Vice President Joe Biden today issued the first annual report of the Middle Class Task Force, reaching the pre-ordained conclusion that the middle class needs more government programs and financial support.
The task force did spend a lot of time talking about the manufacturing sector, efforts recounted starting on page 13 of the report. Two of the task force’s meetings during the year emphasized manufacturing, the first in Perrysburg, Ohio, and then a White House meeting in December.
Looking ahead, the Vice President and Task Force intend to work with the agencies and with Senior Counselor Bloom to continue to promote the Administration’s manufacturing agenda. Policies in this space may include: export promotion, transitional assistance to supply chains (especially former auto suppliers), public/private partnerships (especially in green manufacturing), and continuing to build off of the ARRA investments noted above.
There’s much to welcome there policywise, and we’re glad to see export promotion head the list.
The Middle Class Task Force report also extensively promotes “green jobs” and the “green economy.” Coincidently, The Washington Post today runs an op-ed by Sunil Sharan, an expert in the “smart grid” and other clean-energy developments. Using the example of “smart meters” — the retail, consumer portion of smart grid technology — he concludes that the technological advances probably result in net job destruction. He concludes:
For the purpose of creating jobs, then, a “clean-energy economy” will not offer a panacea. This does not necessarily mean that America should not become green to alleviate climate change, to kick its addiction to foreign oil or to use energy sources more efficiently. But those who take great pains to tout the “job-creation potential” of the green space might just end up inducing labor pains all around.
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