Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why is Manufacturing Essential for American Well-being

Noam Scheiber - The New Republic

Noam Scheiber's "Why we should cry for our shrinking Manufacturing Sector" should be required reading for Policy Makers and All Americans - as many if not most (Americans) do not realize the impact of globalization and loss of manufacturing jobs on everyday life in America.

Since coming to the US in mid 80's I've personally experienced and observed a steady decline of income across mature industries. Each closed factory means not only displaced workers but also factory owners, who cannot or have not been able to make a transition from making towels and nuts to building a Google. I am not sure if there is an agency counting numbers like me who once were American middle class and now struggle to find jobs, but I know there are many treading bleak spaces, which will remain bleak unless we start making more things locally for our own consumption and ALSO sell in world markets because selling Boeing is not enough to offset the American trade imbalance.

Trade imbalance is a threat because in our case it equals shrinking employment base.

Wine, cheese, fashion, iPod, iPhone, small batch Bourbon prove that there is a whole lot of American enterprise and creativity creating products that China and India cannot make based on knowledge and cultural factors, therefor the key to is to develop small manufacturing across sectors to repair and rebuild the American Dream.

The proof that manufacturing and economic growth thus prosperity are related is India reporting 7.9% growth in its economy for 2009; and China going gangbusters, in these hard times - both large, diversified manufacturing nations.

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