January 22, 2013

Made in America making it

USA Today-Small manufacturers, craftsmen and retailers are marketing the Made-in-USA tag to score do-gooder points with consumers for employing stateside, says Margarita Mendoza, founder of The Made in America Movement, a lobbying organization for small manufacturers.

It's working: Over 80% of Americans are willing to pay more for Made-in-USA products, 93% of whom say it's because they want to keep jobs in the USA, according to a survey released in November by Boston Consulting Group. In ultra-partisan times, it's one of the few issues both Democrats and Republicans agree on.

When considering similar products made in the U.S. vs. China, the average American is willing to pay up to 60% more for U.S.-made wooden baby toys, 30% more for U.S.-made mobile phones and 19% more for U.S.-made gas ranges, the survey says.


Capt. America said...

Smaller and smaller companies will employ robotics instead of people. No reversal of this process is in prospect, nor should it be.
A robot can do your job faster, better, 24/7, and no back talk. That will not change. The real problem is not jobs. The real problem is sharing the benefits of technology. Plutocrats hog all the benefits of the technology which they did not invent. When the development of a humanoid robot is complete, the rich will try to exploit it ruthlessly and selfishly try to turn what should be an unmixed blessing into humanity's worst curse ever.

The jobs solution is a relentless ongoing shortening of the work week to 30, 20, 10 hours at a living wage, with all other measures necessary to make it work, and the time for starting is yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Hey George Jetson, oops, I mean Capt. America,

One of your unwritten premises about robotics seems to be that we will have the fuel and petrol endlessly available to build and run robotics. In the face of peak oil, human labor may become a lot more valuable, because it's easier to grow food then it is to create new oil and coal reserves, or waste power made from renewables, which generally don't provide a whole lot of excess to use frivolously. I'd love to have a robot that mops my floors and scrubs the loo, but as fuel becomes more expensive, the price of building and running complex robotics will remain prohibitive for regular people and small business to afford.

I'm all for sharing the benefits of technology, and a reduced work week, but robotics require inputs that are growing increasingly scarce and more expensive. For some tasks robotics will remain the most efficient and worth the fuel and materials outlay, but home robotics to cook the food, garden, and clean the house will be a poor use of resources and the cost to the consumer will reflect that.