Skip to comments.The Race To The Middle For 2008
Posted on 12/03/2006 7:47:19 AM PST by A. Pole
The best postmortem on the 2006 election came from that perennial politician, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA). He said, "People want to know who's on their side. Whether it's health care or wages or retirement issues, they want to have someone on their side."
The biggest electoral bloc of the "they" who are seeking friends is the middle class, which includes people variously labeled blue-collar workers, skilled workers, or Reagan Democrats. They are the swing voters, often called the moveables. President Ronald Reagan's victories absolutely depended on their support. But Presidents Bush I and II kicked them away from the Republican Party, particularly on the issue of jobs.
Did the 2006 election teach Republicans that it is smart to be friends of the middle class? Have Republicans realized that jobs were second only to the unpopular war as the issue of 2006, and will surely be the number-one issue in 2008? George W. Bush carried Ohio in 2004 because the marriage amendment brought out the values voters. But Democrats can play that game, too: in 2006 the Ohio referendum on increasing the minimum wage raised the jobs issue, passed by 57 percent, and helped to bury Republican candidates.
Ohio has lost its manufacturing base. Some of the good jobs went to plants that were outsourced overseas and some disappeared in the tsunami of cheap Chinese goods as Wal-Mart replaced small businesses and left behind towns with empty streets and boarded-up windows.
Incumbent Republican Senator Mike DeWine was badly defeated by Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) who had led the congressional fight against CAFTA and wrote a book called "Myths of Free Trade." Brown's TV ads showing him standing in front of a "plant closed" sign were powerful.
Almost every one of the Republican Members of Congress who bit the dust in the 2006 election had been an enthusiastic booster of the globalists' agenda: NAFTA, CAFTA, WTO (World Trade Organization), Fast Track, PNTR (Permanent Normal Trading Relations), and Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with countries most Americans never heard of. Republicans were badly on the defensive in the face of Democrat ads touting the issue of jobs.
The United States has lost over three million manufacturing jobs since Bush became President. The U.S. trade deficit hit a record high of $717 billion last year, and is expected to be even higher this year.
The middle class is not placated by feel-good talk that the stock market has climbed to a record high, or that unemployment is at a record low, or that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is growing. Unemployment statistics don't count the guys who lost $50,000 jobs in manufacturing and are now working $25,000 jobs in retail, and job-growth figures happily do count the wives who have been involuntarily forced into the labor force just to keep groceries on the table.
The middle class is not placated by glib slogans that free trade is good for the economy and that protectionism is a nasty word. Common sense tells them that there is no such thing as a free lunch and yes, indeed, they do expect friends in government and industry to protect American jobs against unfair competition from foreigners who work for 30 cents an hour. Americans relish competition, as our national fixation on sports contests proves every day. But the globalists have destroyed a level playing field and, in addition, have subordinated us to an umpire (a.k.a. the WTO) that is biased against us.
Globalist policies have encouraged U.S. employers to use near-slave labor in Asia, whose products are then guaranteed duty-free or low-tariff re-entry to the United States. Those products are then sold here for prices that are cheap by U.S. standards but have a high markup of up to 80 percent.
Globalist policies also allow discrimination against U.S. manufacturers by the Value Added Tax racket, whereby foreign governments subsidize their products both coming and going. For example, German automobiles cost 16 percent less in the United States than the same car sold in Germany, and U.S. automobiles cost 16 percent more in Germany than the same car bought in the United States.
Nancy Pelosi plans to shift the dialogue on Capitol Hill to worker's pay, college tuition, health-care costs, and other issues that touch ordinary families. Her solutions are all bad economics and very expensive, but they will enable her to pose as a friend of the middle class.
All six U.S. Senators thought to be planning a run for the Democratic nomination for president voted against CAFTA. The issue would be dramatically joined if the Democratic nominee were opposed, for example, by Senator John McCain, who supported NAFTA, CAFTA, WTO, and PNTR for China.
Will Republicans continue to follow George W. Bush in his post-election travels to solicit even more Asian products made by cheap labor and subsidized by their governments? Or will Republicans get smart on the jobs issue and reestablish their friendship with the Reagan Democrats?
The significant word in your post is "average".
In addition, I think the Dems will be carefully biding their time until 2008, get their candidate in, and then all bets are off. I can't imagine them showing their true colors and ruining their roll into the 2008 elections.
Freepers may not want to hear this, but a friend of mine who deals in political campaign stuff as a profession said that if a candidate is truly pro-life, that person will be reliably decent on all other issues - War on Terror, economy, taxes, entitlements, and on and on. The Repubs, controlled by the mushy middle/gang of 14/what-ever you want to call them, who follow the sad "road to the middle" which really means socially liberal, fiscally conservative (or are they, really), will have lost it for us, finally, I think.
What is true compassion? It's allowing families like mine to keep more of their income, so that we can engage in personal acts of compassion, instead of looking to the goverment to take as much money and control as possible and redistribute it in entitlements, via thousands of bureaucrats to do so much less with so much more.
One example, I think the HUGE problem with the Evangelicals right now, is their failure to act locally, and behave in accordance with their God-given principles (think Haggard and his personal problems), instead, they now give platform and credibility to the socially liberal (think Warren + Obama), and call upon the goverment to do things the church is supposed to (e.g., help the poor, the imprisioned, etc). Pride goes before a fall -- unforunately, when the salt loses its flavor, we're all in trouble.
Can anyone articulate the truth and the principles? What about a Gingrich/Steele ticket?
You mean, like go to the Supreme Court, with justices who say we need to look to international law to make decisions about US citizens? Like the ones who made the Kelo vs New London decision?
It is not a lie. Mine is down 25% from what it was only five years ago. It just depends whether you are the jerk who decides to outsource the jobs, or if you're one whose job they outsource. You need to be more flexible in your reading habits.
He's not going to answer it appears. Cat got your tongue, Johnny?
Below is a cut and paste of the relevant paragraph to make it easier for you. I hope this helps:
"In the United States, the term "treaty" is used in a more restricted legal sense than in international law. U.S. law distinguishes what it calls treaties from treaty executive agreements, congressional-executive agreements, and sole executive agreements. All four classes are equally treaties under international law; they are distinct only from the perspective of internal American law. The distinctions are primarily concerning their method of ratification. Where treaties require advice and consent by 2/3rds of the Senate, sole executive agreements may be executed by the President acting alone. Some treaties grant the President the authority to fill in the gaps with executive agreements, rather than additional treaties or protocols. And finally, Congressional executive agreements require majority approval by both the House and the Senate, either before or after the treaty is signed by the President. Currently, international agreements are executed by executive agreement rather than treaties at a rate of 10:1. Despite the relative ease of executive agreements, the President still often chooses to pursue the formal treaty process over an executive agreement in order to gain Congressional support on matters that require the Congress to pass implementing legislation or appropriate funds, and those agreements that impose long-term, complex legal obligations on the U.S."
"An executive agreement can only be negotiated and entered into through the president's authority (1) in foreign policy, (2) as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, or (3) from a prior act of Congress. For instance, it is as commander-in-chief that the President negotiates and enters into status of forces agreements (SOFAs), which govern the treatment and disposition of U.S. forces stationed in other nations.
"Agreements beyond these competencies must have the approval of Congress (for congressional-executive agreements) or the Senate (for treaties)."
"For example, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and most other U.S. trade agreements are executive agreements."
You didn't do your homework assignment. Naughty.
The truth of the matter is that I typically find protectionist types to be more emotional than analytical. Perhaps that is a prerequisite to being a protectionist come to think of it.
It will end in government mandated euthanasia. Funded by the socialized medicine program Congress will vote in shortly.
"These politicians don't work in a vacuum, their constituents vote the into office."
True, then they stray.
"Politicians are just men, normal human beings, who act legislatively according to the wishes of their voters."
Yea, like border security, the war in iraq, and bloated government with out of control spending?.
"Specifically, how do Republicans dump free trade, what do they put in its place"
Fair trade. Trade that benefits Americans.
"I won't vote for a protectionist Republican."
See Ronald Reagan: Harley Davidson.
The average wage in the U.S. has certainly gone up $3.00 an hour and you don't have to go back very far at all to prove it. If you look here you'll find that since 2000, the average hourly wage for all workers in the private sector has increased from $14.00 per hour to $16.99 per hour. That's an increase of $2.99 per hour. That's pretty darn close to $3.00.
For workers in manufacturing, the news is almost the same. In 2000, the average hourly wages was $15.27. Today it's $18.25. Again, A $2.98 per hour increase is pretty close to $3.00 (not bad for a country that doesn't make anything any more, eh?). If you include the rapidly increasing cost of benefits in this calculation, the average worker earns about $26.00 per hour. According to economist Stephen Moore, when all forms of benefits workers receive today are taken into consideration, compensation to workers is about 27% higher today in real terms than 25 years ago.
No doubt you're as concerned about the middle class as Phyllis Schlafly. The chart below clearly shows that in real terms, the American middle class has been getting wealthier, not poorer. It's no wonder the real median net worth in this country is at an all time high.
Conservative economist Alan Reynolds, makes a solid case that the methodology the BLS uses to measure average wages is seriously flawed:
Since 1973, as the BLS explains, there have been "persistent long-term increases in the proportion of part-time workers in retail trade, and many of the service industries have reduced average workweeks in these industries." Millions of previously nonworking spouses and students sought and found part-time work, which diluted average earnings, particularly on a weekly basis. Substituting a low-wage job for an unpaid job makes average earnings appear lower, yet results in higher family incomes. Adding millions of low-skilled immigrants in recent years has likewise diluted average earnings without affecting typical earnings.
Reynolds believes, as I do, that a better measure of our increasing incomes is to look at real consumption per capita. In those terms, real per-capita consumption has doubled since 1973. It's hard to consume that much more without real earnings increasing along with the consumption.
As a matter of fact, Reynolds says that:
Reynolds concludes by saying:
Whatever the gloomy worrywarts choose to write about next, Reynolds can be assured that it will appear on FR first.
Meanwhile, starting salaries for college graduates with meaningful degrees continues to increase. Maybe that degree in Art History wasn't the best way to spend four years and $50,000. Or, maybe it's really all the governments fault. Good grief, whatever happened to personal responsibility?
....for jobs that have been outsourced of just eliminated, while being unable to provide for their immediate families.
Yes, that outsourcing has proven to be a real serious problem since it's been impeding our job growth so much -- all the way to 4.4%. LOL
" This will set the pattern for the next twenty years. "
This country doesn't have 20 years!
America FIRST! Americans FIRST! We can't have that though, cause WE ARE THE WORLD! Blackbird.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.