The Brothers Who Stand A Century Apart

(Posted in Daily Chronicles)

(Continued from Waiting at the Doorstep)

I’d like to take a break from story time and touch on a hot button issue.  Still stay gathered around though, I’d like to hear your take on this matter.  This discussion is definitely something a president of a company wouldn’t want to comment on because of the potential microscope it could put their business under.  But, fortunately, I’m the idiot in charge and haven’t made any sells yet, so I guess I don’t know any better.  Or I actually care . . .

I rarely watch the news, but when I do, it seems as though the news pundits are always talking about how much money the U.S. owes China.  When I see this, I can’t help but shake my head at the complicated relationship we have with them.  It’s almost like two stubborn brothers who are trying to prove to their Dad that they are the one who deserves to take over the business once he retires.  They want to prove that their system works the best.  If they want to earn their Dad’s approval, they’d be wise to learn about what was going on in their “brother’s” country over a century ago.  They would realize that the predicament they find themselves in is eerily similar to their “brother’s” past experience.

Remember daydreaming through your world history class on the day your teacher talked about China?  Yeah, I don’t really either.  But, I do remember hearing them harp on about “The Boxer Rebellion“.  This, of course, comprised most of the lecture because the U.S. had some involvement.  Pretty much, the uprising took place because foreign influence was spreading at a dangerous rate within the country.  These foreign influences were dispersing their own ideals and they undermined Chinese values.

I’m not saying the exact same scenario is taking place in the U.S. right now.  However, I think the rebellion’s call to action to address the problem at hand is a strategy that the American consumer market needs to analyze.  There’s way too many foreign products in the U.S. market right now.  Just the other day, I saw a segment on CNBC where they would go to people’s houses and remove all of the foreign made products from the house.  All that was left was usually like a box of toothpicks and an old jock strap.  That is not a good sign for ol’ red, white, and blue.

Like the “Boxers” did, we need to start decreasing foreign influence in our country.  We need to import less and focus on domestic production.  (Americans are really starting to take pride in this movement and are going in droves to stores like this.)  Not only would this shrink the amount of foreign products on the market but it would also increase the volume of our exports.  Easy win-win solution, right?  Nope.  Not that easy.  Many domestic companies wouldn’t be able to do this  because of the cost of labor.  With all of their competition using foreign manufacturers that have low labor wages, they couldn’t turn a profit selling the product at the market’s price point.  Which brings me to . . .

China is looking pretty damn good right now.  They are the manufacturing powerhouse that America once was.  They’re relaxing poolside with a sh** eatin’ Jack Nicholson grin wiped across their face.  Their “brother” owes them so much money that they’re making him wear women’s sunglasses (guy on left) in public to rub it in until he can pay up.  Sure, China may have the hot blonde sitting next to them right now, but she just might be moving on to the next movie star here shortly.

If China really wants to maintain their “progress”, they might want to steal their “brother’s” American History book and flip to the section about the Progressive Era.  They might put two and two together and realize that a very similar movement is taking place within their country.  During the early 1900s, the American labor situation was in dire straits.  Workers were barely making enough to get by, conditions within factories and meat packing plants were unfathomable, the child labor rate was alarmingly high, and workers were dying at their job.  “There was great interest during the Progressive Era in investigation of hazardous working conditions. President Theodore Roosevelt had championed the conservation movement and broadened its scope to include the saving of human life.”
Including saving a life!  How crazy is that, only a 100 years ago . . .

Now, it isn’t as fatal as it was here a hundred years ago.  But, even the slight resemblance to a situation that took place a century ago says a lot.  Many of China’s workers are oppressed.  There is no denying that.  Much like the American workers during the Progressive Era, the Chinese workers are unionizing and organizing strikes.   They are fighting for better wages to improve their families life.

Once the cost of labor goes up in China, and it will, companies are going to move onto the next oppressed country for manufactured goods.  China might want to start thinking about a future strategy for their manufacturing industry.  Or they might find themselves owing someone money in the not so distant future . . .

The hot blonde is starting to get up; she says that she is just going to get a drink real quick.  The in debt brother lets out a vengeful chuckle.

These two stubborn bastards need to meet in the middle.  They need to come to the realization that the business will be better run by them working in unison; not against one another. It is vital that they lay the foundation for the centuries to come.  Before they know it, they will have sons of their own who will want to impress their Dad.

Continue to The Madcap Effect . .  .

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Do you think it’s plausible that America can once again become a manufacturing giant, like we were in the 1800s?  What do you think about American companies sourcing foreign factories to manufacture their products?  Let me hear your responses here, on twitter, on facebook, or within the MadCap facebook group!  Thanks, I look forward to discussing this with you!

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