BUILD IT HERE: BLUEPRINT FOR THE FUTURE
The United States has lost over 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But offshoring of jobs does not have to be the new normal. We can bring strong, good-paying sustainable manufacturing jobs to the United States if we demand them.
The cry of “Build it here!” often disguises the hard fact that the jobs we are bringing to our country are either low paying or the price we pay in subsidies to lure them here is too steep.
What can we do today?
1. Reward workers for working harder and smarter
Since 1980, the manufacturing sector has more than doubled its output, while shedding one-third of its jobs largely due to automation and lean manufacturing. Innovation is often driven by the workers who contribute to the overall success of the company. Efficiency translate to profits which, too often, are not shared with those who produced the results.
2. Establish industrial policies
What does it say about our nation when we give companies economic subsidies to build factories that will pay our citizens less than what taxpayers are giving the companies to locate here? A strong industrial policy will provide the roadmap to our future, ushering in the next generation of jobs and opportunities for our children.
3. Improve globalization and trade policies
Our economy is global. International trade — imports and exports combined – accounts for roughly 30 percent of the U.S. economy and affects millions of jobs. Many decisions are driven by the goal of rewarding corporate interests which are designed to maximize profits – often by keeping wages low, avoiding regulations and destroying competition. Balancing the health of corporations with the need to build strong communities is vital. By prioritizing the interests of workers, the environment and entire communities, we can develop trade policies where everyone benefits.
4. Rebuild union density
When workers organize into unions, they improve their wages, benefits and working conditions. They also bargain new work and investments into their plants to keep good manufacturing jobs in our communities.