I recently dropped a post, ‘Here’s A Solution: Why Not Declare War On Manufacturing?,’ that put out a tongue-in-cheek suggestion that if we REALLY want the government to ‘save’ US manufacturing, they should declare ‘war’ on it. If we do that, I said in jest, maybe we’d get the same results the ‘wars’ on poverty & drugs have gotten, then manufacturing would thrive.
But the truth in that post – and in this one – is that we’re not helpless lemmings, wandering aimlessly, waiting to be ‘saved’ from extinction. Or, at least, we don’t have to be. Manufacturing in the US – particularly small & medium manufacturers – are where the bullet of innovation hits the bone. Always has been that way, ya know? And as bad as the economy or markets get, manufacturers always bounce back.
And manufacturing will lead the charge ahead. Not the government. Not the brokerage houses. Not the banks, who’ll only lend you an umbrella when the sun’s shining.
It’s up to us. And there are clear signals that point to what needs to be done. You’ve heard them before, and likely blown them off. They’re not for the the faint of heart, but we’re in this fight and those solutions are no longer alternatives – they’re necessary.
Two recent messages add to the growing voices of change, and help to define these solutions clearly. And as bedrock manufacturers we need to get onboard – to redefine and rebuild on the foundations that remain of our industries and create new ones.
Watching the government in the US dance around solutions for our economy and manufacturing base would be funny, if it wasn’t actually (not) happening.
And that’s the problem isn’t it? President Obama seems to have a pathology for talking about issues – issuing decrees & observations, creating initiatives with little or no follow-up, and delivering heartfelt speeches that will have little tangible, short-term effect – in ways that almost look like he doesn’t have an idea what to do next. In the military, we called it ‘flailing about smartly’ – that is, doing nothing, but looking awfully impressive while doing it.
But it’s not all the President’s fault. His cabinet, his advisers, our Congress (on both sides of the aisle) – our entire government seems to be exclusively stocked by academics and economists that only measure those things which have already happened. There appears to be no clue, except to listen to multinationals and lobbyists – still others that aren’t really good at building something outta nothin’.
While things look pretty bleak right now, I had an idea to get us unstuck from this malaise right quick. It’s simple, effective, and our government has shown that it’s up to the task.
I say we declare a war on manufacturing.