Our middle class is battered, bruised and on the ropes perhaps, but ready and willing to get back to work to make America strong once more.
I can only speak to the construction industry I know. One segment, power plant construction, is a bastion of good paying middle class jobs, and it’s on hold. I’m talking about carpenters and steel workers, welders and electricians, heavy equipment operators and safety specialists and the myriad of other specialties and the engineers, purchasing agents and office workers who make any construction project function efficiently. That’s home town, good paying jobs I’m talking about.
Those good jobs don’t stop at the plant gates. Thousands of people are involved outside the plant, supplying everything from paper towels to steel girders to heavy generators that fill heavy duty flat beds to their capacity. Trucks line up each day bringing thousands of tons of needed equipment and material from plants with good paying jobs all across the USA. Well paid train engineers, fork lift operators and truck drivers, both local and national, deliver the products and then turn around and purchase new trucks. This list of people involved in a single plant would fill a note book.
The local economy sees increased business supplying the projects. Then your motels, restaurants and rental properties are filled once more. New homes are in demand and your local contractors will thrive again. The projects purchase tens of millions of dollars from local businesses and whether its office supplies or welding equipment, local, good paying jobs are created.
When the facility is built it has to be staffed and this calls for more local participation and again provides long term, good paying jobs.
So why aren’t we building the plants we need right now?
Government bureaucrats insist on switching to renewable energy that cannot replace conventional power plants and cost a fortune in taxes for every American. No one seems to report the closure of current power plants due to both age and EPA mandates. No one seems to tell the public that for every wind and solar facility we build we must have 100% back up with conventional plants to keep the lights on. Solar doesn’t work at night and windmills don’t turn when the wind stops blowing. Existing plants put out more pollution when backing up renewable power because they can’t run as efficiently as their design intended. This is a lose/lose situation for all of us.
We hear on the news that the economy is getting better. Yet, we all know people out of work and probably know someone who has lost their home. Check out the housing market and you find an American disaster. This year we’ll continue to see higher foreclosure numbers because people can’t find good paying jobs. Unemployment has shown some improvement but look at the numbers and you find most of the new jobs are not high paying middle class jobs. Look behind the scenes and you’ll find a government that talks about middle class jobs and then shuts down the job market for the best middle class jobs.
I have spoken of the industry I know. If my industry has these problems I feel certain people in our community can share similar stories about their areas of expertise.
Let me leave you with the Xcel pipeline which is somewhat out of my area of expertise but exhibits similar results. Three years of study to approve construction and create 20,000 to 40,000 good paying middle class jobs have been shut down by this administration for more study. This pipeline was meant to bring friendly Canadian oil to our refineries across the country. The Canadians were even going to pay to install it. The same advantages mentioned previously would apply with additional jobs to feed, clothe, and house these new workers. Good paying American middle class jobs would be created providing the pipe and the myriad other necessities required, putting our people back to work.
This is an American tragedy that is a self inflicted wound. Tens of thousands of these jobs could be created by the end of the year with millions next year. And that’s only in power plant construction!