Why Americans Should Make Stuff
The United States used to benefit from a position at the pinnacle of manufacturing wealth and success. But the Industrial Revolution was a long time ago — and no one talks about manufacturing much anymore. Does that need to change? This past month on Eagle Forum Live, Anne Cori interviewed Dan DiMicco, former CEO of the nation’s largest steel company and author of the new book American Made: Why Making Things Will Return Us to Greatness.
“It’s fact of economics,” DiMicco likes to say — “manufacturing creates real wealth.” He argues that making things here at home could be the secret to our nation’s economic comeback. While cheap labor in China might be a handy excuse for companies who relocate overseas, the truth is that manipulative government practices strangle the ability to be productive in the U.S., while poorly-run entities overseas are propped up by their own government and foolish trade deals.
Meanwhile Americans can seek out ‘American made’ products all they like, but if American manufacturing continues to dwindle, there will be few products to choose from. In 2009, DiMicco met with President Obama at the White House. He urged the President not to be distracted by the lure of ‘green jobs’ and carbon dioxide emissions during an economic crisis, when facilitating job creation should be a priority.
DiMicco criticized the idea that the U.S. is destined to transition fully into a service economy. “We won World War II because we out-produced the enemy,” he commented. He warned of the risk to national security when most of our national weaponry and machinery are produced outside the United States, sometimes by our enemies. “A country that doesn’t create or make or build things is a country doomed to mediocrity.”
DiMicco is the former Chairman and CEO of Nucor, the largest and most profitable steel company in the United States: he was listed by Harvard Business Review as one of the top 100 best-performing CEO’s in the world in 2010. You can find the entire conversation between Anne Cori and Dan DiMicco by visiting the radio archives page at EagleForum.org/radio.