Robert Borosage Explains Germany's Industrial Policy As High-Wage Export Superpower

Campaign for America’s Future’s President Robert Borosage explains to MSNBC's Cenk Uygur the type of change in public policy that we need to see in the United States to create jobs here again in the wake of President Obama’s meeting with the
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Campaign for America’s Future’s President Robert Borosage explains to MSNBC's Cenk Uygur the type of change in public policy that we need to see in the United States to create jobs here again in the wake of President Obama’s meeting with the Chamber of Commerce.

BOROSAGE: I do think we need though a policy for making things here in America and that’s where we’ve gone wrong. You know Germany is a very high-wage producer but it’s an export superpower. And the reason is it has an industrial policy that insures that the companies keep high quality jobs in Germany. And we’ve got to move to that and that will take a very different set of policies than begging the Chamber of Commerce to be patriotic.

UYGUR: Well Robert, that’s a great point, so let’s stay on that for a second; because a lot of people say “What can we do?” The jobs are going to go to China, India, etc., but Germany’s figured it out. They’ve figured out a way to keep the jobs. How are they doing it?

BOROSAGE: Well they do a combination of things. They have the unions, the workers have unions and they have a stake in the company leadership and so they make collective decisions. They have long term capital from their banks that’s not speculative. They make collective decisions about what kind of plants they move abroad and what technology they’ll keep at home.

They have a middle level of corporations that are funded by municipally located banks that are geographically located and very dynamic and the combination makes them a superpower and they also manage their trade with China and the like so that they don’t get overwhelmed by the Chinese mercantilist policy.

Now if we could just get our politicians in the United States to quit demonizing unions and embrace some of these same strategies instead of sucking up to multi-national corporations and Wall Street, maybe we'd see some jobs come back here. It was refreshing to hear some specific policies about what does protect jobs instead of endless blathering about how tax cuts create jobs from Republicans. They may well create some jobs, but that doesn't mean they're going to be in the United States of that they're going to pay well.

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