March 3, 2014: Cold weather and cold Oscars pizza go together

Posted by mmcmullan on 03/03/2014

Good morning,

And hello from a snowy Washington, DC. We’re still working hard for you, America, even though we stayed up late last night, watching the Oscars and eating pizza.

But we’ve got no time to lose on the Academy Awards (unless you want to take a minute and check out our preview coverage, which is understandable). What’s happening this week in and around American manufacturing?

Well, for starters: It’s jobs week. The Bureau of Labor Statistics will have fresh employment data on Friday. And that means we’re pull-starting the ol’ #AAMeter. We've been creeping in the right direction for a few months now. How much closer will we be toward 1 million manufacturing jobs in the president’s second term once we see February's numbers?

China’s currency has plunged over the last month. Columnist Gordon G. Chang looks at the situation, considers the arguments that the yuan’s fall is previewing market-based economic reforms, and finds a more likely reason:

The central bank is intervening for the same reason it has intervened for decades: to give the country’s exporters and domestic industries advantages against foreign competitors.

Our money’s on Chang's hypothesis. Currency manipulation, after all, has been boosting the Chinese economy at the great expense of our own for years. Also, bonus side note: You can now spend your yuan in Zimbabwe.

ICYMI: NPR On The Road recently visited the Motor City, and it shared some posts on its Tumblr page, summarizing its trip -- totally worth checking out.

And lastly: Retro Report takes a look at the troubling state of thousands of American bridges, centering around a look back at the I-35 bridge collapse:

When this country gets around to upgrading its infrastructure, we hope it Buys American.

That’s it and that’s all, America. If you’re on the East Coast this morning: Stay warm out there.


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