Now that this is over and we can "pivot" to jobs, it's time to realize that bringing back jobs is going to require significantly more effort than anyone is currently suggesting. Ever since the Clinton years (yes Clinton) there has been a concerted effort to move manufacturing jobs to places like China, Mexico, India and Brazil. As I've been documenting for a while these places are Dreams of low wages, lousy work conditions and no regulation. (Something to bear in mind whenever anyone complains that it's stifling regulation that chases companies away. They're half right, but imitating our competitors is a lousy idea.)
In the meantime, the steady erosion of manufacturing jobs was effectively masked by Home-equity-driven Consumer spending and Housing bubble-driven construction jobs. (The abrupt end of the Credit Card gravy train is part of the reason people are so confused about the Federal debt. They keep comparing it to consumer debt.)
So there are two things we have to come to grips with.
1: We are never going to compete with the Chinese by 'deregulating'. There's nothing desirable about the result.
2: Home construction jobs aren't coming back and they weren't a good way to drive the economy in the first place. We need to write them off.
Whats the solution. D@mned if I know, but I do know that the current arguments we're having don't even BEGIN to address the actual problem.