Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The President's Export Initiative

The President has said that he wants to double our nation’s exports by 2015. Wow. What a GREAT idea. It’s a great idea for a number of reasons. Most importantly, it will require that more people be working in the manufacturing sector, a place near to my heart, and my wallet. It will also mean that our country is selling more than we buy. This improves our economy and standing in the financial world. But I’m wondering. Does the President really intend to accomplish this? Does he really believe that this is within his reach, or is this just so much BS?

Okay, lets us look at this objectively. In order for the US to double its exports, we will need to more than double our manufacturing output. Wow. That’s GREAT. Think of the jobs that will be created by this need to double manufacturing output. But wait. There’s a hang up. In order for export sales to double, export orders have to double. Markets have to be opened. Any of that happening? Not yet. Hard to do. It’s okay. There’s time. 2015 is a long way out.

So what else has to happen for manufacturing to double? Gotta have the hands to do the work. Lots and lots of those available. Just one tiny rub. Manufacturers aren’t hiring. Seems they’re unsure of the future costs. Taxes could go up. Insurance costs could go WAY up. How can they hire workers if they don’t know what their costs will be? I’ve read that companies are just sitting on money rather than making capital expenditures, waiting to see what’s going to happen. I’ve also heard that (post bailout) banks have lots of money to lend at dirt cheap rates but they aren’t lending. What’s up with that? Could it be that THEY aren’t sure of what the economic geography is going to look like either?

Another issue seems to be energy. Manufacturing takes energy. Lots of energy. Electrical energy. Bzzzzzt. But the President doesn’t like energy. He’s on the record (and YouTube) as not liking energy. He wants to make the cost of energy “skyrocket”. So how are manufacturers supposed to sell their products into a global market if their taxes are up, their health care costs are up, and their energy costs are up? I’m no rocket scientist, but to answer my own question I have to say that the Presidents stated goals to double exports and manufacturing in the next five years are just so much BS.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.