President Obama’s proposed $1-billion, private-public partnership program aimed at commercializing and manufacturing U.S.-developed technologies will be revealed any day now. And it couldn’t come at a better time. China’s and India’s economies are slowing, and manufacturing that American businesses outsourced to these and other countries years ago is coming back home because industry efficiency efforts have made it cheaper, better, and faster to make it here.
According to the administration’s budget submission, the goal would be to “revitalize U.S. manufacturing. . . through a network of institutes where researchers, companies and entrepreneurs can come together to develop new manufacturing technologies with broad applications.” The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) would potentially not only develop and keep advanced manufacturing and its subsequent jobs here, it could attract more business from other countries, much the way China, India, and other cheapo labor nations attracted business away from us even though the quality wasn’t nearly as good and customer service was, and still mostly is, non-existent.
With all the controversy over government’s role in our private lives and private enterprise, right-wingers and other doomsayers best look more closely at the economic conditions prevailing around the globe. The opportunity has never been better to create the jobs of the future, the products of the future and, essentially, the America of the future.