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Thread: De-industrilization of the US from the seventies to the present

  1. #1
    Supporting Member DIYSwede's Avatar
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    De-industrilization of the US from the seventies to the present

    In being more curious than smart, I often find myself reading odd research papers on very different subjects,
    which then makes the World (as I find it) even more complex for me to understand.
    Or rather - I find it worthwhile to challenge my initial impulse to jump to fast, simplistic and often wrong conclusions.

    Warning: The following post might be perceived as uninteresting, long-wound and tedious by sensitive HMT:ers!

    Seeing all these HMT pages of nice, high-res b&w pics of old machines and crews has planted a few ideas in my head:

    Q: -What the heck really happened to most of our manufacturing industries thru the last 50 years?

    Was it just our own complacency and non-adaptability, the liberal globalists, and/ or the Japanese/ Koreans/ Chinese?

    Before and After:

    De-industrilization of the US from the seventies to the present-bethlehem_steel.jpg De-industrilization of the US from the seventies to the present-wind-creek-bethlehem-casino-resort.jpg

    -Did Bethlehem Steel really turn into a Casino/ Resort all by itself?

    Just a few graphs to cheer any eventual remaining readers up:

    De-industrilization of the US from the seventies to the present-mfjobs.jpg De-industrilization of the US from the seventies to the present-profitsinmachinetoolindustry.jpg De-industrilization of the US from the seventies to the present-macrowages_productivity.jpg

    Manufacturing employment today down at Pre-WWII levels, profits halved since the early eighties,
    in spite of productivity raised 250% over worker's wages since the early seventies.
    What decisions (or lack thereof) by whom, really caused the deindustrialization of the US (and most of the "Western Countries")?

    Answers are plentiful, diverse and contradictory on the subject, but I'd like to share a few little gems:
    Some researchers has actually "dug where they stand" and thoroughly investigated a few, once prosperous industries in the Connecticut River Valley,
    and published the following easy-to-read 10 page article on the rise and fall of the Kingsbury Machine Tool Company:
    https://www.academia.edu/35530846/De...facturing_Jobs

    Marie Christine Duggan's entire research team at Keene State College N.H. has the following page, studying the economical history of several local companies:

    https://industrialsurvival.wordpress.com/

    Having read this far, you probably wonder "if this is it"? Yep.

    For me - reading these papers actually helped me partly realize why our major Swedish manufacturing industries vanished,
    when the Stockholm Stock Exchange had the highest All-Time-High of the world during the first half of the eighties,
    while the Labour party kept the not-yet-unemployed from striking...

    Hope you've found some food for thought - otherwise: pardon me for wasting your precious time.

    Cheers
    Johan

    PS: Part II: The story of MPB (Miniature Precision Bearings) and Timken:
    Deindustrialization in the Granite State | Dollars & Sense

    Part III: "From air bearings to Diamond Turning at Pneumo":
    Reindustrialization in the Granite State | Dollars & Sense

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    Last edited by DIYSwede; 01-25-2021 at 03:13 PM. Reason: Added PS

  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to DIYSwede For This Useful Post:

    baja (01-26-2021), odd one (01-25-2021), Ralphxyz (01-25-2021), Tonyg (01-26-2021), Toolmaker51 (01-25-2021)

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    Supporting Member IntheGroove's Avatar
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    The loss of the iron and steel industry in the US is largely due to the EPA and emissions and the cost to make it cleaner...

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    Supporting Member Ralphxyz's Avatar
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    RE: "The loss of the iron and steel industry in the US is largely due to the EPA and emissions and the cost to make it cleaner..."

    That certainly played a part but the biggest factor was labor cost it cost more to make a ton of steel in America than it in other countries.

    Ralph

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    Supporting Member Ralphxyz's Avatar
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    I had family members who worked at Kingsbury Machine Tool and at MPB, in fact I worked for MPB in the late 60's.

    They were both in my neighborhood. I lived in Keene New Hampshire.

    Ralph

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    Supporting Member Toolmaker51's Avatar
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    There are several parallel factors bringing about the de-industrialization of countries very best at manufacturing; and engineered to do so. Warnings of the effects were ignored by governments [thank lobbyists] while being accurately predicted by industries involved.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

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    Consider also the effect of cheap transportation. Low cost transportation made it very easy to ship bulky, heavy , low value goods while concentrating on much more profitable high value goods like technological information and education. These products are also much less dependent on transportation costs, Consider how much it costs to develop something like a computer chip and how little it costs to transfer the files describing it.

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    Supporting Member odd one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralphxyz View Post
    I had family members who worked at Kingsbury Machine Tool and at MPB, in fact I worked for MPB in the late 60's.

    They were both in my neighborhood. I lived in Keene New Hampshire.

    Ralph
    I just moved away from Keene 2 yrs ago. The Kingsbury property is so far behind in taxes, that the city should have taken it for back taxes 15 yrs ago. The city however is afraid to touch that property due to all of the contamination left behind from all the years of use.

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    Supporting Member Toolmaker51's Avatar
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    Post 6 is accurate, but renting crowded tech and service offices will not generate full employment. Because their product remains dependent on manufactured durable goods and related capital investments; the benefit going off-shore is very one sided.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

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    Supporting Member madokie's Avatar
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    about 20 years ago , in a machine shop i worked at, we needed a drive shaft for a tilted gravel shaker,, one ft diameter,by 12 ft long solid steel,, we wound up buying it from russia! it was 1,000$ cheaper even with the shipping cost to get it all the way here in OK, than to buy it made in the USA!

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    Toolmaker51 (01-26-2021)

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    Supporting Member hemmjo's Avatar
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    Those huge container ships are silently creating a very real environmental hazards. In addition as they get larger and larger, they are creating logistical nightmares that the builders should have seen coming, but did not bother to look for or to care about.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/shipp...143000301.html

    https://www.civilbeat.org/2020/12/hu...p-near-hawaii/

    https://www.businessinsider.in/retai...w/80415246.cms

    https://www.newsobserver.com/news/we...203422189.html

    https://www.theguardian.com/australi...off-cargo-ship

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