America Still Manufactures At Least 17 Great Things

Nov. 18, 2011
... 18 if you count "Top 10" lists. I came across two lists -- one from CBS and one from The Street -- that both purported to describe the top 10 things still made in the USA. The CBS "Ten Great Products Made in the USA" top 10 list includes:Weber ...

... 18 if you count "Top 10" lists.

I came across two lists -- one from CBS and one from The Street -- that both purported to describe the top 10 things still made in the USA.

The CBS "Ten Great Products Made in the USA" top 10 list includes:

Weber Grills
Tesla Motors Roadsters
Herman Miller chairs
Earnest Sewn jeans
KitchenAid mixers
Harley-Davidson motorcycles
Viking ranges
Allen Edmonds shoes
Green toys
Tibor fly-fishing reels

The Street's "10 Things Still Made In America" includes:

Harley-Davidson motorcycles
Louisville Slugger baseball bats
KitchenAid mixers
Gibson guitars
Crayola crayons
Steinway pianos
Hallmark greeting cards
Smith & Wesson firearms
Georgia Chopsticks
Tesla Roadsters
The Street's story ends with a list of the index -- something I've covered previously here.

While it's nice to read, I'd rather there wasn't 30% list overlap between the two.

The Street story references a study by Booz & Co. and the University of Michigan's Tauber Institute for Global Operations that makes the following recommendations for improving the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector in this country (perhaps reducing the sad incidence of "top 10 list overlap"?)

Among the Booz/UM study's recommendations:

The U.S. needs to build a better future with Mexico, shifting less-demanding, labor-intensive processes to that country while helping build a safer consumer economy there and retaining highly skilled work in the U.S.
America needs more robust manufacturing-education programs, immigration reform and to promote the attractiveness of manufacturing careers.
Public and private sectors can build geographical concentrations of suppliers, service providers and academic institutions, reinforced by investments in infrastructure.
The country needs also to simplify and streamline the tax and regulatory structure. The official statutory corporate tax rate stands at 39%. Closing the gap between statutory and effective rates (typically 28%) would be a revenue-neutral way to put U.S. manufacturing on a level global playing field.

Of course, nothing will make American manufacturing more competitive than a competitive price, which the Fed is currently attempting to do via a policy of devaluing the dollar, which would probably be working more effectively if Europe wasn't sinking into a giant pool of questionable debt and China was playing fair, but that's a story for another blog post or two.

I like the mix of infrastructure and educational investment and tax code and immigration reform included in the study's findings -- would it were our politicians would listen to such a balanced, level-headed approach.

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