I read an encouraging article in The Washington Post: “A return to ‘Made in America’? Is U.S. manufacturing making a comeback — or is it just hype?”
Everyone concerned with the plight of American workers should read the article. Manufacturing does seem to be growing once again in the USA. The article points out several reasons for this trend, including the increasing cost of Chinese manufacturing and increased American productivity. The news is not great, because many, if not most, of the new manufacturing jobs pay less than the jobs we lost. However, the jobs seem to be coming back.
I grew up in a tiny little factory town that proudly made Vise-Grip wrenches. The family-owned company supported generations of families, provided summer jobs for college kids, and taught us what work meant. (My introduction to workers’ compensation came at age 18 with an industrial injury.) However, the plant was sold and resold and resold until it was finally uprooted and sent to China. My hometown, like so many others was devastated.
A Bruce Springsteen song, “My Hometown,” brings tears to my eyes when I recall what happened to my hometown. These lyrics are particulary haunting:
“Now main streets whitewashed windows and vacant stores
Seems like there aint nobody wants to come down here no more
They’re closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks
Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they aint coming back to
Your hometown, your hometown, your hometown, your hometown”
Hopefully the mythical foreman had it wrong and the jobs are starting to come back to our hometowns! Keep on buying American, folks.