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Manufacturing Innovation

The call for federal investment in new manufacturing innovation hubs across the country. Would they make the U.S. more competitive? Should we spend the money? Where?

A workman monitors a robotic ladle moving molten zinc at ArcelorMittal Steel's hot dip galvanizing line in Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio. (Mark Duncan/AP)

A workman monitors a robotic ladle moving molten zinc at ArcelorMittal Steel’s hot dip galvanizing line in Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio. (Mark Duncan/AP)

Since the year 2000, the United States has lost about one-third of its manufacturing jobs.  Think about that.  One-third, in a dozen years.  About six million desirable jobs.  Just gone.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for a new string of “innovation hubs” across the country to help bring back American manufacturing.  One is up, in Youngstown, Ohio.  Doing manufacturing by 3D printing.  He wants more.

In nano-tech.  Bio-manufacturing.  Lightweight materials.  More.  Should we do it?  Where?

This hour, On Point:  pushing “hubs” for an innovation nation.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Hart, Assistant Director of Innovation Policy, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 2011 to 2012, Director for the Center for Science and Technology Policy at George Mason University and Editor of “The Emergence of Entrepreneurship Policy: Governance, Start-Ups and Growth of the U.S. Knowledge Economy”.

Ralph Resnick, Founding Director of the first innovation hub, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. He is also Executive Director of the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machinery.

John Kao, Author of “Innovation Nation: How America Is Losing Its Innovation Edge, Why It Matters, and What We Can Do to Get It Back”. He’s also Chairman of the Institute for Large Scale Innovation, Director of Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium, and Founding member of Cisco System’s Innovation Commission.

From Tom’s Reading List

Detroit News “The Obama administration said it wants Congress to approve $6 billion in federal tax credits for struggling factory towns and $1 billion to create innovation hubs.

‘When a major manufacturing plant closes, we have often seen vicious downward cycles in that community. We have not put forth the policy tools that allow those communities to come up with a revitalization strategy for themselves,’ White House National Economic Director Gene Sperling told reporters. ‘When they are in the process of suffering a major loss doesn’t have to wait for the downward spiral to start.’

Federal assistance ‘could make a major difference’ in attracting employers and ‘can keep people at work.’

Terra “If you are launching a business that either directly or indirectly will depend on the hot trend of 3-D printing, the Midwestern town of Youngstown, Ohio, needs to be on your radar.

Once known for its steel manufacturing prowess, Youngstown is re-emerging as the national leader of innovation in this next generation of manufacturing. Youngstown drew the spotlight last week in President Obama’s State of the Union address, when he pointed to the town as an example of a manufacturing innovation hub. He said he would use his executive authority to launch three such hubs in an effort to re-energize U.S. manufacturing.”

Reuters “China and South Korea outpace the rest of the BRICK nations in key innovation metrics, according to new research published today by the Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading provider of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. The report, “Building Bricks: Exploring the Global Research Impact of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Korea,” tracks global research publications, R&D spend and patent filings over a 10-year period to gauge benchmarks of economic innovation in the BRICK countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Korea.”

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  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Glad to see people talking about making things here, again but lets be honest with ourselves. The future of manufacturing is all about automation through the use of robots and technology, like 3-D printing. Those good union jobs are very, very unlikely to return in large numbers. We need a New Deal, a Smart Deal !

    We need a shorter workday, and higher overtime rates to insure that employers hire additional employees. Get rid of the paid lunch hour on a six hour work day, keep the paid breaks.

    Employers need to pay into employee health care for every hour they work, even on part-time workers. Preferably, into a modified single payer system.

    We need guaranteed vacation time, independent of time on the job, as we are forced to move from job to job due to market forces.

    We need companies to pay meaningful dividends to those of us that build their companies by buying their stock, directly or indirectly through our IRA’s and 401’s and mutual funds. These rates need to be forced on companies by an agency independent of the Federal Reserve. These dividends need to be taxed as ordinary income. However, I do see the need to lower the corporate tax rate, if and only if the dividend payout rate was sufficient. ——- Why ? Answer : to compete globally of course and to insure that money is forced into the system even when all physical labor and most intellectual labor is replaced by intelligent systems and devices. ( I see the future of the world economy moving to a pre civil war style economy, with slave labor being replaced by robotic labor. The forthcoming arguments about sentient beings should be very interesting ! ) I am not joking. Something needs to be done soon. Very soon. Our species is at risk for its very survival !

    We in the US need to be talking about annexing new territories to the US. Yes, I am very serious; our nation needs to convince other countries to join us as one nation, with one set of coherent rules and laws that truly represent the welfare of the people and NOT a “so called “ person(s) as is now the case with respect to our Supreme Courts ruling on the status of corporations. The Supreme Court has not taken into account the most probable long term technological scenario, which is, the complete replacement of ALL humans in the economic universe.

     

    Short video and small article about Baxter the robot.

    http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/20/baxter-the-worker-robot-puts-in-the-hours-so-you-dont-have-to/

    • sickofthechit

      You had me until the last paragraph. charles

    • hennorama

      Wm_James_from_Missouri – interesting ideas.  Nice to see some big picture thinking.

      Imagine a US annexation of Mexico – the issue of unauthorized immigration largely disappears.  We’d get another 12 B+ barrels of proven oil reserves, and over 17 T cubic feet of proven naturla gas reserves.  The new US region of Old Mexico would get about 20% of its electricity from hydro and over 3% from other renewable sources.

      On the other hand, we’d also then have more hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanoes.  Air and water pollution and haz mat disposal would also be issues, as would the lack of freshwater resources in much of the annexed region.  And infrastructure is not great, either.

      Then there’s the whole issue of illicit drug production, smuggling, violence, etc.

      To say the least, it would be interesting.  Sort of like German reunification, multiplied by 5 times the populations.  Interestingly, the current population of Mexico is about 35% of that of the US, a ratio that is similar to the population of East Germany in 1990 compared to West Germany (about 30%).

    • GrueneJim

      Harry Truman was from Missouri. I guess people have changed over the years…

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Totally off topic, but my blood is still boiling from last night’s Oscars.  I don’t watch the Oscars as it typically boils down to a bunch of left wing Hollywood elitists getting sore arms patting each other on the back.  However, I did flip to it a couple of times to avoid commercials on the program that I was watching and caught Seth McFarland’s “joke” about John Wilkes Booth killing Abraham Lincoln.  

    That is about the sickest, most tasteless thing that I have ever heard in my life.  I can’t believe that someone could be so crude as to write such a “joke”.  I can’t believe that it didn’t get edited out.  I can’t believe that McFarland knew that it was coming and didn’t have the sense to refuse to read it.  If someone had made a callous or off colored joke about Matthew Sheppard or gays, a cause which Seth McFarland is a big proponent of, he would be the first to enlist all of his liberal friends and use whatever influence he could muster to make sure that that person got raked over the coals, fired from his job,  and would never work in the industry again.  Lest anyone say that I am overreacting over one unfortunate comment, I can remember all of the times on TV and in the media that the senatorial candidate from Missouri got raked over the coals for his dumb comment about “legitimate rape”.  If we are going to crucify him and others for misplaced comments, anyone associated with writing, approving, or telling this joke should be equally castigated.  Not just those that are on the wrong side of Hollywood’s political line.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      And I will bet that instead of speaking directly to the legitimate issues that I have raised in my email, most if not all of the people who respond to my original post will simply give McFarland a pass on his very callous, irresponsible comments.

      • JGC

        MacFarlane’s performance was widely panned as crass, self-indulgent and maybe the worst insult of all, “not funny”. 

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          But was he left-wing enough in his crass indulgent non-funniness?

          • JGC

            If you could take the charm of Dane Cook and blend it with the urbanity of Al Jolson, then dress your Frankencomic creation in an Armani suit and shove it out on the vaudeville stage, would that  accurately describe MacFarlane’s performance?

          • sickofthechit

             Insults to all of them to mention them with Seth.  Except for maybe Cook.

          • Ray in VT

            My boss is not a fan of Macfarlane.  His comment regarding the Lincoln joke that it is pretty much as current as most of the rest of his stuff.

    • arydberg
    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      the senatorial candidate from Missouri got raked over the coals for his dumb comment about “legitimate rape”

      Wow, where to start: The difference between a crass joke and a statement. Or how Seth MacFarlane’s probably thrown away his chance at being elected Senator.

      • Ray in VT

        Indeed, a crass joke about an assassination from 150 years ago (I remember a Simpsons reference to the assassination of James Garfield) versus the suggestion by a candidate for the United States Senate that women don’t get pregnant from a “real” rape.  It’s a bit of apples and oranges.

        If that is the sickest, most tasteless thing that he’s ever heard in his life, then me thinks that he doesn’t get out much.  I am surprised that there was not a mention of the scandalous amounts of cleavage on display and how that encourages people to commit adultery or something.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Yeah, I hate to go Godwin, but:

          “We both made shells for the Nazis, except mine worked.”

          –C. Montgomery Burns, comparing himself to Oskar Schindler.

          If anything, I think MacFarlane held back a bit. Why? I don’t know; maybe he’s made his living saying outrageous things in his own voice(s) but without people looking at his face.

          It does point to the belief that one can be much more outrageous in animated comedy than in live-action. That mask does give a bit of protection.

          • 1Brett1

            This is actually a time when I have bestowed the “Godwin’s Law Award of the Day” with the utmost fondness and affection! ;-) Good quote! (And congratulations on winning my award! -See you at the after party!)

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            The worrisome thing is that I didn’[t look that quote up, nor did I spend last night thinking up Oscar-bait movie gags from TV shows. Just plucked it out of my noggin.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        I said that the candidate’s comment was dumb.  The difference is that liberals give a pass when leftists make stupid, insensitive, or hateful comments, while holding those who they disagree with to a much higher standard.  You and others can say that McFarland’s job was to hold his audience’s attention, etc.  But these kinds of comments and jokes are very offensive and have no place in our society just as free speech does not give one the right to yell “fire” in a crowded theater.  When Samuel Jackson, an actor, made his comment that the Hurricane that hit Louisiana last summer should veer into Florida and wipe out the Republican convention, again, no one in the the media (except possibly for Fox News) held him responsible for such a hateful statement.  If a conservative had said that the hurricane should veer into a gay rights meeting, The Nation, Democracy Now, and all of the other liberal media and people would have been screaming that it was hate speech worthy of prison and that the person should no longer be allowed to be in the movie business.

        • 1Brett1

          Name one conservative comedian’s tasteless joke that was met with harsh criticism by liberals such as your criticism of McFarland? If you can than that would be an appropriate comparison to what you are saying about McFarland. All of this other stuff you’ve been ranting about re:liberals is just some angst-ridden laundry list of your grievances against “liberals” and is only conflated with McFarland’s tasteless joke in your own mind.

    • http://twitter.com/_sequoia Sequoia M.

      what jefe said.

    • jefe68

      Who cares. 

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        As I replied to others, if he had made a very tasteless, crass joke based upon race or sexual orientation, a lot of the left wingers who supposedly don’t care about the joke that he did make would be up in arms.

        • 1Brett1

          Yes, but as tasteless as his joke was, it was not about race or sexual orientation. You are just making up some controversy  that doesn’t exist in an effort to bash liberal ideals (presumably because you are a conservative Christian type who wishes to condemn anything liberal). And, you are prattling on about this issue you’ve created under the guise of some high moral compass you follow…how shoddy and pretentious.

    • 1Brett1

      I know you’ve called me a liberal scum (or whatever words to that effect) when I respectfully challenged current religious views on abortion, but I again respectfully challenge the view that Lincoln is sacrosanct. (Although, you’ll probably just call me a liberal scum again (or words to that effect).

      As tasteless as the Lincoln joke was, Lincoln was killed 137 years ago. Besides your false equivalency to some imaginary unknown Matthew Sheppard joke, Lincoln is being exploited big time these days (which is also despicable), one sees his likeness and current popularity used on all kinds of exploitive advertising, humor, etc.

      Back to Seth McFarland…his humor is very edgy and controversial. Whether one likes or dislikes his humor is irrelevant to your point, ostensibly. It appears you wished either he had self-censored or had been  censored. I disagree. There is a fine line between humor and offensiveness (to paraphrase Mark Twain), otherwise humor that is always completely anticipated, respected, and predicted isn’t humor at all, whether at times the comedian/humorist may take things too far. And censorship is not an American quality (see the First Amendment). 

      I think 148 years later is long enough to make a tasteless joke about Lincoln without worrying about being disrespectful to his family and friends.

      The “legitimate rape” remark was something that happened now, in real time, and was made by a current political office holder who was running for another political office. It does speak volumes that you can’t discern the differences in these situations.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        It’s not about censorship.  It’s about tact, respect, decency, common sense, considering the feelings of others before lobbing a hand grenade, etc..  If he had made a joke about gays, about lynchings or some other event of the last century, etc., I would bet that most of the people who are giving him a pass would have a much more hostile and vindictive attitude.  As I said in another response, when Samuel Jackson, the actor, made a comment last summer that the hurricane that hit New Orleans should have instead veered into Tampa and wiped out the Republican convention, no one held him accountable for that statement.  If someone else had made the statement that the hurricane should veer into a gay rights meeting or the NAACP convention, that person would have been tarred and feathered.  Fortunately, there are a few conservatives such as myself who listen to NPR in order to keep them honest and not let them get away with shallow, biased comments against conservatives while giving liberals and the politically correct left a pass.

        • 1Brett1

          Ah, another crusader…I see. 

          By the way, what did McFarland’s tasteless joke have to do with NPR? And what does any of that have to do with Samuel L. Jackson? 

          “Fortunately, there are a few conservatives such as myself who listen to NPR in order to keep them honest and not let them get away with shallow, biased comments”

          Here are just a couple of your gems in response to one of my comments last week:

          “…in order to justify [your] moral degeneracy.”

          “What you and many other liberals attempt to do is revise history to fit a modern day warped view of what is acceptable morality (such as gay marriage being ok)”

          Your comments, sir, are what any reasonable person would deem shallow and biased. You epitomize hypocrisy in the most vile form of the word. You don’t stand up for morality so much as grab at mixing up a stew of criticisms at all sorts of disparate events, people and situations in an attempt to bash those at which you are at odds. You’re not here to keep anything honest but to  sling mud indiscriminately.

    • Steve__T

       You really need to chill.

    • hennorama

      McFarlane did what he’s supposed to do – hold the audience’s attention until the next announcement, performance or commercial.  Plus, many more people are now talking about the telecast, and many more eyeballs are going to articles and videos about his joke.

      All to the benefit of advertisers.  Comparing his joke to the Republican Rape Remarks is ludicrous.

      • Ray in VT

        I wonder if Seth’s jokes were intended by God?

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        In my mind, it is not a ludicrous comparison at all. In fact, I think that many people in Hollywood, as left wing as it is, were even surprised at such a crass and crude joke.   As I said, if a conservative made an equally offensive remark, all of you liberals would be all over him.

        • hennorama

          Fiscally_Responsible – TY for your response.

          There’s no accounting for taste, but comparing the Republican Rape Remarks to an arguably lame joke IS ludicrous. For relative seriousness, it’s like comparing a tiny grape to the world’s largest pumpkin. You do understand the difference between a joke and a statement, right?

          Please also do not characterize me as part of those you describe as ” all of you liberals ” unless you define that group as “everyone less conservative than the aptly nicknamed Dick Cheney.”

          You would merely be joining the growing group of posters who make assumptions about my sex/gender, political self-identification, employment status, etc. regardless of the fact that I have never specifically identified any of those things.

          It’s certainly fair for one to infer some things about my politics based on my posts, but I do not describe myself as “liberal.”

    • GrueneJim

      The reason all the manufacturing jobs were stolen is because everyone in America feel asleep in front of the TV.

  • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

    The human body needs food, sleep and exercise to stay healthy.  The economy needs energy, services, and manufacturing to become healthy.  Manufacturing should employ approximately one third of our population for a healthy economy.  We should use our workforce to reduce the our  energy consumption.  From passenger rail, to solar and wind production, creating jobs that move us away from fossil fuel, are good for the economy and make good use of our workforce.  We waste talent, in the name of profit, we exclude large numbers people from the workplace, we exploit workers in other countries, we employ undocumented people at low wages, and then complain Americans won’t work.

    • Gregg Smith

      Why should we move away from the biggest energy boon in generations, that being natural gas?

      • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

        Because it is a flash in the pan. And like oil, coal or other forms of fossil energy it has huge costs down the road.  The flaw in our energy usage is that we are not using fossil energy to wean ourselves from it, we are simply wasting our resources like there is no tomorrow.  That is really selfish. 

        • Gregg Smith

          I have to disagree especially when one considers the huge investment we’ve made in green energy that was wasted. Natural gas is not a flash in the pan. I’ve seen estimates it could cause 7% GDP for 20 years. There should be emphasis on flex fuel cars. All municipal fleets should run on NG. I don’t see the downside unless you use straw men. At this point with energy cost sky high as a result of failed “investments” in “solutions” that don’t work, it seems to me we need a solid reason to avoid the gorilla in the room. If we don’t exploit it someone else will. The fuel will be burnt no matter what.

          • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

            How we use energy matters, I say we should not simply use our fossil fuel, or human energy for that matter simply for entertainment.  We must use our resources to move toward sustainability. How is investment in solar more wasteful than our entertainment industry or current economy? By the way, I live in a town with a natural gas filling station, and just might convert my vehicle to use it. 

            I am not saying stop using all fossil energy today. What I am saying is that we need to work for  sustainability. We can make our earth like heaven or like hell.  Do you even care what the earth looks like 100 years from now?. What about 10 years from now? That is why burn baby burn is bad policy.

          • Gregg Smith

            It is more wasteful because it’s not a choice. Entertainers are not paid by the government taxing other people.

            I absolutely care about our earth. A move to NG would be an improvement. I don’t equate it with trashing our planet. But that is irrelevant because it will be used no matter what.

          • JGC

            Here is what we are up against, which also ties in Gregg’s comment about “if we don’t exploit it, somebody will”:
             With the blocking of approval processes to expand Oregon’s and Washington state’s coal export infrastructure, Vancouver, which has (had?)visions of becoming the world’s greenest city, could instead increase its capacity by 50% to become North America’s largest coal port…Vancouver ports are applying for permission to ship coal mined in Wyoming to China. Port Metro Vancouver has made it clear its mandate is to consider only local environmental concerns, not global issues like climate change. (condensed from Canadian Business magazine, 4 March 2013)

          • Gregg Smith

            The existing infrastructure is another bonus.

          • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

            Never try to develop a new technology? For example the Wright brothers and all of those who worked to develop the airplane were wasting their time?  Use NG because it is an existing technology, don’t use solar or wind because it is new?  We can’t afford to do anything new? Is that what you are saying?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I’ve heard lots of people who hold that government spending going forward is suspect, but everything expended, ruined, extracted and exhausted to get to this point “doesn’t count”, so it’s like we’re starting all even at this very moment.

            Therefore any public monies spent on for coal and oil and NG means “infrastructure’s here, which makes that better” while at the same timenew energy technologies have to compete in the fictional “marketplace”.

          • Gregg Smith

            No, I’m just saying it’s in our face. It’ll gets us by until we work the kinks out of that other stuff.

          • JGC

            “huge investment we’ve made in green energy that was wasted”

            Condensed from the MIT Technology Review:

            Do renewable-energy projects make the cut as a smart capital investment?..they’re getting close, in some cases. In a survey done by Environmental Leader, about a fifth of the companies that have adopted renewable energy said that they made an ROI of 15% or higher.  That’s in the right ballpark (of 20 to 25 percent annual return).  The other significant news is how few companies actually lost money on such projects (5% of the 400 company sample lost money, 15%  saved no money, 80% had savings  by using renewables).  At the very least, renewable energy is no longer a foolish use of corporate funds. (Evan I. Schwartz, 6 Jan 2011)

            This survey is ancient history (2 years old now) with the knowledge increases we can be sure have been made since even then. Investments in solar, wind and biomass fuels are definitely not a waste, and not a waste to the U.S. taxpayers who need to continue to fund this research at our universities.

          • Don_B1

            When Walmart is a big investor in energy efficiency (LED lighting, insulation, natural lighting, etc.), and sustainable energy sources (PV on their rooftops, etc.) for their stores, it is not just marketing.

          • GrueneJim

            WalMart?

          • Don_B1

            1) The relatively small investment that has been made so far has NOT, repeat NOT, been wasted. It is much smaller than the investment that was made to develop coal and oil extraction and burning, where most of the basic science came from government funding.

            2) Unless better well sealing processes are developed, the potential leaks of methane (Natural Gas) into near-surface ground water and into the atmosphere will make it equally or, depending on how widespread, worse than burning coal.

            3) There are ALWAYS failures on the development road to new technologies, but the Green Technologies are so far running at a lower failure rate than previous energy development. But opponents, like Gregg, will ALWAYs cite the few “bad apples” to try to convince those that do not seek the truth to take a false path to the future.

            4) As has been said, humans did not leave the Stone Age because they ran out of rocks. Humans will turn away from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels as the extent of the cost of atmospheric CO2 becomes clear. The question is whether that will occur while there is still time to mitigate the worst of those effects.

            Note that Gregg refuses to examine the scientific responses to the Climate Change Deniers’ myths/claims and realize that this country is facing the equivalent of an existential threat from humans’ own folly.

            See:

            http://www.skepticalscience.com

            and for help in understanding how so many humans who are nominally smart can refuse to examine scientific facts, see:

            http://www.skepticalscience.com/the-great-disconnect.html

          • Ray in VT

            Hey man, don’t be disparaging the views of creationists and those Intelligent Design folks.  I’m sure that their views regarding climate change are just as factually based as their scientific position that some higher power (not God, of course, but a higher power) has played a part in human development.

            I mean look here:

            http://creationmuseum.org/whats-here/exhibits/

            There’s your proof that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time.

          • Gregg Smith

            Alrighty then.

          • Ray in VT

            Hey man, I’m just trying to make sure that all views are represented, given that all views are valid in the post fact world.

            Because of this, I will be attending the next meeting of the school board where my children go in order to make sure that they are making information available regarding all controversies. 

            For instance, I want to make sure that they are giving time to the work of Samuel Shenton, late member of the Royal Astronomical and Geographical Societies.  He, of course, founded the International Flat Earth Society.

            18% of Americans surveyed said that the Sun revolves around the Earth, so we should present both views there too.

            http://www.gallup.com/poll/3742/New-Poll-Gauges-Americans-General-Knowledge-Levels.aspx

          • Fredlinskip

            Folks used to ride dinosaurs to church (this was before the Flintstones).Gregg may have a Bugs link to illustrate the point 
            (sorry Gregg- couldn’t help myself)

          • nj_v2

            In Greggg World, 20 years is an eternity.

            Burn up all the carbon now, heck, we’ve got a whole 20 years worth! Let those poor suckers far off the the future (you know, our kids) figure it out from there.

            And Norway’s oil policy belies the idiocy of “the fuel will be burnt no matter what.”

          • Gregg Smith

            That’s not really what I said, now is it?

            Norway is drilling out the wazoo offshore.

      • sickofthechit

         Because it destroys clean water and pollutes air, water and land!  Wake up Gregg.  Can you really only envision 10 or 20 years in the future?  There are generations of generations still to follow us.  Do you really think they will thank us for our Fossil Fueled Foolishness?

      • TheDailyBuzzherd

        I was an advocate for natural gas, until I saw “Gasland”. Cheeky me, that darned Josh Fox convinced me that there’s a lot of unchecked poisoning going on in water, soil and air, and no amount of policing is going to stop it. Yeah … we’ve been here before.

  • Gregg Smith

    A DVD player can be used to manufacture a new generation of batteries. This blew me away.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2013/02/23/video-the-battery-that-might-change-everything/

    • Steve__T

       That was a good find, but your statement is underwhelming. The DVD player was the start of the discovery, that Graphene could be charged and charged quickly.  Graphene is a very simple carbon polymer, lightwheight and thin and can be used as the basic component of a super-capacitor. It will be evolutionary should it come to market. Fingers crossed.
      But they wont be using DVDs to manufacture battery’s.

      • Gregg Smith

        I understand but they’re using them now. It’s cool, talk about thinking outside the box! I love it.

  • AC

    absolutely. esp since many smaller items will soon be made right at home with your very own 3D printer…. :D

    • Steve_the_Repoman

      In my experience in archotectural design:

      3-D models have been created directly from BIM modeling software for at least 8 years.

      Very costly but the price is falling quickly.

      • AC

        makerbot.
        i was getting one for xmas, but my husband asked me to wait – the price is dropping so fast, we want something that is a little bigger….

  • JGC

    Chrystia Freeland, who is a frequent guest on this program, has many insights into global financial issues from her perch as editor at Thomson Reuters Digital.  

    From ‘A Tech-Powered End to the Middle Class’, Erik Brynjolfsson of MIT “thinks the canary in the coal mine is the decoupling of gains in productivity and in wages. ‘Productivity since 2000 has grown faster than in the 1970s, ’80s or’90s,’ he said, ‘but starting in the late 1990s, we’ve had this decoupling of wages from productivity’…a historic watershed, noting there is no economic law that productivity and jobs go together…Productivity and innovation, the focus of policy makers and business leaders, no longer guarantee widely shared prosperity.”

    And from ‘China, Technology and the U.S. Middle Class’, “The main point of democracy is to deliver positive results for the majority…(The dichotomy of higher productivity in conjunction with the hollowing out of the middle class) is the profound difference why politics in rich democracies are so polarized right now. Capitalism and democracy are at cross-purposes, and no one yet has a clear plan for reconciling them.” 

    • sickofthechit

      -First step is overturn Citizens United.
      -Second step is to secure voting rights for all
      -Third Step is to have participatory Democracy using verifiable technology.
      More steps for others to add.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    The best way to stimulate a manufacturing revival is to lower energy costs.  Government can streamline natural gas drilling permits and pipeline permits.  Also, they can clean up their dysfunctional nuclear energy policy (which has driven up costs of new nuclear plants and stifled innovation in advanced nuclear.

    Unfortunately low energy costs are at odds with Obama’s green agenda so I doubt we will see any movement while Obama is President.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      Lookout… green energy is now cheaper in Australia than fossil fuels. Costs of Green Energy are falling. Do you want the US to be at the end of the train?

      • William

         That is odd…why is it so expensive here? Why did  we lose all that money in failed green energy companies?

        • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

          ‘Unsubsidized’ vs ‘subsidized’ and tax structure among other factors are cited in this one article article.

          http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/02/08/1185504/-Renewable-energy-cheaper-than-fossil-fuels-in-Australia

        • Don_B1

          There has been too much pressure here to not implement sustainable fuels, so the technology has not developed here at the rate it has in Australia. And they might have had the luck to hit on some good approaches that were not supported here.

          The amount “lost” in government supports to green energy companies was less (by more than half) than the amount the Bush administration estimated would be lost when it set up the program in 2006-7. The failures are less than the historical average of failures in the development of ANY NEW technology.
          No one “celebrates” the failures (except those that want to prevent the development of cheaper alternatives to the current use of fossil fuels) but they are fewer than expected and a small price to pay for the sustainability of future fuels.

    • DeJay79

       Now its the environments fault that we have a lagging manufacturing base? I don’t think so. cleaner smarter factories are what we need.

      The real problem is world wages and tax rates. when there are more people than jobs then there will always be somebody willing to work for less and with our loosening of tariffs it is now cheaper to make and ship from off shore than here at home.

    • Don_B1

      Currently the well-drilling and operating costs are putting a floor on the cost of Natural Gas and the NG companies are looking at building exporting capacity so the “excess of NG” can be exported thereby raising the cost of NG to U.S. customers. Good luck to your “lower energy costs” through an NG route.

      Nuclear power costs are high for more reasons than just policy. One way MIGHT be to see if the Thorium Process can be developed for commercial nuclear power, as it would not require containment vessels as required by the uranium process.

      President Obama’s green agenda does NOT require high energy costs; but he does not want to continue the subsidies to the fossil fuel industry where they do NOT contribute to lower energy costs but only pad the profits of those companies.

      What President Obama does want is for the fossil fuel industry to pay for the externalities that the use of its products impose on the public, consumers or not. That includes the pollution (arsenic, mercury, etc., from coal burning power plants and CO2 from all extraction and burning of fossil fuels) that power plants and automobiles have been dumping into the atmosphere and land for a hundred or more years. Otherwise the public is subsidizing the fossil fuel industry.

  • Gregg Smith

    There are 67 gun manufacturers who are refusing to sell arms to government agencies where new laws are too restrictive. Unintended consequences.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/24/update-the-latest-complete-list-of-gun-makers-sellers-saying-no-to-law-enforcement-in-anti-2nd-amendment-states/

    • 1Brett1

      Great, “unintended consequences” indeed…a free-market libertarian who bemoans an act as bad (because, after all, no one writes “unintended consequences” as something good) when it would seem that a free-market libertarian wouldn’t mind letting the market take care of itself rather than be beholden to any government contracts. Seems as though a free-market libertarian would see perhaps an opportunity here for different manufacturers to fill the void…ah, but the intention is to get some oblique bash in for a policy one doesn’t like and to hell with the “free market” when it doesn’t suit one’s narrative…and, really, what do the current gun control issues have to do with today’s topic of manufacturing innovation? 

      • JGC

        That people are going to start manufacturing guns at home on their 3D printers?  :(

        • 1Brett1

          People are going to start producing a lot of things with their 3D printers…but does your reply really address my point? No, it doesn’t. Gun manufacturers who supply major purchasers aren’t really worried about 3D gun manufacturing, nor are their purchasers going to look very seriously at this technology as a replacement for a few “lost contracts” in real time, are they? 

        • sickofthechit

           There is a law student in Texas who is already making assault style weapons on his 3D printer.  He was on a PBS special last night on guns.  His attitude was frightening.

          • jefe68

            No kidding. That guy was scary but I think his days are numbered. 
            I bet the ATF and the FBI are taking a very close look at him.

            Also if you buy his plans and a 3D printer that can do what he did and use the wrong kind of plastic the gun might explode in your face.

      • Gregg Smith

        Not really. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Hey, if these gunmakers wanna cut their noses off to spite their faces…

      Actually, considering how much their business depends on selling something which doesn’t wear out like about every other manufactured good out there, I’m surprised they’re taking this stand about not selling to just everyone who’ll buy.

    • jefe68

      That’s hilarious. So lets see how this would work.
      Say your main contract is with the Marines.
      Now say you stop the contract due to your narrow political ideology. Hmmm, who gets hurt here?
      The Marines will go somewhere else and your company faces layoffs.

      • Ray in VT

        I say let the customer take its business elsewhere.  With the amount of hardware that governments buy, I’m sure that someone will step into any void filled by those who no longer want the contracts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/whagist Warren H.

    I take my skepticism in govt investment in manufacturing from my home state of RI, whose misadventures trying to start an innovation hub in high tech ended with the scandalous multi-million dollar failure of a Kurt Schilling’s video game company!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Government investment in business is tricky at best – in some cases the money may be used as intended, but more often it seems government investment becomes just another revenue source for businesses which gets diverted to profit rather than investment. Otherwise known as “take the money and run”.

    • Steve_the_Repoman

      Have you considered the role that:

           -DOD and
           -the Space Program

      had in the development of materials and computer technology?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

        DOD has been great for billion dollars projects that require billions more to work out all the kinks.

        Space Program has not had a role like that since the 60′s – even then the primary goal there was not business, it was putting someone on the moon. The benefit to industry was just a byproduct.

        • Steve_the_Repoman

          Both of my examples have been often/at times wasteful but the benefits of the late 80′s & 90′s economic growth were in part fueled by the research/specification demands spurred by DOD/Space decisions made earlier.

          For the lack of vision the country may fail.

  • Jonathan Allen

    I have been a product designer for various American manufacturers in the Boston area for over 30 years, and Obama is right on the money with regard to leading edge products. It shouldn’t tax anyone’s imagination to realize that mature or “low” technologies do not require demanding manufacturing processes or skilled workers to make. While it is true that there are companies designing products in the US and making them offshore, these companies need local manufacturing in order to preserve a sense of making “Made in America” something to be proud of. If they don’t, they will loose their edge.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The days of low tech workers in manufacturing in the US are gone.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    We, as a nation, do need to invest in loco-facturing, and innovation and investment are requisite fo such success.

    That said, I hate to sound like a ludite, I’m not – I’ve been in High Tech all of my life, but sadly, humans are becoming obsolete at an ever increasing pace.

    • sickofthechit

       We are not becoming obsolete, we just need time to reinvent ourselves.

      • hennorama

        sickofthechit – Will 3-D printers accomodate such reinventions?

        Oh the not-quite-humanity …

    • hennorama

      MTMCW – Typos as Freudian slips that make me chuckle, Part 6:

      “loco-facturing” vs. “locafacturing”

      One assumes “loco-facturing” to be along the lines of the all-too-common “making up crazy so-called facts” rather than “making things close to where they are ultimately used.”

      Thanks for the chuckle Mark, and keep up the great work.

  • Nick Logler

    Hi Tom,

    Can you ask your guests to explain the difference between their project and the Fab Lab movement based at MIT?

  • Donalyn Stephenson

    I’m a Boston native and have been working with this technology for almost 10 years with my 4 children!!!!  Can you ask your guests about MIT’s Center For Bits and Atoms outreach FABLABs with FABAcademy(now global with 200 labs) and why it is so difficult to get this started in the north east.

  • Roy-in-Boise

    How about the British Crown’s reward to calculate Longitude? To listen to Mitt Romney one could conclude that government innovation
    in the Trans-Continental railroad or the Inter-State Highway system
    slowed us down. Mitt Romney’s world is one of Corporate Feudalism. Back to the Future Biff!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Now Roy, let’s not forget how important “entreprenurial timekeeping” was to railroad safety in the post-Civil War era.

      • Roy-in-Boise

        Time zones were then codified by our own federal government and later by International Treaties to make them work. To this day there are 26 internationally recognized time zones. Mitt’s notion that all innovation is from the Private Sector is naive at best. High Dams, Trips to the Moon and many Bio-tech advances all began with a need recognized by Government and stimulated to fruition. This notion by the Right Wing that government is some how a separate entity not connected to either producer or consumer is difficult to accept.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    This train left the station years ago. People wanted cheap goods, they got it, now they are learning the real price.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Why are we still questioning the value of Government investment and the benefit to the public and industry? The history of high tech is all about DARPA/DOD and NASA driven investment, from computers to communications to telecommunications to aviation. This was not lost on the Chinese, so why do we allow ideologues to refuse to acknowledge historical fact?

    • TomK_in_Boston

      AMEN! From Watson using his gvt fellowship to visit Crick’s gvt supported lab to find the double helix, which was developed into biotech in NIH supported labs, to the development of the internet and the spinoffs of the moon project, the benefits of gvt spending on technology are evident to all but the righty ideologues.

      Now it’s more necessary than ever because the ever-shortening time horizon of the private sector has led to massive cutbacks in their R&D. What remains is often uninteresting, as you can’t justify a risky project to corporate management.

      The current biotech model is that a gvt supported university lab creates a gvt supported startup company. VC funding might be available in 5 years when the odds of a product look high enough, and the co is bought by a big corporation if everything continues to work out. This chain breaks without gvt spending. The corps are not going to return to basic research.

      As you say, the Chinese understand. They have no ideology getting in the way if they decide China must be #1 in a certain field. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Continuing productivity gains + stagnating and falling wages = more and folks out of work. Which means the productivity gains are irrelevant since there are no longer enough viable consumers to support those businesses.

    Technology is killing the model of capitalism we’ve come to accept as “normal”. There use to be a balance between business and labor where labor could demand enough jobs and money to be able to afford what business is selling – that balance is gone.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      With Unions, policies to discourage offshoring, and high taxes on the financial criminals, new technology would be a lot more benign.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      With Unions, policies to discourage offshoring, and higher taxes on the financial scammers, technology wd be a lot more benign and the wealth wd be shared.

  • Donalyn Stephenson

     There is and has been a very forward push here in Boston for the past 2 years to bring this to the general public and to set up a network of distributed fablabs through out the city.  This is a grassroots effort.  The very first community FABLab in the states was in Boston.  Can you ask your guests how the FABLabs scale in reference to these new centers.  Tools, size, established network.
     

  • DonM55

    This is all very exciting, but at the same time I worry about what jobs for humans will be like in the future.  We can guarantee that robot-driven factories in the U.S. will replace third-world cheap workers.  It will provide jobs for a small number of highly skilled people, but the manufacturing jobs that gave average Americans the ability to have a good living continue to shrink to as close to zero as possible.   

    The general wisdom is for those displaced workers to get more training, gain a higher level of technical expertise.  But, unlike Lake Wobegon,  not every child can be above-average.

  • Jonathan Allen

    3D printing has green FAB potential, but it is not anything that can only be “Made in America”. We need to figure out how to make things efficiently in uniquely American ways. That is a far greater challenge, but the rewards are also far greater.

  • AC

    i feel like i should get an award or something. finally, my nagging on these issues since I came on to onpoint is getting heard!!
    this conversation should have happened during elections and forced politicians to actually talk about ‘jobs’ instead of throwing the word around!

  • Scott B

    Whenever Solyndra gets brought into the discussion by the Right as being a prime example of why gov’t should be involved in business I cringe. Not because they’re right, but because they choose to ignore the reporting that came out of China that in the same month the President was promoting the gov’t investing in renewable energy and helping to support business, Chinese officials were literally walking into solar panel production plants and telling them that the Chinese gov’t was going to subsidize them 75%, or more. US makers just can’t compete with that. 

    • William

       Are you not alarmed how so many government agency heads are in dire panic about the 2 percent cut in future funding?….2 percent…and they can’t deal with it….then toss in the company that does not get taxpayer funding having to compete with companies that do, via political donations…that does not seem to be a good policy for a sound economy.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Keep JAQing it, William.

      • Scott B

         As it was stated in one story a guest related about the “$25M” not being  $25 the amounts are too little. Why are we spending millions and not billions?  It reminds me of the story about the contractor that’s told to build something “Good, fast, and cheap.”  The contractor looks at the person and says, “Pick two.” And that’s the problem – There’s not a balanced approach. They through huge money at something, but then ignore, or fail to take in account, other issues existing or potential. Or, they want to shoot for the moon, but only want to pay for the clouds. Sadly, it’s often both.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    One problem with government investment – when they do get something worthwhile – private industry says “This is great! But let’s move it to China or India since it’s cheaper. See ya”

  • nhStrobaffa

    Hey Tom, another serious approach is to fund a national infrastructure initiative to create a new energy infrastructure, including renewable energy sources.  We could eliminate unemployment and gear ourselves for the future with a one time investment.  We just need to get everyone on the same page… 

  • Donalyn Stephenson

     I’d like to speak to your guests about how they got involved.  I just came back from Cleveland, OH where the group of Boston educators was looking at how one Cleveland school has leveraged this type of manufacturing practice to teach science and engineering and has turned otherwise “unworthy” inner city students to top notch Harvard- Cornell “worth” students.

  • AC

    the jobs will be programming and maintenance.

  • sickofthechit

    Hooray for Francesca!  I wrote the Whitehouse shortly after Elkhardt, Indiana was featured in the press as the town with the  highest unemployment rate in the nation.  Elkhardt was known as the RV Capital of the world and in the spring of that year (2009 I believe) it was experiencing a 24% unemployment rate.

    My idea (which is still valid today) was for the factories to reopen and begin making a fleet of stripped down RV’s that could be used as mobile classrooms to educate unemployed Construction workers to concentrate on weatherization, Energy efficiency installations and green rehabs.  This is the low hanging fruit in our energy usage and is not as fully understood or embraced as its value deserves.  Money invested in these areas of energy conservation pays huge dividends not just for a year or two, but for decades to come.

    I wanted to call the RV’s “The Elkhardt Indiana Energy Express”
    charles a. bowsher

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    One question never asked – if the big money investors in US are making their money in China, why would they ever want US to be more competitive?

  • AC

    uh oh. i smell the ole ‘copyright’ conversation coming. I’m not ready!! i still believe in intellectual property – i’m not ready to dismiss copyright!!

    • 1Brett1

      I’m inclined to agree; however, with the current manipulation of “intellectual property” (e.g., Dow Chemical, Monsanto, etc., regarding genetically modified seeds, or the claims applied to apps or any number of computer-related/smartphone technologies), one wonders how the demarcation line of “copyrights” will get distorted by big business, given their deep pockets, propensity toward litigiousness and desires to quash the little guy…

      • hennorama

        1Brett1 – you brought up Monsanto and GM seeds, which was a topic here only a few days ago relating to the Supreme Court case of  Bowman v. Monsanto.  I posed the following questions, which remain unanswered:

        “What happens to GM seeds in subsequent generations?  There is some level of natural selection and mutation, so what would happen if the modified genes in GM seeds mutate?  Would the patent still apply?

        Keep in mind also that not all seeds are GM seeds, so there would be some dilution of the GM traits if farmers planted a random seed sample taken from a grain elevator, as Mr., Bowman did in this case.  Let’s say the sample contains 90% GM seed, and in subsequent years, the farmer only planted seed from the crop harvested, without buying any new seed.

        Soybeans are self-pollinating, so there is some cross-pollination in the field.  How many generations would have to pass so that the GM trait is in less than half of the seed?  If there is perfect 90% interbreeding as a result of cross-pollination, only 7 generations are needed.

        Would Monsanto still have rights to such seeds?”
            ———
        Now let’s say someone uses a 3-D printer to make a copy of a patented or copyrighted item, but the copy is imperfect.  Then the imperfect copy is itself copied imperfectly, and so on and so on.  Anyone who has made copies of copies on an office copier knows they get progressively worse and eventually no longer are recognizable compared to the original.

        What happens in these cases?  How would the copyright or patent holder have any idea this had taken place?

        The intellectual property rights area of the practice of law is going to be VERY interesting.

        See:http://publicknowledge.org/Copyright-3DPrinting

    • sickofthechit

       Most disappointing to me is our nation’s change to First to File from First to Invent for our Patent System.

      • twenty_niner

        I hold several patents, and I prefer first to file. Filing is significantly cheaper than battling a company with lawyers on staff trying to prove first to invent with log books and fuzzy witnesses. The independent inventors have this one wrong. File a provisional patent. It costs around $100; you don’t need a lawyer; and it gives you a clear date of invention. You get a year to file the non-provisional, and if your idea or prototype goes nowhere in year, big deal, you’re out $100.00.

        • 1Brett1

          Sounds like good nuts and bolts advice!

        • GrueneJim

          You could buy a working TV for less than $100.

    • Gregg Smith

      I with you on this one.

  • JGC

    BAM – Brain Activity Map, will eventually generate manufacturing jobs in the pharmacy industry.

    • hennorama

      JGC – do you suppose that upon completion of a proposed BAM, that chef Emeril “Bam!” Lagasse will be engaged to promote the various BAM benefits (a.k.a. BAMBs).

      Perhaps this company would handle the UK promotions: http://bamb-bamb.co.uk/

      They could in turn perhaps hire the actress Neha Bamb to use in their spots in the Indian market.

      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_sWXYLwTjyK8/Sb7QHW4_7QI/AAAAAAAAAG8/co630PpSRC4/s320/Nehe_Bamb_1_318x318_633521682739108750.jpg

      • JGC

        Groan!  Is there an emoticon for rolling eyes?

        • hennorama

          JGC – sorry, I forgot to include my usual “Apologies in advance for this attempt at comic relief” disclaimer in my original post.

          Pardonnez-moi. Mille excuses.

    • Gregg Smith

      Good ol’ Newt is very big proponent of the innovations happening in brain science. 

      http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/285810/gingrich-unveils-his-brain-science-initiative

      The stuff they’re doing with genes is fascinating too but it scares me. I read somewhere they are using 3D printers to make ear cartilage. It’s all a little Freaky. In the end Medical innovation is always on a collision course with ethics. Gotta tip toe.

    • GrueneJim

      99% of TV viewers believe that drugs make TV seem more real.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CY5X66OLYGU7FHRMAR3RQ3PTWY Will

    US is NOT friendly to risk taking when health care access depends on employment

  • jefe68

    One huge thing that would be a boost to inovation is getting the monopoly on the internet and cable done away with.
    The US is about 30th in broadband speed in the world and we pay more than most other industrial nations.

     

    • notafeminista

      What monopoly?  I have several choices for both internet and cable here.

      • nj_v2

        Doesn’t sound like that makes you any better informed.

        http://billmoyers.com/segment/susan-crawford-on-why-u-s-internet-access-is-slow-costly-and-unfair/

        Susan Crawford on Why U.S. Internet Access is Slow, Costly and Unfair

        • notafeminista

          Tsk.  Lefties love monopolies when it suits them.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that many “lefties” love, or at least may favor, monopolies when they can be held accountable to the public and serve to provide a better outcome than the private sector may or does provide.  At other times “lefties” certainly promote a competitive environment.  For instance, when now Senator Bernie Sanders became the Mayor of Burlington circa 1980, he opened up the bidding process to a wider variety of providers and achieved large monetary savings for the city.

          • notafeminista

            Lefties think we should entrust some of our most precious things to monopolies.  Namely our children and our safety. 

            Who determines the public sector knows and/or does better?

          • Ray in VT

            I’d rather have our current system whereby our nation’s children have access to a publicly funded education rather than the “liberty” that some would offer whereby public tax dollars would support religious schools that use science texts riddled with lies.  There’s plenty of room for private education.  I just don’t want to have my tax dollars going to teach that dinosaurs lived with cavemen or that the Klan wasn’t so bad.

            As for your second point, let me guess, are you arguing along the line that “lefties” want to ban guns, or some other equally stupid thing?

            I think that decisions should be made based upon research and debate.  For instance, Medicare was created because the private insurance market wasn’t providing a good product for older people.  All such issues are complex, and sometimes one approach is best; sometimes the other approach is better.  It all depends upon the case in hand.

          • notafeminista

            Interesting point you bring.  It’s a given among lefties, especially in this forum, that the faithful, those who pursue religions, are somehow…less than.  After all who would pursue anything “riddled with lies” as you state.

            So put it in the reverse.  An adult raised by progressive parents to promote social justice, equality, fairness and sustainability, makes the life changing decision to be come a devout Muslim.  Has that adult suddenly taken leave of his senses?  Unable to any longer critically think for himself? 

            Or a scientist, grounded and schooled in the scientific method, and is or has been the leader of significant biological project also happens to be an evagelical christian.  Does he suddenly forget all his scientific training and education?

            “Riddled with lies”  …say.  You mentioned the public v. private pursuit ought to avoid ideology – no?

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think that there is a conflict between reason and faith, at least in some faiths.  For instance, the Catholic Church supports Evolution.  Whatever issues I have with some of the views of the Church, at least the Church recognizes science.  I don’t really have any sort of intellectual respect for religious fundamentalists, no matter what god or gods they claim to have the direct word from.

            I wouldn’t have a problem with someone being raised to be secular becoming devoutee of any religion, although were that person to start denying what is clearly established and tested science in favor of what was written about the origin of the world in a book over 2,000 years ago, then I would question him or her.  I think that religious fundamentalism is the most anti-intellectual movement in the modern world.  It does not seem to require critical thought, as all of the Truth that one needs is in the holy book or books.

            As for the lies to which I referred, specifically I was making a reference to the noted factual errors that exist in some texts used by religious schools.  The Bob Jones University Press has put out a number of such books, and that doesn’t really surprise me.

            That the Loch Ness Monster is not a living dinosaur that proves that man and dinosaurs lived together is a position in no way supported by science, so perhaps that text should avoid ideology and teach science.  Of course, if one is so blinded by faith that one would want to push that view on school children in a private school versus teaching actual science, as many private, even religious, schools do, then one might actually believe such nonsense.

          • notafeminista

            You are half right.  All issues are complex.  Just within your example, Medicare is not the best choice for all members of the “elder market” but if one doesn’t participate at the time the Feds dictate one should, then one pays a fee.  On a fixed income.  Brilliant.

            Medicare only pays for the 1st 65 miles of an ambulance ride.  Let us hope all members of the elder market live close to hospitals.

          • Ray in VT

            Few things work out the best for everyone.  That doesn’t mean that we can’t do something good for many/most.

            There’s always room for improvement.  It’s certainly a better option than existed for most seniors prior to its creation.  The free market didn’t work too well for most seniors back then, so the public sector stepped in.

          • GrueneJim

            Medicare was created so hospitals and doctors could get money from the taxpayers.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that public education and safety are both great things, and, of course, there is plenty of private education and safety currently available, and I know of no attempts to get rid of those private options.

            The effectiveness of public versus private should be evaluated on a case by case basis, and it should be based upon facts and evidence, not ideology and belief.  My boss just recently mentioned to me a study that showed that claims processing by public insurance cost significantly less than private companies.  There’s certainly a case where the public has done better.  Private contractors have also been shown to often cost more than when that work was done by public workers.

          • notafeminista

            Noting that there is no evidence in the post.

          • Ray in VT

            Noting that your comments are predictably lacking in content or quality.

          • jefe68

            Oh please, give it rest already.

          • notafeminista

            Nah.

          • jefe68

            You really are beating a dead horse here.

          • jefe68

            Tsk, this is not about left or right.

          • notafeminista

            The forum seems to disagree.

      • jefe68

        And yet you pay more than most people in every other industrial nation for slower service.

        • notafeminista

          I like being able to choose.  Novel concept I know.

          • jefe68

            Americans pay four times as much as the French for an Internet triple-play package—phone, cable TV and Internet—at an average of $160 per month versus $38 per month.

            The French get global free calling and worldwide live television. Their Internet is also 10 times faster at downloading information and 20 times faster uploading it.

            America has gone from #1 in Internet speed (when we invented it) to 29th in the world and falling.

            Bulgaria is among the countries with faster Internet service. Bulgaria has faster internet connections than we do, when they have electricity…

            Americans pay 38 times as much as the Japanese for Internet data.

            You like the illusion of choice, which is different than the reality of what’s going on in the rest of the world. Which was my original point.

        • GrueneJim

          Slow internet is cool. I can look at the pictures longer.

    • Wotan

      Last time I was in South Korea, there were public pronouncements of wiring every household in the country to 2GB broadband speeds for under $30/month. Now, they’re addressing far more free wifi access, which is already far ahead of the US or most of Europe, to their citizenry.

      And every time I get back from Korea, I’m that much more POed at my provider overcharging me to the already inflated prices – my tripe bundle after the intro pricing expired, with international TV programming for one country (three additional stations) with 15mb broadband DL speed is the cost of a Honda Accord lease payment  for me – every chance they get. I usually pay the $2-5 per month overcharges because a call to their billing department is so unpleasant and time consuming.

      And the clueless so called “free market will sort itself out” people are so stupid they’re clueless as to what’s going on in the rest of the world and how their obstructionism stand in the way of progress.

      Should we also begin to discuss stem cell research (thanks Bush II) and genetic diagnosis and therapies, as well as the state of healthcare versus, say, South Korea? It’s all just maddening.

      • GrueneJim

        Can you make money with a 3D printer and then pay the cable company with it?

      • jefe68

        And most Americans, such as notafeminista think it’s great. Go figure.

  • TyroneJ

    While I use 3-d printing for prototyping, because it is a serial write tool it’s applicability for manufacturing is limited due to it’s intrinsically low throughput.  I suspect this “manufacturing innovation hub” program will end up like the SBIR & STTR programs, namely boondoggles where the overwhelming majority of the money goes to small businesses whose entire business models are getting SBIR & STTR grants. These companies, many of which are “founded” by my fellow professors, have zero interest or ability to ever bring a product to market.

    • sickofthechit

       A topic worth a show at the very least.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LKK4DSQQKRTNKBU5QKAZRZ7MLI Gary

        no not worth the show.  to talk about 3d printing as if it could impact anything is completely fallacious.  so many bigger systemic issues to address.  3d printers make toys for hipsters, thats  it.

        • TheDailyBuzzherd

          “3d printers make toys for hipsters, thats  it.”

          Not so. 3D printers have obvious application in industry; their use can be more ominous. Witness the reveal on PBS’ “After Newtown: Guns in America”, in which Cody Wilson, of an internet community known as Defense Distributed, is actively publishing online documents for users to download and create their own versions of assault weapons, all free and under the radar of the law.

          Your point is taken: Yes, there are bigger systemic issues to tackle, however, this is an issue in which the actions of a few individuals can impact the lives of thousands. In short, this one situation should be “nipped in the bud”.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/DVBANUY2XSLLDC3JUZ56AAHHFU Gary

            yes, 3D printers can “do” things, but they are not going to drive the economy forward or put the masses to work in any kind of way, ever.  further, the few people printing out stuff just because they can usually aren’t businessmen, and if they were they’d quickly find out that 3D printers are extremely slow and inefficient, and incapable of producing any kind of quality finish.  They are expensive toys, nothing more.

          • GrueneJim

            I made a sword with a 3 d printer but it bends when I try to cut something.

  • Adrian_from_RI

    Only two centuries ago the industrial revolution got off the ground; a revolution that created wealth never before seen in the history of mankind. That revolution came about without the benefit of a massive government steering this revolution. That revolution came about because, for the first time in history, men were free to pursue their own happiness without first having to ask permission from their master in a castle or some brainldead government bureaucrat.

    Now I am asked to believe that if only we had a president like Barack Obama 200 years ago that industrial revolution could really have been revolutionary. Imagine, we could have had a whole slew of Solindras a long time ago and skip the model T-Ford and jump directly to the Chevy Volt.

    Too even consider that an eloquent, community activist, and economic tabula rasa President could guide America into becoming a prosperous nation is silly. The fact that we even consider that an activist President can save us, only indicates that we are still solidly on The Road to Serfdom.

    • Fredlinskip

      Don’t look now but we seemed to be “on the road to setrfdom” before Obama got here. Income inequality has gone through the roof since the instigation of trickle “up” economics back in ’80′s (and trade agreements referred to by “nj” above) 
      Government investment has spurred a lot of industry and innovation and is especially important when private sector isn’t doing a lot of “spurring”.
      There’s a lot of “free” folks out there today- that’s a good thing-  it’s unfortunate so many are having hard time finding meaningful employment.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        The middle class has been sinking into serfdom since we adopted voodoo econ in 1980. Glory days were the high tax, high regulation, Unionized  50s and 60s. 

        The transistor came from the telephone monopoly. Biotech and the internet came from gvt grants. PCs were spinoffs of the gvt space program.

        Those are facts in my world, but apparently not in the righty alt universe. 

        • GrueneJim

          The telephone brought telemarketers, the internet brought pornography and the personal computer destroyed privacy. Three great victories for the elite.

      • GrueneJim

        Many cowboys wore spurs but the days of cattle drives are over.

        • Fredlinskip

          They’ll be driving serfs in herds before long.
          Maybe rhetorically they already are- witness all those still bleating sheepishly that supply-side economics is still a good thing- AFTER it has crippled our economy.
          Ever read “Animal Farm”?

  • arydberg

    We need to get down to root cause and effect.    If we want innovation then the government should meet at least a minimum of the peoples needs (think healthcare).    And then sit back and watch it happen.   To think the government can invent progress is arrogance in the extreme.   

    Yes they put a man on the moon but Ford put a million people in cars.    Which benefitted the most people?   The Wright brothers made huge strides in aviation.   It is the free marketplace that has a huge potential for advancement not some president looking to make a name for himself.    

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LKK4DSQQKRTNKBU5QKAZRZ7MLI Gary

      um, the space program, particularly the mission to mars is why we have cell phones today. that program has spun out so many permutations of technology into the private sector its not funny. you are out of touch of what it really takes to get something going, so whether it be innovation or war, the government makes both happen, and both are good for business, like it or not.

      • GrueneJim

        If solar panels were so great, the space station would be set up with solar panels. Think about it.

    • JGC

      I agree with the part about healthcare.  Economists think one of the contributing factors to Canada’s relatively even performance during the Great Recession, was the availability of universal healthcare. (Another factor was a well-regulated banking system.)

      • GrueneJim

        Canada has tons of canoes and lots of hot babes. America has fiberglass boats and fat guys.

  • nj_v2

    The primary reason manufacturing jobs have left the country is due to the so-called free-trade agreements allowing desperate workers in countries with no environmental or labor laws to compete with U.S. workers. These policies have been put in place by the political handmaidens of the corporate elite who buy and own them.

    This, combined with the tax policies that Reagan instituted and continue today, are responsible for crushing the middle class and enriching the oligarchy.

    Couldn’t listen to the show today, but it appears that this wasn’t part of the mix; not surprising since the show always seems to take a reductionist approach to most big issues it attempts to grapple with.

    No amount of “innovation” will make much difference when the field has been so thoroughly pre-tilted.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Yep, we always get the BS about how we are at the mercy of immutable economic forces, when in fact our problems stem from our own choices. Of course, they’re only “our” choices in the sense that the plutocrats and the corporations and their lobbyists and bought pols pushed them through, and fooled a lot of citizens along the way with clever propaganda, but bottom line they are are what we are living with.

    • hennorama

      nj_v2 – don’t forget the union busting by Pres. Reagan and others.

      In 1981, Pres. Reagan fired over 11,000 striking air traffic controllers who had ignored his order to return to work, then banned them from federal service for life.

      Those ATCs were represented by the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO), which was subsequently decertified.

      BTW – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie praised Reagan’s actions in a speech at the Reagan Library in Sept. 2011, describing it as his “favorite Ronald Reagan story.”

      http://video-embed.nj.com/services/player/bcpid619329501001?bctid=1185953019001&bckey=AQ~~,AAAAPLMIP6E~,BRrRHTAljlHNUYJqhl35zLecZpp8wkKm

  • Colin Ritchie

    The democratization of information can already be seen in the music industry.  I think we can expect similar in manufacturing – in the future we will all become designers.

  • TheDailyBuzzherd

    I agree with the caller who summed up the Solyndra affair as a red herring.

    The public is largely clueless of the history of successful US gov’t partnerships with the private sector to reach goals in technological innovation with the purpose of exploiting such technologies for the common good in the form of advances in health and financial prosperity for all. Yes, there are well-documented blunders such as the Solyndra failure, but that is no reason for ill-advised politic harpooning of such ventures in the name of market purity. Indeed, we should invest in such projects because they do work and like it or not, our trading partners, however friendly, actively are engaging in this sort of infrastructure investment with the express goals of capturing specific markets. Since a certain powerful US political contingency freely chooses to ignore and even demonize such ventures at our peril, it is prudent to take this conversation to the people, who finally must recognize the folly of putting most of our public venture capital into defense projects that have unverifiable value.

    Thank you for airing this important topic.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      You bet, it’s just another anti-gvt talking point. Actually solar panel mfg in the USA is extremely difficult because the Chinese gvt has decided they want to own solar and are subsidizing chinese companies. To survive US companies have to make a deal to mfg in China, usually involving sharing their intellectual property. Solyndra is not a story about the folly of gvt support of emerging companies,  it’s a story of the gvt that wants it more winning.

      • hennorama

        TomK_in_Boston – indeed.

        One aspect of the Solyndra debacle that gets lost is the main reason it failed.  Its innovative tubular designs were superior, but relatively expensive.  They had cost and other issues with their unique designs, but were ultimately overwhelmed by lower-priced standard flat panel systems, primarily from China.

        Both the US and the Chinese governments recognized the merits of supporting alternative energy companies, but the Chinese support was MASSIVE compared to the $500 million loan to Solyndra. China’s state-run banks handed out almost $30 billion in loans to 5 of their solar cos. (Suntech, Trina, JA, LDK, and Yingli Solar).

        This was unfortunate for Solyndra, but good for US consumers and other users of solar panels.

        Just a little more info for added perspective.

        This article from 2011 discusses both the financing of Chinese solar cos. and the trade complaint the US filed in late 2011, which was ultimately unanimously decided in favor of the US.

        http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-11-02/chinese-loans-to-solar-companies-not-subsidized-trina-says.html#p1

        • notafeminista

          Ahhhh relatively expensive.  Darn that whole freedom of choice thing.  Human nature is pesky.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, if you leave it up to some people, they’ll slit their own throats.  People will buy something for a bit less from a country that abuses its workers and destroys its environment, and then they wonder why the factory in their state that makes the same thing goes under.  The short sightedness in human nature is a truly confounding thing.  But maybe if we just degrade our own environment and give our people the right to work for less, then maybe we can get a share of China’s action.

          • notafeminista

            Just bugs the lefties to no end that people cannot be controlled.  Life always finds a way.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            People can’t be controlled, tho the right is doing their best with women, but the Chinese gvt is doing a great job of controlling where solar panels are made.

          • GrueneJim

            Yes the Chinese make solar panel in factory while American people watch TV.

          • notafeminista

            Stalin gave it a pretty good go. 

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think that it’s a matter of control.  I think that it’s morally sketchy to deal with countries that have abused its people in the way that countries like China has.  It’s been great for CEOs, though.  Nike can pay huge contracts to spokespeople and to executives, pay Vietnamese workers next to nothing and still charge $130 for Air Jordans.

            I think that one needs to ask if it is good for our nation to have shipped so much of our production to places like China.  I’d rather buy something American made and support one of my countrymen or neighbors.  I think that it’s good for our country.

            It’s funny how so many righties love “freedom” and “liberty” but seem fine trading with or supporting foreign dictators who will give us the cheap stuff that we want. 

          • GrueneJim

            Are you talking about California or Vermont?

          • hennorama

            notafeminista – TY for your response. Did you have an actual point?

            Solyndra failed. Why? Their products were more expensive than others, and they were selling them at a loss. Simple. Their concept failed. Happens all the time.

            There’s a photo of one of their tubular panels in the following article:

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/five-myths-about-the-solyndra-collapse/2011/09/14/gIQAfkyvRK_blog.html

            And here’s a very brief explanation of Solyndra’s failure:

            http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/on-the-record/2011/09/17/why-solyndra-failed

          • GrueneJim

            Value conscious Americans also question the benefits of premium, top shelf tax rates.

        • GrueneJim

          Solyndra’s chief design engineer was a surfer from California. He loved anything that was totally tubular, dude.

      • notafeminista

        Is there anything for which the lefties don’t make an excuse?   Americans can’t make solar panels because of the Chinese?  Seriously?

        Oh say hey, for some really fun reading, go check out the excusing of President Obama’s administration and refusing to confirm drone usage.  Talk about innovative!

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/24/robert-gibbs-drones-white-house_n_2753183.html?ir=Media

        • TomK_in_Boston

          I know, I know, “solyndra” is a guaranteed applause line in the righty echo chamber, and you’re not used to having it flop.

          You can’t understand how gvt subsidies can steer mfg to the low cost venue? Really? ROTFL

        • hennorama

          notafeminista – you’re making a very strong case for the “you’re so dense light bends around you” argument.

          Perhaps you’re never heard, but manufacturing companies have extreme difficulty competing against Chinese manufacturers, for a variety of reasons, the primary one being labor costs.

          Other than that, your “point?” makes perfect sense.  Seriously.

          • jefe68

            Methinks she is, that dense.

          • GrueneJim

            Its hard for a non-working population to compete against a working population.

          • hennorama

            GrueneJim – TY for your response. Please elucidate your assertion.

        • StilllHere

          Great points. Excuse-making is their religion. Chief apologist below.

        • GrueneJim

          Hey its true. Everytime I get my stuff to build a solar panel, this Chinese guy trys to beat me up.

      • Wotan

        Sorry Tom but as a liberal who’s been very disappointed with Obama’s first term on the issue of green infrastructure and technology pursuits, your retort to a wrong-head “anti-gvt” talking point (and I agree with you here that Solyndra is nothing more than a hyper-partisan talking point) is itself a talking point. We need to understand that in China and in South Korea, a year is almost a lifetime in that things change and progress so fast. As such, there are plenty of great investments to be had on the solar front which is exactly why the South Koreans have been making a big, global play buying out failing German and European companies. I really wish US venture capitalists and corporate raiders weren’t so busy with the status quo of oil and natural gas would instead become heavy hitters in renewables.

    • GrueneJim

      Solyndra was not a blunder. The money went into someone’s pockets, it did not vanish.

  • twenty_niner

    Solyndra could have been a success story but for the gross incompetence of Obama. He was slow to react to Chinese PV dumping, which drove prices below cost; one of the oldest tricks in the book but ever effective against an old checkers master.

    The GSA is the largest real estate holder in the country and could’ve issued an RFP to cover every last square foot of roof space with domestic PV. This would given Solyndra (and others) a guaranteed customer for decades, more than long enough to weather Chinese dumping. A similar approach could’ve been applied to A123, which in the end, burnt through millions in taxpayer money only to be raided by you guessed it, the Chinese.

    I don’t mind government-private involvement philosophically, it’s just that our government seems to be so damned consistently inept. My old poly-sci professor was right – government attracts the very best of the mediocre.

    • TheDailyBuzzherd

      Oppenheimer? Teller? Neil Armstrong? TR? FDR? Lincoln?

      Seems your prof had a case of creeping bias?

      • twenty_niner

        Historical references and astronauts aside, was referring to current times and mostly elected office. I’m not seeing a TR or even an Ike or Kennedy on the horizon. The last two took on the Soviet space program and won. This community organizer in the White House, teleprompter, whoever he is, golfer, is no match for the the Chinese. I didn’t think we could ever do worse than Bush, but now I’m starting to get convinced.

        • jefe68

          This community organizer in the White House, teleprompter

          Say it all about the commenter. 

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Hey, how about a little love for

            Golfer.

            Waaaah, The Politico’s whining about access!one!!!!1 And CNN’s “Reliable Sources” was ground zero for how hacktacular that meme is getting.

          • twenty_niner

            I forgot Peace Prize winner.

    • hennorama

      Riiiiight. 

      Pres. Obama should have been directing the GSA to cover the roof of every Federal government building with photovoltaics.  And if domestic photovoltaics costs came in priced way above foreign competitors, he would have easily been able to overcome the objections of those who would have decried this added cost as “wasteful government spending.”

      Not to mention those who would have protested the entire idea in the first place, because domestic utility-generated electricity was far cheaper than PV electricity, especially in 2008 and 2009.

      Sure.  Makes perfect sense.

      • twenty_niner

        That would be just the opposite of wasteful. That would be along the lines of the TVA or Hoover Dam, where you could actually show some return on investment unlike the last nearly trillion-dollar boondoggle (stimulus) with billions that are unaccounted for. Further, protecting domestic PV producers (especially ones with government-guaranteed loans) in the face of Chinese dumping would be easy to defend to a populace that has lost several manufacturing jobs. Any political attack along those lines would have been easily be decimated.

        I would recommend sticking to checkers like your president.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/DVBANUY2XSLLDC3JUZ56AAHHFU Gary

          to all the above, wrong, wrong, and wrong.  Obama tried to stimulate some solar activity, but it was supposed to be an all the above alternative energy strategy.  So what happened?  Reality.  The govt takes in 2.4T, but it spends 4.7T. So what do we do, spend more money that we don’t have on all the above?

          • twenty_niner

            That’s the whole point. The administration was given a $900 bil stake, with a large part earmarked for green energy, and in the end, we’re left with a series of bankruptcies and Chinese firms picking up capital equipment and IP at pennies on the dollar (tax-payer dollar). Check and mate.

            We have a government run by B teamers. And there’s never any accountability. Any one who watches Jay Leno, knows that most Americans would probably fail the citizenship test to become an American, so going forward, I don’t expect elections to be good referenda on performance.

          • hennorama

            Gary – talk about “wrong, wrong, and wrong” – Federal annual spending has NEVER exceeded $3.7 Trillion, much less $4.7 T.

            You’re the second poster to use the $4.7 T figure recently/  Where are you getting your data?

            Per the CBO Monthly Budget Review from November 7, 2012

            “Outlays declined by 1.7 percent in 2012. Federal spending has totaled between $3.5 trillion and $3.6 trillion in each of the past four years, and spending in 2012 was just slightly more than in 2009. As a share of GDP, outlays fell in 2012—to 22.8 percent, which was less than the 24.1 percent recorded in 2011 and 2010 but still above the 40-year average of 21.0 percent.Monthly Budget Review.

            See:http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43697

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LKK4DSQQKRTNKBU5QKAZRZ7MLI Gary

            I need to locate the source, but it was recent on the 4.7T figure.  Even if it is less, the country continues to operate in deficit mode, with massively escalating debt, made worse by interest on that debt.  The question comes down to what are we going to do with the funds we do happen to put aside for the future?  For as long as we have some type of future while the debt clock continues to spiral upward?  And does it even matter?  As someone said here eloquently, as long as our “leadership” in government is “made up of the very best of the mediocre”, unfortunately that spells disaster.  no one I can think of in government not only has a vision, they lack a comprehensive set of skills needed to bring us out of what will soon enough bring us into depression.  I like Tom Ashbrook, he is a guy capable of actually bringing visionaries together, and constructing a valid next stage for this country, but instead has to pander to the entertainment crowd, and its sad to see such a waste of his talents, listening to geeks talk about cool 3D printers.  We’re in one hell of a mess in this country, and I could go on and on about it, in detail, and we’ll be lucky if we have 5 years to pull out of this certain nosedive.  But, oh, its ok, after this show, Tom has to do a show on the Oscars.   Just goes to show you where the sense of urgency is.

          • hennorama

            Gary – TY for your response. I respect your views.

            “I need to locate the source …” was one of the responses anticipated and is therefore unsurprising.

            If I may, I’ll summarize what seem to be your points about Federal deficits and debt:

            “We’re all doomed!”

            I disagree with this argument, and would politely challenge you by asking a question:

            Can you point out any actual negative impacts of recent Federal Deficits and increased Federal Debt?

            Alternatively, how have the increased Federal Deficit and Federal Debt impacted YOU?

            BTW – I don’t expect any actual answers, but I’ve been wrong before. If you do actually answer, you will be the first poster here brave enough to do so. But it’s perfectly OK if you don’t.

            TY again for taking the time to respond. I do appreciate it, and I do truly respect your views..

        • hennorama

          twenty_niner – TY for your response. I respect you views.

          Please note I was not disagreeing with the concept of the long-term benefits of alternative energy investments.

          Please be so kind as to prove anything that you have said. For example:

          1. Your basic premise that Pres. Obama could have required the GSA to have “issued an RFP to cover every last square foot of roof space with domestic PV.”

          (Please note that the “Buy American” provisions of the ARAA (a.k.a. the Stimulus) had three significant exceptions:

          - Nonavailability (not produced or manufactured in sufficient and reasonably available quantities of a satisfactory quality)

          - Unreasonable cost (will increase cost of the overall project by more than 25%)

          - Inconsistent with the public interest

          See:http://www.energy.ca.gov/stimulus/documents/2010-06-07_workshop/presentations/5_Buy_American-Goldstein.pdf

          Even with this provision, ZERO Republicans in the House voted for the ARRA. Three Republican Senators voted “yea” and only 1 is still a Senator.)

          2. Even if the preceding were true, how “This would given Solyndra (and others) a guaranteed customer for decades …”

          3. Even if the above two concepts were true, how this would be “more than long enough to weather Chinese dumping.”

          3a. Please demonstrate “Chinese dumping” of solar panels in the US that was known prior to both Pres. Obama’s election and passage of the ARRA.

          4. “…protecting domestic PV producers (especially ones with government-guaranteed loans) in the face of Chinese dumping would be easy to defend to a populace …”

          5. “Any political attack along those lines would have been easily be decimated.”

          I look forward to your comprehensive response.

          • twenty_niner

            1. Leadership.
            2. Lots of buildings, civilian and military = lots of panels = many years to install + big maintenance contract + 20 yr expected life = repeat business for domestic PV.
            3. Dumpers take an economic loss and face punitive tariffs. We’re in a trade war right now, but we’re too timid to fire back.
            4. The public is aware of Chinese tactics and would reward pols with the guts to fight.
            5. A politician arguing on behalf of the Chinese? Not good for the career. 

          • hennorama

            twenty_niner – TY for your response.

            Your assertions are not proof of anything. Others have tried the “Because I say so” argument without success. BTW, in chess notation, this would shown as ++

            I’m pretty sure saying you’ve proved your assertion by making more assertions would be laughed out of any court, debate hall, or high school classroom.

            Care to try again?

          • twenty_niner

            Ridiculous. You sound like a lawyer, which highlights a key problem with country – too many lawyers. Shakespeare had a good idea along those lines.

            Next time you look up at the moon, realize what proper leadership can do. If we can put a few of our fellow citizens up there, I’m pretty sure we can install PV panels on government buildings, and make sure that they are domestically sourced. Even Jimmy Carter managed to get solar cells installed on the White House.

          • hennorama

            twenty_niner – TY for your response.

            Your complete lack or even offer of proof is noted, as is your change of tactics and topics..

            Your statement ” Even Jimmy Carter managed to get solar cells installed on the White House.” proves my point about opposition to such installations. What happened to those solar panels? Did they stay up for a ” 20 yr expected life” or result in “repeat business for domestic PV”?

            If so, please offer ANY evidence you can find. Good luck.

            Pretty sure one cannot get mated twice in one game despite your repeated “efforts”. I’m no expert, so you may want to consult the rules.

          • twenty_niner

            “What happened to those solar panels?”

            Reagan took them down.

  • Wotan

    I’ve not heard this episode yet and howfully, it’ll be addressed. I’m skeptical, however, in that such discussions have had a pattern of only addressing the short term while those who form and influence US public opinion place the onus of the blame on glib, capricious and wrong-headed sound bites. China is the current target. In the past it has been NAFTA and still remains so to some extent in those isolated pockets that have not and refuse to keep current. Prior to that, it has been Asian tigers, the Japanese and so forth…

    Let’s understand that the retraining, the retooling and reeducation to reinstall American manufacturing to the extent of it being a backbone to a flourishing American middle class will be that last stand for the sector of manufacturing by humans. And it doesn’t matter whether one’s an American, Chinese, South Korean, Japanese, Brazilian, South African and so forth. Let’s understand that even the dreaded Foxconn is in the midst of adding one MILLION robots to their assembly lines. Let’s also understand that a software wrote a more accurate and “human” sports copy than a season sports reporter a year and a half ago. Let’s understand that Watson beat out the best human in Jeopary, and that one robot in a heavy wheel manufacturing line can do the work of a half a dozen and at a faster rate. 

    Indeed, let’s get manufacturing back and have the “Made in the USA” actually mean something as it did two decades ago, but let’s also understand that even this needs to be transitional, and we really need to figure out how we’ll deal with whole sectors in both manufacturing and services that will be obsolete and die out in 50-75 years.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/DVBANUY2XSLLDC3JUZ56AAHHFU Gary

      the problem is this country has steadily painted itself into a corner, and is not looking for a way out, with so many out of work and no next big thing on the horizon for the masses to work for, its basically game over. Even if the USA returns to manufacturing things, I will ask “what” could we make that is in demand, in volume, makes margin, and can be made inexpensively enough to compete. Answer: NOTHING. Ross Perot warned of this giant sucking sound that would happen to us. Now it will only come down to survival of the fittest, game over.

      • GrueneJim

        No one wants to work in America. Thats why government jobs are so popular.

      • notafeminista

        Stupid evolution.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DVBANUY2XSLLDC3JUZ56AAHHFU Gary

    Yet another lame show from Tom, sad really.  Talking around the same old generalizations, hosting generalists that know a few soundbytes but lack on the details, and all this hooey around 3D printing as if that little toy will ever contribute as some kind of manufacturing secret weapon, it isn’t and never will be.  3D printers are for hipster trust funders that like to play with technology.  Innovation centers around this idea of 3D printing as some kind of new thing will have their heads handed to them, period.

    • GrueneJim

      National Public radio is not as bad as network television.

      • Pointpanic

        that’s not saying much. That’s like saying fresh wonder bread is better than stale wonder bread. Such a low standard.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Some 3 dimensional printers can cost millions of dollars. They are not a joke. Boeing has built a plane using a 3D printer. Some automobile companies are experimenting with metals and 3D and are trying to build engines, very complex engines ! Some biotech companies are “building” tissues with 3D technology. I expect that many people will be buying 3D printers that cost thousands of dollars and will probably put them in their garage. Stand back and look at the big picture. It is projected that in less than 10 years, 3D printers will be building 3D printers ! When 3D printers are able to produce sophisticated electronics, optics and are using exotic materials, such as graphene, we will have entered into a “super tech world”. A world beyond our current ability to imagine.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LKK4DSQQKRTNKBU5QKAZRZ7MLI Gary

        well in the context of the show, the 3D printers of today were the basic focus, and today they are toys, and likely are to remain so.  the fact that boeing or detroit may be able to “print” out 3D models in lifesize is irrelevant, and they can’t mass produce anything truly functional made up of many material types, particularly plastic.  Now,   there may well be the 3D printers of the future, the type that may be able to leverage graphene as a silicon substitute for low power circuitry for example, or perhaps capable of printing your vitamins and pharmaceuticals in pill form, assuming its affordable, and the machines are affordable.  However, as futuristic as things may seem, many things we thought would be in the future have not come to fruition.  3D printers, as “cool” as they are, are more of the type of play thing we wished we could have 30 years ago, to make things, to experiment with, maybe.  I’ve been involved with these things going on 15 years, with some of the most innovative companies on the planet, and nothing compelling has yet to pontificated as how these things are going to cause any kind of massive change.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DVBANUY2XSLLDC3JUZ56AAHHFU Gary

    3D printers are a joke.  Talking about them as if they are some future next thing is a bigger joke.  The only people making money with 3D printers are the people making 3D printers selling them to people as toys.

    • Fredlinskip

      Are you saying Star Trek’s “Replicator” isn’t going to happen? Say it ain’t so!
      They laughed at Wilbur and Orville!

    • GrueneJim

      Can I make a TV with a 3D printer?

    • notafeminista

      People said the same thing about “horseless carriages.”

  • GrueneJim

    We should not bring manufacturing back to the US. We should require everyone who wants to work to move to China and find a job. Retired workers who demand Social Security should be required to move to Mexico in order to collect a reduced benefit. Only this will save America for the loyal members of the protected groups.

  • andic_epipedon

    I’m not really seeing the German analogy that we can turn ourselves into Germans and bring manufacturing back to the US.  The only thing German I’ve ever owned are pencils.  The German stuff is for the upper classes and there aren’t very many upper class.  In another part of Obama’s speech he talked about free trade agreeements with Asian nations.  Free trade and increased manufacturing are counterproductive for the US at this time.  I still don’t see how we are going to compete with the Chinese if that is what we are setting ourselves up to do? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jerry.dougherty Jerry Dougherty

    Why the emphasis on STEM and not STEAM?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1273328048 Tomasina Covell

    Anytime the question is asked about comparing the US corporation to the German one they never bother to mention that the biggest obstacle is the leadership, the owners of the American corporations or how drastically different the corporate philosophy is and what their attitudes are in.  In The US they back extreme crypto-fascist and global warming/pollution deniers, flat Earther truthers that want to wipe out all protection from corporations and theocracy.  The things that need overturning in this country are it neo-con tea-party congress and the fascist media that manipulates public opinion against the public interest and pleads poverty so hard you can’t even talk about change on NPR! 

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      This person needs help.

    • http://twitter.com/MBumbel marcelo bumbel

      On the contrary, one of the few things that could SAVE this country is grass roots, conservative, patriotic movements like the Tea Party. 

      BTW, the media is not fascist, it is, on the contrary, FAR LEFTIST and anti american. 

  • RetiredChemEngineer

    This program illustrates the fundamental shift in innovation development that has stiffled the delivery of new technology.  This shift occured when technology leadership was supplanted by business leadership, the consequence of which being that new ideas are filtered by people with little understanding for their value.  It is far easier and more productive to teach an engineer or scientist business principles than to teach those with a pure business background the scientific principles that are required to make good judgements on R&D investment.  Clearly, none of the speakers could articulate what the technologies are that are being developed by these hubs of innovation.   

    • ExcellentNews

      Amen, Sir! You said it like it is. As an engineer who went later through an MBA program, I remember my dismay upon getting to know my classmates a bit better. 

      To make things worse, the same shift has happened in our government. We went from having representatives who tried to make things better (even if their ideas may have been wrong). Today, especially on the Republican side, the focus is on marketing, talking points, and on glossing over the complex reality.

      With such transformation in our society, no wonder that the more technocratic societies in Asia and Northern Europe are rapidly overtaking the good old USA. After all, look where these countries are only 50+ years after the total devastation of World War 2…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LKK4DSQQKRTNKBU5QKAZRZ7MLI Gary

      yes, amen to that.  as I said yesterday too, another lightweight show from Tom, with generalists shooting their mouths off about buzzwords but nothing to back it up, almost like politicians. 

    • http://www.CayerComputing.com/ Melissa A. Cayer

      Why does white distilled vinegar turn red blood brown? I observed this during menstruation ministrations.

      Banking on Innovation The Competitive Edge, 1995 Idea Champions, Inc. 68 Ways to be More Creative on the Job #52 Ask Stupid Questions.

  • ExcellentNews

    Since 2000:

    Fact: 1/3 of US manufacturing jobs lost 
    Fact: 8-fold wealth increase for the top 10,000 US households
    Fact: 2-fold increase in the number of households in poverty
    Fact: 2-fold increase in average US consumer debt

    Anyone sees a connection? 

    3D printing, renewables, nanotech and so on may or may not prove the next big thing. As long as we are ruled by a gang of corporate cronies who deny evolution (or any other scientific finding disliked by the oligarchy), you can REST ASSURED that the next big thing will not benefit the USA. It will benefit  countries where intelligent governments work hand in hand with industry to protect and further the interests of their own citizens.

  • http://twitter.com/CentristsUnite American Centrist

    Rather than waiting for Washington DC (or Massachusetts’
    Beacon Hill) to save us, we must come together in common purpose to create bold
    new forms of cooperation and collaboration. Progress will come only through
    people and organizations working together. Smart, experienced people need to
    devote their free time to form our own innovation hub strategies based on own
    defined regional strengths. Groups must clearly prioritize combined strengths.
    Through these strengths and clear purpose coordinated teams will build the
    vital bridges necessary to advance “the plan” more rapidly and with greater
    potential for success than when attempted in splintered fashion (or waiting for
    politicians). All of these players need to come together: Higher Education,
    High/Low Technology/Manufacturing, Labor, Web Services, Banking, Private
    Equity, Engineering, Construction, Community Development, Business
    Associations, Legal. All should all be at “the table” to identify the vision
    and strategy, research the issues, create and carry out the plan. Through this
    combined effort we can create bold new waves of manufacturing innovation and
    progress (lower as well as high tech). Cooperation, collaboration, creativity, bold
    thinking and selflessness are our keys to success – what is lacking in politics
    today, and is what we are now demanding! Target larger F2000 manufacturing. Many
    companies that outsourced years ago are now beginning to regret (some do
    regret) their decision – Foreign worker wages are much higher; political unrest
    (far worse US political gridlock); worker unrest; higher transportation cost
    increases and transport risk (pirating in the Indian Ocean, for instance). Most
    of all, those countries’ workers often lack creativity and training, even on the
    assembly line, to improve production efficiency and reduce cost. Such regional
    groups (you define its size) should research such companies and call on their top executives. Target
    those large corporations whose products it feels can be better produced now in
    America, in your region. Do your homework, and put together proposals that make
    sense – guaranteed worker training (in lean manufacturing and other
    manufacturing principles and technologies required for the production process),
    guaranteed access to top-flight innovation (R&D supported by local universities, entrepreneurs,
    and private equity), financing (favorable bank lending rates; private equity),
    rehab or new plant construction (developers, architects, engineers and
    constructors), housing (community organizations, religious and other
    non-profits), contract support (favorable legal rates for contract review, etc.), quality of life (cultural institutions), and so on. Everyone pitches in. Create
    packages with superior ROI that includes reduced overall real and potential risks, better
    trained workforce, more innovation, shorter time to market, competitive overall cost,
    positive market reaction (e.g., great PR), state-side location for easier oversight… The path to progress is through
    cooperation of all regional organizations that should be at the table – try to leave government out of it; don’t
    give them the credit for your success. When the new facility breaks down, don’t invite the politicians. The answer will only come from us, not
    state or federal government, not democrats, and not republicans. If you think
    government is the answer, how’s that been working for you, lately? 

  • http://twitter.com/CentristsUnite American Centrist

    Rather than waiting for Washington DC (or Massachusetts’ Beacon Hill) to save us, we must come together in common purpose to create bold new forms of cooperation and collaboration. Progress will come only through people and organizations working together. All of these players need to come together: Higher Education, High/Low Technology/Manufacturing, Labor, Web Services, Banking, Private Equity, Engineering, Construction, Community Development, Business Associations, Legal. All should all be at “the table” to identify the vision and strategy, research the issues, create and carry out the plan. Through this combined effort we can create bold new waves of manufacturing innovation and progress (low and high tech). Cooperation, collaboration, creativity, bold thinking and selflessness are our keys to success – what is lacking in politics today, and is what we are now demanding! Target F2000 manufacturing. Many companies that outsourced years ago are now beginning to regret (some do regret) their decision – Foreign worker wages are much higher; political unrest (far worse US political gridlock); worker unrest; higher transportation cost increases and transport risk (pirating in the Indian Ocean, for instance). Most of all, those countries’ workers lack creativity in the workforce, even on the assembly line, to improve production efficiency and reduce cost. Such regional groups should research such companies and call on their top executives. Target those large corporations whose products it feels can be better produced now in America, in your region. Do your homework, and put together proposals that make sense – guaranteed worker training (in lean manufacturing and other manufacturing principles and technologies required for the production process), guaranteed access to top-flight innovation (R&D supported by universities and private equity), financing (favorable bank lending rates), rehab or new plant construction (developers, architects, engineers and constructors), housing (community organizations, religious and other non-profits), quality of life (cultural institutions), and so on. Create the package based on superior ROI which includes reduced overall risk, better workforce, more innovation, shorter time to market, competitive cost, and positive market reaction (e.g., great PR). The path to progress is through cooperation of all organizations – try to leave government out of it; don’t give them the credit for your success. The answer will only come from us, not state or federal government, not democrats, and not republicans. If you think government is the answer, how’s that been working for you, lately?  

  • Pointpanic

    I’m tired of the word “innovation” thrown around in service to technocrats with no regard for the social consequences of concentrating wealth at the top.

    • Imran Nasrullah

      Well we could just call it Yankee ingenuity. I am tired of people starting up bakeries and donut shops, entrepreneurs. No doubt they started up a business, but they are not creating lasting value and wealth for the country.  Innovators, in my mind, are those who solve problems using technology, new business models, and are taking on significant risk in doing so – and exposing themselves to risk at their own expense. True rewards come with it, but they are deferred.

      • Pointpanic

        Okay, but why does it always have to be market -oriented. Why on “public” radio do we never hear of ingenuity or “innovation” coming from social venues?

  • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

    Yes, let’s have the government “invest” in technology – what could possibly go wrong? Centrally planning the economy has worked wonders for the USSR, Cuba and North Korea; let’s follow their lead!

    • http://twitter.com/MBumbel marcelo bumbel

      But that´s what Obama Husseim wants, to socialize the US and have everything spinning around the federal government, doesnt he?

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