A member of my immediate family is heading off to start a career in the military. So for the past few months, I've been watching what's happening in that space pretty closely. This includes things like the escalating differences between the US and countries like Syria and North Korea. At the same time, I see that defense spending continues to be cut.
It's ironic that as I sat down to write this column, I simultaneously saw a CNN piece saying that the FBI had just thwarted an attempt to bomb the New York City subway system and the New York Stock Exchange. So the war on terrorism, crime, etc., lives in every corner of the world and manifests itself in many different ways.
So how does this fit into the coverage of Design News? The biggest impact is seen by the percentage of our readers who design and manufacture the products that are often used by our armed forces and the people who maintain our security.
It's just my opinion -- actually it's an opinion shared by many, including lots of experts -- that cuts in military spending tend to weigh on the country psychologically. It's looked at as a fast path toward a manufacturing slowdown.
This isn't meant to be a political column in any way, just my attempt at pointing out some facts related to military spending and cuts. And I'm well aware that there are just as many experts who sit on the opposite side of the fence, saying that military spending is out of control and could potentially pull the country into another recession. But everyone is entitled to an opinion, right?
My simple thinking is that manufacturing of just about anything is a good thing, as it has a snowball effect (I know I'm not breaking any new ground here, just stating facts). More manufacturing means more jobs and increased wealth. Increased wealth means people buy more things; hence, more things need to be manufactured, and so on. If only life were so simple.
Whether it's cars, planes, or items used by the military to protect and serve our country, manufacturing is a good thing. Far too much of it has left the US, but it's now time to bring it back, and that seems to be the case, as the latest research shows.
I recently attended one of the larger manufacturing events, and the attendance, both in terms of raw numbers and the buzz that could be "seen" on the show floor, seemed to prove the fact that manufacturing is on the rise. Let's hope it's true. That's something I think we would all agree is a good thing.