A few counterpoints to the argument I made in my previous post that I thought were interesting:
- Paul Graham of Y Combinator notes that he's been seeing more hardware based startups.
- The Atlantic talks about the return of manufacturing to America. China is getting more expensive and doing things domestically enables people to move into the market quicker.
- The September issue of WIRED magazine had a great article on Autodesk and their new tools. If you have an iPhone or iPad the free apps they mention in the article are fun to play with.
I received some interesting feedback from my Facebook post on this as well complaining I (or the New York Times article I linked) may have been a bit unfair to McDonald’s. Nobody is saying a McDonald’s job is bad, especially if it pays competitively. The important thing is if we are going to pour public subsidies into job training we should use it to direct people into fields where they will receive higher wages than they can get without job training.
There is also much to be said in regards to the clustering impact of having manufacturing available here. There is a lot of innovation that occurs on the ground from people who are intimately familiar with the process of making things. It may be strategic to target specific sectors in hope of becoming a cluster or center for something (like Connecticut is doing with their stem-cell research funding). The jury might still be out on the effectiveness of that, but look what happened when China dumped tons of resources into solar energy and crushed the American manufacturers.