Friday, May 7, 2010

Hope for America

There are a lot of discouraging trends in the world today that threaten the blessed life we enjoy in the United States. But I’ve seen signs of hope this week despite all the otherwise negative developments.

I spent most of the week at a conference for Texas Instruments Field Applications Engineers. Besides networking with my current constituents and old friends I have worked with in the past, I learned some useful things about how TI is poised to significantly grow our market share for embedded microprocessors.

Texas Instruments really is a great company to be associated with… we are aggressively investing in manufacturing capacity even in the midst of a recession. And while R&D really is all-“D” for most of our competitors, TI is one of the few semiconductor companies investing in “R” through our Kiby Labs. And we are introducing microprocessor solutions that offer unprecedented capabilities.

One good example is in the field of industrial automation (which includes manufacturing robotics). I will not go into the details here but we now have solutions that enable an order-of-magnitude reduction in cost for industrial automation systems. People who fear losing their manufacturing jobs due to them moving to China really should be more fearful of being replaced with an automated system. With industrial automation costs coming down, robots will be used for more and more operations previously done by manual labor.

People who lament the trend of automation usurping manufacturing jobs need to just face reality and prepare themselves for the inevitable change. This is nothing new; we no longer need stagecoach drivers or typewriter repairmen either. Technology by nature causes jobs to become obsolete. And with the accelerating pace of technological innovations, new jobs will come and go with greater frequency.

Industrial automation has enabled manufacturing companies in the United States to be competitive in the world market despite our higher labor costs. Workers need to recognize that we are rapidly moving toward a service-based economy. As more manufacturing becomes automated, the best opportunities for workers will be to customize products for users. There is always demand for value that can be added to manufactured products.

I see hope for America in Texas Instruments. The innovation TI makes possible typifies what enables America to be competitive in the world economy. Innovations people need are blessings from God… “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17, NKJ). God is in control and He rewards those who apply His principles. TI does a better than average job of applying God’s principles which has led to being recognized as one of the world’s most ethical companies.

Even more important to me, it is encouraging to work for a company that recognizes the importance of faith in God. TI management has encouraged faith-based diversity initiatives official sanctioning employee activities such as weekly Bible studies and even a worship service during lunch time on-site. Just yesterday we had several TI sites conduct observances of the National Day of Prayer. Followers of Christ know that nothing of value happens apart from God, so prayer is a critical part of applying God’s principles on the job.

God promised Israel that, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14, NKJ). Embedded within this promise is a principle that applies to our employers and nations… God blesses those who act in obedience to Him.

There has never been a time when prayer for our institutions has been more important. Please pray that TI and our nation will take the actions necessary to continue in God’s favor despite the gathering clouds on the horizon.

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