iPhones flying off the shelves may not be so great for the U.S.

This final note today about the trade deficit. No, the numbers didn't come out today. That was a couple of weeks ago. But I saw an item in the Wall Street Journal today that's too good not to pass on.

Y'know how people are always saying this country needs to invent more high tech gizmos that other countries will want to buy? Yeah, that might not work out so well. A pair of researchers in Japan have run the numbers and say the iPhone adds almost $2 billion a year to our deficit with China. Yes, it's an American product. But it's made over there. The way the statistics are kept, that's a $2 billion hit against us.

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Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
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I'm writing to say that I respectfully disagree with Mr. Hall's comment above.

The article deftly evades the obvious fact that our country has been massively wounded by some folks' headlong rush into extreme globalization and extreme capitalism.

iPhones may be good for America in the sense that Apple and California have made more money than had iPhones not existed.

America would've made much more money, though, if the phones were manufactured domestically (then distributed and sold nationally and globally).

America could've made even more money if we had the domestic raw materials for manufacturing goods.

Every time a good idea springs up, we race over to China to have it manufactured and it's tearing our country apart (while making them more powerful). Don't believe me? Check out "To Conquer Wind, China Writes the Rules" in yesterday's NYT.

We deny the existence of extreme globalization to hide its harmful effects, yet we exaggerate its benefits in the name of selfish, short-sighted profiteering.

Atrophy is the natural consequence for a society which places extreme individualism as its highest virtue; a country which capriciously accepts debt as an equivalent of equity; a country which helplessly consumes far more than it willfully creates; and, a country which mistakes selfishness for self-interest.

This is a situation which goes far beyond the rationalization that statisticians are simply doing their calculations wrong. Fixing the statistics would cut the trade deficit in half (on paper) - but, the deficit would still be huge (and growing)!

Tame the extremists among capitalists and globalizers and you may yet realize new jobs and economic recovery. Get the rest of the world to play along with our folly - defying common logic and acting against their own national best interests - and we might stand a chance, too.

Keep up the systematic dismantling of our nation at the current rate, though, and things will not get a little better: but, much worse.

The iPhone is not a problem for the US economy. The problem is just with the measurement system. It does not measure the respective value-adds of each country in the process. But in reality, the value and money does flow through this country by country path, which means that Apple and California get the lion's share of the value. So keep thinking up great ideas-that's where the money is.

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