Monday, November 21, 2011

Baltimore, MD

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to visit Baltimore.  It's about 30 miles from Washington DC.  However, it's an entirely different city in terms of industry.  I would describe it as similar to Detroit (as quoted by one of the friends, "Baltimore is Detroit 30 years ago.") with its aging of manufacturing.  It should be noted that the unemployment rate of young men (under 30 or so) is 30%.  This is very similar to the Great Depression. This is what happens when you move from manufacturing to a very technological age.

I do wish to note that Baltimore did remind me why my major is in mechanical engineering.  Manufacturing is a great industry. It truly shows a country's economic development.  There are so many different products that we encounter everyday, and we don't even think twice about how the item came to be in my hands.

Look at all the factories! Think about the number of people needed for this type of work.  I don't care if something is animated.  You still need people to organize other people and machinery to make something in a very quick, efficient way.  The transportation, manufacturing, food, beverages, movement of money, movement of raw materials, the energy needed to conduct all of this business! To be honest, I don't think the importance of engineering is marketed enough, especially in the country that we live in! We now have the ability to rely on other service items for our source of "innovation."  But our true innovation relies on the manufacturing that still exists today.  Sure, I know it's on the decline.  However, if you lose your backing of manufacturing, the country needs to rely on other countries for its sustenance.

From my manufacturing class, the three tiers of a economy:
1. Agriculture
2. Manufacturing
3. Service

Currently, the United States has moved more into the service industry.  However, it is reliant on those countries in the other two tiers.  Think about where America stand and your role in it as a proud member.

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