American Made – Does It Matter?
When Mark Wills recorded “Looking For America” the search for jobs, in particular factory jobs, was mentioned. Our food is another thing assumed to be American made.
I recently read “Made In America by Michael Shulman, and there were some great points that came to mind beyond agriculture. When did we become ashamed of honest work America? Mike Rowe has made a career looking at the Dirty Jobs most won’t do. Luxury jobs are the set but not everyone can do luxury jobs. It takes people providing necessities.
Above all, it is the willingness of a worker to learn, to always show up to work on time, to work for reasonable pay. But the worker must deal with a paycheck that will only grow with inflation for the foreseeable future and the risk of a layoff due to a recession, a new product from a subsidized factory in china or a mistake by a product designer.
This willingness translates into the most important thing I saw in workers: discipline. It’s discipline of the kind that leads to the acceptance of responsibility not just for a task but the performance of that task to the exacting standards of quality. A discipline not just for a project here and there but eight hours a day, five days a week – perhaps for a generation or more.
We have to fund it – being willing to buy the products. We have to have people willing to do the work, long term. In the cases of these companies highlighted as examples, it means moving to flyover country that it seems the only time folks want to look at it is for election campaigns.
American workers and companies can produce quality items that last. It costs, but isn’t disposable. We complain we used to have things last decades, but now it is a couple of years then replace it. American made! Quality.
This can still be! Through the pages of this book we see example after example of empowering people to take part in what they do, to own it. It takes responsibility, something that has flagged in the “sue happy” society of blame that permeates the cities, it seems, but is still alive and well in the central part of the country.
It’s not just a look at four companies that have survived and thrived producing quality, but higher priced, products. It’s also a model for the astute small business owner who wants to revisit that American value of quality.
That we can do. Boil off the steam of the watered down America some think we are and get back to it meaning something. We can’t afford to ship our food and other critical production and processing overseas. American businesses of all sizes and types must stand together. Value, price and quality. It’s the American way for generations.
American made stands for something – or it used to. We need to get back to that. Whether you buy here at SlowMoneyFarm, or seek the made in USA label or frequent businesses you know are American made, it keeps the money in our communities, in our country. It is good quality – something not valued as much anymore, along with those things like dependability, reliability, longevity. Less flash more value.
Great thoughts in the book. We need to do more than read the book – we need to put it to action. God bless the USA.