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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Amazing things happen

Scouring the press online can be a demoralizing exercise, but information junkies like me do it anyway, the devil you know, and all that. But now and then a flashbulb (remember those) goes off in the lowlight of burnout:

Amazing things happen when people claim responsibility for creating the impossible -- Shaunna Sowell, T.I.'s vice president for worldwide facilities-- from an article by Thomas Friedman, A Green Dream in Texas, today's New York Times (unlinkable unless you subscribe to Times Select.)

Friedman is a a provocative thinker who writing favors precision over flair and he's got a compelling knack for stating and making a case. This article is about Texas Instruments (TI) pulling out the inventive stops to create an energy efficient chip factory to save enough cost to keep the manufacturing and jobs in the U.S. His lead:
When it comes to energy and the American people, George Bush and Dick Cheney are guilty of the soft bigotry of low expectations.

No one has lower expectations for the American people than a vice president who thinks "conservation" is simply a personal virtue, not a national security imperative, and a president who can barely choke out the word.

But Americans are starting to lead themselves. The most impressive project I've seen is by Texas Instruments, which is building a "green" chip factory here in Richardson, near Dallas. T.I. is keeping 1,000 high-tech jobs in Texas by building its newest facility - to make wafers used in semiconductors - in a cost-saving, hyper-efficient green manner.
He then goes on to quote the heroes of this venture, describing the surprisingly simple design expected to cut utility costs by 20 percent and water usage by 35 percent. Those cuts, not wage and pension cuts, not outsourced savings or layoffs are the yankee ingenuity that's going to turn the economic conundrum costing American jobs around.

Outsourcing is here to stay. It produces cheaper commodities, which results more disposable income for consumers. Protectionist trade policies will only exacerbate hits to the American Economy, by making imports more expensive. Here's the horse-sense economics of it:

Saving service and labor costs by outsourcing boosts the bottom line of American companies, althought it costs jobs in the short term, temporarily disabling American cosumers from supporting these and other companies. Workers in developing countries will be able to fill that gap in time. American labor and service costs can't be competitive with rates available in developing countries. HOWEVER, The most successful American product has always been ingenuity, something developing countries, for the most part, can't compete with. Applying innovative systems from the top down will shore up American production which will compensate for and exceed the short term losses that globalization has produced. And this is one good example.

Friedman's tag line:
So hats off to the leaders of T.I. Thanks to their vision, Dallas - not China - has the newest T.I. wafer plant, a new investment in education* and a great example of how a green factory can be efficient and profitable and can create good American jobs in the 21st century.

Energy guzzling is for defeatists. Real Americans - and real Texans - build green.
Ditto: Nice to see better things than Bush come out of Texas.

Amazing things happen when people claim responsibility for creating the impossible. Way to go, Shaunna.

* To entice T.I. to build again in the Dallas area, the University of Texas, the State Legislature and private sources put up $300 million for a 10-year effort to improve science and engineering studies at the University of Texas in Dallas, so T.I. will have plenty of educated workers.

// posted by Ellen @  18:33   //Permalink// 
Ellen says hey
Mainer, New Yawka, Beijinger, Californian, points between. News, views and ballyhoos that piqued my interest and caused me to sigh, cry, chuckle, groan or throw something.

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