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In my last post (My First TED) I reported that “American Made” manufacturing guru Jennifer Guarino crushed five bad assumptions about manufacturing. Here are Ms. Guarino’s five, with my own note about why:

  1. Technology has taken the place of skilled labor. Wrong: Technology assists skilled labor.
  2. Lower costs = higher profits. Wrong: Higher quality = higher profits.
  3. College degree is the best bet for success. Wrong: Critical thinking and grit are the best bet for success.
  4. There is no dignity in trade work. Wrong: All work is trade and craft work.
  5. Manufacturing has left us forever. Wrong: Some manufacturing has left us temporarily.

I can’t cite any global statistics that support Ms. Guarino’s statements. As with most insurgencies, the conventional indicators often obscure what is happening on the ground. Regardless, personal experience attests to the empirical truth of what she says. I believe a renaissance in American manufacturing has been in progress for at least 15 years. The facts are there for anyone interested enough to look for it. The emergent and evolving south and east Asian economies are driving up the cost of outsourced labor. Politicians are incentivizing companies to re-shore. Consider also the cultural factors associated with the rise of social media, the popularity of local-grown food stocks, the resurgence of the American automotive industries, and the emergence of high quality, high-pride American made products. Most important though is the relentless entrepreneurial drive that characterizes the American Mittelstand. I can’t prove it; but I feel it, I see it, and I believe it. And all revolutions start with ” I believe”.

Do you?

  1. Ryan Tracey
    May 30, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    I believe.

    Have you seen Mike Rowe’s TED talk about learning from dirty jobs?http://www.ted.com/talks/mike_rowe_celebrates_dirty_jobs

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