Thursday, June 02, 2016

Where "Pure Capitalism" Can Be a Pure Problem

Sure, IBM did the "right thing" for capitalism.  The question is whether it did the "right thing" for the USA.

Washington legislators have re-awakened to concerns over the Defense Department's inability to plan for and deal with what is now the final stage in the shift of American microelectronics production offshore. Congress wants the Pentagon to figure out how it is going to deal with issues associated with purchasing "trusted" electronics for military weapons and national security surveillance systems from foreign and foreign-owned producers. 

Within the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017 (HR-4909), which passed in the House of Representatives on May 18, Congress directs the federal government to figure out how it can buy "trusted" semiconductors from foreign producers, now that the ownership of its most important source of leading-edge microelectronics has been sold by IBM to a foreign company....

(....based in Abu Dabhi)

There may be no more critical elements in defense systems than the microchips.  So how will DOD assure US military personnel--who trust this stuff with their lives--that all is well?


Grim said...

You can't do it. We need to have a 100% made in America by 100% owned by America standard for military procurement. It'll be way more expensive, but money is no object when it comes to winning (or more to the point, not losing) wars.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest this Bloomberg article by Intel CEO Andy Grove on why we're crazy to have our current employment policies and what it does to our security and standing as a nation. Tell me that he didn't see what Trump and Ross Perot saw coming, and what's happening now. Trump's not my cup of tea, but he's right on the issue of trade and manufacturing.

When it costs Intel at least 33% more to build a highly automated fab in the US as compared to competitors in places like Taiwan, much less China, is it a wonder that even when US labor costs aren't an issue (it's the capital costs for fabs that are so high, the labor to run them is almost incidental) all the manufacturing is still migrating overseas?