My Grandpa worked at the St. Paul Ford Plant for over 30 years. That Ford Plant was an example of the greatness of America.
That plant, and the other manufacturing facilities like it across the United States, provided good paying jobs for Americans and products that Americans wanted. During the 1950s, almost all the cars sold in America were made in America. I would guess, although I do not know for sure, that most of the shiny new refrigerators, dishwashers, toasters and blenders that graced the kitchens of the 1950s middle class home were made in America too. When somebody bought a toaster made in America, they not only got a tasty piece of toast, they supported the 50 people in the toaster plant who spent their money in America on more American products.
What happened to America then? The economy boomed. Now it is true that half of the rest of the world was recovering from the war, but it cannot be a coincidence that a country that was 5% of the world’s population, produced their own items, bought their own items, and maintained a wealth greater than the rest of the world combined.
Everything has changed. Like so many other manufacturing plants in America, my Grandpa’s Ford Plant is closing. My telephone is made in Malaysia, my “American” car is made in Canada, the keyboard I’m typing on was made in Thailand, my watch was made in Japan and practically everything else around me was made in China. I want to buy American, but even Levi’s aren’t made in America anymore!
We need to support American production. Al Franken has talked about my Grandpa’s Ford Plant. He thinks our state needs it, and maybe wind energy could be the answer. Southern Minnesota’s farm horizons are broken by giant wind turbines, producing clean energy for us and additional income for the farmers. But those turbines are imported from Germany, Spain, Japan and Denmark. There are no manufacturing plants in the United States yet, the first one will open in Iowa this year or next.
Minnesota has a good plant in Saint Paul, why not try to return to the boom of the 1950s by manufacturing our own products and buying our own goods. We can start with the Ford Plant and wind. We can sell million dollar wind turbines, we can employee 100 people making good wages, and we can even help clean up the environment. If we could get all those new plant workers to buy American made products, it would be perfect.