The average American doesn't need to take a seriously dedicated look at the U.S. economy to know we as a country face formidable challenges. One can access daily the virtually unlimited opinions in the newspapers or online about how to best get our economy back on track. But when it comes to the answers to America's economic problems, we do need to regard the opinions of those who have taken an experienced, serious look - inside and out - at America's economy.
That's exactly what author Todd Lipscomb does in his new book Re-Made in the USA: How We Can Restore Jobs, Retool Manufacturing, and Compete with the World.
Mr. Lipscomb spent nearly 15 years in the tech industry, including executive roles overseeing Asia finance and worldwide operating expenditures of over $180 million per quarter with Western Digital Corporation. From the outside, he watched Asian countries take American manufacturing jobs, which convinced him to move back to the United States. From his new inside perspective of the U.S. economy, he founded MadeinUSAForever.com, an online marketplace that sells only American-made goods.
In Re-Made in the USA, Lipscomb addresses the many challenges our economy of today faces, and offers bold and solid advice on how we can get back on the right track in a well-organized, accessible way.
Mr. Lipscomb rightly acknowledges that we didn't arrive in our current scenario overnight, as it took several decades to give away the incredible advantage of our economic leadership in the world.
- We allowed power export nations like China, Korea, Japan, and Germany take advantage of our lucrative consumer market when we could have reserved it for our own producers.
- We allowed powerful retailers like Wal-Mart source the overwhelming majority of their consumer products from overseas, thereby putting millions of Americans out of work.
- Many of our own people accepted the lies of our politicians that led us to believe it didn't matter where the products we bought were made.
- In a time of escalated worldwide military conflict, America now finds itself vulnerable to access of vital goods potentially hindered by the politics of those military conflicts.
As America's deindustrialization continued with increasing trade deficits with our "trading partners," it resulted in fewer jobs, lower pay, and less opportunity for American workers. For far too long, we were fed the lie that our coveted manufacturing jobs would be replaced by service jobs and everything would be fine.
But as Todd Lipscomb knew then and expertly details now, service jobs were seriously inadequate in replacing manufacturing jobs in the areas of sheer numbers, wage rates, lack of permanency, and value added to our economy. Even if it were possible to replace all those lost manufacturing jobs with service jobs, it wouldn't solve the problem the loss of manufacturing jobs created.
Now that we have reached a sort of economic judgment day, as Lipscomb puts it, the time has come to get us moving in the right direction, and he offers serious solutions we should consider. Americans are tired of seeing what has worked to the benefit of other nations like China as our industrial base weakens to the point of nearly shutting down. No longer should we allow good jobs to gravitate to potential adversaries, and along with them, the potential prosperity of American livelihoods for countless American workers and job-seekers.
Thankfully, the "effort to bring manufacturing back to the United States is already gaining ground," as Lipscomb puts it. The advertising campaign behind the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, for instance, focuses on the fact it was "imagined, drawn, carved, stamped, hewn, and forged here in America." American companies are offering more American-made products in certain circumstances because American consumers are beginning to demand it in a larger way than before. Author Todd Lipscomb makes the undeniable point that it is up to us as American consumers to reinforce that momentum now and keep it going.
Locating manufacturing in or bringing manufacturing back to America has several advantages.
- Adequate infrastructure
- Less political corruption
- Educated workforce and customers
- Business-friendly culture
- Natural resources
- Manufacturing tradition
- A place worth raising a family
Americans still know how to change dreams into reality, and we've done it throughout our history. We're the country that put the man on the moon, and we do our best to spread freedom and justice to other peoples. It is now time to focus a little more inward to spread the freedom of our own people to buy the products that we make within our own economy. After all, American-made products are safer and of better quality than many imports. No American children were poisoned by an American-made toy back in 2007.
According to Lipscomb, there are several things we can do to reinforce the newly-found national momentum towards American manufacturing.
- Influence retailers to carry American-made goods. We aren't the drones retail stores think we are, and those that look at us as such aren't deserving of our support. What do expect when we say, in effect, "I hate what you stand for in carrying so many imports, but here's my money anyway." Retailers are the primary gateway through which imports infiltrate our economy.
- Influence Washington for manufacturing-friendly legislation. Many Americans admittedly are apathetic, so Washington takes notice when we speak up and put up a fight. After all, the government is the biggest buyer of goods and services in the United States.
- Put our money where our mouth is. We have to buy American when we can afford it, because it does make a difference. Todd Lipscomb got a call recently from a small manufacturer who said "Hey, we had to add two people because of you and MadeinUSAForever.com.
We all need to be part of the solution - America's people, America's businesses, and America's government. Companies based in other countries that operate in the United States often see their purpose as supporting the fabric of their homeland's national economy. Shouldn't our home companies do the same?
If you don't currently operate your own business, consider the opportunities in filling the hole in countless communities across America that need passionate business-owners to hire local skilled employees and create high-quality goods. You could be one of those business owners.
I have personally received several emails from patriotic Americans asking my advice on whether they should start their own store (brick-and-mortar or online) that carries only American-made products. Those writing these emails obviously have the passion and desire. I always tell them if they have the amount of funding and cash flow they think might be needed after an serious and in-depth analysis, then they should go for it.
America needs more heroes to propel the American economy back into the realm of prosperity. In his book, Re-Made in the USA: How We Can Restore Jobs, Retool Manufacturing, and Compete with the World, Todd Lipscomb demonstrates how you could be one of them.
Roger Simmermaker is the author of How Americans Can Buy American: The Power of Consumer Patriotism. He also writes "Buy American Mention of the Week" articles for his website www.howtobuyamerican.com and is a member of the Machinists Union and National Writers Union. Roger has been a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, has been quoted in the USA Today, Wall Street Journal and US News & World Report among many other publications, and is now a weekly contributor to WorldNetDaily.