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Letter to the Editor

Manufacturing Is Neither Understood Nor Appreciated, What Next?

Good editorial. It's about time that organizations like yours publicize the existence of systemic problems.  I'm still having the same conversation with vendors and customers every week: What are Americans going to be doing for work in the next decade?

So the local community colleges have dropped electronic and mechanical tech from the curricula, in favor of (now almost completely outsourced) low-level IT.  So here in NE, we're pushing ridiculous cost of living, even out in the sticks, so nobody can add factory help, and any attempt to do something serious with public and affordable housing is treated like some Commie poison.  

So the tax breaks and grants that are critical to startups (at least in Connecticut), are tiny amounts, best suited for public relations purposes. So no responsible parent is going to let their kid study engineering. So there it is. Done.

To some in our area, the flip side is that there are huge windfall opportunities in supplying goods for war; another $100 billion is just entering the hopper. That these dollars are increasingly borrowed from China does not matter to opportunists; the money is sitting there on the government table. I've actually heard the neo-Star Wars agencies whine about not being able to dispense the cash they have, quickly enough!

Personally, I will not do weapons, but I am being drawn into a startup for anti-terrorism instrumentation, which, of course, is only semantically different than other killing tools. It's the only game in town.

Best regards,
Richard Stein Ph.D.
Cooke Vacuum Products
S. Norwalk, CT

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