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Why Don’t They Make Things Like They Used To?

“I look around my house, and everything except the kids and dogs was made in China. And I’m not sure about the kids. They have brown eyes and small noses.” -P. J. O’Rourke

After the Revolution, Alexander Hamilton envisioned a compulsory need for American industrial development to maintain our independence and liberty. He founded the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures (S.U.M.), an enterprise operated by private individuals.

shutterstock_90101278He claimed, “The prosperity of commerce is now perceived and acknowledged by all enlightened statesmen to be the most useful as well as the most productive source of national wealth.”

By the 1800’s the smoke from factories and steam from locomotives filled the skies of our young nation. The bellowing whistles of productivity rang throughout our countryside.

The Golden Age of ingenious adroitness and sophisticated mass production of the great Industrial Revolution was transforming our agrarian country into an enterprising, self-sufficient economic powerhouse!

This continued throughout the next century and beyond with countless new innovations and technological developments. Each new discovery led to another to meet the demands of our country’s rapidly growing insatiable appetite for goods and services.

Our free market enterprising capitalists rose to the occasion as new industries and business opened their doors and reached out for new apprentices. This was good for everyone.

“The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.” -Milton Friedman

This economic transformation was aided by such inventors as James Watt (the steam engine), Eli Whitney (the Cotton Gin), and Samuel Morse (the telegraph). Alexander Gram Bell brought businesses together with his telephone and Tom Edison lit their factories with the “dreaded” incandescent light bulb.

Nikola Tesla’s and Rudolf Diesel provided them motors to meet the energy requirements of our nation’s foundries. Orville and Wilber Wright set the stage for international commerce with their flight over Kitty Hawk.

shutterstock_198871565Henry Ford’s assembly line would change the way we produced goods forever! Yes, “There’s no limit to what ‘free men’ and ‘free women’ in a ‘free market’ with ‘free enterprise’ can accomplish when people are ‘free’ to follow their dream.” (Jack Kemp)

The US government’s laissez-faire, “leave it alone” policy towards business was the key to this economic “tsunami” that fertilized the eggs of American capitalism. Unrestricted access to free marketers, motivated by self-interest, to competitively work without strict ground rules and reap the harvest of their labors in the emulous free market made capitalists out of former laborers.

“Free enterprise empowers entrepreneurs who have ideas and imagination, investors who take risks, and workers who hone their skills and offer their labor.” (Paul Ryan) Until the government intervenes!

Just when things were going well, the Feds decided they had seen enough. Concerns for small businesses spurred government intervention to protect them from competition. In 1890, Congress enacted the Sherman Antitrust Act, to break up “monopolies” and level the playing field.

Then, in 1913 they established, the Federal Reserve, to regulate the nation’s money supply and banking activities.

“He who controls the money supply of a nation controls the nation.” -James Garfield

We all know that if a “deal sounds too good to be true”, it is! Franklin D. Roosevelt’s response to the Great Depression was “The New Deal.” Blaming everything on the failure of unfettered capitalism, Congress enacted a host of new laws empowering the government to take control of our economy.

shutterstock_130579364They regulated stock markets, created unemployment, Social Security, farm subsidies, bank insurance, and more. And this would eventually prove to be an albatross for all US taxpayers and businesses. “Nothing lasts longer than a temporary government program.” (Ronald Reagan)

Many more laws and regulations followed. Today nearly every product sold in the US is controlled by government regulation. As a result of this, our businesses are fleeing the country like “rats from the sinking Titanic!”

We all know taxes, fees and over regulation have ruined capitalism, and it makes one wonder, how many monkeys were locked in a room and for how long so they could invent these mandates. “The strictest law sometimes becomes the severest injustice.” (Benjamin Franklin)

Blue Laws, to prohibit Sunday activities, were enacted in many states by the 1800’s to prohibit the consumption of alcohol and restrict business activity.

And today, car sales are still illegal on Sundays in Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, Missouri, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and some Michigan counties. Yes Michigan, Motor City USA! And today you still cannot buy clothing, electronics, and furniture in Bergen County, New Jersey on Sundays?

“Freedom is a man’s natural power of doing what he pleases, so far as he is not prevented by force or law.” -Cicero

Texas now requires all computer technicians to be licensed private investigators? They must obtain a degree in criminal justice or serve a 3 year apprenticeship with a “private dick.” And there is a shortage of trained techs in the birth-state of Dell Computers.

And you cannot advertise as an interior decorator there until you pay a $400 fee for the privilege. The cost of going out of business in Milwaukee now requires a license, and a hefty fee to hold a “going-out-of-business” sale?

shutterstock_185601662The 1998 IRS Restructuring Act created further nightmares for business with the 1099. Their attempt to chasten independent business into financial submission put such a burden on them that The National Federation of Independent Businesses says compliance now totals $74 an hour for each one.

And if the authors of Obamacare had their way, this amount would have easily doubled! A recent independent study found government regulation costs each US family $15,000 a year.

Naysayers continually criticize American companies and the quality of their products produced in foreign nations. Yet they are the first to beg our government to “tax the rich” and give them a bigger gratuity?

Facing insane tax rates and ludicrous regulations they have had enough. A total of 547 major companies, including Apple, GE, Microsoft and Pfizer have enormous foreign operations.

And, with the advent of Dodd-Frank, ObamaCare, astronomic debt, and the consumption of entire US businesses by the Feds, many more will follow just to survive.

“The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.” -Vladimir Lenin

The next time that can opener fails to open a can of tuna, or your new coffee maker will not percolate, and your week old laptop refuses to boot, don’t blame the Chinese. “Price is what you pay; value is what you get.” (Ben Graham)

And if we continue to bully Wall street, demonize our CEO’s, and destroy what was once the most pro-free market economy in the world, what few all-American products that have survived will vaporize with history.

When Harley-Davidson, Gibson Guitars, Steinway pianos, Louisville Sluggers and Kirby vacuums say, “Made in China,” we will have reached the point of no return.

“Capitalism has worked very well. Anyone who wants to move to North Korea is welcome.” (Bill Gates) And, “Fascism is capitalism in decay. (Vladimir Lenin)

William Haupt III

William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, citizen legislator in California for 40 plus years, and author. He got his start working to approve prop 13.

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