The decision by China to keep the value of its currency artificially low has a direct impact on jobs in the United States. But that's just one of a host of issues the Obama administration and Congress must address to rebuild America's job base and reestablish its global competitiveness. We're calling on the administration and Congress to call out China on its currency manipulation—and to forge an industrial policy that strengthens our economy.
Making It In America
For more than three decades, we have been shedding factories and manufacturing jobs—as well as the suppliers, contractors, shippers, trainers, managers and other jobs that go along with them. Here are some basic facts you should know about the state of American manufacturing, as well as the outlines of a progressive approach that will create new jobs for a 21st-century economy.
ALSO Read Scott Paul on the urgent need to revitalize American manufacturing.... read more »
MAKING IT IN AMERICA
There's no disputing that America's manufacturing sector is on the ropes—or is there? Some experts argue that manufacturing in the U.S. is healthy; it's the workers who have to adjust, not our industrial policy. We present the argument, then take it apart. For anyone concerned about how we are going to create new, stable jobs with living wages, this is a debate that matters. Join it »
American companies continue to ship good jobs to China. They seek to profit from underpaid, overworked labor with few rights. China, meanwhile, pursues mercantilist policies, promoting its export industries at the expense of those who play by the rules. We can’t continue to let countries like China rig their currency, target our industries and drive us into a race to the bottom. It's time to enforce the rules – and to change the rules that rig the game.
We are in the most anemic recovery in modern history, yet our political leaders in Washington aren’t doing squat about it. In fact, apart from the Fed – which continues to hold interest rates down in the quixotic hope that banks will begin lending again to average people – the government is heading in exactly the wrong direction: raising taxes on the middle class, and cutting spending.
The "chained" CPI is a Social Security benefit cut (not an innocuous "adjustment"), and the majority of voters understand this, with 55% opposing this policy proposal. A new poll, Strengthening Social Security: What Do Americans Want? from the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), highlights working people's opposition to benefit cuts, including the "chained" CPI, which reduces the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). A large majority, 64%, thought the COLA should be increased to better protect seniors and other beneficiaries from inflation and rising prices of food, utilities and other necessities.
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You can help change the economy! Big companies use their size and the fear of losing our jobs to force us to accept no raises or even lower pay and benefits. They can use their size to force communities, states and even the federal government to lower their taxes. You can help change the economy by standing with Walmart workers next week. They have the money but we have the people. read more »
When it comes to politics, it ain’t over ’til its’ over. And even then it may not be over. With the presidential election just days away, the contest remains close enough to ensure some jangled nerves and nail-biting among Republicans and Democrats. Still, the latest news and numbers should give President President Barack Obama a boost as he delivers his closing argument to voters.
Should Obama emerge the victor when the dust settles after Tuesday, his closing argument will become the winning message. And voters convinced to reward Obama with a second term on the strength of that message will — and should — expect him to live up to its vision and promise.
Austerity is back in the news, and the news about austerity is never good. We've only had de facto austerity on this side of the pond. So as usual, the news is from Europe, where the austerians are going full-tilt boogie. Our homegrown austerians, like their European counterparts, tell us that the kind of severe austerity underway in Europe is necessary to reduce the deficit. Everything from food stamps to Medicaid and Medicare — everything except defense spending — must be cut in order to reduce the deficit.
The thing is, it hasn't worked. In Greece, Europe's austerity poster child, austerity has shrunk the economy and increased the national debt.
Two items in the news: a congressional committee warns that Chinese telecom companies might be spying on us, and the Secretary of Defense warns about "cybersecurity." One report even says that Chinese-made equipment used in businesses here sends data to China at night! What's the story? read more »
The August trade figures are out and they are not good. The terrible trade deficit is where the jobs and the economy went but is ignored because it makes a few elites wealthy. read more »
The complicated story of how the 1%ers and their corporations evade democracy's taxes is the story of our crumbling schools and infrastructure and the flow of all the gains of our economy to a very few at the top. This tax evasion is also part of the story of our deficits and debt. The tax evasion is "legal" -- because the tax evaders pay the people who write the tax laws. read more »
Those of you who read this blog know that I've been nearly apoplectic over the past few months over the behind the read more »