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From Model T To Rusty America

Local manufacturing is essential.

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By Crystal Vase

The automobile certainly changed the world. In 1913 Henry Ford organizes the first major U.S. assembly line for car production.

He may not have realized it at the time, but this model would soon directly compete against small and medium sized businesses in other industries...

Stock Abstraction Socializes Risk...and Reward.

When industrializing the economy at scale only profit seems to count as a metric for success. We start to hear words like efficiency and growth. Some have noticed the better the stock market funnels liquid returns out of market, in direct proportion, the promised prosperity never materializes for workers or local partners.

Ambition makes men strive to get ahead. Ambition cultivates taking chances. - Col. Wm. C. Hunter, Dollars and Sense, 1906

These are the classic signs of the socialist plague having passed through. Like the locusts described in the bible, every bit of production is consumed and nothing but broken bones and empty promises remain. This completes the political narrative we hear every year now.

In the old days it was the minorities who were held back from opportunity, now its anyone who tries to invest outside the mainstream. Participation is all most of us have now. They make their money on the derivatives and don't like the bad press of a winner playing a different game.

It's all about the jobs, and we vote in whoever will bring those jobs. Like drug addicts we always need more because without constant growth this model isn't sustainable long term. People and their capitalist activity used to make jobs for real people.

Politicians make jobs for their friends and voters which turns jobs into an inflatable commodity

The Model T was a hit ushering in the age of the "horseless carriage" by achieving a main street price point. It also came to mean "Made In America" acting as an early example of local manufacturing success.

At first all was wonderful. Job, jobs, jobs, but soon the incentives for cheap labour elsewhere was just too strong. Stock holders hold no national loyalty, being only loyal to money. They care only for stock evaluation and if that stock goes up by throwing American workers under the bus so be it. They call this good business. I call it exploitation; the enemy of capitalization. It's the results of invasion for personal gain alone not innovation and the mutual prosperity of enterprise.

Years later international trade pressure and currency manipulation would drive the automotive manufacturing base out of Detroit and other car capitals to Mexico and overseas. The wide swath of economic destruction this left behind is now affectionately referred to as "The Rust Belt". As with almost all hollowed out markets, outdated regulations maintain the failed conditions indefinitely while banks wait for a bail out or inevitable "revitalization effort".

Other than the occasional rap star [ Eminem ], most have given up on Detroit. This shows the value of home town loyalty. Is it fair to ignore this? The health of a country's manufacturing sector is obviously a big part of the general success of its people. I guess the stock market isn't the answer for everybody after all. If the Rust Belt holds any lessons... there are in fact dire consequences when we sacrifice core industrial control for a single market and some stock profits for a narrow group of global elites who barely pay taxes.

Is it worth cannibalizing ones own country to make someone else rich? Does it still look good on paper once we see the results?

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Crystal Vase
Crystal comes from an island no-one can find on a map. She writes primarily about politics.
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