Tags: Political Candidates | Jobs | Economy | Labor Market

Why Are Political Candidates Tone Deaf on Jobs?

Why Are Political Candidates Tone Deaf on Jobs?
(Dollar Photo Club)

By    |   Thursday, 24 September 2015 07:54 AM

As I listen to pundits pondering why so many Americans aren’t yet fully vested in any of the crowded field of political candidates in both parties, the reason rests with the fact that 94 million Americans are out of the workforce — a 38-year high. 

Is it any wonder that they are much more focused on getting food on their table than if Donald Trump wears a toupee? 

If the GOP and the Dems want more people to get passionate about their political campaigns the solution is simple: start talking about ways to create good paying jobs!

There are 22 million workers employed by the government, but only 12 million are employed in manufacturing – the historical foundation of America’s workforce.

Manufacturing jobs pay substantially higher wages and come with good benefits, but we’ve resorted to becoming a nation of low paying hamburger flippers; jobs that were never intended to support a family, but meant for our young people to get a head start in life while leaning important skills and habits to make them successful in the future. The result is that there are 45 million Americans on food stamps and the unemployment rate of our youth is an appalling 36%.

This is not the way to keep America strong and prosperous.

Is anyone talking about this?  Not even the two women candidates, who are ignoring the fact that 56 million American women are out of the workforce.

For Republicans, the low hanging fruit is accentuating the dismal job picture.  Where are the Democrats most vulnerable? On jobs.  But nobody is hammering away at something so obvious. It’s a missed opportunity.

And this doesn’t take into account the possibility of Joe Biden entering the race. In 2014, Biden proclaimed that “Labor unions have built the middle class and built America.”

If that were true, it’s hard to reconcile why the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2014 pegged private union membership at 6.6%, down from 6.7% in 2013.  Union membership has been rapidly declining from its peak in the 1950’s of nearly 60% of the combined government-private workforce to just 11.1% today.

If it was such a boon to the middle class, more people would have joined the unions. Instead they are flocking to Right to Work states, which stands at 26 today with more states, including traditional union states, launching initiatives.

And let’s not forget Biden’s decree in 2010 that “Extending unemployment benefits is the American way.” 

The American way? The American way is creating good paying jobs that can sustain a family and provide a renewed sense of pride.

If I could give GOP candidates one piece of advice, I would encourage them at every campaign stop to remind  voters that small businesses account for more than half of our GDP and are responsible for 70% of the jobs created over the past decade.

Here’s a resonating message that every Republican candidate should be making, as highlighted by Rep. Steve Chabot, new chairman of the House Small Business Committee, who introduced the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2015 (H.R. 527): “It’s clear the future of our small businesses is the future of America.”

The Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2015 (H.R. 527), which passed in the House and awaits action in the Senate, gives millions of Americans working at small businesses a voice in the regulatory process, which should result in smarter, less overwhelming regulations.  And which will create millions of jobs. In short, it’s a win-win for any candidate to embrace small business because it creates jobs.

When Republicans don’t talk about jobs, they are going down the failed road of the Obama administration. Jobs must be a priority during this election if our nation is to move forward.

I came across a 2014 Op/Ed by Ted Cruz, who at the time seemed to be ready to tackle jobs. He wrote: “First, embrace a big pro-jobs, growth agenda. For six years, the Obama economy has been trapped in stagnation, hurting millions. A Republican Congress should immediately help Americans get more jobs by embracing America's energy renaissance. This means passing legislation to make it easier to build energy infrastructure, such as the Keystone pipeline.”

He is exactly right. Energy creates jobs. Small business creates jobs. But these messages have evaporated as candidates argue about issues that are so petty in comparison.  The debates just aren’t touching on the issues that affect the most vulnerable of our population. 

I don’t have any sway with the networks airing the debates, but if I did, I would devote one debate solely on jobs.  That’s right; 90 minutes of people talking about job creation. If networks are looking for big TV audiences, this is a topic that should cause millions of Americans to tune in. After all there are 25 million unemployed and underemployed Americans today. I am sure they would be interested.

In one broadcast Republicans would become the Job Creation Party. And that’s a winning formula for 2016.    

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NealAsbury
As I listen to pundits pondering why so many Americans aren’t yet fully vested in any of the crowded field of political candidates in both parties, the reason rests with the fact that 94 million Americans are out of the workforce — a 38-year high.
Political Candidates, Jobs, Economy, Labor Market
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2015-54-24
Thursday, 24 September 2015 07:54 AM
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