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How Small Changes Can Help Revive U.S. Manufacturing [Video]

Social project seeks to bring over one million jobs to the economy simply through slight shifts in consumer buying habits.

Alan Khanukaev
Alan Khanukaev on August 26, 2013.

Former ad exec turned consumer advocate, Alex Bogusky, has set his sights on revitalizing the U.S economy. His latest endeavor, the Million Jobs Project, introduces a plan to bring over 1,000,000 manufacturing jobs to the U.S. and requires very little on the part of the consumer. The solution, says Bogusky, it for everyone to shift their buying habits so that they’re purchasing 5% more American made goods. Since the average person buys approximately 20 American made products out of every 100 products purchased, we only need to purchase one additional American made item to meet the 5% requirement.

“Made in America” was a positioning tried in the 80′s that didn’t really resonate with a lot of people. It was presented mostly on patriotic grounds and came at a time when there was a perception that American made products were of poor quality. It didn’t really give people compelling reasons to buy American. But in actuality much of what conscious consumers care about is embodied within American made products. As Bogusky notes,

When you look for [the Made In America brand] you know the product has a smaller carbon footprint, you know that emission and toxins aren’t just being poured into rivers, and you that people aren’t being exploited in its making.

“I came to it through these hippie values,” Bogusky said Tuesday morning on a panel at avant-garde New York retail space, STORY, ”whereas Made In America in the past has been very much a  patriotic sell.” In effect, these somewhat disparate values are now what make the Made In America movement such an immensely unifying ideal. You can approach it through very patriotic values but its also appealing from the standpoint of environmentalism and socially consciousness. At time when so many national issues are fiercely polarizing, an idea like this is something that everyone can rally around.

million jobs project

Bogusky is confident that we’re in the midst of a Made In America revolution. He points to the current trade deficit as an indicator of the forthcoming change, “The US trade deficit is the lowest it’s been since ’09, this  proves something’s happening, those kind of numbers don’t shift unless something’s happening.”

More than anything else, Bogusky’s message refutes the notion that we can’t have manufacturing in the U.S. anymore.  ”We can reverse this,” he says, “it wasn’t that long ago that we made things here.” Major corporations are already following suit, responding to social pressure as well as economic and strategic motivation. Walmart has recently committed to buying an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made goods, GE is shifting manufacturing of light bulbs and water heaters to the U.S., and Google will produce both Glass  and Motorola’s new MotoX  in the US.

Watch below to learn more about the Million Jobs Project:

Million Jobs Project

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