From the Business Representative

In Perspective: Exploitation and Manufacturing

Anytime someone uses your technical expertise to make money, you are being exploited. When the process is not accompanied by proper compensation, you are being badly exploited. All too often our future is predetermined when the exploiter and his messengers pursue the path of least resistance.

J.P. Rangaswami, chief scientist of and Trustee of the Web Science Trust, recently published in Scientific American under the title “Manufacturing, Hollywood-Style,” that “in the not too distant future, the business of making things will require the skills, temperament and workflow of a good film crew.” Mr. Rangaswami went on to say, “The film industry knows about iteration. It knows about scripts, recipes and specifications.” He added that “All of us will be able to bring back the original meaning of manufacture as we make things that feed us, keep us healthy, repair us and entertain us.”

Mr. Rangaswami’s assertions serve to define the contribution our members make to our industry when they bring their technical expertise to a production. When some employers demand work at state minimum hourly wages to ensure themselves a profit we do not share in, they clearly exploit us. Our skills, craft and technical expertise are an essential contribution to the success of the production product; something for you to think about.

Please send me your thoughts on this perspective at

James A. Osburn, CAS
Business Representative
Executive Director