We've said it repeatedly around here in the past few years. Bob Borosage and our other friends at the Campaign for America's Future have said it repeatedly. Union leaders Richard Trumka and Leo Gerard have said it repeatedly. Advocates of wind power and solar power and geothermal power have said repeatedly. In short, a strong domestic manufacturing sector is crucial to our well-being.
The idea that most manufacturing is no longer a worthy (or economically viable) endeavor for the United States destroys the hopes and dreams of Americans. Our country needs a far-sighted industrial plan, the same as all the developed countries and several of the more powerful developing countries have. Germany, China, Brazil all have such plans. And while each plan has flaws, particularly in the environmetnal arena, each is also building prosperity for its citizens.
Jon Rynn is the author of the book Manufacturing Green Prosperity: The power to rebuild the American middle class. He posts at Daily Kos as JonRynn, and you can read a recent, controversial two-part essay of his here and here. At New Deal 2.0, he writes Six Reasons Manufacturing is Central to the Economy:
Without a robust revival in the manufacturing sector, we can kiss our status as a great economic power goodbye.
Paul Krugman recently argued that “manufacturing is one of the bright spots of a generally disappointing recovery, and there are signs — preliminary, but hopeful, nonetheless — that a sustained comeback may be under way.” He points out that the gap between what we sell and what we buy has been improving. This must be set against a background of a manufacturing decline in the United States of historic dimensions; even without adjusting for inflation, the trade deficit in goods for the United States between 2000 and 2010 was 7 trillion dollars. A turnaround in the attention of more perceptive economists and a turnaround in manufacturing may be in the works. But before that, the crucial question is: Why is manufacturing so important?
1. Manufacturing has been the path to development ...
2. Manufacturing is the foundation of global “Great Power” ...
3. Manufacturing is the most important cause of economic growth ...
4. Global trade is based on goods, not services ...
5. Services are dependent on manufactured goods ...
6. Manufacturing creates jobs
Most jobs, directly or indirectly, depend on manufacturing — and reviving the sector could provide tens of millions of new jobs, eradicating the Great Recession. In 2005, the Japanese manufacturing sector was 20.2% of its economy, in Germany it was 23.2%, and in the US manufacturing accounted for 13.4%, according to the the OECD. Using 2005 figures, if the US had the same percentage as Japan, we would have 7 million more high-quality, long-term, well paying jobs. If we were equal with Germany, we would have 10 million more. And according to the Economic Policy Institute, each manufacturing job supports almost three other jobs in the economy. That makes sense, considering the other five reasons that manufacturing is central to the economy.
Thus, there are six solid reasons that we need to rebuild the manufacturing sector of the United States. It’s time for the United States to wake up before it’s too late and rebuild the foundation of a strong, prosperous, middle class economy.
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At Daily Kos on this date in 2010:
On the eve of California's first-ever Harvey Milk Day this past Saturday, Speaker Pelosi promised an assembled audience of advocates at an event for Equality California that she would see the discriminatory policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repealed by the end of the year. And in so doing, she took a strong stand against an Administration that had substantially backed off of promises to end DADT--at least until the close of a politically difficult midterm campaign.
But now, it looks like the Obama Administration has seen on the wall the handwriting created by pressure both from activists and from a House leadership team that seems more interested in doing what is right than what is politically expedient--and now a deal is in the works.
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