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Friday, October 01, 2010

Manufacturing jobs redux: the hapless Republicans

I am reviving a post from last year with data that the national Democratic organizations could use in the current campaign. Will they do anything like this? I am not holding my breath. Assuming they do not, can anyone explain why? This is an essential part of the progressive view of the parties, and it's a concern shared broadly throughout society, even reaching into Tea Party ranks. Candidates will say they are going to protect manufacturing jobs, blah, blah, blah, but they absolutely refuse to go for the jugular on anything other than character flaws.

But these are the facts of how the two parties fared in stimulating manufacturing activity, and of particular concern to actual people, manufacturing jobs. This is January to January from the start to the end of each administration (except for Truman, from the post-war demobilization trough in 1946 until January 1953 when he left office).

First, Democrats:

Under Truman, manufacturing employment increased by 3 million.

Under Carter, manufacturing jobs increased by over 800,000.

Under Clinton, manufacturing jobs increased by over 300,000. (Note that this belies the notion, sometimes mindlessly repeated by well-meaning progressives, that manufacturing has been in steady decline since 1980 when Reagan took office. In fact, it has not been steady: there was no decline in the number of employment jobs when Clinton was President.)

And now, the hapless Republicans:

Under Eisenhower, 1.2 million manufacturing jobs were lost.

Under Nixon, over 600,000 manufacturing jobs were lost.

Under Reagan, almost 600,000 manufacturing jobs were lost.

Under George H.W. Bush, almost 1.3 million manufacturing jobs were lost.

Under George W. Bush, believe it or not, 4.6 million manufacturing jobs were lost.

And we as a nation are thinking of putting these people back in charge? And the Democratic Party can't make an effective national ad to support Democrats nationwide out of this?

OK, so the decline under Bush had momentum that has continued under Obama. Does that mean we can't come up with a decent changing-the-path-of-the-Titanic metaphor -- especially when everyone without an explicit ideological axe to grind knows it essentially is true?

For the percentages on this, go to my earlier post: Who is the party of business? It sure as hell ain't the Republicans


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