Building Pride in American Made

Sarah Calhoun

Sarah Calhoun Founder, Red Ants Pants

In a time of uncertain economies, I can’t help but think about how we as Americans can take more control into our own hands. 

Hard work, fine craftsmanship, and innovation were some of the values this nation was built upon. In recent decades, we are seeing more and more manufacturers outsource production overseas. This move is typically driven by profit margins.

Keeping our manufacturing on U.S. soil not only creates jobs and strengthens our business relationships and local economies, but it does something else that may be even more important.

It helps build pride. Pride in our work and in our craftsmanship, pride in our working neighborhoods, and pride in ourselves.

Manufacturing helped build this nation in our early years, and building pride in America is something that could perhaps help to unify this nation today.

Perhaps nowhere else can our dollars have a multiplying effect like they do when we support made in America manufacturing. Estimates show that every dollar invested in U.S. manufacturing generates $1.81 in economic activity.

In other words, when you purchase goods Made in the U.S.A., each dollar nearly doubles the investment into the American economy. One manufacturing employee is estimated to support 3.4 jobs in other sectors. In addition, it’s estimated that every $1 in value-added output in manufacturing has a net $3.60 added economic impact. American manufacturing kicked out $5.3 trillion in goods last year alone contributing to more of the nation’s economic output than mining, construction and transportation combined.

Some days I wonder if I were truly cut out for capitalism as I don’t like pushing products.  But when we can weave values into our products, and pride into our communities, then heck yeah, I’m a capitalist. 

It’s the American Dream after all.

We have choices with every dollar we spend. Our money speaks. 

This holiday season, let’s hear it for pride in American Made. 

For American-made holiday gift ideas, check out the 2017 Made in America Holiday Gift Guide.

***

Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Freight can’t wait

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

A freight train hauling lumber and nylon manufacturing chemicals derailed, caught fire and caused a 108-year-old bridge to collapse in Tempe, Ariz., this week, in the second accident on the same bridge within a month.

The bridge was damaged after the first incident, according to Union Pacific railroad that owns the rail bridge, and re-opened two days later. 

The official cause of the derailments is still under investigation, but it remains clear that the failure to modernize and maintain America’s railroad infrastructure is dangerous. 

In 2019, 499 trains that derailed were found to have defective or broken track, roadbed or structures, according to the Federal Railroad Administration’s database of safety analysis.

While railroad workers’ unions have called for increased safety improvements, rail companies have also used technology and automation as an excuse to downsize their work forces.

For example, rail companies have implemented a cost-saving measure known as Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR), which has resulted in mass layoffs and shoddy safety protocols. 

Though privately-owned railroads have spent significantly to upgrade large, Class I trains, regional Class II trains and local, short-line Class III trains that carry important goods for farmers and businesses still rely on state and local funds for improvements. 

But cash-strapped states struggle to adequately inspect new technologies and fund safety improvements, and repairing or replacing the aging track and rail bridges will require significant public investment.

A true infrastructure commitment will not only strengthen the country’s railroad networks and increase U.S. global economic competitiveness. It will also create millions of family-sustaining jobs needed to inspect, repair and manufacture new parts for mass transit systems, all while helping to prevent future disasters.

More ...

There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work