What is the future of manufacturing?
To begin to assess the answer, let us look at a chart of manufacturing throughout the world. This is not just the United States; this is Western Europe, Japan, and the whole world. As you can see, the percentage contribution of manufacturing to total economic production has declined steadily over the last 40 years. If the chart went back another 40 years, the same kind of slope would persist. This is a worldwide phenomenon. This is an irreversible phenomenon. This has accompanied the extension of world economic growth to the third world, including especially Asia.
There are people who complain about the declining share of gross domestic product that is contributed by manufacturing in the United States. This is because they are completely unfamiliar with the worldwide phenomenon. They do not understand that economic growth accompanies a declining percentage of manufacturing to a national economy.
THE HEART OF MODERN WEALTH
The heart of wealth is not manufacturing; the heart of wealth is the knowledge applied to reduce the total percentage of manufacturing in the overall economy, and to increase the wealth of the masses through services. These services may be digital. They may be personal. But they are not based on manufacturing.
My friend Bill Myers has this phrase: “Sell electrons, not atoms.” It’s a great phrase. Don’t sell pieces of stuff; sell ideas, entertainment, efficiency, and anything that will reduce the cost of raw materials, the cost of capital, and the cost of output. Cut costs; cut prices; get rich.
This is why manufacturing will more and more be run by machines that are controlled by computer programs. This frees up mankind from the hard lifting of life.
(For the rest of my article, click the link.)