According to the Birmingham Business Journal article, Alabama lost 21,132 industrial jobs and 306 manufacturers since March 2009, a decline of 6.8 percent over the year. 306 gone! The report singled out Senate District 13 .
Alabama’s furniture/fixtures sector of the industrial market had the worst decline, with a 16.3 percent drop in employment, due partially to outdoor furniture manufacturer Meadowcraft Inc.’s closure in Wadley last year, said the release.
The severity of these losses can be directly attributed to economic theories currently dominating Montgomery. The Montgomery policies work for the big corporations, banks and their political cronies but not for the small businesses, local communities, nor the working people of Alabama.
For the first time in our nation’s history, since 2000, consumption has exceed 70% of the Gross National Product in the United States. Increasingly, we are becoming a nation of wealth consumers and not wealth producers. Alabama can, and must, reverse this trend.
We import so much unnecessarily into our local economies. Job security and economic resilience cannot be achieved by focusing exclusively on recruiting big industries like the automotive sector in Alabama. A balanced approach should be adopted which encourages the development of home-grown, import0substituting local manufacturers. We must identify the leaks of investment out of our local economies and enact policies which catalyze the local production of many items we now import. Only then can we have some peace of mind concerning a future prosperity.
Long term stability of our local economies and job security will not be achieved by the current models of economic development. New ideas which defy standard definitions and break traditions need be brought to Montgomery.