Letters To The Editor For June 2005

A hit and a miss

All Around Kudos

I thoroughly enjoyed the April 2005 issue of IndustryWeek. In particular the articles "Stars Of The Show" and "Wal-Mart's Big Gamble" were two exceptional articles that were informative and very enjoyable to read. Of course, I read your "Editor's Page -- Playing The R&D Blame Game" as I usually do, and would concur with your conclusion regarding the need for more R&D investment. Thanks for a great monthly issue.

Paul A. Ricci, director of corporate purchasing
Solo Cup Co.,Owings Mills, Md.

Evans Missed The Boat?

Michael Evans' article "Evans On The Economy -- More Jobs Will Be Lost" [March 2005] misses the boat on manufacturing. First, Mr. Evans pins a decade-long decline in manufacturing employment on the ballooning trade deficit. However, he fails to mention that manufacturing employment actually rose from 1994 to 2000 as our trade gap widened. The subsequent loss of 3 million manufacturing jobs was not part of a long-term trend, but the result of a recession that hit the manufacturing sector especially hard. Second, [he] declares that manufacturing no longer leads services in productivity. How untrue! Manufacturing productivity has outpaced overall business productivity nine out of the last 10 years. Are all of the 3 million manufacturing jobs that were lost coming back anytime soon? Probably not. However, the number of U.S. manufacturing workers in the years ahead will principally be determined by the ability of U.S. companies to effectively compete in the world economy. This involves reducing costs here at home as well as making sure our trading partners play by the rules.

Herb Henkel, chairman, president and CEO
Ingersoll-Rand Co. Ltd.

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