Alliance for American Manufacturing's (AAM) Scott Paul: We can build it in America
This past weekend on CNN's 'Your Money,' host Ali Velshi hosted a discussion between Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Executive Director Scott Paul and columnist Will Cain. Paul and Cain debated just exactly "what U.S. manufacturers can learn from other countries."
Paul made a strong case for the U.S. to implement a national manufacturing strategy:
I think too much of our economic policy has been focused on the financial sector and the latest, greatest thing like the tech bubble in the '90s, housing bubbles.
We've chased these bubbles. Other economies have shown the steadier path to growth and sustainability. We can actually learn a lot from Germany. We shouldn't become Germany, but listen to this, Ali.
Manufacturing workers in Germany make an average of $48 an hour compared to $32 in the United States. There's heavy trade union involvement. But what Germany has in place that we don't is a system of patient capital, a system of vocational training and reinvestment into that high-end manufacturing so that they can keep manufacturing steady.
They have a trade surplus with the rest of the world. They have balanced trade with China. They have high wages. There is a way to do it if you focus your economic policy on manufacturing. That's something this country hasn't done since the end of World War II.
We were right and free in the '50s and '60s without competition and it caught up with us in a hurry, but we've got to get back into the game. I'm glad to see the president talking about it. I'm glad to see Mitt Romney talking about it as well.
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