Saturday, 23 February 2013

We Used To

Once upon a time....we made Barbie dolls in America.  We made them here, and we sold them here.  From 1959 to 2002....we made Barbies here.  A decision was made....in the late 1990s, and by 2002....whatever was left in company production shut down.

It's safe to say that it simply added up on production cost, and even when you added the massive boat transport cost, and the movement from one continent to another....it simply made more sense to produce Barbie in China.

In the late 1990s....someone at Huffy Bikes sat there....added up the numbers, and talked to a few Chinese businessmen   Weeks later, the Chinese proved that they could make the same bike at a lot less than the American craftsman.

It's safe to say that it simply added up on production cost, and even when you added the massive boat transport cost, and the movement from one continent to another....it simply made more sense to produce Huffy Bikes in China.

For decades, Chuck Taylor tennis shoes were considered "the tennis shoe" that kids wanted.  NBA players played in Chuck Taylor shoes.  At some point in the 1980s....Chuck Taylor shifted operations, and ended up in Indonesia.

It's safe to say that it simply added up on production cost, and even when you added the massive boat transport cost, and the movement from one continent to another....it simply made more sense to produce Chuck Taylor tennis shoes in Indonesia.

For years and years....baseballs were manufactured in Puerto Rico.  By the late 1960s, the Rawlings Company who had the contract....had done the research and discovered that they could make the same ball for less....in Haiti.  Course, having Haiti under the "Papa Doc" DuValier regime didn't matter to the American public. After all the regime collapses of the DuValier family, Rawlings finally got smart, and moved to Costa Rica.  Even with cheap American labor in Puerto Rico....it was not enough to stay.

 It's safe to say that it simply added up on production cost, and even when you added the massive boat transport cost, and the movement from one region to another....it simply made more sense to produce baseballs in Costa Rica.

So then we come to Black & Decker.  For decades, their heart was in Maryland.  They were an industrial giant in Maryland.  The day came....the Chinese industry said they could make the same product for less than half the costs.  It was adios to US manufacturing.

Today, you go down the list: suitcases, backpacks, lighters, TVs, light bulbs, chocolate, flashlights, Craftsman tools, Stanley tools, guitars, and even G. I. Joe figures.....all made somewhere else today.

If you haven't figure out why your cousin Gus hasn't had a real job since graduating high school fifteen years ago....you might want to ask how much industry is left here.  For those who do remain....how many months are left before they pack up and leave for Asia or South America?  And when the final company leaves....then what?

Just something to think about.

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