By Gerald Najarian
Indeed — what is the matter with manufacturing in our country? Well, the answer might be nothing. At least nothing out of the ordinary in the capitalist system.
But wait. Doesn’t everyone say that all our manufactured goods are made outside the United States? Aren’t manufacturing jobs being outsourced to China, India and other countries in Asia and the subcontinent? The answer to all these questions is, yes! But…
What really happened to U.S. manufacturing is fourfold: globalization, comparative advantage, automation and policy neglect at the national government level — all pretty natural in the American capitalist system. The first three of these are unavoidable, but the last, policy, can be addressed. More about policy neglect later in the essay. Let’s look at the unavoidable after a little statistical background.