There's a lot of talk in politics about the desirability of American manufacturing and "green" jobs. President Obama talks about both often, especially wind turbines and long-lasting batteries that are made on U.S. soil.
Robert Siegel, host of All Things Considered, recently visited a Massachusetts factory that makes a product that hits those same parameters. It's arguably a force for sustainability, nearly 40 Americans assemble it, and it's an interesting case study in innovation: the high-speed hand dryer.
The advantages to making products in the U.S. are starting to stack up — and companies are taking notice. Among them are Apple, which announced Thursday it plans to start producing some of its Mac computers here instead of in China, and General Electric, which is making big investments at home.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
We're talking about the small but significant trend called insourcing, manufacturing things here in the U.S. Earlier this year, Bayard Winthrop opened up a sweatshirt and hoodie business in San Francisco, and he called it American Giant. He's got 10 people in the front office and up to 150 workers in a factory where his entire line, soup to nuts, is made in America.
The White House says restoring the U.S. manufacturing sector is an essential part of getting the economy back on track.
GOP candidate Rick Santorum wants to see tax breaks for manufacturing companies, and the Obama administration proposed something similar last week. But economists say tax breaks may not be the best way to help manufacturers right now.
Over the years, the steady loss of good factory jobs is a big reason why wages have stagnated for people who never went to college, says Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.