We decided to test our instincts, and went to the remarks from last week's SOTU by President Obama to see how many times the word "manufacturing" was used in the course of the speach. And a drum roll, please ...
Not once. Nada. Zilch. (Check out the graphic over here --> to see how the search turned out.)
Now, to be fair, the words "manufacture" and "manufactured" were each used. Once apiece, but they are in there:
"The plan that has made all of this possible, from the tax cuts to the jobs, is the Recovery Act. (Applause.) That's right -– the Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus bill. (Applause.) Economists on the left and the right say this bill has helped save jobs and avert disaster. But you don't have to take their word for it. Talk to the small business in Phoenix that will triple its workforce because of the Recovery Act. Talk to the window manufacturer in Philadelphia who said he used to be skeptical about the Recovery Act, until he had to add two more work shifts just because of the business it created. Talk to the single teacher raising two kids who was told by her principal in the last week of school that because of the Recovery Act, she wouldn't be laid off after all."
"Next, we can put Americans to work today building the infrastructure of tomorrow. (Applause.) From the first railroads to the Interstate Highway System, our nation has always been built to compete. There's no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains, or the new factories that manufacture clean energy products."
If anyone thinks that the use of a word in this context isn't important, I'd point out to them that we counted the word "jobs" used over 20 times.
Ironically, jobs are a by-product of tangible things, like work and - ahem - manufacturing. One begats the other. Not the other way around.