* Greg Baise of the Illinois Manufacturers Association spoke to the City Club today. Here’s an excerpt of his prepared remarks…
Now, people talk about how the middle class is in trouble. And, it is. They aren’t lying. But those who talk loudest about protecting the middle class are actually doing the most to push it out of existence. For decades, MANUFACTURERS have been the best producers of middle–‐class jobs in the nation. People from all walks of life looked to manufacturing for jobs that paid middle–‐class wages, offered health insurance and built a pension. People who worked for manufacturers were the heart of the middle class. They saved for down payments to buy homes. They were able to raise a family. You didn’t need an advanced degree to make a good living. You needed a good work ethic and a sense of pride in what you produced.
Entrepreneurs who were willing to risk it all created that opportunity for growth, and the responsibility was on its citizens to create their own destiny. Government’s role was to provide a safety net, a helping hand, and monitor and correct the bad actors–‐–‐but not get in the way of those who were doing it right.
For too many, those days are long gone.
What I’m describing now is how many of my members feel and man do they feel it. And please keep in mind, that about 85 percent of my members are SMALL businesses, many second and third generation.
They feel that slowly, but insidiously, government is being led by politicians who think they’re the experts on how to run business. They see the government dictating wages and opportunity, mandating nearly every aspect of running a business, and too often views employers as an eternal piggy bank to solve every woe in society or to fund every novel idea hatched by a think–‐tank.
* His close…
Just remember as you leave, in the last seven years….
Wisconsin created 44,100 manufacturing jobs
Ohio created 75,900 manufacturing jobs
Indiana created 83,700 manufacturing jobs and
Michigan created 171,300 manufacturing jobs.
Illinois created 4,600 jobs. Even Idaho created 9,100 manufacturing jobs. A state better known for its potato farms.
It’s abysmal. It’s pathetic.
It’s time for a change in philosophy and direction by our policy makers.
It’s time to get mad as hell and not take it anymore.
Whether you agree with him on everything or not, he’s an old Statehouse hand and knows whereof he speaks, so go read the whole thing.