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  • MIT: America's Manufacturing Sector Has Lost The Ability To Turn Innovative Products

    The first two paragraphs:

    Structural changes in U.S. industry over the past 30 years caused primarily by the financial sector's insatiable quest for profits have left "gaping holes" in the American system of scaling up new technologies to large-scale production, according to preliminary findings from a study conducted by 20 professors and their students at MIT.

    "The fact is that resources that used to be there as public goods -- things that companies could draw upon if they did not create those resources themselves -- have dried up and shrunk and moved away," says Suzanne Berger, MIT professor of political science and co-director of MIT's Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE) project. "No company, not even the largest U.S. multinational, can create in-house all of the resources it needs to scale products up, and this is all the more true of startups and main-street manufacturers."

    the last paragraph:

    The principal investigators also briefed Obama administration chief economist Robert Rubin and his staff working on manufacturing issues, Rebecca Blank, Acting Commerce Secretary, and David Danielson, the Department of Energy's Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (and a former founder and director of the MIT Energy Club), also to favorable reviews. Patrick Gallagher, Director of NIST, and Arati Prabhakar, Director of DARPA, participated in the National Academies panel on the interim PIE report along with MIT President Rafael Reif. The challenge is gaining buy-in from Congress. (emphasis mine)

    This article was written by By Richard A. McCormack, editor of Manufacturing & Technology News

    The full article is available at: http://www.manufacturingnews.com/news/mit0305131.html

    Rant on.

    I believe the study has exposed the nonsense taught in MBA programs that the only thing that matters is the bottom line. We (the collective we) must join together, put our political & philosophical differences behind us and demand that Congress grow up, do their jobs and show some leadership for the country. If we do not, the US will end up like the Roman Empire, or the British Empire and serve as another example of poor to nonexistent national leadership. BTW, this includes the US based multinationals who have about as much patriotism and concern for the society that nurtured them as a rock.

    Rant off.

    Stan

  • #2
    I tend to agree. What pisses me off is that the business community places such high priority to investors and often neglects the the grunts who do their "dirty work" meaning hard labor. What value can there be if there is no one do do what work needs to be done? I think the imbalance between executive pay & lowest paid employee ratios are in need of serious correction & the "old boy network" of boards of directors is totally corrupt. The race to the bottom as far as wages goes in this country is pathetic.

    IMHO, there should be no such thing as an MBA as this is an extremely destructive class of "clowns" who as we know probably destroy more than they build. Not to mention Wall Street whose primary goal is to skim off their comission regardless of whether their effort (the sale of stocks) is productive for anyone but the investors.
    gvasale

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    • #3
      It's greed, we've sold our soul to "next quarter profit" wall st, investors, etc. The companies are at odds with the workers & unions & we've lost the most important asset we had, PRIDE. Look at WW2 & what amazing things America produced. Now we offshore, lie & cheat & do anything to make the next quarters profit sheet look good. Sad state of affairs. I do see a glimmer of hope in I know many 1-6 person small shops that are booming. We need to get back to basics & have pride, ethics & patriotism like we had 60 years ago & look to long term planning like many asian countries do.
      "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
      world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
      country, in easy stages."
      ~ James Madison

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      • #4
        Every time I hear some company doing something totally godawful, its always followed by "But the shareholders demand it"
        Who the hell are these shareholders, and why have the workers not rissen up and done away with them?

        You never hear of a company doing anything good followed by "And the workers demanded it" Unless its postfixed by "To return from prolonged strike", And even then you usally read on "So the company finished outsourcing everything to china and fired the striking workers"
        Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dr Stan View Post

          .........................

          Rant on.

          I believe the study has exposed the nonsense taught in MBA programs that the only thing that matters is the bottom line. We (the collective we) must join together, put our political & philosophical differences behind us and demand that Congress grow up, do their jobs and show some leadership for the country......

          ..........................
          OK, just for grins, EXACTLY, how do you fix this "problem". Don't give me some liberal generalizations and BS like "address the growing gap between worker's and CEO's pay". EXACTLY what would you do.

          Also, IMHO, the people who think worrying about the bottom line is nonsense are either folks who don't run a business or are getting their paychecks from the taxpayer.

          Steve

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SteveF View Post
            OK, just for grins, EXACTLY, how do you fix this "problem". Don't give me some liberal generalizations and BS like "address the growing gap between worker's and CEO's pay". EXACTLY what would you do.

            Also, IMHO, the people who think worrying about the bottom line is nonsense are either folks who don't run a business or are getting their paychecks from the taxpayer.

            Steve
            In my opinion, the time frame of concern should be something longer than "quarters". I think "years" would be a more appropriate term.

            I know that thinking long term is old fashioned, but it does have a track record of success.

            Dave

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            • #7
              My brother in law is a bankster. One of those MBA-types that when you ask him to explain what he does, it takes him 20 minutes to explain that he has neither responsibility nor authority at his workplace. Neither does he have the ability to do anything for himself outside of work.
              I don't understand what these people do all day.

              Edited to add: AFAIK, there is no law that mandates that any corporation has to make some outrageous profit. True, the market demands it, but there's no law. Neither is there a law that says companies need to be responsible to groups or interests outside of their shareholders. Perhaps there should be.
              Last edited by Tommo; 03-07-2013, 01:19 PM.

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              • #8
                [QUOTE=Dr Stan;835592I believe the study has exposed the nonsense taught in MBA programs that the only thing that matters is the bottom line. [/QUOTE]

                except you haven't the foggiest clue what is taught in MBA school. This is just blatant ignorant angst looking for something to blame.

                I think the problem is high school shop teachers lol

                I vote that from now on insulting accomplish nothing threads sprouting from a petri dish of commercial and economic ignorance just don't happen or get locked.
                Last edited by Mcgyver; 03-07-2013, 01:49 PM.
                .

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                • #9
                  We have all heard the terms customer loyalty and worker loyalty but I have never heard the term shareholder loyalty! Yet, that is the main focus of boardrooms. Think about shareholder loyalty nextime the market drops 300 points.
                  Sole proprietor of Acme Buggy Whips Ltd.
                  Specialty products for beating dead horses.

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                  • #10
                    I think this is true to a large degree- for instance, on our local metalworker email group, somebody asked about new round belts for their engraving machines. Another member recommended a company called Peat Belt- whoops, they went out of business, the building was bought by Paul Allen, its now some kind of software or coffee or other yuppie business. So, another member says, Washington Belt. But they went out of business, too...

                    This is common where I live- the industrial infrastructure that used to make it easy for a small company to make things is drying up. In some cases, its overseas competition. In other cases, its real estate prices- why run a business that makes a hundred grand a year when your building is worth millions?
                    Two recent examples that come to mind- Acorn, which made welding platen tables, recently closed- the land they were on was worth something like ten million. The third generation of the family now develops the industrial property that the founders bought for peanuts, and they make ten times what they did making cast iron tables.
                    Another is the Machine Tool neighborhood in NYC- the last dealer moved a few years ago, the building they used to sell used lathes from now has $7 million dollar lofts in it- I believe Madonna owns one.

                    However, there are still some areas where there is density of manufacturing and suppliers, that make it easier for small companies to function- amazingly enough, Los Angeles is one of them. I lived and worked there for ten years, and was constantly amazed at the incredible amount of manufacturing and metalworking that went on there- even as companies in Buffalo and Philly and Chicago went under, one by one, I saw NEW companies opening in Southern California.
                    Most machine tools used to be made in Cleveland.
                    Now, Haas, in Southern California, is the largest machine tool manufacturer in the US, and one of the top 3 in the world. And part of it is because of the manufacturing base there- everything from blanchard grinding shops to powder coaters to aluminum sheet sawing shops.

                    As for what we can do about it-
                    There are a few things.
                    A financial transaction tax would be a no brainer, in my mind. Wall Street wouldnt even notice it, but it would allow us to fund things like better votech training.
                    In general, regulation of the financial sector, so they cant cause another $22 Trillion recession that devastes industry, causes huge job losses, and requires trillions in government money to be spent on bailouts- that might help. Dodd Frank and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau are being gutted right now by politicians being told what to do by Hedge Fund Lobbyists.

                    Historically, the US government has actually had an industrial policy, and then spent billions of government dollars to support key industries, doing things like building the Heavy Press program- which was a way of Federal seed money creating huge private industry opportunity. Pretty much every fighter plane, Boeing plane, or Airbus plane has parts made on the original Heavy Presses, even today.
                    The feds built the presses, and the industry and jobs followed.
                    Same thing with hydroelectric dams and the aluminum industry, or federal investments in various technologies that were too expensive for private industry to develop otherwise- initial government investment results in huge private sector gains, in things like CNC machine tools, lasers, waterjet cutting, computers, GPS, Satellites, and many more.
                    We do that much less these days.
                    Although I am in quite dubious of the current lack of transparency about how they are being used, Drones are a good example of that today- all government money, creating a technology that has huge commercial prospects, both for military and civilian applications down the road.

                    There are always technologies that the government can help birth, that would help US industry, jobs, and infrastructure, and that private industry either wont, or cant, do on their own.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
                      This is just blatant ignorant angst looking for something to blame... I vote that from now on insulting accomplish nothing threads sprouting from a petri dish of commercial and economic ignorance just don't happen or get locked.
                      Recent threads by Dr Stan:
                      2/22: rant - ereplacement parts - avoid like the plauge
                      2/05: How to Optimize Every Decision in Your Life and Accomplish Nothing
                      1/08: Breaking the Mold: Could Additive Manufacturing Resuscitate a Once Proud U.S. Industry?
                      1/07: Made in the US making a comeback
                      1/01: disappointed in Bosch
                      12/31: "The Tinkerers": How corporations kill creativity
                      11/26: Notes on the decline of a great nation
                      11/05: A Strategic Global Manufacturing Technology Vision Is Central To Germany's Economic D
                      10/13: What Europe is doing about economic growth
                      10/08: made in the usa - bucking a 30 year trend

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                      • #12
                        If any of those that think the MBA's are to blame or if business is to blame I call foul! If you have any off-shore tools in your shop then keep quiet. Looking for the government to solve these problems is very unwise. If you don't buy off-shore items then they won't get made there.

                        Why is it every time one of these threads get started on here most of the big voices come from people that have never built a big business but are experts and want to tell the companies what they should do to "fix" things.

                        I agree these threads should be locked and deleted straight away.
                        How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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                        • #13
                          I think this might be one of the reasons for the problem and not the MBA's. And a much harder one to deal with.
                          http://www.dailyfinance.com/on/Wealt...6pLid%3D278339

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