Might Manufacturing Come Back Because of Pendulumitis?

Find the Center: As a Group, We Need to Address Our Own Pendulums

By Jeremy Pollard

Great expectations. We all have them or have had them. Pip, the character in Dickens' novel, was in debt and needed help. Help that he got from a former convict that he had helped previously.

All things come back to a center of sorts. Standard deviations teach us that.

Call it "pendulumitis," the act of returning to center or to reason, logic, and/or common sense.

I asked for some poetic license for this column. I've had the worst nine months of life for many reasons. The circle of life is one of them, and it closed for my mother, as well as other family members.

I wonder about the expectations of some of the "convicts" or future convicts that make policy in our countries and the world. Will they learn from the errors of their ways and return to the center, and help us regain our center?

Pendulumitis moves slowly, but it moves. We are a smart nation. We have smart people, and tons of energy to get things done. So why has manufacturing all but disappeared? Pendulumitis?

When it's all about the money, the big green money machine needs to be fed. If we aren't efficient enough, then the money machine gets starved.

This started back some 30+ years, and China was built on the backs of our manufacturing know-how. Some of it they did well but, by and large, they didn't and they still aren't.

We have Tiffany's (upper class) doing well, and JCPenney (middle class) struggling. Wal-Mart (any class) is having its issues. We no longer have the disposable income to spend our way back to center.

In Canada, more than 92% of our educational budget goes to salaries; 51% of working people are public employees. The art of sustainability has become a shell game, and logic and common sense don't apply just yet.

During my mother's last weeks and months, she said that she really didn't like the world much anymore. "It's not the same place it once was."

We've gone so far the other way, we might consider ourselves lost. But we need to expect that the pendulum of civilization will swing back at some point.

So, how about the manufacturing and economical line in the sand? How did it get crossed?

Greed, I think. Why else allow someone else's economy and prosperity to grow at our expense? I know it makes sense from a shareholder point of view, but how about from the view of the multiples of unemployed and underemployed?

My buddy Tom is outsourcing some six months' worth of database coding because he can't find the talent here to do it. If you were going to build a plant, would you build it in a place where the tax burden is high, where there's no skilled labor, and where the cost of doing business restricts growth?

I have known innovators who will not sell their products in the U.S. because they don't want to have to pay for the insurance because of the litigious inclinations of the society.

As a group, we need to address our own pendulums. We need to farm our own neighborhoods, and our own cities and states to create a return to center. The disease that we have otherwise will only have a bad ending, but it is one that we have created.

If I sue a basically good company, and win $100 million, that company likely will be gone. Their good product is perhaps no longer available because you thought that they should have had "Don't shoot loaded nail gun into mouth" printed on the label.

We started this pendulum shift ourselves, and we need to re-center it ourselves. We need to innovate by creating an "invented here, built here and used here" mentality. All hands on deck to solve this problem for our grandkids and their kids.

Manufacturing holds the key to our success. I am convinced of that. A resurgence of our manufacturing can bring us back to center. That should be everyone's great expectation.
As me mum always said, "You can't put an old head on young shoulders." But we can sure try to do a mind meld on them to help move toward center, and away from the McDonald's mentality.

Heard of portable manufacturing? You will.

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