OPINION: China's Not Our Worst Enemy

Talk to the average person on the street and they’ll tell you U.S. manufacturing is dead. They're wrong.

Tell people something long enough and eventually it seems to become the truth – even when it isn’t.

Many folks in America will tell you the economy is somewhere between downtrodden and destitute, for instance, despite all the evidence to the contrary. It’s largely the result of a mainstream media that seems intent on giving the economy short shrift.

And so it goes with the U.S. manufacturing industry. Talk to the average person on the street and they’ll tell you U.S. manufacturing is dead. Worse yet, talk to many people in the industry – people who should know better – and they’ll tell you only a slightly less depressing story. It’s almost as if they’ve given up.

They’re wrong.

Indeed, the case can be made that U.S. manufacturing is thriving. Most media outlets will tell you all you need to know about the latest plant closings and layoffs, ignoring the surging productivity, the investment by foreign companies in U.S. factories (employing U.S. workers), the unmatched innovation of American manufacturers, and, for lack of a better word, our smarts.

The manufacturing community needs to stop bellyaching and starting creating again. Yes, there are some sectors of manufacturing we shouldn’t be in - we can never again be competitive in these labor-intensive areas. But that’s not where the future lies, certainly not in this country. China isn’t our worst enemy - we are.

Open your mind. Stop complaining and start innovating again.

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