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Our Exceptionalism

By Tim Hartigan, MCM President 2009-2010
WeldingIt’s a great time to be in the metalcasting industry in the USA. No, seriously. I know. I know. There are about two dozen extra-legislative initiatives being pondered, contemplated, amalgamated and gift wrapped like a pair of chartreuse wool mittens that your Aunt May knitted for you. You are not going to like the rules or the mittens, but you have to be polite to Aunt May. I know there are people who hope to stay up later than you in order to stealthily deliver the new rules under pretense of a deep emotional hook like, “Think of the kittens.” or “What? You don’t like babies?” But don’t despair. It is a great time to be a manufacturer in the USA.

Yes, there are some folks who feel that you, the one who has risked sweat and savings to give a few folks a good job and make a difference by making things, are really a greedy tycoon intent on extracting the last breath from your underpaid employees. Don’t despair. Don’t ignore them either. Speak up. Make your voice heard. Get involved in whatever way fits your abilities.

Pay no attention to your friend that tells you the dollar is going to zero. He’s had something crashing and burning since he could play with blocks. Yes, gold, copper, tin, nickel and pretty much every other metal gain a little or a lot weekly. No worries. It is a great day to be a foundry person in America because we are in America. We have run into problems before. I know they tell you it’s different this time. It’s always different this time. No, it’s really not different this time and it wasn’t last time either. Here’s what is different. Americans are different. It has always been so and always will be.

There are many things that make America different. Our brand of democracy. Our staunch defense of free speech. Our resources. Our people. Our education level. Among so many exceptional things, perhaps the biggest thing that differentiates us from the rest of the world is culture. Our culture creates our attitude about risk and success. We believe something could go right. Our culture encourages collaboration and innovation. We drive decision making down to the lowest level. We are most comfortable with change. We embrace risk. The poorest among us can become the wealthiest.

Ever since Eli Whitney we have been at the forefront of nearly every technological innovation in world. Look around you today at the technologies that have driven change. The repeating rifle. The remote control. The microwave oven. The iPhone. The CCD, UAV and GPS. There are tens of thousands of ideas and innovations that drive America. There are millions of Americans that change the world every day. That is why everyday is a great day to be working in American industry. Our dollar will not go to zero. Our industry will not be shuttered by rules or economic distress. And our innovation will not cease. No economic event and no ideology driven bureaucrat can turn off America. We will not stop dreaming, inventing, building, and risking because we are hardwired to do it. And if anybody tries to stop us we are hardwired to ask them to please step out of the way.

Reprinted from the Spring 2011 Metalcasters of Minnesota Newsletter

St. Paul Foundry
954 Minnehaha Avenue West
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104
(651) 488-5567  Fax: (651) 488-0908
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