In the Pittsburgh Post Gazette they touted Obama's visit last week and the subsequent jobs council meeting in Pittsburgh as the second coming for a revitalized city. There is some renewed activity to be sure...but little of it is in the manufacturing or energy production sectors with which the area has been identified forever. The Pittsburgh region has benefited as well by a steady housing market and property values that remain much healthier than the national average. No growth has been seen recently and is not foreseen in the imminent future.
Here Obama is seen visiting the IBEW Hall.
The fact is that in the 80's and 90's, under business friendly Republican administrations, Pittsburgh and Allegheny County business interests saw the writing on the wall.
Seeing an opportunity to invest in the growing health care, high tech service industries, and robotics, businesses divested their manufacturing base and moved into these booming fields. Subsequent Democrat administration regulatory policies, union corruption, and high taxes have driven much of this private sector investment into neighboring counties with a more business friendly environment. Development has slowed dramatically in the past two years. Obama cannot (AS HE CLAIMS) take any credit for the development of the robotics industry here.
This is some of his same old rhetoric from his visit to Carnegie Mellon University....
President Barack Obama called on Friday for a "renaissance in American manufacturing" that would replace shuttered steel mills with plants producing robotics, nanotechnology and other high-tech advances.
"That's how we're going to strengthen existing industries, that's how we're going to spark new ones," he said. "That's how we're going to create jobs, grow the middle class and secure our economic leadership."
This move toward these developing sectors was well under way during the first Bush administration, and to some extent was really begun under Ronald Reagan.
I could not find one local news outlet that covered the jobs council meeting and who would tell the ACTUAL STORY of the meeting here at the IBEW hall.
Here is one part of what I know to be true, and I had to look in St. Louis to find this much.
ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)—"President Obama is in Pittsburgh today for an extended photo-op with something called the President's Commission On Jobs And Competitiveness. It's a group made up of two union leaders, a biologist, an economist and 26 corporate CEO's. The idea is these people are supposed to advise the president on new ways to create jobs. Which is like asking a vegetarian for grilled steak recipes.
That's because a lot of these CEO's are making money, not by creating jobs, but by eliminating them. Consider Xerox CEO Ursula Burns. She sits on the commission. She's also eliminated 4,500 jobs just since the first of the year. Eastman-Kodak CEO Antonio Perez is also on the commission. Between 2004 and this year, his company has gotten rid of 9,200 jobs.
Then there's Ken Chennault of American Express. His company announced it made a record 1.1 billion dollars in the last quarter of 2010. That's up 48 percent in one year. That jolly news came down at the same time Amex announced it was closing a North Carolina operation and laying off 550 workers. And then there's General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt. In the last four years, he's shut down 21 US operations and laid off 22,000 people.
Boeing CEO Jim McNerney is also on the council. Boeing's profits rose to 941 billion dollars in the second quarter of this year. Boeing has cut 1,100 jobs. Mostly in California and Kansas. At the same time, it's trying to move some of it's 787 airliner production to non-union South Carolina after issuing nasty statements about problems with unions in Seattle.
And these are the people advising the president on job creation? Maybe these guys have been called job creators enough that they are actually believing it."
Read more on the dismal record of Obama's jobs team...ABC News
Now I will tell you a little of this most recent JOBS summit. Pittsburgh's Jim Quinn and Rose Tennant reported on WPGB Wednesday that there was a contingent of dozens of Conservative businessmen who appeared at the Jobs Council summit.
One anonymous businessman posted a blog describing his experience with the panel. His statements have been apparently scrubbed, so I will summarize...
Many of the questions posed to the panel were focused on the restrictive / anti-job regulations being imposed by this administration.
At one point a question was posed concerning the fact that steel scrap products used in recycling are now to be considered a HAZARDOUS MATERIAL!
before a response was offered the question was deflected by the council chairwoman and she stated that, "We are here to discuss job creation, not regulation."
THIS IS MORONIC and shows the haughty, irresponsible attitude of the EPA, Commerce Dept. and other regulatory agencies that we here in this region ESPECIALLY have had to deal with.
The chairwoman closed the meeting with a summary which included only those items which involved the president's so called victories in job creation advancing and his future schemes.
The questions or the proposals of the Conservative private sector were not even discussed.
The businessman closed by saying (as stated in the story above)...
"If these are the kind of people that Obama has chosen to create jos, WE ARE IN REAL TROUBLE!"