Once China issues a billion people a credit card, it seems to me that in order to compete with China on the world economic stage, not only will the U.S. will require "Too Big To Fail" banks but also "Too Big To Fail" corporations too. We can expect many more mergers like these in the future.
The U.S. educates and produces about 60 thousand engineers per year and China produces nearly a quarter million engineers per year.
The following 2 articles are 10 years old .... imagine the progress in Sock City since then?
China's Strategy Gives It the Edge in the Battle of Two Sock Capitals
"This Appalachian town declared itself the Sock Capital of the World for good reason.
It began making stockings in 1907 and once boasted of producing 1 of every 8 pairs worn on the planet. The cushion-sole sock was invented here. Local sock makers are models of U.S. manufacturing, working hard, sharing resources, shaving expenses, investing in technology.
The Robin-Lynn Mills Inc. factory, for instance, owns some of the finest equipment in the business, electronic knitting machines from Italy that set the company back more than $25,000 apiece and can spin out a sock in 75 seconds, with the toe seam automatically sewn.
But Robin-Lynn, whose employees typically earn about $10 an hour, didn't turn a profit last year. On the other hand, Three Star Socks in Datang, China, made about $500,000 using knitting machines worth $1,000 each and paying its workers an average of 60 cents to 70 cents an hour plus room and board.
In the Datang area, more than 10,000 households in 120 villages make their living off socks, according to researchers at Beijing University. Last year, Datang made 9 billion pairs of socks, while Fort Payne made less than 1 billion."
By Don Lee
April 10, 2005
In Roaring China, Sweaters Are West of Socks City
Neither Adam Smith nor Karl Marx could possibly have imagined that this kind of capitalism would evolve from a communist system in quite this way, with an obscure town in the middle of nowhere becoming the world's socks capital. But these days, buyers from New York to Tokyo want to be able to buy 500,000 pairs of socks all at once, or 300,000 neckties, 100,000 children's jackets, or 50,000 size 36B bras.
By David Barboza
December 24, 2004