Friday, September 9, 2011

The Case for a National Manufacturing Policy, Part 5

Last week, I wrote five blogs and all five times I wrote on manufacturing. That was a lead-up to Labor Day.

The conclusion of my manufacturing spotlight series was on making the case for a national manufacturing policy. There are key areas which I think need attention and focus.

It's time to focus on embracing manufacturing, investing in skills training, removing uncertainty about public infrastructure's future, achieving energy independence, and reducing regulations.

I'm taking the five days this week to explain these. Here's today's:

Reducing regulations.

It seems like every President, for decades, has talked about reducing government regulations.  None has actually done it, though.

Our Port Authority watched a wetlands permit take more days to get completed than the U.S. Civil War was fought.  Just one example:  It costs easily 50% or more to build a highway using federal funds than one without.

How could the federal stimulus work with those kind of strings attached?

The solution is a new federalism with more trust put in the hands of states and local governments without federal slowdowns.  Many regulations on industry can be administered in the same principal--putting the decision closer to the action.

A national manufacturing policy would set firm, metric-driven dates for truly reducing regulations and returning more power on regulatory decisions closer to the action.

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