Manufacturing's Pendulum

Steve Gunnerson, president of Nautilus Systems, sent a message about Jeremy Pollard's Embedded Intelligence column, “Lead the Horses to Water.”

He wrote, "While I couldn’t agree more with your analysis—in fact I’ve done two speeches to seventh graders this year about automation engineering and I’d like to do more—I noted your comment about manufacturing returning to North America 'as it will for many reasons.' I think you should do an article listing the reasons you think it will return. I also feel that way. Part of my reasoning is that the pendulum simply has swung so far in the opposite direction that it must eventually swing back. Another is that I think we’ve seen that a highly service-based economy—i.e., you cut my hair, and I’ll mow your lawn; he’ll sell us both insurance, and she’ll sell us all mortgages—will eventually take some serious hits. Another is the foolish willingness to teach the rest of the world how to do the things that many of us here worked hard to figure out in the first place. My business is booming right now, which makes me think the pendulum is on the way back already."