Guest post by Jeff Wiltsie, Vanamatic Company
It’s time for a reality check. Congress authorized the administration to spend hundreds of millions of dollars of stimulus to keep unemployment from reaching 8% which is now at 10%. The real unemployment rate is estimated to be as high as 17% when you include the people that have given up looking for work. The stimulus money has eluded the manufacturing sector which provides more economic activity per dollar than any other sector. Each job in the manufacturing sector supports as many as four other jobs. What’s wrong?
2010 Gross National Debt estimate – $14.456 Trillion
The debt is 98.1% of the United States GDP
China owns 5.5% of the debt – $798.9 Billion
Have you ever heard the comment, “It’s the economy stupid”? That statement was famous in 1992. Today’s statement should be, “The answer is manufacturing stupid”. Debt is piling up while manufacturing is declining. Remember, manufacturing provides more economic activity per dollar than any other sector. Unemployment is expected to exceed 10% in 2010 while manufacturing is declining. Remember, each manufacturing job supports as many as four other jobs.
Manufacturers continually improve productivity while reducing costs; this is good for the consumer! Congress and the Administration print more money and don’t worry about costs; this is NOT good for taxpayers. Manufacturers work with suppliers and customers to reduce or eliminate non-value added costs. Congress and the Administration inflate costs.
During President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union, he acknowledged the need to focus on getting people back to work. The President said, “Now, the true engine of job creation in this country will always be American businesses. But government can create the conditions necessary for businesses to expand and hire more workers” … “We should start where most new jobs do – in small businesses, companies that begin when an entrepreneur takes a chance on a dream, or a worker decides its time she became her own boss.”
Job creation is an area where Republicans and the administration can turn rhetoric into reality. Working together they can develop a response which will encourage job creation in the private sector. Virginia’s Bob McDonnell’s Republican response included, “We must enact policies that promote entrepreneurship and innovation so America can better compete with the world. What government should not do is pile on more taxation, regulation, and litigation that kill jobs and hurt the middle class.”
Building a reputation for quality, delivery, integrity and ethical behavior is of the utmost importance for long term business survival. Imagine an automotive executive speaking at a dealer conference, telling the dealers, “It’s vital to the survival of the company to promote and sell this new model. Building a new model is a daunting task, we don’t always get it right the first time but we can fix it after we get sales up.” This executive would be fired and the company sued for knowingly putting out a potentially unsafe vehicle.
Al Franken recently said, “Big pieces of legislation often need to be fixed and improved after passage. Health care would be no different.” Building a reputation for quality, delivery, integrity, and ethical behavior should also apply to Congress and the Administration.
Congress and the Administration can learn a lot from manufacturers and help put more people back to work at a greater pace.