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Defense Production Act - The history from 1950 to now
The Defense Production Act of 1950 is a United States federal law enacted on September 8, 1950 in response to the start of the Korean War. It was part of a broad civil defense and war mobilization effort in the context of the Cold War. Its implementing regulations, the Defense Priorities and Allocation System, are located at 15 CFR 700 to 700.93. Since 1950, the Act has been reauthorized over 50 times. It has been periodically amended and remains in force.
The Act contains three major sections. The first authorizes the president to require businesses to accept and prioritize contracts for materials deemed necessary for national defense, regardless of a loss incurred on business (it is unclear what would occur if business refuses or is unable to complete request on time). It also allows the president to designate materials to be prohibited from hoarding or price gouging. The second section authorizes the president to establish mechanisms (such as regulations, orders or agencies) to allocate materials, services and facilities to promote national defense. The third section authorizes the president to control the civilian economy so that scarce and critical materials necessary to the national defense effort are available for defense needs.
The Act also authorizes the President to requisition property, force industry to expand production and the supply of basic resources, impose wage and price controls, settle labor disputes, control consumer and real estate credit, establish contractual priorities, and allocate raw materials towards national defense
The DPA, passed by the U.S. Congress in September 1950, was first used during the Korean War to establish a large defense mobilization infrastructure and bureaucracy. Under the authority of the Act, President Harry S. Truman eventually established the Office of Defense Mobilization, instituted wage and price controls, strictly regulated production in heavy industries such as steel and mining, prioritized and allocated industrial materials in short supply, and ordered the dispersal of wartime manufacturing plants across the nation.
The Act also played a vital role in the establishment of the domestic aluminum and titanium industries in the 1950s. Using the Act, DOD provided capital and interest-free loans, and directed mining and manufacturing resources as well as skilled laborers to these two processing industries.
Beginning in the 1980s, the DOD began using the contracting and spending provisions of the DPA to provide seed money to develop new technologies. The DOD has used the act to help develop a number of new technologies and materials, including silicon carbide ceramics, indium phosphide and gallium arsenide semiconductors, microwave power tubes, radiation-hardened microelectronics, superconducting wire, and metal composites.
In 2011, President Barack Obama invoked the law to force telecommunications companies, under criminal penalties, to provide detailed information to the Commerce Departments Bureau of Industry and Security on the use of foreign-manufactured hardware and software in the companies networks, as part of efforts to combat Chinese cyberespionage.
In June 13, 2017, President Donald Trump invoked the law to classify two sets of products as "critical to national defense". The first referenced "items affecting aerospace structures and fibers, radiation-hardened microelectronics, radiation test and qualification facilities, and satellite components and assemblies". The second referenced items affecting adenovirus vaccine production capability; high strength, inherently fire and ballistic resistant, co-polymer aramid fibers industrial capability; secure hybrid composite shipping container industrial capability; and three-dimensional ultra-high density microelectronics for information protection industrial capability.
On March 23, Trump issued an executive order classifying health and medical resources necessary to respond to the spread of COVID-19 as subject to the authority granted by DPA to prohibit hoarding and price gouging
Back in March 2020, President Trump pressed the law into action to force General Motors to step up efforts to manufacture ventilators.
On April 19, 2020, President Donald Trump announced that he will compel a US company to make swabs under the Defense Production Act.
The company is Puritan Medical Products, which is based in Maine. It is known for making flocked swabs, which it says are better at collecting specimens than others.
Trump said the administration had experienced difficulty with the company.
We have had a little difficulty with one so we will call in -- as we have in the past as you know -- we are calling in the Defense Production Act and we will be getting swabs very easily, Trump said.
The State of the Economy
Corporate profits are up. Stock prices are up. So why isn't anyone hiring?
Actually, many American companies are - just maybe not in your town. They're hiring overseas, where sales are surging and the pipeline of orders is fat.
More than half of the 15,000 people that Caterpillar Inc. has hired this year were outside the U.S. UPS is also hiring at a faster clip overseas. For both companies, sales in international markets are growing at least twice as fast as domestically.
The trend helps explain why unemployment remains high in the United States, edging up to 9.8 percent last month, even though companies are performing well: All but 4 percent of the top 500 U.S. corporations reported profits this year, and the stock market is close to its highest point since the 2008 financial meltdown.
But the jobs are going elsewhere. The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, says American companies have created 1.4 million jobs overseas this year, compared with less than 1 million in the U.S. The additional 1.4 million jobs would have lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to 8.9 percent, says Robert Scott, the institute's senior international economist.
"There's a huge difference between what is good for American companies versus what is good for the American economy," says Scott.
American jobs have been moving overseas for more than two decades. In recent years, though, those jobs have become more sophisticated - think semiconductors and software, not toys and clothes.
And now many of the products being made overseas aren't coming back to the United States. Demand has grown dramatically this year in emerging markets like India, China and Brazil.
Meanwhile, consumer demand in the U.S. has been subdued. Despite a strong holiday shopping season, Americans are still spending 3 percent less than before the recession on essential items like clothing and more than 10 percent less on jewelry, furniture, electronics, and big appliances, according to MasterCard's SpendingPulse.
"Companies will go where there are fast-growing markets and big profits," says Jeffrey Sachs, globalization expert and economist at Columbia University. "What's changed is that companies today are getting top talent in emerging economies, and the U.S. has to really watch out."
With the future looking brighter overseas, companies are building there, too. Caterpillar, maker of the signature yellow bulldozers and tractors, has invested in three new plants in China in just the last two months to design and manufacture equipment. The decision is based on demand: Asia-Pacific sales soared 38 percent in the first nine months of the year, compared with 16 percent in the U.S. Caterpillar stock is up 65 percent this year.
"There is a shift in economic power that's going on and will continue. China just became the world's second-largest economy," says David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's, who notes that half of the revenue for companies in the S&P 500 in the last couple of years has come from outside the U.S.
Take the example of DuPont, which wowed the world in 1938 with nylon stockings. Known as one of the most innovative American companies of the 20th century, DuPont now sells less than a third of its products in the U.S. In the first nine months of this year, sales to the Asia-Pacific region grew 50 percent, triple the U.S. rate. Its stock is up 47 percent this year.
DuPont's work force reflects the shift in its growth: In a presentation on emerging markets, the company said its number of employees in the U.S. shrank by 9 percent between January 2005 and October 2009. In the same period, its work force grew 54 percent in the Asia-Pacific countries.
"We are a global player out to succeed in any geography where we participate in," says Thomas M. Connelly, chief innovation officer at DuPont. "We want our resources close to where our customers are, to tailor products to their needs."
While most of DuPont's research labs are still stateside, Connelly says he's impressed with the company's overseas talent. The company opened a large research facility in Hyderabad, India, in 2008.
A key factor behind this runaway international growth is the rise of the middle class in these emerging countries. By 2015, for the first time, the number of consumers in Asia's middle class will equal those in Europe and North America combined.
"All of the growth over the next 10 years is happening in Asia," says Homi Kharas, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and formerly the World Bank's chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific.
Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent often points out that a billion consumers will enter the middle class during the coming decade, mostly in Africa, China and India. He is aggressively targeting those markets. Of Coke's 93,000 global employees, less than 13 percent were in the U.S. in 2009, down from 19 percent five years ago.
The company would not say how many new U.S. hires it has made in 2010. But its latest new investments are overseas, including $240 million for three bottling plants in Inner Mongolia as part of a three-year, $2 billion investment in China. The three plants will create 2,000 new jobs in the area. In September, Coca-Cola pledged $1 billion to the Philippines over five years.
The strategy isn't restricted to just the largest American companies. Entrepreneurs, whether in technology, retail or in manufacturing, today hire globally from the start.
Consider Vast.com, which powers the search engines of sites like Yahoo Travel and AOL Autos. The company was founded in 2005 with employees based in San Francisco and Serbia.
Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria worries that the trend could be dangerous. In an article in the November issue of the Harvard Business Review, he says that if U.S. businesses keep prospering while Americans are struggling, business leaders will lose legitimacy in society. He exhorted business leaders to find a way to link growth with job creation at home.
Other economists, like Columbia University's Sachs, say multinational corporations have no choice, especially now that the quality of the global work force has improved. Sachs points out that the U.S. is falling in most global rankings for higher education while others are rising.
"We are not fulfilling the educational needs of our young people," says Sachs. "In a globalized world, there are serious consequences to that."
China has now ended America's 110 year run as the leading manufacturer of the world, the number of people filing new claims for jobless benefits jumped last week after three straight declines, another sign that hiring remains weak.
WASHINGTON -- New jobless claims in the U.S. jumped last week by the most since February, reversing a sharp fall two weeks ago. The rise is partly a result of seasonal factors but also reflects the job market's weakness.
The Labor Department says new claims for unemployment insurance jumped by 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted 464,000. Analysts expected a smaller rise, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.
First-time claims have hovered near 450,000 since the beginning of the year after falling steadily in the second half of 2009. That has raised concerns that hiring is lackluster and could slow the recovery.
The number of people continuing to claim benefits rose by 88,000 to 4.57 million
One Light Bulb at a Time
A physics teacher in high school, once told the students that while
one grasshopper on the railroad tracks wouldn't
slow a train very much, a billion of them would. With that thought
in mind, read the following, obviously written by a good American ..
Good idea .. . . one light bulb at a time .. . . .
Check this out .. I can verify this because I was in Lowes the other day
for some reason and just for the heck of it I was looking at the hose
attachments . They were all made in China . The next day I was in Ace
Hardware and just for the heck of it I checked the hose attachments there.
They were made in USA . Start looking ..
In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affects
someone else - even their job . So, after reading this email, I think this
lady is on the right track . Let's get behind her!
My grandson likes Hershey's candy . I noticed, though, that it is marked
made in Mexico now. I do not buy it any more.
My favorite toothpaste Colgate is made in Mexico ... now
I have switched to Crest. You have to read the labels on everything ..
This past weekend I was at Kroger. I needed 60 W light bulbs and Bounce
I was in the light bulb aisle, and right next to the GE
brand I normally buy was an off-brand labeled, "Everyday Value".
I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the stats -
they were the same except for the price ..
The GE bulbs were more money than the Everyday Value brand but the
thing that surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in MEXICO
and the Everyday Value brand was made in - get ready for this - the USA
in a company in Cleveland , Ohio .
So throw out the myth that you cannot find products you use every day
that are made right here ..
So on to another aisle - Bounce Dryer Sheets . .. . yep, you guessed it,
Bounce cost more money and is made in Canada . The Everyday Value
brand was less money and MADE IN THE USA ! I did laundry yesterday
and the dryer sheets performed just like the Bounce Free I have been
using for years and at almost half the price!
My challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for
everyday things and see what you can find that is made in the
USA - the
job you save may be your own or your neighbors!
If you accept the challenge, pass this on to others in your address book
so we can all start buying American, one light bulb at a time! Stop buying
from overseas companies!
We should have awakened a decade ago .. . .. . . . )
Let's get with the program........ help our fellow Americans keep their
jobs and create more jobs here in the USA.
Unemployment falls to record low
Jan. 10, 2020
President Trump starts off 2020 having presided over a lower average unemployment rate than any president at a comparable point in office in recorded history.
On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate held steady at a historically low 3.5% in December. Since February 2017, Trump's first full month in office, the monthly unemployment rate has averaged 3.9%. No prior president has averaged less than 4% over the first 35 months of his presidency. The closest was Dwight Eisenhower, when the rate averaged 4.3% between February 1953 and December 1955.
Modern unemployment statistics did not start being kept until 1948, after Harry Truman's first 35 months in office, so this analysis only starts with Eisenhower. Nonetheless, it does point to the unprecedented nature of this consistently low level of unemployment.
To be sure, this statistic isn't predictive of the election outcome. The economy is only one of many factors that voters use to evaluate incumbent presidents. Also, voters tend to weigh the trend of the economy, which is not reflected in the average. For instance, George H.W. Bush averaged lower unemployment during the first 35 months of his presidency than his predecessor, Ronald Reagan. But the Reagan economy started weak, then expanded rapidly in the run-up to his reelection, whereas Bush inherited an economy in decent shape and was voted out of office when it had declined.
But Trumps case is unique because he took over a recovering economy with unemployment already at 4.6%, and the rate continued to go down and stay low. So now he starts off his potential reelection year with a record of consistently low unemployment that's currently holding steady at 3.5%.
It is still possible the economy will decline in time for it to hurt Trump in the election
GM's old Willow Run plant is a reminder of manufacturing past
The decline of US manufacturing jobs and living standards
For decades America's vibrant manufacturing sector provided poorly educated workers a bridge to the middle class. But today's plants need highly skilled workers who know their way around ultra-high tech machinery.
On the factory floor of AMI, a Michigan-based maker of fuel cells, one can hear the future of manufacturing.
It is very, very quiet.
The loudest noise in the brightly lit factory is the beeping of a hydraulic lift used to replace lightbulbs overhead.
The contrast with traditional manufacturing is sharp: Almost no noise, no dirt, little physical effort. And requirements for workers are very different.
"You've got to have the smart people that help build it from the bottom up," says AMI President Aaron Crum.
"We don't forge things anymore. We use lasers to cut metal, we extrude ceramics, we do things that are different. And so because of it, we need a different labour force to make it happen."
Decades of losses
Manufacturing in the US is undergoing the same technological revolution that sent workers from agriculture to industry at the end of the 19th Century, says Lou Glazer of consulting group Michigan Future Inc.
Aaron Crum says manufacturing today needs "smart people" In the '50s, he says, factory work was a third of the work in America; now it's below 10%.
Although manufacturing employment has ticked up in recent months, adding 30,000 jobs since March, the gains pale in comparison to the losses of the past decade.
Three and half million manufacturing jobs have vanished in 10 years, bringing the current total to just under 12 million.
As employment has plummeted, productivity has soared. Not for nothing does the US National Association of Manufacturers boast that American factory workers are "the most productive in the world".
About 30 minutes' drive from the AMI plant is the ghost of manufacturing past: Willow Run.
It is an almost unfeasibly large plant that once turned out Liberator bombers, then Kaiser cars, then transmissions and car bodies for General Motors.
Willow Run closed in 2010 when GM went bankrupt. Of the plant's five million square feet, one million has been cleared for sale.
The rest of the factory is an astonishing reminder of what manufacturing used to be like.
Hulking presses the size of three-storey houses gather dust, corridors stretch into the gloom seemingly without end, and the warm air is thick with the smell of machine oil.
'No diploma needed'
Gathered round a table at a nearby diner, former Willow Run workers remember their first days at the plant. Now in their 50s, they reminisce about what it took to get a job at the plant.
"You didn't need a high school diploma," says Sterling Mullins.
GM's old Willow Run plant is a reminder of manufacturing past "You just needed to be a hard worker," says Gerry Gardner, "and you needed to show up every day, because it wasn't easy work."
Tom White grew up on a farm, "so the skills I had weren't really applicable".
Those were the days when manufacturing lifted poorly educated men and put them into America's industrial middle class.
"You could put the kids through college, we had a couple of weeks vacation," Mr Gardner says.
"And you had enough money to go out and buy a new car. We weren't rich - I'm not driving no Rolls Royce or anything - but I bought me a GM car."
Manufacturing jobs still pay well - an average of $77,186 (�49,223) in pay and benefits in 2010. But there are far fewer of them and, says Mr Glazer the consultant, they are changing.
"That path to mass middle-class work is gone," he says.
"The only high-paid factory work left is going be people who both programme and maintain machines. That work is going to be high-paid but it requires much higher skills."
The US is still a big player in manufacturing. More than 18% of global manufacturing output comes from the US factories.
And even if American manufacturing has stumbled a little recently as eurozone orders dry up, many of Michigan's manufacturers are optimistic about the future.
But the genie cannot be put back in the bottle.
Manufacturing in the US has already changed and will change further, pressed on one side by technology and on the other by globalisation.
It will be hugely difficult for less-skilled American workers to attain anything like the living standards of the generation before them
Ford will build its self-driving cars in U.S.
March 22, 2019
When the first self-driving cars from Ford are ready for the road, they'll leave a Michigan assembly plant. The automaker said that part of a $900 million investment includes plans for a new facility near Detroit to assemble its autonomous vehicles starting in 2021.
Workers at the new plant will be tasked with installing self-driving car components and also unique interiors since the test vehicles will initially be built on what the automaker's calling a "commercial-grade" hybrid. Ford is targeting a utilitarian mission for its first self-driving vehicles rather than selling them directly to customers.
Ford has put a greater focus on its self-driving vehicle operations in the last year. Last summer, the automaker injected $4 billion into the operation, which came as FordAutonomous Vehicles LLC announced it would headquarter its operations at a long-abandoned, multi-story train station in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit. VW is also set to invest almost $2 billion in Ford's self-driving car business as the two automakers look to expand a loose partnership from commercial vehicles and pickup trucks to long-range products.
Outside of the self-driving car production, Ford's investment sum will also see new electric cars assembled at the automaker's Flat Rock assembly plant in Michigan. In total, $850 million will be funneled into the facility to add a second shift and around 900 new jobs. Further, the investment covers funds for the next-generation Ford Mustang as well.
"The last major U.S. factory making ordinary incandescent light bulbs will soon be closing. When it does, the remaining 200 workers at the Winchester, Va., plant, about 70 miles west of Washington, D.C., will lose their jobs, marking a small, sad exit for a product that began with Thomas Alva Edison's innovations in the 1870s.
Light bulb factory closes; End of era for U.S. means more jobs overseas. American flag seller files for bankruptcy
The remaining 200 workers at the plant here will lose their jobs.
"Now what're we going to do?" said Toby Savolainen, 49, who like many others worked for decades at the factory, making bulbs now deemed wasteful.
During the recession, political and business leaders have held out the promise that American advances, particularly in green technology, might stem the decades-long decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs. But as the lighting industry shows, even when the government pushes companies toward environmental innovations and Americans come up with them, the manufacture of the next generation technology can still end up overseas.
What made the plant here vulnerable is, in part, a 2007 energy conservation measure passed by Congress that set standards essentially banning ordinary incandescents by 2014. The law will force millions of American households to switch to more efficient bulbs.
The resulting savings in energy and greenhouse-gas emissions are expected to be immense. But the move also had unintended consequences.
Rather than setting off a boom in the U.S. manufacture of replacement lights, the leading replacement lights are compact fluorescents, or CFLs, which are made almost entirely overseas, mostly in China.
Consisting of glass tubes twisted into a spiral, they require more hand labor, which is cheaper there. So though they were first developed by American engineers in the 1970s, none of the major brands make CFLs in the United States.
"Everybody's jumping on the green bandwagon," said Pat Doyle, 54, who has worked at the plant for 26 years. But "we've been sold out. First sold out by the government. Then sold out by GE. "
Doyle was speaking after a shift last month surrounded by several co-workers around a picnic table near the punch clock. Many of the workers have been at the plant for decades, and most appeared to be in their 40s and 50s. Several worried aloud about finding another job.
"When you're 50 years old, no one wants you," Savolainen said. It was meant half in jest, but some of the men nod grimly.
Under the pressures of globalization, the number of manufacturing jobs in the United States has been shrinking for decades, from 19.5 million in 1979 to 11.6 million this year, a decline of 40 percent.
At textile mills in North Carolina, at auto parts plants in Ohio, at other assorted manufacturing plants around the country, the closures have pushed workers out, often leaving them to face an onslaught of personal defeats: lower wages, community college retraining and unemployment checks.
In Obama's vision, the nation's mastery of new technology will create American manufacturing jobs.
"See, when folks lift up the hoods on the cars of the future, I want them to see engines stamped "Made in America," Obama said in an Aug. 16 speech at a Wisconsin plant. "When new batteries to store solar power come off the line, I want to see printed on the side, "Made in America." When new technologies are developed and new industries are formed, I want them made right here in America. That's what we're fighting for."
But a closer look at the lighting industry reveals that isn't going to be easy.
At one time, the United States was ahead of the game in CFLs.
Following the 1973 energy crisis, a GE engineer named Ed Hammer and others at the company's famed Nela Park research laboratories were tinkering with different methods of saving electricity with fluorescent lights.
In a standard incandescent bulb, in which the filament is electrified until it glows, only about 10 percent of the electricity is transformed into light; the rest generates heat as a side effect. A typical fluorescent uses about 75 percent less electricity than an incandescent to produce the same amount of light.
Once again, we see how Globalization destroys the American economy. Our leaders want us to be on par with the poorer countries...how sad this is for the average American worker...we must continue to bow down to globalization and lose our American identity and prosperity as well.
American flag seller files for bankruptcy
When selling the business of patriotism, put emphasis on the red.
A little over a week before America celebrates its 236th birthday, Wisconsin-based flag seller Liberty Flag & Specialty Co. filed for bankruptcy protection.
Running low on cash, the nine-employee shop located half a block south of Reedsburg�s Main Street immediately asked its bankruptcy judge for permission to spend the pools of money that it had promised to set aside for its lender, Community First Bank. The cash will keep the lights on at its headquarters as executives figure out if the company can find a way to survive using Chapter 11 protection.
Liberty Flags financial hardship, which is coming at the peak of the industrys flag-selling season, raises broader concern about Americans sense of civic spirit.
Or is the bankruptcy another sign of the slow drip of manufacturing jobs to cheaper overseas markets? The U.S. Census Bureau noted Tuesday in their perennial round-up of Fourth of July-centric facts that the U.S. imported $3.6 million worth of American flags last year. China alone shipped more than $3.3 million worth of flags.
Liberty Flag executives did not return a phone message, and the companys bankruptcy attorney declined to explain why the company fell suddenly short on cash.
But the folks at Liberty Flag's biggest business partner, nearby Eder Flag Manufacturing outside of Milwaukee insisted that the financial hardship isnt evenly spread.
Eder Flags roughly 180 employees stitched together about 6.5 million U.S. flags during the last year to keep up with growing demand, said Jodi Goglio, Eder Flags director of operations. Sales of flagpoles outpaced flag sales with a 10% growth rate, she said.
For us, that is a good indication that new construction is on the rise and people have increased their discretionary spending, she told Bankruptcy Beat, adding that she found the amount of foreign-made American flags brought into the country is appalling.
As for Liberty Flags $205,931.30 debt to Eder Flag, Goglio explained that Libertys bill was more than two years old. Liberty Flag, which bought Eder-made flags to sell them to customers and retailers, bought its first batch in 1984
Fortune - How Washington can renew U.S. manufacturing
The Revitalizing American Manufacturing and Innovation Act has bi-partisan support and would boost a critical segment of the U.S. economy, says Karen Mills, a senior fellow at Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School
Congress is back in Washington with the intent to get some key things done between now and the end of the year. One of those things needs to be making an investment in our economy by passing the Revitalizing American Manufacturing and Innovation (RAMI) Act, which would invest in a key segment of the U.S. economy: manufacturing. Here?s why.
Americans are tired of partisanships stymieing progress, and they are overdue for a sign from Washington that our leaders haven?t forgotten what agreement looks like.
More importantly, passing this bill would invest in the sector that has the greatest impact on our economy ? every $1 spent in manufacturing generates another $1.35 in additional economic activity, which is more than is generated by any other sector, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. It also demonstrates an understanding of what it will take to continue to drive our nation?s competitiveness and create the kinds of good-paying jobs that offer a path to the American Dream.
Now, that?s a lot to put on the shoulders of a piece of legislation that most Americans haven?t heard of. But, it?s true and it?s achievable.
So what would RAMI do? It would establish up to 15 manufacturing institutes across the country ? building on four that were already created by the Obama Administration. To do this, it would bring together government, colleges and universities, research institutions, business and industry in partnership to accelerate manufacturing innovation.
American workers would be the greatest beneficiaries of RAMI because, at its core, it invests in the U.S. labor force by building skills and capacity around the very good-paying jobs that will maintain our nation?s competitive edge in the 21st Century.
With Washington caught in a cycle of perpetual gridlock, agreement may not seem possible, but that?s not true. RAMI passed the House in September with bipartisan support, cosponsored by Republican Congressman Tom Reed of New York and Democratic Congressman Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate, where it is backed by Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri.
While much attention is focused on the prospects for agreement on higher profile issues, here?s an idea. Why not move on RAMI, where the differences have already been sorted out and bipartisan support already exists?
One thing we can take away from the midterm elections is that working Americans are tired of gridlock and they have lost confidence in Washington?s ability to actually address the root causes of the economic anxiety they are feeling. An August NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that 71% of respondents blamed Washington?s inaction for what they view as a lingering sluggish economy.
While large businesses have flourished and the stock market has reached new highs amid a falling unemployment rate, Americans are losing confidence that it?s possible to move up in the world. In fact, in a September survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, only 42% of respondents believe the American Dream ? that if you work hard, you?ll get ahead ? still holds true.
Americans are anxious about the economy. And, rather than more gridlock, Washington should take action where it can. Even if this means starting small, and passing a few things where there is already agreement.
I?m not saying we should step away from the big policy issues. But, real tax reform will take time, and closing loopholes will cause pain in many sectors. Immigration reform is critical, and may be something on which parties can agree in the year ahead.
RAMI is ready to move. It doesnt cost much ? in government terms ? and if not passed in the next few weeks, its backers will have to start over again in the new Congress after the first of the year.
Americans need Congress to get back in the habit of agreeing on and actually passing bipartisan legislation. RAMI is one place to start.
By passing this bill, Congress can show working Americans that they do understand how to invest in building the kind of jobs that will strengthen U.S. competitiveness around the globe and restore the path to the American Dream.
About the author: Karen Mills is a senior fellow at Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School focused on competitiveness, entrepreneurship and innovation. She was a member of President Obama?s Cabinet, serving as Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration from 2009 to 2013.
Arizona has pulled a $1m grant to help Nike build a new factory in a dispute over the firm's withdrawal of a trainer allegedly featuring racist symbolism.
Nike loses factory aid as 'racist trainer' row intensifies
July 2 2019
Arizona has pulled a $1m grant to help Nike build a new factory in a dispute over the firm's withdrawal of a trainer allegedly featuring racist symbolism.
The state's governor had condemned Nike's decision, which was prompted by complaints about its use of an old US flag embraced by white nationalists.
Nike-sponsored sportsman Colin Kaepernick had criticised the trainers, now selling on websites for $1,500.
But governor Doug Ducey said Nike had bowed to political correctness
The special edition Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July trainer features the The Betsy Ross flag.
With a circle of 13 stars representing the first US colonies, the flag was created during the American Revolution. Although opinion is divided over its origins, the flag was later adopted for use by the American Nazi party.
Nike said it withdrew the trainers based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nations patriotic holiday.
On Tuesday the trainers were selling for well over $1,500 on StockX, the online marketplace for trainers.
Earlier, Mr Kaepernick, a former NFL star, reportedly told Nike that he found the flag offensive because of its connection to the era of slavery. Other critics also raised concerns with Nike.
Last year, he became the face of Nike's advertisement marking the 30th anniversary of the companys Just Do It slogan.
The former American football quarterback had previously sparked a furore by kneeling during games to protest against police violence against African-Americans.
But the decision sparked fury.
Doug Ducey, the Republican governor of Arizona, said in a series of tweets: "Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision. I am embarrassed for Nike.
Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nations independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism, he said.
Later, the governors office confirmed that the $1m from the Arizona Commerce Authority' Competes Fund had been withdrawn. The fund is designed to attract, expand or retain businesses to the state. The factory was expected to generate about 500 jobs.
Nike said in a statement it remained committed to making a significant investment in an additional manufacturing centre which will create 500 new jobs. It did not mention the Arizona plant by name
Georgia Lord, the mayor of the city of Goodyear in Arizona where Nike is building the new factory, said the city had found itself in the middle of a difficult situation.
She said the Goodyear City Council had recently "unanimously approved a job creation agreement with Nike.
This deal is expected to bring more than 500 jobs and a significant investment to the city. We will honor the commitment we made in our agreement,she added.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz also dismissed Nikes move as unpatriotic, writing on Twitter that the shoe giant "only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag. Other Twitter users called for a boycott of Nike products over the move.
However, Nike also received widespread support, with Twitter users pointing out that the flag had been used by white nationalists.
Matt Powell, senior industry adviser at the research and consultancy group NPD, said said Nike would probably find support among its core consumers.
I think it is important to understand who Nikes core demographic is here. They are really focused on teens and looking at the commentary on Twitter and so forth, I do not see a lot of teens coming out with a negative attitude here, he said
The endless apologies by people on the left are wearing us out
It's time to stop apologizing, America. The endless apologies are wearing us out
March 20, 2019
America: stop apologizing! Stop apologizing for being successful, for believing in God, for loving your country, for respecting your rivals, for everything you did or said when you were a teenager, for speaking your mind and ? for apologizing. Stop cowering before the radical correctness police whose legitimacy depends on depicting our nation as a cesspool of racism and inequity.
Stop, for Gods sake, trying to be woke when you have no idea what that actually means.
This groveling needs to stop. It conflates genuine misdeeds with thoughtless wanderings and promotes self-appointed morality guardians to a prominence they crave but do not deserve. Worse, most apologies demanded by the political correctness regulators prove useless. They do not want remorse; they want attention.
The shaming of our nation does not discriminate. People on the left are just as vulnerable to attack as those on the right. Possibly more so since the ideological straightjacket is that much more confining.
Beto O Rourke in the opening moments of his campaign for president, is in the odd position of apologizing for being a white male and, at the same time, for Hispandering by appropriating a Latino nickname. He should instead apologize for having the temerity to run with a resume as thin as a page torn from Vanity Fair.
Joe Biden had to apologize for saying Mike Pence, whom he knows well, is a decent guy. Apparently, someone with deep religious convictions cannot be a decent guy.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has been made to apologize for claiming Native American heritage in order to advance her career. Well, really, she should. Often.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., has had to apologize for her previous stance on immigration, which was not, according to the junior senator from New York, sufficiently empathetic. By way of penance, she has now joined the chorus calling for the abolition of ICE, even as hundreds of thousands are expected to enter the country illegally this year. She knows better.
Politicians who condemned Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omars anti-Israel remarks as anti-Semitic should apologize, according to fellow Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. She told CNNs Jake Tapper that those criticisms were fueled by Islamophobia.
The endless apologies (and those are just examples on the left; people on the right have to apologize for their very existence) are wearing us out. Men everywhere are sorry for decades-old locker room comments or for remarks made in jest, which do not meet todays uber-sensitive standards. They have to apologize for having a Y chromosome.
Well-meaning people in the United States are shocked to find themselves playing defense, having to defend capitalism, the Constitution, investing, the Electoral College, religion, ambition, and our way of life.
Why all this groveling? You can thank today?s social media warriors, who happily crush anyone challenging todays liberal playbook. If you don?t think climate change is an existential threat, likely to kill us all in 12 years, you are an idiot. Worse, you are a pawn of the hydrocarbon-using meat-eating-cow-farting- industrial complex, satisfying your appetites at the expense of the universe.
Well-meaning people in the United States are shocked to find themselves playing defense, having to defend capitalism, the Constitution, investing, the Electoral College, religion, ambition, and our way of life.
If you do not agree that the United States systematically discriminates against women, you are anti-women. There is no middle ground.
If you do not think the United States is racist, you are in denial. Or, more likely, you are racist yourself.
If you disagree with O Rourke, and don?t think that capitalism is unfair, unjust and racist?, as he recently described it, you are a pig. (Capitalism, it must be said, has treated O'Rourke pretty well. The candidate is said to be worth more than $9 million.)
It is time for Americans to stand up to the continued shaming. Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently did just that, refusing to apologize for inappropriate remarks made years ago. Guess what? It worked. The penitence mob moved on. There is a lesson there.
The University of Wyoming stood out recently for defending its new fund-raising efforts. The campaign slogan which has, of course, drawn criticism, is: The world needs more cowboys.
The schools communications director explained that the campaign sought to redefine the word cowboy so as to be inclusive. We are casting it so that it?s not gender-specific, Chad Baldwin said to a local newspaper. It is not at all exclusionary. It is the spirit of the cowboy that we all kind of share in. So, we are basically throwing away the old stereotypes and updating what it means to be a cowboy and what it looks like. A cowboy is not what you are, but who you are.
My view? The world really does need more cowboys
Chinese-Made Drinking Glasses Contain 1000 Times Allowable Levels of Lead
Drinking glasses depicting comic book and movie characters such as Superman, Wonder Woman and the Tin Man from 'The Wizard of Oz' exceed federal limits for lead in children's products by up to 1,000 times, according to laboratory testing commissioned by The Associated Press.
"The decorative enamel on the superhero and Oz sets - made in China and purchased at a Warner Brothers Studios store in Burbank - contained between 16 percent and 30.2 percent lead. The federal limit on children's products is 0.03 percent."
Now, come on--hasn't China been caught enough times that it might have sunk in by now that slathering lead all over just about everything they send our way might not seem like such a great idea anymore?
The AP's testing, conducted by ToyTestingLab of Rhode Island, "found that the enamel used to color the Tin Man had the highest lead levels, at 1,006 times the federal limit for children's products. Every Oz and superhero glass tested exceeded the government limit: The Lion by 827 times and Dorothy by 770 times; Wonder Woman by 533 times, Superman by 617 times, Batman by 750 times and the Green Lantern by 677 times."
When the safest piece of glassware "only" exceeds federal standards by 6,770%, it may be time to a) stop importing painted glasses from China, or b) stop importing painted glasses from China.
Why do they keep doing it?
Price, of course.
A report by David Barboza in the New York Times explains:
"Paint with higher levels of lead often sells for a third of the cost of paint with low levels. So Chinese factory owners, trying to eke out profits in an intensely competitive and poorly regulated market, sometimes cut corners and use the cheaper leaded paint.
"On the books, Chinas paint standards are stricter than those in the United States, requiring that paint intended for household or consumer-product use contain no more than 90 parts of lead per million. By comparison, American regulations allow up to 600 parts per million.
'The standard does noy matter,' said Scott Clark, a professor of environmental health at the University of Cincinnati. 'Remember, in the Soviet Union during the cold war, they had very high standards on the books, but they never enforced them. It was just for show.
Hang on, didn't China swear to god, cross its heart, hope to die, stick a needle in its eye in 2007 that it was banning lead paint on toys exported to the US?
Chuanzhong Wei, vice minister of China�s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, seemed so serious about it, so dedicated to fixing the problem.
Well, about that...don't forget that he also said that, "We should not over-propagandize the problem."
Good point, my man. Why get all tangled up in "over-propagandizing" this whole lead thing? It's not like lead is a neurotoxin that causes impulsivity and aggression. Or that a study by economist Rick Nevin shows a relationship between early childhood lead exposure and criminal behavior later in life.
It is stunning how strong the association is, Nevin told the Washington Post. 65 to 90% or more of the substantial variation in violent crime was explained by lead.