Over the years, as we are all aware, our manufacturing has been outsourced to the point where we make very little in our own country.
The other day, my wife was trying to open a can. The can opener was one of those simple mechanical devices that have been around for decades. Only this one was different in two ways. It had big ergonomically designed plastic handles and it didn't work. We were discussing this over dinner, how these simple everyday items that used to work forever now seem to last for a very short time before they need to be replaced.
Of course this can opener was made in China. But I don’t think we can blame China for any of this. There is a reason most of our stuff is now made in China. It's because it's more profitable for American companies to have the Chinese make their products. And IMMHO, that is the only reason.
Woodworkers are one of the few groups that still make things here in America. I'm not talking about factory stuff here. That is another story. But good quality custom woodwork is one of the things that cannot be easily outsourced. At least not in any practical sense.
It takes a craftsman working locally to make a built in bookcase or panel an office. It's not the kind of work you can ship over from another country. We might well be the image of what manufacturing in America will look like in the future. Small groups of highly skilled people making top quality products on a local or regional scale. As transportation costs become an increasingly large burden, the idea of shipping materials and product back and forth over the oceans might become more and more untenable.