Louis Uchitelle

Louis Uchitelle writes on economics topics for The New York Timesand other publications. He is the author of The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences.

Recent Articles

Once Made in the USA

The U.S. may soon reach the point where it can't rebuild its manufacturing base.

Manufacturing, says Andrew N. Liveris, thrives in countries that have plenty of customers and a government that significantly supports industry. Right now, he continues, the United States is down the list on both counts. What is unusual about Liveris' comments on the diminishing presence of manufacturing in America and his criticisms of the American government for letting that happen is that he is chairman of Dow Chemical Company, the giant multinational headquartered in Midland, Michigan. Unlike most of his fellow CEOs of U.S.-based multinationals, Liveris actively campaigns for more manufacturing in this country. In his new book, Make It In America: The Case for Reinventing the Economy , he argues that the United States is at a tipping point -- if manufacturing does not make a comeback soon, the opportunity to do so will slip away, and the nation will inevitably lose its status as an economic powerhouse. Yet under Liveris, Dow isn't leading the charge back home. Sixty percent of its...

Globalization, Union-Style

The challenge is to raise U.S. workers' rights to the level that European workers enjoy -- not to lower their rights to our level.

Seated on a folding chair in a cramped union office in New York, Wilhelm Ado, a visiting German labor leader, explained through an interpreter that he had come to help American workers do what they can no longer do easily on their own -- organize themselves into effective unions. That means establishing unions with collective-bargaining rights and contracts that, once negotiated, are binding on managers. American law gives workers the right to choose to be represented by unions, but today that happens less and less as managers, ignoring the law, block the process. With employers firing or harassing employees who try to organize unions, only one in seven organizing drives eventually produces a contract. So the American labor movement has turned abroad for the organizing leverage it is losing at home. Wilhelm, a compact, 60-year-old, is a foot soldier in that campaign. In late July, he visited the United States to help the Communication Workers of America (CWA) organize workers at T-...

It Wasn't Deficit Reduction

The Roaring Nineties By Joseph E. Stiglitz, W.W. Norton and Company, 379 pages, $25.95 Like many academic economists, Joseph E. Stiglitz went into government hoping to tutor as well as to serve. Unlike most, Stiglitz has significant doubts about whether markets usually work as advertised. His research in this genre won him the Nobel Prize. Stiglitz's four-year stint in the Clinton White House was marked by the tension between his own powerful views and the pressure on a high public official to be a loyal team player. As chairman of Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), Stiglitz attempted to influence policy quietly from the inside, putting a brave face on policies he opposed. In his second government position, as chief economist for the World Bank, Stiglitz went public with his criticisms, and eventually was fired for his candor. Now Stiglitz is back in academia, at Columbia University, and he can tell us what he really thinks, as he does -- often insightfully -- in The...