Why did millions of good blue-collar jobs go overseas, and what is your plan to restore them? Who and what is responsible for this national disaster?
We now have a combination of 10 percent unemployment, much more chronic underemployment and heavy personal debt incurred to prepare for jobs that do not exist. Middle-class voters have been badly hurt both by job losses and by stagnation in living standards.
Underemployment has been described by examples in The Wall Street Journal. They include the man who lost his $150,000-a-year job as a money manager and is now making cappuccinos at a Starbucks for $8.85 an hour, and the former manufacturing manager with two master's degrees who is now working as a janitor at $9 an hour after he was turned down for 1,000 other jobs.
Are we losing, or have we already lost, the American middle class, which is the socio-economic factor that long distinguished us from other nations? Whatever happened to the jobs that enabled middle-class men to support a fulltime homemaker taking care of their own children?
This huge voting constituency is up for grabs in 2012. But Republican presidential candidates have failed to offer solutions.
The opportunity is ripe for Republicans because President Obama continues to pander to his constituencies who receive government handouts for their living expenses. He even caved in to the feminists' tantrum that he give the majority of stimulus jobs to women, not to the men who had lost their jobs.
Then he appointed General Electric's CEO Jeffrey Immelt as his jobs czar (director of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness). As CEO, Immelt reduced the value of GE's stock by half, closed GE's U.S. plants, laid off the workers (including all those who made Edison light bulbs) and, by 2010, had 54 percent of GE's employees overseas.
During the 1990s, U.S. multinationals added workers everywhere on a two-to-one ratio of American to overseas jobs. However, U.S. Commerce Department data show that in the 2000s, U.S. multinationals cut their American work forces by 2.9 million while creating 2.4 million jobs overseas, many of them for high-skilled employees.
In the recession year of 2009, multinationals cut 5.3 percent of their workers in the U.S. and only 1.5 percent of their jobs overseas. Reporters say company executives are very squeamish about revealing or talking about how many of their workers are overseas.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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