Quality Digest LIVE Features ‘Are We Taking US Manufacturing For Granted?’

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?

Check it out:

As I said, I’m awfully flattered that these guys chose my small voice as a topic for their excellent program. If you haven’t already, check out the Quality Digest YouTube Channel. The body of work speaks for itself.

But at one point, the guys express that they’re not sure what to do with the idea that we’re overlooking the real value of manufacturing, other than to say ‘OK, now what?

Well, here’s the issue fellas.

I’m not concerned about you. Or me. Or anyone at an industrial or manufacturing trade show. Or anyone else that we know that works in manufacturing. Most of us know the score.

But there are many, many others that are very influential on the well-being of manufacturing that DON’T get it. They’re eating up misinformation and falsehoods that we see everyday – about how US manufacturing production is rising, or that we’re reshoring work from China while our trade deficit continues to rise. And they’re doing a lot of damage under those false premises without understanding the ramifications.

Our politicians establish regulations and press for trade agreements that ultimately harm US manufacturing, jobs and our indigenous economy.

Economists and academia – tremendously influential on politicians and policy, as well as sources of information to the masses – create and parrot those same misconceptions in the media and the classrooms. Ad nauseam.

What I was getting at in the post is that the permeation of messages that sound like ‘everything’s OK, just keep consuming‘ lulls the masses into thinking chairs, commodes, airplanes and wheels magically appear for them without human intervention or impact.

We all know better than that. We’re all of an age that we’ve seen what’s transpired as the notion that manufacturing is less important today has spread through our society.

The answer? It’s simple and complex at the same time. We need a comprehensive manufacturing policy in this country. I’ve written about this topic often – check it out.

Until we get a sound industrial policy – and we’re the only country in the industrial world without one – we’ll continue to float toward nihilism and fatalism with regard to manufacturing.

Thanks to the QD folks again. Nothing beats a good debate with smart people.

AJ Sweatt
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