It seems as if there is starting to be a backlash against the renewed focus on building a strong U.S. manufacturing industry. Among the arguments against a national manufacturing policy is the belief that manufacturing alone won’t solve our unemployment crisis. True, manufacturing alone won’t put everyone back to work. But if we as a country are looking for a sustainable way to rebuild our economy, manufacturing is our best bet.
Manufacturing jobs have a 3 to 1 multiplier effect in the economy. For every manufacturing job, there are three jobs in the local service sector created. Not to mention the ripple effect throughout a supply chain. In addition, manufacturing jobs produce tangible goods, which can be sold around the globe. As the article points out, “haircuts and healthcare are hard to export.” There is a reason that third-world countries that strive not to be third-world turn to manufacturing to grow their economies. Finally, as the article points out, “companies and countries that make things also tend to do better at inventing new things.” Most new commercial innovations come from small and mid-sized manufacturers.
What is your opinion? Is a national manufacturing policy necessary to grow the U.S. economy? Or are we now a service economy and should we focus our efforts there?