Warnings for US Manufacturing from Eisenhower’s Farewell Address

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.

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Thomas Jefferson Weighs In On US Manufacturing

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.

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The Two Faces of US Manufacturing

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.

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The Similarities Between Reshoring Manufacturing And Telecommuting

In the past week, both Yahoo! and Best Buy have been both vilified and congratulated for reversing their policies on home commuting.

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.

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This tornado slammed Adairsville, GA, and destroyed Daiki - a small fabricating shop there.
This Georgia Manufacturer & Others Need Our Support

Sometimes, it’s hard to decide who to help and when. Often, we have to turn someone or something away in order to support ourselves, our own, and the causes we care most about.

But, to me, this one’s a no-brainer.

On January 30th, 2013, a powerful storm front moved through the southern US and wreaked havoc on communities from Arkansas to the East Coast. Within the front, a massive tornado formed in northern Georgia. In it’s path was Daiki, a metal fabricating shop located in Adairsville, about 60 miles north of Atlanta.

Today, Daiki is barely here.

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