I have been dishing out criticism to the President these days and I am not pulling punches. However, his refocusing on renewing manufacturing America is exactly correct. That is the engine that drives the workforce upward. It is good for inventors, engineers, professionals and skilled workers of all kinds in a new technology paradigm that embraces some of the past and includes much new invention.
Now, the President talks about education and training as part of the renewal process. That is part of it, but misses the driver. The driver is at the intersection of capital and genius. Government can help by focusing on transforming America from the current state to one that is sustainable. It is based on renewable energy and the rapid departure from fossil fuels.
Government must provide the incentive to capitalists that invest in that transformation and which produce real results. Trying is not enough.
“Obama starts his policy campaign with manufacturing in N.C.
Video: President Barack Obama hit the road, launching a three-day trip to sell his State of the Union proposals. Obama started his effort today at an expanding auto parts factory where he pushed for higher minimum wage and job training programs.
By Scott Wilson, Wednesday, February 13, 1:06 PM
ASHEVILLE, N.C.—President Obama chose a factory floor in economically distressed Appalachia on Wednesday as the stage set to showcase his State of the Union proposals to strengthen American manufacturing, telling employees that “we still have a lot of work to do.”
“And this is a job for everybody,” Obama told the audience of workers and guests. “It’s not a Republican job or a Democratic job. It’s all of our jobs.”
Obama built Tuesday night’s State of the Union address around a series of economic proposals that he believes would benefit an imperiled middle class. He chose North Carolina, whose voters voted for him in 2008 and for his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, last fall, to begin an outside-the-Beltway effort to underscore the urgency of his agenda.
His proposals are likely to meet fierce resistance in a divided Congress. But Obama intends to use backdrops such as this one, with the real-life trappings of American manufacturing, to rally support for specific ideas at a time of deep economic uncertainty.
“I need Congress to do its part,” Obama said to applause. “We’ve got to stop with some of the politics we see in Washington sometimes that’s focused on who’s up and who’s down.”
His ideas to help boost American manufacturing, squeezed by cheaper competition in a global economy, center on spending new money on job training, ending tax breaks for companies that move manufacturing jobs to other countries, and urging businesses to look to the United States first to make investments in research and factories by lowering the effective tax rate paid by manufacturing companies.
His advisers say the proposals will not add to the deficit, only reallocate money already in the budget.
Obama’s challenge to revive a struggling middle-class economy is a big one here and in other states where manufacturing jobs have migrated overseas or been replaced by technology.
In North Carolina, the unemployment rate is 9.2 percent, more than a point above the national average. State lawmakers said this week that they will cut unemployment benefits, given such costs’ drag on public finances. Other states are doing the same."