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Damon Silvers still remembers the pickles. In 2011, at a round-table discussion in Durham, N.C., the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness showcased biotech firms that weren’t planning to hire anybody, remnants of the textile industry, and an artisan pickle-maker.
Silvers, the policy director of the AFL-CIO, concedes that the jobs council was celebrating some wonderful entrepreneurial people. But really, he says, it was evidence of a collapsing industrial economy and a president who seems to have given up on pushing a comprehensive progressive agenda.