Public opinion polls show that all the Republican presidential hopefuls are clustered in single- or teen-digit approval ratings. It should be no mystery why no one is breaking out of the pack: no one has answered the number-one political question. That question can be asked in several different ways. Why did millions of good blue-collar jobs go overseas and what is your plan to restore them? Who is responsible for this national disaster? We now have a combination of 10% unemployment, even more chronic underemployment, and heavy personal debt incurred to prepare for jobs that do not exist. Middle-class voters have been badly hurt by the recession by job losses and stagnation in living standards.
Are we losing, or have we already lost, the American middle class, the socio-economic fact 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.
Globalism and free-trade policies have sent millions of good American jobs to China. U.S. Commerce Department data show that in the 2000s, U.S. multinationals cut their American work forces by nearly 3 million jobs, but created 2 amd 1/2 million jobs overseas, many of them for high-skilled employees. When the recession hit in 2009, multinationals cut 5% of their workers in the U.S. and only 1 and 1/2% of their jobs overseas. Reporters say company executives are very squeamish in revealing or talking about how many of their workers are overseas.
The question that should be asked of all candidates is: Do you favor the trade policies that require Americans to compete for jobs with Chinese who work for 40 cents, or even $2, an hour?
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