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Why the US economy had gone downhill?

In my opinion, the downhill tre nd of US e conomy and the sudde n collapse in the last fe w
moths and the pre se nt crisis is the culmination of se ve ral de cade s of e rosion in indu stry.
O ne by one , many industrie s we nt to othe r countrie s ,le aving be hind ine ffcie nt,poor
qua lity dinosaurs like the US automible industry.
I have be e n a ke e n obse rve r of US industrie s and te chnology for the past 45
ye ars.Though I am not an e conomist or busine ssman, I know the te chnology part of this
e conomy pre tty we ll.

1 In the 1970's slowly the Japan's cars made some inroads in the US . Many obse rve d
tha t the Ja pane se cars we re too small to fit Ame rican big me n and wome n.The y also sa id
tha t those cars we re unsafe in the US highways.But slowly be tte r cars came from Japa n.
Q uality of those cars incre ase d significantly----Thanks to Edwards De ming and Jura n who
taught the Japane se 'the use ' of e le me ntary statistics which a high school boy can
unde rstand in a couple of days.The japane se worke rs and manage rs we nt about
dra wing histograms,writing che cklists and markin che ck-she e ts.You re call the 'se ve n
ma gnifice nt pillars' of quality manage me nt,S imple inde e d.While the Japane se industry
improve d in qualtiy and proce ss control, the US auto industry plumme te d. Raplh Nade r
gave a se ve re blow with his book : "Unsafe at any spe e d" ---a savage indictme nt for the
US automobile .Many ture nd to Toyota and Honda and Nissan---e ve n se nior citize ns
bought those be cause of high quality and mode rate price .US autoworke rs we re
ne gotiating with thie r company for wage rise s and othe r be ne fits whe n the industry itse lf
was collapsing unde r the ir fe e t....US automake rs we re le ft with trucks and station
wagons.[I have se e n many re ports , comparing the quality of japane se products with th e
US one s,comparing compone nt by compone nt--say suspe nsion,axle s and so on. What
the US e ngine e rs and R&D doing---improving styling and paint quality giving 'cosme tic
touche s' ]

2 The S te e l industry we nt to Japan in the e arly 1970's whe n I was an e ngine e ring
stude nt he re . The ir se cre t: Large blast furnace s of 100 million tons pe r ye ar capacity with
comple te compute r control,e mploying a fe w worke rs.The Pittsburhg ste e lme n could not
compe te with the ir old furnace s and poor e ngine e ring pratice .[Mind you, the compute rs
we re not that de ve lope d those days.Pe ople we re using low me mory,low inte gration chips
like Z ilog 80,8086 and so on]
Ma ny me dium size ste e l industrie s---supplying auto parts [e ngine blocks for e xample ]
and othe r e ngine e ring ite ms we re close d be cause of pollution [e nvironme ntal]
conce rns---iron foundrie s,ste e l foundrie s, ste e l rolling mills...the y we nt to
Ja pan,Kore a,China ,e ve n India [e spe cially cast iron foundrie s.] The labor is che ap th e re
and afte r all it ische ape r to import---right! Many industire s in PA,Wisconsin and Michigan
we re close d...stude nts le arnt about the se te chnologie s only in te xt books.S ome captive
foundrie s re maine d with the ine fficie nt Auto units.

3 Exce pt de fe nce e le ctronics, much of consume r e le ctronics,as e ve ry home -make r knows,
we nt to Ja pan or Kore a.I still re me mbe r re ading an article in which a manage r from on e
of the bigge st appliance manufacture r stating that it is difficult to make microwave tube s
e xce pt in the US .In two ye ars time ,a Kore an firm made those tube s,some time in 1974,I
gue ss.The y made microwave ove ns at 1/3rd the cost of the US one s.....out we nt the
microwave ove n industry.I am only illustrating a fe w he re .

4 Wha t about the compute r chip industry? Using the throw away IC making te mplate s for
photo-lithography, a japane se firm made low cost calculators and simple watche s in th e
late 1970's....Now you know that me mory chips and othe rs we nt japane se way or to
Taiwa n/S ingapore /China.

5 For Ae rospace industry,e xce pt for je t e ngine s made by GE and Pratt-Whitne y, bullk o f
the compone nts making had gone to small firms in Europe ,Japan and S outh Asia.Eve n
India and China make s now fibre -glass doors and fittings and aluminuim compone nts,
e ngine mounts for e xample ,for US aircraft make rs.!
6 Wha t are the industrie s le ft be side s those re lating to agriculture and farm machine ry?
Ma king #2 pe ncils, writing pape r, childre n 's school ite ms.Eve n he re ,much has gone to
China,Me xico,India,Brazil and e lse whe re . I find it hard to ge t good quality Ge rman or
Fre nch made artist mate rials---the y are going out of busine ss one by one or those
bra nds a re made in China with poor quality, re taining the old Brand name s .[ A fe w a re
ma de in India ,with poor quality as I have bought and che cke d in the US A.] We ll --the se
che a p goods are O kay for stude nts.! That is some consolation.

7 Much of the software mainte nance and custome r support had gone to India and othe r
countire s...a lot to Russia too.

Wha t a bout ne w innovations and ne w industrie s in US A? may be , solar te chnology,nano-
te chnology, bio-te ch ite ms may come up in the ne xt two de cade s.That is the hope for
US A!---Think harde r.