Manufacturing Needs to be Remanufactured

Nationwide, an estimated 600,000 manufacturing jobs are going unfilled, according to a survey published last year by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute. The survey found 5 percent of current manufacturing jobs are unfilled due to lack of qualified candidates, 67 percent of manufacturers have a moderate to severe shortage of qualified workers, and 56 percent expect the shortage to increase in the next three to five years as older workers retire. Most of these unfilled jobs are in the skilled production category — positions such as machinists, operators, craft workers, logistics managers and technicians. How did the U.S. manufacturing industry – historically and currently the worldwide leader in manufacturing — lose its mojo? (Yes, the United States is the largest manufacturing country... Read More

Cherry-Picking the Employment Numbers

The White House trumpeted an unemployment figure of 8.3 percent as great progress. That would be encouraging if it were true. It’s not. The administration selectively chose the data that seemed to indicate a drop in unemployment while ignoring any numbers that would detract from their findings. Interestingly, this is exactly how the first unemployment figures were tabulated in 1878 by Carroll D. Wright, chief of the Massachusetts Bureau of the Statistics of Labor. According to the New York Times, he circulated a survey that asked town assessors to estimate the number of local people out of work, but only count adult men who really want employment. “By doing this, Wright said he understood that he was excluding a large number of men who would have liked to work if they could... Read More

A Wealth Gap or a Crisis of Confidence?

Winston Churchill once wrote: “You don’t make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.” If he were sitting in the House chamber during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address, Churchill would have been flabbergasted by the contention that a “wealth gap” was the cause of the nation’s woes. It’s not a wealth gap that is slowing recovery – it’s a crisis of confidence in Obama’s ability to lead the nation. Some of history’s most accomplished leaders, like Churchill, got their inspiration from time honored thought leaders and statesmen. In his State of the Union Address, Obama got his inspiration from the Occupy movement, and catered to this largely discredited group. This agenda is fraught with peril. It is clear that rather than face the lingering... Read More

Welcome to the Department of Global Commerce

Last week, President Barack Obama asked Congress for authority to close the Commerce Department and create a new export agency. Obama wants to put the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM), Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC), the Trade and Development Agency (TDA), the Small Business Administration (SBA) and parts of the Commerce Department under a new roof — something that has been kicked around for years. As I point out in my book “Conscientious Equity,” we have created a bloated behemoth government infrastructure to manage our global trade relations that is uncompetitive and inefficient. Our exporters aren’t getting the support they need to combat foreign governments that erode our access to markets by... Read More

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

As I watch the general malaise gripping Washington, I find myself thinking about the lyrics of Tom Petty’s hit song: “The waiting is the hardest part.” I know I am not the only one waiting for something to happen to get this nation back on track. Our small businesses, entrepreneurs and 14 million unemployed feel an endless gnawing, the grinding of gears, as America performs like a broken clock. Time stands still. It has become all about the waiting. • The waiting for the Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare so we can get our future healthcare costs under control. The Affordable Healthcare for America Act is anything but affordable. When the majority of states consider it unconstitutional, something is very wrong. It’s just one more thing keeping small business from hiring.... Read More

US Has Its Work Cut Out in Revamping Tax Code

If you spent 6.1 billion hours doing something, you would think you would have created something most ingenious. Ironically, that’s how much time American taxpayers spent this year fumbling through stacks of confusing IRS forms. Americans spend about $300 billion a year in tax-preparation costs traversing a mind-bursting 3.4 million word tax code. The net effect of this archaic tax system is not only its compliance cost, but it ultimately punishes companies for being successful and discourages them from hiring. Taxing our corporations and businesses is a giant hoax. Taxes and tax related costs paid by our companies are simply passed on to the consumer. Those being impacted most from corporate taxes are the poor who have less to spend. The best way to protect the poor (and the middle... Read More

Obama, Unions Are Holding US Jobs Hostage

As recently as April, it looked like President Barack Obama was ready to make good on his promise to double exports in five years. American trade unions, besieged and reeling from rapidly diminishing public support, appeared to be falling into line by removing their objections to three pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Obama made an incredible about-face and even praised these agreements that were originally signed by the Bush administration. He seemed to be finally setting aside raw partisan politics. There was recognition that these agreements would create thousands of good-paying American jobs, revive small businesses, and bring billions of revenue. It looked like the signing pen was in hand providing a brief moment for celebration as Democrats and Republicans... Read More

Where There Are Jobs, There Are Votes

While the Republican presidential candidate field has yet to gel, CNN’s Republican debate this week drew 3.162 million total viewers including a wide audience of younger voters, according to Nielsen Fast National data. There is building momentum for the Republican Party, even if some of this interest is coming from voters who subscribe to the “Anybody But Obama” doctrine. So why isn’t the Republican Party seizing this golden opportunity? It is time to get the message out that the GOP understands the mess this country is in and has a sound plan to get us back on track. Attacks on President Barack Obama will continue and accelerate but it is solutions people are looking for. Only 45,000 jobs were created in the private sector last month. That is pathetic and woefully below what we need... Read More