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12 November 2009

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It just doesn't make sense for the companies to ship things halfway around the world unless there is such an advantage in cost that it justifies the shipping. The first thing that we've got a problem with is that our education system has been systematically shrinking our advantage by dumbing down our workers. We score badly on 1st world educational rankings.

We also are losing our regulatory edge by growing our regulatory state. We are losing our energy edge by locking up our domestic energy resources.

Faced with all that, is it any wonder that manufacturers expand to where the total cost package is cheaper? If they'll stay no matter what, why wouldn't the political class beat them down even more until they lose market share to foreign competitors?

Give me an alternate feedback loop that will get the politicians' attention other than picking up stakes and leaving. I haven't seen one. And even shut downs and departures don't seem to get through to a lot of our political class. They go right on over regulating and over taxing far past the point when an ordinary person would get the picture.

This country has had huge advantages since the Second World War. We have had the legal climate, contract law, abundant energy, a skilled workforce and, with the GI Bill, an educated population. What has happened ? Contract law took a major hit in the Chrysler bailout when senior creditors were not only stiffed but attacked by the President. Energy needs little said. We are on the path to blackouts and $20/gallon gasoline. Workforce skills have not kept up as unions focused on older workers health plans and ignored changes in manufacturing methods. Our education system has focused for 30 years on parenting instead of hard knowledge like math and science.

I remember reading a few years about the worries of auto company executives who were going to have to replace the older workforce members with young people who did not have a work ethic and who could not do the math necessary for such tasks as setting up milling machines. Well, we solved that problem. Large companies like Ford were essentially taken over by "financial people" and engineers went to the back of the room.

I'm not sure I blame Farr for anticipating a trend that has only accelerated under Obama.

I've come to believe that manufacturers' favorite pastime is whining about how badly everybody treats them even as they shoot themselves in the foot. It's Obama's fault. It's Congress' fault. It's the tree-huggers' faults. It's the elitist liberals' fault. How could anyone possible believe any of our travails are our own fault?

Cap and trade was originally developed by folks who said a market approach to controlling the crap business is inclined to spew in the air and water would work better than just throwing CEO's in jail. I think throwing CEO's in jail would be more effective, but the "make a market in industrial crap" people won the argument.

If the conservatives have a better approach to this health care crisis, why didn't they implement it when they held the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the federal government? Like so many of our problems, they ignored it, it got worse, now they are simply hoping that the people showing some leadership on the issue will fail. Mind you, they have nothing in mind themselves....they just want to see their political opponents fail.

As for "business friendly", that last administration sure was great for creating jobs in the manufacturing sector, wasn't it?

In US manufacturers spent as much time truly creating a core competency of manufacturing as they do whining, the whole country would be much the better for it.

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