For three decades now I have been
observing and writing about manufacturing processes and what manufacturing
means to an economy. For one such as me, watching what has happened to
manufacturing in this country during the past 30 years has been a painful
Do you remember a time
when a member of Congress was someone you could actually look up to? Do you
remember when the art of compromise by politicians was recognized as a
leadership quality? Do you remember when elected officials actually put the
good of the country and its people before the good of their party? If you
answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are probably a Baby Boomer headed
In my 20-plus years of experience covering assorted metalworking industries, I have observed countless petroleum pricing cycles as they waxed and waned their way through the domestic economy. Along with these cycles, politicians would discuss how important alternative-energy technologies and infrastructure were to America’s future.
Huge industrial giants like General Electric, General Motors, DuPont, Boeing and other companies are often viewed, both domestically and abroad, as the drivers of American business. And yet, both statistically and culturally, it is known that small businesses are the heart and backbone of the American economy.
To readers of this column, what follows may be a little like preaching to the choir. However, the continuing foreign trade deficits being registered by the U.S. are of ongoing concern and bear repeated scrutiny until (or if ever) they are reversed or brought to moderation.
More than a year ago, this column concerned itself with the U.S. government’s bailout of two of the big three U.S. automobile companies. Most of us will recall that the government fronted $85 billion of taxpayer money to keep GM and Chrysler afloat as the automakers reorganized themselves through bankruptcy. Writing that column gave me pause for a sad and poignant retrospection because I was part of a generation that “grew up thinking GM would never need protection from anything,” much less looming creditors and financial insolvency.