After posting the recommendation that Army General Jim Pillsbury be assigned to a new job called ‘Manufacturing Czar’ I was stunned to read in the Detroit News this morning that the U.S. already has a Manufacturing Czar. His name is Albert Frink and he has been on the job since 2004. His qualification for the job is that he started and was the head guy in charge of sales for a carpet manufacturer called Fabrica International. Apparently he peddled a lot of rugs overseas, which makes him an expert on international manufacturing issues. He was the President’s second choice for the job after it was learned that his first choice had moved his manufacturing operations to China.
In his two years on the job, he has been in the same room with Bush once. Bipartisan agreement almost never happens in Washington these days, but in a rare confluence of opinions, both parties agree that Mr. Frink has done absolutely nothing.
"I’m not even sure if anybody is reading the papers (Frink) is shuffling," says Republican Congressman Mike Rogers.
I don’t agree with Democrat John Dingell on much of anything, but I love the way he can turn a phrase. Says Dingell of the Czar: "about as useful as side pockets on a cow"
There is nothing in the record to indicate that the concept of lean manufacturing has ever come up for discussion at Fabrica International.
I stand corrected on my recommendation that a Manufacturing Czar job be created. I stand firm in my original recommendation that Jim Pillsbury get the job. I’m sure Mr. Frink is a fine guy and all, but restoring American manufacturing is not a job for a small time rug peddler.