Saturday, March 3, 2012

Manufacturing Is a Pragmatic Campaign Issue

There's growing evidence that the rebirth of manufacturing is going to be a major theme in this year's presidential campaign year. Both sides of the aisle are seizing the topic and trying to make it their own.

It's hard to see it being a partisan issue, though. Manufacturing is, truly, a pragmatic one.

Some might try to say that the President mentioning manufacturing 15 times in his State of the Union is a veiled appeal to his base of unions' support. That's hogwash. Manufacturing is not a labor issue alone at all.  It's a business community issue too.

Some might try to say that when Rick Santorum mentions manufacturing that he, too, is just appealing to his Pennsylvania and blue collar roots. That's hogwash too. Though concentrated in the Industrial Heartland, manufacturing's rebirth is good for the entire nation.

Reshoring of jobs from overseas to the U.S. is a good news topic that knows no party lines. Adding jobs in manufacturing year after year is something for which both sides of the aisle will take credit. Both sides can too.

The message is simple. Both Democrats and Republicans need to seize upon how they will boost manufacturing with policies that don't pick industry sector winners and losers but, instead, create an environment for manufacturing to thrive.

That's a pragmatic issue if I ever heard one.

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