Manufacturing's Ground Zero

Nov. 18, 2009
Detroit has long been a punchline-in-search-of-a-joke type of city, even for those like me who live in an equally cachet-challenged city like Cleveland. Even so, I was unprepared for the feeling of profound sadness I felt after reading this article by ...

Detroit has long been a punchline-in-search-of-a-joke type of city, even for those like me who live in an equally cachet-challenged city like Cleveland. Even so, I was unprepared for the feeling of profound sadness I felt after reading this article by Richard McCormack. To get the full impact, you need to check out the Google Maps sites McCormack mentions in the article, and then do a few random searches on your own. It's truly nightmarish.

While the Twin Towers in New York were reduced to rubble by a foreign enemy, the wholesale destruction of Detroit can be attributed to an unending pattern of self-inflicted wounds. As McCormack says, "What a condemnation of America's political and corporate leadership and the economic policies of the past 40 years that remain in place to this very day."

Speaking of America's politicians, here's a quick snapshot analysis of the manufacturing jobs situation, compiled by Alan Tonelson, research fellow at the U.S. Business & Industry Educational Foundation. He refers to it as "crumbs from the Obama stimulus program":

* Number of U.S. jobs Obama administration claims were created or saved by the stimulus program: 640,000

* Number of U.S. manufacturing jobs Obama administration claims were created or saved by the stimulus program: 2,500

* U.S. manufacturing jobs as share of total U.S. jobs Obama administration claims were created or saved by stimulus program: 0.39%

* Number of total U.S. jobs lost during recession: 7.21 million

* Claimed stimulus-saved or -created jobs as share of total U.S. jobs lost during recession: 8.88%

* Number of total U.S. manufacturing jobs lost during recession: 2.06 million

* Claimed stimulus-saved or -created manufacturing jobs as share of total U.S. manufacturing jobs lost during recession:
0.12%

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