President Obama pushes his jobs plan. Mitt Romney speaks to empty Ford Field
It's the choice between a not-fast-enough American manufacturing recovery, and investing in Chinese manufacturing.
Here's one reason manufacturing is so important in an economy: manufacturing jobs create more jobs, in a ripple effect than can transform communities. So, in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area, where manufacturing has rebounded to where it was in late 2008, that's led to more manufacturing, to trucking jobs, to training opportunities:
  • Intelligrated in Mason hires 300 new workers to design and build conveyer systems, and Mazak in Elsmere hires 75 new workers to make industrial cutting machines.
  • Total Quality Logistics in Union Township, Clermont County, adds 200 jobs to move truckloads of manufacturing supplies and finished products.
  • The University of Cincinnati Clermont College gets a $250,000 grant to train 100 new workers in advanced manufacturing skills.
Even a local bank is benefiting, having recently added a commercial lender.

It's the reverse of how, if the government had allowed GM and Chrysler to collapse, it wouldn't only have been people who worked directly in GM and Chrysler plants who lost their jobs. People manufacturing auto parts, working in dealerships, transporting cars from the factory to the dealership, all would have lost their jobs as the industry collapsed. Banks would have had fewer customers and more defaults. Restaurants near auto and auto parts plants would have closed as they lost business.

The manufacturing sector has gained over 500,000 jobs since January 2010, but it isn't rebuilding as quickly as we would wish. Too many new manufacturing jobs essentially rely on the United States as a source of cheap labor. But there is a rebuilding process going on and there are workers who are benefiting—not enough workers, not mostly benefiting as much as they should be, but they're real and they matter. And Mitt Romney, if elected president, would stop this recovery dead in its tracks as far as workers are concerned, making the race to the bottom on wages and benefits the law of the land and pushing the U.S. to be more like China where workers are concerned. Barack Obama's far from perfect. Mitt Romney's fucking terrifying.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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