The Washington Post today published a special section—in print and on the Web—about what some say is a resurgence of “Made in America” manufacturing.
In the section’s anchor piece, Brad Plumer writes that some U.S. firms have “reshored” their manufacturing operations in the United States and that even some Chinese companies have located new plants here. He cites a narrowing wage gap between U.S. workers and their foreign counterparts, lower energy and transportation costs and automation as key drivers in moving manufacturing to the United States.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (aka L.A. Metro) needed new, clean buses. If L.A. Metro had simply followed current buying protocol, its single focus would have been on finding a company to deliver the lowest-cost buses. In all likelihood, this would have resulted in jobs going overseas (but for some final assembly jobs on U.S. soil).
If the United States implemented trade policies to end currency manipulation—especially by China—not only would that reduce the U.S. trade deficit by $190 billion to $400 billion over three years, it would be a major first step in reviving the nation’s manufacturing sector and creating up to 4.7 million jobs, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
Freshman Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) says one of his top priorities in the Senate is advancing a “Make It in America” jobs agenda. Murphy, who founded the House “Buy American” Caucus, outlined that agenda in a conference call Wednesday sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future and the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
When the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star recently published a cartoon featuring so-called “union thugs” in trench coats talking in “does and dem” patois expressing dismay about the "right to work" for less vote in Michigan, with American manufacturing encased in cement ready for a deep six off a pier in the background, and inferring workers were the reason for the demise of Hostess, Seafarers (SIU) Communications Director Jordan Biscardo fired off a letter to the editor in protest.
Not only was the letter published, but the paper apologized for the cartoon. Here’s Biscardo’s letter:
This is the fourth of a four-part series describing what went wrong with America’s economy and how to fix it. Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here—and please leave a comment to tell us what you think. (Click the chart to enlarge.)
To fix what’s wrong with the U.S. economy, we have to replace the failed low-wage economic strategy of the past 30 years with a high-wage strategy for shared prosperity.
The first step in such a high-wage strategy is to put America back to work because high unemployment keeps wages down. Our goal should be “full employment,” meaning everybody who wants to work should be able to find a decent job. We can’t allow the unfounded fear of inflation to be used as an excuse to keep unemployment high and wages low.
Trade deficits matter: 2.7 million U.S. jobs have been lost over the past decade due to our nation’s growing trade deficit with China, according to a new report out today (click on chart to expand).
“The China Toll” also shows that between 2001—when China was admitted into the World Trade Organization—and 2011, the U.S. trade deficit with that nation eliminated or displaced 2.1 million manufacturing jobs. Those jobs represent more than half of all U.S. manufacturing jobs lost during that time.
America’s workers are existing on the edge of financial disaster: 40 percent say they live paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey. Worse, 37 percent say they sometimes need to rely on the next payday to make ends meet. Although the percentage of those literally living for payday has decreased from 42 percent in 2011 and from 46 percent in 2008, the height of the recession, this is not good news.