Is the U.S. Economy as weak as we think it is? Could American made goods actually live on? This video and article below on Joel Kurtzman’s thoughts leave some insightful optimism…
Myth #1: America is broke
America’s private sector is in better shape than it’s been in years, and the American consumer is healthier than she or he has been in the past 35 years, says Kurtzman. “On the private side of the balance sheet America is doing just fine,” says Kurtzman. The public side is another story, but it’s improving. The money America uses to pay its debt has been declining as a portion of GDP every year, “and it’s very manageable,” says Kurtzman.
Myth #2: High unemployment rates are here to stay
Kurtzman says the high jobless rate is concentrated in people without a college education and those under 25. The unemployment rate for someone over 25 who’s college educated has held steady at around 4%.
Myth #3: China is ascending while America is declining
“China is coming of age at probably the worst time in history for a country that wants to be a manufacturing power,” says Kurtzman. China’s strategy involves having 200 million people a decade working in manufacturing, says Kurtzman. “They can’t accommodate that,” says Kurtzman. The U.S., meanwhile, has moved from a manufacturing-centric economy to a service-focused one–a transition that China will eventually have to make, says Kurtzman. “That will be very difficult for them.”
Myth #4: America is a spent power
Kurtzman says the U.S. is in a great position for growth because it remains the world’s leading military and manufacturing power, has trillions of dollars in capital to deploy and is now less dependent on imported oil given the development of its own energy reserves.
Myth #5: America doesn’t make anything anymore
This is simply not true, says Kurtzman. America is the dominant manufacturing power in the world if you include what we make overseas. But if you just look at just what we make in America, we make 20% of everything produced. That’s about the same as China but China makes low value-added products such as towels and clothing. We make airplanes, radar, turbines — the big expensive stuff.
From the mills of colonial New England, to the steel plants of the Midwest, manufacturing has long been a key component of the American economy. Unfortunately, the general trend since the middle of the twentieth century has been downward. After taking a particularly stiff drubbing during the so-called Great Recession, American manufacturing has finally started to show signs of improvement over the past couple of years.
What’s remarkable about Manchester Wood is that we started making solid wooden furniture during the mid 70’s, just as American manufacturing was entering its long slide and jobs were starting to be shipped to places like Mexico or Taiwan and later China. Despite the general trend of outsourcing, we remained committed to American made furniture.
One recent encouraging sign for the U.S. economy is a growing for enthusiasm American made products. A recent study indicated that more than of 80% of Americans are willing to spend additional money on an American product instead of paying less for a comparable foreign product. This is great news for us: instead of cheap, foreign, particle board coffee tables, solid wood American furniture is coming back into vogue. Furthermore, as people start to tire of their foreign-made furniture deteriorating and breaking due to poor workmanship or materials, they are realizing the sense in spending a bit more money on durable, quality furniture made in the U.S.A.
If you are interested in U.S.A. made furniture, check out our solid wood TV stands. These stands are designed to enhance your home entertainment setup while still preserving the traditional charm of solid wood furniture.
Not only is our furniture 100% made in the U.S.A., it is also green. All of our lumber comes from certified sustainable North American forests, so you can be sure that you are supporting the American economy without jeopardizing the environment.
We’re looking forward to attending the High Point Furniture Market in High Point, NC again this spring. Preparations are well under way as we get everything ready for the trip down to North Carolina. Our booth will be located at the M329A Pavilion in the International Home Furnishings Center (IHFC) Building. Please check out our complete exhibitor listing for further details.
Founded in 1909, High Point Market has grown into the world’s largest furnishings industry trade show. Covering 11.5 million square feet of show space in 180 buildings, the show attracts over 75,000 attendees and 2000 exhibitors to each market. With over 100 countries represented, serious retail home furnishings buyers make sure to attend because if you can’t find it at High Point, it probably doesn’t exist.
If you happen to be in the High Point area and looking for something to do or are already attending, please stop by and visit our booth! Connecting with customers, both new and old, is one of our favorite parts of the market. For further info, please see our press release below:
Featured on ABC World News’ ‘Made in America’ with Diane Sawyer in 2011 for its continuing commitment to manufacturing in America, Manchester Wood has been designing and producing popular solid wood furniture pieces for leading home furnishing companies, including L.L. Bean, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Plow and Hearth, and Lands’ End, for over 35 years at their plant in the foothills of the Adirondacks of New York.