US manufacturing

The the USA is still one of the largest manufacturers in the world. Our manufacturing sector is producing as much today as it ever has:


source: tradingeconomics.com

While it’s true that some (a small fraction) US manufacturing jobs have moved overseas (especially textiles), the vast majority of manufacturing job losses are due to automation. It is machines that have taken those jobs, not foreigners or immigrants.

On balance, NAFTA was a very big win for the USA and our trading partners Canada and Mexico. The primary reason NAFTA hasn’t helped Mexico far more is due to our ill conceived and almost entirely ineffective war on drugs.

Is a change of political climate in the air?

On May 21st,  leaders representing 6.5 million companies in 130 countries called on policy makers to shift towards low-carbon economies including carbon pricing and an end to fossil-fuel subsidies.

Yesterday, June 1st,  Six oil and gas “Majors” called on the UN Convention on Climate Change to introduce carbon pricing and markets.

If this keeps up, Fox News will admit climate change is real, Rick Perry will admit that government can create jobs, and lions will lay down with lambs.

Welcome back Matt

I just received this note:

Welcome
Back
Dad

(Killer will get you!)

with my new sword.

— An expression of love from an unnamed young male who lives in my house.

The creativity of a child

It’s the time of year when I need to sweep the deck of Wisteria blooms daily. Today the kids were home so I called them and their neighbor friend out onto the deck. Then I shook the branches while the Wisteria plant rained petals upon them. I like to think that most any parent would have thought of turning that chore into a game. But the kids took it to the next level.

As soon as I was done shaking the vines and started sweeping them off the deck, they high tailed it down the stairs to the patio so they could relive the experience. When that was over, they loaded the flowers in buckets, carried them back upstairs onto the deck and raining them onto each other again.

Matt’s Deep-Dish Blackberry Pie

Recipe: Blackberry Pie
Yield: 9 or 10″ deep dish pie

  • 6 c. Blackberries
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp. Lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. sanding or other large grain sugar
  • 1 blind-baked pie crust
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, and starch. Reserve 1 cup of berries and fold the rest into the powder until no white powder remains. Set aside to macerate.
  3. Make the crust. Do *something* to keep the bottom crust from being soggy. Blind baking followed by an egg white wash works well. So does adding a 1/8 layer of oatmeal.
  4. Taste the filling. Add sugar to taste. Our fresh picked Washington wild blackberries tend to be plump, sweet, and easily crushed. Berries that are firm and/or tart will require more sugar. I prefer the least amount of sugar that will make the berries taste fully ripe.
  5. Fill the baked crust until just below the rim. Eat the extra filling. Spread the reserved cup of berries on top of the filling. Optionally dot the top of the pie with butter. Spray or sprinkle the lemon juice over the berries.
  6. Roll out the top crust and cover the pie. Seal and crimp the edges. Brush the top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. sanding sugar. Cut a few slits in the crust to vent.
  7. Place a pie shield over the crust and bake at 425 for 15 min. Reduce heat to 375 and bake until juices start bubbling, about 20-25 min. Cool completely.