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:
-Did Bethlehem Steel really turn into a Casino/ Resort all by itself?
Just a few graphs to cheer any eventual remaining readers up:
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:
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:
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.
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