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Manufacturing Boom a Fake? No Way

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Are We in the Middle of a Fake Manufacturing Boom?
MWBailey   3/24/2015 10:54:34 AM
The author has made a key observation that negatesd his premise of a real manufacturing boom.  60 hour work weeks for non management employees and 12 hour days 7 days a week for contract employees is bad practice, bad business, and bad management.  Quality of work suffers and quality of life suffers.  (Can you say "burnout"?)  This is not a boom but, effectively, a bubble.

I worked in the nuclear power generation industry for a number of years.  Any work week longer than 70 hours, even during the schedule driven refueling outages, required the plant superintendent's signature for each person and each case.

I am at present an electrical power distribution system design engineer and a registered professional engineer.  It is a field that is badly understaffed because it is not glamorous or cool.  It is merely absolutely necessary.  My pay is reasonable and my employer accommodates my family needs.  I spend a significant portion of my time educating young engineers in real world engineering, something the schools are notably poor at.

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Re: Good example of what's happening in manufacturing
wombat661   3/23/2015 1:26:04 PM
All you people, get ready for the second tidal wave to crash. Did you hear about the TPP, or Trans Pacific Partnership. Bet you many people have not. It has been going on for years, talks held in secret while news is talking about Kim Kadashian, Russia and terrorism.

Remember when China joined the WTO? Anyone paid attention? It was 12/11/2001, that is one month after 9/11/2001. What were people talking about then? That is right, nobody paid attention as we opened trade doors to China. It was a huge groundbreaking event. Now 3 trillion in trade deficit, 7,000 factory closure and huge income inequality latter, what did the American people gained? That is also associated with the near collapse of US banking.

Anyone saw the trade deal coming with South Korea on 3/15/2012? At a time when Obama can't even agree with the Republicans over the time of day, that deal got passed congress by BOTH parties very quickly without a peep or squeak. All the major news make a quick mention in the morning for literally 5 seconds. They ALL said it was beneficial to the US. It was not until AFTERWARD that SOME news station mentioned briefly some believe that deal will hurt US economy. But we are already in a tidal wave, another small wave will not matter.

Great that manufactureing is gaining. Also partly because of abundance of natural gas that gave us an advantage. However, Obama wants to open more natural gas ports so we can sell our manufacturing advantage. Poison our water, and sell the resource. Now this TPP.

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Re: Nope! Still not a "boom"!
Zippy   3/23/2015 8:28:50 AM
I think it is a sad misconception that we will someday "get back" to a booming US manufacturing economy.  The US once had a huge lead over the rest of the world in manufacturing capability and expertise, but the rest of the world has caught up.  Major corporations today are multinational, and their goal is to maximize profit and minimize cost - that's what companies do.  Capitalism is a wonderful system for wealth generation, but a lousy system for setting social norms around distributing the resulting wealth.

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Try and see through the smoke of the lies....
hydpneumatics   3/20/2015 8:55:22 PM
Why are stock market indicies, commoditie prices, other economic indicators, and the job market numbers SOOOO skewed? Manipulation by our government, and other governments around the globe! Too late for the public to react and make changes, too late for those who believe those in power are going to correct the incredible debt America has accumulated. Are you ready for the global change that is soon to happen? I hope so!



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Re: It's complicated
ttemple   3/20/2015 8:37:23 PM

I don't see it coming out of Washington, period.  I have no confidence that either party wants any serious changes, especially ones that lower any taxes.  The republicans have enough control right now to stop anything, or to do anything, and they wont.  They create bills that make it look like they are for/against things, but always attach something to assure that things don't go through.  Bottom line is they all (dems and repubs) want the same thing, but they have to appear to be on opposite sides of certain issues that play to "their base".  So the house passes all kinds of meaningless votes that will never make it to the senate, and the senate basically does nothing, as far as I can tell.

If you pay any attention, it is incredible how hard they work to make it appear like they are trying to "change" things, or to look like they are for or against certain things, all the while being very careful to make sure they don't actually change anything.

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It's complicated
johnr   3/20/2015 4:12:40 PM
The company I work for just finished a large wafer fab expansion, is adding still more on to that, and planning to build a new building for office, test, and warehouse.  And we just hired a bunch of local people as operators, test, and maintenance.  We also hire engineers and other technical professionals, mostly from the US.  All of this is happening in the United States, not overseas.

How are we doing this in the US?  Well, besides offering a great product that is in high demand, we're a foreign company so we don't pay US corporate taxes.  If we did, we might not be doing this expansion here (or maybe any operations at all).

If the US government is serious about manufacturing jobs here, they'll have to make it economically feasible, but I just don't see that coming out of Washington under this administration.

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Sorry, But I Don't Believe It
ADC100   3/20/2015 1:50:30 PM
Sorry, but these claims by business about lack of skilled labor are as old as dirt. Hidden in the subtext is the truth...it's the systematic disposal of the seasoned (and expensive) work force in exchange for a team of trainable teenagers that are willing to work around the clock and live in motels.

And one company in suburban Detroit that sees an uptick in business does not make a "Manufacturing Boom".  Considering that Detroit came out of bankruptcy about 100 days ago, I'll need more than 3 high school grads taking a course in Joystick Manipulation to convince me there's any kind of "Boom" going on.


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Always put family before a 12 hour a day job
bpaddock   3/20/2015 10:36:09 AM
12 hour days must stop, that is not a life:

From Karen's Journal, at kpaddock.com , now required reading at Duke School of Medicine:


Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 7:36pm EDT

I have a very difficult time sitting still, so it will be a challenge to not do those things. My husband helps what he can, but being gone 11 hours every weekday for work limits what he can do to help out at home.


Monday, February 25, 2013 at 6:04pm EST

...I spend all day here every week day alone. It gets lonely. ...


Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 11:40am EDT

... Other than my husband, I have no support from anyone. After a blood patch when I have to restrict bending, lifting and twisting, I cannot describe how hard life is without help! I feel guilty that my husband comes home and does things after working a 12 hour day.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 9:39pm EDT

[This is the first message I posted on Karen's Facebook timeline, a message that stunned the world. :-(]

This is Karen Paddock's husband Bob.

As some of you may have known Karen was in chronic pain from a car accident that happened 23+ years ago, which caused a cerebrospinal leak. This caused excruciating headaches.

Today after getting the run around from three different doctors about getting help, she had enough.

Sometime between 12:30 and 4:30 she hung herself with Nick's leash (Nick was a very strong dog, hence strong leash)...


Now tell me that 12 hour days are a good thing at any level of pay...

Learn from my mistake. NEVER put your job before your family. You don't realize how important family is until you suddenly have none...
There will be other jobs, there may never be an other family...


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Define "Boom"
Critic   3/20/2015 9:34:46 AM
While there has been some growth in industry over the past few years (330,000 new jobs since 2010, according to an article on Forbes' web site), industry is still far from replacing all of the jobs lost (3 million) in the Great Recession.

$100,000, while not a huge salary for a technical person, doesn't seem large at all when you consider that it includes at least 20 hours of OT every week (base salary of $57k), and as many as 44 hours of OT (seven 12-hour work days every week; base salary of $38k).  Apartment, meals, and transportation provided?  Yes, I would expect that for employees who are contracted out on a temporary basis in various locations around the world.

I would like the full story about how these technical employees are treated and how many hours they work.  Working 12 hours per day seven days per week defintely decreases their quality of life. 

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H-1B promoters exist
Jim_E   3/20/2015 8:50:27 AM
I worked for a privately owned company of about 500 employees, that was sold to a conglomerate based in DC (that also happens to own Fluke and Tektronix).

They immediately let go of 20% of engineering and started bringing in offshore resources, which they kept saying were really good (they weren't) and that it was about flexibility, not cost.  Well, they called these offshore people "LCR resources", where LCR stood for Low Cost Region. 

During one company meeting, somebody said "If it's not about cost, why are they from the Low Cost Region?".  Shortly after that, the term was changed to a different acronym which had no reference to cost.

I saw the company let go of people and then subtly post a VERY focused job posting tucked down in the corner of the boards where required by law, which set the position requirements very specifically to be met by only an H1B applicant.

I'm glad to hear that there are companies out there who don't do this, but there are also companies out there who do!

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