America was once at the forefront of the world's manufacturing. Thanks to innovation, commitment to quality, and hard work, the Industrial Revolution provided some of the greatest years the country has ever known.
However, as the concept spread and the world caught on, foreign entities were able to share the market with their ability to produce goods for a fraction of the cost. While "Made in America" held the meaning of best products available, the global market chose lowered prices. Even American businesses regularly outsourced manufacturing work to cheaper locations. It still does.
The most extreme source of competition was the People's Republic of China. Even with a only partly earned reputation for low-quality workmanship, their persistence and efficiency allowed them to bypass the United States as a manufacturing power. Asia, with Japan and south Korea, constructed facilities and set the groundwork for a manufacturing empire.
This happened even while Americans were busy chasing degrees at undergraduate business school and enjoying prosperity.
Over the years, America has continued to see only a decline despite numerous attempts to reclaim the throne. The last decade has seen some of the worst times to befall the capitalist American society yet the American people continue to persevere in their ongoing struggle to rebuild a first-rate manufacturing industry.
Though there are signs of a resurgence, unfortunately, it is unlikely that America will soon make a real comeback. There is no collective effort to value workers, and a sense of apathy seems to restrict the nation's potential. Further, as the average citizen becomes more educated with a higher proportion of the population attending undergraduate business school, there are less blue-collar workers left to be employed in factory settings. One reason is that they pay less, now.
Of course, with the current economic turmoil, there are plenty of over-qualified candidates who would be willing to take any job they can get but modern, temporary, desperation is not going to build a healthy manufacturing system.
Still, with innovations affecting the automation processes advancing each day and a constant desire on the part of the American people to be the best in the world, there is still hope. As China and other developing countries continue to advance both economically and socially, costs will rise there, too and their current advantages will begin to wane.
Provided the United States properly and efficiently uses its superior resources and refined knowledge, its citizens are capable of anything.