Fewer regulations are needed to restore manufacturing

Not long after last year’s election I stopped into a local big box store to look for some new tools.

After spending about ten minutes perusing through all of the hand tools hanging on a wall, I realized that out of all of those tools, I found only one that was actually manufactured in the United States.  I found one other tool that prominently advertised on the front of the package that it was made in the USA, but the back of the package told the truth – it was assembled in the United States, but all of its parts were made in Thailand.  The vast majority of the tools were made in – you guessed it – China.

Apparently one of their associates noticed that I wasn’t finding what I was looking for, so she very pleasantly asked me if I needed help.  I very pleasantly replied that I was looking for tools that were made in America and it seemed that everything I had looked at came from China.

She suddenly stiffened up and icily said, “Well! Those people need jobs too.  We are a Christian nation and we should share!’  With that she briskly stomped away, making it abundantly clear that she was not going to help me.  I think I know who she voted for.

Try to buy anything, anywhere, you will be hard pressed to find anything that isn’t made in China or a handful of other Asian countries.

Now I am not faulting those countries for building a manufacturing base, which has obviously improved the lives of many of their people.  However, in most of those countries, people are not free and in some countries Christians are persecuted.  In addition, through the use of industrial espionage and hacking, much of America’s intellectual property has been stolen and replicated, especially by the Chinese.

I recall reading some time ago about some auto design engineers who were attending one of the largest automobile shows, and as they were walking around looking at all of the new cars that were in production, they were discussing the one they had in prototype.

When they turned the corner, there was the exact car they had just talked about, not only out of prototype stage, but in production, years ahead of theirs.

We have enabled the Chinese and others to take vast market share away from the United States because we have driven our manufacturers away with too many regulations.  Yes, wages are another issue, but I believe that we could be competitive if there were fewer regulations and other impediments.

It should not take years to get permission to build a factory in this country.  Building codes are not the issue.  Building codes are relatively easy to deal with, and they usually don’t impede design and construction.  The biggest enemies to building a manufacturing base in this country are environmentalists, zoning regulations, tort reform and our tax structure.

I have been in business for nearly 30 years, and I can attest to the burden that tax law places on small businesses like mine.  I can only imagine the burden it places on large manufacturers and others.

One of my employees once asked me what kind of forms I had to file for my business.  After a lengthy explanation about each of the federal, state and local forms (some of which are redundant and unnecessary); the stringent deadlines; the forms that are undecipherable to anyone but an accountant; and the stress of making certain that they were all correct and on time, I am reasonably sure that he will never start his own business.  It is no wonder that most new businesses fail.

Until the Industrial Revolution came along, the British weren’t terribly concerned about Americans yearning for freedom from the Crown.  The real threat from America came when Americans began manufacturing things for themselves.

America’s current decline in manufacturing capability places us in a very weak state.  If the world turned against us, if China and others decided to cut off goods and oil, it would decimate us.  I have no doubt that we can rebuild our manufacturing capability, but it is unlikely that we could rebuild it quickly if we were to suddenly need it.  That is why it is important for us to begin rebuilding now.

It starts with Americans demanding that the regulations that impede us from being self-sufficient as a nation be repealed.  The world is a much safer place when America is strong, but America can’t be strong enough to resist all of the evil in this world if it can’t feed, clothe and house its own people.  That is why I believe President Trump is on the right path in demanding that we eliminate 75 percent of our regulations.

It’s time to awaken the sleeping giant that America can still be.