News

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs – Chapter 2

A great deal of the current administration’s spending seems to be directed to increasing jobs in America. Whether green energy or infrastructure, what’s made the news usually includes some reference to new job creation. Is this credible? Can the federal government make a meaningful contribution to the country’s employment, and if so, where and how? One thing for sure is subsidies for some businesses will surely create new jobs. The emphasis on green energy in… Read More


Help Wanted? Right!

Jobs, jobs, jobs are frequently in the news these days, as the feds consider their various spending propositions. Since the last go-around of “shovel ready” projects apparently discovered most shovels were MIA, we wonder if all this jobs talk will be an economic boon or something else. At the present time we see rapidly rising fuel, metals and lumber costs, a transition to open businesses up after a lengthy restrictive period for covid, and some… Read More


US Economic Forecast – Coronavirus Spike

Given the recent spike in coronavirus cases, what’s the latest US economic forecast?  Cynics would note if you take a dozen economists in a room you’ll get a dozen different opinions.  This is probably more true in the highly partisan political climate, adding more confusion. So we listened to a video from ITR Economics, a non-partisan forecasting firm in New Hampshire that has a pretty good record of accuracy.  And the good news is ALL… Read More


The Pandemic’s Effect on Manufacturing

Design2Part is a useful organization that sponsors trade shows for small manufacturers, and is an excellent place to find candidates for your outsourcing needs. We have attended several of these shows and have found excellent additions to our network. There is also a quarterly magazine that contains thoughtful articles dealing with different manufacturing interests The August 2020 edition of Design2Part Magazine had a valuable article recounting interviews with several manufacturing and supply chain experts. The… Read More


Climate Change? Global Warming? We Have Questions

If you are confused by all the projections and claims from the climate changers, welcome to the club.  We read a few things recently, and so here’s a newsletter far from the beaten path of manufacturing OEM suppliers. For more than 20 years we’ve been bombarded with alarming predictions from all manner of famous and not-so-famous people, including prominent politicians from Al Gore to AOC.  The basic message has something to do with elevated greenhouse… Read More


Rare Earths: Once Again With Feeling!

”Chinese state media is now suggesting that rare earth (17 elements that serve as key components in devices ranging from defense weapons, lasers, hi-tech smartphones and cameras to flat-screen televisions and computers) exports to the US could be cut in retaliation for American measures sparking fear among manufacturers.  If Beijing chooses to make good on these threats, the impact on US manufacturers could be disastrous”. Rare earths are present and critical in such vital items… Read More


Durable Goods and the US Economy

Last newsletter we wrote about the general state of the economy, which noted overall positive factors, but weakness in durable goods.  Since durable goods manufacturing is the area of our greatest interest, we thought we would probe further. Durable goods orders and the Institute for Supply Management’s PMI seemed like two appropriate measures for something as complex and inscrutable as economic forecasts.  We seek something useful that’s understandable by normal people. Since we’re looking at durable… Read More


Economic forecast for Manufacturers: Free Presentation

The Cincinnati CPA firm Barnes Dennig has a special emphasis on manufacturing.   On November 7, 2018, Barnes Dennig and a few other local companies will sponsor a wonderful presentation that features nationally known speaker Alan Beaulieu, who gives a terrific presentation with a very valuable message.  It’s free, too! Mr. Beaulieu’s company is ITR Economics which claims to be the oldest, privately-held, continuously operating economic research and consulting firm in the United States.  Their value proposition is… Read More


Immigration — Is there any sane opinion?

After reading yet another rant on this subject, we think some commentary might be appropriate.  We’ll take a break from supplier-buyer issues this edition. Over the past year or two, we’ve all been subjected to noisy comments on sanctuary cities, refugees, amnesty, path to citizenship, family separation, DACA, border walls, chain migration, open borders, and who knows how many other subjects related to immigration.  It appears we are expected to consider each of these subjects… Read More


What’s a Good Deal in International Trade?

We claim no expertise in international trade, but found an interesting view on the subject in the July, 2015 Modern Metals worth re-issuing.  The author made several points about recent trade deals, and concludes, “the [Obama] administration’s claims about he pure benefits of TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) should be viewed with a great deal of skepticism. With Trump on the trade warpath, and especially concerning trade deficits, we were interested to hear some conservative note that the… Read More


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