Julie Reiser, President & Co-Founder of Made in USA Certified, talks about the US JOBS PROJECT initiative launch.

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  1. This is a conversation held on linked in.

    Arthur Ostroff • The only way to have a strong America is to be self sufficient. We must be able to produce what we need so we are not dependent on others. Regardless if its oil, computers, toys or food or any other product, if we stop producing it, our ability dries up and we are at others mercy or in the case of items such as food or toys, we are at the mercy of their standards, regardless of how safe it is.

    When we are strong both financially and militarily, we can help those with less. Do you see China helping others? We have always spread our wealth and knowledge to those less developed.

    Manufacturing is the backbone of our economy. We have let it get weak. Manufacturing gave families the ability to put food on their tables, and better their lives. Families were able to send their children to higher levels of schooling. Immigrants came to this country and worked to build this country’s manufacturing base. Each generation had more than the last. Our American society had a class system but it gave the classes the ability to better themselves.

    With the disappearance of jobs, you have for the first time a generation that is less off than their parents. Many are out of work or never found work after schooling. many have returned to the homes of their parents for support.

    Returning manufacturing to this country is a start to bettering life for this generation and future generations.

    Support American manufacturing. Jim Richards • Arthur, In many ways I agree with you however, I’m in the environmental lab testing business and many of the toys let alone food from China and other countries are imported by American companies who do no testing for safety. Most “conservatives” think testing will hurt business so they discourage it not only in imports but in domestic manufacturing as well. McDonald’s imported a lot of toys to put in their kids meals that were later found to contain hazardous materials. In hind sight McDonald’s could have saved millions of dollars and bad press had they actually spent a few tens of thousands on testing for safety. But they didn’t. False economy.

    We gave huge tax cuts to businesses over the last 20 to 25 years to trickle down and that did create jobs but not here. Instead they moved a lot of production to the far east and created jobs there. I saw that in the semiconductor industry where my company had its start. Once the technology of making something moves overseas then the support industry (the folks that make the equipment to make the semiconductors) also moves overseas to be where the action is and, of course, those support jobs also move away.

    To have manufacturing stay in this country we have to rethink the whole process. Germany seems to understand how to retain manufacturing and they may be a model for us to study.

    Unless our middle class can prosper who will be the market for the products of industry? If 1 or 2 percent (6,600,000) of the 330,000,000 Americans have 40% of the wealth they can only buy just so many refrigerators. Even in a 20,000 square foot home how many refrigerators do you need? The remaining 98% (323,400,000) is a much bigger market with each home having only one refrigerator. However, as the middle class wealth declines they will not be able to afford new refrigerators. I used refrigerators but plug in your product. Tim Hanley • Here is a little FACT that most economist agrees with; 1973 GDP 4.9 trillion…2010 GDP 13 trillion that roughly an average 7% increase year to year. Median wage increase from 1973 to 2010 7% for the whole period. that’s 1/5 0f 1% each year. right now,75million worker are making less than 34K a year 25% of those make less that 22K a year. the rent on a 600 sq.ft apartment where i live (SD Ca). 15,600 a year. what I want to know is where did all that $$$ go, you know, the 13 trillion? clearly not the median wage earner. Jim Schwarz • The reduction in middle income pay is a tragedy that does not receive enough press. After WWII a single household member could earn a sufficient income to support the home and the economy expanded. Then it took two members of the family to earn a sufficient income to support a home and the economy expanded. Then for the last 15 years salaries stagnated for middle income America but we borrowed against our homes and the economy expanded. Middle income earners have few opportunities to earn more and the economy is slowing. Many of the traditional skilled jobs are no longer high paying, such as, machine operators, welders, painters, IT programmers, tool makers. All these jobs can easily be found offshore, why should a company source its jobs locally, what is the incentive. It’s a tragedy.

    There is a lot of talk about job creation from the government but I see few incentives or motivation to change. There is less talk about the middle class incomes improving which I feel is even more important. Large companies continue to export jobs because it makes economic sense. Small manufacturing companies with less ability to offshore can only compete by holding wages low. Within the past six months our company has been forced to reduce the selling price of products to OEMs representing about 40% of our business, with the benchmark being set by offshore companies. There are few incentives for hiring locally at a decent wage. Add to this issue, the very low skilled worker of which there are millions who find they need to decide between taking a government subsidy or a very low paying job. One asks the question, do I stay home and collect a subsidy or do I work hard earning very low wages. What is the incentive to work?Jim Richards • Jim S. and Tim are right. The middle class is really being hurt. The domestic economy will not pick up until the middle class income improves. There has been so much talk about creating jobs especially from the Republicans and insisting that big companies need tax cuts to create those jobs. In my 52 years of working experience I’ve seen exactly what Jim Schwarz observed. And as Tim H has pointed out big companies have tons of money right now. The Fortune 500 companies have more than 1.7 trillion in cash. Apple alone has over 60 Billion. So, how much more money do they need to create some jobs here in the USA. If they don’t create some jobs here who will be able to buy their products? Henry Ford had this problem way back in 1912. You can make money selling cars that only a few rich can afford but to sell to the millions you had to one make a car they can afford and two get the wages of the average Joe high enough to buy his cars. Paying $5 a day was a huge increase for the working man but in doing so he was able to get the average pay up. Of course, this pressure to increase wages eventually resulted in big strikes at his plants but wages did rise and by 1927 when the Model T ended production one half of all the cars were Model Ts.

    I think we are far in the transition where America is getting poorer and that trend will continue for the near and perhaps even the far future. The politicians are full of BS about who can make the economy pick up. They simply don’t have a clue. Europe is a mess, Japan is not much better and the US is going down faster and faster. In fact the picture looks a lot like 1929 all over again. Most of the kids graduating from college are loaded with huge debt and there just may not be very many well paying jobs for them. So, all you brilliant MBA from Pepperdine, Harvard, Yale, etc. we can’t keep living on playing the stock market and bouncing funny money around from banks to insurance companies to developers also known as the bigger fool theory. At some point you have to pay the piper.Tim Hanley • unfortunately, a quick move in the right direction, has to be a game of tariff on goods imported from counties that have run ramped on copyright infringement.. but nobody what to anger the white elephant in the room. It’s hard to talk tough to the guy bankrolling you, cyber attacking you, and playing there own monetary policy game. But we are a large part of there GDP Rise and prosperity, we need to get tough on China while Europe isn’t able to make big purchases to keep them afloat while we push them into a responsible position. I wish we had politicians with balls to move this economy. That will never happen until we organize to get the huge sums of money out of the campaign train. I wish we, as a country, can put measures on the ballot like we do here in Calif. and vote for them as a united people when our elected official don’t have the political WILL to do what we elected them to do. but we the people don’t have an army of Jack A. Abramoff’s. This first thing I’d get rid of, is the insider trading by politicians. that still pisses me off. Nothing can be more out right corrupt than that. Next, get rid of Citizens united and after that re-enact the Glass–Steagall Act.
    WHY can’t we, as a people united, see these 3 things are KILLING us!! It’s not bloody rocket science. Oh that’s right we cut that too.

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