Note: For all my friends who do not live in the United States of America, I’d like to know if you have the same problems.
Preface: I am about to stand upon my soapbox, but I do have a point to make at the end.
For years and years, I listened to National Public Radio (NPR) all day long, then a couple of years ago, I just could not take the constant bad news and predictions of gloom and doom. I sincerely believe that the press is one of the main culprits of our poor economy. They pick people to foretell doom and gloom and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Thus it was by chance that I was driving home and flipping channels on the radio, that I fell upon “Market Place” on NPR, and I heard an interesting story.
The story was an interview with the owner of the McGinnis Wood Products, in Cuba Missouri. (The mention of wood naturally piqued my interest) The company makes high quality white oak wine and whiskey barrels which they ship all over the world. The owner of the company was talking about how they have no debt. They buy when they have the cash to afford what they need. (The Bar Am Household operates on this economic model too). Slow steady grow is their business plan, and it has paid off during these hard economic times. In the past ten years, they have expanded the business and doubled the number of their employees. At the end of the story, the analyst made a statement that should be shouted from the highest roof tops here in the United States. The U.S. needs to make and sell products not just offer services! Amen brother!
Time and time again, I have seen textile companies ship manufacturing overseas, but does the price of my white shirt ever go down? No. Why? Because the top management keeps the profits for themselves. We have shot ourselves in the economic foot and lost thousands of American jobs. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The United States ranks third in the world for the highest income gap between the rich and the poor. A good friend of mine obtained an MBA from a very prestigious university, and he told me there is only one mantra in American big business; “Share holder value.” My college degree is in Accounting and I can see and understand what companies are doing here. They layoff people at the end of the year to make the bottom line look good for “share holder value.” Companies are so short-term oriented for the benefit of the shareholders, that they can’t see that laid off Americans have no money to buy things, thus the economy goes down.
So what do we do about this? Buy American, buy from a small business, buy from your friends, buy from your neighbor down the street! I am willing to pay more for a Lie-Nielsen product because it is a high quality American made product. I support my friends’ businesses if I need their services. Cheap crap furniture from virtual Chinese slave labor is also killing American small businesses. Buy local, buy homemade, buy handmade!
Yaakov has now descended from his soap box. I promise the next blog will be about woodworking.
Any comments from the crowd?