The current national controversy over the need for a mandatory high minimum wage is but a symptom of a much larger underlying problem: the offshoring of American manufacturing capability.
Offshoring ruined Spain and Portugal during the 16th century, and it is similarly a clear and present danger not only to the American worker’s standard of living but also to the national security of the United States. The good news is, however, that the quality and manufacturing professions are ideally positioned to help the United States reshore its manufacturing capability, using simple principles that predate the quality profession and industrial statistics.
The benefits of reshoring include:
1. High-wage jobs for U.S. workers, and I am talking about jobs that pay more than $20 an hour, as opposed to the $15 an hour that is now under discussion. Manufacturing firms in Northeast Pennsylvania are running radio ads for entry-level jobs that pay well over $15 an hour.
2. A corresponding increase in taxable economic activity that could even, given enough productivity improvements, eliminate the federal deficit and allow us to begin to pay down the national debt
3. Independence from a hostile foreign government for life-saving medications, frequently counterfeit and substandard personal protective equipment (PPE), rare earths for electric vehicles and other applications, semiconductors, military components, and consumer goods
Aside from the need to defeat Covid-19 (and the end of that is now in sight due to vaccine availability), the need to reshore is probably the most urgent issue for the United States. Our growing dependence on the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for manufactured goods is a clear and present danger not only to our economy but also our national security.