Stealth F35

If we don’t make it, few, if any, countries do.

It seems as if the country that used to make everything is on the brink of making nothing. In January, 207,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs vanished in the largest one-month drop since October 1982. U.S. factory activity is hovering at a 28-year low.

But manufacturing in the United States is not dead or even dying. It is moving upscale, following the biggest profits and becoming more efficient, just as Henry Ford did when he created the assembly line to make the Model T car.

The United States remains by far the world’s leading manufacturer by value of goods produced. It hit a record $1.6 trillion in 2007 – nearly double the $811 billion of 1987. For every $1 of value produced in China factories, the United States generates $2.50.

The United States makes things that other countries cannot. Today, “Made in U.S.A.” is more likely to be stamped on heavy equipment or the circuits that go inside other products than the televisions, toys, clothes and other items found on store shelves.

U.S. factories still provide much of the processed food that U.S. households consume, everything from frozen fish sticks to cans of beer. And U.S. companies make a considerable share of the personal hygiene products like soap and shampoo, cleaning supplies and prescription drugs that are sold in pharmacies. But many other consumer goods now come from outside the United States.

It’s apparent that high tech boosts manufacturing but cuts jobs. This trend will certainly continue as robots assist more and more manufacturing steps, even as profits grow.




  1. Petrov says:

    Machines replacing workers? Oh, the horrors. Nothing new here.

    Go look up the origin of Sabotage. This has happened before. People adapt.

  2. Hugh Ripper says:

    Well at least when global society crumbles, the US will still have tidy sales in bombs, guns and ammo.

  3. smartalix says:

    I was at a ceremony at Vicor where they gave out $40,000 to a couple of workers who had created methods to save money for the company. One of the winners not only saved money, he saved jobs here in the USA. He redesigned their heat-sink manufacturing process, enabling Vicor to make them here with 4 employees instead of farming thte work out to an offshore fab. The Sigma was up, too.

    BTW, they make these devices in “Taxachusetts”.

  4. The0ne says:

    #33, to add to your comments if you don’t mind 🙂 Old copies of Popular Mechanics posed the same questions and concerns way back then. I wouldn’t worry too much about the issue. AI is FAR off, robotics are still not very advance to simulate human movements and such, and so forth.

    #35, I wish regular companies would give prizes like that. I be rich if they did. That’s part of what I do as a Mfg Engineer hahaha These guys are probably contractors? And yes they do get pay well for cost reduction.

  5. Uncle Patso says:

    If you decide to read the full article, skip the impactlab.com site (which didn’t even bother to carry both pages of the story) and go straight to the original at the International Herald Tribune:

    http://iht.com/articles/2009/02/20/business/wbmake.php

  6. Uncle Patso says:

    To all of you touting our made-in-USA chips: I decided to look at one and grabbed the closest one to hand. It turns out to be an old Pentium microprocessor, on which, after the various model numbers, etc., I see: MALAY in big letters.

    Okay, maybe 300 or 400 engineers and designers in the US, Ireland, Israel and maybe Costa Rica worked on designing the chip, and perhaps 10 000 to 15 000 workers in Malaysia, South Korea, the Philippines and two locations in China worked to actually make them.

    When I was younger, I used to occasionally travel through St. Louis. Back then, for me travel meant taking the train or the bus, and I looked forward to the layovers so I could walk around the downtown and explore. There were many large, fancy buildings and even more quirky neighborhoods with quirky little shops.

    Then the trains went away and the bus station moved from the large beautiful terminal to a little sheet metal building a few blocks away. The downtown became block after block of boarded up buildings peopled only by vagabonds and beggars.

    I miss shoes that fit (I don’t think the Chinese really understand, even after all this time, just how big American feet are), comfortable underwear, shirts (and many other things) that last more than a year or two and managers and planners that can see farther ahead than 90 days.

    On a good day, I have to try on an average of 4 to 5 pairs of shoes (same make, model and size) before finding one pair that _both_ fit. On an average day, I decide to keep wearing the shoes I came in with. On a bad day I end up with a pair that are too tight or too loose (or one of each) that mostly just become dust-gatherers in my closet.

    At least I’ve still got a closet.

    So far.

  7. jimbo says:

    Well the cpu is a given, but I was referring to other products….

    You are such a tard Paddy, a nasty one

  8. Paddy-O says:

    # 41 jimbo said, “Well the cpu is a given,”

    Well, you and your “friends” need to yank those nasty cpu’s, quit your jobs, stay off the internet (USA product) and stay off this blog. 😉

  9. smartalix says:

    Patso,

    Not all American Chip companies are fabless. True, many are, but they are the stupid ones.


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