Win one for the Gipper-- or the People?
Posted by scapozzola on 01/23/2008
Worries about the economy seem to be having a significant effect on presidential campaigns, according to the Washington Post’s Alec MacGillis. Yesterday, MacGillis noted that Barack Obama has undergone a rhetorical shift of late, moving from a theme of post-Iraq reconciliation to more hard-hitting talk of “economic anxiety.” Obama is not the only candidate to undergo such a transformation, however. As the primary campaign has unfolded, each candidate has in turn discovered “the economy.” And whether it’s Hillary Clinton’s call for a NAFTA “timeout” or Mitt Romney promising to save every Michigan job, the candidates recognize that they won’t reach the White House without credible talk on looming unemployment and burgeoning debt. For months, ManufactureThis has been saying that Americans are worried about their jobs. We’ve noted this time and again as we’ve crisscrossed the country to hold our “Keep it Made in America” Town Hall meetings. At one of our Town Halls in South Carolina a few weeks ago we saw firsthand a poignant snapshot of just exactly why the U.S. economy seems to be switching on the hazard lights. Manufacturing is the number one contributor to the South Carolina’s economy—the workhorse that provides $25 billion per year to Gross State Product. Unfortunately, South Carolina has lost more than 91,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000. And so there’s an inherent problem. Manufacturing is the key engine of the state’s economy, and is depended on to provide high paying employment and to boosts its citizens into the middle class. And yet it’s hemorrhaging jobs. It’s a problem playing out across the country: good paying jobs replaced by hourly work at Wal-Mart and McDonald’s. And so, while it’s nice that candidates are noticing the problem, their rhetoric needs to be followed up with action. Rather than Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton clashing over interpretations of Ronald Reagan’s legacy, they need to be haggling over who will take the strongest action to confront China’s illegal trade practices and who will stand up for American manufacturing.
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