Could you ever imagine that South Carolina textile workers earn less than Chinese workers today? Well, according to the New York Times (8/2/2015) wages increased for Chinese manufacturing workers from $4.35 per hour in 2004 to $12.47 per hour in 2015. Now of course the Times did not specifically say these were Chinese textile workers wages but I suppose the egalitarian Chinese believe all workers deserve the same wage regardless of job type. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), SC textile workers make an average of $12.05 to $14.21 per hour as of May 2014. This wage differential is prompting Chinese textile manufacturers to invest millions of dollars in the South Carolina textile industry.
Of course these investments rely on SC government's collaboration as in Lancaster County's Indian Land, S.C. The Keer Group's Cotton mill opened in April and is training U.S. workers to do what the Chinese workers have done for years. According to the Times:
"Textile production in China is becoming increasingly unprofitable after years of rising wages, higher energy bills and mounting logistical costs, as well as new government quotas on the import of cotton.
At the same time, manufacturing costs in the United States are becoming more competitive. In Lancaster County, where Indian Land is located, Keer has found residents desperate for work, even at depressed wages, as well as access to cheap and abundant land and energy and heavily subsidized cotton."
Chinese manufacturers see a bright future in SC due to stagnant wages and government policies which promise subsidies, tax breaks, and a population of poorly educated, low skilled workers. New textile workers will bear the brunt of picking up the tax shortfall, non-union working conditions, minimal opportunities for advancement, etc. just so a dysfunctional state and local government can say they are providing jobs and benefits for the people. Slavery officially ended over 150 years ago in SC just to be reincarnated in its 20th century form with government support.
Comments to think about.