Jim Clifton is singing a very important song about the future. He sings well. His notes are clear. His facts are as straight as a Gallup minute. His priorities are our priorities – after all, he defined the priorities through his art, polling.
Our family lived through the Jobs War of 1970-2000, a tri-front war among the United States, Japan and Germany. Jim Clifton claims it was a war nobody covered nor recorded. In my parents’ house, we did not talk about the Korean War – although my father had served in the US Navy – but, we did talk about the Jobs War. We were aware of the competition from Japan and Germany and their growing manufacturing superiority.
My father, investment banker Richard Memhard, (my boss today), was a co-owner of a New Jersey based pile driver manufacturer called MKT Corporation. I have many of the corporate records in our basement file cabinets. MKT liquidated its business activity in 1980 in the face of steep competition from manufacturers in Germany and Japan. The stockholders were able to liquidate their assets. In fact, that liquidity event created the capital that became the down-payment to acquire the agricultural and oil field reserve pit pump manufacturer, the Crisafulli Pump Company, in 1982.
Mr. Clifton remembers that in 1970 it was strongly predicted that the United States’ growth would slow and Japan’s and Germany’s would soar, dropping America to third in the global GDP ranking, thereby losing its global authority.
Mr. Clifton would like all Americans to know that U.S. GDP today is nearly $15 trillion. China’s GDP is only $5.745 trillion. The U.S. GDP is 2.5 times that of China. Japan’s GDP is third, and Germany is fourth.
American citizens won the Job War of 1970-2000. Go Team USA.
The problems that Clifton identifies for the future are growth, tending to global customers, and the American state of mind. There is also the little problem of health care.
Chapter Eleven: Fix Healthcare or Destroy Job Creation
According to Clifton, Americans grossly overuse doctors, pills, and all medical services and actually die younger than do the British, French, Canadians, and Germans. Mr. Clifton does not provide any comparisons to the Chinese health care system, which was recently called The Sick Man of Asia. Nonetheless, until the currently unaffordable US costs are reversed, and until Americans greatly improve their health behaviors, the country is at too much of a competitive disadvantage to win the global war for good jobs in the current thirty year war.
According to Mr. Clifton, there is no single act of leadership that has bigger money implications than simply doubling the number of fit Americans. Fit American Manufacturers need to go on parade.