Archive for Manufacturing


Stand Up. Fight Back!

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Somebody gets it:


A shorter version of this video really ought to be running in theaters ahead of the trailers.

Categories : Labor, Manufacturing
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Made in NC

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With a little help from a stimulus loan…

Take those bright spots where you can get them.

By now you have probably heard about the big deal. The county’s decision this week to purchase the former Volvo site has culminated in a deal with Canadian automotive parts manufacturer Linamar. Mountain Xpress reports that the company plans to begin renovating the facility starting in August. This means about 400 jobs paying above average wages in an announcement the Citizen-Times described as “probably the largest announcement of a new manufacturing plant in the county since the 1980s.”

Congratulations go out to Buncombe economic development team involved (county and city) and to Gov. Beverly Perdue. It is a long-needed economic shot in the arm for Buncombe County and Beer City USA. Man does not live on microbrews alone.

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Netroots 11, Day 2

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DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz at Netroots 11

The day started out with a public grilling of White House Communications Director, Dan Pfeiffer. Salon’s War Room described it this way, quoting Dave Weigel,


Pfeiffer was only booed (lightly) once. That was when he was asked why Obama had filled out a survey in 1996 stating his approval of gay marriage, but had moved right on the issue as president.

“First of all,” said Pfeiffer, “someone else filled out that questionnaire.”

That’s a very good point. Also Obama had his fingers crossed, and no one said “no backsies.”

That was the most egregious example of communications directorese from Pfeiffer, but it did have competition. Angry Mouse (or, OK, Kaili Joy Gray) repeatedly questioned him on what the White House is doing about unemployment, and Pfeiffer was rather unwilling to admit that the answer is “nothing.”

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Netroots 11, Day 1

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Some blogger posing on the street with swag, plus Barry Kendall and Sara Robinson in background. (Photo by Marta Evry.)

UPDATED below.

Reunions Thursday with a lot of familiar faces. More than anything else, this is a community. Besides seeing friends from the northeast and the left coast, Pam Spaulding (Pam’s House Blend) and several others from North Carolina are here.

Netroots is about networking. Meeting Scott Paul from the Alliance for American Manufacturing at last year’s conference help set in motion the jobs town hall AAM put on in Asheville last October.

Raven Brooks reported 2400-2500 in attendance at the Thursday keynote. Female bloggers from Zimbabwe and Pakistan spoke of using their blogs to be heard in cultures where they otherwise would not. Howard Dean urged the crowd to better communicate “a greater vision of what we’re trying to accomplish.” Russ Feingold spoke on pushing back in the face of the Citizens United decision, noting “Speech doesn’t corrupt. Money corrupts. And money isn’t speech.” Like Dean, he urged the crowd to push hard on Democrats, and cautioned that a Democratic Party that cozies up to big-money donors risks becoming “corporate lite.”

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The Damage Done

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“The North Carolina House voted early Wednesday to override Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue’s historic veto of the state government budget for the next two years, completing the key step needed for the Republican majority to cancel her objections and enact the plan.”
“It clears the path for the Republican-penned bill to be enacted later Wednesday, despite Perdue’s repeated and forceful objections.

She says it would deliver “generational damage” to public education and other services that residents rely upon…”
“The override vote came hours before members of the North Carolina Association of Educators, a strong critic of the GOP budget plan were expected in Raleigh to hold a rally and bring pennies. They are symbolic of the temporary penny sales tax increase they say would preserve positions if the GOP extended the tax, which they didn’t.”


Monday Reading and Viewing

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President Obama’s re-election organization to set up in the first four primary states. “We can’t cede the playing field. We can’t just play general election. So we’re going to have to organize on the ground in early states.”

The United States of America ranks 1st in military spending. 1st in GDP. 10th in per capita GDP. 17th in childhood poverty. 42nd for income inequality. 1st in % of GDP spent on health care. 24th in practicing physicians per 1,000 people. 47th in infant mortality. 47th in life expectancy at birth. – dKos

Michael Moore’s speech in Wisconsin:


No Flat Land Redux

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Former Bristol-Myers Squibb factory - Morrisville, NC

When talking about our area’s problem in recruiting new manufacturing, one of the excuses I hear repeatedly for why WNC’s efforts are not as successful as we would like is “no flat land.” Prospective buyers often find raw land — “greenfield sites” — more desirable and less trouble, and those are hard to come by in the mountains.

That’s not an obstacle. That’s an opportunity.

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Categories : Economy, Local, Manufacturing
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What Industrial Policy?

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Over at Daily Kos last weekend brooklynbadboy was back with more from his trip to Germany. His conclusion: America needs an industrial policy.

There is a simple reason why Germany manufactures so many high-end goods, from the best watches to the finest grand pianos, all the way up to Porsches and highly complicated precision instruments: it is the policy of the German government.

Well, it isn’t exactly a policy. It is more of a framework. Germany’s method of creating wealth is straightforward: 1. Produce a highly educated workforce. 2. Have that workforce create and make advanced, precision things for high wages. 3. Export the things at a high price and then re-invest that money back into item 1. This is why Germany is the Number 2 exporter in the world despite having only 27 percent of America’s population and only 6 percent of Number 1 exporter China. The Germans realize they cannot beat either China or India based on cost. Advanced nations can’t compete on cost. America could bust all the unions, get rid of the minimum wage, eliminate all social benefits and taxation and we would still lose jobs to low-wage nations. Germany decided to avoid going down the same path of downward spiral among its middle class that we are in. Instead, they invest in their people and in research.

The problem, he observes, is that not only doesn’t America have an industrial policy, it doesn’t want one.
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Categories : Economy, Manufacturing
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The Challenge Of Our Time

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California’s Senate president pro tem, Darrell Steinberg (D- Sacramento) writes in the Los Angeles Times:

There is no question the challenge of our time is jobs. The unemployment rate in California stands at 12.4%. But the more important numbers are these: Unemployment for Californians without a high school diploma is 19.2%; for those with a high school degree, 15.6%; for those with an associate’s (2-year college) degree, 9.1%; for those with a bachelor’s degree, 6.4%.

And 1 of every 5 high school students will drop out before receiving a diploma. For African American and Latino students, the numbers are more stark, with 2 out of every 5 dropping out.

These numbers lay bare the reality that if we are going to get serious about jobs in this state, we must get serious about the direct relationship between jobs and education. We need to align public education with the jobs that will exist in a knowledge-intensive, innovation economy.

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Categories : Economy, Manufacturing
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