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Republicans Kill Manufacturing Jobs

[ 37 ] October 16, 2012 |

This paper demonstrates that since 1948, manufacturing jobs have consistently risen during Democratic presidencies and have declined precipitously during Republican administrations. As the authors point out, some of this is luck, but most definitely not all of it. There are real policy differences over economic stimulus and job creation.

Comments (37)

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  1. DrDick says:

    This is pretty easy. Republicans have always favored capital, while the Democrats have, since Roosevelt, taken a more balanced approach and have favored labor in several important areas. Establishment Democratic support for labor, however, has declined precipitously since the late 1970s. They are still much better than the Republicans, who would simply give capital everything it wants on a silver tray.

  2. I was primed to be all “most of the flight occurred during Reagan and most of the growth occurred during Truman so what does that say about things not much is what” but gotdamn that is one persuasive graph. Whoever was president between Clinton and Obama really screwed the pooch, haven’t heard much about him recently, must be one o’ them “caretaker” presidents you hear so much about, does some good, some bad, nothing memorable.

    • Snarki, child of Loki says:

      Yeah, he’ll go into the history books as He Who Shall Not Be Named.

    • NonyNony says:

      Yeah that is a damn impressive graph.

      If I’m reading it correctly, then the argument that I’ve been used to hearing for so long about how “manufacturing jobs in the US were an anomaly because WWII was a bombed out hellhole that needed to suck up our finished products for rebuilding” doesn’t hold up. If that were all it was then manufacturing job growth should have been up for Eisenhower relative to Kennedy/Johnson and yet … wow.

      What the hell were Kennedy and Johnson able to do with their respective Congresses that nobody since has managed?

      • BigHank53 says:

        The space program and panic-driven Cold War defense investment. One of the most amazing mechanical devices I ever took apart was a surplus Pershing missile inertial guidance unit: Singer Kearfott mechanical gyroscopes mounted in a three-axis gimballed support, the whole thing exquistely balanced and fed through sliprings. Every single piece of that thing, including the nested aluminum shells that had been investment cast as a single unit and cut apart afterwards, had been machined by hand, by a highly skilled machinist. There were probably close to 3,000 expensive unionized man-hours in that thing, and those gyroscopes were still on the restricted-export list, forty years after they’d been designed.

        • catclub says:

          Hi BH,
          I would like to see flywheel batteries for electric bicycles. Shock mounting seems to be the hurdle that cannot be solved cheaply enough. I keep watching the internets for signs of progress.

    • I was primed to be all “most of the flight occurred during Reagan and most of the growth occurred during Truman so what does that say about things not much is what” but gotdamn that is one persuasive graph.

      I was all ready to say that its was merely the timing of recessions, but nope.

  3. actor212 says:

    To add to Dr D’s point, Democrats have always favored the middle class, which spends money, as opposed to the wealthy, who stick their money under a mattress invest. When people buy stuff, that creates demand for actual products. When actual products are in demand, capacity to make those products expands.

  4. Pestilence says:

    Well given the obvious economic lag, effects of Democritter Presidents show up under their Republican successors, and vice versa.

    Just like Clinton actually caused the Katrina catastrophe.

  5. mpowell says:

    Everyone but the top 1% do better with Democrats. The top 1% do the same either way. Probably the top 0.1% do better with Republicans, if I had to guess, since they are more open to corporate give-aways. This is just another example.

    • njorl says:

      The top 1% do relatively better under Republicans. When you have it all, you only improve your lot by making others worse off.

      For the immensely wealthy, another few bucks is not nearly as important as economically (and therefore politically) weakening your adversaries.

  6. Jim Harrison says:

    What we have here is the non irony of intended consequences. The Democrats care about job growth so they promoted it successfully. The Republicans care about increasing wealth inequality, so they promoted that successfully. I guess if I were a Republican, I’d be irritated that political necessity rules out bragging about how well my party did in achieving its goals.

    • catclub says:

      Of course, The House was held by the Democrats every year up till 1994, right? And the Senate was oscillating back and forth, but mostly held by the Democrats, right? Is pointing that out considered rude?

      • Barry says:

        “Of course, The House was held by the Democrats every year up till 1994, right? And the Senate was oscillating back and forth, but mostly held by the Democrats, right? Is pointing that out considered rude?”

        It really just says that things could have been worse.

      • Boudleaux says:

        No, but it is remarkably stupid to point that out. Slowly: The White House changed hands. And when it did, you see the correlation noted on the graph.

        So, before 1994: Congress Democratic, President Democratic: Jobs GOOD. Congress Democratic, President Republican: Jobs BAD.

  7. mds says:

    Jeebus, the individual state data have some even more striking examples. The Ohio chart alone should be included in a campaign ad where Obama simply says, “You’re welcome.” (Which, to be fair, is pretty much the gist of the auto bailout promos.) Same with Wisconsin. And even Indiana, which is nevertheless not currently in play because a sufficient plurality of its residents are stupid Talibornagain assholes. Maybe Joe Donnelly could find a way to finesse it into “Democratic policies” and hope no one makes the connection that Obama is one of the Democrats in question.

    • catclub says:

      Heck, look at Alabama and Mississippi under the misrule of Bush, junior.

      Whatsamatta with Kansas, indeed.

      • Manju says:

        Whatsamatta with Kansas, indeed.

        What I gather from Larry Bartels and Andrew Gelman, is that the Southern White Working Class voted for Bush at a similar rate as their non-Southern brethren.

        If you want to make a false conciousnes argument, you actually have to look at the rich. I’ll try to find the numbers if you are interested, but in the meantime I’ll lean on Paul Krugman, since he has some street-cred in this part of town:

        …the poor whites are not the issue…if you look at voting behavior, low-income whites in the South are not very different from low-income whites in the rest of the country.

        It’s relatively high-income Southern whites who are very, very Republican.”

        “Contrary to what you may have read, the old-fashioned notion that rich people vote Republican, while poorer people vote Democratic, is as true as ever – in fact, more true than it was a generation ago.”

        http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/24/bubba-isnt-who-you-think/

        • The Dark Avenger says:

          Larry Bartels is an academic hack, preferring theory to the hard work and research that Thomas Frank accomplished.

          That’s not the latest take by Krugman on Frank, he seems to accept what Frank wrote in his latest work:

          So the right has recast itself as the enemy of “Big Business,” not because it’s business but because it’s insufficiently capitalist. No better proof of the currency of that view, Frank points out, than a 2009 Forbes article by Paul Ryan, “Down with Big Business,” where he argues, “It’s up to the American people—innovators and entrepreneurs, small business owners…to take a stand.”

          But why did the right do so much better a job than Obama and company of seizing the moment? We’ve already seen part of the answer: Democrats in general, and Obama in particular, were too close to Wall Street to deal effectively with a crisis that Wall Street had created. Frank also makes an important point: in the recent political climate, ignorance really has been strength. You might think that the hermetic intellectual universe the right has created for itself, a kind of alternative reality walled off from any evidence that might contradict faith in the wonders of free markets and the evils of government intervention, would be a liability for the GOP. And it does indeed wreak havoc with actual policymaking. In political terms, however, it has given Republicans unity and certainty where Democrats have been weak and divided.

          And you forgot Krugmans’ quote of Gelman:

          Gelman et al have a nice way of putting this:

          If we had to pick a “typical Republican voter,” he or she would be an upper-income resident of a poor state, and the “typical Democratic voter” would conversely be a lower-income resident of a rich state. But these are more subtle concepts, not directly readable off the red-blue map—and, in any case, we would argue that given the diversity among supporters of either party, choosing typical members is misleading.

          Keep up your hackish defense of Bartels, Manju, maybe he’ll come to your rescue here in a comment thread one of these days.

          • Manju says:

            Larry Bartels is an academic hack, preferring theory to the hard work and research that Thomas Frank accomplished.

            Could you cite the theory he uses instead of research?

            That’s not the latest take by Krugman on Frank, he seems to accept what Frank wrote in his latest work:

            Luckily I am not disputing those points in Frank’s latest work.

            And you forgot Krugmans’ quote of Gelman:

            Luckily, the central point is not the “typical republican voter”. But rather the fact that by 2007, as Paul Krugman says, ”

            “Contrary to what you may have read, the old-fashioned notion that rich people vote Republican, while poorer people vote Democratic, is as true as ever – in fact, more true than it was a generation ago.”krugman’s summary of the data Bartel’s supplies, completely obliterates What the Matter with Kansas…an argument by anecdote.

          • Manju says:

            And you forgot Krugmans’ quote of Gelman:

            Also, Gelman’s response to someone who recently put forth the WTMWK voodoo.

            Stephen Olivier points me to this horrible, horrible news article by Jonathan Haidt, “Why working-class people vote conservative”:

            Across the world, blue-collar voters ally themselves with the political right . . . Why on Earth would a working-class person ever vote for a conservative candidate? This question has obsessed the American left since Ronald Reagan first captured the votes of so many union members, farmers, urban Catholics and other relatively powerless people – the so-called “Reagan Democrats”. . . .

            Sorry, but no no no no no. Where to start?

            http://andrewgelman.com/2012/06/stop-me-before-i-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa/

          • Manju says:

            Larry Bartels is an academic hack

            This is just vile.

            I do not believe the Dark Avenger has ever read Bartels, not to mention WTMWK. The “theory” accusation is a tell.

            • The Dark Avenger says:

              Nope, Manju, unlike you, I read Franks’ response to Bartles’ nonsense. I’m sorry that you can’t cite anyone besides an academic economist on a question of political science, which is about like an anthropologist opining on the sociology of the Amish.

              • Manju says:

                Nope, Manju, unlike you, I read Franks’ response to Bartles’ nonsense.

                I read the response. But I also read the peer-reviewed study to which Frank responded (as well as Frank’s book and Bartel’s subsequent studies).

                You did not even read the work of the scholar who you hurl unsubstantiated charges at.

                And besides being a scholar, he’s urging Dems to stand by their “social values”…b/c Frank is wrong: the white working class did not abandon the Dems. Dems do not have to worry about losing the White Working Class over social issues.

                Stand by your values, Liberals.

                • The Dark Avenger says:

                  You did not even read the work of the scholar who you hurl unsubstantiated charges at.

                  Why did Bartles have a ‘second edition’ of his response to Frank, Manju, unless his first response was “lacking”?

                  Frank provided a lengthy rebuttal to Bartels’ analysis. More recently, in an apparent attempt to rebut Frank’s rebuttal via Barack Obama’s now infamous “bitter” label regarding Middle America during the 2008 Democratic Presidential campaign, Bartels offered a somewhat revised analysis of Frank’s original thesis in an op-ed piece in the April 17, 2008 edition of The New York Times.

                  Hackish Manju defending a hack.

                  Why am I not surprised?

                • Manju says:

                  Why did Bartles have a ‘second edition’ of his response to Frank, Manju, unless his first response was “lacking”?

                  In the first study, Bartels correctly uses “people with family incomes in the bottom third of the income distribution” as the defintion of “workig class”. He then runs the actualy numbers and promply demonstrates that Frank’s anecdotal account is wrong.

                  Frank responds by moving the goalposts. He demands that we “use educational attainment as a proxy for class”. So Bartels does that in his 2nd peer-reviewed study…and promply demonstgratges that Frank’s anecdotal account is wrong.

              • Manju says:

                I’m sorry that you can’t cite anyone besides an academic economist on a question of political science, which is about like an anthropologist opining on the sociology of the Amish.

                I’ve cited Bartels (other thread) and Gelman (here)…so you are incorrect.

                As far as Krugman goes, an academic economist, particularly one of his stature, is qualified to opine on this sort of Political Science, because both are applied sciences. There is considerable overlap here (see my other comment below on Bartels and income inequality).

                Thomas Frank is the individual who is least qualifies to answer the questions posed, though that is not necessarily the reason he’s wrong.

              • Oy says:

                Hey Darky. Welcome to the party

  8. Davis says:

    Job creation has been consistently better under Democrats since Hoover. I never tire of pointing out that job growth during Carter’s one term was better than either of Reagan’s.

  9. Manju says:

    I feel like throwing you guys a bone.

    From Larry Bartel’s “Unequal Democracy” by way of Paul Krugman, check out this startling data on how “inequality systematically increases under Republican but not Democratic presidents”.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/14/bartels-bash/

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