Scott Paul, Labor Day, Unions, This Day, Some Well-Earned Respect For Factory Workers

This Day, Some Well-Earned Respect For Factory Workers

Workers who make things in America always get a lot of love from the lips of politicians. Always. Before Clinton and Trump, there was Reagan, Bill, Bush, and Obama. Because shaking hands with a hard-hat is always a good photo opportunity for an elected official.

The love these workers get is well-deserved. America’s manufacturing workforce play an outsized role in our economy. Even though they represent just 11 percent of the U.S. workforce, they produce most of our exports; their engineers and scientists perform roughly two-thirds of private-sector R&D, and they produce 90 percent of new patents.

They support more jobs in the community than any major service sector occupation.

And they tend to pay better wages than non-college educated peers in other occupations, which means that they spread more money around local stores.

These workers deserve more than lip service. They deserve an economic opportunity, and they deserve respect.

What should that mean for politicians? Practice what you preach.

If you say you love American manufacturing and also put your name on a product, make sure it’s made by American workers.

If you say you love American workers, don’t blame them for our problems.

And don’t say they aren’t skilled enough because workforce training is a shared responsibility.

Look forward, and not backward. Don’t spend all of your time acting stymied by increasing automation and global competition; they’re facts on the ground, and they’re nothing new. Do you want to see countries with walls? Look at North Korea, and you’ll get a taste.

Here’s what we really need to figure out: How do we capture more of the global economic pie on behalf of American workers, and how do we shape the rules so that we have a level playing field? Current efforts to shape that playing field seems to be misguided. And it’s not enough to just say “no” to trade.

Finally, more politicians would do well to acknowledge all workers, around the world, should be treated with dignity and respect. Chinese and Mexican workers aren’t responsible for American job loss. Policies set by governments and corporate decision-making play a far larger role.

Workers aren’t only the often unacknowledged foundation of our economy, they’re what makes democracy everywhere vibrant. It’s time to respect and work for them; not just on Labor Day.

SOURCE: Huffington Post

3 replies
  1. Ernest
    Ernest says:

    For several months I thought I was participating in a True “Made in America” Revival. You’re nothing but a Left Wing Scam owned and Sponsored by the Socialist Huffington Post!
    Made in America is Great! But Unions that demand “Cradle to Grave” Outrageous Pay and Benefits for screwing on Lug Nuts is Insane!
    That’s What Caused our Outsourcing and the Demise of many of our Factory jobs !

    Reply
    • Cynthia McPeak
      Cynthia McPeak says:

      Ernest,

      It is more than unfortunate that in our schools, the history of our Country and the importance of the labor movement is not studied. All those benefits; safety standards,40 hour work week, overtime, pensions to name a few are shared by not only union workers, but, for the MOST PART, ALL workers. The high cost of “goods” can be caused by many factors; not all attributed to the wages of the worker~PROFIT is a huge factor. As for low cost of goods and services, one must consider the “high cost of low prices”; imported goods that are made by near slave labor, underpaid local workers that have to be supported by States they live in via health care, food stamps, services for the needy. People that work two and three jobs and STILL CANNOT support themselves and their families~well it is all very complex isn’t it. But, do not blame Unions. Outsourcing and demise of factory jobs has more to do with greed of corporations. Why would an American worker want their job to be outsourced???

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply