Ten years ago, approximately zero Americans were employed in manufacturing tablet computers and smartphones and that’s still the case today. But there’s been enormous net growth in the number of Americans whose jobs relate, in whole or in part, to the tablet and smartphone industry… The entire ecosystem couldn’t exist until the phones and tablets can be built cheaply enough to sell to a mass audience. Americans never had any jobs manufacturing iPads. But thanks to the fact that Chinese factories are churning out iPads, lots of people have jobs that wouldn’t exist if the iPad wasn’t available as a hit product.
— Matthew Yglesias, writing for Slate, astutely pointing out that efforts to “bring back” many of the manufacturing jobs performed in China to the US don’t make sense “for the very good reason that it was never here in the first place.”