While economists debate whether manufacturing is dying or recovering, average Americans realize that the loss of American manufacturing is a big problem. A recent poll of 1,000 likely American voters conducted by the Mellman Group and Ayres McHenry Associates for the Alliance for American Manufacturing, revealed that Americans are anxious about the economy, specifically the loss of manufacturing, China debt, and government spending.
Americans don’t believe that Congress or the President has done enough to support manufacturing. Poll results showed that 94% of voters want Washington to focus on jobs even more than on the deficit, with 85% specifying creating manufacturing jobs, and 88% of voters want Congress and the President to strengthen manufacturing in the U. S. There was very little difference in the opinion of Independents, Democrats, and Republicans (64%, 67%, and 66% respectively) on the viewpoint that “manufacturing is a critical part of the American economy and we need a manufacturing base here if this country and our children are to thrive in the future.”
The Americans polled are worried that we have lost too many manufacturing jobs in our country and that too many jobs are being shipped overseas. They understand that manufacturing is most important to determining the overall strength of our economy and our national security. A majority felt that the U. S. no longer has the world’s strongest economy and Washington isn’t doing enough to promote American manufacturing. Across all demographics, the solutions they support center on trade enforcement, tax credits for U. S. manufacturing, clean energy, and replacing aging infrastructure using American materials.
Alliance for Manufacturing Director, Scott Paul, said that there are only 1,000 U. S. manufacturing firms with more than 1,000 U.S. based employees. Most American manufacturers are small businesses employing less than a hundred people. The American-based supply chain of goods is weakening in the manufacturing industry. Since 2001, the U. S. textile industry has lost 63% of its jobs. The communications equipment industry has lost 43% of its jobs. The U. S. machine tool industry consumption fell 78% in 2008 and another 60% in 2009. The U. S. printed circuit board industry has shrunk by 75% since 2000. Printed circuit boards are critical to nearly all defense and aerospace products and systems. We cannot rely on China and other Asian countries as reliable sources for the printed circuit boards our defense industry needs.
American manufacturers supply the military with the essentials needed to defend our country. America’s national defense will be in danger if we lose the critical mass of our manufacturing base. It will be difficult, if not impossible to maintain our country’s position as the world’s super power. Without a strong industrial base, America could lose future wars.
Don’t feel that there is nothing you can do. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Remember, our country was founded by a small group of committed people that risked their lives to form the United States of America. Now is the time for all Americans to stand up and take action – as business owners, employees, consumers and voters.