I am a working class person. I don’t apologize for this. Yes, I went to university. But, that’s not where my education came. It came from doing, wanting to learn – and then doing the learning – and my own curiosity. University isn’t where my loyalty is either.
My grandfather was an automobile mechanic. My father worked in the aerospace industry, making prototypes work when degreed engineers in the engineering departments failed. I began my adult life working on automobiles, and I developed carpentry, plumbing and electrical skills. I became a contractor specializing in antique buildings, and then a manufacturer of reproduction lanterns and peculiar ancient automobile parts. Now I design buildings.
I know what it takes to make a product or service that one can actually sell at a profit. Every single year in the United States, making and selling a product, or providing a service, becomes more difficult. Every year there are more labor laws, more environmental restrictions, more procedures, more paperwork, more inspections and more fees – a continuous stream of more restrictions within the United States chipping away at a producer’s ability to make a product or service, machine-gunning away profit.
A major problem with attempting to stay in business is that there is a ceiling to what consumers will pay. Certainly the ceiling is always there, but with so much illegal alien labor in the country, manufacturing outsourced and no multiplier within the nation from that production, the ceiling is much lower than it otherwise would be.
Here’s an example.
I’ve always had a fascination with Straight Eight engines. That is, eight-cylinder internal combustion engines with the pistons all in a line, as opposed to in a V, opposite each other.
Buick Straight Eights are my favorites, as they are very hardy, overbuilt and sound lovely. But Buick Straight Eights always suffered from a lack of visual accessories and hop-up parts. One company, EDWARDS, made Straight Eight dress up parts in the late 1930s. These are very, very rare, and hideously expensive. Through car club connections, I was able to borrow some pieces, and make Maple models for casting.
To find my price point, I did surveys in car club magazines. I got bids from California legal foundries. The bids came in at TWICE the customer price point, and that was BEFORE I personally detailed and polished the parts, and without any hope of profit. A friend suggested I use some Illegal foundries in East Los Angeles.
In California, the illegal underground economy is at least as large as the above-ground economy. The East L.A. Illegal foundries only wanted about $20 more than my maximum price point; still I would be losing on each and every one. Not attractive.
Another friend suggested I get a Chinese estimate. I didn’t want to, but I did it for the education. The price was one-fifth the cost of the East L.A. Illegal foundry. For $3 each, they would polish the huge 44” valve covers. I could make a ton of money, but my valve covers would never have cast into them the love and pride of “Made in California.” I decided not to make those valve covers.
Decisions like mine are made every day. Proud Americans refuse to make a product overseas that could and should be made here. There are those, however, who are only about the bottom line and have no allegiance to America, so they gladly make products in China and export them here to glorious gobs of profit.
The widgets, gadgets and miscellaneous products made overseas, much in China, may be made in filthy factories that destroy workers’ health and sap their spirit. Those workers labor six days a week, 12 hours a day, with no vacation. We don’t see that and think about that when we buy our cheap products at Walmart and numerous clothing retailers. The money from their labor buys nothing in our nation; it has no multiplier effect for us.
The production facilities pollute the planet – again, as with the workers, even if we don’t see the impacts directly here. The Earth is being damaged by these operators who don’t conduct business in a sustainable manner.
Overall, the result is a product that harms the planet, is made under horrible labor conditions and drives down the value of labor at home, making every working American poorer and less positioned to buy products made in clean, safe factories under fair labor and working conditions, made by workers who spend their money at the local diner, on housing and local services and shops. Every Chinese-made product that we could make here, rather than import from too often quasi-slave shops, is an assault on the lives of America’s working class – my people’s lives.
Enter President Donald J. Trump. Donald Trump makes things – rental units, hotels, golf courses. Trump has to fight regulators to make anything. He knows the cost of making anything here. He knows the burden to producers of regulation. Yes, he’s rich, but he’s a builder, a working-class guy in many ways, and a terror to the elites, because he does not hold the “proper” loyalty and view of globalism.
Trump seems to think American makers are important. He longs to see, if not “Made in California” as I do, then “Made in U.S.A.” As he might say, “Those big beautiful words” cast into metal and plastic, adorning labels in paper and cloth.
Meanwhile, Wall Street screams. Their priority is profit, profit, profit. The environment be damned. The American Working class be damned. That their bank books are fatter is all that matters to them. The media is screaming, as their globalist overlords order magnitudes of fear and outrage. “Recession,” they scream. The working class doesn’t care about all the noise; they know what their pocketbooks tell them. We’ve been in a constant recession for 40 years. No matter how good it is for the elites and Wall Street, year by year too many lives become bleaker, grayer and more hopeless. But workers are casting a hopeful eye. If tariffs can be made high enough, perhaps we can level the playing field, they think.
America invented the microcircuit and the computer. But, China now has so much of the whole world market and supply chain. America and Europe invented and improved the internal combustion engine. Today, China has 26 percent of worldwide automotive production.
America invented the LED light. We make none here. Western-style clothing is now made in China. Ninety percent of bicycles coming to the U.S. have been made in China. Nails, made in China. Screws, made in China. Hinges, faucets, New Balance Shoes and many U.S. military uniforms – all made in China! President Trump sees the production drain and the brain drain from this every day. He “gets it.”
Recently, President Trump “ordered” U.S. businesses and government departments to look for manufacturers and supply chains not in China. Soon the tariffs may be high enough that whatever it is will be made here again. Then we shall see if Mao was correct – is America a paper tiger, or is China?
The “Little Red Book” made clear the plan was to use capitalism to destroy the West. Mao believed our hardwired white supremacy would never allow us to realize we were being destroyed by Asian men using our own devices. But, Mao never met an American working class man, and Mao never met Donald J. Trump.
May President Trump have Godspeed at his back.