Manufacturing in America: A National Catastrophe

I read an editorial in the NY Times by Bob Herbert (11/21/2009 edition) recently that echoes a theme I’ve posted here many times: too many of our best and brightest have been making up exotic financial instruments rather than making things people really need.  Today’s Chicago Tribune also had an article about manufacturing’s decline in our country. Lastly, 60 Minutes recently had a piece on cyber-terrorism. Part of the piece was about how generators could be destroyed through hacking into the software that controls them. As creepy as that is, I was even more bothered by the fact that NO electrical generation turbines are made in the US anymore. The same country that might be committing the terrorism (China was suspected) might also be the country we have to turn to for replacements. We are so short-sighted, so foolish.
From the article:
Detroit was the arsenal of democracy in World War II and the incubator of the American middle class. It was the city that taught mass production to the rest of the world. It was a place that made cars, trucks and other tangible products, not derivatives.
“We’ve been living with the illusion that manufacturing — making things — is so 20th century,” said Mr. Shaiken, “and that we could succeed by concentrating, for example, on complex financial instruments while abandoning the industrial base that sustained so many American families.”
I can hear my friends on the right now: government should not be picking winners and losers, BUT we need a industrial policy in this country that promotes making things here over shipping jobs and manufacturing expertise overseas. Perhaps we can start by NOT giving corporations tax breaks to open up shop in foreign countries. Give us something to keep, and create, jobs here.


Perplexio said…
It kind of reminds me of the premise of the movie The Net. A cyber security firm hacks into government sites and wreaks havoc in order to create the illusion of a need for the security firm's services. And thus giving that security firm unfettered access to government files & documents.

I could see our enemies creating the illusion of a need for certain things to increase sales on their goods and services and inevitably grant them access to things we really should not be giving them access to.
concerned patriot said…
The politicians and business leaders who have foisted this upon America are traitors, plain and simple. They deserve a traitor's punishment.

Free trade is and always was a scheme to enrich a very small minority of Americans at the expense of the vast majority (plus our national security).Academics and think tanks were in on the lie, thus giving it unwarranted credibility needed.

America will not be made whole again until we dump free trade, get out of the WTO and implement an industrial policy which has as its goal the reindustrialization of this country. Americans should vote out any politician who espouses anything less than this.

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