Memo to Emerson's CEO

It was good to see that two of your readers recognize the problem with the economy, whereas the CEO of Emerson is still “playing football on an indoor ice skating rink.” His reported salary of $6.85 million is akin to $3,300 per hour, while he wants to go overseas and pay 25 to 50 cents per hour labor rates. While I agree that our taxes are too high and government regulations too stringent, these are minor factors in product pricing. Labor, raw materials, and energy make up more than 80% of manufacturing cost. The only advantage of overseas manufacturing is labor, because raw materials are essentially the same price everywhere and energy costs are actually a little higher overseas. Emerson could benefit from a more equalized pay rate for all associates, from top to bottom; they should institute this and then recalculate product cost.

It is true that most of us want to pay Chinese prices and get American wages. It is also true that increased spending creates jobs, but they are not American jobs, but rather overseas jobs. Does Emerson's CEO know what is common to all Third World countries? Little or no manufacturing. Does he realize why China now owns most of our debt? They started manufacturing. Does he not realize where this is leading us?
Wade Harter
Ninety Six, S.C.

Scientists deserve more media coverage

It's no surprise that the mainstream media reacted as lazily as they did to Willard Boyle and George Smith winning the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for their CCD camera research. Reporting on who won the myriad of technical Nobel Prizes does not generate more viewers, readers, or money. At best, it garners a short article in the science section so that news outlets can maintain their claims of credibility. But that's not the issue. Rather, what are we, the engineers and scientists of the world, doing about it? Further, what are technical journalists doing about it? We need a bigger voice, and perhaps a mainstream media outlet — call it The National Scientist — that captivates the nation's readers at the grocery store checkout! Or maybe we just need more people like John Glenn and Neil Armstrong to capture the media's attention like they did in the 1960s.
Paul George
Cincinnati, Ohio