Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad…


Wow, imagine an article today that actually shows both sides of an argument, with valid data and historical perspective. 

The quote, “…..retaining (US) jobs by constantly making (products here) them faster, cheaper and better” reminds me of our Senior Industry Veteran Walter Wilhelm. Walter likens that expression to the song TWO OUT OF THREE AIN’T BAD, by Meat Loaf. Relative to low cost production in Asia, you can get it made here faster and cheaper, but not better; better and faster, but not cheaper; better and cheaper, but not faster.

On Trade, Trump Should Look to Japan in the 1970s
Fortune, By SHAWN TULLY May 23, 2019

Is it possible Trump has the right point, but the wrong tactics on trade?

Put simply, Trump believes that our giant trade deficit with China exerts a heavy drag on America’s growth. Yet most professional economists disagree, arguing that U.S.-China trade is a major plus, and that the shortfall just reflects that Chinese producers can make sundry products a lot cheaper than we can. Consumers, they argue, benefit from bargains on Chinese-made sneakers, steel, and semiconductors that power their cellphones, leaving America’s families with more cash to spend on U.S. made goods. What’s more, the academics assert, it’s precisely the challenge of battling low-cost overseas competitors that keeps U.S. manufacturers super-productive.

Here’s the countercase: That Chinese protectionism has caused the U.S. manufacturing to shrink in size, especially because the Chinese have denied us the access we’ve provided them, and they’ve systematically undervalued their currency. If so, it could be that U.S. would be making more goods at home, and be boosting wages and retaining jobs by constantly making them faster, cheaper and better, if the U.S. hadn’t allowed the trade gap with China to expand to such Brobdingnagian proportions. Read More


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