Machines are fungible: you can engineer the same machine and get the same results anywhere in the world. The difference in operating cost between the same piece of machinery here and there — essentially the difference in real estate and energy inputs — is an opportunity for arbitrage. Machines are totally fungible. The meatware which operates it is not. To be sure one can generalise about people — it is hard not to — these are heuristics — rules of thumb, to be used provisionally and in the absence of better intelligence — and if we treat them as immutable rules on which we may rely we are asking for trouble.
- ↑ Though it might be blown out by transport costs and material qualities, not to mention variability in the meatware.