History does repeat itself, Charles Babbage profound insight was ignored by Great Britain in the 1830’s. Great Britain did not invest in manufacturing and design research and human education as their emerging economic rivals, the United States and Germany did (Dickson, 1996). Great Britain wasted its progressive knowledge and lost its global market superiority. This historic failure occurred in two areas, first, Great Britain failed to remember history, and second the United States manufacturing industry allowed Great Britain’s negative experience to occur here in the United States.
Combine this history lesson with the negative effects of NAFTA (Prizinsky, 1997), the industrial foreign trade policy that attempted to balance the trade between Mexico, Canada and the United States. Robert Scott (2001) writing for the Economic Policy Institute addresses why NAFTA core principles better supported the 50 years of the strategic industrial growth policies of Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and China than the industrial growth policies of the United States. In this Asian model, the mentioned countries protected their industries; they invest heavily in manufacturing process research and employee education, and subsidize R&D investment (Scott, 2001). This strategy represented the complete opposite of what occurred in the United States as the result of NAFTA (Scott, 2001). In Samir Gibrara’s (1998) article, called "Pitfalls, potholes, and acceleration for the global future," the practice of driving into the same pothole day after day defines how the how the U.S. manufacturing industry has failed to learn from their mistakes (Gibara, 1998). Much the same lessons learned, as a daily commute to work after a harsh New England winter. The commuter learns to avoid the displaced pavement and potholes created from months of frost. Commuter anger occurs when driving into the same pothole, only to remember it was there after the automobile tire damaged beyond repair, and repairing the potholes after numerous commuter complaints.
A sustainable solution to further reduction in the U.S. manufacturing industry is documenting and sharing best practices throughout the U. S. Business and Manufacturing Industries. As the concept of a globalization gains acceptance and momentum, the future will have an occasional downturns. Our challenge is to avoid creating additional problems and focus on the intended goals.
Employment also has a very important global element that now challenges the manufacturing sector (Colvin, 2008). The global labor market has become strong elsewhere in the global economy because of wasteful spending by the United States. Wasteful spending strategy has empowered millions of people around the world to compete for millions of United States jobs.
Colvin, G. (2008). A Recession of Global Dimensions. Fortune 157 (2), 19.
Dickson, P., Czinkota,M. (1996). How the United States can be number one again: resurrecting the industrial policy debate. The Columbia Journal of World Business Fall 96(31), 76-87.
Gibara, S. (1998). Pitfalls, potholes, and acceleration for the global future. Area Development Site and Facility Planning, 4(12), 4.
Prizinsky, D. (1997). "NAFTA levels a soft blow to Ohio jobs so far." Crain’s Cleveland Business. Crain Communications, Inc. 1997. Retrieved June 21, 2010 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-50355528.html.
Scott, R. E. (2001). Fast Track to Lost Jobs: Trade Deficits and Manufacturing Decline Are the Legacies of NAFTA and the WTO. Briefing Paper. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute.