- - Tuesday, August 21, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Obama philosophy has created an endless manufacturer ebb because of economic uncertainty. Experts in the industry have been waiting for much-needed leadership to guide our economy to a stable, growing and optimistic state. The Romney-Ryan ticket is where manufacturers once again can aggressively grow and create jobs for both blue-collar and white-collar workers. We are just 59 points away from bringing an industry from the brink of ruination to reinvigoration.

What Mitt Romney gets and the Obama administrationdoesn’t is the simple fact that as long as the environment remains unstable or uncertain, manufacturers won’t, and genuinely can’t, add any more jobs in the United States. Instead, to meet consumer demands, they stretch by expanding lead times, increasing prices and offshoring additional work.

With his 59-point plan, Mr. Romney clearly demonstrates that he gets the crisis. Short-sighted critics complain about the planned decrease in corporate tax rates to 25 percent, which he dubs the American Competitiveness Act. They will cry out that this requires the “working class” to pay more. They miss the fact that reducing the tax rate on corporations allows more employees to be added. While those employees will pay more taxes, they’re earning more money than someone living on unemployment compensation. Working, paying taxes and taking initiative to achieve the American dream is a good thing.

What is obvious to most of us is not so clear to this administration.

Right now, and potentially for four more years, the Obama White House wants to penalize manufacturers for any profit but still expects them to spend more money for increased employment. The Romney-Ryan ticket understands cause and effect when it comes to labor economics and job creation. They get that increasing employment in the manufacturing sector can’t be achieved by increasing taxes on manufacturers. Manufacturers can’t spend the same dollar on both tax and employees; they must choose. With decreased taxes, manufacturers can increase jobs in two ways: directly through increased employment or through increased consumer spending through dividends to shareholders. Additionally, with a lower tax rate, corporations have the incentive to locate within the United States, leading to increased domestic employment. Ironically, it is only with a lower corporate tax rate that the American working class can benefit generously from opportunity.

A closed plant in the United States in favor of a more flexible workforce in a developing country doesn’t benefit the working class in the United States. Manufacturers need to have more flexibility to improve processes, gain efficiencies and capitalize on exciting market opportunities for which an increased production head count is required. Flexibility in manufacturing is win-win for blue-collar workers and white-collar professionals.

Perhaps a sign of “getting it” more than any other is Mr. Romney’s proposed Retraining Reform Act, which is about the remodeling of workforce training funding within the federal government. The efficiencies gained from the enhanced training model offered in the plan reflect the best elements of “lean manufacturing” — gains in production through efficient flow (in this case, of funding dollars). This training-funding strategy reflects the very essence of keen business acumen and echoes Mr. Romney’s business capabilities.

As the 59 points propose, the Romney-Ryan vision isa road map in which production workers, managers and manufacturer shareholders all can win by driving toward prosperity and a domestic manufacturing renaissance.

Jason Piatt is president of Praestar Technology Corp.

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