James Pethokoukis of U.S. News has summarized Sunday night’s Democratic presidential debate in quick and clear fashion. On productivity, fuel prices and taxation, serious policy proposals were missing. Serious debate was missing. There was a little mentioning, though.
Imagine a Democratic presidential debate about foreign policy where Iraq was never mentioned. That was pretty much the case at last night’s candidate face-off when it came to domestic policy. Little was said about the long-term direction of the U.S. economy and what could be done to make it more innovative, competitive, and productive—the keys to raising our standard of living as we compete with China and India in the 21st century. Out of roughly 20,000 spoken words, mentions of “innovation,” zero; “competitive,” one (Richardson); “productivity,” zero; “trade,” six (Kucinich); “growth,” one (Dodd); “China,” six (Dodd, Kucinich, Richardson); “India,” none; “middle class,” three (Edwards, Clinton); “technology,” three (Dodd, Obama, Richardson).
We’ll check out the Republican debate tomorrow to see if they do any better. (We’ll also defer to Pethokoukis if he does the analysis, given how succinct and on point this one was.)
Of course, there’s one way to ensure the candidates of both parties address these critical economic issues: Devote an entire debate to manufacturing. After all, manufacturing employs 14 million Americans directly and produced $1.6 trillion in wealth last year. Doesn’t it rate?
(Hat tip: Instapundit.)
P.S. Transcript of the Democratic debate is here, at the New York Times’ site.
UPDATE (9 a.m., June 5): Legal blogger Seth Borden notes that given the opportunity — a question about their agenda in the first 100 days of office — none of the candidates mentioned the Employee Free Choice Act. Seth then speculates why.
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