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Do you remember when we made things?

I mean when we made things. Here in the USA. We made stuff. Built it from scratch. We manufactured things. Factories were all over, providing income to American workers, and goods for American consumers.

What happened to all that?

Both my grandmothers worked in garment factories when I was a boy. One grandfather was a farmer, the other a carpenter. Both had slow times in the winter, obviously. It was the fact that my grandmothers worked in those factories that kept the lights on, health insurance for the family, and gas in the tanks.

Those factories, along with thousands of others, sit empty and idle now. Some have been converted to offices, or other uses, and a few have simply been demolished. But by and large they sit empty. At best they are used for warehouse space to hold goods now made overseas.

I get tired of going to the hardware store, or even to Wal-Mart, and not being able to find American made goods. Speaking of which, what the hell, Wal-Mart? When Sam Walton was still in charge, it was a point of pride that each store had signs up showing how many goods in the store were made in local factories, and how many jobs those goods were creating/sustaining. Now, you don’t bother, because the truth is, most of your crap comes from China. You know, like those lead toys you sold?

Everyone is worried about the economy. We need jobs, all the political people say. Of course they always say that, and promise we’ll get them, but they never come through. I can’t count how many ‘BIG’ projects have started within easy driving distance of my house, only to close quickly. Some even shut down before they were officially open.

It isn’t the job of the government to create jobs. The only real way they have to do that is to increase an already bloated bureaucracy. The job, the J O B, of the government is to provide a stable environment for the creation of jobs in the private sector. Especially small businesses and companies. That’s where the bulk of the jobs are. So what do they do?

Why they make it damn near impossible for these small businesses and companies to stay in business. Take what Seattle recently did.

They have passed a city ordinance that requires all employers with more than five employees to provide a minimum amount of paid sick leave every year. The more employees you have, the more sick time you have to provide. Can anyone else see that this punishes a successful business by adding still more cost to their operations?

How many jobs will be lost as companies trim their staff in order to be in a position to provide as few sick days as possible. When your employee doesn’t come to work, then you don’t get the productivity of that employee. If you have to pay them for not working, that’s an added cost to the bottom line. Period. No matter what kind of math you use, it’s still going to hurt these companies.

In what way does this government action provide a stable environment that leads to the creation of new jobs? It doesn’t. In what way does this government action provide a stable environment that keeps people on the job? It doesn’t. There seems to be not one lick of common sense in the whole damn idea.

How many companies will close, and relocate? How many will just close, eliminating those jobs all together? I hope none. But in this economy, which is not being helped by ineffective and indecisive leadership at all levels of government, the simple fact is that some will shrug, admit defeat, and take their ball and go home.

Who can blame them?

Between over regulation, and ‘off-shoring’ and ‘out-sourcing’, and whatever else they’re calling it now a days, our manufacturing days seem to be behind us.

And that makes me worry about what might lie in front of us.

It should worry all of us.