In the last several weeks there have been a series of dismal events that have led up to the Presidents much anticipated Jobs Speech. First there was the long drawn out political drama on the Debt Ceiling in Congress that labored the American people's patience and shattered their confidence in the ability of our political system to even work. Then the stock market went into free-fall on President Obama's 50th birthday and still continues to swoon. Of course there was also the ironic release of the new jobs report right before Labor Day weekend that showed an abysmal zero job growth.
So, at a time when this country desperately needed a shot of positivity to the arm, President Barack Obama addressed Congress on September 8th with his much anticipated speech before Congress to unveil his "American Jobs Act." A hefty $447 billion worth of new and renewed tax cuts and spending that he hopes will prevent even further unraveling of our American economy this next year.
I think there can be no argument that our country needs to focus on job creation and stimulating small business, lessoning the regulation and tax burdens on these job creators and speaking to the fact that we need to be seeing more things with those three little magic words: "Made in America."
President Obama stated: "This task, of making America more competitive for the long haul, is a job for all of us. For government and for private companies. For states and for local communities -- and for every American citizen. All of us will have to up our game. All of us will have to change the way we do business."
The President is correct in stating that this task of job creation is for all of us. This task is one that I have been saying for a long time is a collective task that will take the focus and determination of everyone -- every American citizen, company and politician.
Made in America is not just a buzz word for the purpose of being re-elected. The revitalization of our U.S. manufacturing base is real. Manufacturing, making things in America is one of the major keys to this countries recovery and creation of sustainable good paying jobs.
I speak to U.S. manufacturers big and small daily. I hear their stories and challenges. I have tremendous respect for the courage and determination it takes for any company to keep manufacturing here in the U.S.A. Our country does not make it easy for these hard working folks. It speaks to their integrity; it speaks to their care and concern for this country and its future.
Manufacturers like Tough Traveler in upstate New York that for 40 years has been bucking the trend of outsourcing and has kept manufacturing of their fine bags, luggage, backpacks, and kid carriers here in the U.S.A. and is literally one of the last remaining bag manufacturers in the U.S. and outright refuses to give up.
Companies like PH Design in Southern California that was started by a Mexican immigrant 31 years ago. He came to America with a dream, actualized this dream and now continues to provide quality, stylish furniture to restaurants, resorts and hotels across America. This company, now a second generation family run business still hand builds each one of their beautiful pieces in their factory in California.
Or Raptorware a company in Texas that was the first to design, build and maintains a world class visitor management and screening technology to help protect children from sex offenders, domestic dispute offenders and other trespassers. This software works with law enforcement to add an extra layer of security and keep America's kids safe. All innovation, software and design development jobs were kept here in the U.S.A.
There are millions of small to mid-size businesses like these all over America that continue to innovate, build, and provide good jobs for Americans. They are the unsung heroes of this economic crisis. They don't get the mainstream media ads because they can't afford them, you won't see them in the news most times like the big multinationals with the big money behind them. But, they are there, slugging away, every day -- making things in America, paying taxes, salaries and keeping the American Dream alive for all of us.
Policy makers also know they need to do their part, with less taxation, hiring credits, simplification of the tax code, and reduction of costly unnecessary government regulations and enforcement of fair trade laws. But, even those two segments (small business & government) are not enough to stimulate the economy and get America back to work.
If you don't own a company, your either working for one, or are out of work and your probably wondering what you can do to help fuel our economy? It's really quite simple, and it is the small steps that add up that really make a powerful difference. First, you can actively and consciously support U.S. manufacturers, producers and service providers. Second, you can demand that the big box retailers and small mom and pops carry more "Made in America" goods.
Consumers have more power than they realize -- supply & demand. If you demand it, they will supply it. Use your consumer power to get everyone to do the right thing and rev up our economic engine.
This is the call to action for all of us, none of us can afford to be complacent or point fingers. We no longer have the luxury of turning a blind eye or looking the other way. The era of corporate greed and excess is over. We all need to support this country and our people. We simply don't have time to waste -- the time is now!
Julie Reiser is president & co-Founder of Made in USA Certified, Inc., which is an independent, non-partisan, leading third party certification company for the Made in USA, Product of USA and Service in USA claims.