Excellent Interview with T.J. Rodgers

Cypress Semiconductor CEO T.J. RodgersDeclan McCullagh (writing for CNet’s News.com) has published an excellent interview with Cypress Semiconductor CEO T.J. Rodgers.
Some noteworthy excerpts:

Q: John Kerry is denouncing “Benedict Arnold” CEOs who send jobs overseas. Is it moral for American companies to increase their overseas outsourcing?
A: It is immoral for any CEO not to run his company in the best possible financial way for his shareholders. I used to hold Kerry’s naive view of the “all American” company, meaning all jobs in America. That was a foolish mistake on my part, and it cost my shareholders a lot of money, until I moved our entire assembly and test operation and several hundred jobs offshore in 1992. […]
Some AFL-CIO activists are pledging to make the offshoring of technology jobs a campaign issue this fall.
The AFL-CIO has been promoting losing economics causes for years. Other than the government members of the union, the AFL-CIO has lost pretty much all of its membership over the last few decades. The AFL-CIO consistently promotes economic policies that harm its own members. […]
Why not [expand your company in California]?
The wage rate is one problem, but it’s surmountable, because the cost of a wafer is only 15 percent labor. So if I paid a 20 percent premium for labor, the wafer would only cost 3 percent more. The killer factor in California for a manufacturer to create, say, a thousand blue-collar jobs is a hostile government that doesn’t want you there and demonstrates it in thousands of ways, through bureaucrats and regulations.
Ayn Rand said no society can jail an honest man. So if you want to use the power of society on citizens, you have to make normal behavior illegal. The zoning ordinances and environmental ordinances are a classic example. I guarantee you that nobody truly understands them, and no plant can meet all of them simultaneously. So you end up with a dynamic that there are no laws, and there are no rules, and you’re completely at the mercy of the local government, and they don’t want you there. And they tell you that. So you go away. That’s why there’s no silicon left in Silicon Valley.

See the full interview with T.J. Rodgers for more gems of insight and wit from this prominent admirer of Atlas Shrugged.
PS. For some video footage, check out this EE Times interview with T.J. Rodgers.