Manufacturing Revival a Worthy Goal, but Obama’s Timid Plans Won’t Get Job Done
Election excitement today could lead to workers' anger tomorrow
MILWAUKEE—President Obama's appearance last Wednesday at the Master Lock plant here—during which he repeatedly highlighted the company's decision to bring back about 100 jobs from Mexico and China and called for the restoration of America's manufacturing sector—uncorked a lot of hope among local workers.
A crowd of about 1,000 Master Lock workers (the plant employs 412 members of UAW Local 469) and guests roared in approval as the president described the fundamental changes needed in the American economy. He thundered:
Milwaukee, we are not going back to an economy that's weakened by outsourcing and bad debt and phony financial profits. We need an economy that is built to last, that is built on American manufacturing, and American know-how, and American-made energy, and skills for American workers, and the renewal of American values of hard work and fair play and shared responsibility.
But if Obama does win a second term, it will be fascinating to see how working-class Americans respond when the president's soaring rhetoric, which is rekindling dreams of a manufacturing renaissance, collide with the cold reality of Obama's timid progam.