management.

 
At 7/18/2011 6:18 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"I hope Mr. Lee has heard of sustainable forest management"...

Why?

 

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