I will have much more write about my Korea (and later Japan) later, when I have some time to compile my notes & comments and see what pictures I can get get up here on my blog.
Overly briefly, I saw the most advanced factory (at Jecheon) I have ever seen (bearings anyway, I have never been to a semiconductor plant...), robots everywhere... LOTS more machines than workers. Absolutely incredible. And the other factories I visited were EXCELLENT facilities too.
I'm telling you guys, America is not going to catch these guys unless things change fast, else, stick a fork in it, we will LOSE our manufacturing bit by bit as hungry Asians (60 hour weeks by EVERY white-collar guy I spoke with)... These guys are serious people, not wasting time on Facebook or trying to be web designers or working for obstructionist government... Korea's government WANTS manufacturing, and it is clean, they fish in their rivers in Changwon, a big-time manufacturing city. Changwon was MUCH cleaner than an equivalent American manufacturing town.
Korea has good food! Strange but good! I have gained weight... In Kyungju, my hosts treated me to Korean barbecue... In Changwon, we went to a real hole in the wall, ancient-style place for fish soup yesterday.
I need dinner as I write, I promise a BIG ARTICLE on this and related topics as soon as possible (rare-earths too, veyron!). Some pictures, but they would NOT let me take pictures inside the plants, apparently NO ONE who owns technology wants to let their competitors see how they do what they do.
[Note to my ZeroHedge readers, I have a great idea I am thinking about writing as a contributor...]
O/T, but no (or VERY few) iPhones are here, ALL Samsung phones w/ Android. Mr. Kim helped me check some stocks on his Samsung there at Changwon airport 3 hours ago... CAREFUL w/ Apple, yes, they are doing great in the USA (and probably Europe and Lat Am), but Asia (Korea anyway, Samsung-land) likes Android. I will study what JAPAN uses in a few days.
This has been the most interesting trip of my life in many ways, wow, oh wow.