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Making More In America: How Restoring America’s Manufacturing Strength Can Help Rebuild America’s Middle Class

Making More In America: How Restoring America’s Manufacturing Strength Can Help Rebuild America’s Middle Class

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Publicado porGrant Martin
I believe that America needs to make things again.

Why? Because the kinds of jobs that send kids to college and send us into a secure retirement are not minimum-wage jobs. Creating high-wage jobs, middle-class jobs and steady year-round jobs will take revitalizing the American manufacturing economy.

That is why I've proposed this middle-class jobs plan to help give middle-class families a fair shake in this economy.

My plan is built around seven priorities with multiple specific proposals, including increasing lending to small businesses, expanding local niche manufacturing in the district, investing in education and vocational training, modernizing our infrastructure and restoring middle-class buying power through fairer tax policies.

All of my experience creating jobs and sparking innovation has led me to one simple conclusion – we can’t outsource our way to prosperity. We need to do more than just design, and then consume, products. We need to make things again.

I hope you will read the plan and let me know what you think by visiting www.StaceyLawson.com or www.Facebook.com/Stacey4Congress. Thanks!
I believe that America needs to make things again.

Why? Because the kinds of jobs that send kids to college and send us into a secure retirement are not minimum-wage jobs. Creating high-wage jobs, middle-class jobs and steady year-round jobs will take revitalizing the American manufacturing economy.

That is why I've proposed this middle-class jobs plan to help give middle-class families a fair shake in this economy.

My plan is built around seven priorities with multiple specific proposals, including increasing lending to small businesses, expanding local niche manufacturing in the district, investing in education and vocational training, modernizing our infrastructure and restoring middle-class buying power through fairer tax policies.

All of my experience creating jobs and sparking innovation has led me to one simple conclusion – we can’t outsource our way to prosperity. We need to do more than just design, and then consume, products. We need to make things again.

I hope you will read the plan and let me know what you think by visiting www.StaceyLawson.com or www.Facebook.com/Stacey4Congress. Thanks!

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Published by: Grant Martin on Feb 06, 2012
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America needs to make things again. Why? Because the kinds

of jobs that can send kids to college and provide a secure

retirement are not minimum-wage jobs. Creating high-wage

jobs, middle-class jobs and steady year-round jobs will take

revitalizing the American manufacturing economy.

Te average wage for manufacturing

work in America is 20 percent higher than

the national average wage1

— a premium

that refects the tremendous value added to

our economy by the manufacturing sector.

Each manufacturing job produces up to four

downstream jobs and, according to a recent

report, each $1 spent in manufacturing

creates $1.43 in other sectors.2

Tat’s a

“multiplier efect” nearly twice that of other

parts of our economy.3

A healthy manufacturing sector isn’t just

important to individuals looking for high-

wage employment—it is vital to the long-term

health and security of our national economy.

Manufacturing and technological

innovation are so closely linked that

manufacturing is still the principal source of

innovation in the United States. If we don’t

keep innovating, our economy will fall behind

and millions more Americans will drop

out of the middle class. Since innovation is

driven by the manufacturing sector, a healthy

economic future starts with restoring the

health of American manufacturing.

Manufacturing is one of the few sources of

steady and secure jobs for those who do not

graduate from four-year colleges. A fair and

just economy means creating opportunity

for everyone, not just those who earn college

degrees or, increasingly, advanced degrees.

Spurring manufacturing is one of the ways we

can help reverse the rapidly growing equality

gap in our country that has seen the rich get

dramatically richer and virtually everyone

else fall behind.

Manufacturing is key to restoring our

balance of trade. If we don’t make things,

we can’t sell things to other nations. Why

does that matter? Because in the long term,

it means other countries gain more and

more power and more infuence over our

economic well-being. If we want to control

FACT

FACT

$1.00

$1.43

1

Making the case for making more in America

manufacturing
job produces

downstream jobs

4

spent on
manufacturing
creates

in other
sectors of our
economy

3

our economic future, we must restore our

balance of trade.

And perhaps most importantly,

manufacturing know-how is a “use it or lose

it” proposition. If we stop making things, we

lose the knowledge base and the workforce

that knows how to make things. We need

the kind of skilled workforce that has the

technical knowledge manufacturing requires,

the engineers and innovators who help drive

product development and the practical

applications that come from a robust

manufacturing economy.

Te Power of Buying Local

Manufacturing isn’t just big factories anymore.

Te “buy local” and “maker” movements have

shown the tremendous economic and creative

energies released, and the environmental

benefts gained, when we stay local.

When we buy a piece of furniture that was

made by a local carpenter in Del Norte County,

we keep those dollars at home, we keep those

skills local, we keep a neighbor in steady

middle-class employment and we keep carbon

emissions out of our atmosphere.

And if we buy that musical instrument

from a small shop in Humboldt, it doesn’t just

keep our local dollars local; it keeps trucks

of the road and giant cargo planes out of the

sky. And it keeps, or creates, new skills here

at home.

When we buy local wine from a

Mendocino vineyard, we can see for

ourselves how those grapes were grown—

and understand if they were harvested in a

sustainable fashion.

When a skilled machinist makes tools and

other high value-add products in Sonoma

County, the supply chain created sets of a

virtuous cycle that has actually been shown

to help raise other wages, even of those not

in the manufacturing sector. We know that

spending $100 at an independent business

puts $68 back into the local community,

versus only $43 when the same $100 is spent

at a national chain.4

Te same thing happens

when we do more than shop locally — when

we make things locally. We create jobs and

opportunity right here at home.

A Path to the Middle Class

I grew up in a logging town on the coast

of Washington. When I was young, we

lived in a trailer, like a lot of families in

our community, struggling as the natural

FACT

Spending

$100 at an

independent

business puts

back into the

local community,

versus only

when the

same $100

is spent at a

national chain.

$43

$68

Employment in millions, seasonally adjusted

1960

1962

1964

1966

1968

1970

1972

1974

1976

1978

1980

1982

1984

1986

1988

1990

1992

1994

1996

1998

2000

2002

2004

2006

2008

2010

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

10

12

14

16

18

20

DECLINE IN MANUFACTURING JOBS SINCE THE THE 1960s

Te loss of
manufacturing
jobs in the U.S. is
directly related
to the shrinking
middle class.

4

resource economy began to shrink.

Our family wanted the same kind of

opportunities most of us dream about. My

mom and dad wanted a house they could

own themselves. Tey wanted to be able to

send us to college. Tey hoped, one day, to

be able to retire in security and dignity. Tey

didn’t dream about riches — they just wanted

the American dream of a middle-class life.

And they got it. My dad started a small

trucking company. He took a risk. And it paid

of for him, my family and me.

With the help of scholarships, government

education loans and access to great public

schools and universities, I was able to go to

college, earn a degree in chemical engineering

and then an advanced degree. I was able to

succeed because my parents were able to build

a secure economic foundation.

What came next for me was a path

made possible by American opportunity.

After fnishing graduate school, I started a

company that created technology to help

U.S. manufacturers compete in the global

marketplace. Tis was around the time

when American manufacturing started to

shrink. I wanted to help keep the American

manufacturing economy alive. I’m proud we

helped so many companies stay competitive,

so they could stay here in America and keep

high-wage jobs here at home.

I went on to co-found the Center for

Entrepreneurship and Technology at UC

Berkeley. My mission as an educator is

to keep and promote the skills it takes to

maintain America’s lead in innovation and

technology. You know what we have found?

Long-term economic success isn’t just about

having the engineering skills to design new

products, or the fnancial capital to bring

them to market — you also need the skills to

make these products yourself.

We can’t “outsource” our way to prosperity.

We need to do more than design and consume

products. We need to make things again.

Te Shrinking Middle Class

My story is one that millions of Americans

could tell — or used to be able to tell. Te

challenge today is that the middle class is

Te “buy local”
and “maker”
movements
have shown the
tremendous
economic and
creative energies
released, and the
environmental
benefts gained,
when we stay
local.

5

shrinking dramatically — and that adds to

our income gap, it hinders economic growth,

and it takes away the kind of opportunities

that we used to take for granted.

Since 2000, America has lost nearly one

third of its manufacturing jobs, a loss directly

related to the shrinking of the middle class.

Tis recent decline is only an acceleration of

a long-term trend — with manufacturing jobs

falling from 27 percent of our workforce in

1970 to just over 10 percent today.5

We are proud of our ability to design

products like the iPad — but history shows

that innovation is linked to manufacturing

skills, and if you lose the manufacturing

skills you will eventually lose your

technological edge. And, perhaps most

dangerous of all, this new “winners and

losers” economy has started to undermine

the very idea of the American dream — the

ideal that everyone has the opportunity for

a better life if they are willing to study well

and work hard.

With just a very few gaining more and

more economic power, and the rest of

America falling behind, we just can’t be

sure that ideal is still true.

Tat’s why we need to start restoring

the kind of high-wage jobs that are the

foundation of a sustainable economic

recovery, not just for Wall Street, but also for

the Main Streets up and down our district

and throughout our country.

Reasons for Hope

As tough as the American economy is right

now, there is reason for hope when it comes

to Making More in America. Even without a

coherent national policy, our manufacturing

sector is coming back to life.

Over the past two years, the economy

has added 334,000 manufacturing jobs — the

strongest two‐year period of manufacturing

job growth since the late 1990s.6

Manufacturing production grew 5.7

percent on an annualized basis since its

June 2009 low, the fastest pace of growth

of production in a decade.7

But we are far

from recovering the more than two million

manufacturing jobs lost in the recession.

FACT

If 20% of

jobs were

in the

manufacturing

sector (like

they were

in 1970),

we would

create 12

million new

manufacturing

jobs and 30

million new

support jobs.

Source: Congressional Budget O ce

-50

0

50

100

150

200

250

300

Percentage change in income since 1979, adjusted for in ation

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005

Top 1 Percent

81st – 99th Percentiles

21st – 80th Percentiles

Lowest Quintile

CUMULATIVE GROWTH IN AVERAGE
AFTER-TAX INCOME, BY INCOME GROUP

Te distribution of
after-tax income became
substantially more unequal
from 1979 to 2007 as a
result of a rapid rise in
income for the highest-
income households,
sluggish income growth
for the middle 60 percent
of the population, and an
even smaller increase in
after-tax income for the 20
percent of the population
with the lowest income.

Source: Congressional Budget Ofce

6

Part of this growth is driven by the

incredible productivity of the American worker.

Relative costs in the U.S. have improved with

productivity growth: U.S. manufacturing

productivity—which has always been strong—

continues to improve, rising nearly 13 percent

since the frst quarter of 2009.8

Combined

with an increased cost of labor elsewhere in

the world, it is now more cost-competitive to

invest in American manufacturing workers.

A series of identifable smart actions

and choices by business leaders, educators,

and policymakers could lead to a robust,

manufacturing-driven economic future.

Alternatively, if the U.S. manufacturing sector

remains neglected, our manufacturing

capabilities could then erode past the point of

no return.

Of course we are not going to bring every

manufacturing job back. Tat is a reality. And

we might not want to invest our resources in

reviving extremely low-paying manufacturing

jobs. But we can target high-wage and high-

value jobs that keep hardworking families

in the middle class and expand markets for

locally-made goods.

Te upside to bringing these jobs home

can be calculated — and it is signifcant. For

example, if we could return to the level of

the late 1970s when about 20 percent of jobs

were in the manufacturing sector — we would

create 12 million new jobs directly and spur

another 30 million new jobs in downstream

support services.9

Why is that number so important? Because

that’s just about the number of jobs we need

to restore and create over the next ten years to

get back to full employment in the U.S.

Plans versus Politics

Of course, we’ve heard our politicians

talk about jobs almost endlessly. But the

problem is that most of them don’t have

much experience in the fundamentals of

how to create high-wage jobs and how to

restore economic balance. So many of their

campaigns are funded by Wall Street, the big

banks and giant corporations, that perhaps

they feel beholden. Others have spent their

careers in government ofce — which is a

noble calling — but one that emphasizes

quick fxes and sound bites over the kind of

economic fundamentals we need to restore

the middle class and create economic

fairness in the long term.

Tat’s why I am running for Congress.

And that’s why I am ofering my plans for

restoring the American manufacturing

economy.

I’m running because I know — from

my own life, my own experiences helping

American manufacturers succeed and my

own career in education working to promote

innovation and technology — we need more

than promises. We need a robust plan to

restore the middle class, starting with the jobs

that sustain the middle class — manufacturing

employment.

My plan can be broken down into seven

major priorities — and I would like to discuss

these briefy in the pages ahead. Because I

Restoring our
manufacturing
strength is key
to rebuilding
America’s
middle class
and re-opening
the doors of
opportunity for
all Americans.

7

have actually worked to create jobs and spark

innovation, I know that this won’t be easy.

But I have incredible faith in the American

economy, and the American worker, because

I know we are still the best trained, most

creative, most motivated and most innovative

people on Earth. Here are seven simple

priorities to help us stay that way.

One of the foundational priciples of my

campaign is the belief that politicians don’t

have all the aswers — but there are answers

out there if we bother to ask and listen.

Let’s get the conversation going. Here

are some of my ideas to get our friends and

neighbors back to work. What do you think?

What are your ideas? What’s right, or wrong,

about the ideas proposed here?

Let me know — you can email me at

Stacey@StaceyLawson.com — and I’ll share

your ideas with our growing community.

I’ll be releasing more proposals in

the months ahead — but creating new

middle-class jobs by restoring America’s

manufacturing economy is my frst

priority, which is why I have presented

these proposals frst.

S EVENPRIORITIES FOR RESTORING
OUR MANUFACTURING ECONOMY

1 Creating conditions for small businesses to thrive

2 Promoting insourcing and local, niche manufacturing

3 Making our own energy again

4 Retooling our workforce for the 21st century

5 Growing our lead in science and technology

6 Equipping the country’s workforce with working infrastructure

7 Accelerating demand for “Made in America”

8

1 Michael Ettlinger and Kate Gordon, “Te Importance and Promise of American Manufacturing, Why It Matters

if We Make It in America and Where We Stand Today,” (Center for American Progress, April 2011), available at

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/04/pdf/manufacturing.pdf.

2 Manufacturing Matters To Te U.S., Manufacturing Jobs Matter to US: A Union Member’s Handbook for Improving

the Future of Manufacturing Jobs and the Manufacturing Industry in the U.S.,” (Working for America Institute),

available at http://www.workingforamerica.org/documents/PDF/sloan_report_revised.pdf.

3 Ibid.

4 “Te Andersonville Study of Retail Economics,” (Civic Economics, October 2004, Modifed February 2005), available

at http://www.civiceconomics.com/Andersonville/AndersonvilleStudy.pdf.

5 “Report to the President on Ensuring American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing,” (Executive Ofce to the

President and President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, June 2011), available at

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/fles/microsites/ostp/pcast-advanced-manufacturing-june2011.pdf.

6 “Investing in America: Building an Economy Tat Lasts,” (White House report, January 2012), available at

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/fles/investing_in_america_report_fnal.pdf.

7 Ibid.

8 “A Vision for Economic Renewal: An American Jobs Agenda,”

(Te Task Force on Job Creation and New America Foundation, July 2011), available at

http://newamerica.net/sites/newamerica.net/fles/events/Economic-Taskforce-booklet_FINAL.pdf.

9 Ibid.

Sources

9

-

DURING THE 2001 ECONOMIC CRISIS,

small businesses of fewer than twenty

employees lost fewer jobs and recovered

faster than large frms.1

Tat’s just one

example of why economists and policy

makers agree — investing in our small

businesses is investing in the bedrock of

the American economy.

From 1993 to 2009, as reported by

the Small Business Association Ofce of

Advocacy in the 2011 Economic Report of

the President, “small frms accounted for

9.8 million of the 15 million net new private

sector jobs,” or “nearly two out of every three

of the period’s net new jobs.”2

Demonstrably,

during periods of normal economic growth,

small businesses create enough new jobs to

compensate for job losses created when new

companies fail.3

By investing in our small

businesses, we invest in one of the most

promising sectors for job growth.

And it shouldn’t be lost on us that these

new and expanding small businesses create

one of the most direct paths to the kind of

middle class security we need to promote.

Tat’s the path my family took — as my

father scraped together a few dollars to buy a

hauling truck and eventually leveraged that

into the kind of small business that helped

him buy a home and send his kids to college.

In an economy still reeling from the

efects of Wall Street speculation, promoting

small businesses is a way to also promote

the rock-solid mainstreet companies that are

accountable to their communities — because

they are part of our commuities.

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