Manufacturing Means More
Posted by spaul on 05/01/2007
The L.A. Times on Monday had this compelling story of the people of Lorain, Ohio (population 68,000), who are trying their hardest to weather an economic crisis. Much of the auto industry in Lorain has packed up and left, and the town is feeling the effects. Ted Kalo, a county commissioner there, summed up the damage for the article:
“The number of orthodontists in town dwindled to two. Furniture shops closed, as did clothing boutiques, hair salons and day spas. Kalo said his family's carpet and flooring business watched its sales fall by half as residents scaled back on home-improvement projects.
"In a town whose official moniker is the International City, residents said it used to be no big deal to get Thai food. Now you have to drive nearly 10 miles to Elyria, Ohio. Sushi? Indian? Get in the car and head to Cleveland.
"More than half of the two-story brick storefronts along the city's downtown stretch of Broadway Avenue sit abandoned and boarded up. A florist across the street from Kalo's shop left three months ago.”Why did this happen? There is no easy explanation. But a combination of health care and retirement costs, currency rate manipulation and other unfair trade practices, along with energy issues has contributed to the hemorrhage of manufacturing jobs here. When manufacturers go out of business, the ripple effects can be devastating. We’ve always said that manufacturing means more. More jobs. More opportunities. More hope. More choices. We’re rooting for the people of Lorain. But we’re doing more than that. Americans need to know how much is riding on the future of manufacturing. We intend to tell them.
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