Made In The U.S.A.

American manufacturing doesn’t get the respect it deserves.

In Adventures on June 13, 2009 at 12:15 am

At the steel convention (see the previous post), another interesting topic that was addressed during a panel discussion with bosses from some of the biggest steel producers in the world was how American manufacturing doesn’t get the respect it deserves.

The point was made by the biggest boss from the biggest of companies. Sure, he’s got a horse in the race. But he’s also got a perspective that’s pretty different than my own, so I figured I should listen.

I think what he means is that wealth is generated by manufacturing. To paraphrase him, but utilize quotes to make it seem like fact when really it’s close but certainly no direct quote: “All due respect” to the New York banker sharing the stage, “Wealth is not generated on the coasts, it’s here in the heartland that the money is created, and it’s created by manufacturing.”

I’d never thought of that quite that way. Nice to get props for us simple midwestern folk. You’re welcome, coasts.

I’m in no position to argue whether that’s true, and it certainly has no regional bias except inasmuch as perhaps there are a higher percentage of people employed in manufacturing outside of New York and L.A. but I really have no idea how true that is. The point is, at least as I see it, actually making stuff–rather than just buying and using and disposing of stuff–is crucial to a vital economy.

In other words, if we want to continue generating wealth in America, we’d better continue making stuff here too.

It makes sense to me. But I’m no economist.



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