Manufacturing the Future

By Jorge Ortiz

Manufacturing is the most important part of economic growth. It is what defines great nations and poor nations. The global trade is based on goods not services, which are dependent on manufacturing products. A wise development on manufacturing will increase consumption in the society and decrease imports, an important fact for students looking for future labor opportunities.

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It is noticeable that the amount of labor has been decreasing, affecting the middle class. The amount of imports has been increasing and lowering costs, particularly goods as clothes, food, and technology, in contrast with less income per family.

A degree has become necessary for our generation because it requires more knowledge of the workers . Before the '90s most employers did not require a degree to get into an entry level position. In fact, most of the blue-collar industries barely required a high school diploma for one simple reason; it was easy to find a job.

Consequently, the increase of labor and manufacturing industries’ effort to keep costs low, including wages, lead to a maximization of profit for the company and their shareholders. In reaction, the workers organized unions that fought for their rights. Government intervention and life expense increases lead to cuts in the labor force in companies and increased the amount of work required per worker. Companies then hold this position until it is profitable and secure to manufacture overseas, based on the fact that the U.S. has become an expensive country to operate in with high taxes and expensive labor costs.

A new market opened and the concept of globalization rose with the idea of unifying the world and their transactions after 1990 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The U.S. government opened its arms to the world and started to establish free commerce deals, leading to affordable labor overseas.

The demand of high qualified jobs increases, forcing the population to obtain a degree in order to get a job, and as a consequence more universities were created. The government expending in student loans increased drastically, causing a constant rise of student debt. Consequently, the economy, which was once based on manufacturing, changed to a service-based economy.

It is well known that education in the U.S. has increased during past decades, and by law, rights for workers have increased to the point of fairness. Even so, the government subsidizes the public school system and some states establish community colleges.

Although the amount of new undergraduates and graduates increase, jobs are not increasing at the same rate. Perhaps most of the new jobs created by American companies are outsourced. Increasing manufacturing in the U.S. will reinforce our economy and consequentially decrease the dependence in other economies sustainability. The production of more goods made in the U.S. will decrease the pain of global crisis.

A shift is necessary for the U.S. economy, a change that can guarantee the success of industries and the security of their assets. A change that could potentially keep us growing without the excessive amount of debt, especially in students and generations to come. In addition, technology innovation is the industry that can change our way of production, renovate the manufacturing process, and increase the wealth. In my opinion, that is the industry where there is a possibility to renew the actual capitalist system and the future of the global economy.