From the 1940s and the industrialization of World War II, a vast expanse of America became the the “induatrial hearland,” much of which was centered upon the factories that made the automobile and other vehicles.
Iron ore came from Duluth, Minnesota via the Graet Lakes to Cleveland, and then passed by rail to Pittsburgh. Akron made rubber for tires and Detroit was the centerpiece of it all, the automobile factory of the world.
I grew up in that industrial Midwest, watching the ore ships pass through the lakes and waiting for the local railroad, the “Nickle Plate,” to pass. I left the Midwest in the 1970s and pretty much forgot about the industrial hearland until my return in the 1990s.
To my surprise, the industrial heartland had become the “Rust belt.”
Today, Detroit is a troubled ghost town.
Today, nations with lower labor costs, less interest in human rights and little concern for full coverage healthcare have passed the industrial U.S. by.
And as we read about “saving the Big three Automobile Makers” I am not sure how I feel. But I do know that a nation without industrial might is often lost before long.
China can make our lawn furniture and Japan and Germany can make our cars. But what do we in America make that is affordable enough and desireable enough to appeal to both American buyers and the world community at large? We export “culture” in the form of movies, music and DVDs. Plus we export computer know-how and software. But where is the beef?
I my view, and this is certainly an unfinished thought, we can not be an American Superpower for long without one facet of that superpower: the ability to out design and outbuild others who would gladly produce more for less and sell it to a consumer nation.
John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
U.S. Consumer Spending is Two-Thirds of Economy
By Annie Baxter, Minnesota Public Radio
More than two-thirds of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product derives from everyday stuff like dining out, buying a new shirt or visiting the dentist. About 14 percent stems from private investment, for instance companies purchasing new machinery or building new factories. And the rest comes from government spending on things like bridge building, schools, and defense.
You can find varying notions about whether the mix is right or not.
“A lot of analysts would argue we need to increase the amount of investment spending.”
“Government spending is not, unless done wisely, the answer.”
And some notions are a little more “out there” than others…