DIE Kills American Chip Manufacturing

If all the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity functionaries and their supporters were a corporation -- DIE, Inc. -- it might rival Apple’s market value. Its “product” of eviscerating America has been widely successful. Just look at the universities (think Claudine Gay), falling military enlistments, the prevalence of “woke” marketing for such iconic brands as Bud Lite, the demonization of white male government employees and the like. Moreover, like all successful corporations, it is constantly innovating to expand market share. After all, America still thrives, so opportunities remain for further evisceration.

The latest DIE Inc. venture focuses on reducing America’s dependence on imported semiconductors.  The significance of this latest DIE venture cannot be exaggerated. The good news is that Americans finally realized the dangers of this dependency. Even President Biden has acknowledged the issue. According to a recent White House press release, “…over time, the United States went from producing nearly 40% of the world’s chips to just over 10%, undermining America’s national security and making our economy vulnerable to global supply chain disruptions.” To achieve this technological self-sufficiency, the Biden administration proposed the CHIPS and Science Act.   

The CHIPS Act was passed by Congress, and in August of 2023 and Biden optimistically announced that $53 billion would soon be invested in chip building together with a 25% tax credit and a National Semiconductor Technology Center to oversee the project. The initial response was positive -- according to the Commerce Department, some 460 companies worldwide have expressed an interest in moving production facilities to the United States and thus provide thousands of high-paying jobs. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest semiconductor and a key supplier to the American high-tech industry, committed itself for two major U.S.-built facilities in Arizona.  Similarly Micron announced a $40 billion dollar commitment that promised 40,000 new jobs.

Nevertheless, despite the lure of federal subsidies and tax deductions, the initial enthusiasm has cooled, and America continues to rely heavily on imported chips. What’s happening? The answer is: DIE.

In their analysis, Matt Cole and Chris Nicholson explain that those hoping to build advanced U.S. chip factories have encountered all the usual DIE-imposed box-checking requirements, and this agenda is hardly hidden. DIE is explicit:  diversity is “critical to strengthening the U.S. semiconductor ecosystem.”

These chipmakers must hire and train the “right number” of women, people of color, and “justice involved individuals” (i.e., “ex-cons). The bill calls for using “minority-owned businesses” and cooperation with ““minority-serving institutions.” There are 19 sections in the legislation dealing with minority groups, including hiring a Chief Diversity Officer at the National Science Foundation to promote national security.

Perhaps as a sop to conservatives, the legislation calls for hiring veterans and rural people. Chipmakers are also required to hire women when constructing these factories and remove degree requirements from job descriptions. That manufacturing cutting-edge chips is exceedingly difficult technically, is irrelevant since we need a workforce that “looks like Amerca” when competing with our foreign tech rivals.

The cost of this social engineering is enormous. These proposed chip plants will often be located away from large minority populations, so workers of color must be relocated and then trained to the highest levels regardless of past academic shortcoming and is it just assumed that these employees would embrace a strong work ethic -- being punctual, working dutifully, avoiding drugs and alcohol, cooperating with other employees and so on. Firms will naturally need large recruitment and legal departments to resolve the inevitable tensions in this diverse workforce while addressing the litigation that comes from terminating underperforming minority employees.

Faced with such nearly impossible-to-implement DIE rules, chip makers are looking elsewhere. The world’s largest, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), is shifting its second of two promised Arizona plants to Japan while seriously considering locating in Germany. Intel, an American company, originally promised a factory in Columbus, Ohio but is now instead building factories in Poland and Israel despite the risk of armed conflicts. Samsung, a Korean chipmaker, has delayed it promised Texas factory and is closely looking at investing more at home rather than the U.S.

Avoiding building in the United States is hardly surprising. Generous subsidies cannot compensate for incompetent, litigation-prone workers. U.S. lawmakers obviously prize social engineering over national security.

DIE should be considered as a tax on Americans. Now, all the extra training of inept workers and extra efforts at quality control, among countless other “diversity” costs, will mean that a computer that should cost $2500 will cost, perhaps, $2800. Assuming, of course, that these “diversity-made” chips ever reach the market.

This tax per se is not the issue. Americans happily pay taxes, but the unstated assumption is aways that they receive something of value in return. Homeowners may whine about property taxes, but they also realize that absent this tax, there would be no schools, police, fire department and other vital benefits. Likewise, Americans have made great sacrifices but always with the understanding that these sacrifices were necessary for a worthy cause. During WW II, for example, Americans tolerated rationing to help the war effort. A link must exist between sacrifice and benefit.

What do we get by paying this DIE “tax”? At one level the answer is simple: the thousands of DIE functionaries earn often-handsome salaries from enforcing their agenda. But what about those outside the DIE industry? Does this DIE “tax” yield a better society in general or progress for Blacks in particular? Do these diverse bureaucrats reduce the likelihood of rioting?

It would be hard to claim that the DIE benefits are plain to see beyond enriching DIE functionaries.  Who benefits when Northwestern University hires a “Safe Space Ambassador?” Indeed, racial gaps in educational attainment, wealth, health outcomes, levels of crime and incarceration, life expectancy and similar indices of well-being, the needle has scarcely moved while the divisive, overheated rhetoric of today’s race relations continues unabetted. A recent headline from the NY Post made this troubling point graphically:  “Maryland city equity official says she wants US to burn to the ground: 'MY ideology can rise from the ashes.”  If anything, much of today’s DIE message is anti-White and attacks “whiteness” as profoundly evil. It would be bizarre to insist that the cost of DIE is a worthwhile investment in America’s future. 

Conceivably, this DIE tax is inching America toward a “Sputnik moment”  when an unexpected disaster shifts public opinion. Imagine another shortage of sophisticated computer chips and the subsequent economic chaos. People will ask “didn’t we spend hundreds of billions to prevent this? Where are these ultra-modern factories?” The response may well be, “We’re still working on it, but production is delayed due to extra training necessary for bringing under-served inner-city youth up to speed and recruiting women backhoe operators. Meanwhile, if you own a new car that cannot be repaired, just use public transportation, or ride a bike.”

Yes, a pushback against DIE has begun, but this may take decades before its requirements are eliminated in the private sector. In the meantime, the U.S. will remain dependent on importing cutting-edge chips from abroad, many manufactured by American firms. Yet one more example of DIE, Inc’s market clout. If one had only invested a few dollars a few decades ago in DIE, one would be a billionaire by now.

Image: Pixabay

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