With highway bridges rusting to pieces, dikes collapsing etc. there is so much work to be done! We need an economic model that lets someone earn a living wage by swinging a paint brush.
From my air conditioned office I look out at the next building and see guys tarring roof in the hot sun. Why do I earn so much more than them? They can't do my job. But I am not willing to do theirs. Even if our pay levels were reversed, I would rather sit here for minimum wage than kill myself out there for $80k more.
The only way the U.S. will create jobs is by increase tariffs and cancelling all free trade agreements. The tariffs could be refunded at the retailer level so the consumer doesn't see it. Colleges don't create jobs. Free trade only creates jobs in other countries. The so called economic experts keep saying that this is the worst downturn ever and can't figure out that outsourcing of jobs have destroyed our economy. How's it free trade when it almost all from China. If the U.S. isn't making anything then what are we trading? Our future.
Engineers need also to learn about business and business management. You can put on your thinking cap all you want, but unless you can successfully execute a business model based on your idea, someone else will reap the rewards in the end.
So what the hell are you doing about it? just complainuing about politicians? In the 1980 things were very bleak (I personally was unemployed for 2 years)and then came along 2 engineers 1 software and 1 hardware that form the computer industry that fueled the boom of the 1990s, along with cell phones and the internet that also helped the 90's growth. The engineers of this country need to forget about goverment, they are not going to help us!, let's put on our thinking caps and create that next industry that will pull us out of this funk!
It is not just government. America is it's own worst enemy. Here is a country that spent $trillions it did not have on a war it did not need in Iraq. Then wall street and bank regulations were removed, the whole stock market is now simply one big slot machine, betting on risk and speculation not growth. Investors money is simply tossed into the slot never to reappear again.
The whole system needs a top to bottom changes and the biggest issue right now is where America fits in to the world. The so called "Third world countries" have really thrown a curve ball where in a globalized environment, they have literally fielded a well educated labor force 3 times larger than America's. Now it is moving high tech and these countries are investing like crazy on technology. America has never been in this position before, but it has to rise to the challenge. There is no options but for the government to invest in education and technology in a public-private partnership like China. If we don't, China will and then worse times will be had. Whatever needs to be done, has to be done. There is no going back to the good old days, they are gone forever!
Great debate, folks! Look, to Simon, James and others: I'm no right winger. Libertarian? In many ways.
But at the end of the day, my future is in my hands. I need to do something about it; I don't look to the government to do something for me.
Today, I sat in a meeting with representatives from a U.S. congressman and a small contract electronics manufacturer. I'll write about it later at greater length, but they might as well have been speaking to completely different languages.
I know we all have to get along. We need government (really!); what level and type is now a four-century-old debate here in the U.S. And this forum suggests it continues to be a lively debate!