Our Independence Matters
America was founded by courageous men and women seeking freedom and independence. Our forefathers fought and died for independence centuries ago. Immigrants from all over the world re-located here to find freedom, independence and a better life. However, America’s reliance on foreign countries for products, technology, labor, and natural resources threatens our independence.
The US used to lead the world in engineering, research and mechanical design. But since 2004, that title has been lost. Paul Craig Roberts, economist, columnist for Creators Syndicate, and former Assistant Secretary of Treasury, says “The idea is nonsensical that the United States can remain at the front of research, innovation, design and engineering while the country ceases to make things. Research and product development invariably follow manufacturing.”1
Many have predicted that we would replace manufacturing jobs with technology jobs but with the sharp decline in manufacturing, America loses supporting jobs like research and development. Government spending cannot bail this out. Federal spending for energy research dropped from 5.5 billion in 1978 to 793 million in 2005. The budget for aeronautics research at NASA fell from 594 million to 512 million.
Long standing American manufacturing industries are dying out because they simply can’t compete with subsidized foreign companies. This means more unemployed American workers, more sub-par quality products, and more dependence on other countries to grow and make what we need to survive. “Advanced automotive design studios “are popping up like rabbits in China,” notes Eric Noble, president of The Car Lab, an automotive consultancy. Writes Paul Roberts: “the idea is nonsensical that the United States can remain at the front of research, innovation, design and engineering while the country ceases to make things. Research and product development invariably follow manufacturing.”2
America will lose her independence without the ability to produce what we wear and consume. America’s leadership in technological innovation and manufacturing excellence can rise again if our consumers, who account for 30% of global spending, use our economic clout. Supporting American made products and businesses protects our independence.
1 McCormack, Richard, (2009) The Plight of American Manufacturing. In R. McCormack, Manufacturing a Better Future for America (pg. 42)
2 McCormack, Richard, (2009) The Plight of American Manufacturing. In R. McCormack, Manufacturing a Better Future for America (pg. 52)