All posts by John Psarouthakis

drjohn11aDr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, publisher of www.GavdosPress.com and Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation

BRING BACK MANUFACTURING JOBS

President Trump promised that he will bring back manufacturing jobs that in recent years moved to other more “competitive” countries. That is a great objective for our employment and economic expansion.

I wish him success.

In late 2012 I wrote a book titled “Th Technology Imperative: What Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Really Means in the 21st Century”

Here are issues addressed in my book. Certain brief summaries have been posted and the others will be posted.  The linkages are shown just under the headings.

  1. Some Things Are Not Reversible  http://businessthinker.com/some-things-are-not-reversible/
  2. To Solve a Problem, First Define It
    http://businessthinker.com/to-solve-a-problem-first-define-it/
  3. Forget planned obsolescence; it will happen, planned or not
    http://businessthinker.com/forget-planned-obsolescence-it-will-happen-planned-or-not/
  4. The other elephant in the room (and every room in the whole world)
  5. Why progress always ‘puts some people out of work’
  6. Manufacturing, despite all that, remains crucial to our economy
    http://businessthinker.com/manufacturing-despite-all-that-remains-crucial-to-our-economy/
  7. Education
    Education isn’t everything, but it’s close
  8. So can we ‘define the problem’ now?
  9. The problem defined
  10. Avoiding dystopia
  11. In addition to bringing back jobs here is a suggested solution for expanding our economy and maintaining improving employment:
    http://businessthinker.com/a-new-economic-growth-corporation-the-egc/

Reference:

“The Technology Imperative: What Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Really Means in the 21st Century”, John Psarouthakis, Gavdos Press, October 2012.

Contact via email:   drjohnps@hotmail.com

Education isn’t everything, but it’s close

Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation, Adjunct Professor(ret.), Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

Review and evaluate schools  from MIT to the local community college in asserting the importance of learning—from the most advanced science lab to technical training that might make an “obsolete” factory to an  employ getting a job again. Use, in detail, the JPI retraining scheme as a microcosmic example of the path we need to think in at all levels during a time of sweeping workplace transition. This summary is lame compared to the relevant chapter in the reference below.

Reference:
“The Technology Imperative: What Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Really Means in the 21st Century”, John Psarouthakis, Gavdos Press, October 2012.
Contact via email:   drjohnps@hotmail.com

Bring Back Manufacturing Jobs

Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation, Adjunct Professor(ret.), Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

President Trump promised that he will bring back manufacturing jobs that in recent years moved to other more “competitive” countries. That is a great objective for our employment and economic expansion.

I wish him success.

In late 2012 I wrote a book titled “Th Technology Imperative: What Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Really Means in the 21st Century”

Here are issues addressed in my book. Certain brief summaries have been posted and the others will be posted.  The linkages are shown just under the headings.

  1. Some Things Are Not Reversible  http://businessthinker.com/some-things-are-not-reversible/
  2. To Solve a Problem, First Define It
    http://businessthinker.com/to-solve-a-problem-first-define-it/
  3. Forget planned obsolescence; it will happen, planned or not
    http://businessthinker.com/forget-planned-obsolescence-it-will-happen-planned-or-not/
  4. The other elephant in the room (and every room in the whole world)
  5. Why progress always ‘puts some people out of work’
  6. Manufacturing, despite all that, remains crucial to our economy
    http://businessthinker.com/manufacturing-despite-all-that-remains-crucial-to-our-economy/
  7. Education isn’t everything, but it’s close
  8. So can we ‘define the problem’ now?
  9. The problem defined
  10. Avoiding dystopia
  11. In addition to bringing back jobs here is a suggested solution for expanding our economy and maintaining improving employment:
    http://businessthinker.com/a-new-economic-growth-corporation-the-egc/

Reference:

“The Technology Imperative: What Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Really Means in the 21st Century”, John Psarouthakis, Gavdos Press, October 2012.

Contact via email:   drjohnps@hotmail.com

Manufacturing, despite all that, remains crucial to our economy

Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation, Adjunct Professor(ret.), Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

Let me recap the ways one might, at a glance, think of the manufacturing sector as having become an afterthought in sustaining America’s future as a prosperous nation, a place where quality of life is high, and a place that is the world’s destination of choice.

First, manufacturing for decades has not, and never again will, directly employ Americans in anywhere near the numbers it used to, and those it does employ will increasingly need more skills. Second, the rest of the world will always be able make things as well as us, and cheaper. That ought to be enough to seal the idea that manufacturing has become deadwood? Wrong. The first point is true, but surprisingly irrelevant. The second point is simply false.

Keeping high-tech manufacturing in this country when possible even if the direct workforce shrinks drastically, because otherwise the technology will tend to flee offshore, along with the factories. Innovation has always been America’s strong suit in the global economy. Meanwhile, the R&D surrounding even a shrunken manufacturing sector is itself an important source of employment—as are the host of vendors serving manufacturers. Our great educational establishment is the world’s model, but on the vital science and technology side needs to be near a prosperous industrial, commercial, health-care, and pharmaceutical infrastructure in order to remain great.

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Forget planned obsolescence; it will happen, planned or not

Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation, Adjunct Professor(ret.), Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

Millions of American “smokestack” jobs no longer exist. Millions of other American jobs, from nearly every sector, have been exported. Tens of millions of Americans are now sustained only by the “safety net,” or by working multiple part-time jobs at low wages with no benefits. More than one-quarter of working Americans lack enough resources to sustain themselves three months if laid off, a number that no doubt has risen since it was last compiled. This is a very, very bad time to be an unskilled worker with no prospects of being retrained in a way that will land a job. A human being whose skills are obsolete is among the saddest of stories. Some of these Americans, especially older workers, are going to be left behind. Millions more will never earn the kind of living they once did. This states one hellacious problem; but it does not define the problem in any useful way for a problem-solver.

In getting one’s arms around what might seem like an unprecedented catastrophe, it’s good to start by realizing that today’s displaced workers are not alone in the American experience. Our workforce is undergoing massive transition, a tectonic shift, really, in the way Americans earn their livelihood. But it is not unprecedented.

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Some Things Are Not Reversible

Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, and Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation

Certain actions described in the laws of physics are not the only indelible forces in our world. Many powerful genies cannot be put back in the bottle. “Irreversible” is a descriptor of immense power, something I first pondered scientifically in an MIT physics class. It’s a concept—a fact—that lays the foundation for all economic, industrial, political, or social discussions. One could fairly say that my  book published 5 years ago, see reference at the end of this article, is about how best to cope with irreversible changes that we can’t put back in the bottle, even if we wish we could. In the end it is also about a grave danger I see for the free-market economy and innovative, self-reliant national mindset that has made the United States the world’s destination of choice.   In that light, we begin by discussing our era’s two great, and irreversible, socioeconomic drivers: technology and globalization.

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It’s the Livelihood, Stupid:

JP Bio PhotoDr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, and Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation

How Dumbed-Down Politics Is Riskimng Us Lose the Economic Competition

With ideological shouters exhorting the citizenry toward one precipice on the left and another on the right, a polarized America seems poised for a rocky future.  The debt bomb and the entitlement bomb, to say nothing of other bombs, wait for no man. Depending which true-believer cliff one leans toward, America is descending into either a communal hell of withering fortune and lost freedoms, or an eternal blue flame of capitalist greed. If you find the shouters outrageously out of touch (not in their Doomsday forecasts, but in their self-fulfilling gridlock), you obviously are not alone. So where can a reader turn to find a compelling centrist message for our generation, or even a little book of bull’s-eye polemic? Where is Frank Capra when you need him, someone who can make us believe in the American Dream even as the 21st Century limps into adolescence?

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To Solve a Problem, First Define It

drjohn11a

Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, and Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation

 

       This simple concept might be the most important thing I learned while earning an MIT engineering degree. Engineers understand this concept in depth, but policymakers and politicians have a lot of trouble comprehending it. In my lifetime America has burned billions—trillions—of dollars in treasure by leaping to solve problems without first doing a proper job of nailing down exactly what the problem is and then doing a proper job of constructing a solution. The “then” part of the equation is important, too. Government has a decent history with engineering projects. It has a dismal history with social engineering projects. Not paying attention to that history portends, of course, constructing still more dismal history.

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THE DECISION: TO GROW OR NOT TO GROW THE BUSINESS

drjohn11a

Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, and Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation

Consider this unusual concept: you don’t have to grow to be self-employed and financially secure.

Peter started several businesses during his life, but once each venture was underway, he eventually reached a point where the business managed him rather than the other way around. While adept at identifying new markets and making sales, when it came to working with other employees, assigning tasks and coordinating their efforts, he never seemed quite able to make the transitions needed to assure business success. After several such failures, Ron hit upon a suitable niche for his talents–as a promoter of trade shows. He has no employees to contend with, each show is of relatively short duration, and he can move on to the next project before he gets bored or runs into complex management challenges.

Peter opted for zero growth–no employees, no hassles, and a good income.

John is CEO of a tool and die shop.  At one time he was committed to growth of his firm but when the firm approached about twenty employees, John had to make a decision. If he continued to grow, he would have to add middle managers. As things stand, he is making an extremely good income and is able to house all his employees in one large unpartitioned quonset-style building. With this physical layout, and an organization of project teams, he can oversee his whole operation alone. His wife does the bookkeeping and he is able to handle all administrative and sales work in one small room in the front of the shop floor. He has made his decision: simplicity. This is not to diminish his staff’s technical accomplishments. Even the Japanese have toured this little plant, which produces some of the most innovative work in his industry.