Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Case for a National Manufacturing Policy, Part 3

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:

Removing uncertainty about public infrastructure's future.

We've seen billions from the 2009 federal stimulus spent on asphalt paving, but we continue to have no federal transportation bill.  The uncertainty has not only hurt our public infrastructure but also kept equipment manufacturers and associated companies from investing as well. 

Joel Kotkin cites Census estimates of the U.S. adding 100 million or more people in the next forty years.  It's time to get started on building the infrastructure, namely highways, that will support that many new people.  And high speed rail is not the answer to any problem.

Even if a gas tax increase can't be part of it, we need a transportation bill completed in order to remove uncertainty.  No more extensions.  Manufacturing will gain from improved infrastructure and from an improved U.S. marketplace. 

Thus, a key part of a national manufacturing policy is a transportation bill getting done.

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