Article written by: Willy Blackmore of TakePart[p][/p]
As presidential candidates have worked their way across Iowa in recent months, campaigning ahead of the first-in-the-nation voting that will take place when the caucuses commence on Feb. 1, the country has seen a certain slice of the state. There are the town hall meetings at Elks Lodge halls, cups of coffee at old-school diners, and visits to mom-and-pop shops on a succession of Main Streets. Television crews park news anchors in front of stately town squares and historic courthouses built of red brick or green-gray limestone. Even as news stories delve into the changing demographics in the state or the reduced political clout of farmers, campaign optics still focus largely on this true-blue image of middle-class Middle America. Read more
Too many American companies base decisions about how to source manufacturing largely on narrow financial criteria, never taking into account the potential strategic value of domestic locations. Proposals for plants are treated like any other investment proposal and subjected to strict return hurdles. Tax, regulatory, intellectual property, and political considerations may also figure heavily in the conversation. But executives, viewing manufacturing mainly as a cost center, give short shrift to the impact that outsourcing or offshoring it may have on a company’s capacity to innovate. Indeed, most don’t consider manufacturing to be part of a company’s innovation system at all. Read more
Were the experts wrong about the benefits of trade for the American economy? Read more
Carrier – Union leaders at an air conditioner factory in Indianapolis threatened with losing 1,400 jobs to Mexico said on Tuesday the plant’s owner expects to pay Mexican workers $3 an hour compared to an average of more than $20 an hour for the U.S. workers. Read more
In the week before Valentine’s Day, United Technologies expressed its love for its devoted Indiana employees, workers whose labor had kept the corporation profitable, by informing 2,100 of them at two facilities that it was shipping their factories, their jobs, their communities’ resources to Mexico. Read more
The U.S. economy is picking up steam but most Americans aren’t feeling it. By contrast, most European economies are still in bad shape, but most Europeans are doing relatively well.