I do my best to question conventional wisdom, but I had heard and repeated the fact that the US had lost its manufacturing and it was never coming back so often that I assumed it must be true. But I pick up the December 2012 issue of the Atlantic magazine recently and two articles jump out at me – both declaring that manufacturing is re-emerging. James Fallows writes of US startups exploiting new technologies to speed up the process of design-to-product, and Charles Fishman writes about US corporations like GE moving production back to the US.
James Fallows’ article, Mr. China Comes to America, opens with these words: “For decades, every trend in manufacturing favored the developing world and worked against the Unites States. But new tools that greatly speed up development from idea to finished product encourage start-up companies to locate here, not in Asia.” That got my attention! Charles Fishman’s article The Insourcing Boom goes even a step further. It’s opening words: “After years of offshore production, General Electric is moving much of its far-flung appliance-manufacturing operations back home. It is not alone.”
I make no bones about the fact that I like to report good news, but I don’t want to make nice or play Pollyanna. This information from these reporters strikes me as the real thing and I’m only too glad to admit I may have prematurely buried “made in America”.
James Fallows www.jamesfallows.com
Charles Fishman www.thebigthirst.com
Free Forum Q&A – RICHARD HEINBERG, Author of SNAKE OIL: Fracking’s Promise of Plenty Imperils Our FutureWritten on December 3rd, 2013
What do you know about hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” of natural gas?Probably depends on who you’re listening to. The fossil fuel industry tells you it’s the biggest energy development of the century, which promises America energy independence for the US and a huge boost to our economy with benefits to local economies. Many of the communities themselves tell a different story – of pollution on the one hand and social disruption on the other.
For the spoils of success, I recommend an article in March 2013 Harpers, Where Broken Hearts Stand, Grief and Recovery on the Badlands of North Dakota by Richard Manning.
RICHARD HEINBERG has a new book, SNAKE OIL: How Fracking’s Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future, looks at fracking from both economic and environmental perspectives, informed by the most thorough analysis of shale gas and oil drilling data ever undertaken.
Join us as I try to find out, Is fracking the miracle cure-all to our energy ills, or a costly distraction from the necessary work of reducing our fossil fuel dependence?
Free Forum Q&A – ORVILLE SCHELL and JOHN DELURY, Authors of WEALTH AND POWER: China’s Long March to the 21st CenturyWritten on August 6th, 2013
Some estimate China will surpass the US to become the leading economic superpower by 2016. On the other hand, July 19th Paul Krugman wrote, “China is in big trouble. …The country’s whole way of doing business, the economic system that has driven three decades of incredible growth, has reached its limits. You could say that the Chinese model is about to hit its Great Wall…”
This week’s guests, ORVILLE SCHELL and JOHN DELURY, have both devoted a lot of time to studying and writing about China, including co-authoring the new book, WEALTH AND POWER: China’s long March to the 21st Century. We’ll explore China’s current story on a number of fronts.
Schell and Delury believe that China’s character has become defined by its pursuit of national greatness to reverse generations of humiliation at the hands of its neighbors and the West. This quest for wealth, power and respect remains key to understanding many of China’s actions today. We’ll talk about China’s history, character, economics, politics, and more.
James Fallows, who’s spent a lot of time in China, writes of their book, “I’d suggest you read it if you’re at all interested in China. It’s both historical and current, and it does a better job than most other books of answering a basic question the rest of the world naturally asks…What does China want?”
I will reflect on Tuesday’s election with ROB JOHNSON of the INSTITUTE FOR NEW ECONOMIC THOUGHT and SHERLE SCHWENNINGER of NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION.
Asking things like: Who does the campaign and the result say we are as a nation or a culture? Where are we likely to go from here? What does the election mean — in the broadest sense: about money, politics, power, media, culture, parties, movements, as well as in relationship to Europe, China, the Middle East, and the rest of the world?
We’ll talk about the (ideal) (evolving) (actual) role of the United States in the unfolding global story.