President Barack Obama, in his State of the Union address, told Americans that manufacturing in the United States is back. The president is right to applaud job creation in manufacturing. But both elected leaders and the public should be wary of one company, in particular, falsely taking credit for this “manufacturing renaissance”: Wal-Mart.
Walmart has spent millions of dollars in the past two years on public relations promotions, advertising and conferences, trying to convince us that it, well, cares about America. From championing hiring veterans (which is noble, yes, but veterans deserve better than poverty wage jobs, and Walmart receives a substantial tax break for hiring them) to promoting “U.S. manufacturing,” the company has tried to evade the common sense of real, hardworking Americans by helping them forget Walmart was responsible for our manufacturing sector’s demise in the first place.
Walmart is hosting a manufacturing summit in Denver this week as part of its new program to supposedly invest in products made in America for its stores across the country. The retailer is claiming its new plan will invest $250 billion over the next decade and create 1 million jobs. We're not buying it.
President Barack Obama today unveiled his fiscal year 2015 budget, which he says is “about choices, it’s about our values.” Making a down payment on his State of the Union address message that economic inequality is the greatest challenge of our time, he says:
President Barack Obama will give his annual State of the Union address to the American people next week. But what is the state of our union? The vast majority of America's working families have experienced a raw deal in recent decades. Wages are falling, the gulf between the rich and everybody else is growing larger, we have a shrinking middle class and too many working families with no access to the American Dream.
What's the state of your union? Share your ideas with us to be featured in the blog by texting SOTU to 235246 (standard data & message rates may apply).
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).