So we’ve determined that either Americans are over-educated or drastically under-educated. We’ve lost our focus on what is important, and that would be stable jobs in a market economy where a majority of the work done by American companies actually occurs in the United States. That doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t import goods, but it does mean that we would export a lot more than we import.
What needs to happen to make this possible, starts with eliminating free trade to some extent. It also means that there needs to be better quality control on production lines in the U.S. It means bringing up the standards of employee welfare a lot, more people need to be insured than uninsured/under insured. It means we need to bring the cost of employment down for all employers set up in the States. If China can produce millions of items for export to the States and keep the cost low by controlling the value of their currency, we need to call foul and quit buying from them, bring that industry back to the United States. Quit farming out labor and production to other countries and we’ve got a start.
That means that the American Worker is going to have to suck it up and quit whining about everything from vacation pay, to health insurance, to FMLA leave, and overtime hours. At first it would be rough, as you can’t start out with everything you want, it’s a rule we learn on the playground when we are five, sometimes you have to play kick-ball using the oldest half inflated ball that was in the bin, next time you will get there faster and get the better one, over time you learn your lesson. You don’t get to be the CEO right away, instead you have to work your way up from the basement mail room. This allows you to learn the fundamentals of the business before you command it. In the military you always start out as a grunt, you EARN your promotions through hard work and determination. You may miss a few family dinners because you are working but in the end the work pays off and your seat at the table becomes insured.
Another change on the list of increasing American productivity would be to make sure that the production of American goods is up to snuff with the goods that we import now. Getting Americans to care about what they produce, and giving them a sense of pride in their work goes a long way. Why not hire a health care worker to work for your company, he/she will care for your workers and reduce the cost of health care across the board. For the cost of one high-ranking manager large companies can have medical care for their people, which requires no insurance costs. When I was a child, it was still common to have a nurse on staff at a manufacturing plant who would bind up wounds take care of making sure that hearing tests were being done, and check a sick employee before clearing them for further work or sending them home. Need a tetanus shot, your nurse can handle that.
Companies need to quit worrying about the bottom line all of the time and start worrying about the state of the American worker. There wouldn’t need to be labor unions if the capitalists actually payed it forward once in a while. Instead of lining the pockets of the already wealthy they could line the pockets of their employees. The cost of production would drop if workers had a stake in what they were making. The best PR is word of Mouth. I know this from experience, I work for a small company who competes with a large national chain, and in our market, at home we win hands down because our product is superior, and though my benefits may be lacking, I LOVE my job, I LOVE the company I work for, and I LOVE the people who I work with, to me that’s worth a million bucks.
Okay, our government has to play some part in this. State and Federal budgets would be fattened if tax revenue from manufacturing made it to their coffers. There don’t need to be incentives and tax cuts, but good general morale. Bring manufacturing back to life and you have a product that is made here, sold here, and used here. Americans then have jobs making the item and selling the item and they can afford a home to live in thus also fattening the property tax base. Continuing to rely upon sales tax is death to government programs that we really need. Take everything that has happened since 2008 and put it steadily in reverse and you have prosperity that lingers among the population. Prosperity equals stability, and once we are stable, then we can grow again, it’s fairly simple.
I welcome comments and questions, any chinks in the armor should be pried at and exposed, we are smart and have ingenuity on our side but we have to start ignoring the distractions and actually participate and quit watching from the sidelines hoping someone else will do the hard work. The more brainstorming we do the better prepared we will be to get on it and fix our own problems.