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Toys R Up! November 30, 2015

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2nd Annual US Toy Manufacturing Survey

This is not a product endorsement but rather an observation. When I visited Norton’s USA (a store in the Chicago area that sells only American made goods) a few years ago, the number of toys made in America could practically be counted on one hand.  Now the count shows 473 items in the toy category. While mine was not a scientific survey and some of the toys sold at this shop are not very sophisticated, it is a positive development when American toy designers and inventors realize that it is better in every way to have their ideas brought to life in America.


@ U.S. Domestic Manufacturing Association

http://www.usdma.org or http://www.ManufacturingMatters.us



(What’s Left of) Our Economy: More Evidence that Manufacturing’s Productivity Growth is Slowing: USDMA  member Alan Tonelson on the promise and problems of measuring productivity.  October 8, 2015

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Source: (What’s Left of) Our Economy: More Evidence that Manufacturing’s Productivity Growth is Slowing

Unemployment Rate By HBCU State – August 2015 October 6, 2015

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Source: Unemployment Rate By HBCU State – August 2015

“U.S. Manufacturing at a crossroads” (via – Manufacturing Renaissance) November 15, 2010

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A report on the importance of manufacturing to the U.S. economy.

A new study by the Manufacturing Institute (NAM) illuminates a critical reality in the future of U.S. manufacturing: while domestic manufacturing continues to be a cornerstone of the U.S. economy, it faces significant challenges that threaten its health as the current economic climate intensifies external costs and competition from abroad. The Facts, a report produced in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Manufacturers Alliance/ M … Read More

via Manufacturing Renaissance

American Made, with Swagger August 5, 2010

Posted by usdma2010 in Economic News, Manufacturing.
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Jeep has a new ad campaign for the 2011 Cherokee. The tagline is “What makes America are the things we make”. It goes on to tout the fact that the new Cherokee was designed, engineered, and built in the U.S. It then goes into some of the detailed features, both aesthetic and technical.
Interesting approach. I haven’t heard anything like it for a mass-marketed consumer product.
Sure, flag waving has been a staple of ads for everything from laundry detergent to pick-up trucks for years. So have “Main Street” scenes and quintessential looking Americans (wearing t-shirts & jeans usually) posing in factory or warehouse settings to suggest that the products being pitched were made here. And a few years ago Walmart had a series of ads in which they claimed to use American suppliers wherever possible (while imposing a cost structure that forced most of them to China).
But Jeep sets a new tone altogether. It conveys boldness, pride, and a bit of swagger. And here’s the interesting thing: they wouldn’t commit the money to such a campaign if they didn’t think they’d get a positive response. They must have done some level of market research that indicates people think making things here is important. And that hasn’t been a popular notion for the last 10-20 years.

For years, our economy has been dominated by finance, insurance, & real estate (FIRE) and for the most part, nobody’s had a problem with that (as long as their credit limits keep getting increased). But now, maybe, the notion of an economy based on people selling various kinds of financial contracts to each other (i.e. an endless series of bets that you’ll have to pay more to me then I pay to you) isn’t such a great idea. Maybe –just maybe– borrowing money from China to buy products made in China that used to be made here is just a bit short-sighted. Maybe Walmart’s “pay less, live better” is a phony promise when “pay less” also means “make less”… (Money, that is). Maybe it’s better to make money producing real goods of real value rather than hoping to make money speculating on derivatives.

Maybe Jeep has their hands on the national pulse enough to know that an old idea, the manufacturing-based economy, is set to become the new thing.

Let’s hope so.

Chester Genghis

Free Trade and Unemployment October 4, 2009

Posted by usdma2010 in Economic News.
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The new job numbers are out and they are bleak.  9.8% unemployment for September 2009 matches June 1983 and is exceeded only during the great depression in the 1930s.

First Post: U.S. Domestic Manufacturing Association September 25, 2009

Posted by usdma2010 in Background, Manufacturing, Uncategorized.
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Today Domestic Manufacturing in the United States gets a voice.

I’m an engineer with an MBA and an American who loves manufacturing.  I’ve worked in other business sectors including finance and insurance so I think I could survive doing something else, but I love the complexity of the manufacturing environment. Nowhere else do you get to put so many different things and people together as you do in the manufacturing world.

My father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all manufacturing guys so that sort of makes me an industry brat.   I grew up in the Great Lakes states where automotive was king and the best job in the world was to be the president of General Motors.

As almost everyone is aware, U.S. manufacturing is shrinking daily.  Some people think this doesn’t matter – it’s just the natural order of things.  One former U.S. Senator said that just like buggy whip making went away, it doesn’t matter if we make anything.  He was from a wealthy banking family.  But what the Senator didn’t get is that a product is a service encapsulated

  •  a lawn mower replaces  cutting your lawn with scissors or a scythe
  •  a heart meter in a hospital replaces taking a sick patience’s pulse every minute (work commonly done by a service worker)
  • a machine gun owned by the military replaces hundreds of men engaged in hand-to-hand combat
  • a computer chip and software (both manufactured products) replace millions of bookeeping hours
  • and, for the Senator, a coin sorting machine replaces countless hours of counting change in a bank.

Oh, and one more thing, you can export a product a whole lot easier than you can export a service.  Of course some economists don’t believe that trade deficits matter.  If you fall into that category, we’ll address that in another blog.

I’ve been involved in groups who are trying to save the domestic manufacturing sector in the U.S. and that is what we’ll be blogging about here.