What Does “Make America Great Again” Really Mean?


This year, the message we hear perhaps far too often is “Make America Great Again.” I realize that this message can have many different meanings and applications.

As a longtime resident of North Hempstead, I remember when shopping downtown in Great Neck, Manhasset or other communities meant thriving shops, with all kinds of businesses, from hardware stores and five-and-dimes to four-star restaurants. Then there was change—not necessarily progress, but change nevertheless. We, as a society, changed; we became more mobile, had more accessibility to areas beyond our immediate shopping neighborhoods. Changes to our shopping neighborhoods and habits began as the downtowns started to change, first, into different types of stores and services available, and now to many closed stores.

Many now shop online, for various reasons—perhaps for economic benefit, as well as for convenience. Remember, we shopped within blocks of our neighborhood and, now as result of the Internet, there are no more parking problems, no more use of a car and related costs—just go online and shop. Shopping can be as simple as shopping from your desk for a variety of goods and services.

Does one wonder why Macy’s and Best Buy are closing stores, why the downtown areas have so many vacancies and why stores like Saks Fifth Avenue has just one store on Long Island for almost three-million people? Even with Walmart and Target, Amazon and other online stores have proven shopping downtown and in malls has changed.

Can revitalizing our downtown shopping really “Make America Great Again?” Will more manufacturing in the United States and the possibly related pollution of our waterways and air (remember manufacturing along the Hudson was common as was pollution) and selling more costly goods and services “Make America Great Again?” Is burning dirty fuel
going to “Make America Great Again?”

The auto industry has changed as there are more designers, assemblers and marketing companies rather than manufacturing companies, as it has been more cost-efficient to outsource manufacturing of many of the components that make up a finished automobile.

Our economy is based on spending and shopping at businesses like Walmart and Amazon, as not everyone can shop at Saks or Bloomingdale’s. How do we change to buying “only” Made in America goods and services? Will pensions and social security and other fixed incomes need to be increased substantially? Will salaries increase across the board to cover the higher cost of labor, utilities and other costs related to Made in America, or will paying our domestic labor force less to be competitive make Made in America unaffordable to the very people who manufacture and live in the United States?

Evolution of our resources to change will make America greater, as there is no greater country than ours, and we shouldn’t let anyone fool us into thinking differently. “United we stand, divided we fall.”

The cry to make America great again fails on all accounts to consider the domino effect of altering our current economy and way of life.

The world is changing and it’s changing rapidly and we must understand and accept these advancements.

Charles Schneider

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