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Willisms

« Quotational Therapy: Part 101 -- Francine Busby. | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 339 -- Gross State Product, Not Arbitrary. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 338 -- America's Manufacturing Base.

Way Awesome-

Did you know that American manufacturing is not in the toilet? That all of our manufacturing is NOT going to China? And that U.S. manufacturing has seen three straight years of growth?

Indeed, it is flourishing. You have to go back 27 years to find a longer positive streak than the United States currently has going.

BizzyBlog has much more on this absurdly underreported phenomenon, including an explanation of this chart:

manufacturingisawesome.gif

These are good times for the economy, folks. Very good times.


-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Ridiculously Awesome GDP Growth.

Posted by Will Franklin · 5 June 2006 05:32 PM

Comments

Wow, who knew?

Conventional wisdom can be wrong then?

Posted by: Ken McCracken at June 5, 2006 06:26 PM

Thanks for linking. Conventional wisdom isn't even "wisdom."

Posted by: Tom Blumer at June 5, 2006 08:20 PM

Well,the reason we hear nothing about this is obvious. Healthy manufacturing industries are built on change and improvements in productivity; that means that the industries involved cannot be imprisoned by 1950's industrial union work rules and oppositional management-labor relations.

Therefore, because far fewer union jobs (than the past) are involved, there is less nakedly political clout, and no Tony-Soprano-like labor bosses posturing for the cameras. The idea you get is that unless the jobs are like baggage handlers making $50k a year they don't count and the industry is McJobs, etc.

That syndrome is a pretty clear indicator of why the economic boom is such a well-guarded MSM secret. CIA prisons in Poland? Top secret? Front page, fast! Record growth in high tech (not consumer stuff) manufacturing? Doesn't count, nothing to do a story about, we need a new "industrial policy...."

Posted by: Kurmudge at June 6, 2006 01:42 PM

Unfortunately, at what cost is this "hollow progress" being made? You could just lay off workers, shift your costs to a country that has lax labor laws and have said increases on that chart. Just dont be surprised when reality sets in - that the Soprano bosses are still here for business interests.

Not surprisingly, these interests are not for the 99% - unless you wish to count low quality products and an economic policy that will pay out only in the *very* long term (but well beyond most people's careers)

 The only way to really wake people up about the future and to get people out of manufacturing is to unfortunately provide for a viable transition for the displaced. Union busting isnt going to win many converts, but providing for all costs of a full 4 year university(since you cant guarantee a job, you could at least get credible placement) would make the numbers a lot more credible. When you do have a way out of things such as manufacturing's endless exportation/exploitation, that's when you see the numbers in a good light.

Posted by: sethstorm at June 6, 2006 07:21 PM

Unfortunately, at what cost is this "hollow progress" being made? You could just lay off workers, shift your costs to a country that has lax labor laws and have said increases on that chart.

You do realize what this is right? This is not American based corporations manufacturing, but actual manufacturing in America. So this counts Toyota making cars in Tennessee, but not GM making cars in China.

When you do have a way out of things such as manufacturing's endless exportation/exploitation, that's when you see the numbers in a good light.

There are things called product life cycles. Take for instance high end computer equipment. Intel keeps their top Fabs in Chandler, Arizona and Oregon (as well as Costa Rica), but does not make sensitive components in China because China is not stable enough to warrant the investment for the highest end equipment and Intel values their intellectual property. So working making high end computer chips--good manufacturing.

Let's compare this to what John Edwards described in his "two Americas" rhetoric of the textile mills that used to provide good jobs in the Carolinas. See, those are in mature industries where it makes sense to shift the low paying manufacturing jobs to China.

Point being that manufacturing jobs are not bad. Just that entrenched workers that work in mature industries (and the automotive industry is fast becoming that) need retraining if that is possible because their jobs are going away. Honeywell and Boeing and Intel all make high end equipment in the US and employ hundreds of thousands of people in manufacturing across their industries. These jobs may shift somewhat and corporations may reshuffle the decks, but at the end of the day, these are high paying jobs in manufacturing. But as soon as the industry matures and competition moves in, the new technology will come along and workers need to move to the new technology or be left behind.

This is a meritocracy at its finest. The best workers and most capable of retraining move up and on while the others go home to find new jobs. Maybe the new job is in "services" at McDonalds, but that indicates a lack of skills or lack of mobility of the worker. Good workers with good skills and good educations are mobile and can transition between jobs.

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