Steve Bennish writes about business & economics for the Dayton (OH) Daily News. He’s also the author of a book called ‘Scrappers: Dayton Ohio and America go to scrap.’
It is a sobering, disgusting, gut-wrenching thing to see – the photographic documentation of the rendering of our middle-class manufacturing base to scavengers. It’s not easy to look at. And you should buy this book.
But don’t buy it because you want to support Steve – surely, it’s a brilliant book, and he deserves the support for having done it – but to share it with anyone and everyone that’ll listen to the truth about what we’ve allowed to happen.
Welcome ladies and gentlemen, to Ground Zero of what’s been done to our country in the name of hyper-globalization and unbridled free trade.
Dwight ‘Ike’ Eisenhower’s farewell address to the nation at the end of his second term in 1961 is famously remembered for its warning about the ‘military industrial complex’ and the influence – ‘economic, political, even spiritual’ - it could have on the ability of future generations to govern themselves.
But buried in this eloquent, heartfelt speech are also what I see as relevant, important warnings about caring for our national manufacturing and innovation capabilities.
I found these quotes from Thomas Jefferson recently, and I can’t stop thinking about ‘em.
Not only are they direct and, of course, extraordinarily well-written, they’re still awfully relevant.
They come from letters that Jefferson wrote between 1815-16. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
The fact is that our trade and economic policies – or lack thereof – are the primary cause of stagnant manufacturing growth in this country. We in and of manufacturing find ourselves in an environment of two camps, vying on many fronts for supremacy & influence.
And, these days, it sure seems like the inmates are running the asylum.
The passions run deep. Home-commuting advocates cite growing numbers of ‘homies’ and reports of improved productivity. While opponents of telecommuting point to the loss of corporate control, a lack of accountability, and reduced one-on-one collaboration &, in turn, innovation.
I am struck by the similarities between this debate and the reshoring of manufacturing to the US from overseas in response to offshoring it in the first place.
Man, life is rich, ain’t it?
Let’s dissect this issue and transpose those elements to reshoring, and you’ll see what I mean.