With more than two million manufacturing jobs that have vanished into thin air during this present economic decline alone, we have to wonder why. The truth is, we have, in fact, closed down and scuttled our factories and moved our great manufacturing abroad for cheap labor and greed. It may be hard to believe and swallow, but the U.S. is still the largest manufacturing economy, actually producing $1.6 trillion of goods each year. That all adds up to the U.S. Having 21 percent of global production with China at 12 percent and Japan at 13 percent. This is so hard to believe! Why have our jobs declined then? Those are 2010 figures.
I can't help but relate an e-mail from www.madeinusa.org: "John Smith started the day early, having set his alarm clock (made in Japan) for 6 a.m. While his coffee pot (made in China) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (made in Hong Kong), and put on a dress shirt (made in Sri Lanka), designer jeans (made in Singapore), and tennis shoes (made in Korea). After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (made in India), he sat down with his calculator (made in Mexico), to see how much he could spend today. After setting his watch (made in Taiwan) to the radio (made in India), he got in his car (made in Japan), filled it with gas (from Saudi Arabia), to continue his search for a good paying American job. At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day checking his computer (made in Malaysia), John decided to relax a while. He put on his sandals (made in Brazil)." So true!
At present, the auto industry is going great guns, and our own valley's Lordstown made Chevrolet Cruze leads the way in superior sales as of late. We do, in fact, have many foreign automobile manufacturers also operating in the U.S. with great success stories such as Honda in Marysville, Hyundai in Montgomery, Ala., Mazda in Michigan, Mercedes-Benz in Alabama, Nissan in Tennessee and Mississippi, Subaru in Indiana, and of course Toyota in Kentucky, Indiana, California, West Virginia and Alabama. It may be of some note to mention that more than half of Toyota brand vehicles sold in the U.S. come from American plants. It is also important to note that although the foreign plants provide much needed American employment, profits return to those foreign countries.
It is hard to believe that presently our old friend China is the largest producer of fruits and vegetables. Their coastal Shandong province, which is called of all things the "California of China," is quietly emerging as a major exporter of our favorite fruits and vegetables. Some of the poor Chinese farmers are actually planting an array of these goodies on an acre or less of land. Just between 1990 and 2000 Chinese production has doubled and since then again has made substantial gains. According to Rural Migration News, Americans consume an average of 445 pounds of vegetables and 282 pounds of fruits and nuts per year. Some of our issues facing the fruit and vegetable industry are food safety and labor costs. As we all know, sicknesses and deaths linked to fresh produce have been a huge scare in consumption which has led to more testing expenses. Fruits and vegetables are being imported from many other countries to our markets.
Could it be that the year 2011 will increase performances of all our manufacturing industries? According to the Institute for Supply Management, as of this past December, of our 18 manufacturing industries, 11 reported growth. That includes appliances, apparel, autos, metals, foods, beverages, transportation and electrical equipment, plastics and paper products, and others.
Perhaps we can quote figures forever. But with the declination of just plain jobs it is really hard to believe that we are still the largest manufacturing economy in the world. Greed is also quite evident as our companies move to foreign shores.
I do want to salute companies like Weber Grills, Herman Miller Chairs, LL Bean, Homer Laughlin Fiesta Ware, Tesla Electric Sports Cars, Allen Edmonds Shoes, Viking Ranges and Harley Davidson and others like them who want to stay right here and be proud that they are American made.