Work That Creates Real Wealth

by Mike Shipulski

Work That Creates Real WealthToday’s biggest problems are difficult to solve and our approach to solving them isn’t helping. Whether it’s healthcare, education, infrastructure, defense, or the economy we never get past the wrong question: “Who’s going to pay for it?

With healthcare we argue about costs and taxes – who pays and how much. But we’ve got to move past that argument. The real deal is we create insufficient wealth. (Our inability to pay for healthcare is a symptom.) So the real solution must focus on work that creates wealth, real wealth. I’m not talking about merger and acquisition wealth. I’m talking about real wealth generated by inventing, designing, and making products. I’m talking about manufacturing – creating products out of dirt, rocks, and sticks and selling them for more than the cost to make them. With more manufacturing we can fix healthcare. (I also think we should look deeply at the work of providing healthcare and improve the work.)

With education we argue about costs and taxes – who pays and how much. But we’ve got to move past that argument. The real deal is we create insufficient wealth. (Our inability to pay for education is a symptom.) So the real solution must focus on work that creates wealth, real wealth. I’m not talking about merger and acquisition wealth. I’m talking about real wealth generated by inventing, designing, and making products. I’m talking about manufacturing — creating products. With more manufacturing we can fix education. (I also think we should look deeply at the work of providing education and improve the work.)

With infrastructure we argue about costs and taxes – who pays and how much. But we’ve got to move past that argument. The real deal is we create insufficient wealth. (Our inability to pay for infrastructure is a symptom.) So the real solution must focus on work that creates wealth, real wealth. I’m talking about real wealth generated by inventing, designing, and making products. I’m talking about manufacturing — creating products. With more manufacturing we can fix our infrastructure. (I also think we should look deeply at the work of creating and maintaining infrastructure and improve it.)

With defense we argue about costs and taxes – who pays and how much. But we’ve got to move past that argument. The real deal is we create insufficient wealth. (Our inability to pay for defense is a symptom.) So the real solution must focus on work that creates wealth, real wealth. I’m talking about manufacturing — creating products. With more manufacturing we can fix defense. (I also think we should improve the work of providing defense.)

Pulling it all together, with the economy we argue about taxes – who pays and how much. But we’ve got to move past that argument. The real deal is we create insufficient wealth. (Our economy’s health is a symptom.) So the real solution must focus on work that creates real wealth. I’m talking about manufacturing. With more manufacturing the economy will fix itself.

Thankfully we all have different views on healthcare, education, infrastructure, and defense, and I want to preserve them. (That’s what makes our country great.) However, I think we can all agree that creating more wealth will improve our chances of fixing our big problems.

Let’s do more manufacturing.


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Mike ShipulskiDr. Mike Shipulski (certfied TRIZ practioner) brings together the best of TRIZ, Axiomatic Design, Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (2006 DFMA Contributor of the Year), and lean to develop new products and technologies. His blog can be found at Shipulski On Design.

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  1. I love the manufacturing industry and I’m proud to be part of it. And in the sense you’re using it here, we should probably lump in the biotech, agricultural improvement, and some other disciplines that are not typically considered part of the term.

    It’s not just about more. It’s about better. Which does seem to be an underlying assumption in your post. I’d just like to expand on it.

    It’s about a better that uses resources more sustainably. A better that involves people working together in a coordinated fashion and not wasting resources. It’s about a better that balances needs (known and unknown) of people and the possibilities being revealed by science. And there are other ways to define better also, of course.

    We need ideas (as you acknowledged in each step). They can and do change the world. But in the end we have to make something and we have to make better somethings in better ways.

    Thanks for putting this post on this platform. I was glad to see it here along with all the meta/thinking stuff I also enjoy.

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