Don't Lecture Former Assembly-Line Workers
All praise to Joe Klein for some great points he made today at Time.com. In a piece on current efforts to trim the federal budget deficit, Klein asks the vital question that seems to be constantly overlooked: "Why are we spending so much time and effort bloviating about long-term deficits and so little trying to untangle the immediate economic mess that we're in?"
Klein absolutely nails the answer, too. He says it's no coincidence that "so many of the people whinnying the loudest are prominent members of the financial community, the sector that has had the most to do with hollowing out our manufacturing base and creating the Ponzi scheme in housing that caused the 2008 bust."
Here's the pickle we're currently in:
- In 2011, America will lose its #1 global ranking in manufacturing for the first time in 110 years (to China).
- American manufacturing has already suffered its worst decade on record with more than 5 million jobs lost, 50,000 shuttered factories, and a drop in output.
- We have a skyrocketing trade deficit with China, poised to reach a new record this year.
Anyone see a connection here, a pattern?
Simply put, without a recovery for U.S. manufacturing, there can be no economic recovery. So, hats off to Joe Klein who recognizes the fundamentals that are at stake. As he pithily observes of the financial whizzes currently weighing on on deficit reduction, they should get their own house in order "before they're allowed to lecture former assembly-line workers about the sacrifices they have to make in order to balance the budget."
Well said, Joe.
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