The National Association of Manufacturers supported the stimulus package passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama, believing it would spur renewed economic growth while addressing needed infrastructure programs.
Many manufacturers we talk to have been disappointed. Dollars for infrastructure seem slower to flow into the economy than expected, and much of the federal spending has gone to help states prop up their budgets and fund social programs. You can argue the merits, but stimulus it’s not.
So Christina Hoff Sommers appears to be onto something when she writes about the skewing of the bill toward non-manufacturing, non-construction, non-infrastructure jobs. Hoff Sommers is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute most known for her book, The War Against Boys. The politics of feminism falls outside our commentary bailiwick, but it’s hard to disagree with the conditions she describes in a new Weekly Standard article, “No Country for Burly Men“:
Men are bearing the brunt of the current economic crisis because they predominate in manufacturing and construction, the hardest-hit sectors, which have lost more than 3 million jobs since December 2007. Women, by contrast, are a majority in recession-resistant fields such as education and health care, which gained 588,000 jobs during the same period. Rescuing hundreds of thousands of unemployed crane operators, welders, production line managers, and machine setters was never going to be easy. But the concerted opposition of several powerful women’s groups has made it all but impossible
Again, we don’t want to venture into the gender wars, but something has gone awry with the stimulus component of the stimulus bill. In today’s Washington Post, there’s a poll story, “Confidence in Stimulus Plan Ebbs, Poll Finds“:
Barely half of Americans are now confident that President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus measure will boost the economy, and the rapid rise in optimism about the state of the nation that followed the 2008 election has abated, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
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