John Chambers, the chief executive officer (CEO) and president of Cisco Systems Inc., doesn't care when economists think China is going to become the world's largest economy. He's just thinking about what needs to be done for Cisco to tap into that market.
"We can have a healthy discussion about whether that's in 2020 or 2040, but it will (become the world's largest economy) and China will become the IT center of the world," Chambers said, speaking at a press conference in Beijing last week. ...
"What we're trying to do is outline an entire strategy of becoming a Chinese company," Chambers said.
Part of that strategy means being responsive to requests for investment from the Chinese government. During his presentation in Beijing, Chambers noted that Cisco, of San Jose, California, has spent $38 million since 1998 to set up university training centers for software programmers -- a move he said was made at the suggestion of Chinese officials.
Cisco has also moved the manufacturing of many of its products, which is done under contract with other companies, to China at the request of Chinese government officials, he said.
"Our contract manufacturers, at my request, and candidly at the request of the leaders in your country, began to move our contract manufacturers here to China," Chambers said.
In America, loss of jobs to outsourcing is an inevitable side effect of the generally beneficial workings of the global market. In Beijing, Chambers says in plain English that he's shifting American jobs to China because the Chinese government asked him to.
Even former Reagan administration official Paul Craig Roberts is kind of appalled:
- Unless there are major changes soon, America's economic future is a third world work force with a banana democracy's worthless currency.
In addition to his service with the Reagan administration, Roberts also wrote for the National Review and the Wall Street Journal editorial page, and also spent time at the Hoover Institution. I linked to a copy of this column on Counterpunch -- a web site run by Alexander Cockburn, who's fringe-lefty enough to make regular readers of The Nation uncomfortable. It's odd how well it fits in.
Roberts column via Avedon Carol.