Here’s the Real Rust Belt Jobs Problem — and It’s Not Offshoring or Automation

Josh Pacewicz and Stephanie Lee Mudge: “Many struggling U.S. cities and states compete fiercely with one another to attract and keep firms that offer jobs. Unfortunately, these are not the ‘good’ jobs that Americans are looking for, jobs with middle-class pay, benefits and security. This race to the bottom drains public coffers, preoccupies local leaders and fuels voter cynicism. ‘America First’ sidesteps the problem.”

“The Rust Belt’s real problem isn’t jobs fleeing the country; it’s jobs that do not pay well or offer the benefits they once did, and a lack of urban policies to prevent corporations from pitting cities against one another. Only national policy solutions to these problems will help.”

“Failing that, cities and towns will keep racing to the bottom, spending nonexistent funds to bring in uncertain, low-paying jobs that do not result in a healthy tax base.”

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