Decades ago, a lot of companies starting outsourcing their manufacturing to other countries because the labor costs were so much lower in those countries and also because there were much fewer labor and environmental regulations that they would have to follow.
Many American companies also outsourced a lot of their accounting and service operations to these other countries as well because many of those operating costs were also much lower than in America.
Now there are a lot of companies that are considering inverting themselves to take advantage of a lot lower tax rates in many other countries, and at the same time, America’s Congress is trying to think of ways to plug that loophole.
In the background of all this business looms a much larger reality to consider...what is the cost of all this outsourcing and inverting to the American economy, and how will all this inverting affect the state of manufacturing in America?
It’s a business story. It’s a social story. It’s a national story, and it’s a local story.
To put this into even more perspective...
WHAT IS THE STATE OF JOBS AND MANUFACTURING IN THE AREA IN WHICH YOU LIVE?
Is manufacturing increasing or is it declining where you live?
Is the glass half-empty or half-full?
*How many manufacturing jobs have been lost where you live?
*How many factories have closed down?
*How many schools have been closed?
*How many school programs have been cancelled?
*How many jobs have been outsourced to other countries?
What are the human and economic consequences of all that outsourcing?
These are the themes that run through a poem called “It Used to be Made in America” according to Robert Barrows, President of R.M. Barrows Advertising & Public Relations of San Mateo, California, and author of the poem.
“It used to be made in America” is about the loss of jobs and the consequences of the outsourcing of jobs to other countries, says Barrows, and it paints a vivid picture of conflicting economic forces.”
The poem can be seen online at www.itusedtobemadeinamerica.com and also at www.madeinusa.us.com.
Barrows hopes to be able to develop the poem into a variety of entertainment and business projects that could help bring more attention to the need for manufacturers and retailers to start making more of their manufacturing and purchasing decisions to offer more products that are made in America.
He also hopes to be able to develop the poem into some country and hip-hop songs and some television and documentary film type projects about the state of manufacturing in America and the efforts to revive manufacturing in America.
He also hopes to be able to develop the website into a series of moneymaking directories about manufacturing, jobs, products, requests for proposals and sources of funding for projects and products that would be made in America.
The directories would be on a companion website called www.madeinusa.us.com. (At the moment, both websites are identical. He is hoping to find some commercial interest to help develop those projects.)
“When you take a look at all the proposals that businesspeople and politicians are discussing about ways to revive American manufacturing, you realize that a lot of those ideas and incentives may take a very long time to work” says Barrows.
“The real power to reverse the manufacturing decline quickly is not in the hands of Congress nor in the fine print of various tax codes and incentives, the real power to increase the amount of manufacturing in America is in the hands of the people right now. (That's right! Power to the people!) And it's called "Buy American!" says Barrows.
“Once consumers start boycotting products and brands that are not made in America, and once consumers start ‘demanding’
And while the President and Congress can't start proposing protectionist bills that will ‘anger’ our international trading partners, the people can take immediate action right now by boycotting products, brands and companies that are not offering enough goods that are ‘Made in America’” says Barrows.
“Higher profit margins on goods made in other countries won't mean anything if the public here won't buy those goods” he adds.
“As an anecdote, he says, when he was calling different computer programming companies for bids on the development of the directories on the website, one of the companies told him that they could do it a lot cheaper if they did the programming overseas.” (“I think they might have been a little bit unclear on the concept" says Barrows.)
“However, he adds, the same themes that run through ‘It used to be Made in America’ could be relevant to almost every other country because so many businesses in so many countries are outsourcing their manufacturing to the lowest bidders so they can reap the highest profits,” says Barrows. “What is the human cost in this? What is the cost to society? That’s what the poem is about.” “It used to be made in America” is a poem that every businessperson should read. Every politician should read it and every American should read it” he says. “We all have a stake in it”
“And perhaps after reading “It used to be made in America,” perhaps when people go to the store to buy something, they will take a close look at the label before they make their purchasing decision and perhaps they will make the decision to Buy American” says Barrows.
Barrows hopes that the poem can help bring a lot more attention to the situation, and he hopes that his poem “It used to be Made in America” can be used to help improve our economy by influencing marketing and manufacturing decisions, political decisions and consumer and industrial purchasing decisions to “Buy American” and to “Make it in America.”
For more information about “It used to be Made in America,” and to arrange an interview with Robert Barrows, call 650-344-4405. www.barrows.com