One of the First Things You Learn in Economics 101 is Supply and Demand

Unemployment is low, and companies are making money. Like most economic theories, the ebb and flow of supply and demand under these circumstances should lead to bigger pay checks. But they aren’t. Why? Because when it comes to wages, other factors override economic truisms. Supply is about how much of a product you have, and demand is how much of a product people want. If there is more demand than supply, prices should go up. If there’s more supply than demand, price is supposed to go down. [...]

One of the First Things You Learn in Economics 101 is Supply and Demand 2018-02-20T00:46:02+00:00

More than Half of the U.S.’s Best Manufacturers are Union

Workers at more than 30 of the “50 Best U.S. Manufacturers” belong to unions. Industry Week puts out an annual list of the 50 Best U.S. Manufacturers based on financial measurements like revenue growth, profit margin and other financial metrics that Wall Street investors use to rate a company. Using back of the napkin numbers, the overall unionization rate in manufacturing is just under 10%--9.6% in 2017. So, all things being equal, only 5 of the companies on the top 50 list should be unionized. In fact, [...]

More than Half of the U.S.’s Best Manufacturers are Union 2018-02-20T00:46:28+00:00

When Management Consultants Says We Need to Invest in the U.S….

For years, politicians have debated about how to make America prosper. Some argue that the role of government is to loosen the reins on corporations by relaxing regulations and lowering corporate taxes so that companies will create jobs here in the U.S. Others – including much of organized labor – note that one role of government is to create the best conditions for both companies and workers to thrive: to have a strong industrial policy that creates good jobs, builds a solid infrastructure, educates the workforce and [...]

When Management Consultants Says We Need to Invest in the U.S…. 2018-01-19T22:00:11+00:00

To Fill Skilled Jobs You Need Skilled Workers

It’s not even a debate any more: there’s an unprecedented shortage of skilled workers in America. Everyday jobs go unfilled because of a lack of qualified candidates. Looking ahead, demand for quite a few of the skilled jobs that require apprenticeships or long on-the-job training are expected to grow or at least hold steady over the next eight years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.   This doesn’t just affect businesses: the shrinking base of these jobs also affects the middle class as these jobs have [...]

To Fill Skilled Jobs You Need Skilled Workers 2018-01-19T21:57:21+00:00

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