Thursday, March 18, 2010
William Edwards Deming
I recently bought a book by Deming on a whim without really knowing who he was. They were talking about him on the radio the other day, though, about how he is largely credited with improving Japanese management practices and manufacturing quality after WWII. I just started reading his book. He was the one who advocated for US manufacturing to move away from cheap goods and move to higher value higher quality goods. Actually, the US has been successful in doing this, but now the labor force has been put out of work. I wonder if he was wrong or if his suggestions were not implemented according to his intentions. He says that competition can be bad when people race to lower standards. Some of this is consistent with Daly's criticism of free trade. Production moves to places with lower environmental standards and workplace safety laws. It'll be interesting to compare his views with Forrester and Daly's along with more conventional economists like Krugman.