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  1. #1
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    How will mfg be done then? I'm certain that by then this joyride of cheap foreign stuff will be done with. Foreigners will have quit financing our lavishness, and will also have their own markets developed and ours won't be as important to them.

    What will the minimum wage be? What will be the thing we look back on and say, "boy, what a bunch of suckers!" as far as investments?

    If you can tell us why you think what you do, it would be appreciated.

    In my view, we'll have faced (and will still be facing?)bad inflation by then, higher unemployment, property will be considered good investment, the stock market will be God knows what, and the US will be out of Iraq, good or bad. Oil will be sky high, not a doubt in my mind about that one. CNC will become the norm, even in small shops. Believe it or not, I think there will be lots of smaller CNC shops doing local work--sticking my neck out on that one, but I could be right.

    I really hope to see lawyers taken down a notch or two, and I think the EU will be catching/passing us by then. Our deficits will have come home to roost, that is for certain.

    On the bright side, livings for some who are not doing too well now will be good, and I plan to have lots of things paid for by then. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Richard

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    I think some things will get better. Mostly because large bulk of population is aging. That does not make your smarter, but I think it does make you less tolerant of BS.

    For me - for us, may be - those aging and mostly gone WWII vets, families, and the eara people made life a lot better. May be our group might have a chance to do the same.

    --jr

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    In my view, we'll have faced (and will still be facing?)bad inflation by then, higher unemployment, property will be considered good investment, the stock market will be God knows what, and the US will be out of Iraq, good or bad.
    The rest of the world will have inflation on or about the same level as us. If China floats the Yuan, Japan will be hit a lot harder than us...But they can't. China can't float the Yuan regardless...period, EOB. They have a system that is messed up from the top down. A communist Country with market economy tendencies. Not exactly a good mix as Russia has proven. (And don't try to say that Russia was a democracy with a true open market atmosphere, it simply never happened.)

    In my estimation our system is messed up from the bottom up. Meaning, Our overall system is good. We have a lot of natural recourses still available. We still attract the best and brightest from all over the world. Our big Corporations, as much as people dislike them, have AMERICAN roots. I don't necessarily agree with all of the practices of our country right now, Outsourcing, and thus Off shoring just about everything...HOWEVER, it makes economical sense to the big guys. You can argue about how to get the best results, but so far the results of outsourcing have been favorable...To who you ask? The shareholders…You know, the people they have to answer to.

    I’m not condoning these practices and I don’t agree with the majority of what is going on. But you have to open your eyes to see reality. You can’t close your eyes and pout for things to change. ADAPT AND OVERCOME, that was our motto in the Military and I think it applies to All Americans.

    Oil will be sky high, not a doubt in my mind about that one. CNC will become the norm, even in small shops. Believe it or not, I think there will be lots of smaller CNC shops doing local work--sticking my neck out on that one, but I could be right.
    BIG DEAL! Oil is still cheaper than a gallon of milk or filtered H2O. I wish everyone would: QUIT COMPLAING ABOUT GAS PRICES! I wonder what milk cost in 1950? How about a bottle of coke? Where is all the faux outrage that a can of coke out of a vending machine is now $1.00, when it was $.25 no more than 10 years ago?

    CNC shops are the norm as far as I can tell... I maybe a rookie, but that is all I see. Not to many apprenticeships for manual machining these days, at least not in my neck of the desert. In fact, I work at a small shop that has a couple of BP Series II Dinosaurs gathering dust...occasionally turned on to chamfer a hole or two, perhaps even drill a hole. We also have a Mori-seki SL2500, Matsurra VX-800, Two Haas VF-4's , A Haas VF-3, a Kia Lathe, and two other CNC lathes that I can't remember. Only 6 employees.

    I really hope to see lawyers taken down a notch or two, and I think the EU will be catching/passing us by then. Our deficits will have come home to roost, that is for certain.
    ME TOO! I HATE, LOATHE, and would rather eat dung than see anymore thief’s make a living by stealing from the laws that were set-up to protect us.

    YOU ARE CRAZY ABOUT THE EU DOING ANYTHING! They have more problems than I have time to write here is a short list;

    1. Flat to very negative growth. the Euro area's growth is avg 1.9%, not exactly good. In comparison ours is 3.9%, China is at 9.1% (did someone say it was a little too hot over there yet?)

    2.Euro area unemployment is 8.9%...OUCH. It is worst in the most developed countries as well. France 9.9%, Germany 10.7%, Spain 10.6%, Belgium 13.2%, Italy 8.1% you get the point.

    Yes we have problems...But I would rather have our problems then theirs any day...No innovation, no drive, no dedication, NOTHING...I lived in Germany for two years. I don't think they believe in anything.

    One more thing...
    Trade surplus is not a good thing either. A many a great Economists have said there are always two sides to every coin. As a board I think it would make sense to look at the other side more often.

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    Rugby, as usual, is all rude, and part right. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    This is interesting. I, for one, also think oil is cheap. You must have read a complaint into my post somehow. In fact, if it had actually kept up the the last 30 years' inflation, gasoline would be about $4.50 right now. That said, it's cheaper now than it was 30 years ago, right? The thing is, cars burn gallons of it every time a commuter comes to work in the city, but the gallon of milk mentioned lasts a week in many homes. The fuel was also necessary for the milk to be both at the market, and for the customer to go purchase it, so there is fuel in its price, as in everything else. Quantity has a quality all its own.

    The EU won't necessarily make it on its own merits, so much as on the US slipping in comparison. Fiscal responsibility is out the window in the US, it appears. Note that recent interest in the Euro comes from its role as an alternate to the dollar. Maybe they won't be racing past the US, but rather we'll slide behind them. Anyone got a crystal ball? [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Richard

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    the wizard and the witch both had a crystal ball, didnt do either one of them any good...jim

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    TM Jim,

    Back on the cannabis? [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Richard

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    More likely a reference to "The Wizard of Oz" and the difficulties of accurately predicting the future.

    cheers,
    Michael

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    no but if i were to speculate about the future it would definately affect the creative hemisphere of my brain, anedoctaly speaking.
    micheal is correct "The Wizard of Oz" was exactly what i was "reefer"ing to...jim

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    Ten years from now, huh?

    Well, manufacturing is going to be done the way it has always been done there will be some new machines and tools, some from right now will still be at work.

    There will be problems and conflict in the Middle East.

    Our military will be off on a foreign campaign and it will be on the nightly news.

    We at home will have many complaints about the president and his administration.

    There will be rampant corruption in business and in most legislatures.

    We will be convinced that our youth are going to Hell in a Handbasket.

    The Dollar won't buy what it used to.

    The price of gas will be way too high.

    In other words.

    Same Stuff - Different Year.

    Once a man gets past a certain age, he has seen all this come around at least once, maybe more.

    All he can say is "BOHICA"

    Bend Over, Here It Comes Again!

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    Shame on me. I think the Wizard of Oz is one of the greatest movies of all time. I should have made the connection.

    JimK, you're seemingly very accurate , I'll have to admit.

    Richard

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    How about Rumsfield saying that manufacturing of armor plated Humvees was the reason for the delay in getting them to our troops in Iraq! Well, I wonder WHAT HAPPENED to all that manufacturing? Could it be OUTSOURCED to CHINA?? (To be entoned like the Church Lady on Saturday Night Live). A.T.

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    Manufacturing armor upgrade kits for military vehicles isnt rocket science- there are thousands if not tens of thousands of shops in the US that could do it just fine. I could knock em out in my little shop, probably do 10 or 20 a month.
    The reason they dont have em is military beaucracy, plain and simple, not attributable to any political party. You could blame Rummy and company for not riding the ass of the procurement officers, which they could do, but havent seemed to.
    I heard a radio interview yesterday with two sergeants, long distance from Iraq, who are in a transportation battalion- they had to armor their own trucks, as when they ask their commanders, the message comes down that "no upgrade kit is available for that model". So the guys on the ground there are cutting and pasting their own armor- they said they were scrounging 1/8" mild steel and conveyor belting and modifying tractor trailers at the company level. Does seem like anybody who saw the movie Blackhawk Down could tell you what an RPG does to an unarmored Humvee or 5 ton, and that was back in 1993, so it wasnt exactly a new and unexpected danger. But all of the classic terms for this kind of situation, such as FUBAR, were invented in the military, and it hasnt changed in 2000 years.

    [ 12-10-2004, 08:07 PM: Message edited by: Ries ]

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    Those bolt and weld on kits are made by one company. In a PBS report tonight, it came out that more kits weren't ordered. The company was certainly willing to make more.

    Someone bungled. I suspect it was several someones. Someone lied about what was done.

    --jr

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    Re the armor kits. In 2003 the original budget called for purchasing 0. The administration was so convinced that everything would go great that they didn't bother doing any contingency planning. Unfortunately this is still the case for many reserve and national guard units - little effort is made to upgrade or update their equipment until after its shipped to Iraq. After all why spend money in the US to do it when you can spend 10X the money to do it overseas.

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    Back before the war started, I read an article about a guy here in L.A. who made the rear racks for the Humvee's.
    He made millions designing and providing the racks on the rear that carry the fuel and water cans and other supplies. It was a big rush order as they wanted all the Humvee's fitted with them before they shipped out. The soldiers were complaining they had no place to carry stuff.

    The guy who provided them doesn't even have a shop. He jobbed out every facet of making them. Smart man. Too bad it wasn't armor instead.

    Les

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    About armoring up those vehicles. One of the guys I used to work with his son is in Iraq and a mechanic who also is a 50cal gunner on a Duce and a half. He said while in Quwait before heading to Iraq, they raided a junk yard and welded all sorts of metal plating right on to the truck. His father who I worked with is a machine operator and surely doesn't have too much money. However he gave him the nicest present his son ever recieved. A Miller Gas powered welder generator. He said his son's truck didn't have one, but since having that welder the son was one of the most popular men in the unit.

    Some times when the army armors up a vehicle, they'll go all out. A freind of mine's brother is a US Navy Seabee, combat construction and demolition, and drives a Catipillar D9 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caterpillar_D9 (scroll down to see American usage) and was relating to me a story of buldozing several buildings in down town Baghdad, all the time under heavy fire, as well as having a few grenades thrown at the buldozer which did little to stop him. He said he was simply told to drive into the buildings with the blade up, so the building is puhsed over and doesn't collapse down on him. Pretty crazy story he had. Kind of shows how much war can suck!

    Adam

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    The military has their Order of Battle, their plan of fighting.

    Cars, trucks and things like Humvee's are not intended for the battlefield, they are part of logisitcs and that is how the military has always seen them.

    If a transport convoy gets attacked, then "c'est la guerre".

    Despite pronouncements and mouthworks otherwise, our military went into Iraq expecting to fight regular troops on a battlefield and then to be in control of the ground they occupied.

    According to the order of battle, our soldiers should be able to run around in open top jeeps and trucks in reasonable safety beause they are behind the front lines.

    A rifle round like the 7.62mm NATO will penetrate just about any extemporaneously applied armor on a Hummer or a truck. The RPG will knock out any armored personnel carrier and many tanks. That's what it's for.

    Once again the Screw Up is from the Top Down. The military never planned that they would be under constant attack from irregulars and terrorists. They did not commit enough troops to their campaign to pacify the ground that they had taken.

    Some of the cooler heads at the Pentagon, Gen. Eric Shenseiki (now retired) amongst them, figured that it would take 350,000 troops to pacify Iraq.

    Our troop strength is close to only half of that.

    Putting paste-on armor on Hummers and trucks is not going to solve that problem any time soon.

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    The basic "needs" are always going to be the same, food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and entertainment. The processes at the just pre-retail level are going to trend to ever less "operator" input. (hoing, sewing, hewing, live operator or performer) Although in some areas (art, sports, perfomance) there will probably be a continued slight increase in niche markets.

    At the "component source" level, there will be more "incremental material addition" to attain a component or set of components. Less "metal removal" (or material removal). Or think no-till farming, and many of the bio-advances in that , err, "field" e.g. I am not very familiar with nanotechnology, but it will grow. And more and more processes will make products by "growing" them, rather than hewing parts out of blocks of material.

    I do not know which has the greater "hydrocarbon equivalent", steel or plastic. This will become critical, as hydrocarbons become evermore expensive. As a comment on both this, and the last paragraph; until about the mid 50's, wood working was a basic, and critical industry. On a volume basis, nearly everything made of stamped steel and plastic, was formerly made of wood. But wood requires an inordinate amount of processing, waste material removal, machining, and "finishing" to effect products which can be "automatically" produced in plastic or stamped steel. Wood as a structural fiber and chemical source will come back in importance as oil becomes more expensive, but probably not in the way we perceive wood "manufacturing" today.

    I sort of see metals manufacturing going the way wood did in the 50's. Less and less individual parts "machining". More and more developments of processes and designs that utilize "net formed" (stamped, cast, chemically machined or even "grown") items. Continued trend to fewer and fewer custom items ("custom" pretty much = anything a job shop makes) or "repairable" systems.

    There will still be vast volumes of cnc machine parts, with very little (even less than today) operator input.

    Serving all these "automatic" processes, there will be plenty of niche machine shops especially for prototyping and tooling.

    When I was growing up, parents tended to discourage kids from thinking about "art" and similar nebulous concepts as a career. Trades, and professions where something "concrete" was produced seemed the safest thing for depression and war scarred parents to encourage their kids to focus on for security. This is still true, but more and more what will differentiate a career is how much artful insight, creativity, and design, the "tradesperson" brings to the table. Being a skillful technician in any area will always count, but the differentiating characteristic will be more and more a "distinguished" creative aspect and design comprehension and focus, plus the knowlege base to work across a ever wider range of fields.

    smt

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    It constantly amazes me how people get all excited about ultra modern technology and then get blind-sided by old fashioned reality.

    Ever try to "grow" a bulldozer or a dump truck?

    Try something more down-home, try to grow a pair of socks.

    Are you ready to sit at an all plastic kitchen table? I'm not.

    Remember the bent tube and plastic covered seats of the "kitchenettes" from the 1950's I'd rather not.

    I think there is only so much hi tech crap that the ordinary human being is going to put up with and I think we are approaching the limit here very fast.

    I realize that the cell phone is here to stay, but I don't have one and I don't like them. Everyone who I know who has one has plenty of trouble with it, they have gone through three of them in the last two years. No, not just one person, every one who I know with a cell phone.

    Berkeley Springs is a resort town. People from D.C. and Baltimore come here to get away from it all, but they bring it all with them; they are miserable, I can see it on their faces.

    Ten years from now, things will be the same if we are lucky. There is a good chance that in the next ten years humanity will yet again screw up the world's economy, 1930's style.

    That will be the time when we see if our advanced technology will save us from ourselves.

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    Reality does have a habit of rearing its ugly head again and again.
    But we already "grow" a lot of stuff, and we are growing more all the time. The old solution to treating sewage was infrastructure- tanks, pumps, aereators, rotating booms sprinkling water. More and more nowadays engineers are designing a mix of landscape and plants that actually does a better job, faster.
    Similarly, experiments now are proving that plants are actually the best way to remove heavy metals from old dump sites- corn, in particular is great at pulling heavy metals from the soil. The plants can then be processed, and the metal recycled.
    Isnt a 3D printer basically a way of "growing" an object?
    Now there are service buearus where you can email a file, and they will 3d print a wax, then cast it in metal, and UPS you a finished part. Will it eliminate machining, or some actual material processing? Not anytime soon. But look at the progress CNC has made from the first clunky tape drive machines of the 1960's.
    As far as plastic kitchen furniture goes- the most used chair in the world is the $5 white plastic chair. They are so cheap and easy to make, they are found on every continent. Saw "On War" on CNN the other day- it is a documentary about the war in Iraq, and quite good, as it has minimal editorial content- mostly just straight footage of our troops, living and working. Anyway, what do you think they all sit on in Iraq? White plastic chairs.
    Now I hate em as much as you do, and I have never owned one- in fact I used to manufacture chairs, so I hold a special place in my heart for those things. But that doesnt mean they arent the future.
    Most people will continue to buy cheap disposable consumer items, and they will "grow" more and more of em by the cheapest fastest methods possible. Cell phones are disposable- when, not if, they break, you toss em and buy a new one- same with all consumer electronics. I bought a new tv last week, to replace the one my aunt bought in 1980 or so that I inherited when she died. They told me at Best Buy that every single piece of electronics in the 20,000 sq ft store has a 1 in 6 chance of failing within 2 years. And that is accepted by manufacturers, retailers, and consumers as a quality standard they can live with, for the price.
    A few of us still live in a world of machine tools, good craftsmanship, and real objects made to last. But we are a very small minority in todays world. The average kid today lives in a sheetrock and OSB apartment, with all "manmade content" furniture, a video game and a tv set. No wood furniture, no metal lamps, no books, nothing that isnt a disposable consumer item in their entire life. Their parent (there is usually only one) buys a Hyundai, cause they are 8 grand new. They buy everything at wallyworld, or target if they are upscale and design conscious.
    They dont know anyone who can cook, bake, sew, knit, chop wood, build a house, make a cabinet, run a lathe, fix a car, troubleshoot an electrical circuit, or prune a fruit tree.
    This is the future, as I see it from the classmates of my kids.


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