On May 25th 1961, President John F. Kennedy set a goal for America, a goal that in a decade America would put a man on the moon. Fifty years have passed and it is time for America to conquer the future again. We need visionaries. We need leaders willing to invest in America. Now is the time for a “new era of industrial innovation”. First and foremost back in the 1950s and 60s we had the industrial capacity to achieve these astronomical goals, manufacturing was here in the United States, not in some far-away nation.
America needs to re-build it’s manufacturing base. We may not bring the old industries back, but we can build new industry. As we witnessed in Detroit, Chrysler and GM are rebounding, our politicians should never doubt the power and will of the American labor force.
Just as John F. Kennedy had the government invest in the space program, President Obama has called for a new era of industrial innovation.
“Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik, we had no idea how we would beat them to the moon….But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.”
“This is our generation’s Sputnik moment. Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the Space Race…We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology — an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.”
We hope that this 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s bold call for unprecedented technological innovation and the fact that the nation rose to his challenge serves as a reminder of what the U.S. is capable of accomplishing, and why we must continue to invest in our industrial base.
We are a very wealthy and capable Nation. If we are really serious about winning the future, we must invest in our industrial, manufacturing base. We lost our way for thirty years. We have neglected to strengthen this base and instead focused on the financial markets. A nation’s strength is in it’s industry.
America needs to implement a national manufacturing strategy The concept of a manufacturing strategy or industrial policy is hardly a new idea. Back in 1791 Alexander Hamilton implemented America’s first industrial policy. Lack of industrial capacity during the War of 1812 to build ships and military equipment set the focus of the federal government to grow our industrial base and this policy continued through World War 2.
A revived bi-partisan caucus named the House Manufacturing Caucus has a mission which states,
The House Manufacturing Caucus examines and promotes policies to help American manufacturers find trained, educated workers, continue to lead the world in developing new industrial technologies, operate on a level playing field with their foreign competitors, and obtain the capital they need to thrive.
This is a start, but we need the ENTIRE Congress to be on board with this, if we are going to enter into a “new era of industrial innovation”. For the sake of our middle class, let’s hope we can actually get this done.