America’s Manufacturing Salvation Lies In Principles
by Hanna Mclaren
Disclaimer: This is an essay submission for the Fishbowl Supply Chain Management Scholarship and does not reflect the opinions of Fishbowl
For as long as enough lifetimes to convince populations that the United States is immortal, the US economy has dominated the collective imagination of manufacturers everywhere. The US dollar is standard in international marketplaces. The POTUS is commonly considered the most powerful person in the world. It is unsurprising that a tag labeled "MADE IN AMERICA" reads with a considerable amount of zeal. The United States, however, is slipping out of domination over the manufacturing industry in favor of China. For America though, as hopeful as it is, still stands an economic chance.
The world speaks the business and economic language of the United States. Cinema and pop culture has spread the personality and language of the US all over the world. Over fifty percent of citizens in the European Union speak English, and the proportion of English speakers is even higher in professional or business spheres. The language of the US is used in global interaction. In addition to English, the US dollar is also the currency of other nations such as Ecuador, Micronesia, Zimbabwe. As the most widely used global currency, the USD is understood as a standard. With language and currency, the United States controls much of the dialogue in the global marketplace.
Even with control over dialogue, the United States cannot contain the cleverness of international industrialists. "Asian Tigers," specifically China, has impressed economies with profitable tactics, undercutting US authority. Most recently, Purchasing Managers' Index for China rose again to 51.7. China is expanding and exporting, in addition to improving internal structures that maximize efficiency. China is quickly leveling or overtaking the US in manufacturing. This competition, along with the discouragement of a less-than-perfect borrower rating, has many American capitalists feeling threatened.
America's salvation, though, lies in principles that are foundationally American. The average factory worker in China makes an hourly wage of $1.36 to an American factory worker's $23.32. The US' pathos holds blue collar workers at the highest respect. The "American Dream" protects workers in US manufacturing, while Chinese manufactures pursue only profit. A humanitarian atrocity on top of efficiency gives China an edge in manufacturing. Through intuition of this dynamic, consumers in the US can use their purchasing power in a way that is ethical and self-fulfilling. Brands like American Apparel, Lush, and Zippo are considered more valuable. The value of American made products lies in a sense of authenticity, locality, generosity, personality, and fashion most importantly.
America's asset is pride. From holidays to the Olympics, this enthusiasm includes the economy.
Manufacturing, however, is not the only way to compete with manufacturers. Manufacturing is only about twelve percent of the United States' GDP. Art, imaginative, and interaction will always be the heart the economy. The larger product is not physical, but that does not make it less valuable or profitable. The United States can relinquish pride and its hold on manufacturing in favor of innovation. We can only think towards the next big thing.
Despite the dents in the United States' unbeatable facade and advancements in manufacturing by China, the US economy can compete. Consumers take pride American made products for their integrity. If industries let go of their pride to innovate beyond already standardized physical products, the US economy will assuredly question the path towards profit.
National pride, respect for workers’ rights, the ubiquitous presence of the English language in countries around the world, and the strength of the U.S. dollar are all big contributors to America’s manufacturing salvation. China may be performing well in the short term, but it will most likely be unable to keep up with American innovation in the long run.