E.J. Dionne at the Washington Post takes another tilt at “An Economics of National Pride“:
… [Colorado Senator Michael] Bennet sees one overriding question in American politics: “How do we re-couple economic growth with job growth and wage growth?” Note that Bennet focuses not just on growth in general or even job growth. He adds the essential component of wage growth, as important in Ohio’s blue-collar neighborhoods as it is in Colorado’s suburban office parks.
Bennet’s emphasis on ending wage stagnation and decline is what distinguishes progressive economics — however moderate and pragmatic in form — from conservative economics, which sees business growth alone as solving our problems…
None of this surprises Sen. [Sherrod] Brown, a proud pro-union liberal who campaigned with Obama in Ohio last week. Brown notes that Obama has gained ground in his state both by being tough in enforcing trade rules on behalf of American companies and by pursuing a “high-end manufacturing strategy” that appeals to the nation’s “historical pride in manufacturing, and in making things.”
For Brown, who faces reelection this year, one of the voters he keeps in mind is the “guy in Zanesville who made big things with his hands and now has gone from $17 an hour to $11 an hour.”
The candidate who speaks to voters like Brown’s Zanesville worker — and to his white-collar equivalent in Colorado — is likely to win the election. Mitt Romney hopes the national unemployment rate will get them to vote Republican. Obama’s challenge is to offer an economics of national pride and renewal that answers the sense of betrayal these voters began feeling long before he took office.
My emphasis. Apart from more employment talk, what’s on the agenda for the start of another sweltering week?