At the start of the pandemic, and even a little before (remember the U.S.-China trade war?), some folks wondered if we were about to see the end of offshoring and whether U.S. companies would start to bring factories and jobs back from overseas.
The process is known as onshoring, and the idea was that everything from personal protective equipment to semiconductors would soon be made in the USA, driven mostly by Donald Trump’s tariffs and the pandemic’s supply chain shortages.
So that got us wondering, are we doing that? Is onshoring happening?
“You got me. I think we economists have been intellectually dishonest and just putting this narrative out. But nobody’s actually gone to check to see what’s really happening,” said Megan Greene, an economist and senior fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School.
Greene said there’s not a ton of good data out there, but the data we do have shows onshoring is just not a thing right now.
On the show today, Greene does some myth busting about why companies aren’t rushing to bring production back to the United States. She also explains why globalization isn’t over and what the future of global supply chains might look like.
In the News Fix, an awesome tech story about NBA star Stephen Curry followed by a bizarre crypto-themed one. Plus, space junk is a growing problem. Then, we hear from listeners who are part of the Great Resignation movement. And a listener calls in with thoughts on that newborn baby smell.
Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:
- “Don’t believe the deglobalisation narrative” Megan Greene’s latest from The Financial Times
- “No, the Pandemic Will Not Bring Jobs Back From China” from Foreign Policy
- “Carbon Tax, Beloved Policy to Fix Climate Change, Is Dead at 47” from The Atlantic
- “Crypto Investors Want to Buy Rare Copy of U.S. Constitution” from The Wall Street Journal
- “In basketball, the right tech can improve your shot” from “Marketplace Tech”
- “Russian anti-satellite missile test endangers space station crew” from Reuters
- “The Smell of Newborn Babies Triggers the Same Reward Centers as Drugs” from Smithsonian magazine
None of us is as smart as all of us.
No matter how bananapants your day is, “Make Me Smart” is here to help you through it all— 5 days a week.
It’s never just a one-way conversation. Your questions, reactions, and donations are a vital part of the show. And we’re grateful for every single one.