Krugman argues that America lost out on the plant (remember, it’s 1300 jobs) because American workers were “illiterate.” He cites a comment from a Canadian partsmakers’ booster group as his evidence. And in the process, he falls back on ugly stereotypes and simultaneously shows off the thin research he performs as habit to write his columns.
The plant he is refering to is a new Toyota plant in Ontario that will build RAV4's.
And what else does he base this on besides the Canadian partsmakers group?
Krugman repeats: “‘Nissan and Honda have encountered difficulties getting new plants up to full production in recent years in Mississippi and Alabama due to an untrained - and often illiterate - workforce. In Alabama, trainers had to use “pictorials” to teach some illiterate workers how to use high-tech plant equipment.’”
And where else is Mr Krugman getting his "illiterate" information from?
Krugman’s threadbare argument comes right from DailyKos, the liberal blog thought leader condemned by Bernard Goldberg in his tight new book, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America“. And Kos gets it straight from the CBC - that’s right, the Canadian Broadcast Company, the same CBC that blathers against red-state America at every turn - and Gerry Fedchun, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, whose the CBC adds (and Krugman must have missed) “will see increased business with the new plant.”
“The educational level and the skill level of the people down there is so much lower than it is in Ontario,” Fedchun said.
Nice to see that "Americans" are getting American literacy information from the Canadians.
The editors at the Car Connection got their panties in a bunch over this article from Mr Krugman, but rightfully so ...
There is, after all, a bottom line every manufacturer must heed. And there is a difference in workers who are new to building cars, versus those moved around from Michigan to Ohio depending on where the union can resettle them. In the 25 years since Nissan set up in Tennessee, it’s been no mystery what quality of workers are available in the Deep South. And though some require more training, it’s still a much better proposition than building a plant in a unionized area - unless, as in Ontario, Toyota overcame the cost disadvantage by getting hundreds of millions in tax concessions, saved money by coupling the back-office operations with another plant and saved money on the materials for construction by building in a country with a lower materials cost basis.Posted by Quality Weenie at February 28, 2007 09:27 AM | TrackBack