Lest I violate any campaign finance laws by praising the many praiseworthy aspects of Barack Obama’s speech, I thought I would note something that’s been nagging at me throughout the convention, namely rhetoric that seems to have an oddly disproportionate emphasis on factory workers. People who work in factories deserve an economy that works for them, of course, but here’s the employment numbers (in thousands) I found on the BLS website:
– Government: 22,521
– Health and Education Services: 18,914
– Professional and Business Services: 17,919
– Retail trade: 15,309
– Leisure and Hospitality: 13,687
– Manufacturing: 13,501
There are some other, even smaller categories out there including construction (7,175) and natural resources and mining (778) but the point is that it’s been a long time since the typical person was working in a factory. And it’s not as if all these people in these other fields are hoity toity elitists, it’s just that the face of the contemporary working class isn’t primarily the face of a factory worker.