ReMaking America: manufacturing must be at the top of the agenda
Last night, our friends at Firedoglake hosted a live chat about the state of American manufacturing with Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul and ReMaking America authors Carl Pope and Harold Meyerson. The three discussed everything from the impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the U.S. manufacturing sector, to the economic potential of electric cars, to job creation.
We’ve highlighted some key points made during the two hour conversation.
Scott Paul on what we can do as consumers to help U.S. manufacturing, especially around the holidays:
First things folks can do is create their own “stimulus” plan for the USA by making their next purchase a Made in America product. With a little research, whether it’s apparel or an auto, it’s possible to do. Once you do, you’ll be hooked…Finally, with holiday shopping come up, try to give a Made in America gift to your loved ones. They’ll likely be surprised and delighted, unless they were looking for a 3D TV, none of which are currently made here.
Harold Meyerson on corporate tax reform and investment in manufacturing:
Just to elaborate on this a little more – boosting domestic investment in manufacturing or infrastructure or anything will require changing the incentives for corporate executives, delinking their pay from short-term profits and share value, and greatly boosting the government’s investment of public funds in infrastructure, science, research and, just as in the 30s, public employment projects.
Carl Pope on the wage myth in manufacturing:
The key thing to understand is that US wages are not the source of manufacturing weakness. Germany illustrates that a high wage, high labor standards and very unionized country can dominate manufacturing — not low end industries, but the really good, technically intense manufacturing field.
And please remember when talking about manufacturing: “It’s not wages, stupid.” We lost manufacturing to bad public policy, not good American wages. And we didn’t even lose it. Government threw it under the bus.
All very good points, gentlemen.
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