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Cities Hope to Bring Manufacturing Back Home

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CitySolver
CitySolver  
1/18/2013 7:21:38 AM
User Rank Blogger
flattening
Yes, a very thought provoking comment. I am in the same boat in the UK. Our middle class is certainly dwindling in its comforts. Even on a good salary it can be very hard to afford a home. When my parents bought ther house it cost them £35,000 in 1985. Now its worth £220,000, but can I afford a house costing nearly a quarter of a million, can I heck!! Our economy needs to change, to compete, to be green so it can maximise its return on ever dwindling fortunes. The bubble is certainly at capacity!

Toby
Toby  
1/15/2013 6:54:24 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: fuel
@Mary: If you step back and look at this, there is a bigger issue to be untangled before this part of the equation is meaningful.

This can be illustrated by the following question: Is it economically reasonable for a man driving a bus in NYC to be able to buy a house, a car and a computer when a man driving a bus in India cannot?

Currently it is, just, and so somewhere there is a discontinuity wherein this situation has evolved, but it is only temporary.

As the world flattens out (metaphor..bear with me) we are already seeing these two scenarios in the question equate. Indeed we already note the rising inability of our own middle class to afford homes and education.

The west is living in a bubble comfort zone at a tipping point in history. The swing of the pendulum has been favorable but now the world is catching up and the comforts afforded by the discontinuity are dwindling.

If there is one thing we can be pretty sure about it is this: Cheap communications and cheap transport have flattened the economic landscape to the point now where the economic dominion of the west is a rapidly shrinking pool of ever more specialist disciplines which leave ever more members of society behind.

 

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
1/15/2013 10:08:14 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: fuel
Eliminating some far-flung points on the supply chain could bring local benefit, for sure.

DHussell
DHussell  
1/15/2013 9:58:13 AM
User Rank Burgher
Re: fuel
Mary,

Follow up to "Homegrown manufacturing would work particularly well to eliminate imports, thus savings costs as well, no?"

Not only would it bring costs down, but it would also have a loop, the manufacturer hires people to help produce the product, which in turns has working people who now can afford to BUY  the product, as well as others. Kind of a not-so-visious circle.

In grade school we learned about the food chain, there is also an economical chain within humans and we ae seeing what happens when we start taking out some of the links in the chain.

James Byrne
James Byrne  
1/14/2013 2:33:00 PM
User Rank Village Voice
green fuel
Absolutely, the quicker the US picks up the pace on using renewable the better. The US does not want to be left behind in one of the most important economic changes of the last 50 years!!

James Byrne
James Byrne  
1/14/2013 2:31:35 PM
User Rank Village Voice
fuel
Very true, I agree.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
1/14/2013 10:56:52 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: fuel
Homegrown manufacturing would work particularly well to eliminate imports, thus savings costs as well, no?

Hazel
Hazel  
1/14/2013 3:55:35 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Fuel
Mary, I would have to agree. This highlights the importance of finding alternative and preferably sustainable fuel for use in the future. We've also surpassed peak oil. It's only a matter of time before the fossil fuels run out...

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
1/13/2013 5:24:31 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Fuel
Solid point, Toby. If I had to pick one factor that was most destructive to our world, gas and oil would have to top the list.

Toby
Toby  
1/13/2013 3:38:09 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Fuel
@mary: agreed although when the goods we are talking require simply a cheap workforce, as many do, it is a major factor becuase it impacts transport, production and raw materials costs as well as packaging. This last because much of our plastics industry is driven by the costs of hydrocarbon products that linked to the cost of oil.

There are so many points where all of the supply chain links back to the cheap availability of oil.

In his many novels based in future civilizations, Arthur C. Clark (the sci fi writer and author of 2001 among other things) makes the point over and over that the idea of burning oil is about as wasteful a use as could be imagined given how many other things can be done wiith it including turning it to use as a food source.

However we are straying a bit from the point of this excellent blog post.

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