Laura D’Andrea Tyson should be listened to. Tyson is a professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and served as chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton. She supports President Obama’s manufacturing initiatives.
She believes a strong manufacturing sector matters in her contributing February 10 editorial to the New York Times.
Tyson's points are simple to understand but hard to implement. She calls for the U.S. to rebalance growth away from consumption and imports financed by foreign borrowing toward exports: “Manufactured goods account for about 86 percent of merchandise exports from the United States and about 60 percent of exports of goods and services combined. Exports support more than one-quarter of manufacturing jobs in the United States.”
"On average manufacturing jobs are high-productivity, high value-added jobs with good pay and benefits. In 2009, the average manufacturing worker earned $74,447 in annual pay and benefits compared with $63,122 for the average non-manufacturing worker. In that year, only about 9 percent of the work force was employed in manufacturing, down from about 13 percent in 2000.”
Tyson believes innovation and manufacturing are linked. She claims that "although manufacturing is only about 11 percent of gross domestic product, it employs the majority of the nation’s scientists and engineers, and it accounts for 68 percent of business R & D spending, which in turn accounts for about 70 percent of total R & D spending.”
Agree or disagree with Tyson’s politics but you have to consider the facts she cites. The November elections will serve as a tipping point for government policies to incentivize the industry to once again become a hi-tech manufacturing base.
I didn't misunderstand the data like you apparently misunderstood my point. My commentary was more directed to the way you, and EETimes, chose to position the debate - reflexively deferring to the good intentions of government and more specifically to the current administration. I simply consider the prospect of starting an discussion from a false premise to be counterproductive, and the repetition of that mistake to be disapointing.
What's so hard to understand? This erosion in manufacturing in America did not start with the Obama administration.
My colleague on another "Rebuilding America" conversation backs up with data from the NSF that goes beyond partisanship. I think most readers will get it.
The National Science Foundation put this out today:
Here's the key passage says George Leopold:
"U.S. manufacturing has been declining as a share of our nation's gross domestic product for many decades. Our nation has lost almost 30 percent of manufacturing jobs during the last decade. Concurrently, emerging economies have vastly increased manufacturing capacity. In-depth knowledge of manufacturing processes has boosted innovation in these nations."
Here's the link to that lively conversation: http://www.eetimes.com/discussion/other/4236256/Rebuilding-America--Would-Kurzarbeit-work-here-
How dissapointing. This series of discussions on "Rebuilding America" always seems to start with an Obama Administration policy or idea. That can only lead to limited progess in this exchange and is a disservice to the larger goal. I expect better from my fellow engineers, even if they have turned to the pen for livelihood.