ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

After Denigrating Anti-Trade Voters, Obama Decides to Pander

Wait... wasn't it just last week that Obama revealed that he thought the yahoos in Pennsylvania (and Indiana) were clinging to anti-free trade policies because they're bitter about their economic situation, implying that criticism of free trade is the merely an emotional response of the ignorant masses to economics that they don't understand?

And this revealed (to me) that Austan Goolsbee wasn't joking when he told the Canadians that Obama's NAFTA renegotiation rhetoric was just pandering to the stupid US voters.

Now Obama is attacking Clinton on not being sufficiently against NAFTA?

Obama questions Clinton's trade stance, fights back on charges of 'elitism'
2008-04-14 16:52:35 -

WASHINGTON (AP) - Barack Obama called into question Hillary Rodham Clinton's opposition to free trade agreements on Monday, intensifying his attacks on his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination as he sought to detract from his remarks that threatened to cost him crucial votes among working-class voters.

With eight days remaining in the fierce battle for votes in Pennsylvania _ an economically hard-hit northeastern state that holds the biggest remaining primary _ Obama criticized the former first lady on the North American Free Trade Agreement and the pending Colombian trade deal. Opponents of the free-trade pacts claim they cost American jobs.

NAFTA went into force while Bill Clinton was president; the Colombia pact is backed by the former president and Clinton was forced to demote her chief strategist last week for working with the Colombian government to support the treaty's passage in Congress.

"Around election time, the candidates can't do enough for you," Obama said. "They'll promise you anything, give you a long list of proposals and even come around, with TV crews in tow, to throw back a shot and a beer."

Clinton did that at a stop Saturday at Bronko's restaurant in Crown Point, Indiana, on Saturday.

Obama was speaking to the Association of American Manufacturers.

I wonder how the Association felt about his remarks. They have a PowerPoint available on their website which includes this graphic, along with the following explanatory text:

One theme that has developed over the past decade has been the globalization of America’s manufacturing sector. Between 1987 and 2000, trade (that is, exports plus imports) for manufacturing doubled from 20% of output to 40% while trade remained as only 6% of output for the overall economy. This is the fifth pillar [of the Manufacturing Economy].

The red line shows that in the past 15 years, manufacturing’s global reach has accelerated, both in terms of exports and imports. Foreign markets are a key part of successful manufacturing, far more than services. Manufacturing’s competition on a global stage is one reason that prices of so many manufactured goods have remained flat for a decade. Manufacturers can’t raise prices, but more about that in a minute.
They also have a monthly State of the US Economy & Manufacturing report, which contains this paragraph for February:
International Trade. U.S. exports outpaced imports for a third consecutive year in 2007, rising by 7.7 percent, compared to a 1.4 percent rise in imports. For the first time in a dozen years, trade (net exports) added to GDP growth in 2007, as exports added more than imports took away from GDP growth. In fact, exports alone accounted for 40.5 percent of GDP growth last year.
I would also point to one of our posts from late last year, which included this quiz on manufacturing and industrial output:
1) In what year did U.S. Manufacturing output reach its all-time peak?
a. 1966 b. 1976 c. 1986 d. 1996 e. 2006

2) In what year did U.S. Manufacturing revenue reach its all-time peak? (inflation adjusted)
a. 1966 b. 1976 c. 1986 d. 1996 e. 2006

3) In what year did U.S. Manufacturing profits reach their all-time peak? (inflation adjusted)
a. 1966 b. 1976 c. 1986 d. 1996 e. 2006

4) In what year did U.S. Manufacturing exports reach their all-time peak? (inflation adjusted)
a. 1966 b. 1976 c. 1986 d. 1996 e. 2006

5) Average annual compensation (wages + benefits) for US manufacturing jobs is
a. $36,000 b. $46,0000 c. $56,0000 d. $66,000

6) What are the relative sizes of the US and Chinese manufacturing sectors?
a. China outputs 2.5 times the US b. Equal c. The US outputs 2.5 times China

7) Which country produces the largest share of total world manufacturing output?
a. China b. Japan c. Germany d. France e. US

  1. e. 2006 (Source: Economic Report of the President, 2007)
  2. e. 2006 (Source: Bureau of the Census)
  3. e. 2006 (Source: Bureau of the Census)
  4. a. 2006 (Source: U.S. International Trade Commission)
  5. d. $66,414 (Source: National Association of Manufacturers)
  6. c. The U.S. output is 2.5 times as much as China (Source: U.N. Industrial Development Org.)
  7. e. U.S. manufacturing output is 21 percent of world total (Source: U,N. Industrial Development Org.)

Obviously, Barry's attack is a desperate attempt to change the subject and pander to the emotions of the poorly educated Democratic base.

Fortunately, Barry's got the Jedi Mind Trick down pat and his supporters (dupes & the media) are under his spell (click to watch the cartoon):

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler