Sunday, August 07, 2011

serial effect...

Yesterday the U.S. government credit rating was downgraded, and now they are discussing the serial effect on banking and investment throughout the world. Here in the US we expect a rise in interest rates that will cost the poor more than we could at first imagine. One thing you learn from woodworking in the real world is that when you take a small shaving from a joint, it has effect on the integrity of whole piece for life. It may no longer fit. And so we learn simple lessons in the wood shop that can be applied in the larger field of life.

I drove through St. Louis yesterday on my way to Marc Adams school where my class in box making starts tomorrow. St. Louis was one of the early homes of manual training in public schools. In a statement of purpose for manual training in St. Louis 1879 it was noted:
"...nearly all our skilled workmen are imported. Our best machinists, miners, weavers, watchmakers, iron workers, draftsmen and artisans of every description, come from abroad; and this is not because our native-born are deficient in natural tact or ability, nor because they are above and beyond such occupations, but because they are without suitable means and opportunities for getting the proper training."
And so it was proposed that children would grow in intelligence, character and capacity through manual training in schools. 130 years later we're back where we started except that instead of importing workers, we export jobs. From the halls of congress to manufacturing and engineering, we turned management over to the MBAs. We allowed them to strip manual arts from schools. We allowed them to squeeze the profit from labor, leaving little of the dignity of American worker at hand.

And so what is the remedy? We claw our way back. Return to the basics of human productivity, and teach our children to be makers instead of idle consumers of imported stuff.

Make, fix and create.

1 comment:

Matt Rushing said...

I couldn't agree more. We need to stop all the import crap and get back to making America what it was intended to be. Our fore fathers broke off from England to make it there own and they succeeded until now. They are rolling over in there graves thinking how hard they had to work to get this country and we are pissing it down the pipe.