Comments on: Manufacturing redux Sun, 28 Jul 2013 14:34:09 +0000 hourly 1 By: SeaWa Wed, 04 Apr 2012 01:02:05 +0000 “the shift from manufacturing to services was either good or inevitable”

Many Americans have believed that to be true all the way back to the 70’s when we were told we had to shift to a service economy. It was obvious that services are directed to those that have money. Your economy must be based on something!

By: TimWorstall Tue, 03 Apr 2012 12:43:16 +0000 “Manufacturing, Sperling argues, is not the agriculture of the 21st century, a sector fated to provide fewer and fewer jobs over time.”

Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear.

Someone needs to point out to Mr. Sperling that manufacturing has been falling as a percentage of the global economy for decades. As has global manufacturing employment been falling for decades.

Manufacturing output (yes, even US manufacturing output) keeps rising at the same time.

Manufacturing is exactly the same as agriculture. Productivity is rising swiflty in the sectopr and the days of mass manufacturing employment are as dead and gone as mass agricultural employment.

By: robb1 Tue, 03 Apr 2012 00:33:10 +0000 Import tariffs are difficult to pass without opening a trade war that ultimately might backfire US ability to export.

Reducing tax deduction for offshore labor outsourcing can me much more effective.

Taxing offshore labor does not justify import tariff retaliation by developing countries, eager to export their manufactured goods to the US.

By: robb1 Mon, 02 Apr 2012 19:06:19 +0000 tax offshore outsourcing.

By: jambrytay Mon, 02 Apr 2012 17:38:55 +0000 there are a couple of very important facts being left out.

1. the US is the world’s number 1 or 2 manufacturer, depending on whose data you believe.
2. wage rates are too simplistic of a measure; we’re way ahead of China in terms of manufacturing productivity

They build toy airplanes and we build 777’s.

But, that stuff probably doesn’t matter, I’m sure we can ‘tariff’ our way to prosperity…

By: JoeOvercoat Mon, 02 Apr 2012 16:47:25 +0000 “Romney has more hands-on experience”…at what? Restructuring companies? Does he have any experience with what America needs…a business that grows the GDP, not just one venture capitalist’s bottom line?

By: Pete_Murphy Sun, 01 Apr 2012 11:54:36 +0000 “Creative destruction” occurred when the automobile replaced the buggy and whip. Allowing our entire manufacturing base to be plundered through a bone-headed devotion to flawed, 19th century trade theory by nations desperately over-dependent on manufacturing for export in order to employ their badly bloated labor forces is not “creative destruction.”

The United States was already infinitely more competitive than China when our manufacturing jobs left. How will competing harder bring them back home? And how will providing tax incentives for R&D help when the manufacturing of every product developed in this nation is immediately outsourced?

None of these are the real reasons for the decline in manufacturing in the U.S. The real reason is free trade policy that fails to account for the inverse relationship between population density and per capita consumption, and its role in driving global trade imbalances (a relationship that economists have yet to acknowledge). Check the data. In 2010, with the half of nations below the world’s median population density, the U.S. had a surplus of trade in manufactured products of $116 billion. But with the half of nations more densely populated (including the likes of China, Japan and Germany), the U.S. had a massive trade deficit of $493 billion. Same number of nations; starkly different results.

The only way to combat this population density effect is through a return to the use of tariffs to assure a balance of trade with nations so badly overpopulated and whose domestic consumption is so badly stunted that they’re incapable of consuming their own productive capacity.

Pete Murphy
Author, “Five Short Blasts”

By: AdamSmith Sun, 01 Apr 2012 06:05:01 +0000 Great article, Chrystia Freeland, and timely.

The emprical data shows that a generation ago America, with American workers, was the greatest manufacturing and commercial power on Earth.

But then, the largest American corporations evolved, and, surprising as it may seem, lobbied successfully for congress to remove the American tariffs on imported goods.

Why would they do such a thing? Why would American corporations want to eliminate the very tariffs that had given them birth, and protected them in their infancy against the manufacturers of Europe, all during the 1800’s and 1900’s?

American corporations lobbied to drop the American Tariff because doing so would allow them increase profits by taking advantage of the gigantic pool of cheap labor abroad. In other words American corporations lowered their cost of labor by directing Congress to eliminate the American tariff.

Of course this would directly force down the wage rates of American workers, a simple case of supply and demand, as the empirical evidence shows so vividly.

Now, empirical evidence shows that,

1. The American tariff is so small as to be meaningless.

2. Almost every product in every store in America says “Made in China”

3. American corporate profits are at record high levels

4. The American congress is so much in the pocket of corporate America, that in Congress-speak, the very words “worker” or “labor”, which had an admirable flavor to the generation before us, now have villainous connotation.

5. The American engineering profession is being destroyed by a huge inflow of low-cost labor from India under the H1B visa program, another avenue by which big companies based in the US are driving down American wages to increase profit.

We should urge President Obama to call for the immediate reinstatement of an American Tariff of 50% on all imported goods.

If he did so, new companies and new jobs for Americans would spring up like grass after a rain.

Here is the Wikipedia schedule by year of the American tariff:

It also shows that the American tariff was first implemented by Alexander Hamilton and George Washington to protect American jobs from European competition.

By: txgadfly Sun, 01 Apr 2012 03:50:09 +0000 Of course the US Government picks winners and losers. What nonsense! The mechanism is called “subsidies”.

The trucking industry survives as it is today solely because they do not pay for the damage they cause to public highways. That damage is almost entirely paid for by the gasoline tax on passenger vehicle fuel. This subsidy flows through to distant producers, domestic and foreign, and makes it economic to ship goods from far away. Or makes it look economic when it is not, because the Government takes money from commuters and gives it to truckers. This is just one example of economic distortion that makes an uncompetitive producer win over a lower cost, excluding the transportation subsidy, local producer.

The American economy is riddled with subsidies. It is rare to find a huge American fortune not centered on a subsidy.

It is nonsense to define our current labyrinth of subsidies as a “free market”. But it is true that the country would be better off without most of them.

By: armstrong137 Sat, 31 Mar 2012 18:33:22 +0000 I very much agree with Mr. Sperling, and I support the viewpoints expressed in this Op-Ed piece, but why the plug for Obamacare? In and of itself, that paragraph is a detraction to the article’s commentary on inducing a much-needed rise in manufacturing, as such, any desired support for President Obama has already been implied. The President has also commented to the fact that a lower corporate tax rate would help to even further this new trend of returning American companies from abroad. I am glad of any and all jobs returning to our ccountry.