Remember when that was the campaign slogan? No.. ok well then I am aging myself. James Carville (@) had coined this as a campaign strategist of Bill Clinton‘s successful 1992 presidential campaign against sitting president George H. W. Bush.
It is as relevant now as ever. The industrial age in the USA is over. Our economy is no longer driven by manufacturing. It’s not coming back. As a nation we have evolved into a new economy and turning back is just not possible. Time for us to stop being nostalgic. I am no economist and it is obvious to me… so why in all those red states they bought the snake oil that it could come back is just cruel and sad.
Looking at this globally, it’s other nations turn to manufacture goods. It’s their turn to be in an industrial age and revolution. The evolving world is transitioning into and through industrialization. We had our turn. At one time we were the makers of cheap goods with cheap labor for other nations. Cotton, Tobacco, Cars and so many other goods were bought by the European nations that complained about our advantage. Now it’s China, Latin America, Indonesia, India and beyond and we complain.
Where we collectively as a nation have failed is to innovate and educate fast enough. Government will need to be pressured to get off their haunches and push innovation forward. Education needs to be invested in and expanded. There are several sectors that could replace the coal mines, car factories and clothing manufacturers. Sectors like Bio Tech, Green Energy, the Medical Marijuana industry, National Infrastructure and so many more. We need a J.F. Kennedy moment and it is about 10 years too late.
In 1996 we entered the digital and automated age. Why focus on bringing all Americans into it was not a primary cause for the Democrats and Liberals is beyond me. Clearly not enough attention or resources was given to this issue. This is where they laid the ground work for the Alt-Right leadership we now have.
Education is the key to bring all those alienated laborers back into the economy. We are waisting a huge and powerful resource by letting them languish. Now, the libertarian in me thinks it is inexcusable to be ignorant or left behind in just about anything in this modern digital age. Anyone can get a MIT education, online, for free in your PJs and there is always Google. I digress, re-education needs to incentivized. Education and being educated needs to be de-stigmatized. We have to get American working again.
It is actually a versioning new golden age for the modern worker in this country. Starting in December the Labor Department will be cracking down on and enforcing new overtime regulations*, more transparency in salaries for all employees from C-level on down potentially will change pay and bonus structures nationally and it is more acceptable and easier than ever to make your own hours and work remotely. More companies are installing paid leave programs for new parents and diversity is on the rise. Unions and Governments alike will need to keep up if everyone is going to benefit.
Like I said earlier, I am no economist, but I know that when the majority of the population is educated and working we are all better off.
*the courts may delay this, but it is inevitable right along with a national minimum wage increase.