Sunday, March 05, 2006

Why do we need to innovate? Any more questions?

Since World War II, manufacturing employment in the United States has declined significantly and service jobs have grown.

Manufacturing Jobs

Declines in manufacturing employment have been due primarily to productivity increases, analogous to productivity improvement and employment declines in agriculture in the past century.

Manufacturing Productivity
Source: The International Dimension. Changing Flows of Production, Trade, and Skills, Bill Ward - Director, Center for International Trade, Clemson University, October 21, 2005

Manufacturing employment declines due to productivity have been a global phenomena, with the largest manufacturing job losses occurring in Asia.

Manufacturing Job Losses
Source: The International Dimension. Changing Flows of Production, Trade, and Skills, Bill Ward - Director, Center for International Trade, Clemson University, October 21, 2005

The percentage of employment in South Carolina in manufacturing is greater than the country as a whole, so South Carolina has been and is likely to continue to be impacted disproportionately. We'll stay behind the eight ball... unless we develop a more innovative and diversified economy. Any questions?


Eugene P. Corrigan, jr. said...

Commerce is based upon the manipulation of raw materials for distribution. Investment seeks the sure thing, "Sell what you got on the shelf", "Not invented here". When, worldwide, raw material conversion peters out -- steam based in the 1700's, steel based in 1800's, oil based in 1900's, logic based now -- new manipulation is needed. It must be non-portable, unique, meeting the demands of the next wave of consumption.
What raw material does South Carolina have to offer? -- Water -- . The world's leading supply of surface water surplus and near port and sealanes. 40 oil-rich nations are starving for it; European factories are strangling for it; peace-keeping opportunities with it are unparelled.
Why has South Carolina not utilized this unique advantage? No vision. It is not on the shelf, nor invented here. Innovation is required, not simple seeking to divert here investment by existing industies. Those industries are petering out; the new raw material must be mined from the state where waterpower opened its first industrial growth and steam the world's first scheduled railroad.
Mini-cap intensive but calling for gutsy early stage risk, this raw material promises a $50-billion market annually with expotential growth. That combination hasn't been backed by South Carolina initiative since indigo, rice and long-staple cotton in the 1700's.
That's why we need to innovate.

Anonymous said...

excuse my ignorance in the matter, but how is shipping water innovative? and what's the value proposition?...I'm having a hard time conceptualizing European factories strangling for water.

Also, it doesn't seem like SC would have a competitive advantage over another country like Brazil, which has a lot of surface water and a long coastline...

Eugene P. Corrigan, jr. said...

It is difficult to relieve the commentator's ignorance as (s)he is anonymous. And, you will have to inform the working stiff (not student) what a "value proposition" is. All us chickens know is that we have for pennies the cubic meter of sweet water available at the world scale of one dollar, and are one of only some dozen such sites in the world. Brazil has an abundance of water, as does Russia and Canada; do you see them offering to ship to arid nations? That's innovation: seizing new opportunity and exercising it at one's own risk. Check the pharmacuetical plants upriver on the Danube among others running out of usable water after despoiling pollution, not to mention the desalination swirl topping off in the Middle East.