Posted Wednesday, June 18, 2008 10:32 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill offered a Bud Light and a smile to InBev Chief Executive Officer Carlos Brito yesterday, while telling him she would do everything she could to stop his company from buying Anheuser-Busch Cos. Brito requested the meeting with the Democratic lawmaker and other members of Missouri's delegation to reassure them about his company's proposal to buy the St. Louis-based beer giant. Anheuser-Busch is a major employer in the Williamsburg area, where it operates a brewery, a theme park, a water park and a resort.
Yup. Our companies are cheap now with the dollar the way it is. In fact, our diving dollar is helping with our exports right now.
Anyway, I'm curious about how China's corporate taxes work. They are still a communist country the last time I checked. Do they have higher taxes? If so, they don't seem to have stiffled their economy (not that I'm a pinko). ;)
The thing is, other countries are going to go through the same cycles as we have in terms of wealth building and development. India is already seeing other countries do stuff cheaper, and they've only become a player (in certain markets) for a couple of decades. China will see the same thing.
We've become a country of retail consumers who don't produce anything new, novel or inexpensive. We have an unprecedented opportunity to have enormous impact on the Internet (we already have) and energy technologies. Do you think we'll seize it?
Part of the foundational problem is that the American standard of living is miles above what it is in China, India, etc. If we're going to earn our standard of living, we can't be doing it on things that Chinese and Indians can do at a fraction of the cost. Even entertainment is beginning to get outsourced overseas. As Jeff said, we'll have to earn our keep in technology.
With rising fuel costs, we might actually see an increase in domestic manufacturing.
If anything this news indicates, it's that we still make products (beer) that somebody is buying.
Anyway, to add to Jeff's short list, I'd add biotech. It's pretty big here in San Diego...and from a recent interview I heard, the professionals who come here, tend to stay because it is a nice place to live.
Education may be one of those. The US is remarkably good at attracting incredible talent from overseas for graduate school, and keeping that talent in the states after obtaining degrees.
Increasingly, other countries are starting to siphon off the international students who would for decades just assume that the US was the place to be for earning a Ph.D. We've been spending a lot of time thinking about how better to compete for that talent.
It's interesting how you hear an uproar too among tech workers protesting the off-shoring of jobs, but the truth is that for as long as I've been a professional programmer, there has been a lack of qualified native "white boys" to do the work. I've worked with a virtual United Nations of internationals because they're the bulk of the qualified work force (particularly from India, China and Russia). That says to me that there aren't enough American born workers training for the available jobs, and by extension I'm assuming there's an educational problem.
I certainly agree that there are far too few US kids getting adequate training for white collar jobs in the technology sector. I can't say exactly why, though, because I get a very biased sample of kids.
I do think that we simply have our standards set too low in terms of what we expect our kids to learn about math and science. Michigan's high school graduation requirements wre recently raised, and there's been a lot of talk that they are "too harsh." I couldn't disagree more.
When someone buying a house can't understand the impact of a particular loan agreement, that's just criminal. There is no way that someone should be able to get a high school diploma without understanding interest rate computations, yet I continue to meet people that I consider to be well-educated who can't understand that, for example, you don't divide your up-front lease payment by the years of your lease to figure out true costs.
wahoo, I don't think the problem is that foreign companies are buying or investing in American ones. It's that the American ones have been moving their operations out of the country.
Here's a list of foreign companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (as of 2003). Bet you'll recognize a lot of names and probably regularly purchase and use their products or services.