Being involved in the manufacturing industry, not only as an employee of a window manufacturing company, but as the president of our county's manufacturing consortium, I've learned to appreciate more and more the importance of what industry means to the survival of our country. Many say that we are moving to a "service" society, and we can purchase our manufactured goods from other countries. There are two major issues here:
First, not having the ability to manufacture things in the United States would require us, especially in emergency situations, to rely on other countries to provide our military equipment, components for our infrastructure and other basic necessities, without which we may not be able to prosper.
Second, many economists feel that manufacturing is the only true industry that creates wealth — taking raw materials, developing them into products and selling them at a profit. This process creates the value needed by this country to grow. Service industries are often called negative wealth industries, since they only trade dollars for services and, after that transaction, the government takes its share, leaving less for the provider.
Despite what you may read or hear in the news, even though the large auto and steel manufacturing companies may be struggling, there are thousands of small- and medium-size entrepreneurs that have created companies to supply many of the items that we buy every day. It's important that we support the manufacturing industry, and encourage our youth to consider careers in manufacturing to keep our industry growing.
So, as you consider product purchases, be they windows, refrigerators, or vacuum cleaners, think about looking for products that are built by American workers. In addition, encourage your representatives to do what they can to support and strengthen the backbone of our economy — manufacturing.
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