Happy Labor Day Comrades! Sorry, couldn’t help it. Personally, I think that private-sector unions have outlived their usefulness, but I understand that there was a point in our history where the situation was very different than today. There is a reason that Tennessee is now the #1 auto-producing state in the country – just sayin’. Public Sector Unions on the other hand are a BIG problem. There is too much of a perverse incentive to trade endorsements for softball negotiations and the result is Detroit or Chicago.
We have the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world, and it is my firm belief that that is responsible for driving more jobs out of this country than anything having to do with private sector unions.
Bottom line, I do not believe that Richard Trumka cares any more about my Father-in-law’s pension than I care what Trumka had for dinner tonight. I am fairly certain that Trumka cares considerably more about his power, wealth or his own dinner than much else. The above is most certainly my own opinion, and I would in this case not presume to speak for anyone else affiliated with TTAK.
I am sure that there are those who disagree, and I certainly will not fault a man who believes his union has helped him.
God Bless America.
I am a huge fan of American manufacturing, and as a business owner myself I understand how effed up the system is. While I am the most “micro” of micro-economic examples, I understand the increase in bureaucratic nonsense is exponential with each milestone you reach past hiring your first employee. There is a reason I am a one-man show. It is not worth it to take that next step.
There are a lot of one person knifemaking businesses out there. I sincerely admire those that have grown past that stage. I believe you could even call the act courageous.
There are some makers who have grown to the point where they employ others and are sort of a hybrid between small and large. Our friend LT Wright is a great example of this, though there are many others. LT is even expanding his business in other directions, acquiring the gear-review blog Woods Monkey.
Then there are the big boys. Big is a relative term. Gerber is a division of multinational-giant Fiskars. They really are the biggest, though some have questioned their commitment to the knife portion of the business. Buck and Case are both big, but not nearly the size of Gerber. KAI is a parent company of Kershaw, Zero Tolerance, and Shun, and as such are bigger than many.
The next tier would be the Benchmades, Spydercos, and the like. While massive when compared to the LT Wright-level companies, they still only measure their employees in the hundreds. Somewhere in there is Ontario, and I am sure I am missing several off the top of my head.
All of this was a very long and meandering path to reach my question of the day:
What is your favorite American-made knife?
If you want to do one from each category, Custom/Mid/Production, feel free.
For the purposes of this I am leaving out companies that might be headquartered in America, but do almost all of their production overseas. Sorry CRKT, Cold Steel, Schrade, etc. You guys have to sit this one out.
Personally I would vote Benchmade Mini-Grip for Production, it is the EDC that I have logged the most days with over the past few years, though my Golden, CO Spyderco Native is a close second.
Mid-production is easy, the Wilmont Wharny. I love this knife, and I have enjoyed getting to know Chris Williams and his crew the past couple of Blade Shows.
My custom pick is my Kim Breed Model 15. It was my first custom purchase, and this knife will always hold a special place in my heart.
Have a great day folks.