Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Some Credit is Due, Part II

On August 2nd I posted an article called “A Little Credit, Please.” I made the case that the Obama Administration's decision to support US automakers was proving to be a good idea, not only because the automakers were turning profits, but also because thousands of jobs were saved at the auto plants and at numerous suppliers as well.

Now Jared Bernstein, chief economic advisor to Vice President Biden, has further made the case that the administration did the right thing. In a recent article, Bernstein also emphasizes that thousands of jobs still exist at Chrysler and at its lengthy supply chain. He notes that there are three jobs in the supply chain, at companies producing a huge array of components, for every job at a Chrysler assembly plant. And these companies, and their workers, are in business because Chrysler, along with GM, are in business.

As Bernstein writes, “In the year before we took office, the auto industry shed 431,300 jobs. But in the 13 months since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy, auto industry employment has increased by 76,300, a huge reversal -- one we'd never have seen had we listened to those urging us to walk away. Of those 76,300 new jobs, close to 40,000 come from the suppliers. That's the fastest year over year growth that they've seen in a decade."

Good job, especially in a recession. One of the biggest obstacles to job creation in this country is the emasculated manufacturing sector. That sector was about to get a whole lot weaker since many, especially the President's Republican opponents, were ready to let the automakers fail --on Obama's watch, of course.

If GM and/or Chrysler, and much of their supply chain, had gone under, with their thousands of employees out of a job, on unemployment, the whole works, do you think Republicans would have made a campaign issue out of it?

They would have loved to, but it ain't gonna happen.

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