When it comes to manufacturing, supply demand models, etc. What I do not understand in the domain of EE is, how can a block of wood or a piece of woven fabric costs more than a more sophisticated engineered electronic component? Did some one did not scope it right? Constantly outdating requirements on a very fast pace has no meaning to economic stability, it is driving consumption and waste than making it healthy and part of our life. Hopefully when technologies reach to a point where it is physically limited, we might see manufacturing to be stable.
Here's a report from the ground, the manufacturing city of Chicago:
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is announcing cuts in military spending today (Jan.5). In anticipation, the metal benders at Boeing in Wichita, Kansas, yesterday (Jan. 4) announced layoffs totaling about 2,500 workers.
There are three steps in producing goods: design; manufacture; marketing/selling. The steps where money is to be made are the first and third. Why do you think that doing the seocnd in the US will make the US more prosperous? Who do you think makes more money out of iPods, Apple or their Chinese manufacturers?
You may be interested in this:
It shows the government spending pie chart for the 2012 budget (i.e. not spending as percent of GDP).
Defense spending will drop a lot, by ending the two wars. Most of that defense spending goes to personnel costs.
As to medical, my take is, we need far more automation for things like physical exams. I recently had a battery of blood tests for my company physical. They were all automated. The results came out in minutes, from a PC. Much more of that, even done from home and uploaded to your doctor's office, avoiding appointments, visits for lab tests, and technician fees, would go a long way to reduce medical costs. And they would also reduce the number of costly and unnecessary doctor visits.
The health care industry is still too labor-intensive, IMO. Automation has created wonderful new machines, to improve care, but not enough has been done to eliminate the manual labor involved. As other industries have done.
pixies and Bert22306 both mentioned robots and automation as being an essential aspect of cost-competitive U.S. manufacturing. I completely agree.
But while reading these comments, I laughed out loud. My new 2012 Demotivational Calendar has, for the month of January, a photo of a robot holding a tool and repairing itself.
The captions reads: "Adaptation: The bad news is robots can do your job now. The good news is we're now hiring robot repair technicians. The worse news is we're working on robot-fixing robots and we do not anticipate any further good news."
Agree about universities being run like corporations. My son graduated from college in December. The university sent picture proofs within a week of him receiving his diploma. The package deal for the picture was $150, and the proofs were sent out to hundreds of graduates.
I think that all universities these days are "for profit". But I have to agree with you that DeVry University can graduate some very good engineers. The DeVry engineers I've had the pleasure to work with in the past have been excellent, and have been very successful in their fields.