What wages really look like in American manufacturing

Mar 09, 2016

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has made American economic inequality a major focus of the Democratic presidential nominating contest. If you watch a Democratic debate before bed, you very well might dream about “millionaires and billionaires” he says have rigged the economy and politics.

On Sunday night, during the party’s debate in Flint, Mich., Sanders claimed free trade deals, like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, have cost the U.S. manufacturing industry millions of jobs and hurt manufacturing wages by a staggering margin.

Here’s the full quote:

“Those trade policies, as much as any other set of policies, has resulted in the shrinking of the American middle class. And, I’ll tell you what else it did. It’s not only job loss by the millions, it is the race to the bottom so that new jobs in manufacturing, in some cases today, pay 50 percent less than they did 20 years ago. How stupid is that trade policy?”

But that’s not really in the aggregate.

More from the Washington Post.