Death of American Innovation
The United States of America has long been known for its abilities to produce the next great machine. Expanding our nation’s abilities by building products in factories and relying on its workforce to innovate original designs, streamline production, increase product quality, and in return supply a living wage to our citizens. Innovations come from people making a product in a factory and being proud of the next great widget that they were a part of from the start. They don’t come from an office worker sending a production order to be built overseas or just over the border where wages are disgustingly low but corporate profits are high.
More and more, American companies are outsourcing their manufacturing out of the country and that is a potential blow to our future economy no matter how you look at it. The cost savings today to the American companies are paid for in lost American jobs for future generations. This then begets a “Do you want fries with that” economy. An economic engine where two cars in every driveway, parents being able to send the next generation to college, and the demise of the American dream of home ownership will not be realistic to sustain.
Over at the New York Times they have a great piece on this subject by Louis Uchitelle…
“The big debate today is whether we can continue to be competitive in R&D when we are not making the stuff that we innovate,” she says. “I think not; the two can’t be separated.”
THE loss of manufacturing capacity, measured in lost workers, is startling. From the high point in the summer of 1979, through last month, employment in manufacturing has fallen by 8.1 million, to 11.6 million, with most of the drop in just the last decade. While consumers have benefited from lower prices, made possible by unrestricted imports, on the other side of the ledger are tens of billion of dollars in lost manufacturing wages.
Something else is gone, too. “We had a storehouse of knowledge and skill built up in these workers and we can’t use it now,” says James Jordan, president of the Interstate Maglev Project, promoting a high-speed rail technology that uses special magnets to levitate and propel trains. Maglev was invented in the United States, but equipment based on that technology is manufactured and used today in Japan.
Mr. Jordan argues that as manufacturing’s presence — and status — shrinks in America, the odds of a Henry Ford or a Thomas Edison or a Steve Jobs appearing in the next generation are reduced. -New York Times
How do we fix this? My thoughts are the same as they always have been. Make it costly to corporations that want to export existing manufacturing jobs out of the United States. When you come right down to it, we should have a “Keep the Jobs in America” campaign and it doesn’t matter which political party wants to get behind it. Either party that does back such a movement will deserve thumbs up from the next generation of innovators. People that will be thankful that they will not have to look forward to a thirty plus year career at Walmart stocking shelves full of products that used to be manufactured for good wages right here at home.
Feel free to comment and shout out on products no longer made in this country. It would be interesting to see a list of industries that have died but were born in the USA.
***Yet another related Posts from Gun Toting Liberal concerning Walmart and their selling out of America...