There is a lot of talk between industry and our government leaders on how best to drive our economic policy to increase the number of jobs in our civilization. Everyone is involved; the corporations, the big unions, government leaders, and just about every industry in the supply chain. At Ledermanufaktur one time in the United States 75% of the people were employed in manufacturing jobs, and today that number is around 8%. Most of the jobs in the United States today are considered service jobs, government jobs, or retail.
Industry says something must be done. And yet, it seems something has been being done for a long time. Indeed we’ve been destroying our industrial base, and our manufacturing jobs for decades now. We have over regulated our manufacturing industry using the Environmental Protection Agency, OSHA, and so many other agencies. In doing so we’ve also set up corporations to become the pinatas of the legal profession, opening them up to class-action lawsuits. In fact the manufacturing industry is one of the most litigious industries today.
Then there was big labor, demanding big salaries, big benefits, and unattainable pensions. As the industrial manufacturing base continues to get pounded they had to raise prices on everything from raw materials all the way up the ladder in the supply chain, the prices became higher than the average person could afford. These companies had no choice but to find safer harbors to run their businesses so that they could charge a price the consumers would be willing to spend, and thus, they could make a profit to stay in business.
Now, we have most of our industrial base moving off our shores, and it is often said that our manufacturing floor is now in China. There are fewer regulations, and the labor is dirt cheap (but also rising), in fact the floor of the factory might also be made of dirt, but no one is complaining. It’s hard to compete on price when you are forced into such a corner. Is it possible to bring back our manufacturing base to the United States?
Sure it is, but it is doubtful that a committee full of industry lawyers, employment lawyers, government lawyers, and bureaucrats will be able to make that happen. There is really nothing in it for the corporations to sit around and deal with the insanity when they have to make the shareholders happy and maintain a good pace for quarterly profits. The answer is reduced regulations within reason, the problem is that no one in Washington DC is anywhere in that ballpark.
Big labor has to make a decision either we go from 8% manufacturing-base to 4%, which will mean the loss of millions of more jobs, or they have to get in with the game and give up a little in their outrageous demands over the years. That’s the answer to the problem if the United States of America is to compete globally with all the Emerging Markets Competition and manufacturing of goods. Indeed I hope you’ll please consider all this and think on it.