Category Archives: Economics in Brief

The other elephant in the room (and every room in the whole world)

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.

Gather a roomful of people with vague ideas that our millions of displaced workers can return to jobs remotely resembling what they used to do—“Let’s get America moving forward again”—and technology will be an elephant in that room. I didn’t even mention globalization, which might be an even larger elephant. Domestic competition and new technology alone would drastically alter our future society even if Americans were the only residents of the planet began Earth. But globalization alone also is a sufficient force to set our old economy and workforce paradigm on its head. With Mumbai or Tokyo or Stuttgart or Singapore virtually as nearby as an industrial park here in the U.S., nothing will ever be the same again. Elephants are the world’s most powerful work animals, and we have a pair in tandem pulling us into the 21st Century. Unlike a tractor, they can’t back up. And the sum of these two elephants, technology and globalization, is greater than their parts. Globalization is the one most commonly thought to be reversible, at least in part. The only way to beat it is to join it, and be competitive.

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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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