This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
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
“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
Making the case for making more in America
sectors of our
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
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
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
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
$100 at an
back into the
is spent at a
Employment in millions, seasonally adjusted
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
DECLINE IN MANUFACTURING JOBS SINCE THE THE 1960s
Te loss of
jobs in the U.S. is
to the shrinking
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”
have shown the
released, and the
when we stay
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.
If 20% of
jobs and 30
Source: Congressional Budget O ce
Percentage change in income since 1979, adjusted for in ation
Top 1 Percent
81st – 99th Percentiles
21st – 80th Percentiles
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-
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
My plan can be broken down into seven
major priorities — and I would like to discuss
these briefy in the pages ahead. Because I
strength is key
the doors of
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”
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
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.
4 “Te Andersonville Study of Retail Economics,” (Civic Economics, October 2004, Modifed February 2005), available
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
6 “Investing in America: Building an Economy Tat Lasts,” (White House report, January 2012), available at
8 “A Vision for Economic Renewal: An American Jobs Agenda,”
(Te Task Force on Job Creation and New America Foundation, July 2011), available at
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
during periods of normal economic growth,
small businesses create enough new jobs to
compensate for job losses created when new
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.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?