rabble wrote:How about you, John? How do you know so much about what those careers are like?
Been a while but I did work in a McDonalds (and other restaurants) in the 60's.
As for manufacturing, I have been working in manufacturing continuously since 1976. 8 years starting as Maintenance Supervisor for a multi-plant pharmaceutical manufacturing campus culminating as Manager, Facility Operations. From 1985-2007 designing, selling, installing and servicing manufacturing, assembly and packaging machinery to a variety of industries. From 1996 to present as "The Changeover Wizard". I've worked in a variety of plants and industries teaching employees to be more productive by being lazy.
Those are just some of the highlights.
I've worked in at least 500 perhaps as many as 1000 different manufacturing plants in that time covering most industrial sectors.
As for McDonalds jobs being better than most mfg jobs, I'll stand by that. Most (unskilled) manufacturing jobs don't pay a lot more than minimum wage. Certainly nothing like those paid in a few industries like automotive.
Many, perhaps most, manufacturing jobs are unstable with regular periods of layoffs. Thus, even if the worker makes a bit more per hour in Mfg. they still might do better in McD or WM (or the like) on an annual or multi-year basis.
Most unskilled mfg jobs involve doing incredibly mind numbing work all day long. For example, stuffing a component into a circuit breaker 30 times a minute. Sewing a pocket onto a shirt 10 times a minute. Soldering 3 resistors onto a board twice a minute.
My mother in law worked for GE for 30 years stuffing parts into a circuit breaker. She could literally sleep while doing it due to pure muscle memory.
Want to read how it is working in the fabled auto industry? Read Ben Hamper's book "Rivethead" (Featured in Michael Moore's "Roger and Me"
Or read Henry Ford's books "My Life and Work" (available free for Kindle at Amazon or Gutenberg. Or you could buy this edition http://amzn.to/RmbnMk
) "Today and Tomorrow" or "Moving Forward" (Out of print but I can send you a Doc file of it)
Now tell me again how good all these manufacturing jobs are.
Yes, there are a lot of good manufacturing jobs out there. The good ones require skills, though. Some of those could be learned on the job but in my experience many people just aren't willing to make the effort.
Henry Ford said almost 100 years ago "Never use a man to do what a machine can do" Machines are becoming more and more capable every year as well as cheaper.
So how would you "bring back" all these manufacturing jobs?
I don't think it can be done but would be happy to hear your ideas.