Build It

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Immigrants Entrepreneurs: An Engine Creating Jobs

Immigrants have always been an essential part of building our nation. Millions of immigrant workers laid railroads, built cities, mined ore, picked crops and assembled cars. Their labor and ingenuity was often exploited by the robber barons of history, so it’s no surprise that many of the founding members of the great industrial unions that still stand today were themselves recent immigrants to the United States.   Workers and families continue to come to this country seeking a better life. Some politicians demonize immigrants and accuse them [...]

Immigrants Entrepreneurs: An Engine Creating Jobs 2017-12-15T22:49:35+00:00

Keeping US Military Strong by Making it in USA

For decades, it was axiomatic that the U.S. defense contractors built military equipment for the U.S. military here in the U.S. From ships and submarines to tanks and satellites, building for our military created high-paying and often union jobs for families and kept innovation and technology here.   That was then. This is now.   Today, the common sense arguments to protect the domestic defense industry have given way to free traders who argue it’s a boon for the American taxpayer to have our military purchase cheap [...]

Keeping US Military Strong by Making it in USA 2017-11-17T22:13:43+00:00

Lincoln Logs Proves US Workers Are the Most Productive Builders

Lincoln Logs are an iconic toy that entertained generations of children. We built cabins and forts with the simple interconnecting logs, a toy that was invented in 1916 and named after President Lincoln’s famous childhood home. For 60 years, the toy sets were made in China. But recently, they were reshored and are now Made in the USA. When the toy celebrated its 100th birthday in 2016, Lincoln Logs were rolling off an assembly line in Maine.   Lincoln Logs are made by K’Nex. About 10 years [...]

Lincoln Logs Proves US Workers Are the Most Productive Builders 2017-11-17T22:13:31+00:00

Unions Create Manufacturing Jobs

In addition to a nation’s commitment to create a strong manufacturing base through its industrial policy, another important way to grow well-paying jobs is through strong, independent trade unions. Through collective bargaining, workers gain the power to negotiate improvements with their employers that not only benefits the workers but entire communities. And the improvements they win are not just to wages and benefits:  more and more, unions are negotiating the return of sustaining, well-paying jobs to the United States as a key part of their contracts.   [...]

Unions Create Manufacturing Jobs 2017-11-03T21:58:12+00:00

What Pencils Teach About Globalization

There’s sometimes an overwhelming sense of doom when it comes to globalization. It is true that globalization is here to stay. The scale of the massive and complicated network of suppliers and manufacturers that crisscross the world searching for ever lower labor costs is seems unlikely to disappear any time soon. But it is possible to manufacture domestically and profitably. And a good example of that is the lowly pencil. To make pencils, lumber is cut into stock then blocks then pencil slats at a sawmill and factories. Grooves [...]

What Pencils Teach About Globalization 2017-11-02T23:42:56+00:00

When Industrial Policy is Shaped by Profits and not People

“Industrial policy” is one of those phrases that puts most people to sleep. It reeks of wonkish pie charts and statistical abstracts. But the root of the very human prices paid in our economy can be traced right back to our nation’s “industrial policy.”   Simply put, an industrial policy is a set of government decisions that shape the economy and living standards of its citizens. These policies can cover tax, trade, education, infrastructure and a host of regulations that affect product safety and the environment. That [...]

When Industrial Policy is Shaped by Profits and not People 2017-10-24T23:47:34+00:00

Outfoxed and Outconned: Corporate Giveaways Run Amok

When news broke that Foxconn – the company which makes the iPhone – had decided to build a factory in Wisconsin, politicians like Governor Scott Walker jumped with joy. Foxconn announced it would invest as much as $10 billion and hire as many as 13,000 at a new plant manufacturing LCDs, the flat panel displays used in televisions, tablets and other electronics. The Foxconn facility would be the only LCD manufacturing facility in North America and the only one outside of Asia.   Press release after press [...]

Outfoxed and Outconned: Corporate Giveaways Run Amok 2017-10-11T18:30:59+00:00

Why Consumers Should Care About Build Buy USA

Q&A with UAW International President Dennis Williams.   In the face of constant assaults from a labor-hostile presidential administration and congress, UAW President Dennis Williams has said that American workers “need champions now more than ever.” Williams, a UAW member for 40 years, recently shared his thoughts on the Build Buy USA initiative.   Explain the importance of Build Buy USA and engaging consumers in this initiative.   Dennis Williams: When the debate was going on about trade agreements, the American public and working men and women [...]

Why Consumers Should Care About Build Buy USA 2017-10-05T21:50:38+00:00

USA-Made Goods Worth Their Price

Supporters of “Free Trade” argue that it gives Americans the chance to buy cheap goods that help stretch the family budget. It’s probably the one time you’ll hear the U.S. Chamber of Commerce showing any interest in the American family’s budget.   And it’s true:  when you compare similar goods made here and abroad, there’s often a cost differential that can be very large or just a few dollars or pennies. American Apparel, which is now owned by Gildan Activewear, a Canadian company, points this out dramatically [...]

USA-Made Goods Worth Their Price 2017-10-05T21:54:48+00:00

Manufacturing Jobs Build More than Just Products

One of the many reasons why manufacturing jobs are good for our economy is that they create positive ripple effects throughout our communities. Each full-time job in manufacturing creates 3.4 full-time jobs in non-manufacturing industries, according to a 2016 study by the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI).   MAPI looked at both “upstream” and “downstream” in the manufacturing value chain. So counted toward jobs created were: corporate offices and management, research and development, the transportation of materials and finished goods, logistics and warehousing, advertising, the [...]

Manufacturing Jobs Build More than Just Products 2017-10-05T21:57:42+00:00