What made America # 1 is manufacturing?. Without manufacturing our times are marked. I came to this country and did high-school in 1979, worked all the way to Ph.D, and I could see we are losing our edge. We let anyone copy our innovation.
Example, if you think our innovation is JSSC and other preimeir journals, track the papers and countries associated with manufacturing slowing buildinf products that are innnovative.
I am not sure what our leaders are doing about this, but if we do not do anything and bring back manufacturing to US, then what are future generation of engineers going to do. Google, Apple, and ..... can only provide so much jobs.
Bring back manufacturing......
First Pittsburgh and parts of N. Carolina were shipped overseas, then Detroit, now it is Silicon Valley that is being packed-out one container at a time. High tech manufacturing in the US will likely be restored at some point once it becomes clear to the political class that being hollowed out is not a formula for success of the US economy and it becomes clear to overseas companies that US plants are an inoculation against protectionism. The pendulum will swing. It always does. The question though is once the plants come back who will own and control them.
No doubt manufacturing and the satellite operations can generate a lot of jobs. Hypothetically, if all the manufacturing moved back to US, with so much regulation in place, what would be the costs of these manufactured goods, and would the goods be affordable, perhaps not until the average income are raised? If average income is raised, how about 'inflation'? Also, which countries outside of US can afford the goods, unlikely many of those in Asia? Therefore, there is no simple cure from 'moving manufacturing back to US'. Perhaps a few questions to ask are: why is manufacturing so much more expensive in US? Are these the reasons: unreasonable lawsuits and the compensation to go with them, the unrelentless expectation for double-digit profit quarter after quarter for business establishement by the greedy bankers and wall-street analysts, insufficient long-term investments (nowadays not many companies dare to invest signficant portion of revenue to R&D or else their stocks are pounded by Wall Street), forever rising health care cost (the government or the citizens are so rich that the drive for equality has no bound and limit!), changing altitude of the younger generation to becoming more self-centered (being happy and in control are the most important of anyone's life), ... The root causes for the decline is more than skin-depth, I believe. Thanks for listening.
What can be done in bringing manufacturing back home is in analyzing the sink holes: How much of the costs go to the exaggerated pay to executives? Who all together work to satisfy Wall street's gambling sprees rather than a sound business plan for a wholesome community.
The financial elite and their well paid servants do not care about the societal aspects -- they will outsource because it works for them. The Harvard prof. should take into account that soon enough his student body will be outsourced too.
Our design team and Application team and Cad team were 'packed up' and their jobs went to
India. Inventory and fabs in South East Asia
to name a few countries. Now Apple can't come to my boss or I for design help with our parts, they have to call India... This College dream world is KILLING our country.
Environmental groups are killing or slowing down others. Some of it is correct. Some, a large part is out of control. If we don't design, prototype and manufacture goods - all we have left is buy and sell. We are now broke without jobs and can't see our bodies. [ yet ].
That person soldering a surface mount capacitor in Malaysia who gets $2 a day can be replaced by a robot. If we automate our manufacturing to the hilt, the wage disparity will evaporate. This will cause, of course, fewer jobs to be created in the USA. An easy solution to that is to reduce the work week to spread around the remaining jobs. Convincing the "ownership" class in this country to pay a living wage for 4 days of work will require some political clout.
Manufacturing is a base upon which the society builds. Base level workers have families that want work up the knowledge chain. It is a slow decline in the "dumbing down" of society without manufacturing.
We can see the rate of knowledge growth in China, not just as a result of government education, it comes as a result of the knowledge built in society from manufacturing. Accountant and those that fashion wall street, fail to account for the educational benefits to teh society that has a base with manufacturing. That, and the fact that we are complicit in supporting human exploitation through moving manufacturing and services to the lowest cost locations in the world. This is not truly a long term, viable solution and shows that offshoring of manufacturing and services is a short term profit maximization strategy. Vision and doing what is right is no longer seen as an investment in the future, but management for next quarters results is all that matters.
I have heard this cry for the past 25 years. The United States remains the single biggest manufacturer in the world, bar none: $1.7 trillion in manufacturing outputs. China is a distant second at $1.3 trillion. Open and free trade is required, and if sustained more manufacturing will return as the cost of logistics to move finished products around continues to increase. I have been in the high tech product industry for 30 years and have been in manufacturing sites in the US, Japan, Mexico, China, India, and Taiwan. No one, other then the Japanese are cost to the US from a process capability and efficiency perspective. Yes they can throw low cost labor at it, but they cannot produce to the consistent and traceable quality levels.
Innovation take a long time to bear fruit, typically in years. In my belief, until Wall Street rewards business establishment for dedicating sufficient amount of their revenue to R&D, innovation in US likely keeps declining. Of course, I am listening and is happy to correct my thought otherwise.