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Young people and manufacturers themselves impediments to revival
January 26, 2010 - Mike Maneval
Harold Meyerson's latest commentary, in the American Prospect, looks at what's stacked up against a revival in American manufacturing - including American manufacturers.
But it isn't just manufacturers or the financial and retail conglomerates that pose a problem for the chances of manufacturing's revival and the diversification of job opportunities. Another obstacle ... is young people.
When President Barack Obama imposed a temporary tariff on Chinese tires, not one American-based tire manufacturer had joined the United Steelworkers' formal complaint that prompted the move. Meyerson says almost all companies with tire pants in the U.S. also have plants in China.
And, lest anyone believes this proliferation in Chinese-manufactured tires is some sort of victory for "free trade," Meyerson also reports the Chinese government compels manufacturers to export all tires made at China-based plants. When the business decisions of producers are made for them by a tyrannical government, that's not "free trade."
But the rampant expansion of foreign manufacturing has vast consequences, one of which is that as a smaller and smaller percentage of Americans work in manufacturing, younger Americans, Meyerson says polling shows, have decreasing expectations of the role manufacturing should and could play in creating American jobs.
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