A Recipe for Real Recovery

According to a distinguished quartet of business and labor leaders, the U.S. financial system will remain vulnerable to crisis until a reasonable balance exists between the nation’s manufacturing and services sector, with at least 12 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) coming from manufacturing.

Writing in the December 21 issue of The American Prospect, business executive Leo Hindery, IAM President Tom Buffenbarger, Steelworkers President Leo Gerard and former Michigan Sen. Donald Riegle examine the causes of the current crisis and offer a formula to revive the great industrial engines that helped create and sustain the American middle class.

The article challenges President Obama’s recovery plan as under-appreciating the importance of a robust manufacturing sector. “Only a jobs-growth focus can save America’s economic future,” say the authors, who describe the current recovery effort as over-emphasizing the resuscitation of Wall Street and failing to grasp the job-creating potential of a revitalized manufacturing sector.

In addition to a definitive manufacturing policy, the article calls for a 10-year program of investment tax credits, infrastructure investments and an updated Works Progress Administration to consolidate and coordinate all stimulus-related public works projects.