This Is How Liberals Think

You're a liberal. You've identified a problem -- the massive loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States; a net loss of 4.6 million jobs over the last 20 years. You've even done a decent job of identifying the causes of the problem: "Companies lose market share to foreign low-cost producers . . . or move their operations overseas in search of lower wages . . . or apply production techniques that require fewer workers."

So, what's your solution? Measures like reducing taxes and regulation to make U.S. manufacturers more competitive, perhaps? Of course not! Remember, you're a liberal. No, your solution is what you yourself describe as a "massive" new welfare program for affected workers and communities that will contribute to making U.S. manufacturers even less competitive and destroy even more jobs!

That is the approach proposed by Gary Chaison in his Boston Globe column of this morning, Disaster relief needed for manufacturing:

The best answer is to treat the closing of major manufacturing plants as the emergencies that they are. This means providing the intensive, comprehensive aid similar to what is given in disaster-stricken communities.

A massive nationally coordinated and community-focused relief program for job losses in manufacturing has never been attempted. But federal departments, including those for emergency relief, health and human services, commerce, environment affairs, and transportation must work together to devise specific plans to make declining communities attractive and thriving again.

Relief plans should include extended unemployment insurance and healthcare benefits for displaced workers as well as assistance to help them meet rent and mortgage payments. Special low-interest and forgivable loans should be provided by the Small Business Administration to keep downtown merchants afloat. Federal grants should be directed at rebuilding schools and modernizing hospitals, and training and raising the pay of teachers, firefighters, police, and healthcare workers. To be judged successful, a comprehensive plan should not only attract employers but also rebuild and revive entire communities, from their schools to their shopping.

So there it is. A "massive" new welfare program that is part of a "comprehensive plan" for "entire communities." Say, why not give it a name? "Five Year Plan for Aiding Hero Workers and Rebuilding Entire Communities for Glory of Motherland" has a nice ring.

Does Chaison even attempt to calculate the cost of his proposals, or how such additional costs will translate into higher taxes that will discourage economic growth and kill more jobs? How many times do I have to tell you? We're talking about a liberal here.

Oh, and not just any old liberal. This isn't a college sophomore indulging his utopian big-government fantasies. It's the guy who's teaching that college sophomore. As we're informed at the foot: "Gary Chaison is professor of industrial relations at Clark University's Graduate School of Management and the author of 'Unions in America.'" Comforting to know that fellows like this are molding the minds of tomorrow, no?

Economy Welfare Higher Education Boston Globe Gary Chaison