I don't think they are completely contradictory. Considering the recession and the lack of jobs, some of which in the manufacturing sector, I think a toy maker would do well to set up shop again here in the states. Some people are starving for work. I'm not saying we could pay them Chinese wages, of course U.S. wages would be more, but they don't need to be so freakin' high either. Again, the economy can dictate what starting wages can be. Yes, I know unions would want to get involved. So this is where that system needs to either change or realize that they (unions) can't ask for everything under the sun and expect the business to bow to their every wish. Businesses have closed up shop or moved to other nations because of this kind of thing. How about the old business addage "an honest day's work for an honest day's pay." If you ask me, there's too much pay for not enough work much of the time. We're seeing now that not just Americans, but the world is learning how to do with less. But as it affects Americans, I think there would be plenty of people who would want those factory jobs, even at less pay and maybe even if there wasn't a strong union presence.
I understand the Unions help employees, however, they've also helped in bringing down the auto industry. Why the hell is a factory line worker getting paid $20+ an hour? And the ridiculous atrocities committed by some employees, knowing full well they are protected by the union is not just absurd, but in my opinion criminal. I can give a clear instance if so desired to be expressed. This isn't even limited to factory unions either, but I'll go way off topic if I tread down that path.
The savings from not having to shop overseas, plus customs, plus direct control over your product, plus not having to deal with exporting raw materials to then only import refined products from those very same raw materials, plus better shipping time and planning can greatly help to offset the additional wages of homegrown workers. Besides, the more we can take back from the Chinese the better. They've got the U.S. by the proverbial nutsack. Bringing jobs back can knock the Chinese back down a few pegs. Maybe that would teach them to "play nice" as well.
How many times in just the last year have we heard about lead in this toy or another, coming out of China. What about that milk scare not to long ago that affected many of their own people yet the government of China let it happen? It's obvious they don't care so much about human rights. Do we really want to by products from those countries? I hope you don't, but also realize we aren't in much of a position to do anything about it .... except for not buy this stuff. And that is a hard prospect to follow for too many a collector.
If the local, state and federal govt.'s would give tax breaks to those companies retaining jobs in the U.S. or bringing jobs BACK to the U.S., then there is another potential for saving money as well as more jobs here, instead of places like China.
I don't think the two notions are mutually exclusive, no.
Sorry, I know that post seemed political. I assure you that was not the intention, I was just trying to speak my mind freely on how I feel about this all. Oh and Rob, I guess I'm glad to see you'd be willing to pay more if it meant jobs came back here. I just hope that wouldn't be the case.