david cohen wrote:We're fucked because neither party gives a damn about manufacturing jobs
And what would you do about manufacturing jobs if we made you king?
We are doing more manufacturing than ever in the US (through 2010, at least. Not sure about 2011). Adjusted for inflation and adjusted per capita.
Increasing manufacturing may increase manufacturing jobs slightly but most manufacturing jobs can be automated and are being automated at an increasing pace.
No matter what we do about manufacturing, manufacturing jobs will never come back. And that is probably a good thing.
Most McDonalds and Walmart jobs (jobs working in actual McDonalds and Walmarts) are better than most manufacturing jobs ever were.
I assume you are speaking of the stereotypical manufacturing job where one can graduate HS and get started with no special training. Fully productive after a day or two.
If you want to talk about skilled manufacturing work, where you actually need specialized training (Welder, PLC Programmer, Industrial Mechanic or the like) that is a bit different. We can discuss that if you like. Trends are much the same, though.
Just out of curiosity, David, ever worked in a manufacturing plant? Ever visited one?
Many people have some serious misconceptions of what unskilled manufacturing jobs are actually like. I don't know if you are one of them but there are a lot out there.