"People are making a ton of money off of us and we're making nothing off of them."That quote from an unnamed woman from Chicago squarely defines the issue that is costing politicians from both parties their jobs and is very likely to cost the Democrats control of the House this Fall, rendering Barrack Obama virtually powerless for the duration of his term.
The Tea Party movement has the political establishment thoroughly stymied. The career politicians have long paid short shrift to the average American living in what they sneer at as the 'fly over states', seeing the people as a bunch of ignorant rubes to be manipulated every few years when election time comes. And now that the unwashed masses are taking matters into their own hands, the pols are hopelessly unable to grasp the situation.
Through their limited 'inside the beltway' lens, the Democrats figure the Tea Partiers must be a Republican organization because they toss the governors of Virginia and New Jersey out on their ear and do the seemingly impossible and take possession of Ted kennedy's old seat that has been long assumed to be the private property of the Dems.
But then they turn around and send Republican senatorial institution Bob Bennett packing in Utah, and ignored the Republican Party's support and investment in McCollum in Florida, and now it looks like Murkowski in Alaska.
Perhaps if the politicians saw Facebook as vehicles for two way communication between 'friends' rather than just another forum for preaching down to those they seek to manipulate, they would have taken notice of the 400,000 people who signed on as followers of the 'Re-elect Nobody' page within 24 hours of its creation.
The message is even clearer in a poll published a few months ago by the Alliance for American Manufacturing, a supposedly non=partisan group that is really driven by the Steelworker's Union. According to the poll, (which is the source of the quote at the beginning of this post), 66% of us agree with the statement "Manufacturing is a critical part of the American economy and we need a manufacturing base here is this country are to thrive in the future." Only 30% sign on to the alternative, that innovation, high tech and services are acceptable replacements for manufacturing jobs.
Most significant about the poll is that "We have lost too many manufacturing jobs" is the 4th greatest concern among the voters – a greater concern that health care, terrorism and illegal immigration. If the
politicians would look at that data, and then compare it with this chart, they might begin to get a clue. While Obama administration fiddles and does nothing to help manufacturing and a great deal to hurt it, the voters are hardly ignorant of the fact that the the wholesale abandonment of manufacturing took place on the Republican watch – and long before the economy went in the tank. Republican political hacks like Bob Bennett got the boot because he sat in D.C. sipping cognac with the lobbyists from Wall Street while America's manufacturing base was tossed in a scrap heap.The Tea Partiers may share a lot of social values with Republicans but they are fed up with the Republican Party's sell-out of main street free enterprise for Wall Street's version.
And the Democrats are in even deeper trouble with the rubes from the fly over states. The same Steelworkers who are behind the Alliance for American Manufacturing sat and listened to candidate Barack Obama tell them on July 2 , 2008 that "we have to stand up to countries that are manipulating their currency or flooding our markets with subsidized goods; that it's wrong to have a "one-size fits all" trade policy that treats countries as different as China and Mexico as if they were the same; and that our job ends not when a trade deal is signed, but when it's enforced." They then saw the issue of Chinese currency manipulation taken off the table at the G-20 economic meetings in Toronto a few months ago because the Chinese announced a decision to let the currency float just days before the G-20 Summit.
As the chart shows, the Chinese made the announcement and allowed a minimal correction in time for the Summit, and now have sent their currency well on its way back to the level before the Summit. No big surprise – the Chinese lied and Obama fell for it, and has yet to do anything about it. The number one worry identified in the poll is that "We are too deep in debt to China". The Dems have to wrap their minds around the fact that the Tea Partiers are not a Republican plot, rather they are a whole lot of Americans who see Obama's campaign talk as just another politician's lie, and they see Obama and his economic team as so deep in the pockets of the Wall Street interests they poured billions of tax dollars into bailing out to care.
Whether they have joined a Tea Party, clicked that they agree with 'Re-elect Nobody' on Facebook, or they just gripe with their friends at the bowling alley, the American people in large numbers see the abandonment of manufacturing for a load of insane theories about globalization as something they will no longer tolerate. Manufacturing is very much a central issue in the upcoming elections. Politicians from both parties who think they are going to keep their jobs by telling America that Wall Street is too big and too important to fail, that China is too critical to the future of the universe to upset, and that closing thousands of American factories is is good economics will find themselves in the same unemployment lines as the manufacturing people they chose to ignore.
"People are making a ton of money off of us and we're making nothing off of them,"is a far better assessment of the economic issue facing Washington than the most profound white paper Timothy Geithner has ever written, and Washington had better come up with meaningful solutions fast.