OT: possible replacement for manufacturing jobs

Special for TMT
As a follow-up on the hot-dog pushcart as a possible replacement
of high tech jobs, we now have this example from LA.
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Foodies flock to Twitter-savvy food trucks
By SHAYA TAYEFE MOHAJER, Associated Press Writer Shaya Tayefe
Mohajer, Associated Press Writer ? Fri May 15, 4:01 pm ET
LOS ANGELES ? For some foodies, Tweets lead to great eats.
Twitter recently became the communique of choice for the almost
cultishly popular Kogi BBQ trucks, roving Korean-style taco
vendors in Los Angeles that use the 140-character, cell
phone-friendly missives to alert customers to their whereabouts
and menu items.
And the trend is spreading to other wheel meals as more food
trucks ? a fast-growing food
Portland Twitter users, such as PDXfoodcarts, track the arrival
of new trucks, which have exploded from just a few in 2006 to
more than 170 this year, representing 24 national cuisines.
"OK, Poompui, a new Thai cart on 8th and Couch is PHENOMENAL,"
read a recent Tweet by PDXfoodcarts. "Like Thai food in Thailand.
GO, JUST GO."
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Unka' George [George McDuffee]
-------------------------------------------
He that will not apply new remedies,
must expect new evils:
for Time is the greatest innovator: and
if Time, of course, alter things to the worse,
and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better,
what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman.
Essays, "Of Innovations" (1597-1625).
Reply to
F. George McDuffee
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Id say your post is ON topic, but truth is I cant understand it, but it could be the beer. So going from just the subject line, there is no replacement for manufacturing. Japan taught us that when they almost kicked our ass in the 40's. They are smaller than florida and yet built the largest warship the world has ever seen, as well as the most successful fighter plane of its time. I understand they even built an atomic bomb in the end but was a little too late. My point is without manufacturing, technology is useless. Manufacturing is in my book right up there with farming. It's renewable. And looking at history, he who can manufacture the best, rules the planet.
Besides, wev'e all sold stuff, wev'e all given advice, we've all made things nicer by painting, cutting lawns, etc... But there is no better feeling a man can have from growing or building something.
Reply to
vinny
=========== The key phrase is "value added."
In the aggregate, the big chunk of "value added" is manufacturing. While we in the United States have been on a credit binge over the last few years, dissipating our inheritance/patramony on bling-bling and gee-gaws, a significant number of people have been busy "cutting the golden goose open" for their own profit, liquidating the high value added options.
To be sure the first people to off-shore production and services made out like bandits, but this was a death sentence in the long run for manufacturing and all but the most basic services [IT, engineering, accounting -- going -- going -- gone], and even the services that can't be exported such as house cleaning and yard work are now frequently filled by undocumented/guest workers driving down those wages.
It is important that the people that are now un- or under- employed realize this has little or nothing to do with them personally.
They are still good people, even if they need a [better] job. In general they are no more responsible for their situation than were the people in the North Ridge earthquake or the Katrina hurricane. Indeed, in many ways they are *LESS* responsible, in that the people in the earthquakes and hurricanes had been advise of possible trouble, building codes were revised/implemented, and certain precautions were advised, including evacuation, while the people now being swept up in the current economic storms were specifically told that everything was OK, not to worry, ignore the alarmists, and SPEND THAT MONEY.
I can see two ways for manufacturing to make a comeback, neither of which will be good. First, the existing overseas suppliers can refuse to supply any more product, including spare/repair parts, except C.O.D. or even cash in advance, and they may even demand that some of their outstanding bills be paid down as part of the deal. Second, tariff and non-tarriff trade barriers can be implemented, possibly including high taxes on services to restrict imports to promote domestic manufacture/production. A combination of the two is also possible.
Good luck on the job search, and remember what the Godfather said as he snugged up the piano wire -- "its nothing personal, its just business."
Unka' George [George McDuffee] ------------------------------------------- He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays, "Of Innovations" (1597-1625).
Reply to
F. George McDuffee
There is a third, and much better option George. China, for example, buys a lot of wood and scrap iron from the US but not much in the way of finished wood or metal products. They export those back to us and the dimwit solution is to restrict those imports to the US by taxing the goods on the way in. Well, we can't do that without starting a big trade war and everyone would lose, and they are already, if that happens.
There is no reason, no treaty, and no trade agreement that says we can't slap a 100% or more tax on raw materials that are exported.
JC
Reply to
John R. Carroll
=========== Might be a little late.
from 2004
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2007
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from Nov 2008
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20 2009
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08 2009
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Unka' George [George McDuffee] ------------------------------------------- He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays, "Of Innovations" (1597-1625).
Reply to
F. George McDuffee
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I would say this would be the perfect time. Who'd complain? Certainly not the Chinese. Also, we put a tarrif on paper imports from China not long after the last domestic producer ended production. I've forgotten which kinds of finished paper was involved but it was delivered in giant rolls.
JC
Reply to
John R. Carroll
An economy - ANY economy - runs on just three basics: Mining, agriculture, and manufacturing.
We the take things we need out of the earth. That's all we have. Mining is the business of finding and delivering inanimate things like oil, water, ores, etc. Agriculture involves live things like plants, animals, fish, etc. (Food animals are just indirect ways to get concentrated or pre-processed nutrition from plants. This often includes plants, like grass, that we can't eat directly.)
Manufacturing is how we transform the basics into useful form. That means everything from refining oil to butchering animals. It's also how we improve mining and agriculture. Drills for getting oil out of deep holes, ships for fishing, tractors for plowing the ground, and more and more. The three basics simultaneously serve and protect and enhance each other.
EVERYTHING humans do that isn't mining, agriculture, or manufacturing, is a service industry which can serve one of just two purposes. It can help mining, agriculture, and manufacturing become more efficient, more streamlined, or larger in scale, to promote better productivity overall, or it can serve individuals directly, providing convenience, comfort, or other things that we value in our lives that aren't directly related to producing what we need.
Banking and transportation are examples of the first kind of service. Medicine and art/entertainment are examples of the second.
The two kinds of services are fundamentally different. The first kind is productive service. A bank can collect small sums from many depositors, and can enable very large investments in any of the three basic productive activities. Transportation can bring each of us closer to the sources of things produced by the basics. That aids and enhances productivity.
The second kind of service is entirely a matter of consumption. We consume TV programs, fashionable clothing, or drugs and medical procedures, primarily for our own reasons, without regard for the overall survival of our species, or the overall health of our economy. We enrich ourselves individually by consuming; but we don't add anything to the total (necessary or optional) wealth that's available to be consumed.
If you want to know the health of any economy, just look at the amount of time, energy, effort, and esteem, that it invests in the various kinds of activities described above.
The US is seriously upside down, and can only have a bright future if it stops spending so much on the wrong things, and starts investing in the things that make the future possible.
KG
Reply to
Kirk Gordon
Exactly.
Simply speaking, if your not mining it growing it or making it, you're at the complete mercy of those who do.
Reply to
Black Dragon
Perhaps, but it's a symbiotic relationship. You need both sides of the system - service and manufacturing - or you end up with a bartered economy. It's really a matter of finding the right balance. America is either going to develop institutional memories or it will fail.
JC
Reply to
John R. Carroll
You guys are thinking too old school.
Two of the richest three people in the world (Bill Gates and Larry Ellison) made their fortunes in the software industry. Not a whole lot of manufacturing in the software industry. The vast majority of the value in the companies they founded is intellectual property.
Same goes for the next big cutting edge economic driver: the biotech industry.
Reply to
Kurgan. presented by Gringioni
========== While this is a valid point of view, it is well to remember there are several tacit assumptions.
The most important of these is the continuing availability of adequate, even a surplus, of food, shelter, clothing and the other necessities of life. Note that the existence of these items is not enough, the people must be able to purchase/consume these.
The rapid increase in main-stream America of the fraction and absolute numbers of homeless and the explosive growth in the demand for subsistence assistance such as the low/free cost food at the community pantries and other outlets indicates an increasingly serious problem.
When the supply of any of the necessities of life are inadequate, activities such as software and biotech, other than as they contribute to correcting the shortages, are of little value. E.g. biotech and IT are a hard sell in the Sudan, Haiti, etc., and in any case are far too narrow a base on which to build a viable economy, e.g. just how system analysists/programers and bio technicians can an economy support?
"High value added" is an important condition in that this emphasizes high efficiency/effectiveness activities, rather than action for the sake of action or "make work," and the generation of a surplus.
The unfortunate truth is that in too many cases the traditional "high value added" activities, which tend to be concentrated in manufacturing, cannot simply be restarted as the factories no longer exist, and the "know how" is no longer available. The same conditions exist in domestic [US] mining/extraction and agriculture.
Unka' George [George McDuffee] ------------------------------------------- He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays, "Of Innovations" (1597-1625).
Reply to
F. George McDuffee
Let the Record show that Black Dragon on or about Mon, 18 May 2009 17:57:00 +0000 (UTC) did write/type or cause to appear >
You start with "resource extraction" - mining or farming (timber comes under farming, these days). After that, it is all processing / manufacture. And with Manufacturing, you need sales people, cause if you don't have sales, you don't have jobs. "Only Customers pay wages." - pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
Reply to
pyotr filipivich
There's more than enough.
Look at the poor people. They're the ones who are the fattest.
People store tons of crap in their garages. People have so much stuff they rent off-site storage spaces for all their extra stuff that doesn't fit into their homes.
Before the Industrial Revolution, 90% of the jobs in the US were in agriculture. Now it's about 1.5%. Same thing is happening to manufacturing. Workers can produce more and more because of automation.
The post-Industrial Revolution (what we're in now) focuses on the *quality* of what is consumed. The intellectual property that I mentioned in the previous post. Look at what your computer can do now compared to the computer you had 20 years ago.
Twenty five years ago we were still tethered to telephone land lines. Thirty Five Years ago there weren't any video games. I couldn't afford a Wilson NFL football 35 years ago because they cost $50. That was in 1973 dollars. Now, in 2009 dollars, I can buy one at WalMart for $11.
There's plenty of stuff to consume. People don't realize it because what they're consuming relative to their peers doesn't seem to be increasing. Overall though, we consume more and more and more.
Reply to
Kurgan. presented by Gringioni
Software, and all of information technology, is a service industry. It serves (directly or indirectly) the three basics. If it didn't, it wouldn't exist.
Biotechnology is an interesting blend of the basics. Inventing or adjusting living things is manufacturing and agriculture combined.
But the basics aren't old school. They're always there, or you don't have an economy.
KG
Reply to
Kirk Gordon
Actually people who use software are in a service industry maybe, but the production of code and the sale of that code is manufacturing.
Reply to
vinny
No it isn't.
It's the creation of intellectual property. More and more software gets downloaded these days. That's not a manufactured good. Neither are copyrights or patents to which software is akin. Those are also intellectual property and not manufactured goods.
Reply to
Kurgan. presented by Gringioni
You're a smart guy, but you're thinking too inside the box. It's understandable that people do this because the government does the same thing - lumping software in with the services industry.
It's a different animal than the traditional services industry. When someone purchases a piece of software, what they're really doing is purchasing the right to use a piece of intellectual property. Same goes for song downloads off itunes.
The government does that lumping in because they're a bunch of bureaucrats and they didn't think about how to address software and other intellectual property when it first started to become statistically significant.
Reply to
Kurgan. presented by Gringioni
What the heck. They were calling McDonalds manufacturing a while back.
Reply to
cavelamb
You're a smart guy, but you're thinking too inside the box. It's understandable that people do this because the government does the same thing - lumping software in with the services industry.
It's a different animal than the traditional services industry. When someone purchases a piece of software, what they're really doing is purchasing the right to use a piece of intellectual property. Same goes for song downloads off itunes.
The government does that lumping in because they're a bunch of bureaucrats and they didn't think about how to address software and other intellectual property when it first started to become statistically significant. **** Good point. I forgot we are leasing the stuff usually. I still think the creation of software is manufacturing.
Reply to
vinny
Actually, I called IT a service industry because (at its best) it serves the three basic activities, but isn't one of them.
You're right, though, about intellectual property being a special case. If I invent a better way to extract ore from the Earth, or to cut metal more precisely, or to grow food more efficiently, that's not mining, nor manufacturing, nor agriculture; but it's a potential for doing those things which didn't exist before. So there's wealth to be created if my inventions are put to use, and plenty of reason for people to pay real money for them; but they're not quite the same as if actual wealth was already been created.
Intellectual property is like fuel in a car. It makes driving possible; but won't actually get you anywhere till somebody does somethig real with it, like starting the engine and stepping on the accelerator. The fuel has no value of its own unless there's already a car to fuel and someone to drive it.
But, strictly speaking, a way to improve one or more of the basic activities is still just a service. An important service, maybe; but distinct from the basics.
The term Information Technology will always beg the question "Information about what?". If you're talking about a form of IT that has real value for productive purposes, and not just the kind (like music downloads) that are consumable but not productive, then the answer to the question always has to be one of the three basic things that make an economy possible.
KG
Reply to
Kirk Gordon

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