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Author Archives: Mitch Cahn

“American Made” Gets Played by “Free Trade”

Free trade is defined as the ability for a buyer and seller to conduct business without government interference.    So when the government is the buyer why can’t it freely choose who to buy from without incumbent sellers claiming interference with free trade? I have a solution to this loophole-infected quagmire: Scrap protectionist language and…Continue Reading

Making it in the USA

Looking for some good economic news? Look no further than US Manufacturing.  China’s advantages in manufacturing have all but eroded according to Business Week.  The US Trade Deficit sank to a ten year low.  And all sorts of indices are pointing to an impending expansion in domestic manufacturing ahead of the rest of the economy.  This is such positive news…Continue Reading

How the Garment Industry Got the Labor Equation So Wrong (and Why This is so Important)

It seems so obvious: if you don’t pay employees enough to live on, you will have low morale and high turnover, lowering productivity and creating less value. The reduction in value created will always exceed the labor costs saved. So if sweatshop owners are really “greedy”, why don’t they see this when they look at…Continue Reading

What’s Latina Got To Do With It?

So the Obama administration wants to keep the promises made to Latino Voters on immigration, but they want to work with Latino groups to help build public support behind amnesty for illegal aliens before taking the fight to Congress. Since Latinos are being sold as face of illegal immigration I guess the diplomatic approach would…Continue Reading

Just Dessert for Encouraging Employee Turnover

How does replacing an existing worker with a cheaper, newer worker affect a company’s bottom line?  Labor costs are indeed reduced. But Value Created is also reduced, usually by an amount that dwarfs the labor savings.  We can measure Value over Replacement Personnel–VORP–by comparing the difference in both Value Created and Labor Costs for a…Continue Reading

Employers: Think for Yourselves on EFCA

My Fellow Employers: Industry groups who cash my dues checks keep telling me why I should fight the Employee Free Choice Act, and they all make the same argument: EFCA will make it easier for employees to join a union because the Act’s transparent election process will enable unions to pressure employees into joining. Implicit…Continue Reading

You Can’t Add Value Until You Get This Thread

The Lean Manufacturing consultant had never been in a sewing factory before. But that didn’t stop him from promising to double our productivity after a thirty minute tour. “What a scam artist,” I thought. “If you promise to stay in Jersey and maintain employment levels the Department of Labor will foot the bill.” “Sign me…Continue Reading

The Evolution of Value Creation

Manufacturers can’t actually “make money”–but they can Create Value when they make a product worth more than the sum of its parts. The Value Created can even be measured precisely: VALUE CREATED = SALES – MATERIALS COSTS. The only way a manufacturer can Create Value is by making improvements to raw materials that customers are willing to…Continue Reading

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