Can changing a tire lead to a change in support for U.S. manufacturing?

February 28, 2008
By: Dan Davis

You know John Ratzenberger from his role of as Cliff in the television show Cheers. Today he's not only the host of John Ratzenberger's Made in America on the Travel Channel, but also an advocate for supporting the manufacturing base in the U.S. He"s been fighting the good fight by holding town hall meetings across the U.S.—in towns such as Buffalo, N.Y.; Des Moines, Iowa; Manchester, N.H.; Rock Hill, S.C.; and Chicago—and generally raising awareness about the need to keep manufacturing and the related skills alive in this country.

In this election year, Ratzenberger is encouraging people to ask politicians this question: Can you change a car tire? He thinks the answer will reveal whether the candidate has any real-world experience or common sense.

The actor might have a point. I don't think too many people I've run across could agree on just one question that could gauge a politician's commitment to manufacturing.

Do you support free trade agreements? Many blame the pacts for the outsourcing of U.S. jobs to overseas companies. Others see them as a vital means to opening up new markets for their domestically made products.

Do you believe in enforcing free trade agreements? Many believe that China is not living up to their commitment to establish a market economy. Others believe that putting pressure on China threatens existing trade relations with an emerging superpower and puts its fragile financial system at risk.

Do you believe in investing in trade school curriculum for schools? Many talk about it, but few want to pay for it.

Yeah, the tire question is probably the best litmus test for determining a commitment to support U.S. manufacturing. However, a better question might be, "Could you show me how you change a tire?" That way they can't weasel out of the question.

Dan Davis

Dan Davis

FMA Communications Inc.
2135 Point Blvd
Elgin, IL 60123
Phone: 815-227-8281