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Odds & Ends

Do Unions Finally Smell the Coffee?

A friend of mine, a union leader here in Chicago, once mentioned to me that he loved to drive around and count the number of cranes along the city’s skyline because it gave him a sense of how many jobs had to be filled for his rank and file members. But even as he was [...]

On Germany, Manufacturing and World Cup Success

So Germany won the World Cup. Bravo for them. And if you think there is a hint of sarcasm or jealousy in my tone…well, you may be right. Hey, I wanted the U.S. to win the World Cup. I admit it. Wanted it badly, as a matter of fact. But you know what?  The Americans [...]

Summer Reading List: “Factory Man”

Over the years I’ve learned that a combination meticulous research and great story telling can take almost any subject and make it not just readable, but downright fascinating. I’ve read books, for example, over the past decade or so on subjects as esoteric and ostensibly dry as rum, oysters and the global shipping industry that turned [...]