Many industries of this kind have all but disappeared from the western world to be outsourced in poorer countries because it is cheaper to pay poor people who don’t demand much money. However, of course this means a lot of work has been lost over the years and western countries rely on imports more, which is not good for the economy. But how can we bring manufacture back if the competitive prices can’t be matched? For one, like already explained, this depends on the people supporting local manufacture when possible but it can also work like this:
Imagine the people take control of a disused factory that still has the machines that are needed. This idea comes from a documentary called The Take about factory workers in Argentina who, when they were made redundant, reclaimed the factories where they used to work and restarted their work with them managing themselves and eventually becoming several times better paid. Click here to read more.
The problem with having to pay higher wages to the workers which obstructs cheap selling of their produce can be overcome in this way: Form a group of workers (that don’t have any other management above them) who are prepared to be paid whenever they can sell what they make. This is basically like freelance work and some people who would rather work than not, even if it is quite menial would be prepared to do it. They know the impetus is on them. Their income depends on what they produce and sell. They control their own destiny. They find out what is in demand so they know what to make to sell more items and they can dictate their own prices, depending on what the retailers will pay for them.
This system has already been proved to work, especially because there is no higher management (that takes a large cut of the profits). All the profits go to the workers, paid equally, and they make democratic decisions about what they are going to do for the sake of their own business.
As this kind of work is not particularly rewarding, you can choose your own working conditions – let people listen to music while they work, decorate the place how you like, work flexible hours if possible, organise a staff meal to celebrate a successful month.
Because of this idea following the National Movement for the Reclamation of Factories (NMRF), those workers who have recently been made redundant and their place of work closed down and abandoned, if that is the case with something in your area, you should try to do the same.
This movement has succeeded because the public prefer to support each other than big corporations, which, of course, is an inspiration for this site.
The best way to find out how this movement works is to watch The Take.