The President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness has descended on Palo Alto to meet with the usual suspects in Silicon Valley. Their topic, hilariously: How the public and private sectors can team up to create jobs.
Hilariously because California—Silicone Valley in particular—has been on the forefront of transferring jobs to China and other countries. Some are low-level assembly jobs (of iPhones, for example), but others are engineering and construction jobs (to build semiconductor plants).
One of the most flagrant examples of this wholesale transfer of jobs is the largest construction project in California and, at a cost of $6.3 billion, possibly the most expensive structure ever built: the eastern span of the Bay Bridge. Its landmark single-tower suspension segment is fabricated, you guessed it, in China.
Read OUR CHINESE BAY BRIDGE for more details on this nightmare of cost-overruns, quality issues, and job destruction, and the huge financial and fiscal impact these have on our economy, just to save $100 million—a mere rounding error in the $6.3 billion bridge.
That the task force is going to discuss how the public and private sectors can team up to create jobs is doubly ironic in light of our suspension-bridge debacle: It’s paid for with public money, which created thousands of private-sector jobs—in China.