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Guest LAW

The President discussed the GDP report released today, which shows that the economy grew at a rate of 3.2 percent as opposed to last year during the quarter when it shrank at a rate of 6.4 percent. He explained that the number shows that the "economic heartbeat is growing stronger," but that he measures progress by a different pulse – "the progress the American people feel in their own lives day in, day out." The President stated that "the work of moving the economy forward remains our focus every single day."

 

Now, government can't replace every job that has been lost. That's not government's role. It is America's business all across the country -- the private sector, businesses -- that have always been and will always be the engines of our job creation. Our task, then, is to create the conditions necessary for those businesses to open their doors, expand their operations, and ultimately hire more workers.

 

That's precisely what we've tried to do by cutting taxes for small businesses; by backing thousands of loans supporting billions of dollars in lending; and by making targeted investments in the areas of our economy where the potential for job growth is greatest -– areas like clean energy.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest US Steel

In the week ending May 15, 2010, domestic raw steel production was 1,797,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 74.3 percent. Production was 1,026,000 tons in the week ending May 15, 2009, while the capability utilization then was 42.8 percent. The current week production represents a 75.2 percent increase from the same period in the previous year.

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Guest greenzen

The delicate balance between social security and tax receipts are back on track. But, there is debt and hyperinflation looming if we do not watch ourselves.

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Remarks by the President on the Economy in Youngstown, Ohio

V&M Star Plant, Youngstown, Ohio

May 18, 2010

 

A year ago, we took significant action to jumpstart economic growth and job creation. That action included making investments in sectors with the greatest potential for private sector job growth -- areas like clean energy and infrastructure.

 

And one of those investments is going towards revitalizing the site right next door, preparing it for new construction, and building a rail spur that connects to the Norfolk Southern line that runs through town. So as a result of this investment, V&M Star’s parent company decided to invest $650 million of its own money -- its own money -- (applause) -- to build a new one-million-square-foot mill right here in Youngstown, the largest industrial plant built in the valley since GM built its plant over in Lordstown in the 1960s. Think about that -- biggest investment since the 1960s -- 50 years. (Applause.) So right here, in the heart of the old steel corridor, where some never thought we’d see an investment like this again, they’re placing a bet on American manufacturing and on this community.

 

And that bet is going to pay off for 400 construction jobs once they break ground this summer; 350 new manufacturing jobs once the mill comes online, which doubles the current workforce. And, as everybody here knows, every time a new factory or plant opens or expands in America, it doesn’t just employ the people who are working at the plant, everybody here, suddenly, they’ve got a little more money to go buy lunch somewhere or buy a computer for their kids or do something else, and so it becomes an economic lifeline for the whole community, capable of supporting hundreds or even thousands of jobs indirectly. And so that’s a success story that all of you are part of.

 

Now, I don’t want to suggest this one plant and the jobs it’ll create are going to make the difference for the entire community. It took us decades to get to where we are; it’s going to take some time to get to the point where we need to be. But just think about where we were a year ago: Our economy was collapsing. Our businesses were losing 750,000 jobs every month. Economists across the spectrum were warning very seriously of the possibility of another Great Depression. And all of this was on top of one of the toughest decades for America’s middle class that we’ve ever seen.

 

So that was the situation just a year ago. Everybody has got kind of a selective memory here, but nobody was sure whether the economy was going to hold up. So we had to make a choice: We could sit back, do nothing, make a bunch of excuses, play politics, and watch America’s decline -- or we could stand up and fight for our future.

 

And I ran for President, Youngstown, because I believe that we’re at a defining moment in our history. And if we’re going to keep the American Dream alive -- not just for us, but for the next generation -- then we couldn’t just sit back and put off solving these big problems. We had to tackle them head on.

 

Job one was rescuing our economy. And that required some steps that were, frankly, unpopular -- steps like stabilizing a financial system that was on the brink of collapse, and intervening in an auto industry that was on the brink of extinction. I knew those steps would be unpopular. Even in Ohio, even in Michigan, even in auto-making states, if you polled, people said, don’t do anything about the auto companies. And I knew politics being what it is, that some people would try to score political points off our decisions.

 

But I think it’s fair to say -- any fair-minded person would say that if we hadn’t acted, more people in the Valley, more people in Ohio, more people across America would be out of work today. I mean, I can just give you a very concrete example -- the GM plant over in Lordstown would not be there. Because GM would have liquidated.

 

Instead, GM is paying back its debts, turned a profit for the first time in three years, and a third shift is about to come back to work in Lordstown, putting that plant at maximum capacity. (Applause.) Right next door. (Applause.) And by the way, it was in part because of the decisions that these three guys made in Congress. That’s not easy. They’ve been knocked -- they’ve got bumps all over the backs of their heads -- some on top. (Laughter.) But it was the right thing to do.

 

Today my administration is announcing a landmark agreement to help dozens of communities like Youngstown revitalize and redevelop old, shuttered GM facilities, preparing them for new industries, new jobs, and new opportunity.

 

These steps were the right thing to do. And it was the right thing to do to give tax relief to small businesses and working families right in the middle of this enormous recession -- 4.5 million working families in Ohio alone got tax breaks. Most of you guys didn’t know it, didn’t notice it in your paycheck. We didn’t go around advertising it. But each paycheck was a little bit bigger because of the steps that we took, and that meant that you could recirculate that money into the economy and keep demand up, which helped avert a depression. That was the right thing to do.

 

It was the right thing to do to give loans to small businesses to keep their doors open -- more than 2,400 right here in Ohio got small business loans, because of the Recovery Act, because of the work that these guys did.

 

It was the right thing to do to extend unemployment benefits and make COBRA cheaper for people caught up in the recession until they could get back on their feet. There’s probably not a single person here who doesn’t know somebody who either got unemployment benefits or used COBRA to make sure they could keep health insurance for their families when they lost their job. That was the right thing to do.

 

It was the right thing to do to help governors like Ted avoid massive cuts to Medicaid and layoffs to teachers and police officers.

 

And it was the right thing to do to invest in this town’s infrastructure. We put all of that stuff in the recovery package because it was the right thing to do.

 

Now, we’ve got a long way to go before this recovery is felt in the lives of our neighbors and in all the communities that have lost so much ground in this recession and in years before.

 

But despite that sobering reality, despite all the naysayers in Washington, who are always looking for the cloud in every silver lining, the fact is our economy is growing again. Last month, we gained 290,000 jobs. (Applause.) So think about this. We gained more jobs last month than any time in four years. And it was the fourth month in a row that we’ve added jobs -- and almost all those jobs are in the private sector. Everybody talks about government was doing this, government was doing that. Now, what we did was we encouraged the private sector, gave them the funding, the financing, the support, the infrastructure support in order to invest and get the economy moving again.

 

And last month also brought the largest increase in manufacturing employment since 1998 -- (applause) -- 1998, because I believe in manufacturing and I believe in manufacturing right here in the United States of America. We can compete against anybody. Youngstown can compete against anybody. You got the best workers. There’s no reason why we can’t compete with anybody if you guys have the support that you need.

 

And you know what? I think those critics who have been trying to badmouth these efforts -- they know it’s working. These folks who opposed this every step of the way, predicting nothing but failure, they know it’s working because -- this always puts a smile on my face -- even as they’ve tried to score political points attacking these members of Congress, a lot of them go home and then they claim credit for the very things they voted against. They’ll show up at the -- to cut the ribbons. They’ll put out a press release. They’ll send the mailings touting the very projects that they were opposing in Washington. They’re trying to have it both ways.

 

I know that’s hard to imagine in politics, that a politician might try to have it both ways, but here’s the fact: If the “just say no” crowd had won out, if we had done things the way they wanted to go, we’d be in a deeper world of hurt than we are right now. Families wouldn’t have seen those tax cuts. Small businesses wouldn’t have gotten those loans or those health care tax credits that they’re now eligible for. Insurance companies would still be deciding who they want to cover and when they want to cover them, and dropping your health care coverage whenever they felt like it.

 

The steady progress we’re beginning to see across America would not exist. And neither would the plant that you’re about to build. So I invite anybody who thinks we shouldn’t have taken those actions that we took last year, or made those investments, to come to Youngstown and explain to us why that plant shouldn’t be built. (Applause.)

 

Come talk to Ted Strickland and the mayor. Come tell us why companies like this in towns like Youngstown shouldn’t be given every chance to expand and add new jobs. Tell us why small businesses shouldn’t receive tax credits so they can help purchase health insurance for their employees. Explain why seniors shouldn’t get help paying for their medications when they hit that gap called the doughnut hole. Explain why we should tell families that children with preexisting conditions aren’t going to be able to get health insurance because we decided that insurance companies should be able to do whatever they want.

 

They need to explain why they would be nothing to make -- doing nothing to solve some of these problems that have been plaguing America for years now, decades.

 

So I’m here to say, that’s not how we deal with crises. That’s not what America is about. We did not become the greatest economic power that the world has ever known by avoiding problems. The United States of America does not play for second place. We step up. We face our challenges. We compete. And we win. And that’s something we should all agree on.

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Guest Daren

Lost Generation

 

 

A palindrome reads the same backwards as forward. This video reads the exact opposite backwards as forward. Not only does it read the opposite, the meaning is the exact opposite..

 

Make sure you read as well as listen...forward and backward. Backward is Gen Y answer to our problems.

 

This is a video that was submitted in a contest by a 20-year old. The contest was titled "u @ 50" by AARP.

 

This video won second place. When they showed it, everyone in the room was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause. So simple and yet so brilliant.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Annie Maxwell

Yesterday Vice President Biden travelled to Louisville, Kentucky where he visited the headquarters of GE Appliances to discuss how Recovery Act investments are creating jobs and laying a new foundation for long-term economic growth in the state.

 

Appliance Park is a huge industrial campus, covering more than 900 acres, employing 3,600 people, and producing approximately 3 million units a year. You can tell that people in the community take pride in the company and the products that it makes.

 

We saw it firsthand when we walked into Building 3, where they manufacture energy efficient dishwashers. The manufacturing floor was still hot from recent production and enthusiastic GE employees in their matching red and blue shirts filled the room to welcome Vice President Biden and share the good news about how business is doing. People were excited and undeniably optimistic.

 

It’s hard to imagine that in 2008 GE Appliances was up for sale and facing a financial crisis. For many workers, the future was uncertain. And yet, less than two years later, GE has experienced a dramatic turnaround thanks to their innovative spirit, local, state, and federal support, and a strengthened partnership with the union.

 

GE is now investing $600 million to expand manufacturing production at Appliance Park. The investment is supported by $24.8 million in 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits that GE received under the Recovery Act to retrofit and re-tool the Appliance Park facility for the manufacturing of three energy-efficient product lines: dishwashers, clothes dryers, water heaters. With the addition of the three new product lines, they plan to add over 800 new jobs through 2013.

 

And these product lines are state-of-art: the water heater uses 62 percent less energy than conventional water heaters and saves the average family $320 a year. It’s also the first new product line manufactured at Appliance Park in 50 years.

 

The Recovery Act also included consumer incentives for energy efficient appliances, and these rebates have boosted sales of high efficiency appliances. Sales of the dishwashers being built in Building 3 have increased by 20 percent as a result of the Recovery Act consumer rebates. And sales of the clothes washers manufactured in Building 1 are up more than 100 percent. GE even had to add a second shift and hire 137 new employees to handle the increased demand.

 

Nichelle Thomas, one of the employees who works on the clothes washer line, introduced the Vice President. As the single mom of a six year old boy, Nichelle spoke about the importance of not just having a job, but having confidence that she’ll be able to keep that job.

 

Summing it all up, Vice President Biden told the crowd: “I don’t see it written anywhere that we can’t be a manufacturing nation anymore. I don’t see it written anywhere that our nation’s – or Kentucky’s – best days are behind us. I don’t see it written anywhere that America has to settle for #2.”

 

If anyone knows that firsthand, it’s the men and women working in Building 3.

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Guest greenzen

This is great news. Let's keep the effort up.

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Companies-brace-for-end-of-apf-2437567795.html?x=0

 

Factory workers demanding better wages and working conditions are hastening the eventual end of an era of cheap costs that helped make southern coastal China the world's factory floor.

 

A series of strikes over the past two months have been a rude wakeup call for the many foreign companies that depend on China's low costs to compete overseas, from makers of Christmas trees to manufacturers of gadgets like the iPad.

 

Where once low-tech factories and scant wages were welcomed in a China eager to escape isolation and poverty, workers are now demanding a bigger share of the profits. The government, meanwhile, is pushing foreign companies to make investments in areas it believes will create greater wealth for China, like high technology.

 

Many companies are striving to stay profitable by shifting factories to cheaper areas farther inland or to other developing countries, and a few are even resuming production in the West.

 

"China is going to go through a very dramatic period. The big companies are starting to exit. We all see the writing on the wall," said Rick Goodwin, a China trade veteran of 22 years, whose company links foreign buyers with Chinese suppliers.

 

"I have 15 major clients. My job is to give the best advice I can give. I tell it like it is. I tell them, put your helmet on, it's going to get ugly," said Goodwin, who says dissatisfied workers and hard-to-predict exchange rates are his top worries.

 

Beijing's decision to stop tethering the Chinese currency to the U.S. dollar, allowing it to appreciate and thus boosting costs in yuan, has multiplied the uncertainty for companies already struggling with meager profit margins.

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Guest old loafer

People that take jobs away from Americans and ship the jobs overseas, may also be looking at a new tax.

 

And trust me when I say your really going to wish you left your jobs right where they were! I would set down, its about to become a bumpy ride!

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Weekly Address: President Obama Hails Successes of the Restructuring of the Auto Industry, Calls on GOP Leaders to Stop Blocking Aid for Small Businesses

 

WASHINGTON – In this week’s address, President Obama praised the successes of the auto industry restructuring. When his administration decided to invest in the American car companies, some said such a move was bound to fail. But since GM and Chrysler have emerged from bankruptcy, the auto industry has added 55,000 jobs – the strongest growth in 10 years – and for the first time since 2004, all three companies are operating at a profit. The President also called on Republican leaders in the Senate to stop blocking a vote on a bill helping small businesses. Even though this bill will help the recovery, and has been endorsed by groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business, the Republican Senate leadership continues to hold it hostage to politics by denying an up-or-down vote on the bill.

 

Remarks of President Barack Obama

As Prepared for Delivery

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Detroit, Michigan

 

Hello everyone. I’m speaking to you from the GM auto plant here in Detroit, Michigan, where a hopeful story is unfolding in a place that’s been one of the hardest hit in America.

 

In the twelve months before I took office, American auto companies lost hundreds of thousands of jobs. Sales plunged 40 percent. Liquidation was a very real possibility. Years of papering over tough problems and failing to adapt to changing times – combined with a vicious economic crisis – brought an industry that’s been the symbol of our manufacturing might for a century to the brink of collapse.

 

We didn’t have many good options. On one hand, we could have continued the practice of handing out billions of taxpayer dollars to the auto industry with no real strings attached. On the other hand, we could have walked away and allowed two major auto companies to go out of business – which could have wiped out one million American jobs.

 

I refused to let that happen. So we came up with a third way. We said to the auto companies – if you’re willing to make the hard decisions necessary to adapt and compete in the 21st century, we’ll make a one-time investment in your future.

 

Of course, if some folks had their way, none of this would be happening at all. This plant might not exist. There were leaders of the “just say no” crowd in Washington who argued that standing by the auto industry would guarantee failure. One called it “the worst investment you could possibly make.” They said we should just walk away and let these jobs go.

 

Today, the men and women in this plant are proving these cynics wrong. Since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy, our auto industry has added 55,000 jobs – the strongest period of job growth in more than ten years. For the first time since 2004, all three American automakers are operating at a profit. Sales have begun to rebound. And plants like this that wouldn’t have existed if all of us didn’t act are now operating maximum capacity.

 

What’s more, thanks to our investments, a lot of these auto companies are reinventing themselves to meet the demands of a new age. At this plant, they’re hard at work building the high-quality, fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow – cars like the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt that can run 40 miles before taking a sip of gasoline. Throughout Michigan, an advanced battery industry is taking root that will power clean electric cars – an industry that produced only 2 percent of the world’s advanced batteries last year, but will now be able to produce as much as 40 percent in a little over five years. That’s real progress.

 

There’s no doubt that we have a long way to go and a lot of work to do before folks here and across the country can feel whole again. But what’s important is that we’re finally beginning to see some of the tough decisions we made pay off. And if we had listened to the cynics and the naysayers – if we had simply done what the politics of the moment required – none of this progress would have happened.

 

Still, even as these icons of American industry are being reborn, we also need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with America’s small businessmen and women, as well -- particularly since they’re the ones who create most of the new jobs in this country.

 

As we work to rebuild our economy, I can’t imagine anything more common-sense than giving additional tax breaks and badly-needed lending assistance to America’s small business owners so they can grow and hire. That’s what we’re trying to do with the Small Business Jobs Act – a bill that has been praised as being good for small businesses by groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business. It’s a bill that includes provision after provision authored by both Democrats and Republicans. But yesterday, the Republican leaders in the Senate once again used parliamentary procedures to block it. Understand, a majority of Senators support the plan. It’s just that the Republican leaders in the Senate won’t even allow it to come up for a vote.

 

That isn’t right. And I’m calling on the Republican leaders in the Senate to stop holding America’s small businesses hostage to politics, and allow an up-or-down vote on this small business jobs bill.

 

At a time when America is just starting to move forward again, we can’t afford the do-nothing policies and partisan maneuvering that will only take us backward. I won’t stand here and pretend everything’s wonderful. I know that times are tough. But what I also know is that we’ve made it through tough times before. And we’ll make it through again. The men and women hard at work in this plant make me absolutely confident of that.

 

So to all the naysayers out there, I say this: Don’t ever bet against the American people. Because we don’t take the easy way out. That’s not how we deal with challenge. That’s not how we build this country into the greatest economic power the world has ever known. We did it by summoning the courage to persevere, and adapt, and push this country forward, inch by inch. That’s the spirit I see in this plant today, and as long as I have the privilege of being your President, I will keep fighting alongside you until we reach a better day.

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Guest BlingBling

Wait a sec. Republican leaders are not for a Small Business tax break? Don't Republicans realize small business is the backbone of America? The ONLY reason they are blocking this bill is because a Democrat proposed it.

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Guest Human

More Stimulus? How are we going to pay for it when we haven't even paid for the 787 billion dollar Stimulus?

 

Then the taxes for health care coming in 2011, and they are coming.

 

Your group since 2006 has control of the purse strings of this country. Fannie, Freddie, Ginnie mae are still not in the Christopher Dodd Barney Frank Financial Reform Law.

 

Though I honestly don't believe that you will answer any of these questions.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Wait a sec. Republican leaders are not for a Small Business tax break? Don't Republicans realize small business is the backbone of America? The ONLY reason they are blocking this bill is because a Democrat proposed it.

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We would love your input Human.

 

Obama Administration Announces Conference on Housing Finance Reform: "Conference on the Future of Housing Finance" set for August 17

 

The Obama Administration announced expanded opportunities for public engagement on the future of our nation's housing finance system, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These events, which will include a major conference in Washington, D.C., will help provide critical public input as the Administration continues its work developing a comprehensive housing finance reform proposal for delivery to Congress by January 2011.

 

"The future of our housing finance system is critical not only to our economic recovery, but also to millions of American homeowners in every corner of our country," said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. "Now is the time to build on the foundation we laid with the historic Wall Street Reform legislation President Obama signed last week and aggressively move forward to improve our nation's housing finance system. The Obama Administration is committed to delivering a comprehensive reform proposal that protects taxpayers, institutes tough oversight, restores the long-term health of our housing market, and strengthens our nation's economic recovery."

 

"The Obama Administration is committed to engaging stakeholders and the public as we consider proposals for reforming the housing finance system," said U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. "The need for reform is clear and we want to listen to a wide range of views as we chart a course to a more robust and stable housing market that works for the benefit of the American people."

 

In the months ahead, the Administration will continue to gather input from a broad cross-section of stakeholders through a variety of events. On August 17, the Obama Administration will host a Conference on the Future of Housing Finance in Washington D.C. at the Treasury Department. This event will bring together leading academic experts, consumer and community organizations, industry groups, market participants, and other stakeholders for an open discussion about housing finance reform.

 

The Obama Administration has already begun the work of developing proposals for reforming our nation's system of housing finance. In early 2010, Secretaries Geithner and Donovan delivered testimony before Congress on the Obama Administration's ongoing work in this area, and the broad principles that would guide those efforts.

 

In April 2010, Treasury and HUD issued a set of questions for public comment on the future of the housing finance system, which received more than 300 responses from a broad cross-section of consumer groups, industry groups, market participants, members of the public, think tanks, and other stakeholders. These responses will help provide additional input and perspective as the Obama Administration moves forward to develop its comprehensive reform proposal. To view these responses to the questions for public comment, please visit:

 

http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#docketDetail?R=TREAS-DO-2010-0001

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Guest Human

I can't come, I am healing from a major operation. In anycase my Bosses "Republicans" have

the entire business directory that I have, and it's a beauty. It's world wide, local "Very Nice, highly detailed".

 

I hope that you have been reading the posts in here on "how to be your own boss".

It will give you an idea on what I am capable of. You will enjoy the reading.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We would love your input Human.

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Finally Congress is listening to the will of the American people.

 

========================================================================

 

July 20, 2010

The Honorable Steny Hoyer

Majority Leader

United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Majority Leader Hoyer,

I was encouraged by your remarks last Wednesday evening when you laid out a strategy to concentrate on jobs and “making it in America.” We believe that is the right focus for Congress at this time. The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) would like to offer suggestions on what Congress can do to help strengthen and grow U.S. manufacturing, create jobs and expedite the economic recovery.

 

Prior to the economic downturn, the domestic steel industry directly employed approximately 165,000 persons in the U.S., supported a total of 1.2 million jobs overall and contributed $350 billion annually to the economy. Like others in the manufacturing sector, our industry has been negatively impacted by current economic conditions and we share your goal of a healthy and growing manufacturing sector and its green, high-paying jobs.

 

One of the most effective ways Congress could create new jobs is to provide substantial investment in America’s infrastructure through passage of a new six-year surface transportation authorization bill. Doing so will provide substantial job creation because a six-year reauthorization will allow large and long-term capital projects to be undertaken and completed, such as new highways and bridges. This is superior to the ARRA approach whose near-term focus forced program dollars to maintenance projects rather than real infrastructure development. A long-term commitment to infrastructure spending will renew demand for steel and other manufactured goods and create jobs. For example, for every direct steel industry job, seven jobs are created in other sectors of the economy.

 

Second, we must revitalize our investment in new manufacturing technology. Since 1990, the steel industry, along with the aluminum, chemicals, metal casting and other industries has reduced their energy use and CO2 emissions dramatically. For example, steel is 30% less energy intensive than in 1990. Many of these advances occurred as part of our partnership with DOE’s Industrial Technologies program. However, this program has been gutted since the early 2000’s leaving very little in our technology pipeline. Meanwhile, our competitors in Europe and Asia have robust cooperative programs with their materials industries, for example over $500 million in steel R & D alone in the EU. We must revitalize our Industrial Technologies program and focus it on technological breakthroughs, not incremental gains, if steel and other materials are to retain thecompetitive advantage we have worked so hard to achieve. The steel industry is prepared to match federal R and D investments dollar for dollar as we have done for the past two decades.

 

Likewise, Congress should increase funds for common sense tax credits like the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit. Section 48C was enacted as part of the stimulus legislation to provide $2.3 billion in funds for tax credits of up to 30% for capital investments in new, expanded or retooled manufacturing facilities for projects that would produce clean energy products. Congress should expand this tax credit to also include clean and efficient energy investment, such as wasted heat and byproduct gas recovery that would aid manufacturers and the environment. The lowest-cost, cleanest, and most reliable energy is the energy that is saved due to increased efficiency.

 

We also urge you to increase funds for the Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Plan (Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005), namely Sections 1703 and 1705. The domestic steel industry robustly supports the further development of the country’s energy infrastructure, which this program is designed to promote.

 

Finally, Congress should establish and enforce trade policies that will truly level the international playing field for all manufacturers. Foreign countries engage in currency manipulation when they effectively prevent market forces from determining the value of their currency. This practice allows those foreign countries to artificially make their exports cheaper and their imports more expensive in terms of their own currency, thereby putting American goods and services at an unfair competitive disadvantage. This mercantilist policy not only subverts real free trade but also adds to the massive imbalances threatening the global trading system. Thus, the House should take up and pass legislation introduced by Congressmen Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Tim Murphy (D-PA), H.R. 2378, which addresses the issue of currency manipulation. The United States’ current trade deficit with China cannot be sustained and failing to address fundamental currency misalignment will only continue to impede our economic recovery and impair the ability of American businesses to increase their production, keep their doors open and create jobs.

 

These actions—enacting a six-year reauthorization of the surface transportation bill, a reinvestment in manufacturing R & D on par with our international competitors, increasing and expanding the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, and dealing with currency manipulation—address the demand for manufactured goods, our ability to continue to produce them with world class performance and fair competition, and are the fastest and most effective steps to job growth and economic recovery. We look forward to working with you on these programs.

Sincerely,

 

Thomas J. Gibson

 

cc: The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

The Honorable John Boehner

The Honorable Pete Visclosky

The Honorable Tim Murphy

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Remarks by the President on Clean Energy Manufacturing

 

ZBB Corporation Manufacturing Facility

Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

 

11:08 A.M. CDT

 

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. (Applause.) Everybody, please have a seat. Thank you very much. It is wonderful to be at ZBB Energy. And thanks for your hospitality, and thanks for helping to build a future.

 

I've got a couple of people I want to acknowledge. First of all, your wonderful Governor and First Lady, Jim and Jessica Doyle are here. Please give them a big round of applause. (Applause.) We've got somebody who is fighting on behalf of Wisconsin families each and every day -- Russ Feingold, your wonderful U.S. senator. (Applause.) A great friend and somebody who has been really doing great work over her first couple of years in Congress -- Congresswoman Gwen Moore. Please give her a big round of applause. (Applause.)

 

And thank you, Eric, for the wonderful tour that you provided to us. Please give Eric Apfelbach a big round of applause -- CEO of ZBB. (Applause.)

 

It is great to be here. I just had a chance to see some of the batteries that you’re manufacturing and talk to a few of the men and women who are building them. And the reason I’m here today is because at this plant you’re doing more than just making high-tech batteries. You’re pointing the country towards a brighter economic future.

 

Now, that’s not easy. We’ve been through a terrible recession -– the worst that we’ve seen since the Great Depression. And this recession was the culmination of a decade that fell like a sledgehammer on middle-class families. For the better part of 10 years, people were seeing stagnant incomes and sluggish growth and skyrocketing health care costs and skyrocketing tuition bills, and people were feeling less secure economically.

 

And few parts of the economy were hit harder than manufacturing. Over the last 10 years, the number of people working in manufacturing shrank by a third. And that left millions of skilled, hardworking Americans sitting idle, just like the plants were sitting idle. That was before the recession hit. Obviously once the recession took hold, millions more were struggling in ways that they never imagined. And there’s nobody here who hasn’t been touched in some way by this recession. And certainly a state like Wisconsin or my home state of Illinois can tell a lot of stories about how badly hit manufacturing was, particularly in the Midwest.

 

Now, there’s some who suggest this decline is inevitable. But I don’t see it that way -– and I know neither do you. Yes, times are tough. But we’ve been through tough times before. And we’ve made it through because we are resilient -- Americans are resilient. We don't give in to pessimism; we don't give in to cynicism. We fight for our future. We work to shape our own destiny as a country.

 

And that’s what we’ve been trying to do since I took office. We’ve been fighting on all fronts -– inch by inch, foot by foot, mile by mile -– to get this country moving forward again, and going after every single job we can create right here in the United States of America.

 

So we’re investing in 21st century infrastructure -- roads and bridges, faster Internet access, high-speed railroads -- projects that will lead to hundreds of thousands of private sector jobs, but will also lay the groundwork so that our kids and our grandkids can keep prospering.

We’ve cut taxes for small businesses that hire unemployed workers. In fact, I’ve signed seven other small business tax cuts so that entrepreneurs can help expand and buy new equipment and add more employees. We’ve taken emergency steps to prevent layoffs of hundreds of thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers, and other critical public servants in our communities. And I think that Governor Doyle will testify that we have made progress in part because everybody has pulled together. There was a great danger of even greater layoffs all across this state for vital services that would affect our kids and our families. These folks would have otherwise lost their jobs because of state and local budget cuts.

 

And at the same time what we've been trying to do -- and that's why I'm here at ZBB -- is to jumpstart a homegrown, clean energy industry –- building on the good work of your governor and others in this state. That’s why I’m here today. Because of the steps we’ve taken to strengthen the economy, ZBB received a loan that’s helping to fund an expansion of your operations. Already, it’s allowed ZBB to retain nearly a dozen workers. And over time, the company expects to hire about 80 new workers. This is leading to new business for your suppliers, including MGS Plastics and other manufacturer here in Wisconsin.

 

And ZBB is also planning to take advantage of a special tax credit to build another factory in southeastern Wisconsin, so we can create even more jobs and more opportunity. And Eric is confident that you can expand because you’re seeing rising demand for advanced batteries. And all this is part of steps we’ve taken in clean energy -– steps that have led to jobs manufacturing wind turbines and solar panels, building hybrid and electric vehicles, modernizing our electric grid so that we have more sources of renewable energy but we can also use it more effectively.

 

We expect our commitment to clean energy to lead to more than 800,000 jobs by 2012. And that’s not just creating work in the short term, that’s going to help lay the foundation for lasting economic growth. I just want everybody to understand --just a few years ago, American businesses could only make 2 percent of the world’s advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles -- 2 percent. In just a few years, we’ll have up to 40 percent of the world’s capacity.

 

Here at ZBB, you’re building batteries to store electricity from solar cells and wind turbines. And you’ve been able to export batteries around the globe, and that’s helping lead this new industry. For years, we’ve heard about manufacturing jobs disappearing overseas. Well, companies like this are showing us how manufacturing can come back right here in the United States of America, right back here to Wisconsin. (Applause.)

 

Now, obviously, we’ve got a lot more work to do. The damage that was done by this recession was enormous. Eight million people lost their job; 750,000 lost jobs the month I was sworn into office; 3 million had lost their jobs by the time we took office, and several more million in those first few months of 2009. So too many of our family members and our friends and our neighbors are still having a tough time finding work. And some of them have been out of work a long time.

 

And I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, my administration will not rest till every American who is willing to work can find a job, and a job that pays decent wages and decent benefits to support a family.

 

But what’s clear is that we’re headed in the right direction. A year and a half ago, this economy was shrinking rapidly. The economy is now growing. A year and a half ago, we were losing jobs every month in the private sector. We’ve now added private sector jobs for seven months in a row. And that means the worst mistake we could make is to go back to doing what we were doing that got us into the mess that we were in. We can’t turn back. We’ve got to keep going forward. We’ve got to keep going forward. (Applause.)

 

Now, I’ll be honest with you, there’s going to be a big debate about where we go. There are folks in Washington right now who think we should abandon our efforts to support clean energy. They’ve made the political calculation that it’s better to stand on the sidelines than work as a team to help American businesses and American workers.

 

So they said no to the small business tax cuts I talked about. They said no to rebuilding infrastructure. And they said no to clean energy projects. They even voted against getting rid of tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas so we could give those tax breaks to companies that are investing right here in Wisconsin.

 

And my answer to people who have playing politics the past year and a half is, they should come to this plant. They should go to any of the dozen new battery factories, or the new electrical vehicle manufacturers, or the new wind turbine makers, or the solar plants that are popping up all over this country, and they should have to explain why they think these clean energy jobs are better off being made in Germany or China or Spain, instead of right here in the United States.

 

See, when folks lift up the hoods on the cars of the future, I want them to see engines stamped “Made in America.” 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. That's what this is about. (Applause.)

 

So, ZBB, you’re part of that process. You guys are at the cutting edge. You’re how we’re going to strengthen this economy.

 

These have been a couple of very hard years for America. And we’re not completely out of the woods yet. There are going to be some more tough days ahead. It would be a mistake to pretend otherwise. But we are headed in the right direction. You’re pointing us in the right direction. And I am confident about our future, because of what I have seen at this plant and what I see when I talk to workers like all of you, what I have seen all across this country. When the chips are down, it’s always a mistake to bet against the American worker. It’s a mistake to bet against American businesses. It’s a mistake to bet against the American people.

 

This is the home to the most skilled, hardworking people on Earth. There’s nothing we cannot achieve when we set our minds to it. All we’ve got to do is harness the potential that’s always been central to our success. That’s not just how we’re going to come through the storms we’ve been in recently. That’s how we’re going to emerge even stronger than before.

 

So I want to say thank you to Eric. I want to thank ZBB for hosting us. More importantly, I want to thank all of you for setting a model for how we’re going to create the kind of lasting economy that’s going to be good not just for this generation, but for the next generation.

 

Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. God bless America. Thank you. (Applause.)

 

END

11:27 A.M. CDT

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Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement on the March 2011 Employment Situation report:

 

"Our nation's labor market improved notably in the month of March. Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 216,000, and the unemployment rate decreased to 8.8 percent. Over the last four months, the unemployment rate has fallen by a full percentage point – its largest decline since 1984.

 

"Today's numbers highlight steady, sustained and widespread job growth. Private employment has now grown for 13 consecutive months, with February and March showing the strongest growth since early 2006. And since its low point in February 2010, private sector employment has risen by 1.8 million.

 

"The bottom line: The policies and programs of this administration are working.

 

"But we know there's still more work to be done for the millions of people who are either out of work or struggling to offset their rising costs with shrinking paychecks. It's why one of President Obama's goals has been to ensure a cleaner, safer and more secure energy future. And it's why, this week, he laid out a plan that will finally break our dependence on foreign oil and move our nation toward a clean energy economy that creates jobs and keeps America competitive.

 

"The growth of the clean energy economy will bring significant changes to the American workplace and require workers to acquire new and different skills. At the Labor Department, we are providing the training that will turn 20th century blue-collar jobs into secure 21st century green-collar jobs, while paving a pathway out of poverty; strengthening urban and rural communities; rebuilding a strong middle class; and protecting the health of our citizens and planet.

 

"We face big challenges, and fixing them will require a lot of hard work and sacrifice from everyone. But if we're willing to come together and find common ground on these issues, then we can win the future. We can lay the foundation for American competitiveness for years to come and give this generation, and pass on to the next, the type of America that our parents and grandparents left for us.

 

"While the employment situation is clearly improving, my mission remains the same: to create good and safe jobs for everyone. It is what the American people are counting on and a goal we will continue to keep at the forefront of everything we do."

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Guest LAW

Within the next five years, the United States is expected to experience a manufacturing renaissance as the wage gap with China shrinks and certain U.S. states become some of the cheapest locations for manufacturing in the developed world, according to a new analysis by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

 

With Chinese wages rising at about 17 percent per year and the value of the yuan continuing to increase, the gap between U.S. and Chinese wages is narrowing rapidly. Meanwhile, flexible work rules and a host of government incentives are making many states—including Mississippi, South Carolina, and Alabama—increasingly competitive as low-cost bases for supplying the U.S. market.

 

“All over China, wages are climbing at 15 to 20 percent a year because of the supply-and-demand imbalance for skilled labor,” said Harold L. Sirkin, a BCG senior partner. “We expect net labor costs for manufacturing in China and the U.S. to converge by around 2015. As a result of the changing economics, you’re going to see a lot more products ‘Made in the USA’ in the next five years.”

 

After adjustments are made to account for American workers’ relatively higher productivity, wage rates in Chinese cities such as Shanghai and Tianjin are expected to be about only 30 percent cheaper than rates in low-cost U.S. states. And since wage rates account for 20 to 30 percent of a product’s total cost, manufacturing in China will be only 10 to 15 percent cheaper than in the U.S.—even before inventory and shipping costs are considered. After those costs are factored in, the total cost advantage will drop to single digits or be erased entirely, Sirkin said.

 

Products that require less labor and are churned out in modest volumes, such as household appliances and construction equipment, are most likely to shift to U.S. production. Goods that are labor-intensive and produced in high volumes, such as textiles, apparel, and TVs, will likely continue to be made overseas.

 

Executives who are planning a new factory in China to make exports for sale in the U.S. should take a hard look at the total costs. They’re increasingly likely to get a good wage deal and substantial incentives in the U.S., so the cost advantage of China might not be large enough to bother—and that’s before taking into account the added expense, time, and complexity of logistics,” said Sirkin, whose most recent book, GLOBALITY: Competing with Everyone from Everywhere for Everything, deals with globalization and emerging markets.

 

Indeed, a number of companies, especially U.S.-based ones, are already rethinking their production locations and supply chains for goods destined to be sold in the U.S. For some, the economics have already reached a tipping point.

 

Caterpillar Inc., for example, announced last year the expansion of its U.S. operations with the construction of a new 600,000-square-foot hydraulic excavator manufacturing facility in Victoria, Texas. Once fully operational, the plant is expected to employ more than 500 people and will triple the company's U.S.-based excavator capacity. “Victoria’s proximity to our supply base, access to ports and other transportation, as well as the positive business climate in Texas made this the ideal site for this project,” said Gary Stampanato, a Caterpillar vice president.

 

NCR Corp. announced in late 2009 that it was bringing back production of its ATMs to Columbus, Georgia, in order to decrease the time to market, increase internal collaboration, and lower operating costs. And toy manufacturer Wham-O Inc. last year returned 50 percent of its Frisbee production and its Hula Hoop production from China and Mexico to the U.S.

 

“Workers and unions are more willing to accept concessions to bring jobs back to the U.S.,” noted Michael Zinser, a BCG partner who leads the firm’s manufacturing work in the Americas. “Support from state and local governments can tip the balance.”

 

Zinser noted that executives should not make the mistake of comparing the average labor costs for production workers in China and the U.S. when making investment decisions. The costs of Chinese workers are still much cheaper, on average, than comparable U.S. workers, and some managers may assume that China is a better location. But averages can be deceiving.

 

“If you’re just comparing average wages in China against those in the United States, you’re looking at the problem in the wrong way,” Zinser cautioned. “Average wages don’t reflect the real decisions that companies have to make. Averages are historical and based on the country as a whole, not on where you would go today.”

 

In the U.S., we have highly skilled workers in many of our lower-cost states. By contrast, in the lower-cost regions in China it’s actually very hard to find the skilled workers you need to run an effective plant,” added Doug Hohner, another BCG partner who focuses on manufacturing.

 

Even as companies reduce their investment in China to make goods for sale in the U.S., it is clear that China will remain a large and important manufacturing location. First, investments to supply the huge domestic market in that nation will continue. Second, in the absence of trade barriers that prevent offshoring, Western Europe will continue to rely on China’s relatively lower labor rates since the region lacks the flexibility in wages and benefits that the U.S. enjoys.

 

Third, even though other low-cost countries—such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia—will benefit from companies seeking wage rates that are lower than China’s, only a portion of the demand for manufacturing will shift from China. Smaller low-cost countries simply lack the supply chain, infrastructure, and labor skills to absorb all of it, Hohner noted.

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Guest Burt

Over the past few months I have received countless emails from my

students describing their fears about the ongoing global financial

crisis and what it means for their family.

 

I'm not just overwhelmed by how many of you are affected, but how

deeply this global crisis is hitting you. There is nothing more I want

to assure you of right now than that of hope.

 

In the meantime, I want you to remember that it's all about attitude.

If our collective consciousness is together and on the right track, we

won't just make it through... we will prosper.

 

Hope is not dead.

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My Resume was sitting un-touched on Monster.com for over a year. Last week I was suddenly contacted by two different recruiting firms that were scouring Monster. Same thing happened to a former co-worker of mine too.

 

The economy is getting better.

 

More jobs were created under Obama's term so far than during all of Bush's 8 years.

 

http://politifact.com/ohio/statements/2011/apr/28/joe-biden/vice-president-joe-biden-says-there-were-more-new-/

 

NPR had a story on how some economists think we may be seeing the starting stages of another tech bubble.

 

Money is starting to flow again. People are slowly starting to take risks. Service and Tech will be the first to recover. And once these people have money to buy things, manufacturing and housing will follow.

 

Cheer up. Good times are on the way.

 

PS. The first thing they asked me to do was update my resume. :-P

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In his weekly address, President Obama spoke to the American people about how the government is partnering with the private sector to make sure workers have the skills and training they need in this economy. This past Wednesday, he announced commitments by the private sector, colleges, and the National Association of Manufacturers that will make it possible for half a million community college students to get a manufacturing credential that has the industry’s stamp of approval. And on Monday, he will travel to North Carolina to meet with his Jobs Council to work on the steps the government can take to spur private sector hiring in the short-term and ensure our workers have the skills and training they need.

 

Remarks of President Barack Obama

Weekly Address

June 11, 2011

Washington D.C.

 

Hello, everyone. I want to spend a couple minutes talking with you about our economy. We’ve just come through the worst recession since the Great Depression, and while our economy as a whole has been growing and adding private sector jobs, too many folks are still struggling to get back on their feet. I wish I could tell you there was a quick fix to our economic problems. But the truth is, we didn’t get into this mess overnight, and we won’t get out of it overnight. It’s going to take time.

 

The good news is, when it comes to job-creation and economic growth, there are certain things we know we can do. Now, government is not – and should not be – the main engine of job-creation in this country. That’s the role of the private sector. But one thing government can do is partner with the private sector to make sure that every worker has the necessary skills for the jobs they’re applying for.

On Wednesday, I announced commitments by the private sector, colleges, and the National Association of Manufacturers that will make it possible for 500,000 community college students to get a manufacturing credential that has the industry’s stamp of approval. If you’re a company that’s hiring, you’ll know that anyone who has this degree has the skills you’re looking for. If you’re a student considering community college, you’ll know that your diploma will give you a leg up in the job market.

 

On Monday, I’ll travel to North Carolina, where I’ll meet with my Jobs Council and talk about additional steps we can take to spur private sector hiring in the short-term and ensure our workers have the skills and training they need in this economy.

 

There are also a few other things we know will help grow our economy, and give people good jobs that support a middle-class lifestyle. We know that a quality education is a prerequisite for success, so we’re challenging states and school districts to improve teaching and learning, and making it a national goal to once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

 

We know that more and more jobs are being created in the clean energy sector, so we’re investing in wind power, solar power, and biofuels that will make us less dependent on foreign oil and clean up our planet for our children. These are steps we know will make a difference in people’s lives – not just twenty years from now, or ten years from now, but now, and in the months to come.

In the end, the folks I hear from in letters or meet when I travel across the country – they aren’t asking for much. They’re just looking for a job that covers their bills. They’re just looking for a little financial security. They want to know that if they work hard and live within their means, everything will be all right. They’ll be able to get ahead, and give their kids a better life. That’s the dream each of us has for ourselves and our families. And so long as I have the privilege of serving as President, I’ll keep fighting to put that dream within reach for all Americans. Have a great weekend, everybody.

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