Elk Grove Village, Illinois (PressExposure) November 19, 2009 -- Josh Bivensâ briefing paper entitled âSquandering the Blue-Collar Advantage- Why Almost everything Except Unions and the Blue-Collar Workforce are Hurting U.S. Manufacturingâ is confronting the idea that unions are the main cause of manufacturing evil.
The paper by The Economic Policy Institute is an interesting read, with opening statements such as ââ¦the relatively low pay and high productivity of the blue collar workforce in the US manufacturing sector provides an important competitive edge over its trading partners.â The Economic Policy Institute is a non-profit organization âcreated in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low and middle income workers.â
Why is US manufacturing being hit so hard? According to Bivens, âthe US manufacturing sector would seem to be well-placed in the global marketplace but unfortunately the exchange rate movements over the previous decade have hamstrung the competitiveness of US manufacturingâ, including healthcare. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development said that âthe median per capita health spending of the 16 countries with higher hourly production worker wages than the US is only about half of what the US spends. Lastly, thereâs a problem in management, specifically wages. Bivens states that even âif managers took an amount of the overall manufacturing wage bill equal to the median (of other rich nations), overall labor costs in US manufacturing could be at least 6% lower.â
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