Congress Kills the Flamingo

pink-flamingo.jpgAll elected officials in Congress profess to be environmentalists. So why would a large group of them conspire to kill off the U.S. flamingo?

Well, that’s because a large number of our esteemed officials don’t care about endangered species in the manufacturing sector. But when Union Products in Leominster, Mass. closes its doors on November 1, it is in large part an extinction caused by Congressional inaction on energy.

According to a recent AP story, Union Products is the originator of the famous (some might say infamous) pink plastic flamingo. They invented it nearly 50 years and have produced millions of them up in Massachusetts. And here you thought they must have been made in Florida all these years, right?

Union Products is closing its doors because of RISING COSTS for plastic resin and electricity, in addition to some financing problems, according to the AP article. Plastic resin is a chemical product and the basic feedstock for it is natural gas. And many public utilities use natural gas as a power source. Congress has failed to open new areas for U.S. natural gas production, (we have vast reserves of it). So we can lay the demise of yet another manufacturing facility at the feet of those in Congress who have stalled and killed off several measures pushed this year to ease this cost pressure.

If you don’t think cost pressures are a killer for U.S. manufacturers, then you should read our latest report on that topic: The Escalating Cost Crisis. It shows how structural costs such as natural gas, taxes, regulation, litigation and health care costs are making manufacturing from a U.S. base very difficult. In fact, when compared with our nine major trading partners, these costs saddle U.S. producers with a 31.7 percent disadvantage. Click here to read this important new report.