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Construction Equipment Distribution magazine is published by the Associated Equipment Distributors, a nonprofit trade association founded in 1919, whose membership is primarily comprised of the leading equipment dealerships and rental companies in the U.S. and Canada. AED membership also includes equipment manufacturers and industry-service firms. CED magazine has been published continuously since 1920. Associated Equipment Distributors
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Inside AED

CED Magazine, July 2009

Article Date: 07-01-2009
Copyright(C) 2009 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

Get Ready for a Reality Check

Replete with his not-so-politically correct views about government’s role in the economy, Don McNeeley will discuss the manufacturing sector at Executive Forum.

Economist, Northwestern University Professor and Steel Industry Executive Don McNeeley, Ph.D., is ready to give attendees of the 2009 AED/QUALCOMM Executive Forum Sept. 10-11 a sobering look at the economy and how it has arrived at its current downtrodden state. 

McNeeley, president and COO of Chicago Tube and Iron, a multimillion-dollar steel company based in Chicago, will discuss the economy and manufacturing, as well as the political implications of both. Further, he’ll provide his take on the stimulus and its true burden on taxpayers.

A highly respected public speaker on topics related to business, the steel industry and economics, McNeeley is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and holds several degrees, including a Ph.D. with a concentration in economics. 

McNeeley says AED members are the “unsung heroes of a prosperous economy who create well paying jobs and are getting ignored in the government shuffle.

“I have a very politically incorrect disdain for the government that I feel is abandoning the manufacturing sector – a sector that is critical to national defense,” he said. “With manufacturing’s high-paying jobs the ripple effect of those jobs enable us to sustain our standard of living.”

In order to understand how the country has plunged into this economic turmoil, McNeeley will provide an historical perspective of the economy and manufacturing’s role.

“America is only 237 years old, and we only have five percent of the world’s population,” he said. “Our country claims 23 to 30 percent of the world’s wealth, which is why we have the highest standard of living in the world.”

And we achieved this, McNeeley says, based on: (1.) A capitalistic free enterprise system; (2.) The competitive nature of our workforces; and (3.) The environment provides attractive incentives for people willing to take risks.

“I believe these three attributes are coming under assault,” he said.

While some applaud the stimulus, McNeeley says it’s ignoring free markets.

“Look at the big three automakers. Darwinian evolution suggests that for two to survive, one must fail,” he said. “For the government to subsidize them, are they not prolonging the inevitable, and are they doing that with taxpayer money?”

Over time, the government has infused over $1 trillion in subsidization in a $14 trillion economy, he said.

“The price we will pay is inflation,” he said. “We don’t see it on the dashboard now, but there is no way we will get out of the stimulus without paying the price.”

For the complete agenda and to reserve your space, visit

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