My Trump supporter friends tell me that he will bring manufacturing jobs back to the USA and that will make America Great Again, you know, like back when even in Framingham Massachusetts, there was a General Motors plant manufacturing cars! Yeah, well, good luck with that. Then again, I ought to be sympathetic to the poor guys. I was equally fooled when Bill Clinton signed NAFTA and so many manufacturing jobs went to Mexico. Plants that I had once sold equipment to for my livelihood as a forklift salesman were now moving south of the border, but fear not, new high tech jobs in manufacturing would replace them and we’d all be better off. Yeah, okay….ooops, that did not pan out either.
You see, the reality is that “manufacturing jobs” only paid well because the laborers were organized. They acted collectively. They used that collective political power to help even the scales of economic justice.
“Manufacturing” has NOTHING to do with it. Political power has EVERYTHING to do with it.
So Trump can bring millions and millions of manufacturing jobs back, but unless he and the Republicans are willing to give political power to the working class, well, we’ll have manufacturing jobs that pay $12 an hour.
And about those high tech manufacturing jobs? Jobs manufacturing IPhones pay less than $2 an hour. So much for high tech, and I have not even mentioned automation.
Manufacturing? Gimme a break! Donald J. Trump is allegedly worth billions. Was he EVER in manufacturing? Nope. Mitt Romney has a car elevator in his garage. Did he make his fortune in “manufacturing”? Nope. And to be fair, Bill and Hillary Clinton went from “almost broke” to a worth of over $110 million and was that though “manufacturing”? Not hardly!
Do “manufacturing” CEO’s make more than non-Manufacturing CEO’s? Nope.
So what do we do? As Democrats, do we keep supporting this illusion? Yeah, maybe we had to when “Our Guy” was in the White House, but now it’s different. We can speak out, point out, shout out the reality that “manufacturing jobs” is NOT the answer. Pay equity, profit sharing, progressive taxation are all part of the solution. Political power to the working class ALL of it, not limited to the illusion of manufacturing, has got to be our focus.