February 18, 2014: Regarding Presidents' Day

Posted by mmcmullan on 02/18/2014

Good morning,

Happy Tuesday! Washington, DC had a long weekend, as it's wont to do whenever an obscure federal holiday springs up, and so we followed suit. We celebrated Presidents' Day (or Washington’s Birthday, or what have you) with a slice of cherry pie and the traditional viewing of the Harrison Ford action vehicle Air Force One. We hope you had as good a time as we did.

But enough about that. The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) is back in the office. What have we been reading, and what are watching for?

The New York Times has an interesting profile of A. Michael Spence, a Nobel prize-winning economist who heads a team that has worked closely with Chinese government officials to offer solutions to the problem of that country’s slowing growth model. Put succinctly, the fix is:

The Chinese must move beyond low-wage exports, (said Spence,) and 'generate a fair amount of demand domestically, or they’ll fail.'

But acknowledging that problem and fixing it are two different animals:  

… just because top officials in China have endorsed an economic reform agenda doesn’t mean they will actually adopt it. Lots of Chinese are saying, ‘we’ll believe it when we see it,’ Mr. Spence said with a sigh. China’s 11th Five Year Plan (2006-10) also called for strengthening domestic demand, but it weakened instead.

Okay, so China’s been riding investment and exports to the tail end of its growth model, while the United States, conversely, has consumed itself toward exhaustion. But shopping ’til we drop is no long-term plan. What’s our government’s plan for jobs?

AAM President Scott Paul asked as much of Penny Pritzker, the U.S. Commerce secretary, in a profile of the cabinet member from Bloomberg Businessweek. Read the whole thing here.

ICYMI:

The average American voter wants to see more manufacturing jobs. That’s what the polls keep telling us. But if you aren’t one to trust the polls, trust the market: Import-fueled retail gargantuan Walmart is trying to co-opt the public sentiment with an American-made PR campaign, and we're calling foul.

And don’t forget:

You can watch the president’s speech right here.

 TGIT (Thank goodness it’s Tuesday), America!

-AAM

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