We’ve been told that high labor (and health care) costs are making U.S. manufacturers uncompetitive. Yet our non-U.S.. competitors seem to be able to thrive building things on U.S. soil with U.S. labor while paying a living wage. Ed Wallace has been warning that our assumptions just don’t add up.
“For the last 30 years we have been treated to virtually non-stop news that American manufacturing isn’t competitive; and consequently we have treated our automakers, our appliance manufacturers and so on with increasing contempt. We blame America’s unions for our manufacturers’ woes, but no one can explain how Germany’s union members are better paid, get more time off and have stronger work rules – and Germany is still a manufacturing and export giant…
…Companies paying lower wages will not expand an economy, it does the reverse. It simply frees up their cash to play fast and loose in this so-called financial innovation we’ve heard so much about…”
Read the rest here, in Wallace’s “Playing to Lose,” by Ed Wallace at Star-Telegram.com.)
As we shed living-wage paying jobs, who will buy the goods (like cars) and services (like healthcare) that generate prosperity and once sustained our towns, schools, homes and hospitals?