President Obama was in North Carolina describing a new program to bolster manufacturing in this country- especially high-tech manufacturing.
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You see, the President would like to go to all those formerly rust belt towns that were one-time industrial leaders and help them become global high-tech centers.
The idea may sound new, but the goal ultimately- developing better paying jobs- has eluded many mayors, city councils and state legislators who've tried for decades to do the same thing.
Even so, the President is ready to ante up $1 billion of our taxpayer dollars on 15 hubs around the country.
Naturally, politicians are responding by putting their hands out.
Senator Jack Reed (RI) said he wants some of the dough that will be available in such a program. He says his state was the birthplace of the industrial revolution and for that reason deserves the money.
Then there's Congressman Mike Honda of Silicon Valley. You might have thought that area needed no help from Congress, but Honda, too, would like a piece of the action because Silicon Valley is a manufacturing center in its own right.
And, on and on it goes. The President is offering our money and local politicians offering to lap it up.
What the President has right is that there is a small manufacturing renaissance going on.
What's fueling it isn't a government program, but lower costs.
Steve Malanga at the Manhattan Institute says fracking has lowered energy costs so much that it makes the U.S. more competitive. Watch out China!
Of course, the President and his coterie of brainiacs oppose fracking, but the impact to business is dramatic.
Lower wages in Right to Work states is also fueling the renaissance, but our labor backed President doesn't go in for that either.
Take a look at the states that have seen the biggest creation of manufacturing jobs. It's interesting because a lot of these states aren't friendly to government interference. States like Texas. Indiana is now a Right to Work state. Then there are places like Tennessee, South Carolina, and Washington where government has succeeded by standing out of the way.
That's the model we should be following.