You might think these words are over stating it but i personally dont think so. Take a look at this video made by Lie Nielson of the making of the #51 Shootboard Plane and give what you see some significant thought.
Consider what the resultant outcome would be when none of these skills exist in North America. Not everything can be made in plastic and one cannot rely on others to supply these skills when needed in times of peril.
If ever you wish to see the value and motivation for the cost of a quality made hand tool this video does a fine job in demonstrating it.