Restoring skilled manufacturing is restoring our economy

All American workers need is genuine opportunityIUOE Local 49 brass logo alternativeUnited States flag

Despite Clint Eastwood’s Super Bowl commercial, the resulting posturing from GOP insiders such as Karl Rove points out that the President will have a tough time getting political opponents to buy into anything he suggests before the November elections. Rove is upset that an actor played a role? The message about it being half-time was too inspirational for a former GOP mayor to deliver?

With about 9% of all U.S. jobs currently in manufacturing, 35% of all engineers work in manufacturing. In other words, “manufacturing firms are tightly linked to innovation in the U.S. service sector.” Getting back to high-skilled manufacturing with good paying jobs means we’ll also be supporting the engineers. That’s real value for the economy now and into the future, yet real job growth in manufacturing is hostage to political rhetoric that lately places party power above all else.

But there’s still more reason to push for recovering our manufacturing sector:

NSF data show that a meager 8% of all non-manufacturing companies introduced a new product, service, business process, or production process between 2006 and 2008, compared to 22% of manufacturing companies! And IRS data reveal that 60% of income from royalties from intellectual property goes to manufacturing firms.

An economy that’s built to last on American manufacturing?

Obama delivers state of the union to CongressThe President is pushing to restore our manufacturing sector for good reason; it’s part of the backbone that built this country into the greatest nation on earth, including skilled union workers able to support their families. Labor and innovation drove our economy to become a juggernaught.

The recession that overshadowed the end of the Bush administration and led to bank bailouts while unemployment spiraled out of control and foreclosures decimated families has been officially done for over two years; we’ve weathered the worst of the storm, but the surest way to sustain and speed up the recovery is to get back to a fundamental pride in what our workers actually produce instead of talking about Wall Street’s latest financial gimmicky bright idea for how to make money off other people’s money.

We don’t need posturing, finger-pointing, petty rhetoric, or point-scoring from politicians and pundits intent on preserving their own jobs. We just need bona fide leadership to move this country forward to reclaim our status as not only the most reliable economy on the planet but also the best place to live, work, and raise a family.

Do you really think big business CEOs, their lobbyists at the Chamber of Commerce, and the Republicans in Congress who are already pushing back against the President’s initiative have any concern for workers? Wouldn’t they be working to create jobs instead of blocking progress for purely political reasons if they did?

A business owner trying to control costs is on a fair path. But if it’s just to boost bonuses, stock-options, pensions, and salaries for the already rich, not to sustain their workers and the communities that enable their success, then it’s plain counterproductive to spend time undermining the President while whining about corporate taxes (currently already at their lowest rates in recent history,) regulations, or fair wages, benefits, and pensions that middle class workers won via collective bargaining while we grew into a global super power for their current challenges.

Are we surprised business owners seek an edge? No, of course not. Operating a business is demanding, not easy — that’s why they earn the big bucks. But what made America great was not unbridled focus on the bottom line, it was a partnership between business owners and workers with opportunities for everybody to get ahead. That’s what created a thriving consumer demand when our economy was booming, and that’s what we need again now.

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About local49

IUOE Local 49 was formed in 1927. Today we are more than 13,000 men and women in Minnesota, North and South Dakota with contracts for highway/heavy and building contractors, well drillers, equipment repair shops, welding shops, sand and gravel suppliers, counties, municipalities, hospitals, school districts, cemeteries, and more.

Posted on February 10, 2012, in Jobs, U.S. Congress, union and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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