HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
REGISTER   |   LOGIN   |   HELP
Blogs
Wolfe's Den

Should Washington Support Manufacturing?

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/3  >  >>
Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Changing manufacturing costs
Rob Spiegel   3/20/2012 8:01:32 AM
NO RATINGS
Looks like most of the Linkedin discussion tended against government support for manufacturing. The rush to overseas manufacturing seems to have slowed in recent years for a number of reasons -- rising labor and shipping costs as well as production and supply difficulties. There's also a recent trend toward keeping manufacturing closer to the end consumer. High volume, low mix products, however, will probably continue to go to the cheap-labor markets. Not much would stop that.

williamlweaver
User Rank
Platinum
Predator / Prey
williamlweaver   3/20/2012 8:44:09 AM
NO RATINGS
 
Alex, I am really enjoying the free course in Game Theory currently being offered by Stanford. Their initial overview describes the optimization of behavior of both Predator and Prey in the standard Predator/Prey model. In all cases, both Predator and Prey benefit from being active -- moving around, looking for opportunities and avoiding pitfalls. In all cases being inactive and staying put gets a low score. Recall the advice given to wilderness trekkers in the event they get lost -- stay put and the rescuers will find you. When the search party is a Predator, that is precisely the wrong advice. 

Government involvement in technology can benefit Exploration in the form of No-Strings-Attached Grants: Gifts to enable innovators to move around Steven Johnson's "adjacent possible" and explore. All other forms of Government involvement, such as loans, tax-credits, and especially regulations, have the effect of controlling behavior and restricting "movement" within the arena of ideas. Regulations are particularly onerous, as they force both Predator and Prey to stay put. In the model of free-market capitalism, that simply means both Predator and Prey are now susceptible to attack from more agile Predators -- a role presently filled by overseas competition. 

 

Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Predator / Prey
Alexander Wolfe   3/20/2012 8:58:07 AM
Bill, a very cogent explanation of the process in play here. Games theory offers a great way to analyze these things. As you indicate, the predators are roaming free. The thing of which I dispair is that, regardless of your opinions on regulation, the "prey," as represented by our legislators, are unlikely to ever to anything to address the intrinsics of the problem. At times they will pass laws and regulations, but they'll be disconnected from other laws -- i.e., no coherent overall strategy -- and they'll often be introduced/passed more for show than for any effect.

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Washington Support Manufacturing
apresher   3/20/2012 3:57:55 PM
Alex and William,  Couldn't agree more. The real challenge is how Washington can support manufacturing while avoid the pitfalls of the law of unintended consequences. It is a critical problem to solve.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Predator / Prey
Charles Murray   3/20/2012 7:42:19 PM
Alex: I believe our country gets long-term benefits from, as you've described it here, funding of research, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. I get worried, though, when our government officials start picking winners in private industry. As Jon Titus points out, their track record with Solyndra and Ener1 would suggest that they're not particularly well-qualified to be doing that.   

jts4545
User Rank
Iron
Re: Predator / Prey
jts4545   3/21/2012 1:42:43 AM
NO RATINGS
Right now, the prime predator is China. Flooding the U.S. with inferior goods. Especially in machine tools. Features are often so inferior, they cannot be considered "agile manufacturing". Deliberate attempt to cripple U.S. industry at all levels. From home workshop to the biggest corporations. Management of U.S. companies dealing with China do not seem to see the inferiority of the Chinese tools or just don't care. Not useful to those in business or those at home trying keep things running. Some protection from bad Chinese products and underselling of U.S. business is in order.

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Open market
Mydesign   3/21/2012 3:41:26 AM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
Yes, we have to keep options the open. Free or open market is a good for all sort of business, especially in an economic slowdown time. This may help the companies to make use of maximum benefits and hence in turn a superior quality product at an affordable price.

ChasChas
User Rank
Gold
playing field
ChasChas   3/21/2012 10:32:35 AM
NO RATINGS
 

Patrick Dixon has it right. The government should protect our rights and property.  In so doing this, the present government needs be a better watchdog by keeping the politcal and financial playing fields more level. The rest should work itself out.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: playing field
Rob Spiegel   3/21/2012 2:27:06 PM
I agree, ChasChas, but keeping the playing field level when we're competing with countries that receive heavy assistance from their governments. There is now way a democratic system like our would ever be able to match the government involvement of non-democratic countries such as China. So the playing field in many ways will never be level.

BillFZ1
User Rank
Gold
get out of the way
BillFZ1   3/21/2012 2:55:27 PM
NO RATINGS
Rob, I respectfully disagree. The playing field can be leveled, or at least close to by having the non-technical goverrnment politicians get the heck out of the way of american manufacturing. I live in California where the effect of too much government is obvious. People and manufacturing simply move away. The federal government needs to get a clue from this. Interfere too much and ANY company will go off-shore. Monitor an industry but don't interfere and production will return. I have personally seen a repetitive job leave a manufacturer I was working at durring the 1970's. It went to Singapore. That same manufacturer brought the job back to the US to have a more responsive manufacturer and make less scrap! Now it is likely that the return would not happen because of stifling goverment regs.  Bill J 

Page 1/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Wolfe's Den
Our LinkedIn systems and product design engineering group discusses if they are happy with their decision of remaining a technical contributor instead of becoming a manager.
Design News has launched its first Apple iPad app, and we want to give it to you for free.
Design News readers are asked to submit their captions for a cartoon, as part of our monthly reader caption contest.
Will the electric vehicle survive its current round of technological success?
Our LinkedIn Systems & Product Design Engineering group is considering government support for STEM education.
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service