I’m not one to rely solely on statistics to tell the entire story. There are usually intangibles – the human element, seemingly unrelated activity – that fill in the blanks.
We’re seeing a seemingly endless stream of upbeat manufacturing stories lately, that either extol the latest bump in US manufacturing performance or predict an ‘imminent’ boon. But the bottom line in any economy is jobs. Well-paying, stable jobs that nurture and allow for growth and progressive development of talent. And I believe there are two keys that trump all the fluctuating ISM PMI surveys and economic fits & starts in vertical sectors.
It’s all about the jobs, and the people that fill them. And everything else is hooey.
Last week, I was surprised and flattered to learn that the most rockin’ groove units over at Quality Digest noticed my post ‘Are We Taking US Manufacturing For Granted?’
In the following video, Mike Richman & Dirk Dusharme (who in all likelihood has the only name cooler than mine) take on the premise of whether the general populace has been conditioned to overlook manufacturing’s role in our world. And they took it a step further – they ask, what can we do about it?
Familiarity breeds contempt. Or neglect.
We see this all the time. We grow tired of things often in our lives. In relationships. In politics. With music. With food. With jobs. It’s important that we mix things up from time-to-time. Or in many cases, to re-energize or re-commit.
Maybe – just maybe – we became so accustomed to US manufacturing ‘just being there’ that we didn’t care to protect it. To nurture it. Or even notice it anymore.
US manufacturing isn’t healing as fast as we’d like or as quickly as we deserve. On that, most of us can agree.
But it sure seems like we’re seeing a steady stream of misguided understanding among much of the economic & academic elite. They often seem to miss what a strong manufacturing base really means to us. Or any country, for that matter.
Recently, a young man named Brian Jencunas wrote a piece entitled ‘Trying To Revive American Manufacturing Is A Fool’s Errand.’ It is a perfect example of this lack of awareness of the values of a well-managed, inclusive industrial base.
It – and articles like it – make me wanna throw a baby turtle in a blender.
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.