American Manufacturing: It’s Not Labor Costs

Mark Hemingway at the Weekly Standard points to this piece at Bloomberg on what’s holding back American manufacturing.

It’s not labor costs.

My host, a NASA engineer turned Silicon Valley entrepreneur, has just conducted a fascinating tour of his new clean-energy bench-scale test facility. It’s one of the Valley’s hottest clean-technology startups. And he’s already thinking of going abroad.

“Wages?” I ask.

His dark eyebrows arch as if I were clueless, then he explains the reality of running a fab — an electronics fabrication factory. “Wages have nothing to do with it. The total wage burden in a fab is 10 percent. When I move a fab to Asia, I might lose 10 percent of my product just in theft.”

I’m startled. “So what is it?”

“Everything else. Taxes, infrastructure, workforce training, permits, health care. The last company that proposed a fab on Long Island went to Taiwan because they were told that in a drought their water supply would be in the queue after the golf courses.”

Newt’s Night

I really enjoyed watching Newt last night in the South Carolina debate.  He just killed it.  His back and forth with Juan Williams
on minority (un)employment showed that when Newt is on, he really can nail the left on its abject lack of common sense.  When Williams asked Newt whether suggesting that having poor kids work as janitors is somehow “racially insensitive” and demeaning to minorities, Newt simply said, “no”.  He went on to say:

I believe every American of every background has been endowed by their Creator with the right to pursue happiness, and if that makes liberals unhappy, I’m going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job, and learn someday to own the job.

Only on the left is having a job as a janitor worse than no job at all.  Of course, being a lowly janitor is no job for a poor person, right?  After all, it’s much better economically to stay home and collect welfare, food stamps and all sorts of other federal and state programs.

All of which is to state the obvious about leftism — it’s more concerned with equality than with opportunity.  In this view of the world, the person who started in the mail room and grew up to be the CEO of the company is a (literal) impossibility.  Work where? In the mail room? And risk a paper cut? (wait, do they even have mail rooms any more?  Never mind — you get the idea).

On the left, work that isn’t well paid with cradle-to-grave benefits is somehow demeaning and not worth having.  The left misses an essential point that conservatives seem to understand clearly: work is, in itself, an essential element of a healthy life.  Work generates self-esteem, independence and the ability to make independent decisions.  It’s affirming.  Whether it’s being a janitor or a bus driver or a construction worker, earning a pay check is a good thing.

So the crowd last night at the South Carolina debate stood and cheered Newt when he pointed out the shear lunacy of Williams’ question, and responded with a credo that any conservative can support: we affirm the right for any American — of any background or race — to get a job and make something of themselves.  It’s the American dream.

Herman Cain: 999 Is Not Dead

Former presidential candidate Herman Cain vows to take his 999 plan to Washington, D.C. and why family is first. Find out why he dropped out of the race and learn more about the “999 Revolution.”


What States Must do to Attract Business

Jonathan Williams, Director of Tax & Fiscal Policy ALEC, offers state level solutions. He advises states to have a right to work status, which leads to job growth. States must also prioritize their budgets and reduce marginal tax rates.

The Public Pension Crisis

Where are your tax dollars going?

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — After nearly 40 years in public education, Patrick Godwin spends his retirement days running a horse farm east of Sacramento, Calif., with his daughter.

His departure from the workaday world is likely to be long and relatively free of financial concerns, after he retired last July at age 59 with a pension paying $174,308 a year for the rest of his life.

Such guaranteed pensions for relatively youthful government retirees — paid in similar fashion to millions nationwide — are contributing to nationwide friction with the public sector workers. They have access to attractive defined-benefit pensions and retiree health care coverage that most private sector workers no longer do.

Will the last taxpayer leaving Ohio please turn out the lights?

(It should be noted that when we talk about the “one percent” – you know those evil millionaires – people like Patrick Godwin aren’t included, even though the net present value of a defined benefit retirement program like his is well into the seven figures.)

(Via Instapundit, who comments: “Something that can’t go on forever, won’t.”)

#1 State for Business Growth

Jonathan Williams, Director of Tax & Fiscal Policy ALEC, reveals best and worst states for business. He describes how when a state lowers its taxes on businesses, then naturally businesses begin to flow into that area. When states have a progressive tax structure on corporate and personal income, then business has a noticeable decline.

Fox and Friends Segment: Mallory Factor on Potential Public Backlash from Budget Cuts

I appeared on Fox and Friends this week to talk about the serious problems with our national debt. We discussed the potential public backlash that could ensue if major cuts to government programs are enacted. Could we look like Greece and other countries already experiencing this type of crisis? Could there be marching and demonstrations in America’s streets?

$16 Per Gallon for “Green” Biofuel for the Navy


SolyndraGate was no isolated case of corrupt government misspending. The U.S. Navy was just forced to buy 450,000 gallons of biofuels from an Obama-connected firm at an outrageous $16 per gallon.

Another Really, Really Bad Idea

From?  You guessed it: Your United States Congress.

It’s called the “Stop Internet Piracy Act” (SOPA) and it’s designed to, well, stop internet piracy.  (It’s being pushed by major Hollywood studios and recording labels.)

SOPA grants sweeping – and scary – powers to the federal government and eliminates due process protection.

Under the proposed legislation all that’s required for government to shutdown a specific website is the mere accusation that the site unlawfully featured copyrighted content.  Such an accusation need not be proven – or even accompanied by probable cause. All that an accuser (or competitor) needs to do in order to obtain injunctive relief is point the finger at a website.

Once you’re a “rogue” site, you’re done.  Good luck dealing with federal regulators.  But there’s more: [Read more…]

Government Can’t Create Jobs

Congressman Richard Hanna argues for job growth coming from the private sector and explains what needs to be done. He goes on to discuss with me the fact that the government cannot create jobs. Congressman Hanna talks about things Congress can do such as create an environment that fosters job growth by promoting lower taxes and innovation.