ABC News reported tonight of a home builder in Montana making a house entirely from American made products–as difficult as they are to find.
The home uses more than 120 products from 33 states and costs only 1 to 2% more than a foreign-sourced one.
The builder who is also an economist says that if builders around the country would just increase their use of made in the USA products by 5%, we could increase jobs by over 220,000 right now.
Multiple it by ten, if we actually produced these homes 50% or more here in the USA–that’s 2+ million jobs.
It makes you wonder if all the outsourcing is just another addiction where we feel good now–by saving a little today at the checkout line–but we pay the piper down the road, through the gutting of our own labor force and the future capacity for us to produce.
While, I don’t believe in circle-the-wagon protectionism out of fear of competing in the global marketplace, I do think we need to assess the deals we make to ensure that we are getting the best for our people and our future–and not just for the next quarter or two, but for the long-term!
Having started my career in business, I am well aware that this is “one big balance sheet” and things have to add up or else short-term profits today are made at the expense of long-term capabilities tomorrow.
If the strategy was that we would somehow give the blue collar work to others and keep the white collar work for ourselves, it seems like we have deluded ourselves into thinking that a one-size fits all economy will keep America running.
We need broad based opportunities for our diverse workforce in all areas of work, and we need to remain strategically self-sufficient, so that we do not outsource ourselves to economic death, where we lose the know-how or capability to help ourselves.
Buy, build, and work America into an economic powerhouse that the world relies on, rather than one that is fed by others with economic loans and cheap goods made in wherever-land.
In my opinion, there is no real alternative to balancing the national budget as well our current account deficit–if we consistently spend more than we earn, and the ships keep unloading more stuff here and then going back overseas half empty, eventually the system has got to go kaput!
As the world’s superpower, our coffers can once again be full and our ships can brim proud with made in America wares–but this can happen only if we focus on products that outlast, outlook, and outperform.
Competition has never been more fierce and the stakes never higher for us individually and as a nation–we will need technology to keep us steadily improving and releasing the pressure from this enormous economic cooker.