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How Trump's Protectionism Would Destroy Auto Industry Jobs, Not Create Them
President Donald J. Trump didn't wait long to act on one of his signature campaign promises, announcing just moments after being sworn in as the country's 45th president that the U.S. intends to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and that he will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement "to give American workers a fair deal." If Mexico and Canada don't agree to better terms for the U.S, according to a statement from the new White House, "then the President will give notice of the United States’ intent to withdraw from NAFTA." While Trump's stated goal is to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., studies have concluded that withdrawing from NAFTA, or imposing a 35 percent tariff on imported vehicles as Trump has threatened, would have the opposite effect. Forbes
Submitted 2 days ago

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Another view: End the incentives arms race
Ah, nothing rejuvenates an editorial board like a debate over the practical vs. the philosophical. But that’s what we enjoyed recently, when Enterprise Florida vice-chair Alan Becker visited to discuss his organization, which appears to be caught in the middle of quite the political wrestling match between Gov. Rick Scott and Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran. Becker counseled against two things — getting caught up in the political crossfire and succumbing to the temptation to discuss the matter of economic incentives from only a philosophical viewpoint. It’s fair advice. And, of course, the two issues are related. TCpalm.com
Submitted 2 days ago

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Trump's expected impact on South Mississippi's shipbuilding industry
PASCAGOULA, MS -- After Donald Trump takes the Oath of Office on Friday, we'll start seeing how he'll implement the promises of his campaign. Part of those promises included a build up of the military. For shipbuilding workers in South Mississippi, that buildup could mean more work and bottom line more money. "He [Trump] wants to make America stronger again. And if you're going to make America stronger, you got to build more ships," said Ingalls employee Joe Ravita Jr. "If you're going to build more ships, our jobs are going to be secure." Wdam.com
Submitted 2 days ago

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What America's Small-Town Mayors Think About Trump
Just as a U.S. president delivers an inauguration speech or a State of the Union address, mayors across the country deliver State of the Village speeches. But while presidents can speak in broad strokes, mayors are expected to detail the town’s accomplishments. As a result, these speeches are typically less aspirational and less rhetorically artful. Yet this year, a number of small-town mayors broke from tradition, as they weighed in on presidential politics. Citylab.com
Submitted 2 days ago

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Could a Rick Perry DOE Threaten Jobs, Increase Energy Bills?
When Rick Perry faces his Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday, the former Texas governor’s goal will be to convince all of us that he’s up to the task of running the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). America has enjoyed years of incredible clean-energy progress, and its senators need to make sure this climate denier won’t hamper our nation’s clean-economy momentum, costing jobs and raising our energy bills. Triplepundit.com
Submitted 2 days ago

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North Carolina Would Lose Big With Scott Pruitt Leading the EPA
OKLAHOMA ATTORNEY GENERAL Scott Pruitt faces members of a Senate committee this morning for what could be a contentious two-day confirmation hearing. The showdown will serve as a public referendum on his qualifications, views on climate change, and legal stance on whether the federal or state government should police the environment. On one side will be skeptical Democrats, poring over the 14 lawsuits he has filed to block EPA rules on mercury, ozone, carbon dioxide, waterways, and the Clean Power Plan regulating utilities. Friendlier questions will come from panel Republicans like West Virginia’s Shelly Moore Capito, who said Pruitt’s plans to stop environmental overreach are a “breath of fresh air.” Wired.com
Submitted 3 days ago

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What killed U.S. productivity?
The U.S. economy has improved steadily since the Great Recession — as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), unemployment, job creation, home sales, and consumer spending. But one aspect of the economy has made virtually no progress in the past decade: productivity. This is a measure of economic efficiency — basically, how much in the way of goods and services the U.S. economy can produce per hour of labor by American workers. Rising productivity is a key driver of rising wages, as well as higher profits for business. When productivity slows, employers generate less extra capital from their business activities to boost workers’ pay. Marketplace.org
Submitted 4 days ago

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Politicians cannot bring back old-fashioned factory jobs
THE vices are what strike you. The Mercedes AMG factory in Brixworth, a town in England’s midlands, is a different world from that of the production line of yore. Engine making was once accompanied by loud noises and the smoke and smells of men and machinery wrestling lumps of metal. Here things are quiet and calm. Skilled mechanics wield high-tech tools amid operating-theatre cleanliness as they work on some of the best racing-car engines in the world. Banks of designers and engineers sit in front of computers nearby. The only vestige of the old world are the vices. There is one on every work bench. At some point, making things of metal requires holding parts still, and nothing better than the vice has come along. Economist.com
Submitted 4 days ago

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Invest in Virginia Workers, Not Corporate Subsidies
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), once one of the most respected economic development teams in the country, has been taking it on the chin. A year ago, a Chinese company bilked the partnership for a $1.4 million incentive payment in a deal that never transpired. The scandal prompted the departure of VEDP’s CEO and sparked a legislative inquiry that unearthed “systemic deficiencies” in its management. Bacon's Rebellion's
Submitted 4 days ago

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Let’s Not Forget—Martin Luther King Jr. Was Preaching Economic Justice, Too
“Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not only for celebration and remembrance, education and tribute, but above all a day of service,” wrote King’s widow, Coretta Scott King. In Atlanta, where King pastored, volunteers will hand out energy-efficient light bulbs in low-income communities. In Chicago, where King lived briefly to draw attention to segregated housing, volunteers will package food for needy elderly residents and give coats to the homeless. In Memphis, Tennessee, where King was killed nearly 50 years ago, volunteers will pick up trash in more than a dozen neighborhoods. But to honor King mainly through benevolence is to overlook the civil rights leader’s commitment to the working poor. Commondreams.com
Submitted 6 days ago

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Features & Opinion

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

For those who still languish over "losing to China" or believe that the economy is still in recession, wake up and smell the data. Economic development in the South was about as good as it gets in calendar year 2015 according to the data. And as for China, borrowing a quote from the late football coach Bear Bryant that he made in the half-time locker room down 15-0 to Georgia Tech in 1960, "We got 'em right where we want 'em." For those of you who don't know the rich history of Alabama Crimson Tide football, Bama scored all of its 16 points in the fourth quarter, kicking a field goal on the last play of the game to beat Tech 16-15.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Mike Randle
Today, factories in the U.S. make twice as much product as they did in 1984. And they are doing it with one-third of the manufacturing workforce. In fact, the output of durable goods in 2015 was the highest in the nation's history. So, we do have a strong manufacturing base, at least in the South, much of the Midwest and parts of the West, and it is getting stronger because on a cost-basis, we can compete with any major manufacturing nation in the world.  
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

FEATURE     
The argument for or against a minimum wage hike continues between the reds and the blues, as well as within the economic development community in the South. Should we stay the course with a minimum wage under $8 an hour to better compete with Mexico, the South's biggest competitor for jobs, or set a minimum wage just over $10 an hour, a wage floor most centrists support? That $10 per hour is, according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, about right in most states in the South for one adult to be able to cover basic expenses plus all relevant taxes.
 
 Randle Report - Business News in the South
Recent data from the Computing Technology Industry Association (Comp TIA) showed that the technology industry is one of the fastest growing job generators in the South and the nation. The report also indicated that technology job compensation is growing faster than any other sector.
 


 

 

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