Manufacturing Monday: The Prius to be made in America, VW expands too!

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Call it a positive effect on the falling US Dollar.  Along with an increase activity by domestic manufacturers, foreign companies are now expanding their operations here in the US.  Now, yes I understand that ultimately the money goes back overseas, but they are hiring folks who needed jobs.  To me, that last part is what counts.

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Manufacturing Monday: Budweiser Goes Belgium (and Brazillian) on us

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Now you may be asking, Budweiser?  What's all this then?  I thought you handled manufacturing stuff, you know gears, plastics and metal thingies? Yes we do, but here is something to keep in mind as to why food is also covered.  When they (being the mainstream media) has a manufacturing story, sometimes they include that little nugget "yet America is still the largest manufacturer." Sounds crazy, I mean look around in stores, it seems like everything is made in China.  Yet, this often-used tidbit is used because when this country calculates manufacturing, processed foods gets included.  Yes..that's right, those chicken nuggets and mac 'n' cheese microwavable meals are considered "domestic manufacturing." And you know what else is also?  Beer!

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UPDATE: Manufacturing Monday: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

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(UPDATE NOTE: New economic data released, see below!)

The Democrats are finally going after McCain's jugular.  That is, his economic policies.  Oh sure, we all know he's Mister War, and that is one of his weak links too.  But the economy, in particular the jobs situation, that will help propel Barack Obama into the White House.

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Manufacturing Monday: Steel looks chirpy, while China faces some woes

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Some interesting stuff happening in the manufacturing sector.  The US Dollar, despite the President's claim today that he wants a strong currency, continues to drop.  Rising material costs, be it ore or petroleum, has had some unintended consequences.  We noted here last week, that many businesses are starting to take a second look at the US given the rise in transportation costs.

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Ain't pandering, manufacturing jobs _must_ come back

U.S. manufacturing jobs must come back (pp. 20-21 of the link):

Manufacturing is key to long-run prosperity because it is a major center of productivity growth and innovation. When U.S. manufacturing moves offshore, associated R&D can move too, thereby further diminishing future innovations at home. Another problem is that international trade remains concentrated in goods. This means that, over the long haul, countries need to be able to produce and sell manufactured goods in order to finance imports. The erosion of U.S. manufacturing capacity undermines this ability, potentially risking a future decline in U.S. living standards . . .

And we know basically what has been happening for a helluva long time: other countries have been helping their manufacturing industries, manipulating their exchange rates, and/or under-paying their workers, while the U.S. has been sucking money out of domestic industry and putting it into financial speculation and overseas investment. These (obviously) have made our manufacturing industries uncompetitive:

U.S. consumers buy imports rather than American-made goods because imports are cheaper. This price advantage is often due to under-valued exchange rates in places like China and Japan, which often swamps U.S. manufacturing efficiency advantages.

Under-valued exchange rates are only one of the policies countries use to boost exports and restrain imports, so that they run trade surpluses while their trading partners (including the U.S.) run deficits. Other policies for export-led growth include export subsidies and barriers to imports.

In the modern era of globalization export-led growth is supplemented by policies to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), a pairing that has been particularly successful in China. Such FDI policies include investment subsidies, tax abatements, and exemptions from domestic regulation and laws.

These policies encourage corporations to shift production to developing countries, which gain modern production capacity. This increases developing country exports and reduces their import demand. Meanwhile, corporations reduce home country manufacturing capacity and investment, which reduces home country exports while increasing imports.

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Diaries

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