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8 SMT Magazine • June 2014 made it very clear that you can only sustain dirt-cheap manufacturing for so long. At some point, lax or non-existent labor and environ- mental standards, ridiculous lending policies, manipulated currencies, etc., will yield a day of reckoning. People get tired of breathing bad air and drinking polluted water. Trading partners say "enough is enough" and demand fair cur- rency valuations. And banks struggle to survive under the weight of bad loans made during the heady days of unbridled growth. With its success, China has opened the door to all kinds of ills associated with modern, democratic societies: regulations to improve the quality of the air and water along with some basic standards for worker safety and income. The government has had to loosen controls over the populace as well, to keep order and to sustain the illusion of a free society for most of their people. The Chinese people are getting smarter. They're starting to travel the world for business and pleasure. They want the freedoms associated with a modern, democratic society. This illusion has helped perpetuate growth by There have been quite a few predictions and studies, along with plenty of wishful thinking, about the cost of manufacturing in the U.S. The onshoring/re-shoring movement has gained a lot of attention from media like ours over the last couple of years. IPC even is- sued a report last year providing their take on the movement, which garnered a lot of interest from the industry. Now, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consultant, has released new research on the "dramatic" change of man- ufacturing cost competitiveness around the world. BCG's press release is entitled, "Study Reveals Striking Shifts in Global Manufacturing Costs over the Past Decade." I found the use of the word "striking" to be interesting. It almost leads me to believe they were surprised by the trends in manufacturing costs. For those of us watching the shift over the last few years, it isn't striking at all. It's been coming for some time. As I've said in the past, all things come back into balance. The rising costs in Asia, and China in particular, have by Ray Rasmussen publiSher, i-ConneCT007 THe WAy I See IT CoLuMn We Saw This Coming 8 SMT Magazine • June 2014

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