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TheEngineerFormelyKnownAsCaseyTheRobot

Member Since: December 6, 2006

Country: United States

  • "we will become an economy of dry cleaners and lawn services"....

    No, we are an economy that runs the backbone of the internet. The US economy steered into a service economy in the 80's when we started buying from the Japanese electronics markets. If you want a prime example of "Buy American" Look at our defense and aerospace industries. Since I work in them I can tell you it's miserable. There are many companies that I could easily work with internationally but we have set up massive barriers in the efforts of "protecting national secrets".

    The best example I can give you is the DFARS clause that mandates all materials used in DoD contracts be sourced from US manufacturers (with some convenient loopholes). This is easy if you are the bracket manufacturer that deals in raw materials all the time, but it's devastating to the screw manufacturer that has to compete world wide. They don't want to change their lines over to DFARS compliant materials. Some do, and that's why I pay anywhere from $2-500 per bolt in large qty and with 12-50wk lead times. And when they do I get to subsidize all the change over time and all the costs associated with bringing back a job they didn't want to do.

    I can go on with examples, but this American exceptionalism in manufacturing has to end. The USA is still a technological powerhouse. We just moved up the economy ladder from manufacturing to design. Even manufactures here don't want to make clock radios, they want to make turbine compressors.

    I think China doesn't play fair for a multitude of reasons. I was in Beijing for a month recently, they still have massive manufacturing centers around the city, but they are quickly shifting to the internet and service economy models. I witnessed first hand the tragic levels of pollution and disregard for worker safety. Vietnam and India are spinning up to be the China of the future. China is investing billions into Africa to create their own bread basket.

    I'm sorry you felt uncomfortable at Sparkfun years ago. I used to work in the old building before I jumped back into aerospace. I don't know what was said or done to make you feel that you were unwelcome. But I do take issue with the statement you are making. You loved your experience, but then called them, out of touch far left progressive types? Here's what I am trying to unpack from this, we can all enjoy making things and tinkering with electronics. We can also be weird or normal in our own ways. Just because we all enjoy electronics, it doesn't force us to be associated in other interests. I love Sparkfun because it's one of the few genuine places. We can have a customer build a GPS guidance system for his tractor in Nebraska, and we can watch Nick Poole shove an RFID tag in his hand. To me that's awesome! If you feel genuinely uncomfortable, talk to people. I never had better debate fun times than I did at Sparkfun. Keep talking, you might be surprised to see how much we have in common. :)

  • Are you really going to troll on an electronics website? 3 posts in and I can already see you are using this space to vent. What are you trying to accomplish?

  • What's the intentional misinformation? That's a pretty bold statement to make.

  • Hey! I read this comment, where's MY trophy!

  • I like it! I wonder how well you could scale it.

  • YAY! Loveland Creatorspace!!! YAY! Jamie!!!

  • Hi Pete!

  • Once you plot the entire track, where's the innovation? The challenge then becomes who can build the fastest RC car again. I always thought the goal of AVC was to eventually get to a point where GPS wasn't the only sensor used.

  • Thanks bruh!

  • Bruh! You forgot to showcase THE best product (if I say so myself) for this topic. https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12651