I was very interested to see Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s proposals for dealing with “the coming economic crash at Medium but rather disappointed with the proposals themselves. For example here’s her proposal for strengthening unions:
Ensure that employees may exercise collective bargaining rights, such as by posting notices of collective bargaining rights and maintaining complete neutrality with regard to union organizing.
That’s it. Strengthening unions is an evergreen among Democratic politicians. Are barriers to organizing what have systematically weakened unions over the period of the last 40 years? Or have overseas competition and businesses moving their manufacturing to states without established unions been more important?
And I found her proposals for using “Buy American” restrictions on federal procurement to spur U. S. production of solar panels, etc. in the U. S. hopelessly naive. We cannot match the prices of Chinese-manufactured panels. We can subsidize our own manufacturers but U. S.-made panels will still be more expensive. And subsidizing our own manufacturers is likely to be a violation of our international commitments.
I’m also unsure how we can compete in world markets with a $15/hour minimum wage without massive subsidies.
The reality is that it’s darned hard for us to compete on price with the Chinese on commodity products. The only way we can do that is by a) producing and refining raw earths here which we don’t do for environmental reasons and b) lights-out manufacturing which will do nothing for manufacturing employment.
I think there are reasons for doing these things for national security reasons but that’s a different subject.