Make It in the USA: The bottom up approach

By Ilya Galak (R), Michael Califra (D), Robert Holst (D), John Kubinski (D)

Staten Island, NY

The biggest and most immediate threat to the health of out national economy is the sick state of the middle class.

Once the envy of the world and the great engine of prosperity that drove our national economy, the American middle class has been under pressure for more than thirty years. The offshoring of good-paying manufacturing jobs along with stagnant wages and the rising costs of everything form energy to health care and a college education has left the middle class hanging on the American dream by their finger nails.

made-in-usa-brand-03Yet there is a deafening silence from many of our elected representatives on the topic of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States or creating the new industries here at home that will provide them again.

With so much riding on the prosperity and growth a regenerated manufacturing base would bring to this country– which includes solutions for many of the social ills brought about by unemployment and service jobs that pay so little many Americans working full time cannot afford to feed their families – that is simply unacceptable.

This nation is the wealthiest the world has ever known. It became an industrial power then a superpower because of its ability to manufacture things. Yet we have let that base of our prosperity slowly erode as the investor class in search of ever higher profits abandoned American workers in favor of cheap labor overseas.

Since the year 2000, fifty thousand US factories have closed their doors. This country lost 3.5 million manufacturing jobs, half a million of which were in high-tech industries such as telecommunications and electronics.

Every time an American job is outsourced to China or other slave-wage counties the American economy loses the spending and tax revenues that job generates. Every time an American worker is forced to take a low-paying service job, that worker’s disposable income shrinks, making it harder for that worker to stay in the middle class and decreasing demand across the economy.

Simply put, we need more American manufacturing. We need to stop sending jobs and the dollars they generate overseas. We need to start exporting high-quality goods produced in the United States to markets around the world again and bring our trade deficits back into balance. And while there are many people in Washington for whom rebuilding the middle class and the country’s manufacturing base are priorities, the issues is continually drowned out by politics and manufactured crisis.  That’s why we are proposing a grassroots, bottom up approach through the establishment of Make It in the USA chapters nationwide.

Our goal:

Pressure politicians to make the reestablishment of an American manufacturing base and the good-paying jobs that they bring, a priority; both by promoting an agenda to bring back industries that have left, and through the establishment of new industries here at home

Our tactics:

  1. Establish local chapters – starting here at home- with the goal of expanding across the country. Use social media and the blogosphere to recruit members and educate people on our mission, as well as how to organize locally.
  2. Target our congressional representatives as well as other state and local politicians to make the issue part of their campaigns and a central mission of their tenures in government. Open letter to congressman Grimm and congressman Jeffries: CLICK HERE
  3. Coordinate efforts with political action networks such as labor unions, but also branch out to other social and civil rights groups because there is nothing that levels the playing field and fights social ills better than a job paying a living wage with health and other benefits.
  4. Form a policy working group to gather the best policy positions put forth by politicians, think tanks and people at large and distill them into a single agenda to push in Washington and to the media.  This should included identifying laws that promote outsourcing and push for their repeal.
  5.  Engage the traditional mainstream media by inundating them at all levels with who we are and what we plan to accomplish.

Actions

  1. Organize ‘Boots on the ground” – protests and meetings in front of the political offices and major enablers of outsourcing American jobs. These actions should be similar to “The Middle Class Action Project” Verrazano Bridge protests (CLICK HERE), and publicized using both traditional and social media:
  2. Publish our own newspaper. 25K copies can make a huge difference on the Island and create an example for other congressional districts. Monthly 8 pages, full color.
  3. Debate club with invitation of local politicians, business people, union leaders…

Fundraising

  1.  We should discuss the best way to organize as a legal entity that would enable us to raise money in the most efficient manor , not only from small donors, but also potentially from steel companies, unions and any other large entity with a stake in keeping American manufacturing in America .
  2. Paid advertisement of local businesses and supporters in our newspaper
  3. We have to make sure we do everything legal and do not violate any laws.
  4. Create slogan and associated stickers or buttons to support the mission.

Reviving American manufacturing in order to generate good-paying jobs garners support across the political spectrum, from tea party Conservatives and from pro-labor Progressives. Because the Make it in the USA movement is one that transcends ideology there no reason we can’t, together, with time and effort, accomplish the goal of resuscitating the American middle class so that it is again the envy of the world.

The Action Plan: CLICK HERE

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