Report from Florida

By April 5, 2005General

Apparently our blogger-in-chief fell asleep on some beach in Florida while attending the NAM Board meeting, and was MIA for some time, but has now been found.

The Board meeting went pretty well — John Engler’s first meeting as the new President of the NAM. The mood was very good, and business appears to be good for most all manufacturers. We heard the phrase “best year on record” more than once from manufacturers large and small.

There were some highlights, like one small manufacturer who makes bricks and is shipping them to Macao and whose bricks are being used in Disney Hong Kong. Imagine that, US bricks to China. How’s that for a success story?

We also heard from Commerce Secretary Gutierrez. He talked about Social Security and made an interesting point, i.e., that under private sector pension rules, there would be no doubt that Social Security was broke. It dawned on us that as much as the AFL-CIO protests that there’s really nothing wrong with Social Security, would they be willing to apply the same rules to their private pensions? Let John Sweeney mull that one over.

Finally, the Board passed resolutions on energy, trade, and Social Security, and over 100 Board members — again, both large and small — signed a letter calling for quick passage of CAFTA.